• Grace Poe has been DQed, why is she still listed as candidate?


    My letter to the Comelec
    LAST Tuesday, I hand-carried a letter to the Law Department of the Commission on Elections asking for the exclusion of Mrs. Grace Poe Llamanzares from the list of certified presidential candidates in the May 9, 2016 elections.  With me was Atty. Manuelito Luna, my lawyer.  The letter was straightforward. It pointed out that in view of the decisions of the First and Second Divisions of the Comelec granting the four petitions against Mrs. Llamanzares’s candidacy, of which I am one of the petitioners, and canceling her Certificate of Candidacy for president, her name should now be dropped from the list of presidential candidates.

    This was not a favor we were asking from the Comelec. We were simply asking the Comelec to  implement its own decisions. The two Divisions did not simply “recommend” or “threaten” Mrs. Llamanzares’s disqualification and the cancellation of her CoC. They actually “disqualified” her and “cancelled” her CoC, for not being a natural-born citizen, and for not being a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years on the day of the May 9, 2016 elections. Her disqualification and the cancellation of her CoC are concrete official acts, whose completion must be reflected in, and be verifiable through, the certified list of candidates.

    Null and void ab initio

    What the two Divisions did was to declare that Mrs. Llamanzares’ candidacy was null and void ab initio–that it had no legal existence. The cancellation of her CoC is a declaration of nullity that should be reflected in all the relevant Comelec documents; it is not and cannot be compatible with a certified Comelec list that still carries, even for one short minute, her name as one of the certified candidates.  Such a list impugns the integrity of the rulings and the Comelec itself.  Having been based on unchallenged information before the Divisions ruled, such a list should have been purged automatically as soon as they had ruled.

    In the same manner that such a list has done away with the names of those whom the Comelec has declared  “nuisance candidates,” it should have, motu proprio, automatically dropped the name of Mrs. Llamanzares, who cannot claim any status different from or superior to that of the “nuisance candidates.”  As I said in my letter,  “this is but in accord with the aforementioned decisions and fully consistent with the need to show utmost respect for, and obedience to, the rule of law, in particular the official act of the Commission in the discharge of its constitutional mandate.”

    Does this mean Mrs. Llamanzares can no longer appeal the decisions of the two Divisions to the Comelec en banc or to the Supreme Court?  Of course not.  She is free to do so, and I believe her lawyers as well as her vice presidential candidate Francis Escudero have advised her to. In my letter, I said, “We have no wish to bar the respondent from exploring further any possible means of seeking relief from the adverse effects of the rulings, but unless a contrary ruling from the highest tribunal restrains or modifies the present rulings, we do not believe there exists any legal obstacle to the Commission implementing the lawful, logical and immediate consequence of its own decisions.”

    Before raising her case to the Supreme Court on certiorari, however, she will have to raise it to the Comelec en banc.  This means the seven commissioners, including the chairman. The six of them have already voted; only the chairman has not. Three commissioners on the Second Division, ruling on the Estrella Elamparo petition, have already disqualified Mrs. Llamanzares and cancelled her CoC. Two others on the First Division, ruling on my petition and those of Prof. Antonio Contreras and Dean Amado Valdez, have similarly disqualified her and cancelled her CoC.

    The Division’s presiding commissioner (Christian Robert S. Lim)  has voted to “dissent” from the ruling on the three petitions, but his opinion  argues as forcefully as Commissioner Rowena Guanzon’s ponencia that no amount of “legal juggling” can make Mrs. Llamanzares a natural-born citizen. Then he has decided to inhibit from the en banc proceedings because of his previous professional association with one of the petitioners (Elamparo). So, with the exception of the chairman, all those on the en banc had already voted to disqualify Mrs. Llamanzares and cancel her CoC.

    Delisting completes DQ ruling

    It seems fruitless to speculate on the chances of the commissioners reversing themselves at the en banc, but that is not the point here at all. What I want to point out rather is that what should be raised to the Comelec en banc, and ultimately to the Supreme Court if at all, are not just the rulings that disqualify Mrs. Llamanzares and cancel her CoC without  proof that she has been delisted as a candidate, but rather those very same rulings as shown by the fact that she has, in fact, been delisted as a candidate. The delisting, to repeat, completes the decision of the two Divisions, and it is their complete decision which the en banc and ultimately the High Court must either uphold or reverse.

