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SURVEY: FILIPINOS SAY, CORRUPTION MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM DESPITE 'DAANG MATUWID'


DECEMBER 26 -PICTURE COURTESY OF CEBU DAILY DESPITE almost six years of the Aquino administration’s “Straight Path,” Filipinos consider corruption as the most important problem of the country, the latest The Standard Poll shows. Resident Junie Laylo said 31 percent of the surveyed 1,500 registered voters who said they are likely to vote in next year’s elections, named corruption as the most important problem. Among the five areas where the survey was conducted from Dec. 4 to 12, those from Metro Manila were most concerned with corruption (38 percent), followed by South Luzon/Bicol (33 percent) and North/Central Luzon (30 percent). Those less concerned were from the Visayas (29 percent) and Mindanao (28 percent). Although corruption has always been a top concern since May, this was the first time it was viewed as more important than unemployment, which dropped from 29 percent to only 10 percent in December, Laylo said. Other important problems identified by respondents were poverty (15 percent) and illegal drugs (14 percent). Poverty, now seen as the second most important problem, did not even figure in the top five problems in the May and September polls, where it registered a low 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Metro Manila residents were least concerned with poverty (9 percent) while those from North/Central Luzon and South Luzon/Bicol (both 19 percent) thought it is the second most important problem of the country. The prices of goods and services also dropped from its third-place ranking in May (17 percent) and September (16 percent) with only 9 percent saying it is one of the most important problems of the country. Despite the problems they identified, 64 percent said they believed the country is heading in the right direction, compared to 36 percent who said it was on the wrong track. This was an improvement from September, when 53 percent believed the country was going in the right direction and 47 said it was on the wrong track. In May, 51 percent said it was going in the right direction and 49 disagreed. Most who thought the country was heading in the right direction came from the Visayas (53 percent) and Mindanao (52 percent), who were affected by the cash dole they were receiving under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The response from the Visayas and Mindanao was even better than the national response rate of 46 percent, compared to Metro Manila where 45 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason and 40 percent in North/Central Luzon. Only 36 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason in South Luzon/Bicol. READ MORE...

ALSO Pressed for time: Grace under pressure, cries harassment by poll body


DECEMBER 25 -Senator Grace Poe
INDEPENDENT presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe decried Thursday what she described as harassment by the Commission on Elections, which disqualified her from running for president at a time when government offices are closed for the Christmas holidays. “It is very difficult to attend to all legal processes if government offices are closed,” Poe said in an interview over Channel 2’s TV Patrol. “We are telling the truth, and doing what is proper. But indeed, they are harassing us,” added Poe, who garnered the most votes as senator when she ran in 2013. In a text message to The Standard, Poe’s lawyer George Garcia said they will appeal the decision of the Comelec en banc to the Supreme Court on Monday, Dec. 28. Despite the Comelec’s decision, Poe said she remained hopeful her name would remain in the official list of presidential candidates since the ruling can still be appealed to the Supreme Court. “We are preparing well because I know that there are groups who are doing their respective actions to remove me in the list. Nevertheless, I am telling our people that the disqualification is not final. We are confident we will hurdle this because what we are giving is only the truth and what is proper,” Poe said. Her spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian earlier slammed the “low-handed tactic” of announcing the disqualification during the holidays, and leaking the information to the press even before the decision was promulgated. Both moves were aimed at putting Poe at a disadvantage, he said. Poe’s running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, hit the Comelec for misleading the electorate and bullying Poe. He accused the Comelec of pretending to be an independent commission when they have actually been acting as Poe’s inquisitor and persecutor. He said the Comelec is both wrong and unfair and a bully. “Senator Grace Poe has been nothing but honest, candid, forthright and open with respect to her citizenship, nationality and residency to the Filipino people. She has answered every question with candor and honesty both before the Comelec and before the Filipino people. How dare they say that she deliberately attempted to mislead the electorate,” he said. Escudero said the Comelec acted with dispatch on Poe’s disqualification even before it declared the candidate named “Lucifer” as a nuisance candidate. He also said the Comelec refused to consolidate the four cases, which are all the same except for the names of the petitioners, if only to require Poe to answer in the two divisions of the Comelec and be disqualified, not only once but twice, and a third time by the en banc following what appears to be a well-written script. The commission, he said, worked overtime to disqualify her a day before the holidays, thus giving her very little time to seek redress in the Supreme Court. READ MORE...

