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BBM’s DQ cases ‘weak or lacking in legal basis’

This is just one of the argument of a number of lawyers, particularly of Atty. Tony La Viña, on the high probability of the disqualification cases against Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos, Jr. would likely to be junked under the exisiting law.

La Viña, a former dean of Ateneo de Manila School of Government, emphasized the popularity of BBM, as reflected in the surveys where he is leading, that, “There is also a strong argument why they should be dismissed. The ultimate one is a political question. Especially a leading candidate — you should not disqualify a leading candidate that seems to have the support of many people, because you are depriving the people of their choice — that is political law 101 — that certain things should be decided by the people and not by the courts,” La Viña said in a television interview.

La Viña teaches Constitutional law, political, and election law. He said, “When I teach this, I always tell my students, when you look at the disqualification cases, you look at the law of course, and the jurisprudence,” he said.

“I’m inclined to think that most likely Bongbong Marcos will prevail in the disqualification cases, because more than anything — the political question doctrine. The court cannot decide this, it should be the people that should decide this,” La Viña added. He believes that the Commission on Election and Supreme Court would most likely let the people decide on the matter through their votes come May 9, 2022.

Furthermore, BBM met all the requirements and qualifications for a person to run for president under the Constitution, according to La Viña.

“The qualifications for president are laid down in the Constitution and it’s very simple. A voter, a citizen, a natural born citizen, 40 years, can read and write. That’s just very, very basic. Now, that goes down to the question: is he a voter? Can he be considered a qualified voter, because that’s where the disqualifications can come in,” La Viña said.

Other legal experts including Emmanuel Samonte Tipon, a Filipino lawyer based in the United States and former dean of the Northwestern University College of Law, Ateneo law professor and former justice secretary Alberto Agra, and University of Sto. Tomas College of Law Dean Nilo Divina have opined that the seven disqualification cases filed against BBM were ‘weak or lacking in legal basis.’

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