‘Poe could be jailed’

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GRACE UNDER PRESSURE Sen. Grace Poe says she’s ready for long fight ahead as her supporters hold a rally at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila. PHOTOS BY RENE H. DILAN

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE Sen. Grace Poe says she’s ready for long fight ahead as her supporters hold a rally at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila. PHOTOS BY RENE H. DILAN

Tatad’s lawyer: Misrepresenting COC is an election offense with penalties

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SEN. Grace Poe could be jailed for committing a misrepresentation in her certificate of candidacy (COC), the lawyer for one of the petitioners who wanted her disqualified from joining next year’s elections said on Wednesday.

According to Manuel Luna, the counsel of former senator and The Manila Times columnist Francisco Tatad, the Comelec Second Division’s recent decision to disqualify Poe was based on an election offense that carries a penalty of “one to six years of imprisonment, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.”

“The President cannot even pardon [Poe] if found guilty without the concurrence of the Comelec,” Luna told reporters in a media forum in San Juan City (Metro Manila).

Tatad is one of the five petitioners who questioned Poe’s COC for President before the Comelec. All assailed Poe’s claim that she has satisfied the constitutional requirements on citizenship and residency.

The Second Division on Tuesday handed down its ruling on the petition of lawyer Estrella Elamparo who said all existing legal records negate Poe’s claim that she is a natural-born Filipino and that she has complied with the minimum 10-year residency requirement for one to be able to run for President.

Aside from Tatad and Elamparo, separate petitions were filed against the 47-year-old senator by radio commentator Rizalito David, former law dean Amado Valdez and political science professor Antonio Contreras.

David had also petitioned the Senate Electoral Tribunal to nullify Poe’s proclamation as among the winners in the 2013 senatorial elections on the same grounds. An appeal to reverse the tribunal’s 5-4 ruling dismissing the petition is pending.

Luna said he is confident that the poll body will rule in favor of the other petitions, given the dissenting opinion of the three Supreme Court (SC) associate justices in the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

021215_grace-poe8_dilanPoe to remain in ballot
Regardless of a favorable or an unfavorable decision from the Comelec en banc, Poe’s name will remain on the official list of candidates and in the ballots unless a final disqualification verdict is handed down by the SC prior to the printing of ballots.

The Comelec spokesman, Director James Jimenez, also on Wednesday said it would be prudent and practical on the side of the poll body to include the senator’s name rather than exclude it, considering that the case will definitely reach the High Court, and nobody knows what the SC’s final verdict will be.

Elamparo also on Wednesday filed an “urgent petition to exclude” Poe from the official list of candidates and from the ballots.

Her petition to cancel the senator’s COC for President was granted by the Comelec Second Division in a resolution handed out on Tuesday.

Jimenez pointed out that the non-inclusion of Poe’s name in the ballot based on the Comelec en banc’s unfavorable decision would complicate things later if the SC would rule the other way around.

“It’s easier to ignore the votes cast for that person than to take [him]out of the ballot then later on find out that [he]should have been in the ballot in the first place. So it’s practical to include [Poe’s] name,” he said.

But Luna disagreed, saying it would be a violation of the Omnibus Election Code and the Rules of Court.

He explained that Poe’s name should be excluded from the ballot once the commission en banc ruled against her, “unless she is able to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court.”

“The en banc should not be preempted. [Comelec] Chairman [Andres] Bautista can better shed light on that… Until they issue a resolution to that effect, we cannot say that she will be included or excluded. That is why I’m reserving my opinion because I’m respecting the action of the en banc at a proper time,” Luna said.

He added that the status quo remains simply because the decision of the Second Division is not yet final and executory while the First Division is yet to make a decision.

“We are pretty confident that the First Division will also side with us not because the Second Division has already ruled against her but because of the superiority of the arguments that we have presented,” Luna said.

In her urgent petition to exclude Poe, Elamparo pointed out that based on the timeline of the Comelec, it has to come up with the official list of presidential candidates on December 20, 2015, and printing of ballots will start by early January next year.