ALSO Poe’s woes go on: 5 days to appeal to SC


DECEMBER 24 -For Poe. Supporters of presidential candidate Grace Poe rally outside the Commission on Elections offices on Wednesday after the poll body disqualified Poe in next year’s election. Ey Acasio
PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Senator Grace Poe has only five days to bring her case to the Supreme Court before the Commission on Elections excludes her from the official list of candidates, the chairman of the poll body said Wednesday. In a press conference, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said Poe’s name was still on the list of candidates at the moment despite the poll body’s decision to disqualify her from running for president in 2016. “Right now, her name is still on the ballot,” Bautista said. However, Rule 37 of the Omnibus Election Code says decisions in pre-proclamation cases and petitions to deny due course to or cancel Certificates of Candidacy will become final and executory after the lapse of five days from their promulgation. The lapse of the five-day period in this case would be Dec. 28—meaning Poe’s camp would have to obtain a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court over the Christmas holidays and a weekend. Poe’s lawyer, George Garcia, questioned the timing of the Comelec en banc’s decision. “We really didn’t expect the Comelec to side with us, but what is really sad is that they released this decision two days before Christmas,” Garcia said in Filipino. “Now we have no choice but to use these holidays to prepare our petition.”  A Supreme Court official said the justices may act on a petition filed by Poe even if they are on recess. Court spokesman Theodore Te said the tribunal’s rules allow them to grant relief in urgent cases and issue temporary restraining orders without the need to first hold session. If case is raffled to full court, it is the Chief Justice who can issue the TRO; if it is to a division, it will be the chairman of the division, Te said. Under the rules, the Chief Justice may issue a TRO upon the recommendation of the justice in charge and subject to confirmation of the full court in their next session, which will be on Jan. 12, 2016. Garcia said they would file their petition on Monday, Dec. 28, since the Supreme Court is closed today and tomorrow for national holidays. “We have until Tuesday [Dec. 29] to get a TRO from Supreme Court for Poe to stay on the ballot,” he said in an interview. The disqualification cases against Poe were filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former senator Franciso Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez. Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno recently vowed to act swiftly on urgent cases related to the 2016 elections. “In fact, we understand and it is clear to us that this Christmas season will not be a usual season for us. There might be things that we need to set aside because of the urgency of matters that need to be resolved,” she said. “So we are keenly aware of all of those and you can see that most of the justices will be making themselves available for any eventuality… We need to work hard because this is the only process by which we can ensure that the right, just outcome will result,” Sereno said. The Poe camp on Wednesday vowed to go after the “plotters” behind the disqualification cases and described the timing of the Comelec deicision as “suspicious.” READ MORE...RELATED, Supre Court to hold special raffle for Poe case.....

ALSO: Entire Comelec disqualifies Poe


DECEMBER 24 -Senator Grace Poe
THE Commission on Elections en banc on Tuesday disqualified Senator Grace Poe from running for president in 2016 on the grounds that she is not a natural-born citizen and that she did not meet the 10-year residency requirement for the post. Ruling on a motion for reconsideration filed by Poe, the commissioners voted Tuesday night to uphold the decisions of the First Division 5-2, and Second Division 5-1 to disqualify the senator, a source said.
A spokesman for Poe said they would appeal the decision before the Supreme Court. Poe faced four disqualification cases, with the Second Division ruling on the complaint filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, and the First Division on the petitions filed by former senator Francisco Tatad, Dela Salle University professor Antonio Contreras, and University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez. In a phone interview, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said some commissioners had leaked the decision, which was supposed to be announced Wednesday, but acknowledged the decision was “likely” to deny Poe’s motions for reconsideration. “Some of the commissioners have leaked the decision. It’s true there was a vote, but the decision has not been promulgated,” Bautista said in Filipino. Asked if it was correct to say that the Comelec denied Poe’s motion, Bautista said: “That was the vote a while ago.”  He said he would answer all questions about the decision when he announced it Wednesday.  In a separate interview, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said whoever lost the case could now take it to the Supreme Court. “So this is good, the parties can now go to the Supreme Court very soon. As we said, the SC is the final arbiter,” Guanzon said. She also noted that Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte might not be included in the official ballot if the vote goes against them and the Supreme Court does not issue a temporary retraining order in their favor within five days of the promulgation of the Comelec decision. Guanzon declined, however, to comment on how Tuesday’s vote went. Poe’s spokesman, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said they would exhaust all legal remedies if the new reports were true. “We will appeal to the wisdom of the Supreme Court. We know that our arguments are based on laws,” said Gatchalian, who said they are yet to receive a copy of the Comelec decision. READ MORE...

