MANILA – Senate President Franklin Drilon yesterday clarified that the Supreme Court (SC) has the final decision on the disqualification case filed by former senatorial candidate Rizalito David against presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe.
Drilon asserted that the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) would only interpret and apply the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 (RA 9225), commonly known as the Dual Citizenship Act, and other related laws to Poe’s case but the challenge on her citizenship ‘can only be resolved with finality by the Supreme Court.’
“Any decision to be handed down by the [SET], whether for or against Senator Poe, will eventually be brought up to the Supreme Court,” he said.
The senator then called on the SET to speed up its hearings and hand down its decision to the SC as soon as possible so that the final resolution may be rendered before the campaign period starts.
“Therefore, it is very crucial for the SET to be able to come out with a decision at the earliest time possible, in order to give the High Court sufficient time to hear the case and render a verdict before the election period kicks off,” he added.
Drilon also pointed out that David’s question on Poe’s citizenship unavoidably affected the neophyte senator’s presidential bid in next year’s national elections. And with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) already preparing for the elections, the SET should treat the case with urgency.