• Grace stays in the race

     Grace Poe

    Grace Poe

    For now, as High Court issues 2 TROs stopping COC cancellation

    Embattled presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe got what she badly needed on Monday, not just once, but twice.

    Just before the close of official business hours, the Supreme Court issued two separate temporary restraining orders (TROs) stopping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from enforcing its decision to disqualify the senator from running in next year’s elections and from removing her name from the ballot, until a final decision has been made by the High Court.

    This also means that Poe remains a candidate for President, at least for now.

    SC Public Information Office (PIO) chief and spokesman Theodore Te said the TROs were issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno since the tribunal is on recess until January 10.

    The rules allow the Chief Justice to act on urgent petitions, which later on must be upheld by a majority of justices.

    The TRO must be confirmed by the SC en banc when it holds its next session on January 12.

    It was learned that the TROs were issued upon the recommendation of the ponente of the cases—Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo and Marvic Leonen.

    Sereno has ordered the Comelec to file its comment within a “non-extendable” period of 10 days from notice.

    Conduct of oral arguments was set for January 19, alongside oral arguments in the case of Rizalito David vs. Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and Poe.

    GRACE NOTES Sen. Grace Poe’s lawyers (from left) Dino Tamayo, Justin Mendoza, Sandra Magalang and George Garcia show a copy of the petition they filed with the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

    GRACE NOTES Sen. Grace Poe’s lawyers (from left) Dino Tamayo, Justin Mendoza, Sandra Magalang and George Garcia show a copy of the petition they filed with the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

    Covered by the restraining orders are the two separate decisions of the Comelec en banc that affirmed the decisions of its First and Second Divisions.

    The First Division canceled Poe’s COC over questions on citizenship and residency raised by former senator Francisco Tatad, former law school dean Amado Valdez and political science professor Antonio Contreras.

    The Second Division, on the other hand, canceled Poe’s COC based on a petition filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, stating that Poe failed to meet the constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency for presidential candidates.

    “A temporary restraining order is issued, effective immediately and until further orders from this court, ordering you, respondent Comelec, your agents, representatives or persons acting in your place or stead, to cease and desist from implementing the assailed Comelec en banc resolution,” the High Court’s order stated.

    The TROs were granted on the same day the petition for certiorari was filed by Poe’s lawyer George Garcia, who scored Comelec’s haste and timing in issuing two separate decisions granting petitions to disqualify his client.

    The poll body came out with the decision on December 23, the last working day before the long Christmas break, and gave Poe only five calendar days, including the holidays, to seek reversal from the High Court.

    Garcia earlier pointed out that the Comelec’s deadline violated the Omnibus Election Code, which states that rulings can only be implemented after 30 days.

    ‘Just and compassionate’
    Poe hailed the decision and thanked the SC for its “just and compassionate decision.”
    “I thank the Supreme Court for a just and compassionate decision. From the start, I put my full faith in the judicial process. The Comelec denied our people their choices in an open election but I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the truth and the spirit of the Constitution,” Poe said.

    She is asking for fair consideration of the facts.

    “We are confident the SC will honor previous jurisprudence on the rights of foundlings to a country and citizenship. I also pray that they will carefully look into the facts of my residence and my actual physical presence in the country,” Poe said.

    Moot petition
    Tatad earlier asked the Comelec to enforce the decision of its First Division to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy for President.

    He also asked the poll body to drop Poe from the official list of candidates for the 2016 polls for allegedly committing “material misrepresentation” when she claimed in her COC that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has resided in the Philippines for at least 10 years.

    In a four-page petition he filed Monday, Tatad said based on the Comelec Rules of Procedure, a decision such as the one released by the Comelec en banc last Wednesday becomes final and executory after five days.

    “If at the close of office hours today no Temporary Restraining Order or similar writs of
    restraint is issued by the Supreme Court upon application of the respondent, by virtue of the aforementioned rule, the decision or resolution of the commission en banc shall become final and executory the following day [December 29, 2015],” the motion read.

    It said, “That being said, the enforcement of the decision or resolution of the commission’s First Division canceling the [COC] for President of the respondent becomes a matter of course.”

    The Supreme Court’s move allowing Poe to run as President—at least for now—shows her case is winnable, lawmakers said.

    Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila), Roman Romulo of Pasig City (Metro Manila)and Ashley Acedillo of Magdalo party-list expressed such confidence after the High Court issued the TROs on the two Comelec decisions that disqualified Poe from joining the 2016 presidential derby for her not being natural-born and lack of 10-year Philippine residency—both constitutional requirements for a presidential candidate.

    Magdalo is supporting Poe’s 2016 bid but not that of Poe’s running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero.

    It is fielding a vice presidential candidate from one of its ranks: Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th.



    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. OMG!!What is she thanking for?!it is just a TRO, doesn’t mean her presidential ambition is certain, besides TRO is part of legal process, don’t treat SC issuance of TRO as showbiz acknowledgment, it is part of the process for your DQ case!!

    2. Sereno, being the Chief Justice of the SC, has the power to issue TRO during the holidays but her TRO’s need to be confirmed by the full SC enbanc after all members have returned from their holidays. If not confirmed by the SC majority, they are considered null and void.

    3. mikhail hieronymus on

      If we follow the law, it is very clear that the decision of the SC should be against GPL. If however the SC sided with Grace, then there is nothing much to discuss.

