MANILA, Philippines – As far as losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David is concerned, this is not the first time he has questioned the qualification of Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares. In fact, he claims he already raised the issue of Poe’s qualification in 2013, when they both ran for the Senate.
Poe topped that race with 20.3 million votes received, while David got over one million votes for 30th place.
In his radio program in Radio Veritas, David also said he has been raising qualification issues against Poe but nobody seems to be listening or paying attention.
“No one’s taking the cudgels to bring it to the proper forum. It is important we raise these questions because of the constitutional requirement,” David said in a podcast interview with Rappler.
David was referring to the issue of whether Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen and whether she was able to fulfil the constitutional two-year residency requirement for seeking a Senate seat.
On these two issues, David said Poe both miserably fails to measure up. And he wants justice be served for Poe’s benefit as well as the public.
“It would be unfair if we keep asking Grace Poe about her origin and past, whether she is natural-born without having these resolved finally. If it is true that she is not natural-born and lacked residency to run and stay as senator, it would be unfair to the Filipino people because we are paying for her salaries, we are giving her all the privileges. It is not a small amount given to a senator, easily P20-P30 million a year in terms of salaries and wages of her staff,” David said.
Some have questioned David’s motivation for questioning Poe’s basic qualifications and his critics have some basis.
They point out that David was a former staff of former Senator Francisco Tatad who is sympathetic to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
David also ran under the Ang Kapatiran party, whose standard bearerJC delos Reyes, is related to former Senator Richard Gordon. Gordon, who placed 13th in the 2013 senatorial race, is the immediate beneficiary if Poe is removed or disqualified.
Asked if he is seeking a post in 2016 elections, David said this depends on the decision of the Ang Kapatiran Party. “We might even spring a surprise,” David said.
Poe would not surely like to see him on the campaign trail. – Rappler.com
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