“While respondent may still opt to file a motion for reconsideration within five (5) days from receipt of the aforesaid resolution, petitioner respectfully submits that unless the 01 December resolution is reversed or restrained through a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court, the same should be respected and implemented by excluding respondent from the list of official candidates for the presidency and from the ballots,” she said.

According to her, the Comelec would be contradicting itself if after canceling respondent’s COC, it would still include Poe’s name in the official list of candidates and in the ballots, “as if it is anticipating its decision to be reversed.”

“More important, the exclusion of respondent from the official list of candidates and from the ballots would better serve the interest of justice,” she said.

Naturalized not natural-born
Luna said foundlings are considered as naturalized citizens and not natural-born ones and therefore could not be elected as President.

Poe, who was found abandoned in a church in Iloilo, has no known biological parents.
“Foundlings cannot in any way be a President or senator, unless you amend the Constitution. That’s the only way you can change the situation, that you need to amend it.

The Constitution enunciated jus sanguinis or law of the blood. You cannot create a natural-born citizen [in jus sanguinis]by creating legal fiction or by mere presumption,” Luna said.

Tatad’s petition questioned Poe’s claim that she’s a natural-born citizen.
“[Poe] cannot… [imply]or presume [that she is a]natural-born [citizen]. It should be established as a fact, by blood relationships [because of the jus sanguinis principle,]” he added.

In his petition, Tatad said “Poe is practically stateless, and that foundlings have no parentage,” because “the 1935 Constitution states that she is not a Filipino because of the jus sanguinis principle.”

“[Poe’s] arguments, which are based on the presumption that she is a natural-born citizen based [in turn]on international statutes for foundlings will not be applicable here in the Philippines,” Luna said.

“The Philippines is not a signatory to any international statute on foundlings, and our country doesn’t follow the jus soli [law of the land]principle — if she keeps on insisting that, it will contradict our 1935 and 1987 Constitutions emphasizing jus sanguinis. It should be established as a fact, by blood relationships,” he added.

Tatad was among the personalities who strongly dismissed Poe’s claim that she is a natural-born Filipino, which is requisite for those seeking public office.

“Grace Poe’s only mistake is that she wants us to believe that she’s a natural-born Filipino when, in fact, she’s not. Poe is only a naturalized Filipino citize—she’s already stateless at birth,” he said.

Poe had submitted herself to DNA testing inearly October, hoping that it would help boost her argument that she is a natural-born citizen before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, which all turned out negative.

“There should be a physical blood relation, maybe that’s the reason why Senator Poe insisted that she will undergo a DNA test because she knows that the physical evidence of a natural-born citizenship is by a natural-blood relationship,” Luna said.

He added that Poe was not registered as a foundling in the separate old civil registry for foundlings—for her to be given an “accommodated type” of naturalization giving her a legal presumption that she is a naturalized citizen.

“Poe must have registered in the separate registry [for foundlings], it would be easy for her to acquire citizenship but still, as a naturalized citizen, not a natural-born [one],” Luna said.

Fight far from over
Poe also on Wednesday said she is not expecting a favorable decision from the other divisions of the Comelec handling her other disqualification cases but noted that her fight is far from over.

She likened her legal fight to a boxing match wherein she won round one when the tribunal dismissed the disqualification case against her, and lost round two after the Second Division ruled in favor of the petition seeking to cancel her COC for President.

Poe said she expects the other divisions of the poll body to have similar decisions, but said she is not bothered because she can still bring the case to the High Court if she fails to get a favorable decision from the Comelec en banc.

“ It is possible that we could lose our case in the Comelec but there is still the Supreme Court. What is important is I’m doing this because I don’t want anyone to be left behind,” she told a news forum.

Poe said she also expects to get a favorable decision from the High Court similar to the ruling it made on a disqualification case filed against her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., when he ran for President in 2004.

She added that part of the court ruling on the disqualification case stated that the decision on who will be the next President of the country should be left to the sovereign Filipino people, not to unelected members of the court.

Poe said she is convinced that there is an “obvious and conscious” effort to remove her from the 2016 presidential race.

