• Why not even the Chief Justice can silence us

    53

    NOTWITHSTANDING the Supreme Court’s injunction in its April 5, 2016 minute resolution that “no further pleadings or motions will be entertained” in the case of Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, I have filed a second motion for reconsideration of the Court’s March 8, 2016 ruling, and the minute resolution, annulling the Commission on Elections’ resolutions that disqualified her as a candidate and cancelled her Certificate of Candidacy, and motu proprio declaring her as a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE (all caps) for President.

    Together with my legal counsel Atty. Manuelito Luna, I filed my motion on Monday afternoon, as one of the four original petitioners against Mrs. Llamanzares. This is pursuant to Section 3, Rule 15 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, which provides for reconsideration, “in the higher interest of justice, when the assailed decision is not only legally erroneous, but is likewise patently unjust and potentially capable of causing unwarranted and irremediable injury or damage to the parties.”

    This scarcely begins to characterize the Court’s ruling. On April 6, after it was first reported that nine of the 15 Justices had maintained their positions in the March 8 ruling, and before the official texts became available online, I wrote that the Justices had “killed” the Constitution and the Supreme Court with their decision. For a while I worried that I had overstated my case at the cost of fairness, but the dissenting opinions of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion reassured me that I had not gone beyond the zeal of the Court’s most erudite and highly respected Members.

    In her pathetically derisive and ill-tempered language, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno called them a “noisy part of the minority” trying to arrogate unto themselves “a place above the Court.” She seemed totally unaware that she and her majority colleagues have by themselves put the city sewer above the previously honorable Court.

    Having long embraced the fact that Mrs. Llamanzares was born a foundling of no known parentage, and found inside the Jaro parish church in Iloilo City on Sept. 3, 1968; having immersed in the constitutional provisions on citizenship and qualifications for the Presidency, the relevant laws and jurisprudence; and having seen the resolute effort of powerful political and corporate personalities, including some magistrates of late, to make this former American citizen of no particular merit “the first American president outside the United States,” I would very much like to see, in slow motion if possible, how the Court intends to turn her into what she is not, and by what ungodly authority it dares to proclaim her a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE for President.

    We have gone over this so many times before, but let us do it once more. Mrs. Llamanzares was born presumably in Jaro, Iloilo City where she was mercifully found by one Edgardo Militar inside a parish church on Sept. 3, 1968. Under the 1935 Constitution, which was in force when she was born, a child must have a Filipino father in order to be considered a Filipino from birth. But nobody knew her parents then, and nobody knows them now.

    Adopted by the famous actors Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces in San Juan, Rizal on May 13, 1974, she subsequently obtained a Philippine passport, under circumstances not discussed in her biographical account. This enabled her to study in Boston, where she studied political science. There she fell in love with Teodoro Misael Daniel Vera Llamanzares, an American of Filipino descent, said to be a grandson of the late Misael Vera, the long-serving most powerful Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner during the Marcos years. They got married in Manila on July 27, 1991, but flew back to the US two days later, and there established their domicile.

    On Dec. 13, 2004, she came back to be at her adoptive father’s sickbed; he died on Dec. 14, 2004. On July 7, 2006, she sought to “reacquire” Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225, by executing a sworn statement where she claimed to be a former natural-born citizen, born of her adoptive mother, Susan Roces. No effort was obviously exerted to check the veracity of her claims, so her application was granted on July 18, 2006.

    On Oct. 6, 2010, she was appointed chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board—-a position that requires a natural-born citizen status—-while she was still an American citizen. On Dec. 9, 2011, having earlier decided to renounce her US citizenship, she was issued a “certificate of loss of Nationality of the United States” by a US vice consul.

    On Oct. 2, 2012, she filed a certificate of candidacy for the senatorial election on May 13, 2013, claiming to be natural-born Filipino and a resident of the country for six years and six months immediately preceding the election. She was elected senator on the basis of her false claim. On Oct. 15, 2015 she filed a COC for president, claiming to be a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for 10 years and 11 months immediately preceding the May 9, 2016 elections.

    Under the 1987 Constitution, no person may be elected President unless he is a “natural-born citizen,” meaning a citizen from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his or her citizenship. She is not a natural-born citizen, and based on her own computation when she ran for the Senate, she will have resided in the country for nine years and six months by May 9, 2016. Whatever her virtues as the adopted daughter of a well-loved actor of happy memory, she is not qualified to run for President.