ALSO: DQ CASES - Poe camp to seek SC reversal of Comelec ruling on Monday (Dec 28)


DECEMBER 26 -The camp of Sen. Grace Poe will file next week a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling cancelling her certificate of candidacy for president.
Poe's lawyer George Garcia said they will file the petition before the high court on Monday, December 28. The senator, meanwhile, said that she is confident SC will rule in her favor. "We are confident that, giving due consideration to the strong evidence, jurisprudence and pertinent principles and precepts, the Justices will uphold our cause and the right of the people to a genuine choice in the elections," Poe said. The SC is currently on a holiday break. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has said that the high court may rule on "urgent matters" filed during the holiday break. In a ruling on December 23, the Comelec en banc junked Poe's petitions against the separate rulings of the First and Second Divisions cancelling her COC for president. The Comelec en banc voted 5-2 to uphold the First Division's decision disqualifying Poe from the 2016 presidential elections based on questions of citizenship and residency raised by petitiioners Francisco Tatad, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez. The en banc, meanwhile, voted 5-1-1 upholding the decision of the Second Division on Atty. Estrella Elamparo's petition to cancel Poe's COC because of her failure to meet the constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency for presidential candidates. Meanwhile, losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David has asked the SC to reverse the Senate Electoral Tribunal's decision junking his petition to disqualify Poe from the 2013 elections. The SC scheduled the oral arguments on David's petition on January 19. —ALG, GMA News THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

STANDARD POLL: Corruption biggest problem, Pinoys say

MANILA,

DECEMBER 28, 2015
(MANILA STANDARD) posted December 26, 2015 at 12:01 am, by Francis Lagniton - DESPITE almost six years of the Aquino administration’s “Straight Path,” Filipinos consider corruption as the most important problem of the country, the latest The Standard Poll shows.

Resident Junie Laylo said 31 percent of the surveyed 1,500 registered voters who said they are likely to vote in next year’s elections, named corruption as the most important problem.

Among the five areas where the survey was conducted from Dec. 4 to 12, those from Metro Manila were most concerned with corruption (38 percent), followed by South Luzon/Bicol (33 percent) and North/Central Luzon (30 percent). Those less concerned were from the Visayas (29 percent) and Mindanao (28 percent).

Although corruption has always been a top concern since May, this was the first time it was viewed as more important than unemployment, which dropped from 29 percent to only 10 percent in December, Laylo said.

Other important problems identified by respondents were poverty (15 percent) and illegal drugs (14 percent).

Poverty, now seen as the second most important problem, did not even figure in the top five problems in the May and September polls, where it registered a low 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Metro Manila residents were least concerned with poverty (9 percent) while those from North/Central Luzon and South Luzon/Bicol (both 19 percent) thought it is the second most important problem of the country.

The prices of goods and services also dropped from its third-place ranking in May (17 percent) and September (16 percent) with only 9 percent saying it is one of the most important problems of the country.

Despite the problems they identified, 64 percent said they believed the country is heading in the right direction, compared to 36 percent who said it was on the wrong track.

This was an improvement from September, when 53 percent believed the country was going in the right direction and 47 said it was on the wrong track. In May, 51 percent said it was going in the right direction and 49 disagreed.

Most who thought the country was heading in the right direction came from the Visayas (53 percent) and Mindanao (52 percent), who were affected by the cash dole they were receiving under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The response from the Visayas and Mindanao was even better than the national response rate of 46 percent, compared to Metro Manila where 45 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason and 40 percent in North/Central Luzon. Only 36 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason in South Luzon/Bicol.

READ MORE...

Other reasons given accounted for a far lower percentage: absence of war or disorder, 3 percent; government aid during calamities, employment opportunities and educational benefits, all 5 percent.

Only 8 percent said they based their view on economic progress or on improvement in the fight against corruption while 10 percent said it was on the right track because of improvements in infrastructure or the detention of high-ranking government officials.

