SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Board of Governors on Thursday said the Supreme Court (SC), in its March 8, 2016 landmark ruling on the disqualification case against presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, did not actually rule on the eligibility of the candidate, but merely reversed the decision of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) granting the petitions to disqualify her.
The IBP governors, in a news conference here during a break in their regional convention being held at the Subic Grand Harbour Hotel, said the SC decision emphasizes that only such electoral tribunals can rule on the subject of eligibility of candidates for these national positions and thus, until brought before such tribunals in appropriate proceedings at the proper time, the eligibility issues of presidential candidates, including Grace Poe, will remain unsettled.
“For this issue to be finally settled, the decision of the Supreme Court posits (speculates) that, it is apparently necessary, for the eligibility of Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines to be determined with finality, she ‘must first win’ in the May 9, 2016 Elections and someone must file the proper quo warranto case against her with the Supreme Court en banc, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, for this tribunal to rule on this matter with authority, with jurisdiction, and with finality,” part of the IBP statement says.
The IBP, with more than 56,000 members, stressed they are non-political and their statement is an attempt to clarify the issue promulgated by a divided Supreme Court and to address the basic questions relating to the said decision that appears to have resulted to an outbursts of opinions, views and speculations.
IBP president Rosauro Setias-Reyes said the IBP statement does not intend to further cause confusion on the issue and instead seek to clarify the matter for a better understanding.