Election lawyer: Comelec 1st division vote vs Poe’s citizenship ‘unanimous’
The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) 1st division ruled to cancel Sen. Grace Poe’s certificate of candidacy for president in a divided 2-1 vote, but a seasoned election lawyer said their stand on the presidential aspirant’s citizenship was unanimous.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Sunday said the dissenting opinion of Christian Robert Lim, the lone commissioner who voted against the petition to disqualify Poe, would reveal that Poe as a foundling was not a natural-born Filipino citizen.
“Poe’s lawyers said they would use the Dissenting Opinion of Lim as basis of their motion for reconsideration to the Comelec En Banc to reverse the 2-1 decision of the First Division,” Macalintal said in a statement. “However, a reading of Lim’s Dissenting opinion on the issue of whether or not Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen, reveals that he clearly stated that Poe’s admission that she is a foundling makes her claim of being a natural-born Filipino citizen ‘not only doubtful but also untenable (and) may therefore amount to a false representation of a material fact, which can cause the cancellation of her certificate of candidacy.’”
Just weeks after the poll body’s 2nd division issued a similar decision, the Comelec’s 1st division on Tuesday voted to disqualify Poe from the 2016 presidential derby in favor of the petitions filed by former University of the East College of Law dean Amado Valdez, former senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, and De La Salle University political science professor Antonio Conteras.
Citing Lim’s opinion, Macalintal said the reason why the commissioner dissented from the majority was because “this is not the issue principally raised by the petitioner in the petition.”
While saying that Lim’s position on Poe’s residency requirement was favorable, Macalintal said the lady senator’s camp should carefully study the commissioner’s opinion before using it as part of their argument at the Comelec en banc.
Poe’s camp previously said they will seek the relief of the Supreme Court in the event that the Comelec en banc would uphold the divisions’ rulings.
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