On the other hand, most of those who said the government was going in the wrong direction based their decision on their wages (40 percent), followed by the rising cost of living (15 percent) and the lack of government assistance to disaster victims (15 percent).

Of those concerned with wages, 51 percent were in Metro Manila and 48 percent in the Visayas. Forty-five percent from North Central/Luzon and 32 percent from South Luzon/Bicol shared the view while only 25 percent were from Mindanao.

The survey, conducted between Dec. 4 and 12, involved face-to-face interviews with 1,500 registered voters who said they would certainly vote in 2016, and who came from 76 provinces and 38 cities.

The national figures have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent, with a confidence rate of 97.4 percent because the sample size was equally distributed geographically and differentiated between provinces and their component cities.


MANILA STANDARD

Pressed for time: Grace under pressure, cries harassment by poll body posted December 25, 2015 at 12:01 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta and John Paolo Bencito


Senator Grace Poe

INDEPENDENT presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe decried Thursday what she described as harassment by the Commission on Elections, which disqualified her from running for president at a time when government offices are closed for the Christmas holidays.

“It is very difficult to attend to all legal processes if government offices are closed,” Poe said in an interview over Channel 2’s TV Patrol.

“We are telling the truth, and doing what is proper. But indeed, they are harassing us,” added Poe, who garnered the most votes as senator when she ran in 2013.

In a text message to The Standard, Poe’s lawyer George Garcia said they will appeal the decision of the Comelec en banc to the Supreme Court on Monday, Dec. 28.

Despite the Comelec’s decision, Poe said she remained hopeful her name would remain in the official list of presidential candidates since the ruling can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.

“We are preparing well because I know that there are groups who are doing their respective actions to remove me in the list. Nevertheless, I am telling our people that the disqualification is not final. We are confident we will hurdle this because what we are giving is only the truth and what is proper,” Poe said.

Her spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian earlier slammed the “low-handed tactic” of announcing the disqualification during the holidays, and leaking the information to the press even before the decision was promulgated.

Both moves were aimed at putting Poe at a disadvantage, he said.

Poe’s running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, hit the Comelec for misleading the electorate and bullying Poe.

He accused the Comelec of pretending to be an independent commission when they have actually been acting as Poe’s inquisitor and persecutor. He said the Comelec is both wrong and unfair and a bully.

“Senator Grace Poe has been nothing but honest, candid, forthright and open with respect to her citizenship, nationality and residency to the Filipino people. She has answered every question with candor and honesty both before the Comelec and before the Filipino people. How dare they say that she deliberately attempted to mislead the electorate,” he said.

Escudero said the Comelec acted with dispatch on Poe’s disqualification even before it declared the candidate named “Lucifer” as a nuisance candidate.

He also said the Comelec refused to consolidate the four cases, which are all the same except for the names of the petitioners, if only to require Poe to answer in the two divisions of the Comelec and be disqualified, not only once but twice, and a third time by the en banc following what appears to be a well-written script.

The commission, he said, worked overtime to disqualify her a day before the holidays, thus giving her very little time to seek redress in the Supreme Court.

READ MORE...

“Christmas is always a time for loving, sharing and giving. And it seems that the Comelec has imbibed the Christmas spirit by loving and sharing and being giving to the opponents of Senator Poe but not to her, not to us, and certainly not to the Philippine electorate,” Escudero said.


BAUTISTA

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista on Thursday said he disagreed with his colleagues who said Poe deliberately misled the poll body through her Certificate of Candidacy, and believed her when she said she made an honest mistake in her 2013 CoC.

He also said it was natural for Poe to believe herself to be a natural-born citizen.

“As a foundling who grew up in the Philippines immersed in its culture, language and traditions, it was but natural for respondent [Poe] to think of herself as a Filipino,” Bautista said.

Critics of Poe questioned both her natural-born status and her period of residency in the country, which became the bases for four petitions to disqualify her.

Ruling on motions for reconsideration filed by Poe, the commissioners voted Tuesday night to uphold the decisions of the First Division, 5-2, and the Second Division, 5-1 to disqualify the senator.

In the 5-1 vote, Bautista was outvoted by his fellow commissioners—Rowena Guanzon, Arthur Lim, Luie Guia, Sherriff Abas and Al Parreño.

