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:
- Former senator Francisco Tatad, who assailed Poe’s citizenship
- De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras, who cited Poe’s “failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement” to run for president
- Former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez, who questioned Poe’s natural-born Filipino status
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