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By ASHZEL HACHERO
March 21, 2016
THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines said the Supreme Court did not resolve the issues involving the eligibilities of Senator Grace Poe despite allowing her to run in the May 9 presidential race.
In a one -page statement issued over the weekend, the IBP Board of Governors said a reading of the main decision of the high court along with the opinions of the magistrates would show that the SC has not resolved the issues involving Poe’s eligibilities, namely, as a natural-born Filipino citizen and the 10-year residency requirement.
“It can be concluded that the decision did not settle the matter on whether Mary Grace Natividad Poe-Llamansarez is a natural-born citizen and whether she has satisfied the residency requirement under the law.
While the decision appears to have rendered an opinion as to whether (Poe) is a natural-born as well as whether she has satisfied the 10-year residency requirement for the presidency, 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,” the IBP said.
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 can rule on such issues and not the Comelec.
“For this issue to be finally settled, the decision of the Supreme Court posits 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 juridiction and with finality,” the IBP said.
It added that the decision itself clearly cites that Article VI, Section 17 and Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution list the tribunals that have jurisdiction to determine questions on the eligibility of the President, Vice President, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
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