Another commissioner, Christian Robert Lim inhibited himself from the case as he previously belonged to the same law firm with the petitioner.

But Bautista said Poe applied to reacquire her citizenship only on July 10, 2006, or more than a year before she claimed she had started establishing her residency in the Philippines.

“I think she [Poe] was still contemplating whether to actually settle here or go back to USA. It may show a lack of intention to actually permanently reside here in the Philippines but it does not manifest a deliberate act to mislead,” Bautista said.

Both the First and Second Division decisions said Poe had deliberately committed “material misrepresentation” in claiming that she met the 10-year residency requirement to run for president.


MANILA STANDARD

Poe’s woes go on: 5 days to appeal to SC
posted December 24, 2015 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo, Sara Susanne D. Fabunan and Macon Ramos-Araneta


For Poe. Supporters of presidential candidate Grace Poe rally outside the Commission on Elections offices on Wednesday after the poll body disqualified Poe in next year’s election. Ey Acasio

PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Senator Grace Poe has only five days to bring her case to the Supreme Court before the Commission on Elections excludes her from the official list of candidates, the chairman of the poll body said Wednesday.

In a press conference, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said Poe’s name was still on the list of candidates at the moment despite the poll body’s decision to disqualify her from running for president in 2016.

“Right now, her name is still on the ballot,” Bautista said.

However, Rule 37 of the Omnibus Election Code says decisions in pre-proclamation cases and petitions to deny due course to or cancel Certificates of Candidacy will become final and executory after the lapse of five days from their promulgation.

The lapse of the five-day period in this case would be Dec. 28—meaning Poe’s camp would have to obtain a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court over the Christmas holidays and a weekend.

Poe’s lawyer, George Garcia, questioned the timing of the Comelec en banc’s decision.

“We really didn’t expect the Comelec to side with us, but what is really sad is that they released this decision two days before Christmas,” Garcia said in Filipino. “Now we have no choice but to use these holidays to prepare our petition.”

A Supreme Court official said the justices may act on a petition filed by Poe even if they are on recess.

Court spokesman Theodore Te said the tribunal’s rules allow them to grant relief in urgent cases and issue temporary restraining orders without the need to first hold session.

If case is raffled to full court, it is the Chief Justice who can issue the TRO; if it is to a division, it will be the chairman of the division, Te said.

Under the rules, the Chief Justice may issue a TRO upon the recommendation of the justice in charge and subject to confirmation of the full court in their next session, which will be on Jan. 12, 2016.

Garcia said they would file their petition on Monday, Dec. 28, since the Supreme Court is closed today and tomorrow for national holidays.

“We have until Tuesday [Dec. 29] to get a TRO from Supreme Court for Poe to stay on the ballot,” he said in an interview.
The disqualification cases against Poe were filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former senator Franciso Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno recently vowed to act swiftly on urgent cases related to the 2016 elections.

“In fact, we understand and it is clear to us that this Christmas season will not be a usual season for us. There might be things that we need to set aside because of the urgency of matters that need to be resolved,” she said.

“So we are keenly aware of all of those and you can see that most of the justices will be making themselves available for any eventuality… We need to work hard because this is the only process by which we can ensure that the right, just outcome will result,” Sereno said.

The Poe camp on Wednesday vowed to go after the “plotters” behind the disqualification cases and described the timing of the Comelec deicision as “suspicious.”

READ MORE...

In a text message, Poe’s spokesperson, Valenzuela Rep. Rex Gatchalian said they would not allow the plotters to get away with what they did.

The leak of the Comelec en banc decision Tuesday night, he added, was aimed to sowing confusion and to hurt the Poe campaign.

“Why release the decisions in haste when the holiday breaks are upon us? “ Gatchalian said, noting that this could have been aimed at limiting Poe’s legal response.

“Despite these timing obstacles thrown our way, we will bring the battle to the Supreme Court in a timely manner taking into account the prescribed deadlines,” he said.

He said it was also “very disturbing” that some people within the Comelec leaked the decision even before the poll body could promulgate the decision.

“This is highly irregular and we believe that the Comelec should look into this. Protocols and procedures are being breached. That being said, the sinister minds behind this leak have one thing in mind—to sow confusion,” Gatchalian said.

Poe said she was not surprised with the decision of the Comelec en banc but said she was undaunted.