    On Oct 18, 2015, Atty. Estella Elamparo filed a petition with the Comelec for the cancellation of her COC. On Oct. 19, I filed a petition for her disqualification for falsely representing herself as a natural-born citizen and as a resident of the country for the required ten years. On Oct. 20, Prof. Antonio Contreras filed a petition for cancellation of her COC. On Nov. 9, Dean Amado Valdez likewise filed a petition to cancel her COC.

    Elamparo’s petition was raffled to the Comelec Second Division, while the Tatad, Contreras and Valdez petitions were raffled to the First. After due hearings, the Second Division cancelled Mrs. Llamanzares’s COC, and the First Division disqualified her as a candidate for not being natural-born and lacking the residency requirement and cancelled her COC. The rulings were appealed to the Comelec en banc, which affirmed the decisions of the two Divisions. She then asked the Supreme Court to temporarily restrain the implementation of the rulings, while asking the Court to review the same on certiorari. The Temporary Restraining Order was granted.

    After extensive oral arguments, the Court en banc, by a vote of 9 to 6, decided to annul the Comelec resolutions, for grave abuse of discretion—-simply for ruling on the disqualification issues. The ponencia was written by Justice Jose Perez. To the majority, these issues should be reserved for the Presidential Electoral Tribunal after the elections, should she get elected. This effectively nullified Comelec’s authority as “the sole judge of all pre-proclamation cases,” and Sec. 69 of the Omnibus Election Code, which empowers the Comelec to “motu proprio cancel the COC of nuisance candidates.”

    It also contradicted the Court’s long-standing record of upholding the Comelec’s jurisdiction in several high-profile cases, with Justice Perez writing the ponencia himself. And Comelec’s recent disqualification of 130 or so “nuisance presidential candidates” without a peep from the Court.

    The dispositive portion in Perez’s ponencia not only annulled the Comelec rulings; it also motu proprio declared Mrs. Llamanzares as a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE for President, without justifying its authority to say so. While arguing that the PET, which is composed of the entire Supreme Court, should rule on her qualifications after the election should she get elected, the majority preempted this very process by declaring before the election that she is a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE. Can contradiction be more self-evident?

    In Baguio, Perez could have explained the confusion and contradiction caused by his ponencia. But apparently affected by the harsh response to his authorship, he simply recommended to the Court en banc the outright dismissal of the motions for reconsideration through a Minute Resolution, as Justice Brion says in his Dissent. Having the “force of numbers” on their side, the majority simply concurred, thus the public remains in the dark on the issues involved.

    In the strongest language I have read from a Member of the Court speaking to his colleagues on an important case, Brion faulted the Majority for committing the same GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION which they accuse the Comelec of having committed; for violating the RULE OF LAW, thereby allowing for the first time since 1946 someone who is not a natural-born citizen to run for President; and for confusing the authority of the Court and that of the Comelec.

    Among those with some exposure to politics, no confusion exists as to the jurisdiction of the Comelec with that of the Supreme Court regarding the qualification of candidates. Who are qualified to seek the presidency is clearly the jurisdiction of the Comelec, but who are qualified to sit as President is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This appears to be so clear to the simple folk, why can’t it be as clear to the learned Justices? Were they to insist that their false reading is right, the Majority might just as well allow all the 130 or so nuisance presidential candidates to run, and just let the PET rule on their qualifications afterward. This is how absurd the situation brought about by the Majority ruling is. For this reason, we refuse to be silenced and immobilized by the injunction of the Chief Justice.

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    53 Comments

    1. Emmanuel Cruz on

      Excellent article! I strongly suggest that this entire write up be disseminated in Facebook and all social media for people to understand. I totally agree that we must NOT let Supreme Court trample our constitution. IBP and others must do something NOW.

    2. Harish Nandwani on

      Truth will ultimately prevail ….God bless …many feel the leadership of the SC has decided absurdly if not irresponsibly by not a adressing the basic issues responsibly in accordance with the Constitution …….They will answer to history and future generations

    3. I grew up under Martial Law and all thru the years, I have HATED TATAD, even the way he talks, until the now…

      However, on this Supreme Court ruling, I am 100% behind Tatad and JUST LIKE THE INTEGRATED BAR and Philippine Bar Association’s position, I believe that the SC Chief Justice together with the 6 concurring/conniving Justices – are merely WORKING LIKE PAWNS OF POE’S benefactor.

