Grace Poe at odds with SC judges and losing mandate even before 2016 elections

While reading the news about media’s favorite candidates for the 2016 Philippine Presidential elections, I cannot help but think that it seems the immediate future is not looking good for Filipinos at all. It looks like the tradition of holding a circus during a national election is going to continue. This time, there are so many clowns who have joined in the cacophony.

Grace Poe's legal challenges: Are they worth ignoring?
Grace Poe’s legal challenges: Are they worth ignoring?
There is so much noise and so much happening with the popular Presidential candidates all at the same time that it has become difficult for voters to focus on the most important thing, which is their platform. One can be forgiven for thinking that maybe the noise is a tactic to distract the voters from focusing on what the candidates have to offer or have not offered – their vision and plans on how to bring the Philippines from Third World to First.

What is very disconcerting is the fact that a few of the most popular candidates are embroiled in legal issues that can hound their Presidential term if they ever win the Presidency.

Take the case of Senator Grace Poe (Llamanzares). If we are to believe the survey firms, the results say she is so popular with the respondents that she is already expected to win the election. This has certainly put her opponents and detractors on edge, enough to make them do something to disqualify her from running. While the Senate Electoral Tribunal has dismissed the disqualification case against her filed by Rizalito David, she is not out of the woods yet.

David is not the only petitioner who has filed a case against her citizenship status. Former Department of Justice Prosecutor Estrella Elamparo and former Sen. Francisco Tatad also filed a case to disqualify her before the Commission on Elections clerk of court. Likewise, Antonio Contreras, a political science professor at De La Salle University, petitioned the Comelec to cancel her certificate of candidacy (COC) for President based on the argument that Poe has failed to meet the 10-year residency required of presidential candidates.

What I don’t understand is why it is only now that people are looking into Poe’s qualifications as a public servant. Poe is already halfway through her term as senator but it’s only now people are questioning her citizenship status. Why was the fact that she was a foundling not an issue before? Why didn’t people question her citizenship status after she filed for her certificate of candidacy for the senate? Did people overlook or turn a blind eye to her questionable citizenship status because she was the daughter of a popular celebrity or because she was not a threat to the Presidency back in 2013? Or both? Whatever the reason, this kind of idiocy can only happen in the Philippines.

Fortunately for Poe, five of her colleagues from the Senate who are also members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal voted in her favor. Unfortunately for Poe, the decision to dismiss the disqualification case has not satisfied her critics. In fact, it has raised more eyebrows because some people have noted that among those who voted to disqualify Poe from the SET were three Supreme Court Judges – presumably those who based their decision on the law rather than merely on politics.

A lot of Filipinos were dismayed that patronage politics trumped rule of law once again. For their part, it must be discouraging for Supreme Court judges to lose to Senators who were only voted in because they were popular and not because they are knowledgeable of the law. In this case, the senators ignored the law. Since Philippine lawmakers do not follow the law, it is hard to expect ordinary citizens to follow it. As such, it is not surprising that the country has for so long been unable to progress.

Grace Poe’s Presidential term will be off to a bad start. Because there are people who believe that she is ignoring the law, she will not have their respect and therefore not have a strong mandate. She hasn’t even won the election yet but she is already at odds with members of the Supreme Court. That is not a good sign.

Ignoring her critics is one thing but ignoring the law is another. We can liken her term to that of former President Gloria Arroyo. People doubted the legitimacy of her last term due to cheating allegations. Poe could suffer the same fate if she wins Presidency with some people questioning her qualifications.

One wonders if Poe’s ability to hold the office of the President can offset the mounting legal issues she is facing. Is she really that good that Filipinos should just give her a chance to run? Some are saying that she is too ambitious. She hasn’t even finished her first term as a senator and she is already eyeing the highest post in the land. She could, however, be better than the incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino in the sense that she is more telegenic and less vindictive, but her lack of experience in politics means that she will also be learning as she goes. Now we already know how an on-the-job trainee like BS Aquino turned out. It was disastrous. The same thing can happen to a Poe Presidency.

