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RISOS-VIDAL vs COMELEC

GR No. L-7708 | 1955, May 30


Petitioner: Atty. Risos-Vidal
Respondent: COMELEC
eSTRADA

Facts:
President Estrada was convicted for the crime of plunder in Sept 12 2007, which
sentenced him to suffer Reclusion Perpetua and accessory penalties of civil interdiction and
perpetual absolute disqualification. On Oct. 25, 2007 GMA extended an executive clemency to
Estrada which explicitly stated that he is restored to his civil and political rights
2009, Estrada run for the position of President and no disqualification was filed against
him. IN 2012 who once again run for office: Mayor of the City of Manila. Petitioner filed a
Disqualification case against former Pres. Estrada citing his conviction of plunder. Petitoner
evoke Sec. 40 of the LGC in relation to Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election code.
Comelec dismissed the petition and uphold Estrada’s right to run for public office in
relation to the pardon given by PGMA.
Estrada subsequently won the local election and second in the ballot, Alfredo Lim, filed a
case of disqualification on the same ground

Issue:
1. WON Estrada may run for public office after conviction for the crime of plunder
which carried an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office?
Ratio:
YES. The absolute pardon which was restored his civil and political rights gave him the
right to seek public office, since the pardon granted by PGMA was unambiguous and
unqualified. The pardoning power of the President cannot be limited to legislative action. Art
VII Sec 19 states: Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution,
the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures,
after conviction by final judgment. He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the
concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. While Sec 5 Article IX-C states:
Section 5. No pardon, amnesty, parole, or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws,
rules, and regulations shall be granted by the President without the favorable recommendation of
the Commission. Which limits the President’s ability to extend pardon. Therefore, it can be
argued that any act of Congress by way of statute cannot operate to delimit the pardoning power
of the President.
On the topic of Sec 40 of the LGC and Sec 12 of the OEC, a legal escape from the
prohibition may be in the form of a plenary pardon or amnesty. Thus a person granted such after
conviction may run for public office national or local.
On the claim of the petitioner that the third preamble clause made the pardon conditional
does hold ground. Nader the rules of statutory construction and jurisprudence, preambles are not
essential part of an act and are only introductory or preparatory clauses. Thus such preamble
evoked by petitioner is only the intent or show the purpose of the act. Since former President
Arroyo did not make this an integral part of the decree of pardon, the Commission is constrained
to rule that the 3rd preambular clause cannot be interpreted as a condition to the pardon extended
to former President Estrada