    4. We salute you, sir, and your counsel for fighting for the rule of law and defending the Constitution, The confused justices of the SC miscalculated the temperament of the people. The patently erroneous and unjust decision is taking its toll on Poe’s survey numbers. We are behind you, sir.

    5. Yes. I agree. do not vote Grace Poe to stop her ambition to become the President of the Phils. This is one of the option . If our SC Justices (9) is more than above the law of our Phil. constitution.

    6. The SCOTPH is supposed be the final arbiter of the land, they are the one the Constitution appoints to interpret the Constitution itself. But it looks like that some legal “scholars” whose political agenda did not agree to its decision, the justices are criticized and MR will litter the court’s calendar. Why not just shut up and accept the decision.

    7. We as sovereign people sre more supreme to these 9 SC Judtices and mudt sct now. With the help of Our Armed Forces of the Philippines we remove these SC Justices itd like s citizen arrest.Calling the attention of IBP Bar Association of the Philippines Bayan Ko snd sll the briliant to take a lead. WAKE up People of the Philippines we must act now before itd too late. WE must show to these 9 sC Justices thst we are not fool that can easily fool by them.

    8. We support you, Mr Kit Tatad! Keep on fighting the trampling of our Constitution. A wrong should be wrong regardless of pressures or bribes. That is why a President should appoint only morally and intellectually deserving magistrates. And If they were appointed, their loyalty now is to the people and to the Constitution not to the appointing authority nor for money! The Constitution is the highest law of the land! And the Supreme Court is the last bastion of power in a Democracy!

    9. Federico Lojo on

      For all your efforts to fight for the truth, all I can say is MABUHAY KA MR. FRANCISCO TATAD. More than ever, the country needs someone like you who cannot be intimidated by the powers of this incompetent administration. May your tribe increase. God Bless.

    10. Teddy Sevilla on

      Yes, you can’t be silenced now. It wasn’t that way before – when you and Marcos forbade the freedom of speech.

      Tatad, you can scream all you want. But how many still listen to you?

      • I grew up under Martial Law and all thru the years, I have HATED TATAD, even the way he talks, until the now…

        However, on this Supreme Court ruling, I am 100% behind Tatad and JUST LIKE THE INTEGRATED BAR and Philippine Bar Association’s position, I believe that the SC Chief Justice together with the 6 concurring/conniving Justices – are merely WORKING LIKE PAWNS OF POE’S benefactor..

    11. I am one with you Sir in your fight and many Filipinos are with you. The recent SWS and Pulse Asia Survey results that made Duterte number 1 in the ranking affirms that the Filipino voters are now more intelligent and that your effort to expose this grave abuse of the Supreme Court peddled by Aquino is not in vain. We will continue to discuss and expose this injustice so that Poe will not win in the election which will be a blow to the Yellow fanatics including the foolish majority justices in the Supreme Court. Nabaliw na ang mga Justices either by money or power!

    12. Nero Vladimir Reyes on

      Don’t worry former senator Tatad. Even if the Supreme Court already has indicated their nod on the candidacy of Senator Grace Poe yet still if the latest survey trend would reflect the result of this May’s election, Senator Poe would not at all win, it would be Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.. I am sure that Filipinos are not negligent to choose someone who has a little experience when it come to public service. The office of the President carries with it the need for its occupant to have the vast knowledge and experience in running the entire country. It would be a disaster for us if we let someone be our next president knowing the fact that she does not have the needed experience to run an already complicated and taxing office. It’s akin to a certain employee, say he is employed in a certain multi national company for a short period of just six month and yet eventually after said 6 months he is being offered the task to become a C.E.O. of said company.. Now, you tell me if it would not be a disaster for the company………..

    13. Continue fighting these unelected SC justices! They’re there some presidents thought they would belong to them. They’re politically appointed so their loyalties belong to the ones who appointed them. Go Duterte – Bongbong!

    14. With the dismissive attitude of the Sereno Court to ignore the legitimate grievance for upholding a truth, wouldn’t it be time for the Filipinos to rise up against the tyranny of the Minority?

