Grace should be allowed to run for president – Erap

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Despite questions regarding her citizenship and residency status, Sen. Grace Poe should be allowed to run for president in May 2016 as it is for the people to decide whom to choose as their next leader, Manila Mayor and former President Joseph Estrada said yesterday.

“Vox populi, vox dei. They should let the people decide,” Estrada told The STAR editors and reporters yesterday.

Estrada maintained that Poe should be allowed to run as it is the people’s right to “decide who they want to vote.”

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), in two resolutions issued last Dec. 23, disqualified Poe for her reported failure to meet the constitutional requirements on citizenship and residency.

The rulings were based on the petitions for disqualification and cancellation of her certificate of candidacy (COC) for president filed by former Government Service Insurance System chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo, former senator Francisco Tatad, De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East-College of Law dean Amado Valdez.

Poe elevated the case to the Supreme Court which issued a 10-day temporary restraining order on her disqualification.

When asked who among the presidential bets he would endorse, Estrada said, “that’s a secret.”

In an earlier interview, Estrada admitted that it was hard for him to choose between Poe and another presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Estrada added that while Binay is his kumpare, Poe is the daughter of his best friend, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. Estrada added he had stood as sponsor at Poe’s wedding with Neil Llamanzares.

Remembering Rizal

As the nation commemorated Rizal Day yesterday, Poe said Filipinos should remember and thank Rizal for helping them recognize the value of equal rights and education.

Poe made the pronouncement in her Rizal Day message as she battles efforts by some quarters to have her disqualified from the presidential race.

She said it was because of the sacrifices of Rizal and other heroes that “we value equal rights for all.”

Poe said Rizal has also helped Filipinos realize “that education is a weapon against exploitation and an instrument for progress.”  

She said Rizal has made his countrymen recognize “the power of the pen can inspire a people to nationalism, that the youth can change the course of history by using our talents and enriching our knowledge and skills in the service of our country and people.” 

Poe said lessons from Rizal still resonate today and will continue to guide Filipinos when they choose their next leaders in the 2016 elections.

The senator said Rizal has taught Filipinos to appreciate their identity and has also made his countrymen become known for their resilience and dedication.

Sen. Nancy Binay, for her part, pointed out that Rizal dedicated his life to helping shape a nation that is “free from the colonizers, free from injustice, free from apathy.”

“We are now being called to continue Rizal’s fight and give our countrymen a better Philippines, free from inequity, poverty and miseducation,” said Binay whose father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, is also running for president.

Valid reason

There is valid reason for Poe to seek the inhibition of three Supreme Court justices from her case, UP College of Law dean Danilo Concepcion said yesterday.

“For me, they should inhibit so that they won’t be accused of being biased against Grace,” he said in an interview, referring to Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion. – With Marvin Sy, Edu Punay












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