She added that the legal challenges she is facing stem mainly from the desire of some people to take her out of the presidential race because she poses a threat to their own dreams to be the nation’s leader.

“I just feel that’s somebody is behind it. Now, am I being harassed? I’m just doing what I need to do. To be able to go through the process, to be able to overcome these hurdles,” Poe said.

She, however, refused to name those whomshe suspects to be behind the disqualification cases but she noted that two of her rivals would definitely stand to benefit if ever she gets disqualified.

“Pero sabi nga nila masyadong liberal ang decision ng Comelec kaya nga para daw i-mar yung elections ng 2016 [Some are saying the Comelec decision is too liberal and could be part of the attempt to mar the 2016 elections],” Poe said with a pun referring to the Liberal Party and its standard-bearer, Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.

Poe’s running mate Sen. Francis Escudero, in a statement, said the resolution of the Comelec Second Division is just a temporary setback as he sees Poe getting relief either from the Comelec en banc or the Supreme Court.

“We still have faith in our justice system. We believe that in the end, Senator Grace will be allowed to run not only based on international and domestic laws, but also based on the factual situation of the case,” Escudero added.

He expressed optimism that Poe will be able to attain a favorable decision either from the Comelec en banc or the Supreme Court.

“At the end of the day, laws are invented and created to achieve justice. I am of the firm belief that in the end, justice will still prevail,” Escudero said.

Poe’s lawyers also remain optimistic that the Comelec en banc will overturn the resolution of its Second Division.

George Garcia, in a statement, noted that the division completely ignored previous rulings of the Supreme Court that are applicable to Poe’s case and which should have been the bases in ruling that she fulfilled the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.

“We will convince the Comelec en banc that the Second Division erred in its resolution,” Garcia said, adding that they have until December 7 to appeal the Second Division ruling with the en banc.

Respect the law
Malacanang also on Wednesday appealed for “sobriety and respect for law” among all concerned parties in Poe’s disqualification cases.

In a text message, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda noted that the decision was arrived at “in the course of the constitutionally-mandated functions of the Comelec.”

“We understand that Senator Poe’s legal counsel will pursue and exhaust all remedies available to them, as is their right in this process,” Lacierda told reporters.

“We believe that sobriety and respect for the law and its processes are the best way forward for all parties concerned,” he said.

‘Brotherly’ advice
Vice Ppresidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos also on Wednesday told Poe to just keep going.

“Keep going…keep going. Huwag kang panghihinaan ng loob [Don’t lose heart] and just [keep in mind]that when you are doing the right thing, you will in the end succeed,” Marcos also told reporters Tuesday night.

He said he was not surprised at all by the verdict and expressed belief that it is still a long way to go before the issue would be finally settled as Poe’s camp has announced that it would appeal the decision before the Comelec en banc.

“[W]e leave it to the best of our legal minds to decide exactly what to do,” Marcos added.
When asked if the Comelec decision should alarm the opposition, he said it is expected and it is part of the black propaganda normally being employed by different groups.

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30 Comments

  1. It doesn’t matter who is elected president. This country will never improve. Blame it on the Spanish or blame it on the tropical weather. It will never be more than a third world country because the majority just don’t care.

  2. Let’s cut to the chase….Grace is out.

    What should be discussed in earnest now is whether the fraud upon fraud upon fraud that she and her adoptive mother Susan Roces concocted together should be pursued in accordance with the law.

    I say…enforce the law. Why should she be exempted, otherwise? She lied and committed FRAUD, upon FRAUD, upon FRAUD…by submitting a FALSIFIED birth certificate, twice.the second one with the concurrence of Susan Roces (where she said that Grace is her biological daughter…huh? Ang kapal ng apog nitong dalawa).

    She also lied about her residency. And she continues to perpetuate the lies that she has used by refusing to abide by the rulings of the COMELEC.