    What is the legal basis for deferring the delisting?  And who has the authority outside and in contravention of the Comelec rulings to order such deferment?  Outside of the en banc reversing the rulings, no one has such authority, and no one has any legal basis.  Chairman Bautista, who has yet to be heard officially on the petitions, has no authority to order that the two Divisions’ decisions to disqualify a particular candidate and cancel her CoC should not be reflected in the certified list of candidates.

    Better qualified “nuisance candidates”

    In the case of the so-called “nuisance candidates,” they have been summarily disqualified,  their CoCs cancelled, and their names stricken off the list of certified candidates, without an elaborate process.  But while most of them have been declared “nuisance candidates” because they had no money or manifest capability to wage a national campaign, most, if not all of them, are compliant with the Constitution–they are natural-born Filipinos,  registered voters, able to read and write, at least 40 years of age on election day, and residents of the Philippines for at least ten years before the election.

    This is more than what we can say for Mrs. Llamanzares. She has been disqualified precisely because she is not a natural-born Filipino, and she will not have lived in the country for at least ten years on election day. But she remains listed as a presidential candidate, even after the two Divisions had ruled that her candidacy was null and void ab initio, and had no legal existence. How could anyone explain this?  Wouldn’t this be a serious material misrepresentation on the part of the Comelec?

    Hoping against hope

    Because hope springs eternal even in the breast of the constitutionally ineligible candidate, some people in the Llamanzares camp seem to believe that what the Comelec  unanimously finds unconstitutional, the Supreme Court could yet declare constitutional. This is reportedly encouraged by the powerful CEO of one big conglomerate who says he had asked a former Chief Justice to canvass the position of the sitting Justices, and had been told that many are “open” to persuasion.

    Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Justice Arturo Brion–three of the country’s most highly regarded justices–have already ruled on Mrs. Llamanzares’s citizenship in Rizalito David’s quo warranto petition before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. They had declared she is not a natural-born Filipino and therefore not eligible to sit in the Senate, where she won a seat in 2013, based on her claim of being natural-born and, please don’t forget, the marvelous efficiency of PNoy’s infamous 60-30-10 operation in favor of all his senatorial candidates.

    But the expert legal reading of the Constitution by the three Justices was unceremoniously overwhelmed by the political reading of the same by five of  the six senators on the nine-man SET, so the petitioner had to take the case to the High Court.  It is now set for oral arguments on Jan. 19, 2016. The decision on this case would be binding on the Comelec and the four petitioners in the DQ and CoC cancellation cases.  But there seems no reason to speculate that the other Justices will depart from the reading of the Constitution by their three colleagues and by the five  commissioners of the Comelec.

    Useless speculation

    In my letter to the Comelec, I said that “any speculation that the Supreme Court might see the case differently is just that–pure speculation, while the rulings of the two Divisions, based on a clear reading of the Constitution and the facts of the case, are unequivocal and certain.”  Not only is there no legal basis for keeping Mrs. Llamanzares listed as a candidate after she has been declared ineligible to run, and her CoC cancelled; it is also utterly confusing to the voters, and inimical and dangerous to the process.

    What would happen if, for some unexplained reason, her name remains on the list, the list is made the basis of printing the ballot, and her name gets printed on the ballot, even if the Comelec has already cancelled her CoC?  What happens if she gets more votes than the other candidates?  Wouldn’t all the demagogues in town  be  shouting,  “vox populi, vox Dei,” (the voice of the people is the voice of God) so that, as in Pilate’s murderous court, they could make the voice of the ill-informed,  the misled, and the bigots the “voice of God?”

    Pure ego trip

    Even if she does not lead in the count, if she gets any sizeable number of votes, wouldn’t she  unnecessarily distort the legitimate distribution of votes–i.e., votes that should have gone to a legitimate candidate would instead go to her, thereby disrupting the chances of that candidate?

    This would be pure ego trip. There is no legal, moral, or practical reason why Mrs. Llamanzares or anybody else should be listed as a certified presidential candidate after the Comelec has decided, on unimpeachable constitutional grounds, that she is not eligible to run for the office, and that her CoC has already been cancelled. It seems as simple as that.



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    1. Don’t forget that Grace is the daughter of FPJ, the underdog who always lose at the start & continually beaten while almost down & out but eventually & ultimately wins every fight. Hehehe

    2. Grace Llamanzarez can go back to the US again and work just the same as ” NANNY” which was her perennial job in America. I cant imagine how a YAYA like GPL aspires to become president of this country after turning her back and become an American citizen….Ambitions have limitations…she was able to fool the Filipinos when she ran and eventually won as Senator…this made her so ambitious to BOX THE MOON!

