‘The Firm’ behind anti-Poe conspiracy



Supporters of Grace Poe said there is a “conspiracy” to stop the senator from running for the presidency in 2016, alleging that such a plot could be traced to the camp of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.

“Actually what I can say is there is a conspiracy. The movement, the actions, the filing of a case at the SET [Senate Electoral Tribunal] by [Rizalito] David and the four disqualification cases filed with the Comelec [Commission on Elections] – those efforts came from the camp of Roxas, who is also a candidate for President,” Rez Cortez of the Adopt Grace Poe Movement (AGPM), one of the 12 organizations under the Gawa at Prinsipyo Coalition (GPC), said in Filipino at a news conference on Wednesday.

Calocan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Erice, an LP spokesman, however, denied Cortez’s allegations.

Cortez, a veteran character actor on stage and in movies, was once a spokesman for the late Fernando Poe Jr., the senator’s adoptive father.

He claimed that David was a former staff of Roxas, while lawyer Estrella Elamparo belongs to a law office connected to the “The Firm.”

“The Firm” refers to the Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo & Angangco, or CVC Law Office.
Elamparo had succeeded in petitioning the Comelec to disqualify Poe over citizenship and residency issues.

Former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, a partner in the law firm, is reportedly a close associate of Roxas.

Roxas and Cruz were members of the Cabinet of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The LP standard-bearer was retained as Trade secretary from the previous Estrada administration while Cruz served as Defense chief.

Cortez, moreover, claimed that former law school dean Amado Valdez, who also filed a disqualification case against Poe, has ties with “The Firm.”

“We heard that he [Valdez] was [hesitant]to file [another disqualification]case [against Poe]but he was forced to because he is a lawyer of a law office, which you can [easily trace],” the actor said.

When asked if Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is also part of the conspiracy, Cortez replied that it would be best if journalists themselves would research the connection.
Earlier, a group called Bantay Balota ng Bayan circulated an open letter to the media alleging that a certain Arnel Bacarra, reportedly a protégé of Bautista, was the one who gave advance information to Rep. Edgar Erice about the Comelec Second Division’s decision to disqualify Poe.

Bacarra, the group said, is the general manager of the Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. (Baseco) but is also connected with the poll body, holding the position of Lawyer VI.
Balota ng Bayan also claimed that during a recent Baseco board meeting, Bacarra was boasting that Bautista had told him that Poe would be definitely disqualified by the commission en banc and that Bacarra was promised a Supreme Court position under a Roxas administration.

The Manila Times tried to get comments from Bautista and Comelec spokesman James Jimenez but received no response.

Referring to the four individual disqualification cases filed against Poe with the Comelec, Cortez asked, “Why were they not consolidated? It was intentional because they wanted it prolonged to next year and reach the Supreme Court.”

“There is a certain pattern. When Vice President [Jejomar] Binay was number one in the survey, they moved to eliminate him. When Sen. Poe became number one, she became the target. Now [Mayor Rodrigo] Duterte is number one in the survey and these groups are also planning to eliminate him so that there would be no more opposition,” Cortez said.

He challenged Roxas to play fair, warning that even if the Malacanang presidential candidate has all the resources it will all go for naught.

LP denies allegations
Calocan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Erice, also LP spokesman, dismissed Cortez’s allegations.

“It’s [a]figment of their imagination, trying to picture that the DQ [disqualification]case is a product of political machination but, in truth and [in]fact, Sen Poe’s citizenship and residency issue[s][have]solid basis,” the lawmaker said.


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  1. Patunayan ninyo sa husgado na mali ang paratang sa kandidato ninyong si Poe. Puro kayo akusasyon na para bang ang sinasabi ng iba ay mali. Hindi mananalo si Poe dahil ayaw namin na ang Presidente ng Pinas ay isang foreigner.

  2. Stop blaming everybody for your woes. Just present clear evidence that you have met the 10-year residency requirements and you are a natural born citizen. Stop the alibi that you are fighting for foundlings. If you are, what have you done in this regard as a senator?
    What if you win and it turns out that both of your parents are non-Filipinos? Isn’t that a travesty of the Constitution and you will be the 1st non-natural born Filipino to be the President of the Philippines. What a country!

  3. Federico Valera on

    GRACE POE — stop blaming those who filed cases against you. You should prove that you are natural born and have the residency, period. Just follow the law!! The fact that you became a US citizen means that you are not loyal to the Philippines. Don’t try to steal the presidency just because you are popular. Stop saying you will just continue FPJ’s accomplishments — what did he do anyway, a popular movie star? Then you should become a movie star and not try to be a president.

  4. GP’s followers are grasping for straws, they are blaming Mar not only on this disqualification issue but for everything including the polluted air they are breathing. If Mar is not a front runner, why bother to trashed him politically, it’s just a waste of time and resources. But the truth of the matter, it’s only Mar with a credible record in public service and incorruptible. The paid media for the last five years had been throwing every garbage on him and what do you expect? As the days of campaigning progresses , truth will come out, who really Mar is once being elected number one Senator of this country!

