Losing senatorial bet seeks Poe’s ouster

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A losing senatorial candidate went yesterday to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and sought to unseat Sen. Grace Poe due to her questionable citizenship.

Lito David of the Kapatiran party submitted a quo warranto before the SET asking that Poe be removed as a member of the Senate on grounds that she is not qualified for the office since she is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

David, however, was not able to file his petition after he failed to pay the P50,000 filing fee and P10,000 deposit.

David said that the petition will be officially filed today and he appealed to concerned groups to contribute whatever amount and give it to him at the SET around 10 a.m. so they could officially file the petition.

He said some urban poor groups have promised to provide financial assistance to his petition.

“So right now, Grace [Poe] is stateless. She is neither an American nor a Filipino and therefore she has no right to sit in the Senate,” David told reporters in a press conference in Quezon City.

David said Poe should not have been elected senator in the 2013 polls because she is not a natural-born citizen and she lacked the residency requirement for a senatorial candidate, which is a violation of the Constitution.

Poe, for her part, said that she is ready to answer all the questions about her citizenship at the proper time and forum and has no doubt that she could prove that she is a natural-born Filipino.

Upon hearing that an attempt to file a petition to unseat her as a senator was initiated at SET, Poe said that she was not worried at all because she has all the documents to prove her case.

“I would have wanted that this was filed so that we can present our side. I have nothing to hide,” Poe told reporters before the start of plenary session at the Senate yesterday.

However, she was certain that the move was part of efforts to discredit her because of her reported plan to run for higher office in next year’s elections.

David believes that Poe only won in the 2013 elections because of popularity and that the people have forgotten the rule of law.

David ran for senator during the 2010 and 2013 elections but lost.

Asked why he initiated the filing of the case a few months before the 2016 polls, David said that he has been raising the issue since 2013 and that he is only seeking justice for the people.

“It is incumbent upon anyone of us, especially those who are knowledgeable about the law, to question these things, but nobody is asking. Nobody is questioning, nobody is filing anything to correct injustice, or perhaps simply look and search for the truth,” he said.

He also clarified that nobody is behind the petition to unseat Poe, saying that what he is doing is a noble act, as everyone is entitled to do a noble act.

In fact, he said, Poe could still run for any position in the 2016 elections as long as she is not violating the Constitution.

“I can hardly care about that. She can run provided she is qualified,” he said. – With Marvin Sy

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