MANILA, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Grace Poe challenged her critics to file more disqualification cases against her in the wake of a Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division ruling cancelling her certificate of candidacy for the 2016 elections.
Poe earlier alluded to two of her opponents – administration bet Manuel Roxas II and Vice President Jejomar Binay – as the people behind the numerous petitions seeking to disqualify her from the presidential race.
“DQ pa more. Kung 'yun na lang ang kailangan para mapansin at mawala sa issue nila ang mga usapin. Pero mali po 'yun,” Poe said, stressing that neglect of duty and corruption – issues thrown at the two aspirants, respectively – are far more important than the citizenship allegations against her.
(File more DQ (disqualification cases). If that's what is needed for them to be noticed and to distract from the issues against them. But that's wrong.)
Poe hardly minced her words when she said she would not back down amid the cases filed against her.
“Pero di na po ako natatakot sa dami ng 'binabato 'nyo. Mas lalong tumitibay ang loob ko na di natin dapat payagan mamuno sa ating bayan ang mga ganito,” Poe said.
(But I am not scared of all the things you are throwing at me. I'm more convinced that we should not allow these kinds of people to govern our country.)
All roads lead to the Supreme Court
Poe seemed to have given up hopes on the Comelec, as she is expecting the same unfavorable ruling from the poll body’s First Division, which is handling the 3 other disqualification cases against her.
Although Poe is already expecting bad news from the Comelec, Poe said she is expecting a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court.
While 3 SC justices voted for her disqualification in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, saying she is not a natural-born Filipino, Poe remains hopeful. After all, she is banking on the earlier SC ruling on the case of her father, the late action star Fernando Poe Jr, whose citizenship was also questioned.
“Tatapatin ko kayo, sa first division, mahihirapan din tayo. Kaya kung meron akong inaasahan pa ay itong Korte Suprema. Sinasabi nila na mas malabo daw doon sapagkat 3 justices nag-vote against me doon sa SET, pero ang komposisyon po ng Korte Suprema, iba-iba rin naman po,” she said.
(I will be upfront: we will have a difficult time in the First Division. That's why if there's any hope left, it's with the Supreme Court. Although they say it's more difficult there because of the 3 justices who voted against me in the SET, the composition of the SC is more diverse.)
“Noong panahon na tumakbo si FPJ, s'ya rin po ay dini-disqualify. 'Yun po ay administrasyon nakaupo subalit sila pa rin po ay nagdesisyon na ang taong bayan ang mamili at di iilan lamang,” she added.
(When FPJ ran, he also faced disqualification cases. At the time, the SC was composed of administration appointees, but they, in the end, they still decided to let the people choose.)
Poe is set to appeal her case before the Comelec en banc, but ultimately, she said the fight would be in the High Court, where half are appointees of Aquino and the other half by former President Gloria Arroyo, widely believed to have cheated her father in 2004. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com