MANILA – Independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe on Saturday expressed confidence that the Supreme Court (SC) would decide in favor of genuine democratic elections that allow foundlings like her to run once it sees the evidence to be presented by her camp.
Poe, whose certificate of candidacy (COC) was cancelled by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) during the holiday break, said she trusts the High Tribunal to act swiftly on the petition that her legal team would submit after Christmas.
Poe’s lawyer George Garcia has announced that he will file a petition challenging the COMELEC ruling on Monday, Dec. 28.
“We are confident that, giving due consideration to the strong evidence, jurisprudence and pertinent principles and precepts, the Justices will uphold our cause and the right of the people to a genuine choice in the elections,” Poe said.
The SC will be on recess until Jan. 10 but under Rule 7, Section 7 of the SC Internal Rules, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is empowered to act on urgent cases and issue temporary restraining orders (TROs) or status quo ante orders (SQAOs) without holding a session of the justices.
Such reliefs, however, must be confirmed by the majority of the justices when sessions resume, which is on Jan. 11 for the divisions and Jan. 12 for the full court.
“I assure everyone that I am still a candidate for president. Let us fight for genuine democratic elections, where Filipinos are allowed to choose their leaders. The ambitions of a few should never be allowed to subvert the will of the majority,” Poe said.
The COMELEC en banc decided to grant the four petitions seeking to remove Poe from the presidential race on Dec. 23, or after government has taken a break for the Christmas holidays.
Following the promulgation, Poe’s camp has only five days to seek relief from the SC.
The COMELEC, however, said that Poe’s name will remain on the ballot.
Chief Justice Sereno has earlier told media that she does not see the election-related cases as just a contest for 2016, saying the impact of the High Court’s decision will have long-term consequences for the country and will gauge the Philippines’ ability to be a modern democracy.