Grace Poe and the 1986 snap polls


GRACE POE has been disqualified by the Comelec but qualified by the Senate.

Given the honest well-meaning differences in opinions among many of us, we may profit by reviewing the 1986 snap polls. MABINI, our lawyers group, questioned its legal basis and asked that same be declared unconstitutional, in petitions filed in the Supreme Court, led by the Philippine Bar Association.

In a ruling on December 19, 1985, it dismissed our petitions and said the show must go on, as it were.

Justice Dingdong Teehankee noted that the issue had been “transformed into a political question that can only be truly decided by the people in their sovereign capacity in a fair, clean and honest election. . . “PBA v. Comelec, 460 SCRA 453, 460 (1985). The technical arguments of the respected dissenters were formidable but there was no stopping the null and void elections.

Conventional wisdom was simply overtaken by the march of events.

Was I hypocritical in accompanying, with Joker Arroyo, candidate Cory Aquino, in filing her certificate of candidacy in the Comelec in early December, 1985? And in accepting the privilege to be her spokesman?

I hope the fate of Grace and Digong Duterte, also sought to be disqualified, will be decided by the sovereign people.


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  1. edilberto addun on

    Old age is telling factor of the memories of whom I idolized during the martial law regime of the late dictator Marcos .Rene is anti martial law and likewise anti imperialist regime now he is pro american candidate in the person of poe .He even suggested to have US military base to be stationed in Palawan.Mr. Saguisag are you having a sane mind just asking?

  2. When Boy Sayad steps down, the question of whether or not he should be hanged for his crimes should be decided in a referendum, since it can be argued that that is a political question. How about the question of burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, isn’t that a political question that must be asked of the people too? For that matter, how about Ninoy Aquino being regarded as a hero? Do you really honestly think Ninoy and his son and Grace Poe will get the votes if Smartmatic did not exist?

  3. The 1987 costitution stated well the requirements for Presidential candidate in which to be obeyed, what Poe could do is to do her homework find her bloodline, and proved her residency that Philippine was her residency when she was dual!!

  4. Interesting. Not many people know that MABINI actually opposed the snap elections. That means that even inspite of the insane situation of a questionable, martial rule-derived constitution, lawyers will be lawyers and will insist on the constitutionality of an action.

    Nope, Atty. Saguisag we won’t hold it against you that at that time you supported the paradoxical positions of supporting Cory and at the same time opposing the elections on a basic question of law. Those were insane times, and you, in fact, emerged a hero.

    However, the situation is different now. We now have a constitution derived from a popular and fair referendum. What you are proposing is dangerous. That specific basic legal questions be set aside and let the populace decide. You are lending your mantle of past heroism, bravery and love of country to justify what is nakedly the rule of the mob.

    Beyond the 2016 elections, can’t you see the danger? If a presidential candidate with killer instincts win, he can claim that all actions, including extreme ones, to eliminate criminality are justifiable because he was elected on that basis, inspite of the law.

    Please, Atty. Sagusag, reconsider your position. At least for myself, I would not hold it against you if you do.

  5. Meron ba tayo snap elections now and also the political situation in 1986 the same as today in order to compel the SC to rule in favor of Grace Poe. Bakit kapag meron influential na tao eh kung anu-ano iniisip ng mga abogado na pulosot. Bakit kapag ordinary na tao eh “Dura lex sed lex” ang katwiran. The rule on inclusion (qualification) excludes all other candidates not complying with the constitutional requirements. In that case, ung Constitution gawin na lang na reference at hindi basic law of the land para ma-accommodate lahat ng palusot ng iniisip ng mga magagaling na abogado.

  6. The bottom line here is the rule of law. reference to our Philippine Constitution shall be abide by our Filipino citizens. Para ano pa at nariyan ang Supreme Court. ?? We are civilize people and we are not in JUNGLE LAW.??????????
    iF you are not filipino citizens, get out of my country.>>>>>>>>.>>>>. you are stranger..
    and you dont belongs here…

  7. gabriela silang on

    i agree with toto jose.
    time to retire your pen, mr. saguisag.
    iba na ang sinasaguisag mo.
    just like the gambler, you should know when to stop.

