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COURT STOPS POE DISQUALIFICATION WITH TRO


DECEMBER 29 -Two petitions. Senator Grace Poe’s lawyer George Garcia holds up copies of the two petitions he filed at the Supreme Court on Monday asking it to reject the Commission on Elections’ rulings disqualifying Poe from next year’s elections. Ey Acasio
THE Supreme Court issued temporary restraining orders Monday to stop the Commission on Elections from disqualifying Senator Grace Poe and cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy for next year’s presidential election. Responding to petitions filed by the senator, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno approved the issuance of the TROs, which would stop the Comelec from removing Poe’s name from the official ballot, Court spokesman Theodore Te said in a press briefing. Under the court rules, the TROs would be subject to confirmation by the Court en banc when justices resume session on Jan. 12, 2016. The Court also ordered the Comelec to answer Poe’s petitions within 10 days from the receipt of notice. Oral arguments are set for Jan. 19, 2016. Poe hailed the Court’s decision on the TROs, which came on the same day that she filed her petitions. “I thank the Supreme Court for a just and compassionate decision. From the start, I put my full faith in the judicial process. The Comelec denied our people their choices in an open election but I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the truth and the spirit of the Constitution,” Poe said in a statement. Poe also thanked the Court for acting on her petition despite being on recess for the holidays. In her petitions, Poe sought the immediate issuance of TROs because the Comelec said its decision on two disqualification cases against her would be executory if she failed to secure a TRO within five days. “This is a matter of extreme urgency. Through arbitrary, capricious, and seemingly orchestrated, acts over the past two months, the Commission on Elections has single-handedly imperiled the sovereign right of the Filipino people to elect the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines,” the petitions said. Poe’s lawyer, George Garcia, said the five-day period on Poe’s case would have lapsed Monday. In her two petitions, Poe asked the Court to reverse the decisions of the Comelec cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy, and instead allow her to run for President in the May 2016 elections. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace wants 3 justices to inhibit from disqualification case
[The high court is set to hear the cases in oral arguments on Jan.19, 2016 at 2 p.m. TRO amended -Also yesterday, the SC amended the two temporary restraining orders (TROs) it issued against the Comelec last Monday.]


DECEMBER 30 -Carpio, De Castro, Brion
After securing a restraining order against her disqualification in next year’s presidential election, Sen. Grace Poe now wants three justices of the Supreme Court (SC) out of her cases.
In a motion filed yesterday, her lawyers led by George Garcia sought the inhibition of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion from Poe’s petitions contesting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rulings disqualifying her from the May 2016 polls. Garcia argued that the three justices should inhibit from the case since they took part in earlier deliberations of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on a disqualification case against Poe filed by Rizalito David, a losing senatorial candidate in the 2013 elections. Earlier, Carpio said he and his two colleagues would have to inhibit if the SET case was elevated to the SC because based on rules they cannot review their own decision. “We filed a motion to disqualify and inhibit the three justice-members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal because they already prejudged the case, as far as we are concerned, at least on the issue of citizenship,” Garcia said in an interview. Garcia stressed they were not questioning the integrity of the three justices and they only wanted the three to inhibit because of their membership in the SET. The Comelec rulings canceled Poe’s certificate of candidacy due to misrepresentation on her citizenship and residency in the country. The same issue of whether or not she is a natural-born citizen eligible to run for the legislature was resolved by the SET last month in deliberations where the three justices participated. The SET, however, did not touch on the residency issue. David has filed a petition with the SC questioning the tribunal’s majority ruling upholding the eligibility of Poe to run for senator in the 2013 polls. In the SET, the three justices voted with the minority that Poe is not a natural-born citizen unless she proves that either of her biological parents is Filipino. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace’s victory dance premature


DECEMBER 30 -There is no cause for celebration yet for independent presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe despite her securing from Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno a ruling to freeze the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) order to disqualify her from the presidential race since the two temporary restraining orders (TROs) she obtained were “conditional.” Manny Luna, counsel of former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad in the petition to disqualify Poe, in a phone interview with The Tribune, said the high court’s immediate temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Comelec en banc’s decision to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy (CoC) was a mere temporary relief. “The TRO is conditional as it is still subject to confirmation by the Supreme Court en banc come January,” Luna said  “The TRO is a mere temporary relief to an otherwise precarious situation for Poe. Knowing that a TRO could be dissolved anytime, she should hold her horses before parading something that is not a victorious count for her,” Luna said. Luna said he received the SC order to comment on Poe’s petition for certiorari.
“In our comment, we will refute the allegation of Poe that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in cancelling her COC and thus disqualifying her and will also plead for the immediate dissolution of the TRO issued by CJ Sereno on grounds of lack of proper basis,” he said. “We will ask the en banc not to confirm the TRO come its session on January 10. Filing of the comment will be on January 4,” he said. The camp of Poe has been creating an impression that the TRO has a permanent effect claiming that it was a triumph for the democratic process. Sereno last Monday granted Poe’s request for a temporary relief to halt the Comelec’s ruling to deny due course on her presidential certificate of candidacy (CoC) and to delist her from the official roll of candidates for the 2016 national elections. Meanwhile, Poe’s camp yesterday filed two motions urging the SC to consolidate all the petitions involving her - including the motion to reverse the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) ruling that maintains her Senate seat and that she’s a natural-born citizen - into one case and to disqualify three senior Associate Justices who were members of the SET from being involved in deciding on the beleaguered lady senator’s fate. Poe, assuming the SC will rule to grant yet another immediate order to favor her, asked the High Court to consolidate all the cases since they accordingly bear the same questions on her citizenship and her lack of residency to comply with the Constitutional requirement for presidential candidates. “Consolidation of the three petitions is proper, not just because there are common questions of law and fact, but because consolidation will address the need for a speedy resolution of these petitions in view of the upcoming electoral exercise,” one of Poe’s petition stated. On the other hand, Poe also asked the SC to disallow Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion from voting in the matters regarding the petitions decided by the Comelec. The three Associate Justices voted to disqualify Poe from the Senate in the case filed against her in the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). The justices were, however, outvoted 5-4 by members of the Senate sitting in the SET who favored Poe. “Herein movant (Poe) respectfully asks that the inhibition be total (including voting on interlocutory matters), and to extend likewise to the issue of the required residence of ten years,” a separate petition said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Bishops, Poe, Marcos seek end to dirty politics