“I am a Filipino and qualified to offer myself as president of our country. The Comelec cannot change that much less deprive our people of their right to choose our next leader,” she said.

The Comelec en banc on Tuesday disqualified Poe from running for president in 2016 on the grounds that she is not a natural-born citizen and that she did not meet the 10-year residency requirement for the post.

Ruling on a motion for reconsideration filed by Poe, the commissioners voted Tuesday night to uphold the decisions of the First Division 5-2, and Second Division 5-1 to disqualify the senator.

On Wednesday, Bautista said the Comelec had begun uploading the 216 names of candidates onto its Election Management System so that they would be able to print the official ballots by Jan. 26.

Uploaded onto the EMS were the names of 23 presidential candidates, six vice presidential candidates, 68 candidates for senator and 119 candidates for party-list groups.

Poe welcomed the Comelec decision to keep her name on the list, but said a reversal of its decision to disqualify her would allow the 2016 polls to be “representative of the people’s will.”

In a statement, Poe reiterated that she is a Filipino who lived in the country for more than 10 years.
She considered the Comelec inclusion of her name in the ballot a “first victory” for the public.

“We are continuously standing as a candidate. I believe the Supreme Court will side with the truth and the right of the public to choose their leader. Like what I have always been saying, this is not only about me, but foremost, this is about giving importance to the voice of the Filipino.”
Poe, an independent presidential candidate, reiterated that she will overcome the legal hurdles concocted by allies of her political opponents so that Filipinos will not be robbed of a choice for president.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

SC to hold special raffle for Poe case December 27, 2015 10:24 pm by JOMAR CANLAS, SENIOR REPORTER

The Supreme Court (SC) will set a special raffle for a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe, who is running out of time to stay on the list of candidates in the presidential elections in May 2016.

Poe is expected to file her petition for certiorari with the High Court on Monday, the last day within which to appeal her recent disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc.

The Comelec had given Poe five days to file her appeal.

If the senator fails to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a status quo ante order from the high tribunal, she will be removed from the list of presidential candidates and her name will be delisted from the official ballot.

The poll body ruled that Poe is not qualified to join the presidential race next year because she is not a natural-born Filipino and she also failed to meet the residency requirement for those seeking the country’s highest post.

Poe renounced her American citizenship on October 21, 2010 based on documents she submitted to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) where a disqualified case against the senator was also filed. The SET dismissed the complaint against Poe and the decision has been appealed at the SC.

In normal cases in the high court, once the case is filed on Monday, the raffle shall be set the following day, Tuesday.

The SC, however, shall be on half-day work on Tuesday, December 29. December 30, which is Rizal Day, is a legal holiday.

Thus, SC sources said, Poe’s case must be raffled off on Tuesday to determine a ponente of the case.

But since the tribunal is now on recess, the ponente can make his recommendation on whether a TRO shall be issued and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno shall carry out the recommendation.

The Chief Justice has the power to issue a TRO even when the court is on a break.

In ordinary cases, the SC does not fast-track its decisions through conduct of a special raffle.

Sereno has the option to pass the making of a decision on Poe’s case to the SC en banc or decide on her own to issue a TRO and ask for the order’s ratification in the next en banc session.

In Senior Citizens Coalition vs Comelec, SC Justices slammed the Chief Justice for issuing an “erroneous” TRO.

Sereno was questioned by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the ponente of the case, after the Chief Justice issued a blanket TRO stopping the Comelec from proclaiming party-list group winners.

De Castro complained that her original draft was revised and released by Sereno without consulting the en banc first.


MANILA STANDARD

Entire Comelec disqualifies Poe posted December 23, 2015 at 12:01 am by Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


Senator Grace Poe

THE Commission on Elections en banc on Tuesday disqualified Senator Grace Poe from running for president in 2016 on the grounds that she is not a natural-born citizen and that she did not meet the 10-year residency requirement for the post.

Ruling on a motion for reconsideration filed by Poe, the commissioners voted Tuesday night to uphold the decisions of the First Division 5-2, and Second Division 5-1 to disqualify the senator, a source said.

A spokesman for Poe said they would appeal the decision before the Supreme Court.

Poe faced four disqualification cases, with the Second Division ruling on the complaint filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo, and the First Division on the petitions filed by former senator Francisco Tatad, Dela Salle University professor Antonio Contreras, and University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez.

