Press Release
March 14, 2016


Vice-presidential frontrunner Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero criticized Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio for trying to sow confusion on how the 15 justices of the Supreme Court voted on the case of his presidential running mate Sen. Grace Poe.

On March 8, it was announced to the public that the SC voted 9-6 to allow Poe to run for president in the May 9 general elections. However, Carpio, in his dissenting opinion, claimed that the high court did not reach majority ruling on Poe's citizenship.

Carpio said the SC voted 7-5, with three abstentions, in favor of Poe's status as natural-born Filipino.

"What's clear is that nine justices voted to allow Sen. Grace to run for president as against the six who favored the cancellation of her certificate of candidacy (COC) by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). If the SC came out with a 7-5-3 on the issue of citizenship, well that's still a majority ruling," Escudero pointed out.

Escudero said there appears to be a "deliberate attempt to sow doubt and confuse the public about the SC ruling on Poe's case."

"Wala naman sa batas na kailangan absolute majority. Sapat na ang mayorya para magpasya ng anumang isyu na nakabinbin o tinatanong sa Korte Suprema," Escudero pointed out.

"Kailangan lamang ang absolute majority kapag may dinedeklarang unconstitutional na isang batas. Pero sa ordinaryong kaso na tulad ng kay Sen. Grace sapat na na may mayorya. Ang boto kaugyan nyan ay 7-5-3, klaro na mayorya 'yan," he added.

According to Escudero, Carpio's claim that the SC did not reach a majority ruling on Poe's citizenship was not true.

"The 7-5-3 configuration is a clear vote of majority. Seven is greater than five, it is simple as that," he explained.

In a 47-page decision penned by Associate Justice Jose Perez, the SC ruled that Poe is a natural-born Filipino who has met the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates under the 1987 Constitution.

It held that the Comelec's twin decisions to cancel her COC for president were "deadly diseased with grave abuse of discretion from root to fruits."

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr. Lucas Bersamin, Jose Mendoza, Diosdado Peralta, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa concurred with Perez's decision.

Those who voted to uphold the Comelec rulings were Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Arturo Brion, Mariano Del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

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