MANILA, PHILIPPINES- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has said that since the decision on the cancellation of Senator Grace Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for president is not yet final, there is a possibility that her name would still be included in the final list of candidates for next year’s polls.
According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez, the decision of the Comelec’s Second Division is not yet final and the respondent has been given time to appeal the Dec. 1 ruling.
“Hindi pa kasi final yung decision. Since merong ibinigay na panahon sa kanya to challenge that decision or to appeal that decision, then, technically, I think she should still be considered a potential candidate,” he said.
Jimenez added, “There are remedies that have been activated and still have not been completed. It is not deemed with finality… I think the better judgement would be to put them on the list. Again, with the caveat that it is the en banc that would decide that later on,” he said.
The poll body official noted that the case is far from over. “In other words, hindi pa tapos ang story na ito. There are avenues that can be explored. There are roads to be taken by the parties involved. So, I think it is a little too soon to write the end of this story.”
The Comelec is set to release the final list of candidates for the May 2016 elections later this month.
On Tuesday, the Comelec Second Division cancelled the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of Poe, citing material misrepresentation in her CoC regarding her meeting the 10-year period of residency in the Philippines and for failure to prove that she is a natural-born citizen based on the petition filed by Atty. Estrella Elamparo.
Poe’s camp is preparing to file a Motion for Reconsideration before the Comelec en banc.
On the other hand, the supporters of the frontrunner in the presidential race surveys staged a protest rally in front of the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila on Wednesday.
They assailed the members of the Comelec Second Division, namely Commissioners Al Parreno, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas, for issuing a swift resolution on Elamparo’s petition.
Meanwhile, Jimenez denied claims by supporters of Poe that administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas is behind the disqualification ruling issued by the Comelec Second Division.
“That is irrelevant because they have been appointed to a constitutional body. They swore an oath to put the interest of the Filipino people ahead of any other considerations,” he said.
All the seven members of the commission en banc are appointees of President Benigno S. Aquino III.