MAINTAINING that it did not commit grave abuse of discretion, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse its ruling that declared Sen. Grace Poe qualified to run for president.
Commissioner Arthur Lim said that in its motion for reconsideration (MR), the Comelec asked the High Court to apply its own internal rules, specifically Section 2, Rule 12, which defines the court’s course of action on decisions that lack the required majority vote of the 15 justices.
The said rule, Lim pointed out, states that “if the Supreme Court en banc is equally divided in opinion or the necessary majority vote can’t be had, the court shall deliberate on it anew.”
“If after such deliberation still no decision is reach [sic], the court shall in an original action filed with it dismissed [sic]the case,” he added.
He explained that their appeal centers on the eligibility of Poe as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Lim stressed that the result of the SC voting failed to achieve the determinant eight votes since only seven of the justices said that Poe was presumptively a natural-born citizen.
The SC, in allowing Poe to run for president without the required majority decision on her citizenship eligibility, has created an awkward situation wherein the issue would possibly be decided by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) if and when she wins and is elected to office, he said.
“Our position in the Comelec is [sic]not avoid said scenario wherein a presidential candidate with questionable eligibility is allowed to run and left to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to decide later if she gets elected,” Lim added.
Lim warned that such a situation would result in “political instability”.
“If a majority of eight votes is achieved after the Supreme Court has reviewed the case, so be it,” Lim further said.
“On the other hand, if after the voting and re-deliberation the required majority is still not attained, we are asking the court to dismiss the petitions filed before it and to affirm the disqualification of the senator as ordered by the Comelec in its December 23, 2015 resolution,” he added.
Private respondents Estrella Elamparo, former Senator Francisco Tatad, Amado Valdez and university professor Antonio Contreras also filed their motions for reconsideration before the High Court.