The Supreme Court did not give a majority ruling on Senator Grace Poe’s citizenship giving hope to petitions to disqualify her from running in the 2016 presidential race.
The Supreme Court in a 9-6 decision only ruled that Poe met the residency requirement to run for President.
But the four petitions filed with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) sought to disqualify her not only for lacking the residency requirement but also for her questionable citizenship. The Constitution mandates that a candidate should be a natural-born citizen. Poe is a foundling adopted by the late movie icon Fernando Poe and wife Susan Roces and her biological parents have not been established. READ MORE
Ahead of the High Court’s March 8 ruling, results of a pre-poll survey by Pulse Asia showed that apprehension over Poe with questionable eligibility being elected President has already impacted negatively on the Senator’s rating.
Poe was expected to continue to see her numbers sink from the lingering apprehension.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is but a breath away from Senator Grace Poe, only four percentage points behind the perennial top placer, in the latest survey of Pulse Asia.
Duterte (PDP/Laban) scored 24% against the 28% of Poe (Independent) in the survey commissioned by ABS-conducted nationwide from March 1-6, 2016.
Tied at third place are Vice President Jejomar Binay (21%) and former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II (20%).
The top runners each gained two points compared to the February survey where Duterte had 24% and Poe with 26%.
SUPREME COURT SLAMMED
Duterte has warned that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn twin rulings by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy would create a “chaotic condition” for the 2016 polls.
Duterte said the SC ruling set aside the requirement of the Constitution that candidates for President must be natural-born Filipino citizens.
Poe’s critics said that because she is a foundling, the citizenship of her parents remain a mystery, thus there are doubts about her being a “natural-born” Filipino.
A lawyer who had served as prosecutor before becoming Davao City mayor, Duterte said the SC decision goes against law-school lessons.
“I respect it, but I don’t agree with it. Even if you ask any lawyer, we took political law for one semester, and the decision is the opposite of what the professors taught us,” he explained.
In law school, Duterte said, he and his colleagues were taught that a natural-born Filipino is one who is a Filipino the moment he is out of his mother’s body.
All lawyers disagree with the Supreme Court. Natural-born means the moment you leave your mother’s body, you are a Filipino. Your being a Filipino is natural,” he further explained.
The Comelec disqualified Poe on December 23, 2015, saying she had committed “material misrepresentation” when she claimed in her certificate of candidacy that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has resided in the Philippines for at least 10 years.
The Supreme Court, however, reversed the Comelec’s decision on March 8 and allowed her to run for President.
“It will create a very chaotic condition because it is the exact opposite of what we had studied in law school,” Duterte said.
“The Supreme Court says she can run. They did not say it’s because she is a Filipino or because she has complied with the residency requirement. Wala None of that. That’s very sweeping,” he added.