The Supreme Court (SC) will set a special raffle for a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe, who is running out of time to stay on the list of candidates in the presidential elections in May 2016.
Poe is expected to file her petition for certiorari with the High Court on Monday, the last day within which to appeal her recent disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc.
The Comelec had given Poe five days to file her appeal.
If the senator fails to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a status quo ante order from the high tribunal, she will be removed from the list of presidential candidates and her name will be delisted from the official ballot.
The poll body ruled that Poe is not qualified to join the presidential race next year because she is not a natural-born Filipino and she also failed to meet the residency requirement for those seeking the country’s highest post.
Poe renounced her American citizenship on October 21, 2010 based on documents she submitted to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) where a disqualified case against the senator was also filed. The SET dismissed the complaint against Poe and the decision has been appealed at the SC.
In normal cases in the high court, once the case is filed on Monday, the raffle shall be set the following day, Tuesday.
The SC, however, shall be on half-day work on Tuesday, December 29. December 30, which is Rizal Day, is a legal holiday.
Thus, SC sources said, Poe’s case must be raffled off on Tuesday to determine a ponente of the case.
But since the tribunal is now on recess, the ponente can make his recommendation on whether a TRO shall be issued and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno shall carry out the recommendation.
The Chief Justice has the power to issue a TRO even when the court is on a break.
In ordinary cases, the SC does not fast-track its decisions through conduct of a special raffle.
Sereno has the option to pass the making of a decision on Poe’s case to the SC en banc or decide on her own to issue a TRO and ask for the order’s ratification in the next en banc session.
In Senior Citizens Coalition vs Comelec, SC Justices slammed the Chief Justice for issuing an “erroneous” TRO.
Sereno was questioned by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the ponente of the case, after the Chief Justice issued a blanket TRO stopping the Comelec from proclaiming party-list group winners.
De Castro complained that her original draft was revised and released by Sereno without consulting the en banc first.