‘Grace still in the race’
(The Philippine Star) - December 19, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe is still in the presidential race despite the back-to-back decisions of two divisions of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify her.

Poe’s lawyer George Garcia said her supporters, especially her financial supporters, are still standing by her despite her disqualification over citizenship and residency issues.

Complainants claim that Poe, a foundling, is not a natural-born Filipino and lacks 10-year residency, which are both required by the Constitution of presidential candidates. 

The disqualification rulings of the first and second divisions of Comelec are not yet final. These are still appealable before the full Comelec, and the poll body’s ruling is also appealable in the Supreme Court (SC).

“At this point in time, Sen. Poe is still a candidate. She is still in and running,” Garcia said, noting that she has pending motions for reconsideration (MRs) with the Comelec and she also intends to go up to the SC.

“Her supporters are not pulling out. But we have to admit that, sometimes, she is being asked about the issues, especially in the provinces. So she has less time to discuss her platform and we know that is what her detractors really want to happen,” he added.

Judge helps Poe find biological parents

Poe’s camp also thanked retired judge Jesus Rodriguez Jr. for his effort to help find her biological parents as part of her presidential bid.

Rodriguez, a former arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission in Western Visayas, has offered a P300,000 reward for any information that would lead to the positive identification of the biological parents of Poe.

But Rodriguez said that the search for the biological parents of Poe is more of a personal mission for her than a necessity to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, spokesman of Poe, said the senator is grateful to all of the individuals who have recently come forward to help her find her biological parents.

“Like them, Sen. Poe will continue to search for her biological parents. These spontaneous acts of support are welcome and inspire her to continue her fight to protect the rights of foundlings,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“She believes that laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable in our society like foundlings and not strip them of their basic rights,” he added.

Gatchalian maintained that local and international laws all support the arguments of Poe that foundlings like her are not stateless and should enjoy the rights and privileges granted to other Filipino citizens.

 Poe is facing four disqualification cases before the Comelec, all of which are now being studied by the poll body’s en banc for final decision.

On Dec. 1, the three-man Comelec Second Division unanimously granted the petition to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for president filed by former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo.   – Sheila Crisostomo, Marvin Sy

 

ACIRC BUT RODRIGUEZ COMELEC COMELEC SECOND DIVISION ESTRELLA ELAMPARO GEORGE GARCIA GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM GRACE POE JESUS RODRIGUEZ JR. MARVIN SY POE
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