• Poe disqualification raised to High Court

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    Sen. Grace Poe’s big pre-election fight has reached the Supreme Court (SC).

    Rizalito David—a radio commentator who sought to nullify Poe’s win in the 2013 elections over citizenship and residency issues—on Tuesday filed a petition for certiorari contesting the ruling of the Senate Electoral Tribunal to dismiss his case.

    David had filed a quo warranto petition with the tribunal, which ruled 5-4 in Poe’s favor.
    He argued that Poe did not meet the constitutional requirement on citizenship and residency when she ran for senator and emerged as the topnotcher in 2013.

    Being a foundling with no known biological Filipino parents, Poe could not claim being a natural-born citizen, David said.

    He withdrew the residency issue during the pre-trial stage.

    All three justice-members of the electoral tribunal voted to affirm David’s arguments.
    All five tribunal members who voted to dismiss the petition were Poe’s colleagues in the Senate.

    In his latest petition, David assailed the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s majority decision declaring Poe a natural-born citizen “despite the absence of proof of blood ties to a Filipino father or mother.”

    He also questioned Poe’s reacquisition of her Philippine citizenship.

    “Clearly, the [tribunal’s] majority misinterpreted the Constitution, the laws, procedural rules and jurisprudence in giving effect to non-binding international [laws]and in acknowledging the flawed theory of citizenship by legal fiction,” David said in a statement.

    He criticized the tribunal’s majority for allegedly voting based on “personal and or political considerations” in violation of the Lerias doctrine, in which judges were reminded to rule on cases as judges, not as politicians.

    Those who voted in Poe’s favor were Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano and Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th.

    Sotto is running for reelection under Poe’s ticket and had served as the spokesman for the senator’s father, Fernando Poe Jr., in the 2004 elections while Legarda was the elder Poe’s running mate.

    Villar is the wife of former Senate president Manuel Villar, leader of the Nacionalista Party, which had earlier entertained the idea to adopt Poe as its standard-bearer.

    Those who voted for the petition were SC Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion and Sen. Nancy Binay, whose father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, is also running for President.

    Poe is still facing multiple disqualification cases with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the same grounds.

    The Comelec’s Second Division has approved the disqualification case filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo and has ruled to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy for President. The case is under appeal.

    The First Division, meanwhile, is yet to issue its ruling on the three other cases filed by former senator Francisco Tatad, Dela Salle University professor and political analyst Antonio Contreras and former law dean Amado Valdez.

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    8 Comments

    1. True, Poe cannot prove that she is the child of a natural born filipino, but also it cannot be proven otherwise that she was borne by a foreigner or an alien who came to Iloilo and deposit a baby girl in a church with the hope that someone will take care of her. Had the DNA of most Iloilo natives been available, she could have had found a 99.99% match of her true bloodline. Unfortunate, but the law is very specific.

      There is wisdom from which all these laws were based. It can only be hoped, that the magistrates can see beyond the literal meanings of the law and grant her by de facto, a natural born Filipino.

      I am not for Grace Poe, as I feel that she lacks the knowledge and experience of a senator, and much more for the highest position of the land. But I would not deny her and claim that I am more a Filipino than her.

    2. All she really has to do, I think, is confess who her real parents are, with the confirmation of Susan Roces and others who are privy to the real story— if she can.

    3. Sen. Grace Poe is a natural Filipino citizen…. Why can’t we just accept that and let the people decide? Let’s all respect decisions and laws, let’s do what we demand!LET HER RUN! Laws are made to PROTECT, UPLIFT AND EMPOWER the MARGINALIZED… Foundlings should never be deprived of the right to have a state and nationality!

    4. Once and for all, David should just stop. He is already becoming so desperate to unseat Poe in the Senate. Whatever the result is, he will not become a Senator! This only shows someone is using David and derail Sen Poe’s candidacy.

      I have high confidence that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of Grace Poe. The voice of the sovereign people must be heard. Poe’s political fate shouldn’t be decided with a selected few but by the majority of the Filipino voters. Let us aim for a clean election. Good governance starts here.

    5. Good! Time is of the essence. The sooner this case is heard by the Supreme Court, the better for the country. The SET decision is a travesty. One wonders why the Gang of Five responsible for the majority decision sits in the senate as legislators. They threw the Philippine Constitution into the toilet, and they should be thrown out of office as soon as possible. The Philippines need better lawmakers than these five senators.

      Should the Supreme Court decide that Mrs. G. Poe Llamanzares is not a natural-born Filipino, the disqualification cases that are still pending against her before the COMELEC will be moot and academic. In all likelihood, she will be found ineligible to sit as a senator in the senate, and thus, to run as a presidential candidate. The game is over for Mrs. Llamanzares.

    6. “The 1987 Constitution, international law, and our domestic laws all favor protecting foundlings like Grace Poe. Constitutional provisions and statutes on due process and human rights can only be interpreted to mandate the government, including courts, to always interpret the law from the best interest of a child.”

      Sen Poe is a natural-born Filipino, it has always been that way up until her opponents saw that she is a threat to their chance of winning.