SORSOGON – Senator Grace Poe on Saturday celebrated the Supreme Court (SC)’s final decision on her disqualification case in front of the Bicolanos, saying the ruling has unlocked the chains that continued to muddle her presidential bid.
”For me, the people looks, more than anything else, on the platforms and characters of the candidates. It’s just so happened that my presidential bid encountered problems, but at least now, I felt it (SC ruling) unlocks the chains in our campaign,” Poe told the media after her speech inside the overflowing Sorsogon provincial capitol gymnasium on Saturday.
In a two-page minute resolution with concurring and dissenting opinions, the SC said the petitioners failed to raise new substantial arguments in their motion for reconsideration to convince the SC to reverse its last March 8’s ruling allowing Poe to run for president.
Among the petitioners include the Commission on Elections (Comelec), former Senator Francisco Tatad, Antonio Contreras, lawyer Estrella C. Elamparo and former University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez.
On the plan of the petitioners to file second MR, Poe’s running mate Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero said the law prohibits the filing of the MR.
”They can do it, but it will be rejected by the Supreme Court,” Escudero, a lawyer from Sorsogon, said.
The SC affirmed that there is no material misrepresentation when Poe declared in her certificate of candidacy that she is a natural-born Filipino and a resident of the Philippines for ten years.
”It (SC decision) just affirmed that we have strong case. We want to thank for the justice that the SC gave to me,” Poe said.
In the event that she is elected, the senator said she was confident that with the SC decision she would hurdle questions on her citizenship that could be raised before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which handles disqualification cases against an incumbent president.
Poe leads all surveys as the voters’ top choice for president. In the March 15-20 Pulse Asia report, 28 percent of voters choose Poe as the next president, while the March 30 Bilang Pilipino-SWS survey showed 34 percent of Filipinos choosing the senator.
In front of the more than 5,000 Bicolano crowd, Poe presented the platforms of government of the ‘Partido Galing at Puso’ (PGP) that will center on poverty alleviation, education, and fight against criminality particularly illegal drugs.
Poe, a leading presidential aspirant, received biggest applause when she mentioned she would revive the free lunch for the public grade school pupils.
”Our poor students should have proper nutrients to make them prepared for schools every day and our plans is to revive the free lunch in all our public elementary schools,” Poe said.
She also intends to make free the college education in all public schools “so that even poor students can finish college.”
In fighting criminality and illegal drugs, Poe said she would tap the assistance of all the barangay officials by identifying the criminals and drug pushers in their respective jurisdictions.
”I will put up monitoring room in Malacanang so that we will know if a certain barangay is doing its homework to fight criminals and drug pushers,” Poe said.
The lady senator said she will use the presidential intelligence fund to give reward for those who can identify individuals who are involve in the illegal drug trades.
Poe and Escudero were joined on stage by incumbent Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee whose son, Robert Lee, is running for gubernatorial seat. Jelly Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com