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Grace Poe runs to SC to reverse DQ from May polls

29 December 2015 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post
The camp of Senator Grace Poe asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (Dec. 28, 2015) to stop the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that disqualified her to run in the 2016 presidential polls. Poe, through her legal counsel, Atty. George Garcia (in left photo), filed the petition for certiorari and urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec decision. One of the two petitions filed by Poe's camp challenged the Comelec First Division ruling while the second petition assailed the Comelec Second Division ruling. Poe's camp also asked the SC to issue a status quo ante order (SQAO) against the Comelec ruling in order that the name of Poe would still be included in the ballot for the 2016 elections. Photo at right shows Poe's supporters urging the Comelec to allow the lady senator to run for president in the May 2016 polls. (MNS photo)

The camp of Senator Grace Poe asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (Dec. 28, 2015) to stop the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that disqualified her to run in the 2016 presidential polls. Poe, through her legal counsel, Atty. George Garcia (in left photo), filed the petition for certiorari and urgent motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec decision. One of the two petitions filed by Poe’s camp challenged the Comelec First Division ruling while the second petition assailed the Comelec Second Division ruling. Poe’s camp also asked the SC to issue a status quo ante order (SQAO) against the Comelec ruling in order that the name of Poe would still be included in the ballot for the 2016 elections. Photo at right shows Poe’s supporters urging the Comelec to allow the lady senator to run for president in the May 2016 polls. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Sen. Grace Poe’s camp rushed to the Supreme Court on the first working day after Christmas to contest the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rulings disqualifying her from the 2016 presidential election.

The SC en banc is currently on a holiday break and will not convene until next month, but Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno had said that the high court may rule on “urgent matters” filed during the break.

Poe’s lawyer George Garcia filed on Monday morning two separate petitions for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a status quo ante order against the Comelec’s rulings.

Saying the matter is of “extreme urgency,” Poe asked the high tribunal to issue an ex-parte TRO, a status quo ante order, or a writ of preliminary injunction against the Comelec disqualification.

“Through arbitrary, capricious, and seemingly orchestrated acts over the past two months, the Comelec has single-handedly imperiled the sovereign right of the Filipino people to elect the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines,” read Poe’s petition against the Comelec ruling on the disqualification requests of former Senator Francisco Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez.

“By a stroke of the pen, the members of the Philippine electorate are in imminent danger of being deprived of that which is most precious in any election: choice,” added the petition.

In Poe’s other petition regarding Atty. Estrella Elamparo’s disqualification request, the senator described Comelec’s actions as “reeking not just of the usual grave of abuse of discretion, but of outright hostility and arrogance.”

Poe said the Comelec disenfranchised and deprived voters of their right to consider her as a “viable and valid choice for president” next year.

Garcia said they are hopeful that the magistrates will immediately convene and grant their petitions the soonest possible time.

He said the Comelec gave them only five days to secure a TRO. The deadline ends today.

“Kaya kami naninikluhod sa Korte Suprema na mag-issue ng TRO agad kahit wala pang sesyon,” the lawyer said.

In a ruling on December 23, the Comelec en banc junked Poe’s petitions against the separate rulings of the First and Second Divisions canceling her certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

The Comelec en banc voted 5-2 to uphold the First Division’s decision disqualifying Poe from the 2016 presidential election based on questions of citizenship and residency raised by Tatad, Contreras and Valdez.

The en banc, meanwhile, voted 5-1-1 upholding the decision of the Second Division on Elamparo’s petition to cancel Poe’s COC because of her failure to meet the constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency for presidential candidates.

Losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David separately asked the SC earlier to reverse a decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) junking his petition to disqualify Poe from the 2013 elections.

The SC scheduled the oral arguments on David’s petition on January 19.

Meanwhile, Garcia said that they will file a separate petition before the SC to ask SET members Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, and Arturo Brion to inhibit from the proceedings for their petitions for TRO and status quo ante order.

“Hindi dahil sa wala kaming tiwala sa kanila kundi dahil sa aming palagay ay na-prejudge na nila ang issue ng citizenship na may relasyon sa issue ng residency,” the lawyer added.

The fourth SET member who voted for David’s petition was Sen. Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also vying for the presidency next year.

Those who voted to dismiss David’s petition were senators Loren Legarda, Vicente Sotto III, Pia Cayetano, Cynthia Villar, and Bam Aquino.

Poe’s camp is also set to file a petition before the high court to consolidate all the disqualification cases filed against the senator before the Comelec.

Meanwhile, supporters of Poe rallied outside the Supreme Court not only to support their bet but also slam her running mate, vice presidential aspirant Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who they claimed was planning to “abandon” Poe following her disqualification.

The protesters carrying Magdalo Group flags also held up placards with the words “Ahas-cudero ‘wag pagkatiwalaan,” “Escudero, boy abandona,” and “Senator Chiz, boy laglag.”

The Magdalo Group is pushing for the vice presidential candidacy of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. (MNS)

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