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SET to push through with meeting on Poe’s DQ case

Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - November 14, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) will push through with its meeting to vote on the disqualification case against presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday in spite of the various activities related to the country’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Irene Guevarra, SET secretary and spokesperson, said that all nine members have confirmed their attendance at the meeting to be held over lunch at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

Speaking over radio dwIZ, Guevarra said the chairman of the SET, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, wanted the meeting to push through in spite of the difficulties surrounding the APEC summit preparations because he would be leaving for The Hague in the Netherlands the following day and will not be back until December.

“The Tribunal would like to resolve this as soon as possible,” Guevarra said.

The votes of at least five SET members would represent a majority and would be used as the basis for decision.

Apart from Carpio, the SET is composed of SC Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion, and Sens. Cynthia Villar, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Vicente Sotto III and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.

Earlier this week, Sotto and Villar said that they would favor a deferment of the voting on Poe’s case by at least a week so that they can study the legal issues further.

Sotto said the Senate members of the SET have all been busy with their legislative work and so a deferment would give them more time to look at all of the arguments that have been presented. 

However, Sotto said that he already has an initial opinion about the case, although this could change based on the strength of the arguments presented.

Once the voting is done on Tuesday, Guevarra said that the SET will designate someone to pen the decision, which she said should take a week or less.

Until the promulgation is released, the ruling is not yet final because some of the SET members could still change their minds between Tuesday and the completion of the written decision, according to Guevarra.

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ASSOCIATE JUSTICES TERESITA LEONARDO CASTRO AND ARTURO BRION CYNTHIA VILLAR GRACE POE GUEVARRA IRENE GUEVARRA LOREN LEGARDA MAKATI CITY MANILA POLO CLUB SET
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