    3. ” I prefer a Philippines run like “heaven” by an “American”, rather than a Philippines run like hell by a corrupt, incompetent, arrogant Filipino….”

    4. Just a possible scenario…

      COMELEC will not remove Llamazares’ name, because Mar will need it.

      Since we know that the hocus PCOS were already stripped-off of security features, any paid programmer will simply make the following changes on the code:

      If shaded_circle = Roxas OR Poe then Roxas_vote_count +1

      Now, that will materialize LP’s plan that Mar will benefit in Poe’s DQ

    5. Paano ninyo ma-a- analyze ang situation dito kung hindi ninyo binabanggit ang not so invisible hand ng mga kano? Yan ang utos ng mga iput ( baliktad ng puti as in erap baliktad ng pare} para pag siya ang “nanalo” sa bilang ng Smartmatic pilit nilang iluloklok yang manok nilang yan. Ganung ka-simple lang yan.

    6. Most likely Comelec has been informed that the Supreme Court vote is already fixed.
      Should keep a close watch on how the Aquino appointee’s on the Supreme Court vote.

      Not that the Philippines needs another example to convince them that the entire government and every agency is corrupt but here we go again expecting some Aquino run agency to do the right thing.

    7. Mr. Tatad again clearly explain the validity of the cancellation of the candidacy of Sen. Llamanzares. If true that a rich businessman probably a strong backer is prodding a former chief justice to canvass the opinion of the justices clearly show that nothing is final.

    8. I can smell blood! Llamanzares, the American, and her faction are fomenting a bloody disturbance in the country by dividing the people to cause a revolution. Is this her vision for the country? She might very well be successful. The headliners then will be: AN AMERICAN FOUNDLING SUCCESSFULLY INITIATED A BLOOD BATH AMONG FILIPINOS.

    9. Sa tingin ko qualified naman talaga si Grace Poe para sa pagtakbo bilang Pangulo ng ating bansa. Ang pagpabor sa disqualification case ng COMELEC 2nd division at 1st division na idisqualified si Grace Poe ay hindi pa final. Ang maghahawak ng kaso ni Grace Poe para sa final na desisyon ay ang Supreme Court. Ang Supreme Court ang magsasabi kung qualified o hindi qualified si Grace Poe. Naniniwala ako na papaboran na tumakbo si Grace Poe ng Supreme Court, dahil qualified naman talaga siya. Siya ay natural-born Filipino citizen at na meet niya ang 10 years na residency para sa requirement ng pagkaPangulo.

    10. Sen. Grace Poe is Qualified to run for President she meets all the requirements at dapat talagang hinding-hindi madidisqualified si POE paano nalang kami at milyon-milyong sumusuporta sa kanya mawawalan kami ng karapatan bumoto di naman tama yun nasa demkrasya tayong bansa at boses ng nakararami ang mananaig sa totoo lang wala naman talagang nilalabag sa batas si Sen. Grace Poe siya ay binabatikos dahil sa malakas siya sa sambayanang Pilipino ganyan na po ngayon matatalino na sa Pag pili ng aming iboboto and ididisqualified pa si POE imbes na magsampa kayo ng kaso isipin niyo muna kapakanan ng ating bansa at kung ano maitutulong niyo. Basta Senator Grace Poe dito lang po kami mahal ka namin at ikaw ang aming Presidente god bless :)

    11. adonis b. rocha on

      TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU KIT, Grace Llamanzares having been disqualified by the two Comelec Division must not be included in the list of candidates irrespective of the SC elevation of the case.

      This is a lose case for Grace Llamanzares and a joyful moment for the Filipinos and not the other way around. We dont need another liar, we have tons of them now from Malacanang to the lowest kagawad in Baranggay.

    12. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Disgraced GRACE continues to disgrace herself with the help of the Comelec Chairman and her Atty. Garcia both of whom are staking their credibility for what? God bless the Philippines.

    13. COMELEC’S ruling is not yet final and executory. It’s too early for the detractors of Sen. Poe to celebrate. I have high confidence that Poe will win at the Supreme Court because she has a strong legal basis. The people at COMELEC are appointees of the administration. What do you expect?

      • i think you are wrong. the comelec’s decision is final unless the sc overturns it later or the sc issues a tro. do not be misled by llamanzares and keso de bolero and her lawyers.

      • I totally disagree with you. The constitution is very clear and sound. Wag naman kayo mag pakatanga tangahan katulad ni GRAPOE at ESCUDERO at abogado niya. Why not accept the decision of the 2 divisions of the COMELEC and move on……Lalo silang mapahiya kung mag desisyon na ang SC na disqualified siya….