    And the underlying motive behind her adamant refusal to accept the COMELEC ruling is her hallucinogenic illusion that she actually has a chance to win the presidency. When the reality hits her…that she has no chance of winning the presidency…maybe she will not be as adamant about pursuing her ambition to become the president. She has no political party. She has no visible continuous means and financial support to fund her campaign. She has no track record of accomplishments in governance upon which she can build a credible platform for her campaign….so what does she have that makes her think that she has a chance of winning the presidency? The surveys???? Who heads the surveys??? SWS for instance is run byMahar Mangahas, the first cousin of her adoptive father. Mahar’s mother and the mother of Ronnie Kelley Poe, Jr. are sisters…This is the same SWS that also tried to pull the same bullshit when Da Poe King (ina ay banyaga talaga),was campaigning for the presidency…SWS made it appear that he was ahead at the popularity polls (which he was not). What goes around, comes around, ika nga.

    So there. Even if Grace were not prevented from running…SHE SIMPLY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SERVE BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY SHE WILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY….Let’s stop the political romanticism. Tapos na ang teleserye.

  3. This is a question of facts and not emotion or anything else. The most honorable thing for Grace is to withdraw and wait till next election to legalize or meet the residency requirement and hopefully find an answer to her natural born citizenship requirement.
    Fighting the constitution will only invite more issues against her. I am sure there are many candidates who has the same advocacy as Grace and the nation can move forward to the election.

  4. In your own innate mind you knew you did not qualify to run for govt office because of the basic requirements mandated by the constitution. On the other hand, because of the absence of strict control to implement the rules, the thing slipped thru the crack and you became a senator. Filipinos are fond of consciously doing things against the rules and yet continue to do it kase, ika nga, baka makalusot! She’s doing it again for the 2nd time! Kase nakalusot nga sa una, e. Yan ang pinoy! When are we going to learn?

  5. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez should be sanctioned by the members of the Comelec for his ludicrous statement, about including the name of Llamanzares in the ballot and to disregard the votes when it is convenient to do so – does he know that, that would mean as deprived votes cast to those who would have deserved it because they were not disqualified, or does he want to disenfranchise those votes for obvious reason?

    It is rather forthright to strike out the name of Llamanzares while she is appealing her case of being disqualified, than to maintain her name on the ballot and go on the process of striking out the votes after the fact – a verdict had been handed down and all these counter-arguments to get Llamanzares name printed on the ballot only serve a great distraction.

  6. I agree with Mr. Salvador. Granting that Binay and Mar have their hands in this DQ cases eh ano naman? Mabuti nga at nai expose nila yang pagsisinungaling ni Mrs Llamanzares. Imagine what too much ambition can do. From MTRCB naging senador tapos presidency naman ang pinupuntirya. Paawa effect sa mga foundling eh wala ka namang nabalitaang batas na ginawa para dito.

  7. Ang Lupet nyo! could be jailed? e pano yung almost 100 plus na nag file ng coc for president na obviously ay nanloloko lang at nagsisinungaling.

    • Get Real @
      Dapat pati yung own survey firm na nagkakalat ng maling popularity ay makasuhan din ng falsification of real news.. Last question po.. kung nag renounce ng US citizen ay puwede bang bawiin kung gustong maging US citizen ulit pares ni GP

  8. apolonio reyes on

    Duterte is right that he will not allow anyone to break our Constitution which is the only one that binds all Pilipinos. This is the reason he will run for president at ayaw nya na American citizen ang maging president ng bayan. Sabi nya kung gusto nyo Amerikana, iboto nyo si Grace, meron Integridad ay iboto nyo si Mar, yuon ginaya si LKY (?) ay iboto nyo si Jojemar. Kung gusto nyo ang Matalino Talaga, nandyan si Mirriam at kung gusto nyo ang may 75,76, 77 at TUNAY NA PILIPINO, an dito si Rody Duterte.
    Sinabi mismo ng isa sa mga expert natin sa law na si Sen. Mirriam D. Santiago sa interview sa DZMM ” IKAW NA BA ?” Sorry Grace, you are not a NATURAL BORN PILIPINO based on the definition in our 1935, 1977 and 1987 Constitution which is based on principle of ” Jus Sanguinis ” and defined in our 1987 Constitution, Art IV, Sec. 2 that a Natural Born Citizen as those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth WITHOUT HAVING TO PERFORM ANY ACT TO ACQUIRE OR PERFECT THEIR PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP ” and as a FOUNDLING, YOU ARE NOT A NATURAL BORN PILIPINO.
    SINO ANG MAKIKINABANG KUNG SAKALING MANALO SI POE AT QUEZO DE BOLA AT IDISQUALIFY SI GRACE NG SC.? DI BA YUON NAG SULSUL KAY GPL TUMAKBONG PREISDENTE? DI BA YUON NAGSABI ” THE DISQUALIFICATION IS A MISTAKE “?. DI BA YUON DIN NAGSABI ” LAW ARE INVENTED TO ACHIEVE JUSTICE “?. SINO ITO, GRACE POE LLAMANZARES?