JANUARY 3 -Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos
WITH only 128 days before the May 9 elections, independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe and vice presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos called on their fellow candidates to abandon dirty politics and start to elevate the political discourse in the country. The two candidates made the appeal as three Catholic bishops renewed the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for Filipino voters to free themselves from the past and stop voting for traditional politicians.“We’re all coming into 2016 with a clean slate. We can use this chance to elevate the level of discourse in the campaign. I think everyone will agree that Filipinos deserve no less from us,” Poe said. Poe recalled that she, Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and opposition bet Vice President Jejomar Binay all agreed to keep the campaign dignified when they gathered for a prayer service with Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle in September. “I remember how Cardinal Tagle reminded us that being a leader means being of service, and that we should never forget that in all things, the leader should be the first to feel what the people are going through,” Poe said. In that September meeting, Tagle called on Filipino politicians to “raise the bar” in political campaigning while CBCP president and Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned that a candidate who resorts to dirty politics “must be suspect.” “He may have nothing positive to offer, and he debases the level of political discourse by calling attention to the shortcomings of his rivals and competitors, rather than on the programs and projects he or she might have,” Villegas said. Poe said the ultimate goal of all candidates should be to uplift the lives of Filipinos and not their personal ambitions. “We all want the same thing for the country, which is ultimately, to uplift the lives of our fellow Filipinos. Let us not make this about personal ambitions because if we do, the tendency is to employ all means, even dirty tactics, to eliminate those who stand in the way,” Poe said. Marcos made the same appeal in a separate statement and urged candidates to make permanent the “ceasefire” from mud-slinging and character assassination that candidates observed during the Christmas season. “Well, we have done it,” Marcos said. “I can’t see any reason why it could not be done during the entire campaign period.”  “The people are waiting to hear solutions to the lingering problems of the country and it should be given to them. It would be an insult to their intelligence if this is sidelined by non-sense quarrels,” Marcos added.  READ MORE...RELATED, DNA SAMPLES EXTRACTED Bodies of Grace Poe’s possible biological parents exhumed in Guimaras...

ALSO: By Mauro Samonte - Why Vice President Jejomar Binay will win


JANUARY 1 -by MAURO GIA SAMONTE
Early in the year I began expressing through the social wire my initial views on the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay for President. For sheer want in specifics on the demolition job being undertaken against him, I could only resort to citing historical patterns by way of contributing to his cause. Jojo and I had an interlude of camaraderie in the past, and this interlude, no matter how brief, had prompted me to do something for him for old time’s sake. I cited three modes of succession to the presidency undergone by the country. The first mode, the most popular one, is election. The second mode, power grab by the successor. The third mode, death of the incumbent. Of the third case, there have been two occasions. One was the death of President Manuel Roxas in 1948 and then Vice President Elpidio Quirino succeeded him. Another was the death of President Ramon Magsaysay in a plane crash in 1957 and Vice President Carlos P. Garcia took over. Of the second case, the first time was the power grab by Cory from President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the EDSA uprising in 1986, and the second time was the military breakaway that resulted in the removal from office of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the infamous installation by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as president. We elaborate on the first case because it has been the democratic means of changing Philippine presidents, or at least that’s how it has been pictured to us, and it is the means currently ongoing and hence deserving the most attention now. Without any attempt at all to hide my sympathies for Jojo, I nonetheless tried my best to be objective about the matter of him being the historically-destined one to succeed to the presidency. To begin with, it is in the psyche of electorates that the next president is the sitting vice president. I don’t pretend to any expertise at socio-psychology or some such by which to be able to explain this phenomenon. I just put it in terms of a layman’s understanding that in many sphere’s of social living, people get disciplined on the principle of next-in-line: the queue at the cashier’s counter in supermarkets, at the movie theater ticket windows, at transport terminals, the examples are many. In succession to authority in the family, when the parents are gone, the eldest of the children becomes the family head – and that, by no force of law, is the tradition. History itself bears me out in standing by this contention. No vice president who ran for president has lost. Vice President Diosdado Macapagal ran for president in 1961 and won. Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada ran for president in 1998 and won. When I made this contention on Twitter, somebody was quick to point out that Vice President Salvador P. Laurel ran for president in 1992 and ended up at the cellar of the contest. I was quick to retort likewise that Laurel was not a duly-elected vice president in 1987 but a bogus one, like his president Cory, both of them having been forcibly rammed by America down the throat of the Filipino nation. Laurel does not fit in this reckoning and my contention remains unchallenged. Now the country is into the fever of another electoral change in the presidency. Studying historical patterns of presidential elections, we notice the interesting detail that presidents have been coming only from three training grounds, if we may put it that way. What are these three? First, indeed, is the Vice Presidency. Already cited are the cases of Vice President Diosdado Macapagal in 1961 and Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 1998. In fact, the very first president of the Republic of the Philippines, Manuel Roxas, must also fit into this category. Remember that when Roxas ran for president in 1946, he was the effective vice president of the preceding commonwealth government. President Manuel L. Quezon had already died then and Vice President Sergio Osmena must succeed him to the post, thus vacating the post of the vice president. Who would fill in the vacancy? The sitting Senate President, who else but Manuel Roxas. In this regard, Manuel Roxas must also serve as the precursor of Senate Presidents succeeding to the presidency through election. Next Senate President to do so was the longest-serving President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was Senate President when he ran for President and won in 1965. And the third historically proven training ground for Presidents is the Secretaryship of the Department of National Defense. First defense secretary to get elected president was Ramon Magsaysay in 1954, beating the sitting President Elpidio Quirino. Next was Fidel V. Ramos, who was Secretary of National Defense prior to winning the presidency in 1992. A fluke in this pattern was the election of incumbent President Benigno C. Aquino 3rd , who was just a senator and just half-way through his term when he ran for president and won in 2010. But I personally rate this happening as still a consequence of the Cory presidency which in the first place I damn as bogus, hence any effect of which must likewise be bogus. The Benigno C. Aquino presidency simply highlights the utter corruption of the people’s consciousness of democracy, and if it sets at all another pattern for sitting a president, then that pattern should be no less condemnable than the barefaced power grab executed by Cory by which she frustrated the people’s will in the 1986 snap presidential poll. Now, we take a close look at the current presidential contenders. Who among them conforms to the above-cited criteria? READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Supreme Court stops Poe disqualification


Two petitions. Senator Grace Poe’s lawyer George Garcia holds up copies of the two petitions he filed at the Supreme Court on Monday asking it to reject the Commission on Elections’ rulings disqualifying Poe from next year’s elections. Ey Acasio

MANILA, JANUARY 4, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted December 29, 2015 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta

THE Supreme Court issued temporary restraining orders Monday to stop the Commission on Elections from disqualifying Senator Grace Poe and cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy for next year’s presidential election.

Responding to petitions filed by the senator, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno approved the issuance of the TROs, which would stop the Comelec from removing Poe’s name from the official ballot, Court spokesman Theodore Te said in a press briefing.

Under the court rules, the TROs would be subject to confirmation by the Court en banc when justices resume session on Jan. 12, 2016.

The Court also ordered the Comelec to answer Poe’s petitions within 10 days from the receipt of notice.