  8. If everything is left to the sovereign people to decide, we might as well throw all rules of the Comelec and let everyone run for any position. Sounds good? Go ahead and and let’s see lahat tayo pupulutin sa kankongan never to be seen again.

  9. vic a. endriga on

    well, former senator saguisag is entitled to his own opinion no matter how irrelevant. the point here should be clear : the supreme court was precisely created, among others, to resolve constitutional issues and questions of law. the argument that the legal issues involving grace poe and digong duterte are better left to the electorate to decide is to say the least a sign of hopelessness kaya iapaubaya o bahala na lamang ang mga tao. this one is definitely a stupid idea.

    • Correct! A distinguished lawyer at that. Coz of partisanship, ignored and continue to ignore the legality of a Constitutional provision. Well, it worries me that there is truth in what others say that: Lawyers are the best liars, if the result could turn good in their and their clients’ favor. Add to say Mang Rene is an Aquìno fanatic. From the mother to the son…

  10. Sir, has not the issue of what a natural born citizen is decided by the Sovereign People in ratifying the 1987 Constitution, which happened during the administration of President Corazon Aquino? Thank you.

  11. The case of Llamanzares is a lost cause. She is not worthy of mention anymore. This American foundling is a fraud. The people’s representative body, Comelec, has spoken. Please respect!

    • Yes.ang ibig nila eh itulad ito sa isang dance contest na decided by mga watchers na papalakpak. Kung sino pinakamaraming palakpak mula audience eh siyang panalo kahit na mas magaling ung iba. Ang dahilan, mas maraming dalang pumalakpak na supporters ung nanalo. Sayang. Atty. SEAL este Saguisag, you are in the twilight of your life. Show us how good a lawyer you are as we all know during your time defending human rights victims. Unless, you want the Philippines to change its name to “REPUBLIC OF AMPON”, run by an American President. Akala namin talagang anti-America ka, hindi pala dahil you wanted to be under an American and Ampon President na who knows baka natigok ka na eh kami na lang ang maiiwan under her rule. Kawawa namin kami…

  12. Claro Apolinar on

    Mahirap talaga when one is blinded by emotion or loyalty to the point of not seeing the words of the law and the Constitution.
    Even then I still see Mr. Sahuisag as one of the very very few HONEST MEN in our country.
    Thank you Manila Times for bringing Mr. Saguisag’s thoughts-even when I don’t agree with some of them.

    • Saguisag may be an honest man but as far as his support for this American foundling’s candidacy is very much misguided. Only thugs will promote the disregard, disrespect and trampling of the supreme law of the land.

  13. I remember that scenes in the so called mosquito press, Joker leading the charge and the supreme court finally declaring a presidential election in 1985 , the beginning of the end in our struggle against the conjugal dictatorship. The KBL in our locality of Ilocandia tried all the dirty tricks to harass us Cory volunteers ripping everything that is marked yellow to ensure the Marcos dynasty. Sadly,these KBL bullies is now sporting yellow pontificating daang matuwid and preventing us to decide on the fate of Poe,Duterte including Rizalino David. If you believe in all the diatribes against them just dont vote for them as simple as that.Meanwhile, dont decide for us the fate of the nation on 2016.


    Since when is upholding

    I always thought that the ratification of the current constitution was already “truly decided by the people in their sovereign capacity in a fair, clean and honest election.”

    Do we just trash the constitution then and submit everything to elections to ensure they are “decided by the sovereign people”?

  15. Your off tangent Mr Saguisag. The Government under Marcos, after his first two terms was illegal, and from the viewpoint of the people all acts of Marcos and later on his rubber stamp assembly were void and legally unenforceable but by the force of arms, courtesy of the mercenary AFP.

    Today, at least formally, everything: politically and legally their is nothing emergency abnormal or extraordinary. So the rule of law must be observed and succumbed not to your legal and extra legal hallucination.