Rizalito David to SET majority: Resign if we win at SC
MANILA, Philippines – One of Senator Grace Poe's accusers, Rizalito David, challenged 5 members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to resign as senators if the Supreme Court declares Poe as not a natural-born Filipino.
"If the Supreme Court upholds our allegations that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, I challenge them to resign as senators for violating their oath of office, that is, to protect and uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and uphold the rule of law," David told reporters on Tuesday, December 8, after filing a petition for certiorari before the SC.
EARLIER: Rizalito David asks senators who voted in favor of Grace Poe to resign if SC declares her not natural-born pic.twitter.com/gHqek6Z8hQ— Jee Y. Geronimo (@jeegeronimo) December 8, 2015
He also applied for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on the SET decision not to disqualify Poe as senator.
In his petition, David highlighted the dissenting opinions of 3 SC justices who voted in his favor: Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, and Associate Justice Arturo Brion. Senator Nancy Binay concurred with the justices.
But majority of the SET members voted to uphold Poe's natural-born status: Senators Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, and Cynthia Villar. (READ: Senate tribunal upholds decision in favor of Grace Poe)
David's camp has insisted the 5 senators voted based on "political considerations." David's lawyer, Manuelito Luna, said they included in their petition evidence to support this allegation.
"I pity our 5 senators for not being able to live up to the expectation and for desecrating our Constitution because even an ordinary layman could properly appreciate that foundlings like [Poe] are not within the ambit of the Constitutional definition of natural-born," David's lawyer Manuelito Luna told reporters.
David expressed his disappointment over the senators' votes, especially since his camp did not ask any of the senators to inhibit from the case.
"We know for a fact that, for example, Senator Sotto is very close to the family of Grace Poe-Llamanzares. Loren Legarda was the running mate of FPJ in 2004….We respected their office, that's why we never asked them to inhibit themselves, and yet when the time came that they had to make a decision, they did it along political lines," he explained.
David also denied allegations from Poe's camp about groups behind this disqualification case, as well as other cases pending at the Commission on Elections.
"Sa haba-haba na ng panahon na ginagawa natin 'to, wala naman silang maituro. Mas maganda siguro itanong natin sa kanila, sino 'yung nasa likuran nila, sino 'yung nagbibigay kay Grace Poe-Llamanzares ng daan-daang milyon para mangampanya this early?" David asked.
(We've been doing this for a long time already, and yet they could not pinpoint anyone. I think it's better to ask them: who's behind them, who is giving Grace Poe-Llamanzares hundreds of millions of pesos to campaign this early?)
He added: "Dapat 'yun ang tanungin natin, at 'wag nila akong tanungin, dahil hanggang sa ngayon, wala akong pera para sabihin nila na mayroong nasa likuran ko na gumagawa nito."
(We should ask that, and they shouldn't ask me, because until now, I don't have money for them to say someone's backing me in this case.) – Rappler.com
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