    14. Mr. Tatad,

      I am not a lawyer. However I believe the final decision lies not on the Comelec but on the SC. If you have watched ABS-CBN interviewed one of the Comelec’s officers explained why it is an advantage for the Comelec to retain Poe’s name on the ballot. It is a simple logic. If she’s disqualified, her vote will not count. However if her name is not on the ballot and SC’s decision is in her favor, then there will be chaos , since there is not enough time to reprint the ballots that include her name. She might not have a good chance on winning her appeal. But hope still exist until the final SC decision is rendered against her favor. That IOTA of hope has tied the Comelec’s hands into keeping her name on the ballot.

      • I beg to disagree. If her name appears on the ballot and her votes are not counted that will mean less votes for those who are qualified to run for President – unless you are suggesting that those potential voters for Grace P. Llamanzares have so made up their mind to abstain from voting if she is not in the list of presidential candidates (which I seriously doubt).

      • The the 40 nuissance candidates also deserve a day with the Supreme Court. What is so special about Grace Poe that she is accorded this treatment, but the 40 others were not.

      • To include Grace name in the ballot will be violative of the equal protection clause of the constitution. What happens if Luci also files a petition in the SC that his name should still be included in the ballot because he has a pending prayer in the SC? Will Comelec still include the name of Luci in the ballot? Then,Comelec will be subject to charges of favoritism or graft because it gives favor to one party which it does not give to other parties.

      • Rubbish! The hand writing is on the wall. It’s the end of the road for Llamanzares. So ‘hit the road, jack. Don’t you come back no more, no more, no more…’

    15. I think the Chairman of Comelec Atty. A. Bautista has not shown real leadership concerning the issues under consideration. First, he or his spokesman says that the Commissioners will meet on Monday Dec 14 giving the impression that a decision will be reached that day after the meeting; then Monday comes, and he says, they have not made any decision yet, and will meet again on Tuesday Dec 15. It is now Thursday, and still no decision. If Mr Bautista were a leader, he would recognize the urgency of the matter and ensure that a decision is reached as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. If he is the only one who is still undecided, one would like to know why. Is there something going on behind the scenes that perhaps should be investigated?

      I agree with you that Mrs. G. Poe Llamanzares should not be on the list of presidential candidates based on the decisions of the first and second divisions of Comelec. What is the point and rationale for Comelec’s existence if it is unable to do this. Comelec has the power and authority to exclude Mrs. Llamanzares name from the list. Her name could be added later on should she win her appeals at the Supreme Court. Of course, I suspect, this is unlikely to happen as I believe Mr. R. David’s earlier petition before the Supreme Court will succeed in overturning the decision of SET’s Gang of Five that she is a natural-born Filipino. It is good that this appeal is proceeding rather quickly. Once the Supreme Court decides that Mrs. Llamanzares is not a natural-born Filipino, it will be lights out for her in so far as her political career in the Philippines is concerned.. She will be thrown out of her senate seat, and she will be unable to run as a presidential candidate (of for any other public office). All the subsequent appeals in respect of the Comelec decisions will be moot and academic.

      • Indeed, the guy is a eunuch par excellence. Maybe, he is also waiting for persuasive offers from the head of the conglomerate.

    16. What is simple is not simple to those who want to complicate matters to suit their interests. Baka Lang makalusot. The judges “openness” could also complicate matters. Some people out there are in dire mode to unravel the constitution’s provisions for any probable loophole that might complicate what the constitution simply states – bribing the judges is also an open option. We will have to see who might be selling souls if any.

    17. Perhaps the Comelec is intentionally procrastinating the cancellation of Senator Poe’s name hoping that an overflowing money to maneuver their decision will come to play coming from the rich corporate backers of Poe. I agree with Mr. Tatad that there should be no more delays in removing her name among the presidential candidate. By the way when is Jojo Binay be remove from the list being an obvious unqualified candidate for reason of being a threat to the government coffers?

    18. Carlos de Castro on

      If they allow Grace coc be decided by the votes of their comrade, then they should allow all application to be decided by their comrades too. WE don’t need a comelec to decide who will run and who will not, we just let the people decide.
      as I said before here in the USA the receiving clerk can tell you if you are qualified or not and you can only go to court if after complying with all the requirements they dq you. You ‘ right her name would only be a distortion in the counting of ballots. Tell Chiz and Susan not to use Grace in the fulfillment of their dream. Chiz(pres,Susan(1st ladyo donya sa malacanang).