  9. Grace Poe Llamabzares’ desire to become presidebt is an outcome of emotion rather than a string desire backed with competence to deliver a nation. Citing his father’s loss, and popular demand is another weak foundation for our already weak nation. Where do we go, assuming she becomes one? It’s Providential that she’s found not qualified, a cheat from the start, a weakling and a trapo. In her sebatirial campaign she bannered uplifting the lives of the farmers. Has she done sonething? She lured the masses into believing a trap. What a nerd and a trapo.

    • Tapos na ang isyung ito. Period. Basta di kasama si Poe sa mga pangalan na nasa balota para presidente. Intyende ? Tama na ang pang-aabala sa buong bansa ng iisang makulit na parang isang spoiled at matigas na ulong bata. Nakakakulili na sa tenga ang pagpupumilit.

  10. It seems that some Presidential candidates have not made any mistake in their lives. They always blame others for their own failings. Are they perfect not to make any wrong decision? I enjoined our countrymen to be more prudent in their decision to support any candidate that says “it is their fault not mine”

  11. Again, first round of Disqualification against Grace she lose in the 2nd Div of COMELEC. The 2nd Div in hastily promulgated decision disqualifies Grace for being considered Naturalized Filipino citizen and the other for having not met the required residency. In a nutshell hasty decision requires no research or study on the intent of the framers of the constitution, as to WHY, the framers was not able to write it down or explicitly states that foundlings are natural born filipino. In 1934 Constitutional Convention, then Delegate Manuel Roxas was questioned whether foundlings are natural born filipino citizen it was answered YES, they are natural born filipino, then it was followed up. Do we need to write that in the Constitution it was answered no need they are few anyway. SO WHAT IS THE FUSS, DO WE NEED TO FIGHT IT OUT TO DESTABILIZED OUR COUNTRY TO FAVOR THE LIBERAL PARTY IN POWER.

  12. Leodegardo Pruna on

    James, is unlike Bond, because he does not go for the truth and wants to mess up the voting process. Could be in the take of disgraced GRACE looty? God bless the Philippines.

  13. Leodegardo Pruna on

    How about BongBong offering to undergo a DNA test to put an end to the issue of citizenship of disgraced GRACE if he believes that GRACE should continue fighting at every forum for her position? He himself was not surprised with the verdict and therefore should not be afraid of going through the DNA test. Also, that will clear all doubts about her origin. God bless the Philippines.

    • Get Real @
      Dapat pati yung own survey firm na nagkakalat ng maling popularity ay makasuhan din ng falsification of real news.. Last question po.. kung nag renounce ng US citizen ay puwede bang bawiin kung gustong maging US citizen ulit pares ni GP

  14. Amado P. Salvador on

    Grace Poe has expressly charged Binay & Roxas as the ones who are behind this petition to disqualify her from running for the next Presidential Elections. Granting for the sake of argument that both Binay & Roxas are indeed behind this , the two could not do anything to make their petition for her disqualification gain ground had there been no legal basis for them to do so. If in the event that the Comelec en banc or the Supreme Court would decide to disqualify Ms Poe, she has no one to blame but herself.

  15. Does the U.S. has the hand in the Poe candidacy?
    I think so, the U.S. wanted a president who has no head like BS Aquino.
    They can dictate to him/her what they want. That is what is happening to
    BS Aquino – a LAPDOG OF THE U.S.

