Lawyer behind Poe disqualification denies ties to pols
Estrella Elamparo, a former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) lawyer who filed a case for the disqualification of Sen. Grace Poe from next year’s presidential election, yesterday denied she was being used by politicians to take Poe out of the race for Malacañang.
Elamparo told reporters that she was only doing her duty as a citizen and as a voter.
“I have no personal interest in this case. I’m not connected with the Liberal Party or any of the candidates from other parties, I’ve never met any of them,” Elamparo said.
But Poe’s camp vowed to stop Elamparo from turning the presidential election into a circus.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesperson, said Elamparo’s obsession with the senator was “endangering our democracy.”
“Her ill-advised quest is destroying the very essence of our electoral system. She is sowing confusion and diverting the attention of the public from the real issues in this election—fight for good [government] and inclusive growth,” Gatchalian said.
“She is turning our election into a circus and we will not allow that,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Commission on Election’s Second Division granted Elamparo’s petition to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for President on the grounds that she was not a natural-born citizen and that she did not meet the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.
Poe’s camp traced her links to the ruling Liberal Party (LP), whose standard-bearer is President Aquino’s chosen candidate, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
Elamparo denied any links to the Liberals. She also denied having any connection with former Defense Secretary Avelino “Nonong” Cruz.
“I’m not familiar with Atty. Avelino Cruz, I have never personally met him. I’ve seen him only in photos and brochures as we move in the same legal circles. Apart from that I have never personally met him,” Elamparo said.
“I have never represented Atty. Avelino Cruz before any proceeding in any court, in any quasijudicial proceedings. I have never filed any pleading on his behalf. I have never been formally engaged by him or his firm so there is no truth to such allegations,” she added. With a report from Christine O. Avendaño
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