• Poe hit with 2nd DQ

    19
    NO PUPPY LOVE Supporters of presidential candidate Grace Poe displa

    NO PUPPY LOVE Supporters of presidential candidate Grace Poe displa

    Comelec cancels COC; senator to try luck at SC

    Embattled Sen. Grace Poe got disqualified not just once, but twice.

    This time, the 47-year-old presidential aspirant was deemed ineligible to stand in next year’s elections by the First Division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)  by a vote of 2-1.

    The First Division heard the consolidated petitions of former senator Francisco Tatad, political science professor Antonio Contreras and former law school dean Amado Valdez.

    Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Tito Guia voted in favor of the petitioners while Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, the division’s presiding officer, dissented.

    Lim submitted an 81-page dissenting opinion while Guia, a veteran election lawyer, attached a separate six-page concurring opinion to the ruling.

    Like the earlier ruling handed down by the Second Division, which ruled 3-0, the commissioners ordered the cancelation of her certificate of candidacy (COC).

    Poe’s lawyers have filed an appeal on the Second Division ruling before the Comelec en banc.

    They are expected to do the same on the First Division’s ruling.
    In a 49-page decision, the First Division said Poe committed “material
    misrepresentation”in her COC and that she “deliberately attempted to deceive and mislead the electorate” on both her citizenship and residency qualifications.

    Citing the 1987 and 1935 Constitutions, as well as relevant laws, the First Division said Poe, “though a Filipino citizen, was not and could not have been a natural-born Filipino because she was adopted as a foundling with unknown biological parents.”

    “Yet in complete disregard of what is clear under the law, the Constitution, and jurisprudence, respondent declared in her COC for President that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen who is fully required to run and serve as President of the Philippines,” it added.

    It  said Poe committed “material misrepresentation” when she declared she would be a resident of the Philippines for 10 years and 11 months by the May 9, 2016 elections.

    The First Division said it was not convinced that the six years and six months Poe declared in her COC for senator in 2012 was an honest mistake.

    “It is indeed incredible to think that respondent [Poe], a well-educated woman and already then a public servant with full staff support, including a legal team, would not know how to correctly declare the facts material to her candidacy for the 13 May 2013 elections,” it added.

    According to the First Division,  the form she filled out “is very clear that what was required to be stated therein is the period of residency up to the day of the elections” in 2013.

    It pointed out that computed from October 2, 2012, the date Poe provided in her COC for senator is “more or less around” April 2006, which “still does not match respondent’s claim that she has been a resident of the Philippines since 24 May 2005.”

    With the ruling of the two divisions, it is almost certain that the seven-man  Comelec en banc would also rule against Poe.

    Dissenting opinion

    In his dissenting opinion, Commissioner Lim voted to deny the verified petition filed by Tatad for availing of the “wrong mode” to assail the eligibility of Poe.

    Lim also voted to deny the petition filed by Contreras and the Valdez petition to deny due course and cancel the COC of Poe.

    He explained that the Tatad petition must be denied for being violative of Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) and Rule 23 of Comelec Resolution 9523.

    “At the outset, it bears to stress the petitioner Tatad availed of the wrong remedy to question respondent Poe’s qualifications for the position of President…,” Lim said.

    For the Valdez and Contreras petitions, he cited Sections 74  and 78 of the OEC, which pertain to the contents of COC and on the filing of petition to deny course to or cancel a COC, respectively.

    Lim said Poe committed no “material misrepresentation” when she declared in her COC that she has been a resident for 10 years and 11 months immediately preceding the May 9, 2016 elections.

    “There can be no dispute as to what the law provides on this matter. The misrepresentation must pertain to a material fact before a certificate of candidacy can be denied or cancelled under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code,” he added.

    Lim said a misrepresentation of a non-material fact is not a ground to deny due course to or cancel a COC under Section 78.

    According to the commissioner, respondent has clearly established the requisites to successfully effect a change of domicile, which includes bodily presence, an intention to remain and intention to abandon old domicile, citing as precedence the Supreme Court pronouncement in the case of Coquilla v. Comelec.

    “The totality of the circumstances shows that respondent has been actually and physically residing in the Philippines as of 24 May 2005. Respondent had both intent and actual presence in the country for a period of 10 years and 11 months preceding the 9 May 2016 national elections,” he said.

    On Poe’s citizenship, Lim  maintained that the senator also committed no misrepresentation in the context of Republic Act (RA) 9225 or the Dual Citizenship Law as raised by Valdez in his petition.

