• Comelec upholds Poe DQ

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    Couple’s Choice  A family joins supporters of disqualified presidential aspirant Grace Poe in a protest rally in front of the Palacio del Governador in Intramuros, Manila, on Wednesday. Photo by Rene H. Dilan

    Couple’s Choice
    A family joins supporters of disqualified presidential aspirant Grace Poe in a protest rally in front of the Palacio del Governador in Intramuros, Manila, on Wednesday. Photo by Rene H. Dilan

    Senator given five days to get TRO

    Sen. Grace Poe’s name would be stricken off the official list of candidates for President if she failed to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) or any other relief from the Supreme Court (SC) within five calendar days from date of receipt of the en banc’s disqualification order.

    “They have to get a TRO once it is an en banc decision from the Supreme Court so that their names will not be removed from the list,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Wednesday said after the promulgation of the en banc decisions affirming earlier resolutions by the First Division and the Second Division that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and failed to meet the minimum 10-year residency requirement.

    Poe, in a statement, said she expected the ruling.

    “I was not surprised with decision of the Comelec en banc. It was expected and I remain undaunted by it. I am a Filipino and qualified to offer myself as President of our country. The Comelec cannot change that, much less deprive our people of their right to choose our next leader.

    “We will follow the process and the next and final battleground is in the Supreme Court. I am hopeful and confident that our magistrates, based on jurisprudence and precedents, will be objective and fair in their discernment of my case and, in the end, will let the Filipino people decide who our next President will be.

    “Until the high tribunal’s final ruling is out, I remain a candidate for President of the Filipino people,” her statement read.

    The First Division is headed by Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim with Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Tito Guia as members. It handled the consolidated case filed by former senator Francisco Tatad, political science professor Antonio Contreras and former law school dean Amado Valdez. It earlier voted 2-1 to disqualify Poe.

    In the First Division case, the commission en banc voted 5-2. Bautista and Lim dissented.

    The Second Division, on the other hand, is headed by Commissioner Al Parreno as chairman with Commissioners Arthur Lim and Shariff Abas as members. It handled the petition filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo and voted 3-0 to disqualify Poe.

    But in the en banc, the commissioners ruled 5-1-1. The dissenting opinion was again cast by Bautista while Lim inhibited because Elamparo was an associate in his former law firm.

    The Comele en banc is composed of Bautista, Christian Lim, Arthur Lim, Guanzon, Abas, Guia and Parreno.

    Bautista explained that aside from a TRO, the SC may also issue a mandatory injunction or a status quo ante order, saying any of the three remedies would compel the Comelec to comply.

    “But after everything has been said and done, come January we start printing the ballots. We will look at the state of affairs and look what orders come from the Supreme Court and we will follow [them],” the Comelec chief added.

    Five-day rule

    Commissioner Lim clarified that five calendar-day rule includes holidays but if the last or fifth day falls on a holiday, it would be moved to the next working day as provided under Rule 27 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure.

    “Whether or not the Supreme Court is in session, if there is no TRO, we have to remove them. We start editing on January 8,” Lim said. “From the technological standpoint, [in]January will start removing the names from the list.”

    But counsel for Poe, lawyer George Garcia, questioned the five-day rule set by the Comelec, saying under the Omnibus Election Code, “it is 30 days from the decision.”

    “According to the Rules of Procedure of the Comelec, it is only five days. Look at Section 257 of Omnibus Election Code, even the Constitution, it is 30 days from decision,” Garcia said, adding that if the Comelec would implement it immediately after five days, “we would include it in our MR to the Supreme Court to convince the court to issue a TRO.”

    He said the five-day rule is based on Comelec procedure while the 30-day rule is based on substantive law.

    “If there is a conflict between [Comelec] procedure and substantive law, the latter will prevail,” according to Garcia.

    He explained that the Comelec decision is not executory and as such it could not remove the name of Poe pending final resolution by the SC.

    Also according to Garcia, the Comelec procedure was also wrong because it did not consolidate all four cases, which would force them to seek two TROs from the SC.

    But Bautista maintained that the en banc decision is executory within five days in the absence of a TRO from the High Court.

    “Just because there is a pending case it is not a ground for us not to implement an executory decision of the commission en banc. There has to be an order from the Supreme Cort like temporary restraining order, mandatory injunction or status quo ante order,” he said.

    Great disservice to the people

    Meanwhile, the Gawa at Prinsipyo Coalition, in a statement, said it would be a grave disservice to Filipinos if the Comelec prematurely excluded Poe’s name from the list because she is clearly a natural-born Filipino and has been a resident of the Philippines for more than 10 years.

    “While we are not surprised with the final outcome of the decision of the en banc on Sen. Grace Poe’s certificate of candidacy, we are surprised with the timing [of]this decision given that it is already the holiday season,” it added.

    “Christmas is about hope. Do not kill our hope, dear commissioners, Keep Poe’s name in the ballot,” it added.

    Palace hoping for fair ruling

    Malacanang also on Wednesday expressed hope that the High Court will issue a fair ruling on Poe’s disqualification case.

    “In our system of laws, decisions on qualifications of presidential candidates are made by the Comelec and are appealable to the Supreme Court as the final arbiter,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

    “We join our people’s hope and trust that any decision[s]that will eventually be rendered on the matter are imbued with fairness and justice,” he added.

