Petitioner readies plea to reverse SC decision on Poe case

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – One of the petitioners in the disqualification cases against presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday said he will file a motion for reconsideration and present new grounds against the senator.

Amado Valdez, a former dean of the University of the East College of Law, said he will attempt to reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing Poe to run as president.

Valdez plans to raise what he said are Poe's violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, which he both described as “strong grounds.”

The petitioner explained that he considers these grounds strong as the court and some justices of the high tribunal involved in voting on Poe’s case earlier ruled on the Reyes case, where Regina Ongsiako Reyes reckoned her residency upon the reacquisition of Filipino citizenship. The court upheld the Commission on Elections' decision to cancel her certificate of candidacy for Marinduque representative.

READ: House to wait for final SC ruling on Reyes case

Reyes was replaced as Marinduque representative by Lord Allan Velasco, who, Valdez pointed out, is Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco's son. Velasco is one of the justices who voted in favor of Poe. 

Valdez reiterated that for the Reyes case, the court followed judicial precedents adding that the ruling “clearly said it did not restore natural-born [citizenship].” He then questioned how the SC decided differently on Poe's case as changing its ruling would be a violation of legislative intent.

He said he is waiting for the SC's written decision since there are three issues he is looking forward to reviewing: Poe being foundling, Poe’s residency and her reacquisition of citizenship. He said the three are grounds for Poe's disqualification.

Valdez said that there is little time to file a motion for reconsideration with elections just two months away but said that he will still question Poe’s qualification to run out of respect for the rule of law.

"Regardless of the time frame required by the elections, we are after the jurisprudence here, so that we, the country, will be properly guided on its actions in terms of who are domiciled and who are natural-born citizens," Valdez said.

"This is beyond Grace Poe, this is beyond the elections. This is about respect for the rule of law. So, whether it will be decided five years, ten years from now -- This is not a personal thing against Grace Poe, but we want that it's the Constitution and the rule of law that will triumph in the end," he added.

Valdez said that even if elected president, Poe may still be disqualified based on the grounds he will present.

"The Supreme Court has that option. If they have a reason or ground and the fresh ground that I will be discussing in my motion for reconsideration would be the possible culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, which, incidentally are grounds for impeachment,” Valdez said.

“I'm not saying they will file a case of impeachment, but I'm saying that will be the ground -- a new ground which I will be stating in my motion for reconsideration," he added.

The SC on Tuesday decided that Poe can run in the May elections. The court voted 9-6 in favor of allowing Poe to run for president and is expected to release the written decision in the coming days.  

RELATED: Grace Poe's detractors: SC decision not strong

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