Erap blames 'Dirty Harry' for DQ bid

Posted at 01/28/13 2:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Joseph Estrada all but tagged Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim as the brains behind a disqualification case against him.

Estrada thinks the case is a form of "dirty tricks" from "Dirty Harry," Lim's moniker.

He did not directly implicate Lim but noted Lim's lawyer is the one handling the case.

The former president said the case is harassment since his fitness to be a candidate had been challenged in 2010 on the grounds that his pardon was conditional and contingent on him not running for office anymore.

Estrada was pardoned for a plunder conviction in 2007. His 2010 presidential candidacy was challenged twice at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for this ground.

Estrada, however, noted that the dispositive portion of the pardon signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo restored his civil and political rights.

Alicia Vidal, the lawyer-complainant in the disqualification case, said she merely wants this clarified since the challenges in 2010 did not prosper.

Vidal confirms she is a friend of Lim and that the mayor was both surprised and  elated by the move.

However, she said Lim had nothing to do with this.

Vidal confirmed her lawyer, retired Justice Rodolfo Palatao, is also Lim's friend.

Palatao said under the Local Government Code, anyone convicted of a capital offense cannot run.

Estrada's lawyer Frank Chavez said the case has a nuisance value. The Estrada camp already filed its reply.

Both sides were at a preliminary conference today at the Comelec.