Poe gives up on Comelec

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Sen. Grace Poe and his running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz’ Escudero, on Thursday said they are already expecting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to affirm an earlier ruling to disqualify her from next year’s presidential race.

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“I know that this journey would not be smooth and I’m ready for it. And I see that it’s very likely that the Comelec will not decide in my favor,” Poe said in Filipino.

“But whatever the decision, I’d like to read whether they even considered the documents we submitted to them,” she added.

The poll body’s Second Division earlier gave merit to a disqualification case filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, who questioned Poe’s citizenship and residency and ruled to cancel the senator’s certificate of candidacy (COC).

The Second Division agreed with Elamparo’s argument that the 47-year-old senator is short of the 10-year residency requirement.

Under Article 7, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, in order to serve as President, one must be: at least 40 years old and above; a registered voter; able to read and write; a Filipino citizen by birth; and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding elections.

Elamparo claimed that Poe committed “material misrepresentation” when she indicated that she has met all of above-mentioned requirements.

The Elamparo complaint is  under review by the Comelec en banc.

Poe faces three more disqualification cases before the Comelec, all assailing her claim to being a natural-born citizen and her claimed period of residency in the country.

The cases were preceded by a petition before the Senate Electoral Tribunal to nullify her victory in the 2013 elections on similar grounds.

The electoral tribunal voted 5-4 dismissing the petition filed by Rizalito David.

The case is now under appeal before the Supreme Court.

A source disclosed to The Manila Times that the tribunal case was raffled off Thursday with Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen designated as the ponente or the justice who will draft the majority ruling.

Escudero believes the Comelec en banc would affirm the ruling of the Second Division.

“If you add up the votes of the Comelec commissioners, and if the three commissioners from the Second Division will not change their stand, they only need one more vote to disqualify Senator Grace,” he told reporters in Filipino.

The Comelec has seven commissioners.

All three members of the Second Division — Commissioners Al Parreño, Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas — voted to cancel Poe’s COC.

“Frankly, we’re not really hopeful that we’d get a favorable ruling from the Comelec en banc because it’s very easy to get just one more vote needed to disqualify Senator Grace,” according to Escudero.

A lawyer, he said this gives them no other choice but to bring the matter to the Supreme Court (SC).

Two scenarios
Escudero sees no basis for Elamparo to ask for the removal of Poe’s name from the official ballot, noting that Comelec has no rules calling for such.

In fact, he said, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez already said prudence dictates that
Poe’s name be included in the ballot until the SC decides with finality.

Escudero added that there are two possible scenarios in case the Comelec en banc rules to disqualify Poe.

One, the Comelec will retain Poe’s name in the ballot while the SC is resolving the disqualification case.

Two, the SC will issue a temporary restraining order against the removal of the senator’s name from the ballot.

Escudero said removing Poe’s name would be unfair to the senator and may even render the decision of the High Court moot, in case it ruled not to disqualify her.

Palace denies conspiracy
Malacañang on Thursday cried foul over allegations that the administration-backed Liberal Party (LP) is behind the plot to take Poe out of the presidential race.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. was reacting to a claim made by Poe’s supporters that LP standard-bearer, Manuel Roxas 2nd, had a hand in the filing of disqualification cases against the senator.

“This matter has been raised previously and we maintain that the administration is not in any way involved,” Coloma said in a text message to reporters.

Poe earlier also hinted that Roxas and opposition standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay are behind attempts to disqualify her.

Leonen crucial
A Times source said the naming of Justice Leonen as the ponente in Poe’s disqualification case is very crucial.

The source claimed Leonen and Poe knew each other and were photographed together during a meeting of the Philippine Women Judges Association (PWJA) in Tagaytay City.
The senator was the affair’s guest of honor.

Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the president of the PWJA, was one of the three justice-members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal who voted to nullify Poe’s 2013 victory.
An SC insider claimed that Leonen was very vocal about his dislike for Roxas.

With JOMAR CANLAS and CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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14 Comments

  1. We rely on the experts (whom we trust) to use their judgments and evaluations based on evaluated and verified evidences being submitted. The 2nd & 1st Division of the Comelec did not function as they are supposed or expected to do as to have evaluated and verified evidences and/or documents being submitted by the accused. They denied documents being presented to them (by the accused). They are supposed to have accepted these documents presented and evaluate & verified these to be true or not. Since they chose to accept documents that they only want to, their credibility of being fair and just as judges are questioned.

  2. According to the reporter of this article: “A source disclosed to The Manila Times that the tribunal case was raffled off Thursday with Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen designated as the ponente or the justice who will draft the majority ruling”. Surely, the decision is still pending? If Justice Leonen does not side with the majority, would he and should he still draft the majority ruling? That would be weird, wouldn’t it?

