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Petitioner’s hang-up

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadPetitioner’s hang-up
Ronald Roy — Dec. 17, 2015

Under Section 2, Article Vll of the Constitution of the Philippines, “no person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election”.

Repeat: “…a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” Question: Is Grace Poe disqualified — according to the Third Division of the Commission on Elections, she is — for allegedly having failed to meet the cited residency requirement?

Animus or intentio revertendi
Since an “intention” is such an abstract thought that often cannot be convincingly established even by the thinker himself, law and jurisprudence permit its logical inference from acts that the thinker might have himself previously made, or events he or others might have previously caused to happen. Thus, e.g., a defendant may prove it was his intention to marry the injured victim by producing a deposit slip showing an advance partial payment for a bridal gown ensemble he had ordered to be customized for her.

Some past acts and events may be invoked to buttress Grace’s claim that she has complied with the ten-year residence requirement. It’s unfortunate however that only one of the three Division commissioners saw it this way, hence, a dismissal of her Motion for Reconsideration of an earlier Decision that had unanimously invalidated her CoC on a vote of 3-0.

Expect Grace’s tenacious camp to pursue to the finish — if need be, to the Supreme Court — her fight for the truth, namely, the truth that will uphold the sovereign people’s sole and exclusive democratic right to choose their leaders. It behooves the Comelec not to obstruct that truth; for, to do so would negate the principle that democracy is a “(system of governance) of the people, for the people, and by the people”.

Suffrage is the exercise of a people’s inherent right to elect those persons who will run government. In its essentiality, suffrage is a people’s right to elect, not a candidate’s right to be elected. Suffrage is the people’s exclusive power to choose and hire those candidates to manage their affairs. That’s why they’re called “public servants”.

Hence, voter preference polls are used as tools for measuring the “winnability” of candidates. And just as they’re persuasive factors for undecided voters, they should likewise be considered in the adjudication of cases involving the qualifications of aspirants for public office. Why, indeed, should technicalities be allowed to bar from running an aspirant for President, especially such an immensely popular candidate as Sen. Grace Poe?

Assuming, hypothetically, it were the case that Grace fell short by one day of the ten-year residence requirement, should her CoC be cancelled? As a matter of fact, records demonstrate that her residence here spanned over eleven years as she had enrolled her children in Manila’s schools, had built a home here and looked for worked here — acts tending to prove her intention to return here from America.

Again, what is underscored isn’t her right to be chosen, but the sovereign people’s right to choose her as their leader — the vox populi (voice of the people). The Supreme Court, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections are mere creatures of the sovereign people and, as such, will do well to listen to their creator’s voice as a factor in all the disqualification cases that are pending or may be brought before them.

Bad motives
It’s unbelievable that one of the petitioners, former Sen. Francisco Tatad, believes otherwise, as he calls the Comelec’s ruling a victory of the people. Unknown to many, Tatad has long been promised by VP Binay the position of Foreign Affairs Secretary should the former win the presidency…and Tatad says walang pulitika dito??? It is unlikely he’ll ever admit it was Binay’s promise that motivated him to go hammer and tongs against Grace. He was after the post, not the truth.

And that’s nearly as bad as an opinion from another petitioner whose thoughts were also guided by self-interest rather than by his duty to uphold justice. Petitioner Antonio Contreras contributed to the 2-1 ruling that was improperly couched in personal tones of hatred, as it accused, without clear basis, Grace of “deceiving and misleading the electorate”, and likewise described her as a perjurious criminal.

It appears obvious that Contreras was not so much motivated to uphold justice as to exact self-relish when he gloated, “I’m happy that even if I’m not a lawyer, I have impressed upon the majority of the commissioners (who are lawyers) in the First Division that no one’s above the law, not even if you are a Grace Poe.”

It meant all the world for Contreras to soothe a hang-up at the expense of justice…and the commissioners, experts all in election law, listened to him.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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