Oral arguments are set for Jan. 19, 2016.

Poe hailed the Court’s decision on the TROs, which came on the same day that she filed her petitions.

“I thank the Supreme Court for a just and compassionate decision. From the start, I put my full faith in the judicial process. The Comelec denied our people their choices in an open election but I am confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the truth and the spirit of the Constitution,” Poe said in a statement.

Poe also thanked the Court for acting on her petition despite being on recess for the holidays.

In her petitions, Poe sought the immediate issuance of TROs because the Comelec said its decision on two disqualification cases against her would be executory if she failed to secure a TRO within five days.

“This is a matter of extreme urgency. Through arbitrary, capricious, and seemingly orchestrated, acts over the past two months, the Commission on Elections has single-handedly imperiled the sovereign right of the Filipino people to elect the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines,” the petitions said.

Poe’s lawyer, George Garcia, said the five-day period on Poe’s case would have lapsed Monday.

In her two petitions, Poe asked the Court to reverse the decisions of the Comelec cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy, and instead allow her to run for President in the May 2016 elections.

READ MORE...

Poe appealed to the Court to issue a TRO or status quo ante order enjoining the Comelec’s decision dated Dec. 23, 2015 granting the four petitions seeking to disqualify Poe from the presidential race on ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and for her failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement.

Garcia said they filed two separate petitions assailing the two resolutions issued by the Comelec’s First and Second Divisions, which were both affirmed by the Comelec en banc last week.

The Comelec’s First Division, in its decision on Dec. 11, disqualified Poe based on the petitions filed by De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras, former Senator Francisco Tatad and former University of the East College of Law dean Amado Valdez.

The poll body’s Second Division unanimously voted on Dec. 1 to disqualify Poe based on the petition of former Government Service Insurance System chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo.

Poe’s petitions before the Court also questioned the timing of the release of the en banc’s resolutions on Dec. 23, saying that it was meant to ensure her immediate removal from the ballot for next year’s elections.

“Under these circumstances, Senator Poe humbly prays for the immediate intervention by this Honorable Court. She asks that the Comelec be enjoined without any further delay, from inflicting even more damage to her and the right of the Filipino people to choose their next President,” the petition read.

“The Supreme Court has the sole authority to decide on questions of qualification, and to uphold with finality the people’s right to choose the nation’s leader,” Poe said in a statement.

In her petition assailing the resolution of the Comelec First Division, Poe argued that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when, instead, of requiring Tatad to prove his allegation that she is not a natural-born citizen, placed the burden on her to prove she is born of Filipino parents.

“Senator Poe submits that the issue of whether a foundling is a natural-born Filipino transcends her candidacy for President. What is at stake in this case is not only a foundling’s right to run for high public offices, but the enjoyment of a host of even seemingly ordinary rights or positions which our laws reserve only for natural-born citizens,” the petition read.

“The reality that a foundling will be deprived of these simply because she was abandoned at birth, without any trace of her biological parents [a circumstance that is not of her own doing] is highly material in this case,” the senator added.

Poe also challenged the Comelec conclusion that she intended to mislead voters with the wrong information in her Certificate of Candidacy.

The Supreme Court is on recess until Jan. 10, but its rules allow the Chief Justice to act on urgent cases without holding a session of the justices.

The issuance of any temporary restraining order or status quo ante order must be upheld by the majority of the justices when they next convene.

In a text message, Poe’s spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the Court’s action would prevent “further damage to our democracy.”

“We are confident that in the coming days as the legal points are being threshed out, the SC will see the merits of our position that Poe is a natural-born Filipino and has met the required residency pre-requisite,” Gatchalian said.


Now that her case has reached its final battleground, Poe said all she is asking for is a fair consideration of the facts.

“We are confident the SC will honor previous jurisprudence on the rights of foundlings to a country and citizenship. I also pray that they will carefully look into the facts of my residence and my actual physical presence in the country,” said Poe.

Garcia, Poe’s lawyer, said they also filed a separate petition asking the three justices who voted against Poe in the Senate Electoral Tribunal to inhibit themselves from the proceedings.

The three magistrates are Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro and Arturo Brion.

Poe said she was hopeful that the Supreme Court will decide the same way it did in her father’s case in 2004 and let the people decide in a “truly democratic” election.

The Palace said the high court is the final arbiter in such cases.

“We join our people’s hope and trust that any decision that will eventually be rendered on the matter would be imbued with fairness and justice,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Also on Monday, Gatchalian denied reports that her running mate Senator Francisco Escudero, was abandoning Poe.

Gatchalian said the partnership of the two independent candidates remains steadfast in working for a government that will push for inclusive growth.

“The Poe-Escudero tandem remains strong despite all the black propaganda being hurled against them,” Gatchalian said.

“These people have launched their attacks on Senator Poe and now have launched an offensive aimed at sowing intrigue within the Poe-Escudero tandem,” he said.

He said the recent story being circulated that Escudero has abandoned Poe is baseless and a barefaced lie.

“If the people behind this story plan to drive a wedge between the two candidates, they should stop wasting their time as the two candidates continue to fight this battle together, side-by-side,” he said.

Meanwhile, the pro-Poe Gawa at Prinsipyo Coalition said it welcomed supporters of the senator who stood by her in her hour of need but strongly condemned efforts by some quarters to break up the Poe-Escudero tandem.

“It’s unfortunate that a few infiltrators dispatched by the rivals of the tandem tried to join the gathering of supporters before the Supreme Court. We should be united in condemning the Comelec decision, instead of sowing intrigue,” the group said in a statement. With Sandy Araneta


PHILSTAR

Grace wants 3 justices to inhibit from disqualification case By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 30, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Carpio, De Castro, Brion

MANILA, Philippines – After securing a restraining order against her disqualification in next year’s presidential election, Sen. Grace Poe now wants three justices of the Supreme Court (SC) out of her cases.

In a motion filed yesterday, her lawyers led by George Garcia sought the inhibition of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion from Poe’s petitions contesting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rulings disqualifying her from the May 2016 polls.

Garcia argued that the three justices should inhibit from the case since they took part in earlier deliberations of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on a disqualification case against Poe filed by Rizalito David, a losing senatorial candidate in the 2013 elections.

Earlier, Carpio said he and his two colleagues would have to inhibit if the SET case was elevated to the SC because based on rules they cannot review their own decision.

“We filed a motion to disqualify and inhibit the three justice-members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal because they already prejudged the case, as far as we are concerned, at least on the issue of citizenship,” Garcia said in an interview.

Garcia stressed they were not questioning the integrity of the three justices and they only wanted the three to inhibit because of their membership in the SET.

The Comelec rulings canceled Poe’s certificate of candidacy due to misrepresentation on her citizenship and residency in the country.

