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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department has summoned Senator Grace Poe, the front runner in the Philippine presidential race, to a hearing over the citizenship case filed against her before the poll body.
Manuelito Luna, lawyer of petitioner Rizalito David, said Poe “is being ordered to submit her counter-affidavit and to attend the hearing on November 3.”
Luna said David’s camp was “furnished a copy of the said subpoena” on Wednesday, October 21.
A Comelec insider confirmed to Rappler on Wednesday that the subpoena for Poe had been released.
Luna said Poe was summoned for a preliminary investigation at the Comelec. This involves the “material misrepresentation” election offense that Poe allegedly committed.
In his petition, David said Poe committed “material misrepresentation” when she ran for senator.
This is because Poe claimed she was a natural-born Filipino citizen and had complied with the two-year residency requirement for senatorial candidates.
Grace Poe: ‘Panlalait ’yan’
Luna explained that Poe was not a natural-born Filipino, and neither did she meet the residency requirement when she ran for the Senate.
For David, Poe was therefore ineligible “for the office she sought” in 2013.
Poe, on the other hand, said she didn’t lie to the public about her identity. “Isa na naman pong panlalait ’yan,” she earlier said. (That is another mockery.)
The Comelec law department, after hearing Poe’s case, is supposed to recommend either the filing of charges against Poe before a court, or the dismissal of the complaint against her.
The Comelec en banc – which means the poll body’s chairman and the 6 commissioners, as a body – will have the final say.
David’s complaint is not the only one filed against Poe before the Comelec.
Poe also faces 3 disqualification petitions over her certificate of candidacy (COC) for president, touching on her citizenship and residency.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal is tackling Poe’s contentious citizenship as well. – with a report from Camille Elemia/Rappler.com