      In history, no government has lasted that continued to impose its lie to the majority. For the Sereno Court to continue the bastardization of a Constitution to please a minority would be the beginning of the end of this benigno administration. No amount of legalese can ever justify a simple lie.

    15. Mr. Tatad, do you have any inclination as to whether the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Philippines Bar Association will make any action regarding the SC decision? It seem to me that they are not in agreement with the SC’s decision. Can’t they at least do something about it?

      I am deeply flabbergasted with the way how the 9 SC justices ripped our Constitution. Even the non-lawyers understand the provisions. I cannot believe the audacity of this Llamazares’ to hide under the clout of “honest mistake.” She is a threat to our democracy. There are so many loopholes in her history. She is a prime example of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. She has already started a very dangerous precedent by showing to all that she is above the law and can trample the Constitution at her behest.

    16. What a blessing to have someone fight for our laws and constitution in the person of Mr. Francisco Tatad. Let us hope that with the arrogance and stubbornness of the Supreme Court, Filipinos will fight back by not voting for Grace Poe. I won’t.

    17. Sen.Tatad, CALIGULA is alive in the person of BSAQUINO!!! Sir go back to the history of CALIGULA The terror of Rome and you will find the re-incarnation in the person of BSA. More power to you, Ambasador Tiglao, Mr. Macabenta and all the Manila Times escribes except for one. You are the true defenders of our Constitution. No to liar Grace and the yellow turds.

    18. ernie del rosario on

      Bottomline..what does a QUALIFIED candidate mean ? Isn’t it somebody who passed the qualification “wringer” irrespective of what the surveys say whether the aspirant is getting the nod from 99.995% surveyed Filipino voters or the remaining 0.005% only. Seems like it was the survey results (rigged as they are !) which influenced by 99.995% the nine justices’ votes with the rationalization later invented to fit this shoddy previously “done deal” decision. Removing the decision on the candidacy qualification away from the rightful authority on the matter (Comelec) and relegating it to a future and separate decision by the highest authority (the sovereign people) but not via the next (having the matter bypass) the next higher authority (the Supreme Court) is a cope out by the SC and a ticket to a social upheaval. In short, the SC disabused its rightful authority to the maximum for just endorsing the making of the decision to the Filipino voters – a mother of all derelictions of responsibility and therefore an impeachable act.

      • ernie del rosario on

        What is happening is not just a case of dereliction of a mandated (interpreting the Constitution) authority on a single decision (candidate qualifiying) but clumping together two separate decisions: the candidate qualification decision AND election of a possible candidate as a probably qualified President of the Philippines. The latter decision should never be made on the basis of a presumptive ocurrence just as natural-born-ness can never be a presumptive decision. What the sovereign people should decide on first NOW given the failure of the rightful agency who must decide on it (the SC) is the candidacy qualification question, not the election of the president.

    19. So, when are people going to the streets to express their disgust over this issue? When? It has to be asap! Or, perhaps, as soon as poe steps into malacanang? Well, I can also accept that picture. But, people have to be on the streets…

    20. Here’s one for the future on question of Poe’s citizenship. SC declared, “Let the people decide” or in other words let the presidential election be referendum for foundling Poe citizenship. Therefore Poe must gather 50% + 1 votes cast to be constitutionally declared natural citizen by referendum. Only by referendum can the Constitution be instantly revised with out lawyers, justices and Congress gobbledygook. Now then, even if Poe wins the presidential race by 49% of votes cast. She still remains unqualified to seat as president because majority of Filipinos (50% + 1 votes cast) did not agree that she natural born Filipino. (Presidential race as referendum for foundling Poe citizenship by command of SC-9 verdict). Poe may win the presidential race but can not be legally allowed to seat as president for losing the referendum on her natural citizenship.

      • If Poe wins the election it will be just a continuation of the same…she will repay San Miguel ..she will just continue the vindictiveness promoted by Aquino , she will under the control of her advisers which includes Chiz . No to American family in Malacanang !

    21. Amnata Pundit on

      The exercise of power and the exercise of reason are two different things. As a matter of fact, since EDSA, these two are mutually exclusive propositions. The real disease is the EDSA regime, this latest case of Grace Poe is only a symptom of it. Attack the real disease.