    19. If ever Llamanzares can find her latest DNA tests prove her to be natural born, it is not yet enough for she fails in the other requirement which is residency. Llamanzares is just so stubborn to insist that she is qualified. When other stupid politicians said “let the people decide”, does that mean that if ever I apply to teach in college and one of the requirements is to have a master’s degree and I have none and if majority of the students rally behind me because of my popularity of being a nice professor, will the college I applied for consider my application as qualified? Absolutely NOT.The contentions and insistence of Llamanzares and his supporters are just plain STUPID attitudes.

      • She also goes by “Poe.” Your partisanship is showing when you insist her husband’s last name.
        Universities commonly award “Doctorates” to deserving individuals when they have not earned a single unit there. Because qualifications are not always written in stone. Many non-degreed people are more knowledgeable. Some entrepreneurs who quit college make billions.
        Tatad is a paid hack or just investing goodwill. I hope Poe wins so he will be “Dis Grace d” for six years.

    20. The on-going ‘unresolved’ case of ‘ambitious[ Llamanzares Poe is taking much time. Unless one considers the emotional and political aspect of it typical among Filipino politics, the case is not really that complicated legally. It seems that Ms. Poe is given so much hope by her lawyers and backers and, of course, she is so naive about the Philippine Constitution that she thinks her “derived” popularity is enough to take the requirements for granted.

      She should be disqualified as a senator and to run for president. Simply, her sincere desire to serve should be coupled with the necessary qualifications and track record of public service to back up her claims. So, what’s all the fuss about her?

      With your move, Mr. Senator, the Filipino people owe you much appreciation. Right on!

    21. Shut up tatad, ur not an election lawyer. Comelec can not disqualify Poe, only the Supreme Court has the power to disqualify her, your arguments is completely wrong, I don’t know if you have other agenda why your so optimistic to disqualify her!

      • Shut up Edgar, because you do not know what your saying. From your post, it seems that you’re the kind who cannot follow even the basic laws and proper order.

      • Then, let the other DQed candidates run to the SC to stop the Comelec from removing their name in the ballot. By favoring one candidate, all the commissioners are subject to graft.

      • Then, maybe we should also ask how COMELEC have DQ’ed the other “nuisance” candidates without the supreme court?

      • In what way is it wrong or would you like everyone to just take your word for it because you said so. I am not convinced by your evidence or lack there of and i fail to see any point to your post which appears to be a childish rant.

    22. Even if I’m able to vote in this coming Philippines Presidential Election, I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HER. She knows to herself that she is not qualified and still continue to deceived people. Eh ngayon palang sinungaling na, kapag nalusutan nya itong Disqualification Case at sya ay nagging Presidente ng Pilipinas at nagawa nyang papanagutin si PNoy sa lahat ng kasalanan nya sa taong bayan at maipakulong saka palang ako bibilib sa kanya.

      • Many lost whatever faith in the senator when she buried the SAF 44 report by giving it to the Ombudsman instead of to the senate for discussion in effect shielding Aquino.
        The report now requires a congressional vote to reopen and that will never happen since Aquino owns most of the members by party loyalty, bribery and threat of prosecution of the pork barrel fund.

    23. Ano kaya ang pinaghuhugutan ng ganitong kasidhing emotion ni Mr,tatad laban kay Grace Poe?
      Si Fpj at si. Grace Poe,ay pareho lang problema,ngunit kinampihan nito ang ama!
      Masyadong malalim ang dahilan ngayon ni Mr. Tatad upang ubusin nito ang kanyang oras at panahon para lang madiskwalipikado si Grace!! Meron bang kinampihan ito na ayaw niya!kaya ganito na lang ang sidhi ng pagsisikap niyang maalis ito!! Nakakapagtaka lang!hindi normal ito sa dating kakampi ng tatay niya!

    24. Comelec technically can’t DQ Grace Poe because as per Brillantes, election lawyer, only PET can judge the qualifications of a president of the senator wins.

      • Kindly refer also the opinion of Makalintal and Bautista. Not all of the cases filed against GP are about qualifications.

    25. “the authority of the Comelec to entertain a Petition to Deny Due Course under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code has never been intended to be an inquiry into the qualification of presidential candidates per se, but whether there is a deliberate attempt to commit a misrepresentation over a qualification.

      It should be further clarified that the determination of qualification in a Deny Due Course proceeding is merely provisional for the exclusive purpose of determining if there is bad faith on the part of the candidate. It will not bar or prejudice a later action for Quo Warranto action before the PET.” – Rappler