MANILA — The petitioners who are asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel Senator Grace Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy for President have no legal status on the issue.
According to Atty. Romeo Macalintal, though former Senator Francisco Tatad, lawyer Estrella Elamparo and Antonio Contreras, as “registered voters” could file such petition but they are not the “real-parties-in-interest”.
He cited Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rule of Court (which applies to Comelec cases) defines a “real party in interest” as one who “stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit”.
On the other hand, Section 1, Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules allows “any registered voter to file a verified petition to deny due course to or cancel the CoC for any elective office.”
“Their legal interest to disqualify Poe is limited to asking the Comelec to deny or cancel her CoC. They have no legal capacity or personality to ask the Comelec to delete Poe’s name from the official list or official ballots because such action is no longer legal but already in the realm of politics. They do not “stand to benefit or be injured” by the inclusion or deletion of Poe’s name in the ballots since they themselves are not running for President,” he said.
The lawyer added, “Their petitions will be tainted with politics if, at this stage of Poe’s cases, they would ask for the deletion of her name from the ballots, since their only legal right is to seek the cancellation or denial of Poe’s CoC which they had already attained at the Comelec level and waiting final ruling from the Supreme Court on Poe’s appeal.”
With this, Macalintal noted that the real party should file such petition are those who have filed their CoCs for the same position.
“The real party in interest or the person who might be “injured” in case Poe’s name is included in the list or the official ballots are those other candidates who filed CoCs for President but who have not filed such cases against Poe,” he said.
Macalintal added, “Hence, the issue of whether or not Poe’s name should be deleted from the ballots would come as a legal consequence of whatever final verdict the Supreme Court will render on Poe’s cases, without Tatad, et al., asking for it. In a word, they cannot ask and they do not even have to ask for it since the Comelec, under its motu propio power, would know what to do as soon as the Supreme Court renders its decision on Poe’s cases.”
He said, “In other words, what Tatad, Elamparo and Contreras are asking is no longer legal but apparently political of which they have no legal personality to bring before the Comelec.” Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA/northboundasia.com