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Ignore surveys, decide on Poe case based on law, lawyer tells SC

/ 08:38 PM January 08, 2016

Ignore survey results and decide based on law.

This was what lawyer Estrella Elamparo told the Supreme Court (SC) in deciding on Sen. Grace Poe’s petition challenging the Commission on Election’s decision to cancel her certificate of candidacy for presidency.

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In a 90-page comment, Elamparo urged the high court to affirm the Comelec ruling cancelling Poe’s COC.

“Indeed, the Honorable Court should not be misled and must only decide the case based on law and not the latest survey results. To suggest that petitioner [Poe] should be allowed to remain a candidate because of public clamor is to reduce this case to a popularity contest and makes a mockery of the Honorable Tribunal’s authority,” Elamparo stated in her opposition.

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Citing opinions of some legal scholars and jurists, Elamparo said Poe was a Filipino national by virtue of an abbreviated form of naturalization, considering she had been de facto considered by the government a Filipino, and had in fact been issued a Philippine passport.

However, Elamparo said Poe’s insistence in her petitions that she was not a naturalized citizen only proved that she was not after being a Filipino national since mere citizenship or nationality was not enough to catapult her to the presidency.

“Viewed in this light, one can easily see the hypocrisy behind her quest for the presidency. Enough with the sentimental pleas. This petition is not about being recognized as a Filipino; it is about her misguided ambition which regrettably runs roughshod against the fundamental law,” said Elamparo, whose petition had been granted by the Comelec second division.

The Comelec en banc affirmed the second division’s ruling which prompted Poe to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Elamparo told the high court to take note of the glaring facts on Poe’s case. Among the undisputed facts on Poe, according to Elamparo, are the following:

(a) She is a foundling;

(b) she renounced her Filipino citizenship to become an American;

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(c) To re-acquire Filipino citizenship, she lied in her petition under Republic Act No. 9225 that she was born to Filipino parents;

(d) It is this lie that misled the Bureau of Immigration into granting her dual citizenship;

(e) Prior to re-acquiring Filipino citizenship in July 2006, she registered in her and her spouse’s name three pieces of real estate misrepresenting that they are Filipinos;

(f) Prior to re-acquiring Filipino citizenship, petitioner had no permanent resident’s visa;

(g) She declared in her 2012 COC that her residence in the Philippines as of May 2013 consisted only of six years and six months.

Last Dec. 28, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the Comelec from implementing its two resolutions nullifying the certificate of candidacy of Poe and set an oral argument on the cases on Jan. 19.

Aside from a petition questioning the Comelec en banc’s ruling in connection with Elamparo’s case, Poe also questioned the Comelec en banc’s ruling affirming its first division’s ruling in favor of the petition filed by former Sen. Francisco Tatad, political analysts and law professor Antonio Contreras and former UE Law Dean Amado Valdez.

Another petitioner, Rizalito David, also filed a petition before the high court questioning the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruling in favor of Poe.

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TAGS: disqualification, Estrella Elamparo, Grace Poe
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