‘Very interesting’ summer sessions for high court
BAGUIO CITY—As the Supreme Court en banc goes into a five-week break, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno Thursday explained how the tribunal had attempted to settle critical cases related to the coming elections, underscoring the importance of establishing jurisprudence that could foreshadow guidelines for future polls.
Speaking briefly to reporters, Sereno described the just concluded monthlong summer sessions as “very interesting” because of the political season.
“[It’s] very interesting, everything is interesting because it’s an election year. So we have to immediately find out what is the best solution for some important issues,” Sereno said.
“This session is as important as the previous one, and I hope you had that impression that we acted quite fast on many of those issues,” she said.
During its sessions here, the court resolved with finality the question on the presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe, ruling that she is qualified to run. On Tuesday, the full court threw out the second motion for reconsideration plea against its ruling, saying the attempt by former Sen. Francisco Tatad lacked merit and is prohibited under court rules.
The final ruling ended debates within the court on whether Poe, a foundling who became an American citizen but later reacquired her Filipino citizenship, is a natural citizen and a 10-year Philippine resident.
Seven of the magistrates upheld Poe’s qualification on both points in separate votes, in which several justices opted not to participate: three abstained on the citizenship issue while two did not vote on the residency question.
The ruling invited sharp criticism from dissenting justices, with several pointing out the lack of a clear majority on the vote on both the citizenship and residency issues.
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