SC affirms SET’s dismissal of disqualification case vs Poe
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by radio commentator Rizalito David to reverse the ruling of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) declaring Senator Grace Poe a natural-born Filipino qualified to run for a Senate seat in the 2013 polls.
Voting 9-3, the high court ruled in favor of Poe.
The high court said SET’s conclusions were in keeping with a faithful and exhaustive reading of the Constitution “one that proceeds from an intent to give life to all—not just one or some—of its aspirations and provisions, such that the tendency to dwell on extremist interpretations of segregated text is tempered.”
The high court said SET exercised its original jurisdiction when it ruled on the petition by David questioning the citizenship status of children whose biological parents are unknown, considering that the Constitution, in Article IV, Section 1 (2) explicitly makes reference to one’s father or mother.
“This issue had never been addressed by any court, thus, the SET exercised its original jurisdiction. The Court noted that, all that was asked of the set was to make a reasonable interpretation of the law while considering the private respondent’s established personal circumstances; thus, it could not have asked private respondent to do what was impossible–establishing her parentage, when the controversy before the SET arose precisely from the fact that private respondent’s parentage was unknown and has remained so throughout her life,” high court’s Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te said in a press conference.
David went to the Supreme Court after the SET dismissed his appeal insisting that Poe cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino on the basis of the presumption of descent from a Filipino parent, derived not only from the Rules of Court but also from international law.
David had argued that Poe cannot be declared a natural-born Filipino citizen just because the 1935 Constitution was silent on the citizenship of children with unknown parents. RAM/rga
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