MANILA (via PhilAmPress) – Malacanang has urged leading presidential aspirant Senator Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares to respect the law following the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify the lady solon from running for president in 2016.
Lacierda made this call in reaction to Poe’s insinuation that administration standard-bearer Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas and opposition presidential candidate Jejomar Binay might be behind the efforts to disqualify Poe.
”You know I think as a candidate running for national elections, it is important for us to respect the rule of law,” Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Lacierda said the Comelec is an institution that was ordained by the Constitution to decide cases similar to Poe.
”So, we can only ask everyone, all the candidates, to please respect the process and respect the rule of law,” he said.
Lacierda also advised Poe’s camp to just exhaust other legal remedies such as filing for motion for reconsideration at the Comelec en banc and the Supreme Court.
There is still a process that will be able to — for the parties, and I do not mean just Senator Grace Poe, everyone who feels aggrieved, to always exhaust the legal remedies available to them,” the Palace official said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), meanwhile, said the decision of the Second Division on the disqualification case filed against Senator Poe was not influenced by some people, as alleged by the supporters of the lawmaker.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista denied that members of the commission were being pressured to come up with the unfavorable ruling on her case.
“Pagkatapos naming na-appoint (sa Comelec), ang aming obligasyon ay sa taong bayan. We are grateful to the Filipino people,” he said, adding that, “No pressure… whatsoever.”
It was reported that the camp of Poe had claimed that Vice President Jejomar Binay and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas were behind the poll body’s decision to cancel her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for president in the May 2016 elections.
Binay and Roxas, just like Poe, are aspiring for the presidential post in the May 2016 elections.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez supported Bautista’s statement, noting that being appointees of the present administration has never been an issue for the commission in deciding cases.
“The question on who appointed them is irrelevant because it doesn’t matter either way, because you have people of integrity in the commission and they will inhibit themselves if they feel they can no longer be impartial judges,” he said.
All the present officials of the poll body are appointees of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
On Tuesday, the Comelec Second Division disqualified Poe for materially misrepresenting in her CoC that she met the 10-year residency period; and to have failed to prove that she is a natural-born citizen.
On the other hand, Atty. George Garcia, counsel of Poe said they would be filing their motion for reconsideration (MR) before the Comelec en banc on Monday.
He added that they remained confident in the integrity of the commission and that they would eventually promulgate a just resolution to the cases against his client.
“We will be waiting for the Comelec en banc kahit mahaba ang proseso. Kahit po sinasabi nila na exercise in futility, we will still undergo the process and ipagbabakasakali namin sa Comelec en banc,” Garcia said.