|Comelec Chair Andres Bautista|
“The May elections should put to the test this total contempt for the electorate. It’s not only the intelligentsia that is now questioning angrily the SC decision to allow Grace Poe to run.
Young people (the millennials) and the proverbial man on the street are now wondering aloud why the nation is going through all these contortions and acrobatics, for an ambitious woman whose identity is unknown, and whose Filipino citizenship is unproven.
“We must deal with Grace Poe because she represents a naked and open challenge to our constitutional system, one that is financed by powerful business interests who believe that they can buy the presidency. If we do not stop this assault, our constitutional order could collapse, and the nation will list until it can find its mooring.
“If Grace Poe succeeds in forcing her way into the balloting in May, the elections could be turned into a mockery as one justice has warned. We are in this rut because the Supreme Court has momentarily lost its way. John F. Kennedy said that “an error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” Correcting the errors and averting the mistake is, in essence, the central message of the dissenting opinions in the SC decision.”
Philippine Star columnist Federico Pascual, in his March 29 “Postcript” titled “Why Issue of Poe’s Candidacy Still Lingers,” was just as emphatic about the need for the SC to resolve Poe’s eligibility. Said Dick:
“TO RESOLVE the above confusing decision, there is now the imperative need for the SC to immediately decide on the pending appeal filed by Rizalito David from a majority decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal which ruled that Poe, as a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino citizen.
“It is in this case where the citizenship of Poe was directly assailed without regard to whether or not she made any false representation in her COC for senator in the 2013 elections.
“If the SC rules that Poe is a natural-born citizen, then that settles this issue once and for all. If the SC rules that she is not, then the Comelec, on its own or motu propio or even without any petition, could still disqualify her and all votes cast for her will not be counted, if the decision is rendered before the May 9 election since ‘the Comelec will be grossly remiss in its constitutional duty to enforce and administer all laws relating to the conduct of elections if it does not motu propio bar from running for public office those suffering from perpetual special disqualification by virtue of a final judgment.’
“But what if said decision disqualifying Poe is rendered after the election and Poe still gets the highest number of votes and proclaimed as duly elected President by the Congress of the Philippines? That would be another skirmish in the Legal and Political Battle of the Century.”