Petitioners slam SC ruling on Grace Poe case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The petitioners in Sen. Grace Poe's disqualification case before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) slammed the Supreme Court's decision, allowing Poe to run for the May elections.

Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said Tuesday (March 8) the court voted 9-6 to allow the independent presidential candidate to run.

Te did not say whether the court upheld Poe's contention that she is a natural born Filipino even though she was a foundling, or whether she met the 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate — the two requirements the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cited she failed to meet when it cancelled her certificate of candidacy (COC).

Also read: Comelec en banc cancels Poe’s certificate of candidacy

Opponents of Poe's candidacy were stunned by the court's decision.

Prof. Antonio Contreras, who filed a petition against Poe at the Comelec, said he "can only try to respect the ruling but will not accept it."

"We did not lose today. It is the rule of law that lost. Nine members of the Court reversed well-established jurisprudence on residence," he said.

Atty. Manuelito Luna, a lawyer for Rizalito David, who first questioned Poe's qualification as senator in relation to her residency and citizenship, said the court made a "dangerous" decision.

Also read: Poe grateful for Supreme Court decision

"It's a recipe for chaos. The Constitution was bastardized," he said, adding they will file a motion for reconsideration.

Another petitioner, lawyer Estrella Elamparo, who questioned Poe's qualification, said she was shocked "because the law is so clear. I cannot comment beyond that because I have not read the decision."

Chiz: SC sided with the rule of law

Poe's running mate, Sen. Chiz Escudero meanwhile lauded the decision.

"The Supreme Court once again sided with the rule of law in upholding the petition of Sen. Grace to reverse the partisan, biased and unfounded decision of the Commission on Elections disqualifying her from the presidential race," Escudero said in a statement.

"The decision of the Supreme Court is not only a victory for Sen. Grace but a victory for other foundlings who aspire to seek for higher office in order to serve the country. This is a great day for the Filipino people," he added.

Poe and Escudero resume their campaign sortie in Quezon Province on Wednesday (March 9),as well as in some parts of Mindanao for the rest of week.