MANILA – Senator Grace Poe will respect another disqualification case filed by former Senator Francisco Tatad on Monday at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), according to the lady senator’s legal counsel, Atty. George Garcia.
”Every Filipino has the right to avail of the remedies afforded by law. The former senator is entitled to his opinion and we will respect that,” Garcia said in a press statement.
”In the end, the rule of law prevails and the vibrancy of our democracy is sustained,” he added.
Garcia insisted that Poe has met all the requirements to run for president in the 2016 national elections.
Tatad reportedly claimed that Poe should not be allowed to run for higher post due to her failure to meet all the requirements provided under Article 7, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution.
The former senator claimed that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen because she is a foundling adopted by the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces.
Tatad also said the lady senator did not meet the 10-year residency requirement as prescribed by the Constitution.
It was the third disqualification case filed against Poe, with losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David in the 2013 elections filing the first petition before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
Both Tatad and David were represented by lawyer Manuelito Luna.
Last Friday, at the close of the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COCs), for next year’s polls, Atty. Estrella Elamparo filed a petition to disqualify Poe for alleged “material misrepresentation in stating that she is a natural-born Filipino.”
Like Tatad and David, Elamparo said Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen because she is a foundling.
Elamparo argued that international treaties on stateless persons are not sufficient to grant Poe the status of a natural-born citizen.
Meanwhile, Poe’s spokesperson, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said Poe and her running mate Senator Francis Escudero will not indulge in ugly personal attacks but instead focus on track record and platform of government.
”It is our duty to educate the voters and help them analyze the track record and performance of each candidate,” Gatchalian said.
Poe and Escudero are scheduled to visit Tacloban City, Leyte, and Virac, Catanduanes on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
In Tacloban, Poe and Escudero will be the guests in a Cocofest at the Leyte Park while in Virac, they will grace the Regional Conference of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines (PBMLP) Region V at the Provincial Capitol Dome.