Disqualification case looms vs Grace Poe

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2015 03:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2015 11:04 PM

Ex-solon says Grace Poe 'very ambitious'

MANILA - A disqualification case looms against Senator Grace Poe should she file her candidacy for higher office in the 2016 elections -- and it is going to come from an ally of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr.

Former Congressman Jacinto Jing Paras, who was an ally of FPJ in the 2004 elections and who claims to be one of those who convinced the late action king to run for president, said he will file a disqualification case on account of Poe's residency and maybe even her foundling status.

Poe as a child was abandoned at a church in Jaro, Iloilo and was passed on through different families until she ended up with FPJ and veteran actress Susan Roces.

"Yes, I'll definitely file. My argument will be first sa residency. Ito, very clear ito, I was able to get some evidence on her travel... May nagpakita sa akin ng isang document, she was using US passport in 2009. Kung American passport, Amerikano ka pa," Paras said.

Paras did not mince words against the senator. "I'm not doing it for any. I'm just disappointed nagamit niya tatay niya na minahal ko. Ibang-iba si Grace sa tatay niya. She's very ambitious. Na-disappoint ako."

He added he is also now studying the matter of Poe being a foundling.

Paras even believes Poe's own candidacy as senator now may even be questioned in a quo warranto petition by the 13th placer in the 2013 midterm elections, former Senator Richard Gordon.

"I'll be filing a disqualification case (if no one will file). Dick Gordon would have tested the waters, filing quo warranto, kasi number 13 siya sa senatorial. As of now pwede i-question qualification ni Grace Poe. Wala pang jurisprudence. Will a foundling be a natural born citizen?"

The Constitution requires that congressmen, senators, vice presidents and presidents be natural born citizens of the country.

Paras explained that under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates can only be questioned upon the filing of the candidacy.

However, Poe's own candidacy as senator can be questioned by Gordon who could be proclaimed as another senator if Poe is ousted. Paras, however, did not say if Gordon would.

He claimed he is not doing this for any other politician in the 2016 elections. Previously, Makati Congresswoman Abigail Binay said it is better to leave the matter of Poe's qualifications to the court in a bid to end the word war between the Poes and Binays after Binay spokesman Toby Tiangco first questioned Poe's residency.

Paras explained he merely wants to make sure the law is followed.

'SINUSUKA NAMIN SI DRILON'

Paras is also baffled why Poe is consorting with critics of her father's own 2004 candidacy.

"Nagtataka ako kay Grace Poe, masyadong chummy kay Frank Drilon, when sinusuka namin iyan. It was Frank, Kiko Pangilinan who were the ones who made GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) win."

Poe has been in talks with President Aquino who is reportedly interested in fielding Poe as a candidate for higher office in 2016. Aquino's Liberal Party (LP) is looking for a running mate to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

Previously on June 9, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte talked of his high esteem for Poe and even Senator Francis Escudero, whom Poe prefers for a running mate in case she runs for higher office.

Pressed for a choice between Poe and Roxas, Belmonte was evasive.

"Ako, may pabor sa kanya (Mar). On the other hand, bilib din ako kay Grace, may utak si Grace, matapang pa. The way her report on Mamasapano, nothing political," he said.

Today, Belmonte kept his distance from the talks between President Aquino and Poe. Poe and Escudero are independents while Roxas, Aquino and Belmonte are all LP members.

"I don't have any first hand knowledge of meetings... I don't like to speculate on it. I know President feels warmly towards Grace, Chiz is a long time friend of his. It's very possible he can take initiative to talk with the two," he said.

"If the two talk to him, I don't see him saying no. As far as I know, as one of two vice chairmen of party, I haven't received any outright statement coming from anybody saying ito na ang desisyon. Maybe the President is playing cards close to his chest," added Belmonte.