MANILA — The Supreme Court (SC) en banc has set for Thursday, Jan. 14, the preliminary conference on the case of Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which ordered the delisting of her name in the ballot for the May 9, 2016 presidential elections.
With the ruling of the SC en banc on Tuesday, where majority of the justices confirmed the temporary restraining orders (TROs) issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Aranal Sereno on Dec. 28, 2015, the SC set the preliminary conference on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the SC Justices Lounge, 7th Floor in Padre Faura, Manila.
Voting 12-3, the majority of the justices confirmed the two TROs of Sereno which stopped the Comelec from implementing the poll body’s en banc decision that upheld the resolutions of its First and Second Divisions.
The First Division cancelled Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for the May 9 presidential polls as a result of the questions on her citizenship and residency raised by former Senator Francisco Tatad, University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez and De La Salle University Professor Antonio Contreras.
The Second Division, on the other hand, cancelled Poe’s CoC based on the petition by lawyer Estrella Elamparo claiming she failed to meet the constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency for presidential candidates.
Sereno issued the TROs based on the recommendation by Associate Justices Mariano C. Del Castillo and Marvic F. Leonen pursuant to the SC’s Internal Rules.
The preliminary conference will be attended by the parties — the Comelec, Poe and the petitioners — along with their lawyers.
The preliminary conference shall be in preparation for the oral arguments on Jan. 19, 2016, wherein the metes and bounds of the case discussion shall be listed.
The SC has already ordered the consolidation of the two Comelec cases.
Meanwhile, the oral arguments on the case filed by Rizalito David against the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) for declaring Poe a natural born Filipino has been reset by the SC for another date which will be announced later. Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr./PNA / northboundasia.com