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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Resolve this quickly

The Philippine Star

Now that Sen. Grace Poe has declared her bid for the presidency, the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections should quickly resolve questions on her eligibility to run as a lawmaker. If the SET deems her qualified, another challenge may be filed, this time questioning her eligibility to run for president.

The questions must be settled before election day. Whoever wins in 2016 must have no cloud of doubt over his or her qualifications for the job. Any unresolved question is sure to affect a president’s ability to govern. The uncertainty can be exploited by troublemakers and pave the way for destabilization. The nation cannot afford this uncertainty especially at the start of a new administration.

Any resolution of the citizenship question must be clear. A precedent is being set that may be applied to similar cases involving other individuals.

Other than Poe’s case, the Comelec and electoral tribunals must also speed up action on other poll protests. The electoral tribunals in particular have gained notoriety for taking their sweet time in resolving electoral protests. This has encouraged poll fraud since the beneficiaries of cheating get to serve, often almost up to the end of the term for the contested position. This is something that once stolen cannot be retrieved. It is unfair to the victim of cheating as well as the voters whose mandate was undermined.

The SET must avoid being an instrument of this kind of injustice. It should not make the nation wait too long in resolving the citizenship question. Elections and leadership changes create enough uncertainty, and the SET should not add to it.

 

ACIRC

CHEATING

CITIZENSHIP

COMELEC

ELECTIONS

ELECTORAL

GRACE POE

QUESTION

SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND THE COMMISSION

SET

UNCERTAINTY

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