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No need to push panic button yet, Grace Poe told

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 03:30 AM December 28, 2015
Grace Poe

Sen. Grace Poe INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal on Sunday said Sen. Grace Poe, who has been disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from the presidential race next year, need not not push the panic button just yet since the final printing of ballots will actually be in February.

Even getting a temporary restraining order from the the high court to stall the implementation of the Comelec’s decision was not urgent at this time since the election body was merely coming out with “conditional ballots” on Jan. 8.

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The “conditional ballots” would allow candidates and political parties to check for errors in the printing of their names, position and other information that may need correction before the final printing of the ballots by February, he said.

“It is still too early for Sen. Grace Poe to push the panic button, so to speak… because she still has the Supreme Court to seek further remedy which is likewise the same tribunal where her rivals would have gone had the decision been otherwise,” said Macalintal in a statement.

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He pointed out that the high court could hand down applicable orders any time if it found that Poe’s appeal was urgent and had merit to avoid violating her right to due process.

Macalintal noted that the high court had scheduled an oral argument on a petition by Rizalito David questioning the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) ruling in favor of Poe on

Jan. 19.

“Since by that time, Poe would have already filed her appeal…there is the possibility that the high court would consolidate the SET case and the Comelec cases to expedite their resolution since they have similar issues,” said the election lawyer.

If a consolidation would happen, Macalintal said Poe can expect a final decision from the high court not later than February, “just in time for a full determination of the issue of whether or not Poe’s name will be in the ballots.”

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TAGS: Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, Grace Poe, Romulo Macalintal
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