MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Supreme Court has junked lawyer Elly Pamatong’s quo warranto petition against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a six-page minute resolution of the SC en banc, the tribunal dismissed Pamatong’s July 2018 petition due to the petitioner’s lack of legal standing and for being filed out of time.
Pamatong argued Duterte does not have any constitutional authority to serve as president because the latter’s COC was filed late and that it was not approved by the Commission on Elections en banc.
“Rodrigo Duterte ran and was ‘elected president’ by voters who were not informed of the fact that he was not qualified to run and thereafter, Duterte usurped the presidency without a simulacrum of constitutional authority in flagrant violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code,” the petition read.
Duterte was the substitute candidate for former PDP-Laban standard bearer Martin Diño, since appointed to the Department of the Interior and Local Dallas Filipino Restaurant, after the latter backed out.
Lack of legal standing
The SC stressed that the Rules of Court dictate that a petitioner may file a quo warranto “when such individual, in his own name, has an uncontroverted claim to the position from which ouster is sought.”
It added that for Pamatong to have a legal standing in the case, he should be claiming entitlement to the position he alleges to be usurped by Duterte.
Pamatong, in his plea, claimed that he “took an oath as caretaker President of the Republic of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant, and assumed the Presidency on June 30, 2016.”
This is demonstrably untrue and the SC said that Pamatong’s claim lacks factual basis. It also pointed out that the Commission on Elections declared him a nuisance candidate in the past elections.
Filed out of time
The SC also pointed out that Pamatong filed his plea past the allowed time for filing.
Section 11 of Rule 66 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a quo warranto petition may be commenced within one year after the cause of action.
“Petitioner’s right to hold the disputed office, if at all, arose on June 30, 2016, when the respondent was inaugurated as the 16th President of the Republic of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant. Following this, petitioner’s cause of action prescribed on June 30, 2017,” the court said.
Pamatong filed his plea on June 6, 2018.
Pamatong has a reputation for stunts such as tossing spikes on Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue in 2004 and was arrested in 2014 over a bombing plot foiled outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
In 2016, the Supreme Court also suspended Pamatong from practicing law for two years for calling a judge “corrupt.”