IBP says SC did not decide on Poe citizenship, residency | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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IBP says SC did not decide on Poe citizenship, residency

Legal questions will continue to hound Sen. Grace Poe in the May 9 presidential elections until the Supreme Court (SC) resolves the heart of Poe’s case, which was whether Poe is a natural-born citizen and whether she has met the 10-year residency requirement under the law, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said yesterday.

In a statement, the IBP Board of Governors said the court has not resolved the issues involving Poe’s eligibilities as shown in the main decision and various opinions of justices.

In a one-page statement, the IBP said: “… it should be emphasized that the dispositive portion of the decision merely orders the reversal of the decisions of the Commission on Elections granting the petitions to disqualify her… and states that she is qualified to be a candidate for president in the national and local elections on May 9, 2016.”

“It can be concluded that the decision did not,” it stressed.

The IBP believes that the SC ruling penned by Associate Justice Jose Perez and approved by a majority of nine justices held that only the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) can rule on such issues and not the Comelec.

“For this issue to be finally settled, the decision of the Supreme Court posts that, it is apparently necessary for the eligibility of Poe to be determined with finality, that she must first win in the May 9 presidential election and someone must file a quo warranto petition against her with the Supreme Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, for this tribunal to rule on this matter with authority, with jurisdiction and with finality,” the IBP pointed out.

2 ISSUES UNDECIDED

Insurance System counsel Estrella Elamparo, one of those who have filed a motion for reconsideration of the court’s ruling, said the SC decision did not uphold the eligibility of the senator for the presidency not only on citizenship but also on the 10-year residency requirement.

“It’s not true that the issues on Sen. Poe’s citizenship and residency eligibilities have already been resolved. In fact, none of these have been settled by court yet if you read the decision and opinions,” Elamparo said.

While Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio pointed out in his dissenting opinion the lack of majority ruling on Poe’s qualification as natural-born, Elamparo stressed that the same can be said on the 10-year residency issue.

She explained that of the 15 justices who participated in the voting on Poe’s petition, only five directly stated in their opinions that the senator would meet the residency requirement in the Constitution before the May 9 polls.

She was referring to Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Jose Perez, who penned the decision.

She revealed that of the nine justices who approved the ruling, two of them – Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin and Jose Mendoza – did not issue separate opinions stating their concurrence on the residency issue.

“There are reports that they voted against Poe on the residency issue. We cannot say for sure, because they did not write separate opinions. We cannot say that they actually voted on these issue, so there is need for the court to clarify that,” the lawyer stressed.

She said two other justices – Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Benjamin Caguioa – concurred in the majority ruling only insofar as the finding of grave abuse of discretion in Comelec’s cancellation of Poe’s COC due to material misrepresentation on her qualifications.

“Their concurrence was limited to the finding of grave abuse of discretion. We cannot say that they voted on the issue of residency because as they said in the citizenship issue, there was no need to settle the eligibility issues in deciding on this case,” she pointed out.

COMELEC JURISDICTION ISSUE

Even on the issue of Comelec’s jurisdiction on the case, only a minority of six justices – Perez, Sereno, Leonen, Velasco, Bersamin, and Mendoza – voted in favor of Poe. She said Jardeleza, Caguioa, and Peralta agreed with the dissenting justices that the Comelec has the power to determine the eligibility of Poe as a presidential candidate.

Carpio was joined by four other magistrates – Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Arturo Brion, Estela Perlas Bernabe, and Bienvenido Reyes – in his dissenting opinion that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino and also lacks the residency requirement.

Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo also dissented in the majority ruling, saying Poe lacks the residency requirement but the citizenship issue was not yet ripe for decision.

  • Yamcha Ball

    This was the message that should be reconsider more than a month ago according to atty bruce viral video i hope all submitted appeal will manifest the final verdict#poedingtinapay

  • Athena Flores

    Ang mahalaga sa taong bayan, ay maihalal ang nararapat, at si GP yun. Wala ng iba