The same issue of whether or not she is a natural-born citizen eligible to run for the legislature was resolved by the SET last month in deliberations where the three justices participated.

The SET, however, did not touch on the residency issue. David has filed a petition with the SC questioning the tribunal’s majority ruling upholding the eligibility of Poe to run for senator in the 2013 polls.

In the SET, the three justices voted with the minority that Poe is not a natural-born citizen unless she proves that either of her biological parents is Filipino.

READ MORE...

Poe’s lawyers are also seeking the consolidation of all the disqualification cases.

In a separate motion filed also yesterday, they asked the high court to consolidate for practical purposes their two petitions assailing the separate resolutions of the First and Second Divisions of the poll body with that of David involving the SET ruling.

“Perhaps this may be a legal strategy on our part, but our primary purpose really is to expedite the disposition of the cases. If our motion is granted, it will be more convenient for the Supreme Court as it will just come up with a single decision in all these three cases,” he explained.

The high court is set to hear the cases in oral arguments on Jan.19, 2016 at 2 p.m.

TRO amended Also yesterday, the SC amended the two temporary restraining orders (TROs) it issued against the Comelec last Monday.

The high court initially ordered just the poll body to answer Poe’s separate petitions. But in the amended orders released yesterday, the high tribunal also directed private petitioners in the disqualification cases – lawyer Estrella Elamparo, former senator Franciso Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez – to file their comments on the petitions.

Just like the Comelec, the private respondents in Poe’s petitions were given 10 days from receipt of notice to comply with the order.

Last Monday, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno issued two TROs enjoining the Comelec from implementing the disqualification ruling of its two divisions against Poe.

Since the high court is on holiday recess, the Chief Justice issued the orders upon recommendation of the two justices to whom the two petitions filed by Poe were assigned.

The TROs, which are effective immediately and until further orders, allow Poe to keep her slot in the ballots to be printed by the Comelec late next month.

Court rules require that the TROs be confirmed by the full SC when justices resume session on Jan. 12, 2016.

Poe and her lawyers also said they hope the justices would not succumb to political pressures.

“The Supreme Court is the most revered institution, we hope there will be no back channeling,” one of her lawyers Dino Tamano said.

Poe herself said she has full faith in the Supreme Court and the justices.

“I’d like to make clear that one of the lawyers who filed the Comelec case had moved that my name be stricken off the list of candidates immediately if we failed to get the TROs,” she said in Filipino, referring to the petition of Tatad’s camp to have her named removed at once from the official list of candidates.

“It’s clear that their move is not for the country. If you file a case in court, you normally would like to be enlightened by listening to court deliberations,” she said.

When asked if she is worried about the possibility that the Comelec might be used against her, Poe said anyone found involved in election fraud would face the consequences anyway.

“I am not afraid of them. My father had the same experience in 2004... So if they will cheat in the coming elections, they will have to answer to the people,” Poe stressed.

She also reiterated her trust in her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero, who is being accused by some of her supporters of supposedly abandoning her.

“There is no reason to doubt (his sincerity). While I welcome the concern of some of our countrymen, I am giving them assurances that everything is okay,” she said in Filipino.

“He has been with us since 2004. He has not abandoned us. You be the judge, I think he is among those who support us, who defend us,” she added.

Independent ruling Malacañang, for its part, said it is confident the SC can render an independent decision on the disqualification cases against Poe even as it maintained it did not have anything to do with moves to have her disqualified from the presidential race.

In a press briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the SC, being the final arbiter of such cases, would be able to come up with a fair and reasonable ruling.

In an earlier interview, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said there was no basis to accuse the administration of having a hand in the cases against Poe because President Aquino would not have anything to gain from it despite his endorsement of then interior secretary Manuel Roxas II as standard bearer of the administration and the ruling Liberal Party.

The camps of Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay have denied involvement in the filing of disqualification cases against the senator.

Meanwhile, more supporters of Poe lauded the SC’s issuance of the TROs.

“A triumph for truth, justice, democracy and human rights,” a statement from the Pangasinan-based Ang Grasya ng Masang Pilipino Movement (AGMPM) read.

“The Supreme Court upholding the cause of Senator Poe and the cause of the sovereign people is consistent with the democratic precept that favors inclusion rather than exclusion,” AGMPM said.

“The Supreme Court’s timely and prompt decision to issue the TROs all but favor the right of the people to elect the servant leaders of their choice, and that doubts and resorts to technicalities as done by the Comelec en banc cannot serve to defeat the exercise of popular sovereignty of citizens,” it added.


 'I wanted to continue what FPJ had started' – Grace Poe

In Los Angeles, Filipino-American leaders of the Grace Poe for President Movement also hailed the Supreme Court’s timely issuance of the two TROs.

“With the issuance of the TROs against the Comelec, the SC has proven itself as the ‘great defender’ of the oppressed, powerless innocent like the foundling Grace Poe,” the group said in a statement.

“Chief Justice Sereno’s prompt decision to issue the TROs has put a stop to the politics of exclusion and election by elimination being perpetrated by the conspirators who are out to preserve the status quo via a legal coup d e’tat,” Jun Caringal, one of the group’s leaders said.

“The SC is institutionally lifted up with this decision, especially when it fights back for the powerless, serves as the people’s defender and acts as the great equalizer,” Caringal pointed out.

In Pangasinan, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) and the Abono party-list also praised the SC for its move.

“The TROs are gifts of hope to the agriculture sector that has pinned its hope on Poe as someone who would push and implement agriculture development in the country, and someone who would ensure that the farmers’ interests are prioritized and protected by stopping smuggling of agricultural products into the country,” Rosendo So, Sinag president and Abono party-list chair, said.

“We are optimistic that the Supreme Court would be fair and considerate when it issues the final decision on the cases against our prospective president,” they added in their statement.

They said they were reaffirming their support for Poe “as we have seen her consistent efforts to give priority to the concerns of the agriculture sector and the interest of Filipino farmers since she was elected senator.” – With Christina Mendez, Non Alquitran, Aurea Calica, Eva Visperas


INQUIRER

Grace’s victory dance premature Written by Tribune Wires Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00 By Ted Tuvera



MANILA --There is no cause for celebration yet for independent presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe despite her securing from Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno a ruling to freeze the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) order to disqualify her from the presidential race since the two temporary restraining orders (TROs) she obtained were “conditional.”

Manny Luna, counsel of former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad in the petition to disqualify Poe, in a phone interview with The Tribune, said the high court’s immediate temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Comelec en banc’s decision to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy (CoC) was a mere temporary relief.

“The TRO is conditional as it is still subject to confirmation by the Supreme Court en banc come January,” Luna said.
“The TRO is a mere temporary relief to an otherwise precarious situation for Poe. Knowing that a TRO could be dissolved anytime, she should hold her horses before parading something that is not a victorious count for her,” Luna said. Luna said he received the SC order to comment on Poe’s petition for certiorari.

