No need to push panic button for Poe—election law expert
There is no need to panic, an election law expert said regarding the disqualification cases against Senator and presidential aspirant Grace Poe.
In a statement on Sunday, Atty. Romulo Macalintal explained that even if there is already a decision by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy, she can still take the case to the Supreme Court (SC), the same court where her rivals could go to had the decision favored Poe.
READ: Grace Poe hopeful SC will swiftly uphold her
Macalintal added that even a restraining order from the SC to stop the Comelec from implementing its decision is not that urgent at this time.
“The Supreme Court could issue appropriate orders at any stage of the case if it finds Poe’s motion meritorious, urgent and will violate her right to due process,” Macalintal said.
In the coming days, the Comelec will be preparing “conditional ballots” which would be published to enable candidates and political parties to verify any error in the printing of names, position and other data needed to be corrected before the final printing of ballots before the end of February 2016.
The high court, on January 19, is also set to conduct an oral argument on the petition filed by Rizalito David questioning the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) that dismisses the disqualification case against Poe.
READ: Poe confident SC will act swiftly, favor her and foundlings
“Since by that time Poe would have already filed her appeal to the SC from the Comelec’s decision, there is the possibility that the SC would consolidate the SET case and the Comelec cases to expedite their resolution since they have similar issues,” Macalintal explained.
“If that happens, we could expect a final decision from the SC not later than the end of February 2016 just in time for a full determination of the issue of whether or not Poe’s name will be in the ballots,” he added.
However, if the SET case and the Comelec cases are not consolidated and the high court affirms the SET ruling, then, Macalintal said Poe retains her position as senator and the Comelec case regarding her citizenship will be dismissed.
“If the SC reverses the SET decision and holds that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino, then the Comelec could exercise its motu-propio (on its own) power wherein, on its own, based on said SC ruling, it could disqualify Poe from running for President for not being a natural-born Filipino,” Macalintal said citing the 2012 case of Jalosjos vs. Comelec. RAM
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