TACLOBAN City, Leyte: The camp of independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe on Friday said that the Supreme Court decision on the disqualification case of Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado is not applicable to the disqualification case of the senator.
Partido Galing at Puso vice presidential candidate Senator Francis Escudero even expressed suspicion that the attempt to link the Arnado case to the disqualification case of Poe could be part of an effort to sow public confusion.
The high tribunal ruled with finality on the disqualification case against Arnado, who was ousted as mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte for using his American passport even after he had renounced his US citizenship.
Escudero noted that Arnado’s renunciation of his US citizenship was nullified when he decided to use his US passport.
He said there were allegations that Poe committed a similar act but until now there has been no evidence to prove it.
“We presented the passport of Senator Grace during the hearing in the Comelec and in the Supreme Court and we were able to show that she did not use her (American) passport after she renounced her US citizenship,” Escudero said.
Poe for her part said that her case will not reach the SC if indeed the allegation regarding the use of her US passport was true. She would have been removed as head of the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board), she added.
In a separate statement, George Garcia, Poe’s legal counsel, insisted that there is no reason to conclude that the case of the ousted mayor and that of Senator Poe’s are the same.
Garcia said records would show that there was no use of the US passport after her renunciation of US citizenship in October 2010.
He added that entries on Poe’s US passport and her travel records at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) would confirmed that she did not use her foreign passport.
Garcia said the malicious attempt to muddle the facts and circumvent the truth at this point has no other intention but to influence the judicial process.
“Let us all wait for the SC decision. It’s forthcoming anyway. Whatever it may be, we should bow to its wisdom. This after all is what we call as the rule of law,” Garcia added.
The high court has ended the oral arguments on Poe’s case last February 16 and instructed all parties involved to submit their respective memorandum within five days which means that her case has already been submitted for resolution.
Escudero meanwhile said that they don’t expect the court to come up with its ruling this February.