MANILA, Philippines – A day after she filed her certificate of candidacy (COC), Senator Grace Poe faces a new disqualification petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former chief legal counsel and spokesperson of the Government Service Insurance System, filed a petition on Friday, October 16, “to deny due course to or cancel” Poe’s COC because of the information she wrote in the document.
Elamparo explained that the Comelec can “deny due course” to a person’s candidacy if he or she “committed a material misrepresentation.”
She said Poe, in her COC, claimed she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and also a resident of the Philippines for 10 years prior to May 2016.
Elamparo described those statements as “not truthful.”
“It would be unfortunate, if not unconscionable, that one’s quest for the presidency should start with a misrepresentation and a violation of the fundamental law that he/she is expected to swear absolute allegiance to,” Elamparo said in her 72-page petition.
‘Not representing anybody’
Elamparo said she is “not representing anybody,” except herself “as a registered voter, as a legal practitioner, and also as a citizen.”
Elamparo said she paid P10,000 to file the petition before the Comelec.
Aksed about the new disqualification petition, Poe told reporters: “Okay lang. Inaasahan na namin iyan para sabay-sabay na ring mapag-aralan (That’s okay. We’re expecting that so that we can study these all at the same time).” (READ: TIMELINE: Grace Poe’s citizenship, residency)
Poe filed her COC along with her running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, on Thursday, October 15, a day before the deadline for filing COCs. She is the Philippines’ leading presidential candidate in recent surveys.
Poe’s lawyer George Garcia, for his part, said their camp “totally expected” this new petition. “We know who are the people behind this and their evil plans,” Garcia said.
“This is just the beginning and definitely will not be the last. We will fight them to the end, armed only with the law, reason and the truth,” Poe’s lawyer added. – Rappler.com