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Petitioner wants Leonen to inhibit from Poe DQ case for ‘glaring partiality’

/ 03:51 PM January 22, 2016
Justice Marvic Leonen: Breaking vow of silence  INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

One of the petitioners seeking the disqualification of Senator Grace Poe in the presidential race sought the inhibition of Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen from the deliberations on the Senator’s twin petitions.

In her seven page Urgent Motion for Voluntary Inhibition, Atty. Estrella Elamparo said Justice Leonen, during his interpellation in last Tuesday’s oral argument has displayed his “glaring partiality.”

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Leonen during the oral argument said “I grew up without a father, it was difficult. But I think of those people who don’t know their fathers but grew up with their mother also have a difficult time. Those who do not have a mother and a father and stay with their adoptive parents also have a very difficult time.”

“What did she do for her parents to leave her? She was a newborn baby and she did not have any moral volition at that point. It is completely the agency and moral decision of the parents to actually leave her behind,” Leonen said adding that Poe was “lucky” because she eventually got adopted by prominent parents.

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“At the end of the day should this court ask her to look for those parents who actually left her because she had it lucky? She is now one of the candidates to become president of this country. It’s clear to us what should happen in terms of justness. Can our laws actually contain that kind of a result? Is it clear enough to say that the Constitution of the Republic looks this way on foundlings? That there can be never a foundling found in rural area of the Philippines that could ever become president?” the justice asked.

READ: Poe finds a champion in the Supreme Court

“This ‘shared’ experience with petitioner and the overflowing expression of empathy that came with his very candid disclosure blatantly show that the Honorable Justice has lost his impartiality and is now determined to champion the cause of petitioner,” Elamparo said.

Elamparo said what happened during the last oral argument was not an interpellation but “but a passionate plea to end petitioner’s difficulty.”

“Points of law and jurisprudence all of a sudden took a backseat. While the other justices posed questions on the basis of the facts and law, Justice Leonen practically delivered an emotive speech citing his own personal experience no less,” Elamparo said.

“If the Honorable Justice Leonen truly wants to serve the ends of justice in this all-important case that may impact the fate of the nation, the only just and decent thing would be to inhibit himself,” she added.

This is not the first time that a magistrate has been asked to inhibit from handling Poe’s petition.

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Poe’s camp earlier sought the inhibition of Carpio, De Castro and Associate Justice Arturo Brion, who was on leave yesterday and did not participate in the oral argument, due to their participation in the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

Last Tuesday’s hearing on Poe’s petition ended after three-and-a-half hours and will continue next Tuesday, Jan. 26, with the presentation of the positions of the Comelec, disqualification petitioners against Poe and the office of the solicitor general. CDG

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TAGS: Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, disqualification, Elections 2016, Estrella Elamparo, Grace Poe, petitioners, Supreme Court
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