    22. Alas, Emperor B.S. Aquino our aggrandizing and spineless leader, has once again proven his power over his puppets and minions. I’m glad his term is almost done. He will retire to some place where he hopes he can write his “memoirs” and I can’t wait to read them, because I’m absolutely sure they will contain lies, lies, and more lies, accompanied by endless pages of his “accomplishments” — his obvious failures (BBL, his promises to contain poverty, the SAF 44, his rude treatment of the Pope, the way his security people destroyed the sound system for the holy mass held (for Saint Pedro Kalungsod) in Cebu City because their armored vehicles ran amok all over the mass grounds, and their K9 unit desecrating communion hosts, and of course, the mother of all failures — his handling of typhoon Yolanda. These are just a few, I know there are countless other bonehead misdeeds and failures we, the Filipino people are not aware of because they were swept under the proverbial rug — all these will be masked and sugar-coated — followed by lame excuses and don’t forget his other skill — putting blame on everyone and everything that moves under the sun. What a pathetic man! And yet, let’s not forget Mar Roxas, his man in yellow campaigning still under “Daang Matuwid” (the road to oblivion and more misery for the Filipino people if that moron ever gets elected) God forbid!

    23. A long article, restating the facts and the arguments that lost in the Supreme Court. Still arguing that Tatad is a better interpreter of the Constitution of the Philippines than the Supreme Court of the Philippines. No,Mr. Rated, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has a legally correct interpretation of the law in this case. :)

      • What about the interpretations of Associate Justices Brion, Carpio, and T. Leonardo de Castro? Have you read their opinions? In fact, I ask you: have you read the relevant text and provisions of the Constitution that are the subject of this article? Do you even know and understand the meaning of the words “legal” and “correct” in respect of the Constitution? “Medyo magbasa basa ka muna” so you will have an idea of where Mr. Tatad is coming from.

      • You’re wrong. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Philippines Bar Association do not agree with the SC decision. Mr. Tatad have brought up extremely valid points. I’m guessing you have no full comprehension of the article. SC justices are just humans. They’re not infallible.There are many legal luminaries in Philippines voicing out concern of this “unconstitutional” decision rendered by the SC. Mr. Tatad is not claiming to be a better interpreter. He’s merely trying to re-state the facts so people will be more enlightened especially to those who are not well-informed about Llamanzares’ case. The Constitution provisions are really clear. The SC butchered it by rendering decision based on probabilities. There’s no room for probabilities in the provision. Llamanzares’ case is a precursor in the instability of the Constitution for which our nation stands on. I actually admire Mr. Tatad for being strong and steadfast in the pursuit of defending the bedrock of our nation.

      • Hijo, Ms. Grace lost her US nationality on 09 Dec. 2011. That is a very simple straightforward truth and indisputable fact. Prior to that, she was an aremikan citizen and hence, can not own land or buy a house and lot in the Philippines. Hence, I do not know if my arithmetic is correct but I do not think 2011 to 2016 totals more than ten years. Ms. Susan can never bear a child because of an abortion going five months and this is another indisputable fact. So how on earth can she claim to be a natural-born baby of Ms. Susan when she claimed that she was born to the husband-and-wife team of Ronnie and Susan? Do you need to become a Supreme Court justice to count and know a simple truth and interpret the Constitution in the light of these indisputable facts?

      • And you just erred after reading the clear basis of his refusal to honor the SC decision. Di ka ba nakakaintindi? San ka ba nag aral?

      • Daniel B. Laurente on

        Maybe Mr. Tatad is right on his points as he expounded the interpretation of the Constitution while the SC has not shown any point to point view of the case at hand.

      • Brion, Castro, et als. are dissenting (or minority) opinions. They are fewer in number than those who have the majority opinion. As a dissenting opinion (or minority opinion), talunan ang mga yan. Hindi batas ang sinabi nila. Yung majority opinion ang batas. Ngayon, tigil na ang kakangawa. Tapos na ang laban sa isyung ito.’

        As to IBP at iba pa…those sre not the constitutionally mandated bodies to make teh decision – the supreme Court is. So again, tigil na ang kakangawa.

      • Brion, Castro, et als. are dissenting (or minority) opinions. They are fewer in number than those who have the majority opinion. As a dissenting opinion (or minority opinion), talunan ang mga yan. Hindi batas ang sinabi nila. Yung majority opinion ang batas. Ngayon, tigil na ang kakangawa. Tapos na ang laban sa isyung ito.’

