• Poe ruling likely to stay

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    RADIO commentator Rizalito David should not expect much from the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

    According to Sen. Cynthia Villar, she and other members of the tribunal who decided to favor Sen. Grace Poe in a disqualification case filed by David are unlikely to change their decision.

    The electoral tribunal last week voted 5-4 dismissing David’s quo warranto petition that sought to nullify Poe’s victory in the 2013 elections.

    He argued that being a foundling with no known biological parents, Poe could not be considered a natural-born citizen, a constitutional requirement for senators.

    Poe was found abandoned in a church in Iloilo province in central Philippines shortly after she was born in 1967.

    She was later adopted by the actor Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ and actress Susan Roces.
    Now 47, the younger Poe is running for President in next year’s elections and has led all pre-election surveys for President and Vice President since the second quarter of the year.

    She is facing five other disqualification cases with the Commission on Elections, with the complainants questioning her claim in her certificate of candidacy for President that she is a natural-born Filipino.

    Villar said it will be difficult for the five senator-members of the tribunal, who voted not to disqualify Poe, to change their position because all of them have studied carefully the issues raised in the petition and decided based on their respective principles.

    Aside from her, Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda and Vicente Sotto 3rd voted to dismiss the David petition.

    Sotto, a reelectionist under Poe’s ticket, was the campaign spokesman for FPJ when he ran for President in the 2004 elections.

    David, in an earlier interview, said he believes that Cayetano and Aquino will change their position on the case and side with the four other members of the tribunal who ruled in favor of the petition disqualifying Poe.

    Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, chairman of the electoral tribunal, and SC Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion and Sen. Nancy Binay, daughter of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay voted to disqualify Poe.

    Villar said she was able to read the opinions of the justices and even asked help from some lawyers who also viewed the opinions valid, but in the end she decided to vote in Poe’s favor.

    She added that her decision is a combination of her advocacy and some legal provisions including international conventions.

    Villar particularly cited the The Hague Convention of 1930, which states that “a child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth.”

    “Your advocacy would always form part of your decision whether you like it or not,” the senator said.

    She noted that if the law intended the tribunal to decide on cases purely on a legal basis, it should have limited the composition of the tribunal to the justices of the Supreme Court.

    “The mere fact that the law allowed politicians to be members of [the tribunal]means there will be some political decision. I believe that those who crafted the [tribunal]law also want balance,” Villar said.

    David already filed his motion for reconsideration at the electoral tribunal on Monday and the tribunal is expected to decide on the appeal next month.

    Villar said David may have a chance to get the ruling he wants from the High Court because as far as the electoral tribunal is concerned, a reversal of the tribunal’s earlier decision in the case is improbable.

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    13 Comments

    1. Philippine is a soveign state and we have a Philippine constitution which have a law mandated by the Congress, Senate and the President. So, Is Ms. Poe is a natural born citizens of the Philippines,then if so..where are the documents that can justify she is a natural born citizens?? If she cant fulfill the requirements as mandated by our constitution, then she can be disqualify. Please respect the Rule of Law of the Philippines. Remember we are a sovereign state that will not allow International law not unless the case of international intervention like what china did to our territory.. This case may bring to international court. Our issue is our internal affairs to be decided by our lawmakers based on our lPhilippine Constitution…Marami ng senator, congressman even the President does not respect our Philippine Constitution.
      Ano meron tayo ngayon, kangaroo law???? Mas mabuti alisin na ang congress at senate, at bumalik na lang tayo sa parliamentary form of government tulad ng Japan.

    2. Nobody said she is not a filipino citizen but she is not natural born as her parents have not been identified, therefore she is just a naturalized. Besides considering that she has given up her filipino citezenship by acquiring US citizenship and then re-acquiring her Filipino citizenship, the best she could be is again as naturalized filipino. Nobody is denying her that but she should not be allowed work and serve in the gov’t rquiring natural born filipino as a qualification.

    3. The problem with these senators is their lack of knowledge of weighing what is good for the country to correct mistakes so that the future will be free off any liability caused by the partisan & understandable situation & argument that is going to poison the minds of Filipinos that “The Highest Law of the Nation which is the Bastion democracy can be twisted to fit the needs & requirements of the powerful & the rich.

      This should not happen, unless the voice of the people will be overwhelmed by the capricious motive of the few & the mindless.

      Twisting what is etched in the Philippine Constitution, to tailor on the needs of the few is smack on the face of each Filipinos “dead or alive”. The constitution firmly stated what is right & yet these ##senators*** did the opposite. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES should hang them upside down, they don’t deserve to be in the upper chamber now & in the future.

    4. The law is the law. David should just respect the SET’s decision which was in favor of Poe. If the SC will decide on the matter, it should follow the people’s mandate and let her run.

      • You said the law is the law… What if the people’s mandate is against the law? Should the law be changed? Obviously, the former justices of the Supreme Court who voted against Senator Poe, are just following the law.

      • You are absolute wrong! If you say that the law is the law then what the law says is that …..the President should be a natural-born citizen and nothing else. The law did not say that you have to consider the foundling and that they should be given the same right as the natural-born citizens.The basis of SET members who voted in favor of GP is not what the law says but for something that is not mentioned in our constitution.

      • Yes I agree with you that law is a law but remember Philippines has its own laws that should be practice above international law. What is the use of our laws if we will not practice them? Understood?

    5. lorenzo legisniana on

      David is just going thru the process ..after the Mr the next is the sc.given the set ruling will not change..and that is expected of the senators…

    6. One thing that could perhaps change the SET overall outcome is for Cayetano to realize that her vote will have repercussions on her brother’s candidacy. There are already supporters of Cayetano who jump shipped to BBM because of her vote. Chances of her changing is dim, but if she values her brother’s bid for VP that much, then she might need to rethink.

    7. I believe the five senators who voted for Senator Poe will not change their minds. They expressed their support for foundlings, and their rights to be considered as a natural-born Filipino.

      • apolonio reyes on

        Yes Sheila, I too believe that the five senators, Sotto, Villar, Lagarda, Pia Cayetano and Bam Aquino who have to break their solemn oath of office to upheld and defend the CONSTITUTION will not change their minds what when Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares went to Malacanang yesterday to thank Pnoy for his complete support for Grace Poe Llamanzares DISQUALIFICATION CASE AT THE SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL. SENATOR BAM AQUINO COUSIN OF PNOY AND CAMPAIGN MANAGER OF LENI ROBREDO GAVE GRACE POE LLAMANZARES THE WINNING VOTE.

      • Therefore, they disregarded the Constitution’s ruling, basing on that these senators are not true Filipinos, traitors and fake public officials. They should uphold and defend the highest law of the land that is their main duty as lawmakers. No other laws whether international or not shall be above the Phil Constitution ratified by the Filipino people.