Escudero: SolGen comment vindicates SET ruling on Poe citizenship
The position of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) that Senator Grace Poe was a natural-born Filipino citizen bolstered claims that the Commission of Elections’ (Comelec) decision to cancel her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for president was “wrong and unfair,” Senator Francis Escudero said on Tuesday.
Escudero, running mate of Poe, said this was also a “vindication” for the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) that junked a quo warranto petition filed by defeated senatorial bet Rizalito David that seeks to unseat Poe as senator over her citizenship.
“The Solicitor General, the statutorily appointed lawyer of the Philippine government, and 10 other solicitors are of the firm belief that Sen. Grace Poe is a natural-born Filipino,” he said in a statement.
“This is vindication for the majority of the SET, who were criticized by some sectors for deciding supposedly based on political and emotional considerations.”
“No less than the OSG recognizes that the Constitution and its framers never wanted to discriminate against foundlings and that foundlings were always meant to be natural-born Filipinos—which is what Sen. Grace has been saying all along,” Escudero added.
Escudero said the OSG’s comment submitted to the Supreme Court runs contrary to the decision of the Comelec to cancel Poe’s CoC on grounds of citizenship and residency.
In a 27-page comment filed with the high court in connection with David’s petition challenging the decision of the SET, the OSG maintained that the senator was a natural-born Filipino.
The OSG, led by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, has also told the high tribunal that it would not file a comment on behalf of the Comelec, citing its position in the SET case.
Escudero said he is confident that the magistrates would see the logic and legal arguments of the OSG when they convene to tackle Poe’s petition seeking to reverse the rulings of the Comelec to disqualify her from the presidential race.
“From the beginning, the poll body did not hide its bias against Senator Grace. The Comelec acted unfairly on her filings and dismissed the voluminous documentary evidence she submitted that would prove her accusers wrong,” he said.
“I believe that even our own government lawyers would find it difficult to defend the Comelec,” he further said. IDL
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