MANILA — For Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senator Grace Poe is qualified to run for president or vice president in the 2016 elections.
Escudero, a close ally of Poe said that Poe has been a resident of the Philippines since 2005, meeting the 10-year residency requirements.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko nga mas maaga pa s’yang nakatira dito e. 2005 alam ko nandito na s’ya e. I think she was here already in 2005,” Escudero said in a phone interview for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
(As far as I know, Poe lived here earlier. I think she was here in 2005.)
His statements are contrary to the allegations of Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco saying Poe did not meet the said requirements to run for the highest position in the government.
Tiangco said that Poe’s declaration in her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) indicated that she was only a resident of the country for six years and six months by Election Day, May 13, 2013.
By election time, next year, he added that Poe would only have resided in the country for nine years and six months, and is therefore disqualified to run for President given the 10-year requirement.
Citing the case of Leyte Representative Imelda Marcos, Escurdero explained that the Supreme Court said that what determines the residence is not the statement made in the COC but the fact of residence.
“Ang sabi ng Supreme Court, it’s the fact of residence, not a statement you made in the COC that will determine residence for purposes of qualifying as a candidate. So siguro naman nakwento sa kanya ‘yun ‘di ba at siguro naman alam n’ya ‘yun dahil malapit n’yang kamag-anak ‘yun. Kaya hindi ko alam kung bakit ginagamit n’ya ‘yun ngayon,” he said as quoted in the same report published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
(The Supreme Court said it’s the fact of residence, not a statement you made in the COC that will determine residence for purposes of qualifying as a candidate. Maybe (Tiangco) is aware of it since he is a close relative of (Marcos). I don’t know why he is using that argument now.)