MANILA (Mabuhay) – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada cannot be a substitute for both Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay if both will be disqualified to run for President, election law expert Atty. Romulo Macalintal said in a statement Thursday.
Binay has been ordered criminally charged by the Office of the Ombudsman for his involvement in the overpriced construction of the Makati Parking Building.
However, the case will be filed only once his term ends.
Poe, on the other hand, is facing disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). Presidential aspirant Rizalito David, in his complaint, said Poe, adopted daughter of celebrity couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, is not a natural-born citizen considering that she is a foundling, a child with no known parent. Being a natural-born citizen is one of the qualifications to run for higher office.
Macalintal said Poe is an independent candidate who cannot be substituted.
“Section 19 of Comelec resolution 9984 provides ‘No substitution shall be allowed for any independent candidate’,” Macalintal said.
On the other hand, Macalintal said Binay was nominated by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and can only be replaced by an UNA member.
“Estrada is a member of PMP (Partido ng Masang Pilipino), hence, cannot sub for an UNA candidate, unless he now joins UNA in anticipation of any eventuality of Binay disqualification,” Macalintal said.
Macalintal added that even if he can substitute for either Poe or Binay, Estrada can face his own problem because under Section 4 Article VII an elected president is not eligible for any reelection.
“While he was allowed to run again in 2010 that issue was not resolved by the Supreme Court when it became moot and academic because Estrada lost in (the) 2010 polls,” Macalintal said. (MNS)