Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Comelec division disqualifies Poe from 2016 presidential race; Rival camps tell Poe: Follow the law


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division has disqualified Senator Grace Poe from the 2016 presidential race for failing to meet requirements of the Constitution for presidential candidates.

In a 34-page resolution, the three-member division granted the petition of lawyer Estrella Elamparo seeking the cancellation of Poe's certificate of candidacy for president.

"An aspirant for the highest position in the land must strictly adhere to the provisions of the highest law of the land — the Constitution," the resolution read.

"We would have wanted to declare the respondent eligible to seek the highest position in the land within the gift of our people. After all, she is not only popular; she is, potentially, a good leader.

"However, it is our bounden duty to resolve this case by applying the Constitution, law, jurisprudence, and none other."

Residency requirement

The division sided with Elamparo's argument that Poe failed to meet the 10-year residency requirement mandated by the Constitution for a presidential candidate.

"Wherefore, in view of all the foregoing considerations, the instant Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy is hereby granted," the division said in its resolution.

"Accordingly, the Certificate of Candidacy for President of the Republic of the Philippines in the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections filed by respondent Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares is hereby cancelled," it added.


The members of the division are Commissioners Al Parreño, who penned the resolution, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas.

The Comelec division said Poe, who has been leading presidential preference polls over the past several months, became a resident only on July 2006 when she applied for dual citizenship, or two months short of meeting the 10-year residency rule.

The division also said Poe "deliberately attempted to mislead or misinform the electorate or hide a fact from them when she supplied the answer '10 years and 11 months' to the question" on her period of residence in the Philippines in her COC."

Not a natural-born Filipino

The resolution also contended that Poe, a foundling was not a natural-born Filipino.

"Nowhere in any of the three Constitutions of the Philippines is there a direct or indirect inclusion of a foundling as a natural-born Filipino citizen, or a Filipino at birth," the resolution read.

It added that there is no constitutional or legal basis to consider a foundling as a natural-born citizen.
However, the division agreed with Poe that "the citizenship issue involving foundlings is a question of first impression in that, to our best knowledge, there is no jurisprudence on the issue."

It added that unless the issue is definitively resolved by the Supreme Court, Poe's assertion that she is a natural-born citizen is made in good faith.


"Hence, we are not prepared to rule that on the citizenship issue she deliberately attempted to mislead, misinform, or hide a material fact from the electorate," the ruling read. Full story on GMA Network



AFTER DISQUALIFICATION RULING

Rival camps tell Poe: Follow the law

Allies of the administration and opposition standard-bearers on Tuesday called on Senator Grace Poe to follow the law following the Commission on Elections ruling disqualifying her from the 2016 presidential elections.

"I have yet to read the decision but I ask all concerned parties to respect the legal process and the rule of law," said Akbayan party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez, the spokesman of the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid of administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas.

"The issue is not about Sen. Grace or foundlings. We should all be bound to follow the law," said Parañaque City Rep. Gustavo Tambunting of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, which is fielding Vice President Jejomar Binay as its presidential bet.

"The integrity of the Constitution should be protected at all costs," Tambunting added. Full story on GMA Network

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