    “The [First Division], however, finds nothing on respondent’s certificate of candidacy that shows she based her claim of being a natural-born citizen solely on the fact that she reacquired her Filipino citizenship, and eventually renounced her American citizenship, under Section 3 and 5, respectively of RA 9225,” Lim said.

    He expressed belief that foundlings may be considered Philippine citizens, “but they can never be considered natural-born Filipino unless the Constitution itself provides,” saying “no amount of legal juggling will make the respondent a natural-born citizen.”

    He, however, added that it was not the issue raised by Valdez and as such the commission cannot render a judgment based on an issue that has not been raised and is not before it.

    “The commission, just like other courts, does not have, nor does it acquire, jurisdiction over issues neither raised in the pleadings nor tried with the express or implied consent of the parties,” Lim said.

    Poe down but not out

    Poe expressed her gladness because the First Division’s decision was not unanimous.

    “At least we were able to get one to listen to us and look at our documents and I’m very thankful to him for being fair,” she said.

    Poe likened  her legal battle to a boxing match and said she is determined to remain standing despite the  beating she has been receiving, knowing that what she is fighting for is right.

    The senator vowed to take her fight to the Supreme Court and reiterated that she remains a candidate for President until the SC says otherwise.

    Meanwhile, Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesman, continued to insist that the senator is a natural-born Filipino and has met all the necessary requirements to seek the presidency, including the residency requirement.

    “It’s unfortunate that the First Division did not see the merits of our legal arguments. We will exhaust all legal remedies. We will elevate this decision to the Comelec en banc.
    Poe’s running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, in a  statement, noted that the ultimate decision on whether Poe is qualified rests with the SC.

    Escudero said he is optimistic that Poe will achieve justice from the High Court even after the Comelec;s First and Second Divisions voted in favor of a petition to exclude her from the presidential race.

    “The Supreme Court cannot and will not choose who our next President will be by disqualification,” he added.

    Party-list congressman Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol underscored that Poe remains a presidential candidate because the High Court is the final arbiter of these cases.

    Colmenares, the House deputy minority leader, assailed the Comelec for ignoring existing laws that give weight to the Philippine residency of  Poe, who has settled in the country since May 2005.

    “All is not lost. I just hope and pray that our President will be elected based on the will of the majority,  not because of the will of the minority since the preference of the majority has been suppressed [because of the]  disqualification of frontrunners,” Batocabe said.

    With LLANESCA T. PANTI

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    19 Comments

    1. I wonder how the good senator is able to finance her appeals? I hope those lawyers who keep propping her up are pro bono. Lawyers I believe when they see that if it is a lost cause, they fold and lick their wounds. But then some are shameless than others. I can not blame them if the money is flowing like honey.

    2. The final decision will be made by the supreme court. There is a precedent supreme court decision on residency. I am sure the justices knew this prior ruling. This will clear Grace Poe on residency requirement . There is no supreme court decision on natural born citizen yet. The prior decision was that of Fernando Poe citizenship stating that the people electorate decide but Fernando Poe lost the election. I am sure this will be the decision of the supreme ourt. Let the people decide.

    3. Paging mother biological mom of GPL,pls reveal yourself and rescue your daughter,whoever you are.
      To run for president are exclusive only for natural born citizen- respect and honor the law….

    4. One thing I noticed with most of our presidential candidates is that they are always right . How can we expect a leader to be able to do his or her job when they never consider the opinion or decision of a constituted legal body. When a decision is promulgated against them they always have opinions or reasons to rebut or refute it.. I just would like to quote something in the Bible in Phil. 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

    5. Again, Her Rumored Half-Brother Sen. BBM admonished Madam Grace Llamanzares.” If you do the right thing you will be succeed in the end.” Other side of the coin, “If you do the bad thing you will be jailed in the end.”

      Madam Grace did not do the right thing but did the bad thing.

      The right thing to do of Madam Grace Llamanzares is, “Accept the fact that she committed sin to the Filipino.”In other word, repent and ask forgiveness. I believe my fellows will forgive her.

    6. I commend the COMELEC for doing its job and doing it right this time around. If only the COMELEC did its job right in 2012 when Llamanzares filed her COC for the Senate, we would not be here. But this matter is now water under the bridge.

      Llamanzares, though, is still defiant. By golly, who the hell she thinks she is? Why is she so arrogant and persistent in trashing and trampling the supreme law of the land? How can she be expected to enforce the law when she becomes the president if she doesn’t even respect it now as a candidate? This only proves further that she really is intellectually challenged, morally deficient, doesn’t respect authority and doesn’t have the grasp of reality. She doesn’t have what it takes to be a president! LLAMANZARES, YOU HAVE BEEN WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE AND FOUND(ling) WANTING!

