Poe faces 3rd disqualification plea over COC

Jee Y. Geronimo, Paterno Esmaquel II

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Poe faces 3rd disqualification plea over COC
University professor Antonio Contreras says Grace Poe isn't qualified to run for president because of her 'failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement'


MANILA, Philippines – A university professor on Tuesday, October 20, filed the 3rd disqualification plea against presidential survey front runner Senator Grace Poe based on her certificate of candidacy (COC).

In a petition filed in his personal capacity, De La Salle University professor and political analyst Antonio Contreras said Poe isn’t qualified to run for president in 2016 because of her “failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement.”

Contreras wrote in his petition: “It is respectfully prayed that this petition be granted and that the certificate of candidacy of the herein respondent, Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares, be cancelled on the ground that she made a material misrepresentation about her residency, where she lacks the 10-year minimum residency required by law and the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines to run for president.” 

In an interview with reporters, Contreras said Poe disclosed in her COC that she would have resided in the Philippines for 10 years and 11 months by election day, May 9, 2016. 

“That’s not true,” Contreras said, because Poe lacks 2 months and 9 days of residency in the Philippines. 

Contreras pointed out, too, that he focused on the residency issue since the Senate Electoral Tribunal is already tackling Poe’s citizenship issue. (READ: TIMELINE: Grace Poe’s citizenship, residency)

He added that he filed the petition to counter Poe’s camp, which has repeatedly dismissed earlier petitions against the senator as “dirty tactics” aimed to “derail” the presidential bid of the neophyte senator.

Contreras: I have no backer

Contreras, for one, denied he has a backer, and said he is spending his own money – P10,100 ($218) – to file this petition. He said he is even going against the wishes of his mother, who will vote Poe as president.

“Hindi namin kailangang magkaroon ng sponsor, at saka hindi kami sinister. So ang kinakatawan ko dito, ‘yung mamamayan na gusto lang malaman kung ano ang totoo,” Contreras explained. 

(We don’t need to have a sponsor, and we’re not sinister. I represent citizens who simply want to know the truth.)

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body is set to tackle the disqualification petitions against Poe. 

Sa aming palagay, mas maagang mapagpasyahan ang mga kasong ito, mas mabuti para sa ating halalan, mas mabuti para sa ating demokrasya,” Bautista said. (In our opinion, the earlier we decided on these cases, the better for our elections, the better for our democracy.)

This is the 3rd petition filed against Poe based on her COC. 

On Monday, October 19, former senator Francisco Tatad filed a similar petition, and maintained that Poe is not a natural-born citizen as she has “unknown parents.”

On Friday, October 16 – just a day after Poe filed her COC – lawyer Estrella Elamparo filed a petition, too, “to deny due course to or cancel” the senator’s COC because of her allegedly false claims:  that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and is also a resident of the Philippines for 10 years prior to May 2016. Rappler.com

*$1 = P46.38

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.


Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.