The key here is in Poe’s surrounding herself with good advisers and her being able to routinely pick the right advice to run with. Hopefully she is not like BS Aquino who hardly listens to sound advice or who never got any to begin with. Let’s all hope she will learn from BS Aquino’s mistakes and listen to her critics. She will need to drink a cup of cement to harden herself up because her critics will be harsh, indeed.

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17 Comments on “Grace Poe at odds with SC judges and losing mandate even before 2016 elections”

  1. Conversely, the SC justices can also be accused of playing politics by voting against Poe. That’s the problem with Philippine government, nobody can be trusted anymore. Justices and judges or other entities entrusted with interpreting laws in PH can be paid off as easily as your average barangay crook.

    1. Well, the problem with a lot of Filipinos is they do not want to or cannot respect people who have authority on the subject matter. If they can’t trust Supreme Court judges in interpreting the law, who can they trust? Alma Moreno, perhaps.

  2. It is Politics of Destruction. It is one way to divert your : incompetence; lack of platform; no track records; etc…

    Mar Roxas and Aquino are the culprits. They cannot win by level playing ground. so, they try to do manipulative tactics, to win. even, HOCUS PCOS, again, if it got to be used…

  3. I have never given that Liamanzares a damn because she is not worth my time. If I took time to read this piece, it’s because I was teased by your Twitter link and anything about you interests me. So I clicked. The writing is damn good, but the written about is ugh. Pardon but by bothering about Liamanzares, aren’t you, albeit unwittingly, being part of her media glamorizing?

  4. Ilda, I think due process is being following in Poe’s case and that doesn’t seem like she’s ignoring the law. The SET ruled to disqualify the disqualification case and those who disagree with the SET can file for an appeal. The Comelec has a similar process.

    The only way Poe would be ignoring the law would be IF the SET upheld the petition to disqualify her and she stayed in the Senate.

    GMA’s case was different because there was a question on whether or not Estrada actually resigned. In any case, GMA held on to the Presidency until she was elected in 2004. All would have been good for GMA hadn’t the Hello Garci tapes come out in 2005.

    1. Your comment would be a good follow-up article to mine and can address some of her detractors’ claims.

      SET followed the process, yes, but to some people, patronage politics still trumped the law on foundlings. So unfortunately, the outcome did not satisfy her detractors. Probably because it looks odd that those who gave Poe unfavorable votes are mostly Supreme Court Judges – those we presume to be more knowledgeable about the law.

    2. If she wins her cases, her popularity can still bring her to Malacanang. Unfortunately, her term won’t be smooth because she will have to deal with people who think she is not a Filipino citizen. It sucks, yes since her detractors are a bit discriminatory.

  5. This is the provision of our Constitution:

    Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

    [1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;

    [2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;

    [3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and

    [4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

    Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.

    I think all Poe needs to do is to meet any of the conditions 1-3 of Section 1.

  6. Gusto man natin siya o hindi, Korte Suprema parin magdedesisyon sa kaso niya at malamang gaya nung sa ama niya nung 2004, vox populi ang susundin.

  7. ?The problem is we don’t know if these meatheads really want the job. Forget about their qualifications and their individual baggage. PNoy has bastardized the position so much, any bozo is now qualified to be president — and it would still be a vast improvement. But, these clowns are not focused in getting the job. What I can see is that they are being distracted by how much they can maximize in terms of net profit which each of them would most likely take home after the election exercise. Observe the whole thing from this angle, and it would explain all the irrationality of these candidates.

    Indeed, political contributions have begun to pour in, the dirty trick departments have begun to do their respective jobs, but the candidates themselves seem not vested in an effective campaign. What do they really stand for aside from the platitudes and motherhood statements? Nobody knows, and I don’t think they themselves have given these things a thought. So, what we see is just mudslinging.

    Do not forget election in the PHL is business — big business. There is money to be made, win or lose. In the last two elections, for example, Bro Villanueva knew he had no chance in winning, he ran anyway. He earned quite an amount in contribution just by being a candidate and he liked it so much he had to do it twice. The actuations of the candidates today are similar.

