By Sammy F. Martin
MANILA. Dec. 11 (PNA) — Stalwart of the Liberal Party on Friday said Senator Grace Poe is still a presidential candidate until after the Supreme Court decided on her case with finality.
This after another division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cancelled the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Poe, disqualifying her to run in the 2016 presidential race.
The First Division chaired by Commissioner Christian Robert Lim voted 2-1, to cancel Poe’s COC for president. Commissioners Luie Tito Guia and Rowena Guanzon disqualified Poe.
The Chairman of LP’s Political Affairs and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said Poe’s camp still has a chance to appeal her disqualification to the Comelec en banc.
“If ever she failed to get the nod of the poll body, she can bring her case to the Supreme Court who is the final arbiter,” Erice said in the vernacular in a text message to the Philippines News Agency.
Recently, the Second Division of Comelec who voted 3-0 also disqualified Poe to run in the 2016 presidential elections.
Erice said the decision of the two poll divisions clearly says it is almost final that her appeal to Comelec is almost the same result since 5 of the 7 commissioners have expressed their belief that she is disqualified to run.
Daang Matuwid spokesman Barry Gutierrez in a separate text message said Poe should respect the decision of the institution.
“There are still legal ways to appeal her case considering that this is not yet final,” Gutierrez said.
He added that she should not blame the poll body if the decision is not in her favor because there are laws to follow.
On the other hand, Erice urged Poe to stop accusing the Aquino administration of masterminding her disqualification, saying that the problem was created by her when she files her candidacy in 2013,
The latest blunder of Poe was based on the petition filed by former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, former UE Law Dean Amado Valdez, and De La Salle University Professor Antonio Contreras.
In its decision, the first division cited Poe’s claim that she had been a resident of the Philippines for 6 years and 6 months, which means that Poe shall have been a resident for only 9 years and 6 months up to the election day on May 9, 2016.
The division added that Poe should not have been confused since the COC form clearly states that what is required to be stated is the period of residence up to the day of the polls.
“It is indeed incredible to think that Respondent, a well-educated woman and already then a public servant with full staff support, including a legal team, would not know how to correctly declare the facts material to her candidacy for the 13 May 2013 Elections,” it said.It also pointed out the “inconsistency” in statements of Poe who has said she has actually been a resident of the Philippines since May 2005. (PNA)