SC may rule: Keep Poe in 2016 ballot

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Sen. Grace Poe

Sen. Grace Poe

High Court seen poised to confirm TRO vs Comelec

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The Supreme Court (SC) en banc is inclined to include the name of Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares in the ballot as presidential candidate in the May 2016 elections, and may soon confirm the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued earlier against the move to disqualify her, highly placed sources have said.

An overwhelming majority of the justices will confirm the TRO issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on December 28 against the Comelec’s move to delist Poe from the ballot because of pending questions about her citizenship and residency, the High Court sources told The Manila Times on condition of anonymity.

“The case is not yet [about]the merit [of the case]itself, it is only a TRO that the en banc will confirm, [because]without the TRO, that will already make the case moot and academic,” one of the SC sources said.

A second source at the High Court said there are at least eight justices who are inclined to confirm the TRO in Poe’s favor.

The merits of the case will remain pending. Some of the justices who at this point have not weighed the merits of her disqualification case may still give her a chance to remain among the presidential candidates given that the TRO only covers the delisting of her name from the ballot.

The TRO is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday, when the SC resumes its en banc session and the first session for 2016.

Among the noted justices who are seen likely to vote in favor of the TRO are Sereno, along with Associate Justice Marvic Leonen and Mariano del Castillo—who are both ponentes of the two disqualification cases filed against Poe by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Both Leonen and del Castillo recommended the TRO, which was later issued by Sereno during the Christmas break.

Other justices appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and who are expected to vote in favor of Poe are Jose Portugal Perez, Jose Catral Mendoza, Martin Villarama Jr. and Presbitero Velasco Jr.

The justices appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd who are inclined to vote for the confirmation of the TRO are Bienvenido Reyes and Francis Jardeleza. Sereno and Leonen were also Aquino appointees.

In the meantime, senior justices of the SC who were asked by Poe to stay out of her disqualification cases will stand their ground not to inhibit themselves from the cases now with the High Court, particularly those emanating from the Comelec. Senior SC Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion are expected to stand firm in participating in the deliberations over the cases at the High Court.

In particular, the source said the three justices will participate, deliberate and vote in the cases emanating from the Comelec, disqualifying Poe for her American citizenship and her lack of the required length of Philippine residency.

The two Comelec cases that have reached the SC are: GR No. 221697, entitled ‘Poe vs Comelec and Estrella Elamparo’ and GR No. 221698-700 ‘Poe vs Comelec, Francisco Tatad, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez.’ These cases seek to disqualify Poe as a presidential candidate for the May 2016 elections because of her American citizenship and lack of residency.

The only case from which Carpio, de Castro and Brion have inhibited themselves was the case of Rizalito David vs Poe and the Senate Electoral Tribunal, since the three magistrates participated and ruled for the ouster of Poe as a sitting senator on account of her American citizenship. In this case, the senator was the respondent since she won the case before the electoral tribunal with a vote of 5 against 4.

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11 Comments

  1. Allow the name of Poe to remain in the ballot and let the people decide. The court must uphold the wishes of the electorates.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    11 Jan. 2016

    This report is nothing more than pure SPECULATION. It will be hazardous to believe that this is the way the Supreme Court will rule on the TRO in favor of Grace Poe Llamanzares.

    On the “merits” of whether or not GRACE POE LLAMANZARES is qualified to be a candidate for President, more likely than not the Supreme Court has no choice but to strictly apply those two clear provisions of the Constitution that for one to be a candidate for President, he or she must fulfill two conditions: 1] be a natural-born Filipino citizen; and 2] be a resident of the Philippines for ten years.

    The COMELEC, the constitutional body which is charged with determining who are qualified to be candidates and who are not, has already effectively DISQUALIFIED Grace Poe Llamanzares, sitting en banc, from being a candidate for President because she is not in compliance with those two constitutional requirements.

    It can be assumed that the Supreme Court will no longer pass judgment on MATTERS OF FACT as far as the COMELEC determined what these are in the case of Grace Poe Llamanzares’ disqualification case is concerned. It can be assumed to limit itself to the issue of whether or not the COMELEC’s en banc ruling is correct as to the Law or Laws applicable to the case.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  3. Conrad Angeles on

    Vote base on the truth, Sen. Poe is a Filipino and naturalized Filipino simply because she was born in the PHL.. That’s all.

  4. this is bad news…the over zealous AmGirl has been dividing the nation and its institutions this early just to further her ambition to live in Malacanang with her American family.

  5. Contrary to what Escudero stated, the qualification of Grace Poe to run for president is more of a democracy threat than the Comelec. Simply, the qualification of Poe is equivalent to ‘mockery’ of the strict requirements of the Philippine Constitution as to the qualification of a candidate to run for president. He would like to qualify a “half-cooked’ Filipino whose allegiance to the Constitution is questionable and whose family members are American citizens.

    If Poe is finally qualified to run and, by hook or by crook, is elected, may God bless the Philippines; may God bless the Filipino people!

  6. Hoping those justices will follow the rules of court, not rules of personal sympathy, politics, money and popularity, Its common knowledge that Poe was not eligible to run in the highest position of the land, base on Citizenship and Residency requirements. PLEASE,,,,,JUSTICES FOLLOW THE RULES OF LAW!!!!.

  7. This new traPOE insist she’s qualified
    to run for president, when she knows
    she misrepresented her COC. Telling us
    it’s an honest mistake. Is she taking us
    for fools? Can she be trusted with this
    Dishonesty just to satisfy her ambition?

  8. This will will again wrongly disenfranchise not only the 2 to 3 million voters who have no bio but also those (maybe millions) who will vote for Poe who will later be DQed by the SC for said voters’ votes will be invalidated whereas they could have voted for candidates other than Poe had her name has not been included in the ballot. What a mess ! Solution ? Mag manual election na lang so the pressure to print the ballots very early will be relieved. A manual election anyway can be mounted in 3 months or less as was done in 2007

  9. It is very clear that GRAPOE is disqualified to run for 2016 Presidential elections.Beyond what the Constitution says, what the Comelec says, and what the Court could say, GRAPOE knows she is not eligible for the office. if any, is directly contradicted by her having once renounced all allegiance to the Philippines in favor of the United States, and that her husband and children have remained Americans up to this day? Aside from all the “negatives” in her résumé, what has she got to offer to us Filipinos?

  10. It is very clear that GRAPOE is disqualified to run for 2016 Presidential elections.Beyond what the Constitution says, what the Comelec says, and what the Court could say, Mrs. Llamanzares knows she is not eligible for the office. if any, is directly contradicted by her having once renounced all allegiance to the Philippines in favor of the United States, and that her husband and children have remained Americans up to this day? Aside from all the “negatives” in her résumé, what has she got to offer to us Filipinos?