    Grace Poe, if she has any decency, should not run anymore. Gosh, she is making us talk of birth by C-section or by natural method, among other things, instead of about platforms. But somehow she has to cash in her popularity. Win or lose, I could already guess, she will come out of this with a couple of hundreds of millions in net income after expenses. I could already see her laughing her way to the bank by 2016. Well, at least, she should be able to recoup the millions FPJ lost. I understand FPJ didn’t accept contribution outside his circle and that is why he ended up with a mountain of debt with close friends. Naive, he didn’t know the game.

    Still, I get this feeling Grace Poe will be the next president for two reasons. She is really the candidate of PNoy, or more specifically, of the Aquino sisters. That means she has access to the LP war chest. Secondly, on top of her celebrity connection, she will blow everybody out of the water during the debates. Just look at how feisty she is when needed — don’t forget she was a champion debater during her days in Assumption. There is hope she could be much better than PNoy, but her morals will be severely tested, for PNoy has made Malacañang a snake’s pit several times over.

    Binay, I think, already knows he will go the same way Sen Manny Villar went. He aspired for the position 20, 30 years ago, trying to build a formidable war chest since then through tongpats. But, reality has set in. I have talked with a couple of APO Fraternity members, and they are no longer that enthusiastic as before. Binay will still try for it is his way of getting back at his enemies like Trillanes and to get some more political donations, but for all intents and purposes, he is a goner — another victim of the Blue Ribbon. I think he underestimated the forces against him. But, it is really his fault for giving in to too much greediness.

    Mar Roxas promotes Daang Matuwid. It looks so stupid, and baffling for a Wharton guy. But, if it is looked at extracting the maximum from the LP war chest, it does not look that stupid. I think he knows that he will only win through massive cheating, but that is the job of the operators. For him, it is about getting as much profit, never mind if he looks stupid.

    Funny how Duterte attacks Poe’s citizenship when he is running with Cayetano who is also an Americano via his mother. Thus, one could only suspect that Duterte is not interested in the job, but just at disrupting things — of course, for a hefty professional fee in the millions or billions. He has finally shown his true color, just a butangero.

    Miriam is not healthy enough to run a credible campaign. Her motives remain a mystery.

    Ay naku, I still can’t understand why we can’t have the likes of Gibo, Gordon, Raffy Alunan, Joey Salceda, etc as president. I think I will conveniently be outside of the country come election day, so I don’t need to participate in this crazy exercise. Better this way so one cannot blame oneself for electing another clown. Shit, when you have Alma Moreno, Pacquiao, Trillanes, etc running for high positions, you know the country is being flushed to the sewers.

    It reminds me of what Pope Francis wrote when he was still Cdl Bergoglio:
    “Corrupt people do not notice their own corruption. It is the same as when people have bad breath: they seldom realize it themselves.”
    And this applies not just to the candidates, but the voters as well. The mentality all around is just depressing.

  8. I might not be the most qualified person to comment on Grace Poe’s citizenship, or her moral ascendancy over her rivals for the Presidency. This qualifier, notwithstanding, I feel the need, still, to raise some points for the readers’ consideration. Grace Poe’s shortcomings might not just be her ‘citizenship’ but, a flaw in her character, as well. This is a rather strong judgmental statement, but where one aspiring to become President is concerned, nothing less than minute scrutiny is necessary. Changing one’s allegiance is a life-changing matter. Not only does one consider the country he or she is leaving behind, (abandoning really), but the loyalty that the new host-country expects from him or her, as well. To do this once would lead most to concede that better opportunities for him or her and the children was a good and understandable motive. To do this twice, though, invites questions regarding the ‘incentives’ and rewards for doing the ‘back-flip’. For a Senate seat, the act is disgraceful enough, (no pun intended). For the Presidency, it couldn’t just be disgraceful, but immoral, as well. It should not be allowed by law. Furthermore, would we not find it awkward (intolerable, really), to see Ms. Poe’s American husband and children beside her as she is sworn in as President of the Philippines?
    As a footnote, and with a view to shining a light on Ms. Poe’s actions, I’d like to quote Adlai Stevenson, thus..”Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but a tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

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