Secret SC voting pushed


    JUSTICES of the Supreme Court (SC) should hold a “secret voting” on a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe to avoid possible trending of votes, sources at the tribunal said.

    The sources told The Manila Times that if the High Court will hold nominal voting, the junior justices may set a “trend” even before the senior justices have cast their votes.

    To avoid trending, a secret balloting should be done, they said.

    The counting of votes and revelation of each justice’s position, according to the sources, will only be done after all of the magistrates have finished voting.

    “Syempre pag nakita na ng senior justices na may numero na for or against [Poe], pwedeng maki-ride on na lang sila sa mananalo [Of course if the senior justices see that a number has emerged for or against Poe, it is possible that they will ride on the majority vote],” the sources explained.

    Under nominal voting, the junior justices are the first to cast their votes and make an explanation, followed by the senior justices.

    “The junior justices of the Supreme Court could set a trend. The senior justices who are in the middle ground can be swayed with the votes of the junior justices if the number is already prominent,” the sources said.

    In the normal en banc voting, the most junior magistrate — Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa — will cast the first vote whether to disqualify Poe.

    He will be followed by Justices Francis Jardeleza, Marvic Leonen, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Bienvenido Reyes and Jose Catral Mendoza.

    Except for Mendoza, all of the justices were appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    The sources, however, pointed out that once a magistrate has circulated his or her separate opinion on or before March 8, that justice will have manifested the position he will take even before the actual voting is held.

    The SC en banc will tackle Poe’s case during a regular en banc session on March 8, the deadline set for magistrates to submit their separate concurring or dissenting opinions to a draft decision written by the ponencia of the case, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.

    The High Court also set a special en banc session on March 9.

    The sources told The Manila Times that if at least four justices will vote for or against Poe, these votes will be crucial since there are at least three senior magistrates expected to vote for Poe.

    On the other hand, three senior magistrates are also expected to vote against Poe.

    With the swing votes of the junior justices plus three votes from the senior magistrates, there will be seven votes for or against Poe, which is one vote shy of the needed eight votes to notch victory.

    The sources said those who are expected to vote for Poe are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Jose Portugal Perez, Marvic Leonen and Francis Jardeleza.

    They added that Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. may also favor Poe but “a “change of mind” is always possible.

    Velasco’s son, Lord Allan Velasco, was blocked by the Liberal Party from assuming his post as Marinduque congressman in favor of Gina Reyes.

    The young Velasco was only allowed to sit in January, with only six months remaining in the current Congress.

    On the other hand, the sources said those who will likely vote to disqualify Poe are Senior Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion and del Castillo.

    Carpio, de Castro and Brion have voted to disqualify Poe in a separate disqualification complaint filed at the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

    Del Castillo has already manifested his position via his 70-page draft decision, which disqualifies Poe on the ground that she failed to meet the residency requirement imposed by law on presidential candidates.

    Under the election law, a presidential candidate should have resided in the Philippines for 10 years prior to the holding of an election.

    Sources at the SC said del Castillo’s decision did not touch on the citizenship of Poe.

    Petitioners who filed several complaints against the senator claimed that she is not a natural-born Filipino, another requirement for those seeking the presidency.


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    1. Hindi na kailangan ang secret balloting e hindi naman eleksiyon ‘yan desisyon ‘yan. Just go on with the usual voting “in favor” or “not in favor” of the decision penned by the assigned ponente. What’s the problem with that. Man or woman up with your own votes. But my guess is that the majority of the justices will vote in favor of allowing Poe to run. If not “blood” would be all over in their hands for putting our country in the hands of corrupt leaders and would-be dictator because as almost everyone knows by now (even Roxas has admitted it) that the biggest beneficiary in a Poe disqualification is Binay who will get the windfall coming from Poe’s constituent-voters. Only a negligible handful will be shared by the other candidates. If that is what the SC likes then by all means disqualify Poe and let’s see what happens to the country for the next 6 years.

    2. Juan Delacruz on

      Most likely, decisions by the Supreme Court Justices will not be based on Laws nor emotions, but it will be based on the amount of $$$$$ deposited in their Swiss Bank Accounts, or some foreign countries where it cannot be reached by any long arm of the law.

