SC junks Pamatong petition vs Duterte

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The Supreme Court (SC), acting en banc, has denied the petition for quo warranto filed by suspended lawyer Elly Velez Pamatong against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In junking the petition, the High Court ruled that Pamatong does not have the legal standing to file such petition and that the one-year prescription period has lapsed.

Pamatong has argued that Duterte’s substitution for Martin Diño as Partido Demokratiko Pilipino standard bearer in the 2016 Presidential elections was defective, as Diño ticked the position of mayor instead of president in the second page of his form.

The en banc cited Section 1, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court which states that a quo warranto petition is an action by the government against individuals.

In Pamatong’s case, his uncontroverted claim could come from a legitimate candidacy for the presidency in 2016, but the SC said the Commission on Elections disapproved the suspended lawyer’s certificate of candidacy.

The SC also said the one-year prescription period has lapsed for Pamatong to file the quo warranto petition. Section 11 of Rule 77 states that the action shall commence within one year of the person taking office.

“Petitioner’s cause of action, if any, had already lapsed and may no longer be revived,” the court held.

The tribunal also held that Pamatong lacks the legal standing to bring an action for quo warranto.

A quo warranto petition is a legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held, claimed or exercised. A similar petition was filed against former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno by the Office of the Solicitor General that eventually led to her ouster.

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