Grace Poe thanks SolGen for siding with her


MANILA – Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday thanked the Office of the Solicitor General for siding with her in her legal battle before the Supreme Court.

''Nagpapasalamat po kami kay Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, kasama ng sampu pang abogado ng OSG, na nanindigan na ako ay isang natural born Filipino ayon sa ating Saligang Batas. Malaking bagay po sa amin na ang mga mismong tagapagtanggol ng bansa sa larangan ng international law ay pumanig sa aming katuwiran,'' Poe said in a statement.

''Buo po ang aming paniniwala na ang batas ay nandiyan para siguruhin ang pantay na karapatan ng bawat Pilipino, at nagtitiwala po kami na itataguyod ito ng Korte Suprema."

In a manifestation, the OSG told the Supreme Court on Monday that it would not be able to submit its comments on the petitions filed by Poe against the Comelec en banc's decisions cancelling the senator's certificate of candidacy of president.

The OSG said to represent the Comelec would be in contradiction with its views on Poe's case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).

Rizalito David earlier went to the SC to question the SET's ruling that Poe is a natural-born Filipino. In the SET case, David is seeking to disqualify Poe as senator supposedly because she is not a natural-born Filipino.

The OSG has opted to defend the SET's position, saying the tribunal did not commit grave abuse of discretion.

Poe's running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, meanwhile, said the OSG's position only gives more credibility to the lady senator's victory before the SET.

"The Solicitor General, the statutorily appointed lawyer of the Philippine government, and 10 other solicitors are of the firm belief that Sen. Grace Poe is a natural-born Filipino. This is vindication for the majority of the SET, who were criticized by some sectors for deciding supposedly based on political and emotional considerations," said Escudero.

"No less than the OSG recognizes that the Constitution and its framers never wanted to discriminate against foundlings and that foundlings were always meant to be natural-born Filipinos-which is what Sen. Grace has been saying all alon.''

Even as Poe scored a victory before the SET, the Comelec en banc voted that she is not a natural-born Filipino and won't be able to meet the ten-year residency requirement by election time.

READ: How they voted: Comelec sustains Poe disqualification

This prompted the neophyte senator to file petitions before the SC seeking a reversal of the rulings. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno then issued a halt orders on the full Comelec rulings.