Poe camp seeks dismissal of David’s complaint following SET ruling

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Nov. 27 (PNA) – The camp of presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe on Friday said they will move for the dismissal of David’s complaint accusing Poe of “material misrepresentation” in the certificate of candidacy (COC) she filed in 2013 with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Poe’s legal counsel George Garcia said the motion is included in the manifestation they will file on December 1, officially informing the Comelec of the favorable SET decision.

“We strongly believe that the SET win means there is no misrepresentation in the COC she filed when she ran for the Senate in 2013,” Garcia said.

Garcia strongly pointed out that no probable cause exist to justify the filing of the case.

In his affidavit-complaint, David claimed that Poe was ineligible “for the office she sought” in 2013 because she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen.

David, a defeated senatorial candidate and presidential wannabe, said Poe violated Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code, which considers COC a sworn statement by the person filing it to announce his or her candidacy for a particular office.

A violation of the said provision can be considered an election offense, which carries a penalty of one to six years of imprisonment, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage, David added.

But the SET, voting 5-4, ruled that Poe is a natural-born citizen and thus qualified to sit as a member of the Senate.

The SET said that Poe, although a foundling, enjoyed in her favor the presumption that she was born of Filipino parents and that David failed to destroy such presumption by providing that her parents are foreigners.

It declared that Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen under the 1935 Constitution and continues to be a natural-born citizen as defined under the 1987 Constitution, as she is a “citizen of the Philippines from birth, without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect [her] Philippine citizenship.”

Garcia said the election offense case filed against Poe with the Comelec has been effectively “extinguished” by the decision of the SET throwing out her disqualification case over citizenship issues.

Meanwhile, Garcia said they are scheduled to file on December 3 their memorandum for the three other disqualification cases filed by former senator Francisco Tatad, political science professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East College of Law Dean Amado Valdez.

Amid the efforts to disqualify her, Poe continued to introduce herself and his running mate Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero to the people as they visited Lucena and Batangas on Friday for a series of consultation with local government units. (PNA)