Press Release
February 12, 2016


PANGASINAN -- Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero is looking forward to a favorable Supreme Court ruling for his presidential running mate Sen. Grace Poe as they expect the high court to hand down its decision next month.

During the campaign sortie of the Partido Galing at Puso in vote-rich Pangasinan province, Escudero said the SC was expected to conclude within the month hearing the oral arguments on Poe's consolidated petition against two Commission on Elections (Comelec) decisions canceling her certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

"Inaasahan namin na matatapos sa buwan ng Pebrero ang oral arguments sa kaso ni Sen. Grace. Inaasahan namin na lalabas sa buwan ng Marso ang kanilang (SC) pasya at desisyon, at buo ang pag-asa namin na ito'y papabor kay Sen. Grace," Escudero told a press conference.

In canceling Poe's COC, the Comelec claimed that she made "material misrepresentations" regarding her citizenship and residency.

Poe, the frontrunner in recent presidential voter preference surveys, had petitioned the SC to reverse the Comelec rulings on ground that the poll body committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

She also insisted that just like all other foundlings found in the Philippines, she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, and that she complied with the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates having been a resident of the country since May 24, 2005.

Escudero believes the 15-member tribunal will not go beyond its 2004 decision that declared Poe's father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., whose citizenship was also questioned when he ran for president at the time, a natural-born Filipino.

"Sa kaso tungkol sa kababayan nyong si FPJ, sinabi ng Korte Suprema sa pamamagitan ni Chief Justice (Reynato) Puno, sa wikang Ingles: 'We cannot leave to the unelected members of this court the power and right to decide who the next president will be. That decision is best left to the sovereign Filipino people,'" Escudero said referring to the late actor, who is a native of San Carlos City in Pangasinan.

"Kung susundin nila (SC justices) 'yun, walang rason para hindi sila pumabor kay Sen. Grace," he added.

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