IT’S time for Sen. Grace Poe to give up her candidacy for President and content herself, if she can, to being a “mere” senator.
No matter how one slices it, the finding of the First Division of the Commission on Elections that she isn’t a natural-born Filipino citizen and lacked legal residence makes her disqualification inevitable.
Her lawyer, George Garcia, was consoled by the 2-1 vote of the Division, saying “at least it wasn’t unanimous.” Some consolation! Garcia said Poe will go to the Comelec en banc in a bid to overturn the decision. Fat chance!
Earlier, the Comelec’s First Division reached the same conclusion by a 3-0 vote to disqualify her. This means 5 of the 7 Comelec commissioners are of like mind. No wonder the Poe camp said they’re already giving up on the Comelec.
Wait! If they’re already giving up on the Comelec, how come they still want to elevate the two decisions to the Comelec en banc? Oops, sorry I forgot–delaying the decisions from becoming final and executory works in Poe’s favor.
If the Comelec en banc as expected reaffirms the decisions, Poe can delay the proceedings further by going to the Supreme Court. The delay could mean she’ll remain in the list of official candidate. This holds true if the SC issues a verdict after the printing of ballots–and the Comelec is inclined to include her name if there’s no decision yet.
If her name remains on the ballot, what will happen to her votes should the Supreme Court disqualify her before Election Day? This becomes a giant political headache should she get the most number of votes. Will calls of “the voice of the people is the voice of God” be invoked to press for her proclamation despite her disqualification?
There’s virtually no chance for her to declared legally qualified to run for President. Thus, all her votes will be considered stray. For her to insist on running is a recipe for political trouble. She’ll do her supporters and the country a big favor by voluntarily giving up her candidacy for President.