    It does not matter whether Justice Leonen dislikes Mar Roxas. As a justice of the Supreme Court, he is expected to ignore “personal likes and dislikes” and to be a staunch defender of the Constitution. Let us hope that the rest of the other justices will be as “constitutionalist” as Justices A. Carpio, A. Brion, and T. de Castro.

    Time for a reality check for Mrs. Llamanzares.

  3. The end of the line for Mrs. G. Poe Llamanzares. Accusing VP Jejomar Binay and LP standard bearer Mar Roxas at this point in the game is just a form of distraction. Mrs. Llamanzares and her camp know fully well that the more people talk and discuss her qualifications, the more they realize that she is not fit to run as a presidential candidate.

  4. Papapaano natin aasahan na ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan na susunod sa ating saligang batas, ang ating Constitution, kung ang mga matataas nating opisyales ng gobyerno or yung gustong maging presidente ng ating bansa ay lantarang hindi sumusunod sa ating batas. Para que pa na mayroon tayong Constitution kung tayo ay hindi susunod dito? Lumalabas pala na sumusunod lang sila sa batas kung ito ay ayon sa kanilang interest at hindi kung ito ay taliwas sa kanilang interest. Ang taong lumalabag sa ating Constitution ay walang pagmamahal sa kanyang inang bayan.Ito ba ang taong iluluklok nating presidente? Papaano natin siya aasahan at pagkakatiwalaan na ipagtatanggol ang karapatang pangtao na ayon sa ating Constitution kung siya mismo ay lumalabag sa ating Constitution.

  5. Palace participation or not, just the same the sensible public knows that Grace P. Llamanzares is not a natural born Filipina and have several facts against her. Again, better advice Llamanzares to quit and prepare for 2022.

  6. Sen. Llamanzares and her running mate Escudero blame people not themselves for their failures to present credible evidence contrary to what was ruled against them.

  7. Kaya magulo sa Pilipinas maraming abogado na Ang baluktot ay itinutuwid at Ang tuwid binabaluktot! Isa ka na dun Chiz Escudero!

  8. Llamanzares presidential ambition is going south! Yey! She sees the writing on the wall yet she is still in denial. This is what happens with delusional politicians when they lose their sense of reality. They don’t see the big picture. They get into a one track frame of mind oblivious to everything around them. This is a malady that has permeated the present climate in Philippine politics, a very sad state of affairs indeed.

    For Llamanzares, this is hoping against hope. Digging in her heels, there’s nothing for her to lose. So then if she successfully retains her name on the ballot yet in a disqualified status, what would she gain? A consolation prize for hanging on?

    Reminds me of a song… “…hang on honey, hang on.
    Don’t cry honey, don’t cry.
    With your own cute little ways
    Would you promise that you’ll save
    Your kisses for me, save all your
    Kisses for me.
    Bye, bye Gracie, bye, bye…”

  9. Let’s be honest about this. Llamanzares should accept the fact that she is not qualified. Llamanzares should let Escudero run as VP by himself. Llamanzares ambitions should be deferred till 2022 as advised by her sister. In the first place, Llamanzares is not destined to be the president of the Philippines. If ever she will be elected because she is using the name of FPJ, she wont last long as president. The longest she can stay in office will be 1 and 1.5 years. She will face a lot of problems that will result to coups and civil disobedience. Don’t listen to Escudero because he is just using you for his dream to be president too.

  10. Let’s face it LP wants to hang on power even they cannot fix the worst traffic of all times, no infrastructure to boast,MESSY MRT, LRT, Fiasco, no jobs, only OFW REMITTANCES but are neglected. No salary increase. ONLY FEW become rich non inclusive, the Taipan,the elitist, the Trapo member, the Cabinet secretary and the KKK BRIGADE. IF they cannot fix or address now what’s new. Nothing BBL TO BE RAILROADED TO LEAVE A LEGACY BY PNOY DESTROYED BY MAMASAPANO MASSACRE. ITS a blew opportunity. This just show how LP manage the country.

  11. I hope it will be in her favor in the SC. Comelec was wrong on their decision. Her papers have shown she has been a resident here since early 2005. If comelec will turn a blind eye on those facts, i hope the SC will not.

    • mikhail hieronymus on

      Tim… I do not know what cigarette you are smoking. Foreigners staying in the Philippines for years are not considered Filipino resident/citizen, just because they are living here.

      They have to file the necessary papers and documents. Although GPL was in the Philippines for whatever time, she did not file her papers on time as she clearly stated in 2013 when she run for senator. Then again, when she file her COC for president, she “doctored’ her papers to show that she will be a resident for 10 years and 11 months.

      This is a LIE, and she knew it. “Palusot” that she made a mistake will not erase the fact that she is lying. That is BAD, BAD, BAD. You know that!