“In our comment, we will refute the allegation of Poe that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in cancelling her COC and thus disqualifying her and will also plead for the immediate dissolution of the TRO issued by CJ Sereno on grounds of lack of proper basis,” he said.

“We will ask the en banc not to confirm the TRO come its session on January 10. Filing of the comment will be on January 4,” he said.

The camp of Poe has been creating an impression that the TRO has a permanent effect claiming that it was a triumph for the democratic process.


CHIEF JUSTICE SERENO

Sereno last Monday granted Poe’s request for a temporary relief to halt the Comelec’s ruling to deny due course on her presidential certificate of candidacy (CoC) and to delist her from the official roll of candidates for the 2016 national elections.

Meanwhile, Poe’s camp yesterday filed two motions urging the SC to consolidate all the petitions involving her - including the motion to reverse the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) ruling that maintains her Senate seat and that she’s a natural-born citizen - into one case and to disqualify three senior Associate Justices who were members of the SET from being involved in deciding on the beleaguered lady senator’s fate.

Poe, assuming the SC will rule to grant yet another immediate order to favor her, asked the High Court to consolidate all the cases since they accordingly bear the same questions on her citizenship and her lack of residency to comply with the Constitutional requirement for presidential candidates.

“Consolidation of the three petitions is proper, not just because there are common questions of law and fact, but because consolidation will address the need for a speedy resolution of these petitions in view of the upcoming electoral exercise,” one of Poe’s petition stated.

On the other hand, Poe also asked the SC to disallow Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion from voting in the matters regarding the petitions decided by the Comelec.

The three Associate Justices voted to disqualify Poe from the Senate in the case filed against her in the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).

The justices were, however, outvoted 5-4 by members of the Senate sitting in the SET who favored Poe.

“Herein movant (Poe) respectfully asks that the inhibition be total (including voting on interlocutory matters), and to extend likewise to the issue of the required residence of ten years,” a separate petition said.

READ MORE...

Carpio, de Castro and Brion all dissented against the SET’s majority vote to junk petitioner Rizalito David’s quo warranto seeking to oust Poe from the Senate based on the allegations that she’s not a natural-born citizen.

Poe also previously criticized Carpio for supposed bias against her since the Senior Associate Justice was the one who opposed the lady senator’s adoptive dad Fernando Poe Jr.’s bid for the Presidency in 2004.

But for Luna such moves from the Poe camp shows how desperate she is, further criticizing such moves as absurd.

“Why will they consolidate matters of different natures? The SET question is way different from the cases before the Comelec. It is uncalled for as it is not necessary and irrelevant in the procedures,” Luna told the Tribune in a phone interview.

He also explained that since the Comelec and the SET are two separate independent constitutional bodies, “it is impossible and unlikely to enjoin them into one concern”.

“The SET and the Comelec are serving two different functions and mandates. It is wrong to overlap their issues as one,” he said.

“It seems that her camp wants the law to bend in their favor. That should never be the case,” he added.

Luna, who is also petitioner David’s counsel in the SET case, also said that urging the three senior magistrates to inhibit themselves from the Comelec cases as “absolutely unnecessary.”


Carpio, De Castro, Brion


“(Justices Carpio, de Castro and Brion) already declared beforehand their inhibition on the cases, so what’s the use of such motion? They wasted their time in filing so,” Luna said.

“Such efforts also show how scared Sen. Poe is,” he added.

Brion in his dissent in the SET case, had said there is no evidence that existed to show that Poe is a natural-born citizen, one of the major requirements for an aspirant to be allowed to run for President.

Carpio and De Castro, on the other hand believed that while Poe is a Filipino citizen, she is not natural born because she acquired her nationality by legal fiction.

Poe’s counsel George Garcia said they want the three justices to inhibit because they have already prejudged the case based on their dissenting opinion.

They have also filed another motion seeking to consolidate her cases before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the SET.

The SC earlier stopped the Comelec from implementing its decision cancelling Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

The high court has set oral argument on Jan. 19 for all the three cases including the the that questioned the Comelec en banc’s decision and the SET ruling.

Poe calls out to justices

As the SC braces for the oral arguments of Poe’s camp and that of her petitioners seeking to dislodge her from the 2016 presidential elections, Poe said the SC justices must remain loyal to the public that they serve and not to the appointing powers.

The same, she said, should be the case to those sitting in the Commission on Elections (Comelec), where five of the seven-man poll body ruled to cancel her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for president.

“I’m not questioning the credibility of the three SC justices (in the Senate Electoral Tribunal) but I hope they’ll inhibit voluntarily,” Poe said citing the practice of “tradition” wherein those who have already ruled on the case opt not participate in proceedings to review their own case.

Despite their apprehension, Poe and her lawyer Garcia expressed belief in the integrity of the high court citing its decision on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), economic stimulus program of the Aquino administration, which showed its independence.

The embattled senator said she believes that she has a good chance to win her case before the high court unlike in the Comelec which did not even scrutinized the pieces of evidence they presented before the poll body.

In the said press conference, Poe dared the Comelec commissioners to face her and examine the documents she earlier submitted to disprove her claims, adding that she never lied to the body about her status as a Filipino citizen.

Poe then went on to continue accusing those petitioning to remove her from the presidential derby as being backed up by some “powerful interests” out to disqualify her from running in next year’s national elections but refused to identify who these people are.

Instead, she warned them that they would be answerable to the public especially because of the support that she believes she continue to be receiving.

She assured that her candidacy is very much alive given the TRO handed down by the SC, reiterating to her supporters that she’s still in the running for Malacanang in 2016.

Asked if she’s ready to lose the case, Poe said she’s at peace with whatever destiny is in store for her.

Palace coy



Malacañang maintained the administration has no hand in the disqualification cases hurled against Poe, as the issue is now up for the SC to decide.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma reiterated that the Aquino administration has nothing to do with Poe’s cases with the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Again, Malacanang called on the SC to hand down a fair judgement on the issue.

“We are one with the people in hope and trust that whatever decision that will be handed down will be fair, reasonable and just,” Coloma said. “The administration has no hand (on the disqualification cases).”

In the modified TRO issued by the High Tribunal, private petitioners who filed the disqualification cases against Poe were included among those sought for comments on the case.

Respondents named were: former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad, former Government Service Insurance System legal counsel Estrella “Star” Elamparo, former University of the East College of Law Dean Amado Valdez and De La Salle Professor Antonio Contreras.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has given all parties, including the filers of the cases, ten days to issue their written statements to the SC.

