MANILA — A child rights advocate is urging a Supreme Court (SC) justice to inhibit from the disqualification cases filed against presidential aspirant, Senator Grace Poe.
In a weekly forum, Atty. Eric Henry Joseph Mallonga noted that Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio should not participate in the hearing of the cases against the lawmaker before the High Court.
“He made very conclusive pronouncement regarding his stand on the matter. During that clarificatory hearing, hindi naging clarification, naging conclusions of law ang inilabas during that clarificatory hearing,” he said.
He added, “There’s a grave abuse of discretion. They are still hearing the case, oral arguments yon, you do not make any conclusions of law because the conclusions of law come out in your decision. That is the stage when you make conclusions, pronouncement after deliberations.”
The lawyer is referring to the oral arguments before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on Poe’s case filed by Rizalito David, where he stated that the lawmaker, though a foundling, cannot be a natural born as it would violate the Constitution.
The SET granted Poe a natural-born citizen status. The disqualification case regarding her senatorial bid in the 2013 polls was elevated to the SC by petitioner David.
Aside from the David case, four disqualification cases are pending before the High Court. The cases were filed by Atty. Estrella Elamparo, former Senator Francisco Tatad, former University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez and De la Salle University Professor Antonio Contreras.
Meanwhile, the lawyer criticized the proposal “that foundlings are stateless” or that “foundlings are Filipinos, not just natural-born Filipinos.
“The tactic is shocking for its insensitivity to the plight of the foundlings, for its callousness in delimiting the rights and opportunities now enjoyed by those foundlings who may have risen above their present circumstances or continue to struggle to do so, and for its cruelty in sacrificing the present and future lives of these foundlings for short-term political expediency and personal ambition,” added Mallonga who is the founder of Meritxell Children’s World Foundation, a child-caring agency caring for 30 foundlings.
The SC has set the oral arguments on Poe’s case on Jan. 19. PNA / northboundasia.com