SET denies disqualification case vs Grace Poe
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) has dismissed the disqualification case against Senator Grace Poe.
Voting 5-4, the nine-member tribunal ruled against the case filed by petitioner Rizalito David.
Voting for the dismissal of the case are Senators Bam Aquino, Pia Cayetano, Cynthia Villar, Tito Sotto and Loren Legarda.
The four are Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, chair of the SET, Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion.
Senator Loren Legarda said based on the ruling, as a foundling, Poe is considered a natural citizen.
However, she said there was no official announcement yet from the SET because the process is not yet through as the SET will have to wait for the petitioner to seek a reconsideration of the ruling.
“Hindi pa tapos ang proseso dahil may sampung araw pa na itinakda para sa possible motion for reconsideration,” Legarda said.
(The process is not over yet since 10 days are allotted for the possible motion for reconsideration [of the decision]).
Legarda said the SET will release its final ruling on or before Dec. 10, before the start of the printing of ballots for the 2016 elections.
Meanwhile, Atty. Manuelito Luna said they still have to look at the decision “but in the event it’s a political decision and the Senators disregarded the Constitution, then on the strength of the ruling in Lerias case, the Supreme Court will set aside the [SET] decision.”
“Because of the Lerias doctrine which position the justices took will be crucial for a reversal by the Supreme Court,” Luna added.
In the Lerias v. Mercado case, the high court warned politicians who are members of the electoral tribunals against partisan voting.
“Politicians who are members of electoral tribunals, must think and act like judges, accordingly, they must resolve election controversies with judicial, not political, integrity,” the high court said in a Lerias case.