Poe’s case will be handled by Associate Justices Mariano C. Del Castillo and Marvic F. Leonen.
Benjamin B. Pulta, Angie M. Rosales, Joshua L. Labonera


INQUIRER

Bishops, bets seek end to dirty politics posted January 03, 2016 at 12:01 am by Vito Barcelo and Sara D. Fabunan


Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos

WITH only 128 days before the May 9 elections, independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe and vice presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos called on their fellow candidates to abandon dirty politics and start to elevate the political discourse in the country.

The two candidates made the appeal as three Catholic bishops renewed the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for Filipino voters to free themselves from the past and stop voting for traditional politicians.

“We’re all coming into 2016 with a clean slate. We can use this chance to elevate the level of discourse in the campaign. I think everyone will agree that Filipinos deserve no less from us,” Poe said.

Poe recalled that she, Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and opposition bet Vice President Jejomar Binay all agreed to keep the campaign dignified when they gathered for a prayer service with Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle in September.

“I remember how Cardinal Tagle reminded us that being a leader means being of service, and that we should never forget that in all things, the leader should be the first to feel what the people are going through,” Poe said.

In that September meeting, Tagle called on Filipino politicians to “raise the bar” in political campaigning while CBCP president and Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned that a candidate who resorts to dirty politics “must be suspect.”


CARDINAL TAGLE

“He may have nothing positive to offer, and he debases the level of political discourse by calling attention to the shortcomings of his rivals and competitors, rather than on the programs and projects he or she might have,” Villegas said.

Poe said the ultimate goal of all candidates should be to uplift the lives of Filipinos and not their personal ambitions.

“We all want the same thing for the country, which is ultimately, to uplift the lives of our fellow Filipinos. Let us not make this about personal ambitions because if we do, the tendency is to employ all means, even dirty tactics, to eliminate those who stand in the way,” Poe said.

Marcos made the same appeal in a separate statement and urged candidates to make permanent the “ceasefire” from mud-slinging and character assassination that candidates observed during the Christmas season.

“Well, we have done it,” Marcos said. “I can’t see any reason why it could not be done during the entire campaign period.”

“The people are waiting to hear solutions to the lingering problems of the country and it should be given to them. It would be an insult to their intelligence if this is sidelined by non-sense quarrels,” Marcos added.

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Marcos urged a permanent end to trash-talk and encouraged candidates to focus on issues and express to the people their solutions to the problems of the country.

“Now and during the campaign period, we candidates should present to the electorate discourses, speeches, and statements that are issue-based and in a dignified and decent manner,” Marcos said.

The two politicians made the appeal as three bishops reiterated the CBCP appeal for voters to change Philippine politics and ignore traditional politics and its practitioners.

“Vote candidates who are God fearing, nationalistic, humane, pro-life, just, and care for the environment,” said Marbel, Cotabato Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, adding that Filipinos should vote for a leader who can unite the whole nation and can instill change.

Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos hoped the coming election will be different this year.


Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos

“Wishing and praying that our election will no longer be on the evil basis of personal greed, terrorism of guns and goons, and bribery of gold. But our election will be the good of the environment and of the community. It will be at service of the country and to manifest God’s glory,” Santos said.

But Lipa Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles urged all Filipino Catholic voters not to vote for corrupt politicians, but expressed frustration that voters may not find a candidate who has “morality, loves God, the country and the environment.”

“May all realize we cannot continue putting the future of our nation in the hands of corrupt people,” he said.

The CBCP had earlier warned against politicians using government resources in their electoral campaigns.

Villegas also cautioned against “subtler forms of coercion and intimidation” to promote a particular candidate.

“It is God’s will to provide his people with shepherds after His merciful heart,” Villegas said.


DAGUPAN BISHOP VILLEGAS

The appeal was among the 10-point guideline for Catholic voters deriving from the moral teachings of the Church.

Still refusing to endorse any particular candidates, the bishops, however, urged the faithful to reject political aspirants who are opposed to the Church’s stand on family and life issues.

They said that “in good conscience,” a Catholic voter cannot support a candidate who supports abortion, euthanasia, the return of the death penalty, divorce, and same-sex union.

“The Catholic voter must evaluate candidates according to the model of Christ, who came to serve, not to be served,” stressed the prelate.


LIPA BISHOP ARGUELLES

While realizing that there are no perfect candidates, he said, there is a difference between one who has been wrong in the past and wiling to amend his ways, and one who exhibits “stubbornness and obstinacy.”

The bishops’ collegial body also warned voters against candidates whose ideology are geared towards making the Philippines a secular state “that has no respect for religion in its public life.”

“A Catholic cannot support a candidate who vows to wipe out religion from public life,” said Villegas.

The CBCP head also called on Catholic voters not to close their doors to candidates who have different religious beliefs, saying there are worthy candidates from other religions.

“Their qualifications and aspirations must be given serious heed by our Catholic voters, their truly helpful plans and visions must be supported,” he said.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

DNA SAMPLES EXTRACTED Bodies of Grace Poe’s possible biological parents exhumed in Guimaras Published December 30, 2015 2:16pm By MARIZ UMALI, GMA News GUIMARAS—


Sen. Grace Poe ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The remains of three persons suspected to be the biological parents of Sen. Grace Poe have been exhumed on Guimaras Island on Wednesday to gather specimens for DNA testing. As this developed, cash reward for information leading to biological parents of Poe has gone up to P355,000 after a ship captain and a doctor promised to give a total of P55,000 to anyone the can provide “solid” information on Poe’s parents. This is in addition to the P300,000 reward earlier offered by retired labor judge Jesus Nograles Rodriguez Jr., who is based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

The camp of Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday morning had the remains of her alleged biological parents exhumed at the East Valencia Public Cemetery in Buenavista town for purposes of DNA examination.

Poe's representatives at the site included a lawyer and a forensic pathologist.

First to be exhumed were the remains of Victoria Rodriguez, who is believed to be the Poe's biological mother.

A bone fragment from her thigh was extracted for DNA testing to determine whether her remains have a DNA match with the senator.

Also exhumed were bodies of Francisco Montañez and his son Paquito to determine the paternal line of the senator.

It is believed that either Francisco or Paquito was the real father of Poe, thus DNA samples needed to be extracted from both their remains.

"Kelangan kasi posibleng si Francisco Montañez or son Paquito (ang ama) kwento ng mga kapatid, to determine the proximity of relationship, only the result of DNA can ascertain kaya kinuha yung dalawa" says Guimaras Vice Governor Vicente de Asis who is also close to the Rodriguez and Montañez families.

Poe, a foundling, was adopted by the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. and his wife actress Susan Roces after she was found at the Jaro Cathedral in 1968.

She is now facing disqualification cases before the Supreme Court because of her questioned status as a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Poe is looking for her biological parents but has repeatedly said that her claim to being a natural-born Filipino need not be based on finding them.

