By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Dec. 1 (PNA) – Senator Grace Poe said on Tuesday she felt disappointed with the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division disqualifying her from running for president due to failure to meet the residency requirement in the Constitution.
In her press statement, Poe said she will continue to fight particularly for the rights of foundlings like her.
”I am disappointed in the decision, but this is not the end of the process. We will continue to fight for the rights of foundlings and the fundamental right of the people to choose their leaders,” Poe said.
”I maintain that I am a natural born Filipino and have complied with the ten-year residency requirement based on settled applicable jurisprudence.”
Poe said her critics will continue to use any excuse to exclude her “much like they tried to do when FPJ ran for president,” referring to her father, former Filipino action movie king Fernando Poe Jr. who ran but lost in the controversial 2004 elections.
In a press conference, Poe’s spokesman Rex Gatchalian said they will appeal the ruling of the Comelec’s Second Division.
”There are legal remedies provided to the respondents. This thing, we will make sure that we will appeal to the Comelec en banc,” Gatchalian said.
The Second Division ruling was based on the petition filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo who claimed that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino and has not met the 10-year residency requirement.
Gatchalian said they respect the Second Division’s ruling which is part of “so many processes that we have to go through.”
”For Senator Poe, there are legal remedies that we can explore and we will exhaust all those remedies,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian insisted that Poe has met all the requirements as presidential aspirant.
”I have faith in the process, and we are confident that the Comelec en banc will side with the interest of the people,” Poe said.
Gatchalian expressed optimism that the Comelec en banc will see the merit of their position on the disqualification cases, including the three filed by former Senator Francisco Tatad, De La Salle University Professor Antonio Contreras and former University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez. (PNA)