      It is a total “Lutong Macaw.” Nothing much the people can do about it. We, the people must abide by the SC decision, Right or Wrong to our understanding. Life is such!

    4. Ram Campagnolo on

      SC TRO will just prolong the agony of G.P. Llamanzares. At the end she will be DISQUALIFIED.

    5. They cannot beat to the draw that feisty Iron Lady fighter who will not buckle down and ascertained her right to be presidential candidate on May’2016 election. Now the petitioners like Tatad and Valdez will have to resort to Plan B for Binay while Elamparo is still gnashing her teeth and asked herself what went wrong at Comelec with Mar’s lapdog lording it over? It was a flawless and perfect plan to DQ Sen. Grace Poe at Comelec but the execution was all but went kaput? Now the burden of proof is shifted to the petitioners at SC where Duterte’s clout is evident with his two avid frat brothers? It will indeed be a joyful merry go round going on the road going to Casbah?

    6. Let’s just wait if the SC will bend the Rule of Law in favor of the insistent Poe.
      Let’s hope the Constitution and the
      Rule of Law will prevail.

    7. “The Supreme Court’s move allowing Poe to run as President—at least for now—shows her case is winnable, lawmakers said.
      Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila), Roman Romulo of Pasig City (Metro Manila) and Ashley Acedillo of Magdalo party-list expressed such confidence after the High Court issued the TROs …”

      How can these congressmen be so naïve? These congressmen are just promoting partisan politics in favor of Grace Poe-Llamanzares. The granting of TROs by the SC is just an exercise of due process. I do not believe the SC will become a party in amending the Constitution just to accommodate a very ambitious former American Girl.

    8. Poe hailed the decision and thanked the SC for its “just and compassionate decision.”
      “I thank the Supreme Court for a just and compassionate decision. If the decision is against her then Poe will not thank the SC for it’s “unjust and uncompassionate decision.” What kind of mentality has she. One sided, I think she is.

    9. Poe will win her case at the SC. The Present SC under Sereno would like to be remembered in judicial/legal history by finally given the due recognition that the Philippine is a member of the international community. Article II, Sec. 3 of the 1935 Constitution clearly state that the Philippines ” . . . adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of of the law of the Nation.”. This is quite clear and this provision need not go to any type of procedure or an enacting law to make it effective and/or part of the law of the country. International law and convention recognizes a foundling as at natural citizen of the country where he/she was found. And I believe the SC will follow this principle in unison with the community of nations. The Philippines adhere to such principles and for these reasons, they took up their dispute with China to the international community via the UN-Permanent Court of Arbitration. It would be a logical SC move, as the Philippines cannot pick and choose what internationally accepted general principles it is to be a part of the laws of the country. Unless therefore, such conventions and principles are unconstitutional, the SC must give effect to the provisions of Article II, Section 3 and find Poe a natural citizen of this country

      • Rodan Guerrero on

        Sereno is considered as the most incompetent Chief Justice ever appointed in the history of Phil. Judiciary. It is well known that she had been promulgating unlawful decisions which is always debunked by the majority of associate justices. This will happen again, her TRO in favor of GP will be quashed by the majority once enbanc session will convene. Sereno is an Aquino appointee, you can just imagine how an inexperienced lawyer sit as head of majority members of the SC who are by far more qualified than her.

      • Daniel B. Laurente on

        International Law sa part of the Nation’s Law is totally different from Philippines National Law. Philippines Constitution is National Fundamental Law of our Country.The Philippibnes Costitution was approved by the Filipino People not by United Nation Assembly.

    10. There’s nothing to celebrate about the TRO. First, the members of the SC have to deliberate on the entire legal question. It would be unfair to confirm the Comelec’s findings without careful consideration of the entire case.

      • Of course nothing to celebrate because this is a set up. Poe will be allowed to run, voters are divided between her and the other candidates and Roxas will have the advantage. And if Poe wins, she can still be kicked out if SC decision is against her.

    11. When a decision is favorable to her, she call it impartial and just. When a decision is against her, she claims it’s because they are Aquino appointees and a Liberal Party conspiracy. Well, Comelec Chairman Bautista sided with her and Sereno issued the TRO’s. Both are Aquino appointees.

      If Sereno and other Aquino appointed justices eventually vote against her in the Supreme Court, would she say it’s because of Aquino and the Liberal Party again?

    12. Tuwang tuwa si KAPALMUKS… but how long will it be? How much did they pay Sereno to grant the TRO? What if the SC Enbanc will not agree with Sereno`s decission as she is known to be a moneymaker?

      • Indeed, in this country, “truth” in our courts of law depends only on who your lawyer is – whether it is benigno sr. or jose rizal. Surely, in such a high profile case, mahina isang billion dyan – and that is only for the TRO. Iba pang usapan sa deliberation. Alangan naman ang CJ lang ang pwede mag mano sa ninong – iba pa rin ang sa ponente.

    13. Minsan kapag ganito ang desisyon,yung mga taong akala nila lahat ng bagay alam nila at sila lang ang tama,at kung makahusga sa kapwa wagas!
      Dapat makaramdam ng kaunting hiya, kahit kaunti lang!

    14. the TROs were issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

      A Aquino appointee, what a surprise.
      The supreme court going to rewrite the constitution for Poe now ?