#AnimatED: The Grace Poe cliffhanger
This week, the Supreme Court is expected to vote on the eligibility cases facing presidential candidate Grace Poe. If so, it will likely be the most important week of this tight and tough race.
On February 15, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that it is including Poe's name in the ballot in the absence of any clear ruling from the High Tribunal and in consideration of the logistical work that the poll body needs to do for the May exercise.
Even if the Comelec delayed the printing of the ballots – it moved its deadline 3 times – it couldn’t have waited for the Court’s decision.
If the justices arrive at a decision this week, this would be considered a short period in the annals of the Supreme Court – other cases take an eternity to decide, violating the 2-year limit set by the Constitution. But observers are saying, too, that the Court could have speeded these up considering their utmost urgency. (READ: SC moves slowly on Poe case)
The much-awaited verdict – for or against – has great impact not only on the elections and voters but on the Court itself. It will be somewhat an irony that an institution that is, or ought to be, above politics will be the game changer in this campaign.
What if the SC decides to uphold the Comelec ruling? How will Poe's campaigners and supporters respond and react? Who among the candidates would benefit from her disqualification? What if voters will still choose to vote for her? And what if she wins? Certainly, this would thrust the Philippines in a crisis in which the president-elect had been disqualified.
And what if the SC decides to dismiss the Comelec ruling and give final legal blessings for Poe's presidential run? How will this affect the campaign that all surveys say is getting increasingly tighter as the bets race to the finish line? Will a go-signal from the High Tribunal provide Poe the boost that's eluded her all these months and allow her to completely run away in the surveys? Or will it continue cast a shadow in her candidacy?
There would be answers to all these questions, though not immediately.
But first things first. The SC must decide soon as it strives to attune itself to national needs, without losing its lofty and independent position in our society. – Rappler.com