        As to IBP at iba pa…those sre not the constitutionally mandated bodies to make teh decision – the supreme Court is. So again, tigil na ang kakangawa.

        Bilib naman ako sa mga ibang nag co comment dito. Puro mas magagaling pa sa Supreme Court of the Philippines. Basahin nyong mabuti ang mga opinion…ponencia, concurring at dissenting opinions. At bilangin nyo ang mga boto. Hindi dahil hindi sang ayon sa opinion ninyo e mali na sila. Mahirap talagang kausapin ang mga mangmang. :)

    24. There is a saying that justice is for those who can afford it. And where corruption is rampant, even at the highest level, you have to be exceptionally wealthy (or well-connected) to achieve a desired decision.

      But the Philippines is not the only country to suffer corruption. It is a global phenomena affecting all countries. Ergo, corruption should be measured by scale, and not just made the sickness of those countries where it is most prevalent.

      Rodrigo Duterte is something of a miracle – if he lives up to expectations. He is not prefect, and nobody is. But when a human being genuinely has a passion to help those most in need, to bring them true justice, to help feed and educate them, to afford them kindness and all the other humane gifts one can give to another human being, then that person is good in heart.

      It is still hard to believe that such a person can merge from the morass of a corrupt political system, but he is supported by ‘people power’. Often, this is not quite enough. But such is his overwhelming support that nobody can deny him what seems to be his birthright – to become President of the Philippines.

      Let us hope he always receives wise counsel, and makes good judgements. He will make mistakes, and he will find it difficult to find enough good people to trust. But he will be measured upon his acts and those who help him to fulfill said acts.

      Let us also hope and pray that when he moves on, and is no longer President, the legacy he seems destined to deliver will continue by virtue of the acts of those who follow in his footsteps.

      As for his opponents, let them beware. The election is not just about the Philippines. Many non-Filipinos are watching carefully and are in support of his approach to politics. If he needs to find any support for overseas, there are plenty who will come to his aid. And as I speak for at least some of those who share Duterte’s vision, we will always have the Philippines in our hearts. We need a beacon to blaze brightly in the Philippines for the rest of the world to observe and rejoice in.

      • Who pushed duterte to run? Koko of PDP-Laban created by Nene father of koko. Who is nene? Cory’s man who appointed governor, mayor, etc. at that time (with money involve to be one) except Binay (w/o money down). What is the deal now bet. duterte and noynoy?

    25. God bless you, Mr. Tatad. Thank you for continuing the fight. The Constitution is worth fighting for. Bang the drum slowly and loudly. You have many supporters covering your back. I hope Comelec and the other petitioners will file their own second Motion for Reconsideration. There is a current or pending constitutional crisis on hand, and it is encouraging to know that you and Atty M. Luna are not going to be silenced. “Comes the hour, comes the man”.

      CJ M. L. Sereno and her Gang of Nine – unelected legislators, biased in favor of their anointed foundling, susceptible to political machinations, bought and paid for (allegedly to the tune of 100 million pesos each) – should not be allowed to prevail. They have committed a constitutional coup d’etat, and they must be exposed and challenged. They have underestimated the intelligence of the Filipino people, and probably thought that what they say or decide is going to be accepted without demur or push back. Fortunately, there are enough concerned citizens who saw and could see through their devious and reprehensible plan to subvert the Constitution, including the three dissenting Associate Justices (A. Brion, A. Carpio, and T. Leonardo-de Castro) who kept their heads above them and stuck to the text of the Constitution.

      If the Comelec Commissioners have the courage, guts, and balls to apply their mandate and authority, they would just ignore the non-constitutional decision of the Gang of Nine and disqualify Lying Grace, anyway. Since it is now too late to remove her name from the ballots, Comelec should publicize and announce her ineligibility to every barangay precinct in the country, and the fact that votes cast in her favor will not be counted. Let us then see what the Gang of Nine would do should it decide to respond to this kind of bold move by Comelec.

      Meanwhile, let us spread far and wide to the Masa, to the bobotantes, and to the disengaged voters all of Lying Grace’ lies and falsehoods as described in the article above. Specifically and briefly, the following lies:
      a) that she is the biological child of Susan Roces and the late FPJ;
      b) that she is a natural-born Filipino;
      c) that she meets the 10 year residency requirement (she officially ceased to be a US citizen only in 2011); and finally, her more recent lie
      d) that she did not commit identity theft while living in the USA.

