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Uphill legal battle for Poe

By: Ricky Poca December 06,2015 - 01:55 AM

Sen. Grace Poe survived the challenge on her citizenship with the Senate Electoral Tribunal voting  5-4  with  three Supreme Court justices declaring that Poe was not a  natural born Filipino citizen. Sen. Nancy Binay and other senators  upheld her citizenship. The SET decision was perceived by some legal luminaries as  more of a political decision than one strictly based on law.

Now the Commission on Elections 2nd division has unanimously voted to disqualify Poe for her failure to fulfill the ten-year residency requirement of the Constitution for a presidential candidate.

In the next few days, we saw Poe’s  legal team aggressively attacking the decision of  the three Comelec commissioners, saying they ignored the proof Poe’s camp had presented.

Poe’s camp is expected to exhaust all legal remedies  to seek relief, including going up to the Supreme Court. It will be  a long legal and political struggle for her.

Three other  disqualification cases against Poe are pending with the Comelec  questioning her  qualification to run for president. It won’t be smooth sailing for Poe because there are  valid  questions  about  her citizenship that have to be resolved with finality.  Hopefully this will happen  soonest before the election period begins in Feb. 9.

Poe shouldn’t blame anyone for her predicament. She’s  running for high public office so is expected to come under scrutiny by political parties and ordinary citizens.

The Supreme Court  decides on the legal effect of Poe’s  renunciation of   Filipino citizenship and her reacquiring it.  The 1987 Constitution defines a  natural born citizen as one who is born as a citizen without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect the citizenship.

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Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s  declararation to  run for president has been widely welcomed by Filipinos. But now he’s embroiled in more controversy over the use of  profanity  in his speech, especially his frequent use of the phrase  “p —   i –”.

He used the curse word in mentioning the Pope and the terrible traffic caused during the  pontiff’s visit to Manila last January. The good mayor immediately issued an apology  for his foul language. Some of his  apologists tried to justify the cursing by saying the expletive  “p —  i — ” was part of Filipino culture.

Duterte also admitted in an interview  that he has two wives and two girlfriends,  and was a womanizer  like former president Joseph Estrada. Duterte’s character  has struck many as unbecoming of a potential president. His anti-crime and pro-federalism advocacy is very attractive but it’s  time his supporters take a  second look at the person of Duterte.

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TAGS: 2016, battle, Elections, poe, Senator Grace Poe

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