    7. Dear Senator, please accept the facts. Obey the Ruling of the Court. That is the mark of a real champion of the masses.

    8. Commissioner Lim based his dissenting opinion on technicalities. However, he did not disagree with the findings that GP is not a natural born Filipino. His opinion about the period of domicile is questionable because it counts the period when GP was still an American citizen.

      Poe considers it fair when someone votes in her favor. When the 5 senators in the SET voted to save her, she considers that fair, ignoring the dissenting opinion of the 3 SC justices. How can we expect her to uphold the rule of law if ever she becomes president? Another regime of selective justice perhaps?

      Colmenares has lost credibility here. Is he advocating to ignore the clear constitutional provisions on citizenship and residency with regards to presidential candidates? I wonder how his fellow activists would say about that.

      • apolonio reyes on

        Yes Clamor, Colminares, like when Ted Casino, was number ONE in my senatorial list, even when my friends say why vote a leftist? And I replied ” I prefer ONE HONEST LEFTIST IN THE SENATE THAT 24 CROOKS LIBERALS “. However when Neri Colminares sided with Grace Poe Llamanzares knowing very well as a veteran lawyer and legislator that GPL running as president is against our 1935 and 1987 CONSTITUTION, I DROPPED COLMINARES IN MY LIST. IN MY LIST NOW ARE FORMER SEC. RAFAEL ALUNAN, REP. ROMAN ROMULO, ATTY. LEVITO BALIGOD, GEN. GETULIO NAPENES AND PRINCESS J. KIRAM -0-

    9. mikhail hieronymus on

      GPL is still a presidential candidate according to GPL. Somebody must be smoking Funny Cigarette. It’s all over, my dear. You might have to leave the halls of Congress now, former senator and now a disgraced presidential candidate, GPL. Good bye. Adios!

    10. He expressed belief that foundlings may be considered Philippine citizens, “but they can never be considered natural-born Filipino unless the Constitution itself provides,” saying “no amount of legal juggling will make the respondent a natural-born citizen. One thing worth noticing is this dissenting opinion by Comm Christian Lim and this is a crucial requirement for a candidate to the presidency. Surely, game over unless the SC says otherwise.

    11. Llamanzares is really stubborn. And so is Escudero. Escudero said that justice will decided by the SC o their. What happens if SC disqualifies Poe? Do the party of Llamanzares (most especially arrogant Escudero) accept the decision of the SC against their favor? Nakatikim lang ng konting puwesto sa gobyerno ay para siyang lasing sa katungkulan. Gusto pa niya maging president. Compare her two-year senate position with that in the U.S. as a pre-school nanny, the over ambitious Llamanzares is drank for power. Llamanzares should and must give up her ambitions. It is the law. Respect the law. Your reasoning is only good for the teleseryes and the fantasy movies made by FPJ.

    12. Comelec started counting her residency on the moment she renounced here US citizenship. The comelec may not have been informed that citizenship and residency are two independent issues from each other. Even a foreigner can start residency here. It’s easy to count her residency from May 2005- May 2016.

    13. Bonifacio Claudio on

      PREFERRED BY THE MAJORITY daw si Poe, sabi ni Colmenares. Asuuuus, eh hindi pa nga tapos ang election ay may resulta na agad kay Colmenares dahil sa mga KARKULASYON lang ng mga binayarang poll surveys. Hey, Colmenares, ikaw na lang ang bumoto sa Poe na yan. Though to my regrets, I cannot forget that one moment in time ng itinakwil niya ang Inang Bayang Pilipinas sa PANUNUMPA sa AMERIKA na siya, SI GPOE, ay ISANG TUNAY NA AMERIKANO SA ISIP, SA SALITA, AT SA GAWA — maski pa sabihin mong mailabas na totoo na siya ay anak nga ng THE BEST PRESIDENT MARCOS OF THE PHILIPPINES. But even then to my regrets I can’t forget that one moment in time she has forsaken being a Pilipino. Now, Colmenares, you say she is a Pilipino deserving to be PRESIDENT more than the others who are UNWAVERING in their love of being a PILIPINO. Dios na mahabagin, nakakabaliw ka, Colmenares. Grrrr !!!

    14. At least we were able to get one to listen to us and look at our documents and I’m very thankful to him for being fair,” she said. Fair because Lim was favorable to her? Therefore if SC’s decision is not favorable to Grace will she declares SC not fair?