      Let us make viral all of the above. As I mentioned in a previous comment, let us use Tweeter, Facebook, cell phones, email, word of mouth, etc. to ensure that she does not get elected to prevent any complication. The country deserves a president other than Lying Grace. What Mr. Donald Trump – the Republican presidential candidate in the USA just said yesterday about his potential Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton applies equally well to Lying Grace: “Her Life is one big fat lie”!!

      Finally, thank you for the update, Mr. Tatad. The contents of your article needs to be repeated over and over again for the sake of those “not in the know”.

    26. I sent this to your email Sen. Kit. Maybe you have overlooked it for you have been swamped with hate mails. May this inspire you and others fighting for our constitution. I as a student of law as well as others with legal background know and fully support what you are stating in your column. The evidence of this is the opinion of law students, professors, legal community and most especially seen in the actions of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. It only shows that this kind of ruling of the Court goes against established, fundamental and landmark decisions of the High Court before the Sereno Court. May this parting quote from one of the most highly respected lawyer that ever lived give you strength in your pursuit of Constitutional Supremacy.

      “I started in life with a belief that our profession in its highest walks afforded the most noble employment in which any man could engage, and I am of the same opinion still. Until I became an Ambassador and entered the terra incognita of diplomacy I believed a man could be of greater service to his country and his race in the foremost ranks of the Bar than anywhere else; and I think so still. To be a priest, and possibly a high priest, in the temple of justice, to serve at her altar and aid in her administration, to maintain and defend those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property upon which the safety of society depends, to succor the oppressed and to defend the innocent, to maintain Constitutional rights against all violations, whether by the Executive, by the Legislature, by the resistless power of the Press, or, worst of all, by the ruthless rapacity of an unbridled majority, to rescue the scapegoat and restore him to his proper place in the world ” all this seemed to me to furnish a field worthy of any man’s ambition. ”

      – Joseph Hodges Choate

    27. Yes Sen Kit pls continue xpose d shenanigans of d 9justices, can u identify there names so WE d people can monitor there current &future acts or dcisions! People deserves to know more on their performance..GodBless sir…

    28. All I an say kasi ikaw Tatad wala kang kinatandaan, ayaw mo na lang tumigil at sumunod sa sinabi ng justices, mas magaling ka pa ata sa kanila e bakit hindi na lang ikaw ang maging justice? Tapos na ang kaso, intindihin mo na lang yun.

      • Yolanda V. Encarnacion on

        Kawawa ka naman Kinemer paniwalang paniwala ka sa mga kasinungalingan ng inidolo mong si disgraced Grace! Madali naman intindihin at hindi dapat lulukin ang kanyang pagsisinungaling; 1. na tunay siyang anak ni Susan Roces na alam ng buong sambayanan na hindi nagkaanak si Susan, 2. Na na meet niya ang 10 taon ng pagtira niya sa Pilipinas para kumandidato ng pangulo, 3. hindi niya napasinungalingan ang report na siya ay gumamit ng SSS number ng isang namayapa na sa America, 4. itinakwi niya ang pagka Piilipino para maging Amerkano 5. ang kanyang asawa at mga anak ay mga US citizen na sa ating batas ay bawal magkampanya at bumoto para sa kanya. at marami pang ibang pagsisinungaling. Ang salita ni Susan Roces nuon kay GMA, ay ang “SINUNGALING AY KAPATID NG MAGNANAKAW”! kawawang Pilipinas sa mga kandidatong tulad niya. For me there is only 1 argument – I REFUSE TO HAVE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO LIVE IN MALACANANG – para sa akin ang bansa ko ay para sa mga Pilipino lamang. Sana naipaliwanag ko saya ang tama at nararapat para sa ating mahal na Inang Bayan.

    29. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      12 April 2016

      I am beginning to sense that this Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice MARIA LOURDES SERENO is getting desperate and wants to silence people like former Senator Francisco S.Tatad, through his Legal Counsel, and possibly others also, who are not giving up and continue to question its highly questionable and anomalous decision allowing GRACE LLAMANZARES to be a candidate for President, even after the COMELEC disqualified her three times in a row on two constitutional grounds: 1] that she is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, and 2] that she is not in compliance with the 10-year residency requirement.

