30 Mar Supreme Court to Re-examine Poe’s Citizenship: Is Poe a Natural-Born Filipino or Not?
After Rizalito David files the questionable citizenship case of sen. Grace Poe and lost, the Supreme Court will examine it again after it rules on a motion for reconsideration of the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s (SET) decision earlier this month.
According to a statement by lawyer Romulo Macalintal, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) can have the power not to count votes for Poe if proven before May 9 that she is not a natural-born citizen, disqualifying her from running for President. On the other hand, if proven that Poe is indeed a natural-born citizen, then the normal voting and counting process of the votes cast for the registered Presidentiables will continue as usual.
The court should urgently establish a decision about the petition that has been carried out by David. Macalintal said regarding the case: “The decision did not categorically say that Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen nor did it say that she has complied with the 10-year residency requirement to qualify to run for President.”
The decision of the COMELEC in rejecting Poe’s qualification is the only question that is yet to be answered by the Supreme Court with clarity.
The poll body also concluded that “the facts of qualification must beforehand be established in a prior proceeding or authority that he or she is not qualified, such prior authority being the necessary measure by which the falsity of the representation can be found.”
Since a prior proceeding has not been established, where it is determined that Poe is not qualified to run for Presidency in terms of her residency and citizenship, then the COMELEC cannot put a verdict whether she is eligible to run or not.
While 9 votes have been cast in favor of granting Poe’s request against 6 who are not, the case went more difficult to solve when Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio told publicly that only seven justices voted for Poe in a question of her citizenship, a number below the minimum quorum required to arrive at a decision in the court.