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Despite final ruling, Tatad again appeals SC ruling on Poe

MANILA, Philippines – Despite the Supreme Court’s final ruling, one of the petitioners against presidential bet Grace Poe once again appealed the decision allowing the senator to run for the highest post.

Former Senator Fransisco Tatad filed a second motion for reconsideration on Monday, April 11,  even if the High Court said it would no longer accept any more pleadings and motions on Poe’s case.

Tatad, through his counsel Manuelito Luna, insisted that the decision favoring Poe "lacks doctrinal value,” as there was no majority decision on Poe’s natural born status and residency.

While the vote to dismiss the petition was 9-6, Tatad said the concurring and dissenting opinions showed only 7 justice believed the senator is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, however, called such allegations as “offensive to the majority’s pride of place.”

"The reply to such position is simple: we are 7, you are 5. Seven is a majority in a group of 12. It is time that this reality be accepted. Whether such majority position will be reversed in a quo warranto petition is a future matter, but the odds against its happening are quite telling,” Sereno said in her concurring opinion.

Tatad maintained there is no constitutional or statutory provision allowing the SC to initially decide the qualifications of presidential and vice presidential candidates before the elections.

“Respondent-movant strongly believes that the dissents of the minority mirror the correct reading and application of constitutional, legal and jurisprudential parameters…. In these lights, the Court should grant reconsideration and dismiss the petitions for lack of merit,” the petitoon said.

On Saturday, April 9, the High Court ruled with finality on its decision allowing Poe to run.

Voting 9-6, the SC said Poe did not commit material misrepresentation when she declared in her certificate of candidacy that she is a natural-born Filipino and a resident of the Philippines for 10 years. (READ: TIMELINE: Grace Poe's citizenship, residency)

The SC maintained that the Commission on Elections has no jurisdiction to decide on the qualifications of a president and vice president. This was explained even earlier in the case by election lawyer Emil Marañon III in his pieces for Rappler:

Poe’s spokesman Rex Gatchalian dismissed Tatad's second appeal and said the SC had spoken twice on the case.

“It is so sad that our critics behind these cases refuse to heed the decision of the SC. We will leave it to the good court as to how they wish to handle the second MR, given that this is a prohibited pleading and even explicitly stated in the [first] MR decision,” he said. – with a report from Camille Elemia/Rappler.com