Philippine economy

Poe, Escudero prepare volunteer lawyers for election day

Abdul Qowi Bastian
Poe, Escudero prepare volunteer lawyers for election day
The 1st National Convention on Saturday, March 12, 'aims to train' members of their legal team to 'effectively safeguard' clean and honest polls

MANILA, Philippines – Now that the biggest legal roadblock for their camp has been cleared, the tandem of presidential bet Grace Poe and running mate Francis Escudero is preparing for the real battle ahead: election day.

The tandem’s legal group is set to hold its first National Convention of legal volunteers and professionals on Saturday, March 12, to “effectively safeguard clean and honest elections on May 9,” said the team’s media advisory.

Some 400 volunteer lawyers nationwide of the “Grace Poe-Chiz (GPC) Legal Team” are set to attend the whole-day seminar on election laws, in preparation for May 9.

The event will be held at the Nationalist People’s Coalition‘s Clubhouse in New Manila. The party earlier endorsed the two senators.

Poe’s spokesman and Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the event is meant to make sure that the whole legal team is updated on latest directives of the Commission on Elections.

“Organizing our legal efforts. Making sure that our legal team volunteers will be on the same page with the latest Comelec circulars,” Gatchalian said on Friday, March 11.

From 8:30 in the morning until 6 pm, resource speakers will give lectures on topics such as election laws, Comelec resolutions, and the Automated Election System, among others.

NPC president and Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao and former Pangasinan Governor Oscar Orbos, who is helping out in Poe’s campaign, are set to deliver the welcome remarks.

Here are the resource speakers:

  • Comelec spokesman James Jimenez
  • Lawyer Hubert Guevarra, IT lecture
  • Former Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, recent jurisprudence
  • Dr Nelson Celis, senior research fellow of Center for People Empowerment in Governance (cenPEG), critique of automated election procedure system
  • Former justice secretary and solicitor general Albert Agra, election offenses and the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs)

At 6 in the evening, Poe and Escudero are expected to give a message to their volunteers. After which, they are set to join the fellowship.

Asked if it could also be an NPC event since it would be held in their clubhouse, Gatchalian told Rappler: “From my understanding it’s for the legal team volunteers so that they get acquainted with each other. But of course that’s the NPC Clubhouse, members always come and go. If there will be NPC members around, they’re also expected to join.”

Campaign manager Ace Durano said “NPC is just hosting” the event. –

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