Sunday, March 20, 2016

We were all duped: SC majority didn’t vote for Grace Poe | Editorial

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Contrary to what the public has been led to believe, there is no 9 – 6 majority vote in favor of declaring Mrs. Grace Poe Llamanzares a natural-born citizen, and qualified to run for President. 

This is what we learn from the dissenting opinion of Senior Associate Justice Carpio, who revealed the real vote of seven in favor, five against, and three without an opinion on the issue of citizenship. On the issue of residency, the vote was seven in favor, six against, and two without an opinion. 

It was only on the issue of grave abuse of discretion that nine voted against the Commission on Elections because they did not believe that any material representations by Mrs. Llamanzares, which are false, were prompted by any “intention to deceive.” 

Since the majority failed to rule on the two core issues of citizenship and residency, there is no legal basis for the ponencia written by Associate Justice Jose Perez to declare Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares “qualified to be a candidate for President in the National and Local Elections of May 9, 2016.” 

By rejecting the citizenship and residency requirements of presidential candidates under the Constitution in order to allow a person of unknown biological parentage to run, and by declaring that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified Mrs. Llamanzares and cancelled her Certificate of Candidacy, the erring Justices may have culpably violated the Constitution, betrayed public trust, and committed grave abuse of discretion themselves.

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