SET abandons Poe’s residency case, focuses on citizenship issue

By , on September 12, 2015

The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) building (Photo from the Senate of the Philippines)
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) building (Photo from the Senate of the Philippines)

MANILA – The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) held its preliminary conference on Friday, with Senator Grace Poe and former senatorial candidate Rizalito David presenting their arguments on the senator’s disqualification case.

David was challenging Poe’s eligibility for an elective post when her citizenship and residency were questionable. He ran and lost in the 2013 senatorial race, while Poe topped the list of winning senators.

For about less than an hour, the proceeding was adjourned settling on the citizenship issue and dropping the residency case. Although it was not further explained, Poe’s camp believed that the challenge on her residency was abandoned because such petition could only be made within 10 days after the senator’s proclamation.

“Since Senator Poe was proclaimed on May 16, 2013, those who would want to question her qualifications had only until May 26, 2013 to file a petition against her… It is no longer an issue because it has prescribed,” Poe’s chief counsel, Atty. Alex Poblador, said in a statement.

“‘Yun po ang aming beliefPero ‘yung kanina naman wala namang ganun na sinabi, basta dinrop lang,” the neophyte senator’s legal counsel, Dino Tamayo, confirmed in a radio interview.

(That’s our belief… But nothing like that was said, [the case] was simply dropped [by the SET at the conference earlier].)

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, a member of the SET, told reporters that the tribunal has been expecting a resolution on the case by November.