In a phone interview, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said some commissioners had leaked the decision, which was supposed to be announced Wednesday, but acknowledged the decision was “likely” to deny Poe’s motions for reconsideration.

“Some of the commissioners have leaked the decision. It’s true there was a vote, but the decision has not been promulgated,” Bautista said in Filipino.

Asked if it was correct to say that the Comelec denied Poe’s motion, Bautista said: “That was the vote a while ago.”

He said he would answer all questions about the decision when he announced it Wednesday.

In a separate interview, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said whoever lost the case could now take it to the Supreme Court.

“So this is good, the parties can now go to the Supreme Court very soon. As we said, the SC is the final arbiter,” Guanzon said.

She also noted that Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte might not be included in the official ballot if the vote goes against them and the Supreme Court does not issue a temporary retraining order in their favor within five days of the promulgation of the Comelec decision.

Guanzon declined, however, to comment on how Tuesday’s vote went.

Poe’s spokesman, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said they would exhaust all legal remedies if the new reports were true.

“We will appeal to the wisdom of the Supreme Court. We know that our arguments are based on laws,” said Gatchalian, who said they are yet to receive a copy of the Comelec decision.

READ MORE...

He reiterated that Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has met the residency requirement.

He also said they were optimistic that the Supreme Court justices would see the merits of their position.

At this point, he said the process has not taken its full course. Because of this, Poe is still running for the presidency and should be kept in the oficial list of candidates for president.

On Dec. 1, the Comelec Second Division voted unanimously to disqualify Poe, based on the complaint filed by Estrella Elamparo.

Ten days later, on Dec. 11, the Comelec First Division voted 2-1 against Poe, saying she committed material misrepresentation in claiming to be a natural-born citizen and a Philippine resident for more than 10 years after separate petitions were filed by Tatad, Valdez and Contreras.

Poe filed motions for reconsideration before the Comelec en banc on Dec. 7 and 16.

Also on Tuesday, a poll official said the Comelec would not release an initial list of candidates on Wednesday as originally scheduled, but said they will be able to release the final list of candidates by Jan. 8, 2016.

There are 130 candidates for president who filed their Certificates of Candidacy and so far there are 29 aspirants who have been declared as nuisance candidate.

Earlier, Bautista and Comelec spokesman James Jimenez admitted that as long as the disqualification cases against Poe and Duterte were pending, their names would be included in the official ballot.

The Comelec on Tuesday received yet another disqualification case filed against Duterte, this time by the chairman of the University of the Philippines student council, John Paulo delas Nieves.

In his petition, Nieves asked the Comelec to declare the CoC of former PDP-Laban standard bearer Martin Diño as null and void, and to disallow Duterte from substituting for him.

He also asked the Comelec to delete Duterte from the list of candidates for president and that he be excluded from the official ballot.

Delas Nieves is the third petitioner who filed against Duterte.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

DISQUALIFICATION CASES Poe camp to seek SC reversal of Comelec ruling on Monday Published December 26, 2015 11:54am

The camp of Sen. Grace Poe will file next week a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling cancelling her certificate of candidacy for president.

Poe's lawyer George Garcia said they will file the petition before the high court on Monday, December 28.

The senator, meanwhile, said that she is confident SC will rule in her favor.

"We are confident that, giving due consideration to the strong evidence, jurisprudence and pertinent principles and precepts, the Justices will uphold our cause and the right of the people to a genuine choice in the elections," Poe said.

The SC is currently on a holiday break.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has said that the high court may rule on "urgent matters" filed during the holiday break.

In a ruling on December 23, the Comelec en banc junked Poe's petitions against the separate rulings of the First and Second Divisions cancelling her COC for president.

The Comelec en banc voted 5-2 to uphold the First Division's decision disqualifying Poe from the 2016 presidential elections based on questions of citizenship and residency raised by petitiioners Francisco Tatad, Antonio Contreras and Amado Valdez.

The en banc, meanwhile, voted 5-1-1 upholding the decision of the Second Division on Atty. Estrella Elamparo's petition to cancel Poe's COC because of her failure to meet the constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency for presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David has asked the SC to reverse the Senate Electoral Tribunal's decision junking his petition to disqualify Poe from the 2013 elections.

The SC scheduled the oral arguments on David's petition on January 19. —ALG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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