Grace Poe attends first day of Supreme Court oral arguments on her disqualification

Senator Grace Poe attends the first day of the oral arguments on her disqualification case before the Supreme Court.

The Commission on Election barred her from running for president in December over residency and citizenship issues.

Camille Elemia reports. -

The Supreme Court holds the first oral arguments on the disqualification of presidential bet Senator Grace Poe – a landmark case in waiting.

Poe shows up on the first day of the oral arguments, with her mother Susan Roces and running mate Senator Francis Escudero.

Hundreds of supporters also troop to the SC to support their presidential bet, closing Padre Faura.

Poe says she is not afraid of anything and is ready to accept whatever decision there will be.

GRACE POE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whatever the decision will be, we are ready to accept it. On the other hand, we remain optimistic and we are truthful in our statements. That's why even if you say I'm nervous, I'm not afraid. 

During the interpellation, Supreme Court justice Mariano Del Castillo questions why Poe renounced her Philippine citizenship, when she lived a comfortable and affluent life in the country.

Justice Teresita De Castro, for her part, maintains Poe is not a natural born Filipino, as international law does not “conclusively” say so.

Justice Antonio Carpio also questions the residency requirement of Poe, saying she did not obtain Alien Certificate of Registration in 2005, the year she claims she started residing in the country. 

Both De Castro and Carpio voted against Poe’s natural born status in the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

While all three justices grill Poe’s counsel, Justice Marvic Leonen took a different path and says it was not Poe’s fault she is a foundling.

Citing his own experience, Leonen says he knows how it feels because he also grew up without a father.

Today gives a sneak peek of what’s to come and how justices think and ultimately will vote.

With less than 4 months to go before the elections and with the complexities of the case at hand, the question remains hanging — Can Poe run for president in May? 

Camille Elemia, Rappler, Manila