Arroyo’s congressional bid clears hurdle

MANILA, Philippines – After clearing the way for ex-president Joseph Estrada’s presidential bid, the Commission on Elections on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking to disqualify President Arroyo from running for a congressional seat in her home province of Pampanga.

In its decision, the Comelec 2nd Division said the petition filed by lawyer Ely Pamatong lacked merit and was just a “waste of precious time.” A separate petition for Mrs. Arroyo’s disqualification filed by the Akbayan party-list remains pending at the Comelec’s 1st Division.

The Comelec 2nd Division’s decision was promulgated on Wednesday, the same day that the commission junked separate petitions seeking to disqualify Estrada from running for president in the May polls.

Enraged by the decisions, Pamatong accused the Comelec commissioners of corruption and threatened to walk out of the proceedings. “Your honor, I am walking out because I don’t have respect and trust in this commission. Mga magnanakaw kayo! (You are all thieves!)” he said.

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