    With JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA and CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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    14 Comments

    1. Lets see who’s the best candidate: Binay… Enriched himself while Mayor of Makati. Roxas he’s rich, good person but irresponsible.Duterte good mayor and uncorruptible but put the law in his hand which is dictatorial.Miriam nice lady I met her once here in New Jersey well educated , a good leader but Is she healthy enough to be a President.,Ms Poe, forget about her citizenship or 10 years residency, that will not bancrupt our beloved country and we all know she is a pure filipina… Just ask Imelda or Bongbong or even her Aunt Susan.You need proof , there’s no proof coz all are hidden and confidential.but Is she exprienced enouht to lead our country.

      Your choice:
      All of above or None of the above.??

    2. Talagang makapal ni babaeng ito. Kahit nga High School ka lang madali mong maintindihan and sinasabi sa ating Constitution. Pag ikaw ay nag require ng iyon citizenship ikaw ay Naturalized Citizen hindi ka na Natural Born. Bakit hindi tanungin si Susan Roces para malaman kung sino ang tunay niyang magulang at kung saan lugar pinaganak.

    3. Tama na POE. Tumigil ka na, wala
      ka na bang kahihiyan, Maliwanag
      na misrepresentation ang COC mo.
      Bumalik ka na lang sa US.

    4. For the information of every Filipino voters: Grace Llamanzarez worked as a NANNY in the US, not as a Prep School teacher. She was able to foo us in 2013 and wants to continue doing it. A NANNY in Malacaniang? HAHAHAHA! ! !

    5. Comelec itself is telling Sen. Llamanzares that she is disqualified yet she keep on saying she can still be a candidate for president so she can help the poor.
      Basing on what I have read, her performance in the senate was at best average (she is not even qualified to stay there). Also she keep on harping to continue what her adoptive father started. (I was hoping you will spell out what he has started).
      Please Mrs. Llamanzares, withdraw. You are destroying the very institution that you profess to support. There are times in our lives when we loss and are times when we win our cause. Like what wise people always say “Be magnanimous in defeat” ( I am sure if it is the exact sentence)

    6. Why is Llamanzares and her lawyer and supporters trying so hard to go around the law? We have a constitution which is in place, and as such we have to follow because it’s the law of the land. What they are trying to do is make their own rules to suit themselves plain and simple. When they don’t get their way, they criticize those who rule against them. Why can’t they just accept the truth that this woman is just an ambitious opportunist that doesn’t even deserve the time of the day. She has done nothing to deserve being a senator much less President. She is a LIAR and full of herself. Try getting the DNA of your adoptive mother to find out the truth.

    7. Brigido Batungbakal on

      Up to now, Im still thinking what Grace Poe is trying to prove, why can’t she just count her blessings
      like her family healthy and strong, wealth and holding a powerful position in the government. I cannot blame why a lot of filipinos considered her very ambitious and
      opportunist, Why can’t she just let it go, she’s young, she still had bright political future. Come 2022 she is very eligible to run. It will not do well for her if she keeps on blaming everybody if they did not go on the way she wants it. It will just make her look a spoiled brat who want to always get what she wanted.

    8. apolonio reyes on

      There should be a law that candidates should use their own name and/or the name of their husband not screen name, name of popular parents or nick name by actor/actress candidates like that of the Revillas, Estradas, FPJ use their popularities to the disadvantage of other candidates and pass this on to their children,
      Sen. Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares, be fair to other candidates, use your real name and I am sure you might have won in the 2013 election but not NUMBER ONE, KAYA LUMAKI ANG ULO MO AT AMBITION NA 3 TAON LANG ANG EXPERIENCE MO BILANG SENADOR AY GUSTO MO NANG TUMALON SA PRESIDENTE KAYA HINDI MO NA SINURI ANG IYONG KAKULANGAN BILANG KANDIDATO AT BILANG NATURAL BORN CITIZEN..
      NAMAN…NAMAN…NAMAN..! SEN. GRACE LLAMANZARES !

    9. Why is she insisting that she is a Filipino? She maybe, but she is NOT a NATURAL BORN Filipino as required by the Philippine Constitution. The definitions for these two terms are poles apart!

      What a disservice to the Filipino people if she is not disqualified as a senator and to run for president. Mukhang, “atat-na-atat” maging presidente dahil akala niya tanga ang mga Filipino at mga katunggali niya sa politika.

      The Filipino people seem to have lost faith in the Supreme Court because of this administration’s corrupt ‘manipulations’ in removing the former CJ. Poe should do a great service to the people by just leaving the SC with her attempt for a TRO and obey the Comelec pronto. After all, she is not qualified to govern the country with her ‘mediocre’ qualifications. Sincerity and good intentions all remain to be seen. In politics, especially in the Philippines, where candidates have promised ‘paradise; many times over already that the people thought “justi-is” is what the politicians meant.

      Finally, if ever she is permitted to run for president and, by miracle ‘wins’, the government should commission Steve Harvey to declare her the winner!?

    10. Ang kapal naman ng mukha ng Babaeng Ito, makulit sabi ng DQ ayaw pang tangapin Talagang nang gugulo. Huwag mo nang ipilit, balik America ka na lang kinder teacher. Sorry ka na lang ha! Yan ang batas eh.

    11. I bet the lawyers of Grace Poe are running out of arguments to defend her since there were no jurispudence to reason out her disqualifications. At this point lawyer George Garcia is only using technicalities to delay a judgement on the merit of the case. If they can not show a law that foundling should be natural born citizen then the constitution that defines it should be followed. The outcome of Grace Poe cases is very predictable that she will lose and it is only her who trying to twist the minds of her followers.

    12. Before, it was the LiberalParty, Grace Poe accused of raising DQ against her, now it was the Comelec that they said violates Poe as a foundling, next will be Supreme Court for not issuing a TRO on Comelec decision to disqualify her, and next one, I am not very sure she will be blaming God because of her being a foundling.