    IF THE US HAS NO HAND IN THIS – THIS CONTROVERSY JUST HAVE
    DIED LONG TIME AGO.

    • Think you are overestimating the worth of the Philippines to the United States. Maybe it’s easier for some people to blame Aquino on another country but the reality is he was elected by the people or the election was stolen by the people who control everything in the country.

  16. You said”The Comelec spokesman, Director James Jimenez, also on Wednesday said it would be prudent and practical on the side of the poll body to include the senator’s name rather than exclude it, considering that the case will definitely reach the High Court, and nobody knows what the SC’s final verdict will be.” This is totally wrong. Including the name of ambitious Llamanzares in the ballots will justify the ambition of Escudero. If Llamanzares will win the election and would be disqualified, Escudero will fight to be the president, assuming he will be elected VP. Llamanzares should take note that she is disqualified because of the constitutional requirements which to name a few, a residence of the Philippines for at least 10 years and a natural born citizen. Is it too hard for her to understand the basic requirements. The petitioners are all correct legally to disqualify her. Don’t point fingers and be stubborn not to listen to the legal and constitutional requirements to be president. You are too ambitious at masyadong nagmamadali dahil ahead ka sa surveys and at the proddings of Sotto and Escudero. Huwag mong baligtarin ang batas. Gumagaya ka na kay Binay sa mga katwiran mo. Your work experience(part time) in the U.S. is not even enough for you to be president of a country.

  17. Grace Poe is already conditioning the minds of the masses that her lost in the 2nd division of the Comelec is a machination of Mar Roxas or VP Binay. It also undermine the integrity of the whole Comelec to which it is tantamount to contempt which is prohibited by our existing laws. I sincerely believe that the 3 Comelec commisioners acted in good faith and made a judgement on the merits of the COC submitted by Grace Poe herself. The said commissioners were so kind to her on not making a decision on her natural born citizen although they have express their views that she is not natural born citizen. If Grace Poe does not recognized the Comelec as an institution she better quit now.

  18. mikhail hieronymus on

    Grace Lllamezares…….your CAUSE is an IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. You are liken to Don Quijote fighting the windmills. You will be covered with scars for naught.

    Just give up quietly and walk away with dignity. There will be another day. Save yourself of the humiliation and indignity from people.

    Your big mistake was to ignore the offer of Mar Roxas as his V. P. Your ambition kill your wonderful opportunity. Had you accepted Mar Roxas offer, you would have achieved your dream at the next election.

    Well, those thoughts are now just water under the bridge. Learn the lesson well. Don’t be too ambitious and too greedy!

  19. Stop it already Grace Poe, now you’re just demonstrating to your children that you can cheat your way in life persistently. There are laws and guidelines to adhere to and everyone respects it except you. It is very clear that you do not meet the qualifications. Do you really want the SC to spell it out for you? We’re now seeing your true character. Just go away, again.

  20. Poe said she is convinced that there is an “obvious and conscious” effort to remove her from the 2016 presidential race.
    ———————————————

    Duh….

    Of course there is a effort to remove someone not qualified to run for president or remain in the senate. Poe was never qualified to become a senator and some agency apparently did not do their job of checking her application like they were supposed to in the first place.

    Near as i can tell Poe is not even a citizen of the Philippines since her adopted parents did not register her as a foundling opting to falsify a birth certificate instead.

  21. When petitioner Rizalito David announced that he will elevate his case to the SC after the 5-4 verdict at the SET, the camp of Grace Poe told him to “move on”. Now after the Comelec handed down the verdict of DQ to Grace Poe, her lawyer said they will elevate the case to the SC. Isn’t it appropriate now to advise Grace Poe to just “MOVE ON”.

    • You hit the nail in the Clamor…this woman llamanzares is just so thick faced. She refuses to accept the inevitable, This is a woman with no degree except to be a kindergarten teacher and a clerk in the US wants to lord it over our well learned legal minds. We will be the laughing stock of the world. PISS OFF GRACE!