    3. it must be open voting in order to avoid doubts as each justices will render his or her verdict. The constitution is written simply for the people to understand it clearly. No amount of high falloting in laying down of premises nor philosophical views that marred the very essence of constitution that will lead to vagueness or double meaning and interpretation. The qualification for President are 1. He/she must be 40 yo. 2. knows how to read and write 3. must be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN as defined in the 1987 constitution 4. must reside for 10 years prior to the day of election. As a layman. lawyer or as a judge, the reading and interpretation of the qualification for president will not change. Even a grade one student can recite these qualification and understand it fully because the language of the constitution on this particular issue on qualification for president are very simple. In fact it does not need to resolve it for one month. if you have the qualifications then approve but if you are lacking and lying, you must be disqualified immediately. Ano pang equal protection of law and due process dyan and the insular minority ni Hilbay. Just look and READ THE CONSTITUTION …MERON BA O WALA. PARANG GINAGAGO TAYO NITO MGA JUSTICES. SIGURO kung si justice carpio pa ang naging Chief justice. One week lang ito may desisyon na kaagad agad.

    4. Roberto cruz on

      Justices who will vote to allow Poe to continue her opportunism will be selling their soul to Evil.

    5. Yes, Poe will be qualified to run as President if the citizenship issue is at stake but this practice in our country and as tradition requires foundlings are deemed natural born citizens, henceforth the SC justices will just follow the customs and traditions of the country and the case of the foundlings who are in various government positions such as the PNP, AFP, Licensed Professionals such as Doctors, etc they are deemed natural born citizens. The Doctrine of “SUI GENERIS” the much abused latin word in the Senate Impeachment Trial of CJ Corona. SUI GENERIS is unique and class of its own that is why foundling cases is such as SUI GENERIS not written but in practices and in tradition. The laws of England is written and unwritten but it was followed by all.

      So Poe is a natural born filipino.

      But wait she will be disqualified for lack of residency and remain a senator

    6. Let not rule on constitutionality let the people decide on who they want to be the next president after all the voice of the people is the voice of god.

      • A more accurate description

        The voice of the people is the voice of the uneducated, the bought and Smartmatic.

    7. Weather-weather lang pala kahit sa Supreme Court. Ride on lang pala sila. Ganun lang pala ka babaw ang ating mga Supreme Court justices.

    8. Pro C Edillo on

      Why should the justices of the SC hide in the cloak of secrecy? Each will have to account to the people as to how he/she made his/her decision.

      Just asking, is it a journalistic pursuit to write about a very serious issue that affect the country’s election from an unnamed or unknown source(s)?

    9. ernie del rosario on

      Baka naman kailanganin pa ng printed (not 15-second screen display only) VVPAT, digital signature, source code review ng sistemang pambilang ng 15 boto at UV reader nung mga boto ng mga mahistrado dito. Yan ang napakasamang resulta ng malawak na pagdududang impresyon ng tao pati na sa kataas-taasang hukuman. Nakakalungkot. Ang dami nating i re rehabilitate na sistema, taong magpapatuloy sa puesto o papalit after this terrible governance storm umpisa na sa tops of the three branches of government down to the smallest barangay. Para tayong tinamaan ng 1,000,000 Yolanda’s.

      • Sinera ang mga institution nabahiran ng politica ang sc ang comelec ay ganoon din the indepence of coa and the executive ay umaabusa sa lahat ng policia tungkol sa ikabubuti ng bayan dapat tayo ang magdasal na ang mga taong hondi naniniwala ng karma ay hindi dapat manalo lets do it merriam for president bbm vp

    10. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Whatever this senior writer have in mind or have cast his lot in the coming election, he should refrain from voicing out opinions not of his own because that would be hearsay. The Supreme Court has its own mind. Its composition is made up of the brightest in law although by now with this administration has been almost completely saddled with trash. The new members are beholden to P-Noy as may be gleaned from the way they argue- no longer based in law but in emotion. Hopefully, the truth and the right will triumph in the end. God save the Philippines.

    11. Let me save everyone some time, the Aquino appointee’s will vote in Poe’s favor and a couple will have sold their votes and Poe will not be disqualified. The End.

      Really people what did you think was going to happen ?

    12. This case is plain common sense and by simply reading the constitution, you can decide and disqualify her, and the rules of the COMELEC is very clear.

    13. what do you mean they the supreme court will just ride on to the majority vote…thats tragedy to our judicial system..they should vote by upholding the constitution!