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Comelec 1st division bars Grace Poe from running

(6th UPDATE) The Comelec First Division votes 2-1 to cancel the certificate of candidacy of presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe

DISQUALIFIED BET. Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe lights a candle and says a prayer in Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo, where she was found in 1968. She also meets with the relative of the man who allegedly found her. Photo by Gary Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines (6th UPDATE) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division on Friday, December 11, barred leading presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe from running in the presidential race.

The Comelec First Division voted 2-1 to cancel her certificate of candidacy (COC).

The division explained that Poe committed “material misrepresentation” when she claimed in her COC that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has resided in the Philippines for at least 10 years. (READ: FULL TEXT: Comelec First Division ruling vs Grace Poe)

The Philippine Constitution requires presidential candidates to have been natural-born Filipino citizens and to meet a 10-year residency requirement.

Comelec Commissioners Luie Guia and Rowena Guanzon voted to cancel Poe’s COC. The one who dissented in the 3-member division was Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim. 

The Comelec First Division’s ruling concerns 3 consolidated petitions against Poe, filed by the following:

This comes after the Comelec Second Division – in a unanimous decision – earlier also voted to cancel Poe’s COC. (READ: Why Comelec erred in ruling vs Poe)

In an interview with dzMM, Poe’s lawyer George Garcia said their camp will file a motion for reconsideration before the Comelec en banc on December 15 or 16. 

Referring to Guia and Guanzon, Garcia said on dzMM: “Binibigyan namin sila ng tiwala. Baka nagkamali lang sila ng appreciation.” (We’re giving them our trust. Maybe they just had the wrong appreciation.)

In a separate interview on ANC, Garcia said: “At least the voting was not unanimous.”

He said that they will wait for the final decision of the Comelec en banc before proceeding to the final arbiter, the Supreme Court. “We will not delay the proceedings. The Supreme Court will have the final say and unless the Supreme Court renders a decision, the fight will go on,” Garcia added.

Contreras, for his part, told Rappler: “This is not yet the end. I’m sure this is going to reach the Supreme Court. I’m getting ready for that.”  Rappler.com