      It is highly significant that the INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES and the BAR ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES are reported to agree that this particular decision of the Supreme Court is highly questionable.

      This fact should be sufficient to encourage oppositors like FRANCISCO S. TATAD not to give up in their righteous quest for Justice and Equity. This is a case which has the potential to lead to a CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS of monumental dimensions, created probably criminally by a Supreme Court which is being subjected to pressure or Machiavellian designs.

      Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno may not realize it now, but she and the 8 other Supreme Court Justices who are behind their ruling in the Grace Llamanzares case may unknowingly have opened themselves up to a lawful charge of GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION by in effect shredding the Constitution instead of being the first to honor, to obey, to respect and to defend it.

      MARIANO PATALINJUG
      patalinjugma@gmail.com

    30. It is really suspicious why the Sereno-led Supreme Court would stake its prestige and good name just to accommodate the candidacy for President of a totally unqualified Grace Poe. BS Aquino III has corrupted almost every important government institution in the country so much so that the rule of law has now been ignored by even the Supreme Court. A complete revamp of the government is the only correct move now.

    31. If this is not a compulsive behavior I dont know what compels Mr.Tatad to file yet another MR to the supreme court.He cannot trust the intellect of the filipinos to do the job for him,that is to reject Grace Poe as their president on election day. The sovereign will of the people on May 16 shall be heard loud and clear to Mr. Tatad and Poe’s critics who claimed to be silenced and immobilized by the SC.

    32. adonis b. rocha on

      Yes, Kit Tatad you are absolutely right. The Sereno and her 8 Hoodlums in Robe will be absolutely be impeached by the next incoming President (it wont be GLP anyways for she will be rejected by voters outright at the polls) Congress for GRAVE ABUSE OF POWER AND DISCRETION AND CULPABLE VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTIONS.
      Should GPL win ( which is most remote), will this stinking SC under CJ Sereno disqualify GPL for being a Filipino and converted to American and then again because of overweening greed and over-vaulting ambition converted to be a Filipino to run for President ? Will the court break their own jurisprudence on the recent three cases they decided to kick out Reyes, Arnado and another winner in lopcal elections for being a Pinoy then American then Pinoy? Like in chess, this Sereno court is: “CHECKED MATE”.

    33. Trabaho ng INDEPENDENT COMELEC ang mag Filter ng CoC. Kung mali ang ginawang batayan ng COMELEC sa pag reject ng CoC ay puwedeng mag appeal sa SC ang applicant candidate. Bilang independent COMELEC authority ay hindi puwedeng akusahan ng SC ang COMELEC ng “grave abuse of discretion”. Ang puwede gawin ng SC ay itama ang ginawang batayan ng COMELEC sa pag reject ng CoC. Ayon sa COMELEC ay hindi “Natural Born Citizen” si Poe. Ang batayan na eto ay hindi napa subalian ng SC kaya legally rejected pa rin in COMELEC rules ang CoC ni Poe. The SC has no Constitutional mandate to usurp the powers of Independent COMELEC. Dicatorial SC is not a court of laws anymore but just dictator SC-7 dictating outside the constitution and government working rules and regulations. The acceptable logical flow of regulation is to filter first the candidates qualification before it is allowed to run. NOT to first allow the candidate to run before filtering if it is qualified for the sake of “Let the citizens decide”. What for we have court of laws if the SC wisdom is to let the people decide. The people had already decided the rule of Constitution shall govern them all. Why now the SC is dictating “Let the people decide”. Is there no more court of laws and Constitution? There is still law because there still police and court of law to imprison me if I kiss a gay posing as lady in heat but I decided to kill for swindling my hardened organ. SC-7 is now NOT court of law but are Dictators usurping the powers of COMELEC.

    34. Clearly, these Justices work for someone else other than the Filipino people. They disrespected all of us and blatantly dishonored the constitution they are suppose to uphold. This tyrannical act cannot be ignored and all Filipino patriots cannot be silenced. We must rise and act against these abhorrent creatures that rule beyond their authority.

      Patriots, we cannot accept being lead by an American foundling who does not have the integrity, character and qualification required of a presidential candidate. Evil is upon us, unfolding before our very eyes. So wake up, we cannot exist in oblivion. Our beloved country is in peril.

    35. Keep on fighting Mr. Tatad. In my own little way, let me help you by NOT voting on tnis American Llamanzares on May 9.