MANILA, Aug. 10 (PNA) – Senator Joseph Victor ‘JV’ Ejercito on Monday suggested that fellow minority Senator Nancy Binay should inhibit the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) hearings that will tackle the quo warranto case questioning the citizenship of Sen. Grace Poe.
”Out of delicadeza, It would be better for her to inhibit but it still up to her to decide. That’s only my suggestion,” Ejercito said in a media interview.
Binay is the eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay who will run for president in the 2016 elections under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party.
Poe, on the other hand, is being groomed by administration presidential candidate Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas as his tandem.
According to reports, Poe is also being considered as presidential bet with Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero as vice presidential candidate by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), a political party that coalesced with administration’s Team PNoy in the 2013 midterm elections.
Poe was also a signatory to a Senate committee report that recommended the filing of plunder and graft charges against the Vice President in connection with the overpriced Makati City buildings that are being investigated by the Senate.
Vice President Binay has asked Poe to be his running mate but the lady senator turned it down, saying she and Binay have different ways of serving people.
The Vice President and his camp have since launched barbs against Poe’s inexperience and citizenship.
Though she has not declared her intention to run, Poe has overtaken the Vice President in the latest presidential survey of the Pulse Asia.
Senator Binay, meanwhile, said she would actively participate in the SET hearings, vowing “I will remain fair and objective.”
”I have a responsibility as a member of the SET and I will fulfill my responsibility. Evidence and the constitution will guide me, not politics,” Binay said in a press statement.
Binay said that she intends to do her job as a senator-member of the SET and brushed off speculations that her participation in the hearing and decision on the case might be politically tainted.
“I would like to assure the people that I will remain fair and reasonable in appreciating the case. As a senator-member, I choose to do my job and involve myself in the deliberations,” the senator said.
Last week, 2010 losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David filed a quo warranto before the SET seeking the disqualification of Poe.
Aside from Binay, other members of the SET are Senators Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV, Cynthia Villar and Vicente Sotto III.
Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion and Antonio Carpio, as chairman, complete the 9-member SET panel.
Cayetano said they will examine if there is a basis for Binay to inhibit, adding “that’s not for me to say.”
”But I trust that we all have to do our job as we swore oath to the Constitution,” Cayetano added.
Sotto, for his part, said he will personally discuss the petition with Justice Carpio and “ask him to convene so that we can look at the matter.”
”I have to look into the complaint. It is better that I look into it first and look at the legalities and technicalities and everything else before I speak my mind,” Sotto said.
Asked for comment, Poe is expecting fairness from the SET members, vowing to release all the documents that SET will use during the hearings.
”I think most of them are fair. The people will be my witness,” Poe, daughter of the late popular movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., said.
Poe garnered more than 20 million votes to win as neophyte senator in 2013, owing her success to the popularity of her father who ran but lost in a controversial presidential election in 2004. (PNA)