SC to Drilon: We know what to do
There is already a procedure for handling urgent cases, and the justices already know what to do.
This was the response of Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te on Friday to Senate President Franklin Drilon’s call for the high court to delay its Christmas break to resolve cases involving questions on the qualifications of Sen. Grace Poe for public office.
“If something comes up, then there is already a procedure for that…The justices know what to do. There is a procedure, and it depends on what is filed. But the point is, there is nothing filed as of today,” said Te when reached for comment yesterday.
Te said the court has handled urgent cases before, and its action would depend on the plea filed.
Drilon suggested last Thursday that the high court delay its Christmas break to attend to cases expected to be filed concerning Poe. He said the cases should be resolved before the Commision on Elections (Comelec) prints ballots in January.
Te, however, said that while the full court will hold its final session for the year on Tuesday (Dec. 8), the Supreme Court itself will not go on vacation but will follow the holiday schedule of other public offices.
“The court does not have a Christmas break. [We have a] regular schedule. Whatever is the [public] holiday, that’s our holiday. Unless (Drilon) is saying we come in on the 24th and 25th. I don’t think he means that,” Te said.
“There are no en banc sessions. But if there is anything that needs to be acted on, there are remedies for that. I don’t think the Senate President is asking the court to come up with a special procedure,” he said.
The camp of Poe critic Rizalito David is expected to file a petition early next week to stop the ruling of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) upholding Poe’s status as a natural-born citizen.
SET issued its final ruling on Thursday, rejecting David’s plea for reconsideration of the tribunal’s Nov. 17 decision affirming Poe’s qualification for the 2013 senatorial race in a 5-4 vote.
Several disqualification cases are also pending at the Comelec against Poe’s presidential bid.
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