She said that international statutes presume natural-born citizenship to foundlings like her.

DNA testing in Manila

The samples will be transported to Manila for DNA testing, together with nine buccal swabs from alleged Poe aunts and uncles. The swabs were extracted on Tuesday.

Six out of the nine swabs are from the siblings of Victoria Rodriguez while the other three are from the siblings of Paquito Montañez.

Poe's medical and legal teams arrived in Guimaras on Tuesday morning to obtain the DNA samples after the doctor conducting the earlier DNA tests in Manila told them to get more samples from purported relatives.

One of the alleged uncles, Junie Rodriguez said in Ilonggo that it is important for them to undergo DNA testing to help Grace Poe in the cases filed against her particularly that which questions her citizenship.

Earlier the Poe camp tried to get exhumation permit and permit to transport the bones and other dna samples from Guimaras to Manila from the municipal health office and the local government of Guimaras to make sure no sanitation and health procedures will be violated.

Help in citizenship case

On December 14, an alleged aunt of Poe, Lorena Dechavez, and two alleged sisters, Malyn and Magdalena, went to Manila to provide DNA samples also for matching with that of the senator.

"Gusto ko na lumabas dna test para ok na lahat ang pagtakbo niya magtuluy tuloy na...Eh kasi nagigipit na siya. Alam namin noon pa pero di kami naghabol maganda na kasi kalagayan niya" Dechavez said.NB, GMA News


MANILA TIMES by Mauro Gia Samonte

Why Vice President Jejomar Binay will win January 1, 2016 10:19 pm MAURO GIA SAMONTE
 


by MAURO GIA SAMONTE

Early in the year I began expressing through the social wire my initial views on the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay for President. For sheer want in specifics on the demolition job being undertaken against him, I could only resort to citing historical patterns by way of contributing to his cause. Jojo and I had an interlude of camaraderie in the past, and this interlude, no matter how brief, had prompted me to do something for him for old time’s sake.

I cited three modes of succession to the presidency undergone by the country. The first mode, the most popular one, is election. The second mode, power grab by the successor. The third mode, death of the incumbent.

Of the third case, there have been two occasions. One was the death of President Manuel Roxas in 1948 and then Vice President Elpidio Quirino succeeded him. Another was the death of President Ramon Magsaysay in a plane crash in 1957 and Vice President Carlos P. Garcia took over.

Of the second case, the first time was the power grab by Cory from President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the EDSA uprising in 1986, and the second time was the military breakaway that resulted in the removal from office of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the infamous installation by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as president.

We elaborate on the first case because it has been the democratic means of changing Philippine presidents, or at least that’s how it has been pictured to us, and it is the means currently ongoing and hence deserving the most attention now.

Without any attempt at all to hide my sympathies for Jojo, I nonetheless tried my best to be objective about the matter of him being the historically-destined one to succeed to the presidency.

To begin with, it is in the psyche of electorates that the next president is the sitting vice president. I don’t pretend to any expertise at socio-psychology or some such by which to be able to explain this phenomenon. I just put it in terms of a layman’s understanding that in many sphere’s of social living, people get disciplined on the principle of next-in-line: the queue at the cashier’s counter in supermarkets, at the movie theater ticket windows, at transport terminals, the examples are many. In succession to authority in the family, when the parents are gone, the eldest of the children becomes the family head – and that, by no force of law, is the tradition.

History itself bears me out in standing by this contention.

No vice president who ran for president has lost. Vice President Diosdado Macapagal ran for president in 1961 and won. Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada ran for president in 1998 and won.

When I made this contention on Twitter, somebody was quick to point out that Vice President Salvador P. Laurel ran for president in 1992 and ended up at the cellar of the contest. I was quick to retort likewise that Laurel was not a duly-elected vice president in 1987 but a bogus one, like his president Cory, both of them having been forcibly rammed by America down the throat of the Filipino nation. Laurel does not fit in this reckoning and my contention remains unchallenged.

Now the country is into the fever of another electoral change in the presidency. Studying historical patterns of presidential elections, we notice the interesting detail that presidents have been coming only from three training grounds, if we may put it that way. What are these three?


VP JOJOMAR BINAY

First, indeed, is the Vice Presidency. Already cited are the cases of Vice President Diosdado Macapagal in 1961 and Vice President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 1998. In fact, the very first president of the Republic of the Philippines, Manuel Roxas, must also fit into this category. Remember that when Roxas ran for president in 1946, he was the effective vice president of the preceding commonwealth government. President Manuel L. Quezon had already died then and Vice President Sergio Osmena must succeed him to the post, thus vacating the post of the vice president. Who would fill in the vacancy? The sitting Senate President, who else but Manuel Roxas.

In this regard, Manuel Roxas must also serve as the precursor of Senate Presidents succeeding to the presidency through election. Next Senate President to do so was the longest-serving President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was Senate President when he ran for President and won in 1965.

And the third historically proven training ground for Presidents is the Secretaryship of the Department of National Defense. First defense secretary to get elected president was Ramon Magsaysay in 1954, beating the sitting President Elpidio Quirino. Next was Fidel V. Ramos, who was Secretary of National Defense prior to winning the presidency in 1992.

A fluke in this pattern was the election of incumbent President Benigno C. Aquino 3rd , who was just a senator and just half-way through his term when he ran for president and won in 2010. But I personally rate this happening as still a consequence of the Cory presidency which in the first place I damn as bogus, hence any effect of which must likewise be bogus. The Benigno C. Aquino presidency simply highlights the utter corruption of the people’s consciousness of democracy, and if it sets at all another pattern for sitting a president, then that pattern should be no less condemnable than the barefaced power grab executed by Cory by which she frustrated the people’s will in the 1986 snap presidential poll.

Now, we take a close look at the current presidential contenders. Who among them conforms to the above-cited criteria?

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We start from the bottom in the latest poll survey. Miriam Defensor Santiago is a senator, all right, but is not a Senate President. Besides, she bears the stigma of having lost not once but twice already in attempts at the presidency, and history bears out one outstanding characteristic of winning presidential candidates: virgin runners. It must be a truism, Miriam is no virgin – presidential candidate, that is.

Next is Manuel Roxas 2nd, who has been consistent in placing fourth in poll surveys. No cabinet member has ever won in a run for president except the Secretary of National Defense; he has headed the DPWH, DOTC and the DILG but never the DND. He will lose.

Then comes Grace Llamanzares, who for a time appeared headed for the fate that had proven true of Benigno C. Aquino 3rd (not a Senate President and just a senator half-way into his term but capitalizing on the death of his parent, Cory; Grace, too, just a senator, half-way into her term and capitalizing solely on the death of her parent, FPJ) until she ran into disqualification blues. She will lose early on.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the penultimate presidential aspirant in the reckoning. Will he win? He is neither a vice president, a senate president nor a secretary of national defense. No mayor has become president of the country overnight.

