Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, who was tasked to write the draft decision on a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe, believes that the latter should be disqualified from joining the presidential race because she failed the residency requirement.
According to unimpeachable sources, del Castillo’s 70-page draft ponencia had been circulated among the 14 justices of the High Court.
A source told The Manila Times on Monday that the magistrate said Poe’s petition assailing the Commission on Elections’ ruling disqualifying her should be dismissed.
The draft decision also recommended the lifting of the temporary restraining order (TRO) that stopped the poll body from removing Poe’s name from the list of official candidates for President.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno issued the TRO in December last year.
The court en banc affirmed the TRO when the tribunal resumed session in January this year.
Another reliable source said del Castillo’s decision was anchored on Poe’s failure to meet the residency requirement for presidential candidates.
The source said the issue of the senator’s citizenship was “avoided.”
“Only the residency [issue]was included in the draft. The Foundling Ruling is not necessary and can be avoided at this time,” the source told The Manila Times.
The Comelec disqualified Poe on the ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino.
But the camp of the senator also on Monday said it believes that the High Court will uphold what is true and just.
“There are so many speculations going around. But there is only one thing that is certain at this point. That is that the rule of law always will reveal the truth and the truth is what the SC says it is,” Poe’s election lawyer George Erwin Garcia said.
“Time and again, in the history of this nation, the High Court had consistently upheld what is true and just.”
Two cases that reached the SC and filed by Estrella Elamparo and the group of Francisco Tatad, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez were consolidated.
Another case involving Poe is pending at the SC.
This involves a petition filed by Rizalito David, who assailed a decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal declaring Poe a natural-born citizen.