Press Release
January 3, 2016


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero is hoping that the Supreme Court justices will put to task the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for "bullying" Sen. Grace Poe, when the magistrates convene on January 19 to hear the oral arguments on her petitions.

Escudero said that certain actions of the COMELEC, which led to its Dec. 23 decisions upholding Poe's disqualification from the presidential race, "constitute grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction."

"If it's not bullying or harassment, I don't know what it is," said Escudero, referring to the way the poll body handled Poe's disqualification cases.

The leading vice-presidential candidate lamented how the COMELEC acted with dispatch on Poe's disqualification ahead of the obvious nuisance candidates like "Lucifer" and "Intergalactic ambassador."

He noted that the poll body also refused to consolidate the four petitions against Poe, which are all the same except for the names of the petitioners, if only to require her to answer before the two COMELEC divisions and "be disqualified, not only once but twice."

"To top it all, the COMELEC full commission threw out her appeal two days before Christmas," he said.

Escudero added that Poe was given a non-extendible period of five calendar days by the COMELEC to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the SC, otherwise her name would be excluded from the official list of presidential candidates in the May 2016 polls.

"The COMELEC worked 'overtime' in order for the en banc to disqualify her two days before Christmas and the holidays, thus giving her very little and difficult time to seek redress in the SC," Escudero explained.

Good thing, he said, the SC magistrates led by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno made themselves available even during recess to grant Poe a much-needed relief.

In issuing two TROs in favor of Poe, Escudero said the SC has once again showed that it is just and impartial.

He also expressed confidence the high tribunal will ultimately rule in favor of his running mate, whom he maintained is qualified to run and be elected as the country's next president.

The SC has ordered the COMELEC to comment on Poe's petitions within a period of 10 days and has set the oral arguments on January 19.

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