Radio commentator Rizalito David on Friday said it is only “logical” for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to wait for the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s ruling on a petition he had filed seeking Sen. Grace Poe’s removal from office.
But the Comelec can already proceed hearing the disqualification cases with respect to Poe’s residency, he added, because the issue before the electoral tribunal pertains to citizenship.
“Comelec can start on that. [There is no] prejudicial question [there],” David told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Thursday.
“But in the end, it’s their discretion [still]if they want to wait for the [Senate Electoral Tribunal],” he said.
The poll body’s law department earlier recommended suspension of legal proceedings in the disqua¬li¬fication cases filed against Poe until after the resolution of her pending case before the electoral tribunal, according to Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim.
Lim told the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on Wednesday that the Comelec commissioners were told that resolution of a quo warranto petition of David with the tribunal would have an effect on the disqualification cases filed against the senator.
Poe is facing complaints before the Comelec filed by the radio commentator, political science professor Antonio Contreras, lawyer Estrella Elamparo and former senator Francisco Tatad that all assailed the senator’s citizenship and residency.
David filed the petition for quo warranto (by what warrant) last August before the electoral tribunal seeking Poe’s removal from office over her citizenship.
On his Facebook account, he posted in connection with the Come¬lec law department’s recommendation to suspend proceedings against Poe, “It is just logical that they do. However, if the [Senate Electoral Tribunal] rules that Grace Poe Llamanza¬res is not a natural-born citizen, then there may be no further need to hear the cases against her in the Comelec. If she is unseated as a senator, then she is not eligible to run for President.”
The Comelec has summoned Poe for a hearing on November 3 so that she could respond to the charges against her.