By MELANDREW T. VELASCO
Special to Philippines Today USA
BAGUIO CITY (PhilAmPress/MTVi)— The Supreme Court has junked the motions for reconsideration filed on its earlier ruling allowing Sen. Grace Poe to run for President.
The ruling made by the High Court during its summer session in Baguio City finally removed the legal impediment to Poe’s candidacy.
This developed as the lady senator continues to surge in the latest surveys as her runningmate, Sen. Francis Escudero improved on his ratings as leading vice presidential candidate over Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Rep. Maria Leonor Robredo in the latest surveys.
Meanwhile, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas advised voters not to rely on pre-election surveys in choosing candidates in a report posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.
“Do not choose depending on who is topping or trailing in the surveys,” Villegas said.
“You are called to take courage and make moral decisions. Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God desires it,” he added.
There was no immediate comment from Senator Poe on the final High Court ruling but she has earlier expressed her gratitude for the continued trust by the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the people, especially those campaigning for her to win the May 9 elections.
Adonis Samson, an uncle of Senator Poe who is based in Pangasinan, said he was hopeful for the imminent victory of Poe even as former Liberal Party stalwarts in Laguna and other provinces have shifted their support to the lady senator.
Samson told PhilAmPress that he and other Poe relatives and the people of Pangasinan like former Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani are thankful for the support for the senator’s presidential bid.
In its latest ruling, the Supreme Court threw out the reconsideration pleas of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and several prominent personalities led by former Government Service Insurance System chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo, former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez, former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad, and De La Salle University professor Antonio Contreras.
Earlier, Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te refused to disclose the decision in his press briefing Tuesday, April 5, adding that the High Court would make an official announcement on the motions on April 9, exactly a month before the May balloting.
The High Court was also expected to release separate opinions that the justices will write on the final ruling by that time, it was learned.
But sources in the High Court confirmed the final ruling supporting Poe’s candidacy.
Poe’s Facebook account posted without comment a report by the Philippines Daily Inquirer with the High Court decision as its banner headline.
With a 9-6 vote, the SC allowed Poe to run for president and reversed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision disqualifying her from the presidential race on March 8.
But when the concurring and dissenting opinions of the magistrates were released to the public three days later, various sectors raised issues on the SC ruling on Poe’s citizenship and residency.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio stressed in his dissenting opinion that there was no majority ruling to establish Poe’s eligibility as a natural-born Filipino, saying only seven justices voted in favor of the senator on her citizenship issue.(PhilAmPress/MTVi)