  5. Common sense saan natagpuan so Poet, sa Russia, America, China. Di kung saan sya natagpuan soon ang bayan kanyang tinubuan among doubt noon minsan and batas ginagawa niyabg bobo any mga PILIPINO young mga tanga walang iniisip kundi batas. Bakit nasusunod ba any batas sa Pilipinas young simpleng Jaywalking,illegal parking nasusunod ba di bat Hindi mga bobong Pinoy gumising kayo sa katotohanan palibhasa puro korapsyon any Alan.

  6. Bakit kaya di nila sinisisi Binay? Eh UNA ang unang nag ungkat ukol sa
    isue ng citizenship. Malaman ayaw kasi ni Chiz Escudero.

  7. Mr. Tatad a respected columnist of this paper who filed a disqualification case must be quite insulted by the complainer. Anyway Mr. Cortez who doesn’t even understand, best yet who did not read well what were written since the spokesman of the Vice President started this residency and citizenship problems of Mrs. Llamanzares is to repeat what is stated above must be in fantasy land.

  8. 3rdworldsavage on

    Looks like a payback for rejecting Pinoy’s running mate preference for Rojas! You decide.

  9. Sen. ambisiosa Grace Poe just answer the allegation against you and stop blaming anybody.It is politics baby.

  10. apolonio reyes on

    Sen. Grace Poe Llamansarez, even if all the Law Firms in our country or abroad will conspire against you if you are clean of your residency and being a Natural Born Citizen not one will prosper.
    The problem Grace Poe is that even you yourself told Pnoy that your lawyers are already taking care of you problems, meaning you know very well of the problem and still would like to follow your own ambition even if it breaks our CONSTITUTION which your opponent Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said is the ONE LAW that unite all Filipinos.
    Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares why don’t you ask yourself why is it that you alone have these problems among the presdentiables Rodrigo Duterte, Jojemar Binay, Mar Roxas and Ric Senares?

  11. Conspiracy or not, there are valid reasons to disqualify Poe-Llamanzares to run for president and be disqualified as a senator. These are rooted on the strict requirements of the Constitution which Lalamanzares and her supporters try to trivialize and make a mockery of the fundamental law of the land.

    People who seek to disqualify her should be looked up to, for trying to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution. Without such people, the Filipino people may be duped into voting a candidate with mediocre qualifications and who thinks she is really ready and qualified just because she became No. 1 in the lineup of senators because of the name of her adoptive father—NOT because of her qualifications , much less of her achievements. She’s just too presumptuous and plain ambitious!

    • Citizenship lang ba ang basehan ng qualification ng isang kandidato para sa pagiging Pangulo ng Bansa? Paano ang kakayahan nito? Ang ugali at pakikitungo sa mga mamamayan? Lalo na ang agenda at plataporma nila para sa ikauunlad hindi laman ng bansa pati na din ng mga mamamayan?

  12. But Valdez had been the defender of Binay for Binay’s corruption and the other complainants are independent private individuals who just wanted to follow what is in the constitution. Do we have to go against the constitution just to accommodate Llamanzares because of FPJs advocacy to make fantasy movies? Were it not Tiangco the ally of Binay brought up that idea of citizenship and residency. Why don’t you followerws of Llamanzares just wait for the decision of the comelec and the Supreme Court. Just SHUT your big mouths and follow the rule of law. No exceptions.

  13. The Llamanzares campaign must really be in disarray and state of collapse. Her supporters now see conspiracies everywhere (including one from Mar Roxas who wanted her to his running mate). What they seem to forget is that whether these plots and conspiracies are true or not, Mrs. Llamanzares’ citizenship and residency status must be addressed. She and her camp attempted to mislead and misrepresent her qualifications. Many Pinoys are thankful that the so-called “conspirators” exposed her lies, her fake documents, and false narrative about her birth.

    The Supreme Court will ultimately decide Mrs. Llamanzares’ fate. But things are not looking good for her right now. As good old Abe Lincoln said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

    • Maniwala kayo kay rex cortez? Di nga nya ma control anak nya ma pokpok. Gumawa ka ng kabilib bilib na storya, laos na artista

  14. These cheap tactics to win the presidency by default will not work. The Filipino people will no let that happen. Let Grace Poe run and let’s see who the people will vote for


    That is usually the problem when there is an issue, people like abnoy quickly blame
    others. Could you imagine a leader of a country indulge himself in finger pointing by
    blaming Gloria? So, with this Poe. Instead of analyzing the facts of her case, she
    blames the Firm? What she should do is to gather all her defenses and face the issue
    head on. If she has a reasonable ground and believe that what she has will work in her
    favor then present it or argue it rather than blaming others. But the thing she should
    understand is that she renounced her Filipino citizenship when her condition in the Philippines runs rough and then when time gets better she opted to come back to
    her country to run for president? This is not PINGPONG.