History bares to us the fact that there has been just one case in which a mayor has risen to become President of the Republic of the Philippines – President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, formerly a mayor of San Juan. But Erap had to be vice president first.

That gives us the ultimate criterion for the last man standing – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. Not only is he a Vice President, traditional heir to the presidency, but is also historically-destined to sit in that post. No vice president who ran for president ever lost – even against a sitting President. Vice President Diosdado Macapagal beat the incumbent President Carlos P. Garcia in 1961. In regard to Erap, Vice President Binay perfectly fits into the pattern of a mayor becoming vice president onward to winning the presidency.

And yet this ultimate criterion is what precisely makes winning the presidency not really just a question of historical pattern. Having spent long years at local governance, Vice President Binay has had a good grasp of the problems of his constituencies, has learned how to solve those problems, and he only needs to sit as president to make life good, as is his obsession now, for those constituencies no longer just on a local basis, as in Makati, but on national scale as well. This fact is well known to the Filipino people. They will make Vice President Jejomar C. Binay win.

13 Responses to Why Vice President Jejomar Binay will win
cris says:
January 2, 2016 at 7:28 am
I don’t think so. Duterte will win
Reply
Pinoy says:
January 2, 2016 at 4:55 am
I hope Filipino voters will be intelligent enough to decide who the next President of the Philippines will be. There are quite a few qualified aspirants but it makes everyone wonder whether the dwarf and muchacho driver houseboy Binay is really to be reckoned as Presidential material after being charged with graft and corruption.
It brings to mind why he has repeatedly hang on as president of the Phil. Boy Scouts only for us to know how he has made millions.
The only ones I see drum beating for him are paid lackeys, ordinary and money greedy columnists who does nothing but extol his miniature virtues.
Supposedly I believe he is confident in winning not because of what the surveys show but rather assurances from his financial backers who are only after their own vested self interest.
Reply
Danny Llanes says:
January 2, 2016 at 4:15 am
I agree most of your reporting with the exception of Ramos who didn’t win the election. He won the election because of the DAGDAG BAWAS of votes.
Reply
Nerissa says:
January 2, 2016 at 3:53 am
Mr. Samonte, thank you for the article but personally, I believe that there was divine intervention in a way when Cory died and her death paved the way for the Filipinos’ search for a leader who is not corrupt and will listen to the voice and sentiments of the masses. But it turned out, I think, that because Pnoy has had experienced Philippine politics as a congressman and senator prior to his election in 2010 as Philippine president, he chose the stance of a traditional politician in order to finish his term in 2016. The corruption of his KKK members and other heads of government agencies was just a by-product of the perception of his appointed cabinet officials that he is not decisive enough to bring reforms. Pnoy tolerated corruption by his friends, appointees and people probably close to him because his main objective was to finish his 6-year term. Filipinos were clamoring for a Philippine LEE KWAN YEW to solve our country’s problems.
BIG QUESTION- Who among the current presidential candidates has the sense of patriotism to build our country without indulging in corrupt practices? Allow me to say that this could happen when the pork barrel of politicians is eliminated.
Reply
Jerrysal Mangaoang says:
January 2, 2016 at 2:38 am
Who is this Mauro Gia Samonte? You talked of a historical pattern; although you discredited it towards the end of your column.The demolition against Binay is not simply demolition, unless you prove otherwise. At this point he should go to jail period. I have a friend who said he’ll vote for Binay… Pare pareho naman daw magnanakaw mga uupo. I hope Poe or Duterte is not. But at least my friend has a reason to vote for Binay.
Reply
leipzig says:
January 2, 2016 at 2:17 am
Marred Roxas has a very nil chance of winning the presidency. The probability that he may become president is when an immediate relative dies months before the election and Marred Roxas will get the sympathy of voters.
Reply
adonis b. rocha says:
January 2, 2016 at 1:48 am
Mr. Mauro Samonte..dream on of your Nognog Binay ever becoming the next president of this benighted land. Your bloke is as rotten as can be and no amount of bogus Pulse Asia/ SWS surveys can condition the minds of all classes of electorates. He will be lucky not to go to jail if Mar Roxas wins…he better hide in his estate at Rosario Batangas or seek asylum in Africa. Your Jojo Binay has no balls, always “iwas pusoy” in attending the Senate inquiries and even challenged that case be brought to court…but when the Ombudsman filed a case, as usual your Nognog Binay cried political persecution???? Is this bloke the leader that you are ramming to the throats of the electorate…anyways you are paid by your patron to write a column for him, so what else do we expect…back off Mr. Mauro !!!! Gimme a break !
Reply
Anulfo says:
January 2, 2016 at 1:44 am
Binay is the exemption, he will lose.
Reply
Gaston says:
January 2, 2016 at 12:44 am
If Binay wins the country loose. There will be no change in the government. Patuloy ang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng mga government contract sa mga kaibigan, kasangga at kamag anak. Binay belongs to the yellow crowd that brought shame corruptions in all levels of government. Justice must be served for the sake of the country. Benigno Aquino3 and his kkk will escape the jaws of justice if Binay wins. The next government must see to it that all the corrupts and their relatives who enrich themselves go to jail and their stolen wealth and properties go back to the Filipinos treasure.
Reply
Conrado Alcantara says:
January 2, 2016 at 12:38 am
Mr. Samonte nag bubulag-bulagan ka kasi kaibigan mo si VP Binay. Pero kong hindi mo kaibigan si VP Binay seguro naka dilat ang mga mata mo. Hindi na stupido ang mga pinoy.
Reply
Johnny Ramos says:
January 2, 2016 at 12:25 am
Your analysis is correct. VP Binay will win this May handily because Mar Roxas made a mistake in choosing the right cabinet position that could propel him to the presidency. He could have steered tha housing projects of the National Housing Authority. With the full support of Pnoy, Mar could easily win the heart of the masses without politicking.
Reply
Carlos de Castro says:
January 1, 2016 at 11:52 pm
Jojo Binay if he reside in the USA will be long gone to prison for the very simple reason of not answering the corruption charges that was hurled to him or if he is in china he will be put to firing squad> IN the Phil. if they want him to be pres.,I cannot describe that. Maybe I can say thatfilipinos deserve the gov. that they are having/ Time magazine called the Filipinos the stupidest voter in the whole world when they elected the lady as senator rather than the other guy who is much much betterthan this lady
Reply
joe says:
January 1, 2016 at 11:23 pm
It will be Jojo Binay for President and Bongbong Marcos for vice President. This was the predictions by known psychics in the country,if there will be no cheating,maneuvering of votes and vote buying interferance from the COMELEC definitely the two candidates will win in the 2016 national election.
Reply


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