DAVAO CITY – Senatorial candidate and Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares defended presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe after the Commission on Elections Second Division ruled to disqualify Poe based on her residency and citizenship.
The Comelec 2nd division ruled in favor of the petitioner Estrella Elamparo to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy.
The Comelec’s division cited Poe’s COC for senator in 2013 where she indicated that she is a resident of the Philippines for “6 years and 6 months”. According to Comelec, Poe has not fulfilled the requirement for president, which is a 10-year residency. The division also ruled that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen.
But Colmenares said the Comelec’s decision “is violative of the right of the sovereign people to choose their president.”
Colmenares said Poe has decided to return and already resided and worked in the Philippines since May 2005.
“She even enrolled her children in our country’s schools during that time. This was after Fernando Poe Jr. died in December 2004.Sen. Poe has already proven that she has indeed an intention to return, to stay and actually resided in the Philippines since May 2005 thus surpassing the residency requirement for running for the presidency,” said Colmenares.
“This is really sad because the LP and its cohorts are using every issue they can hit Sen.Poe with even the foundling issue. They are essentially discriminating against abandoned children and depriving them of their rights,” he added.
Colmenares charged that the “Comelec 2nd Division only confirms the belief of many that Aquino-appointed members of the poll body might yield or succumb to the Liberal Party’s grand scheme and anti-democratic maneuverings to eliminate a rival popular candidate so that Mar Roxas would have a chance of winning the presidency.”
“This type of political maneuver has also been done before against Sen.Poe’s father Fernando Poe Jr., though the Supreme Court then allowed him to be a presidential candidate a few weeks before the election and the damage has been done to Poe,” he added.
Colmenares said the decision “is far from over”.
“A motion for reconsideration will be filed so the COMELEC en banc can still overrule the second division’s initial decision,” he said.
Colmenares is part of the senatorial slate of Poe and vice president aspirant Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
“We just hope that the Comelec commissioners would not allow themselves to be used by the Liberal Party for their political machinations to remain in power,” said Colmenares. (davaotoday.com)