INDEPENDENT presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe on Thursday said a decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to include her name in the list of presidential candidates is a good development even after the Comelec en banc (full bench) ruled to cancel her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Wednesday.
Poe, at the same time, reiterated that she is a natural-born citizen and a resident of the Philippines for more than 10 years and the decision of the poll body not to delist her is an initial victory not only for her but also for Filipinos.
She expressed optimism that even if some members of the Comelec deliberately ignored documents and pieces of evidence that would prove her 10-year residency and citizenship, Supreme Court (SC) justices would give more priority to respect for the truth and the right of the people to choose their leader in 2016.
“Like what I have been saying, this fight is not only for my sake, but most important in making sure that the voice of every Filipino is heard,” Poe said.
The senator insisted that she will overcome legal hurdles concocted by allies of her political opponents so that Filipinos will not be robbed of their choice for President.
Poe said that while she expects the SC to come up with a favorable decision, she is still exerting efforts to counter any move of her rivals to remove her name from the list of presidential candidates.
“We will continue to fight against the tactics and pressure being applied by my rivals based on the process available to us and the limited time given,” she added.
Poe said she will continue to bring her platform of government to Filipinos in every part of the country and seek input from marginalized sectors of society, whom, she says, are the main reason why she decided to pursue a higher form of public service.
The Comelec en banc composed of Chairman Andres Bautista and Commissioners Christian Lim, Arthur Lim, Rowena Guanzon, Luie Tito Guia, Shariff Abas and Al Parreno on Wednesday voted 5-1-1 in favor of petitions that had sought to cancel Poe’s COC for President.
The Comelec, however, decided to still include Poe’s name in the list of presidential candidates until the ruling becomes executory.
The senator, in a television interview on Wednesday night, said she already expected the decision, adding that there are some officials in the poll body who are really pushing for it.