Comelec congratulates Grace Poe for SC victory

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Members of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday congratulated Senator Grace Poe after her legal victory at the Supreme Court.

Commisioner Arthur Lim said, "As far as the case of Senator Grace Poe is concerned, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate her for this victory. I wish her all the best. I can only hope for the sake of our country that this is not goodbye rule of law."

As for their next move, Lim said, "That will have to be a decision of the en banc. Palagay ko, kasama rin iyan sa gagawing agenda ng office ng aming chairman. Palagay ko, pag-uusapan namin iyan at kung anong pasya ng en banc, iyun ang masusunod po."

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Poe, saying she can run for president in the May 9, 2016 elections.

The high court voted 9-6 in favor of Poe who challenged her disqualification by the Comelec over citizenship and residency issues.

The ruling was the second loss of the day for the Comelec.

Justices of the Supreme Court also unanimously voted to order the Comelec to enable the printing of vote receipts which is a feature of the vote-counting machines that will be used in the upcoming polls.

Voting 14-0, the high court granted the petition for mandamus of former Senator Richard Gordon.

It ordered the Comelec to print the vote receipts but regulate their release and disposal.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista didn't seem bothered by it. "We are all professionals and kami naman kung ano iyung tama, iyun ang dapat panindigan. Basta okay lang matalo ang Comelec, huwag lang matalo ang taumbayan."

Bautista added, "Iyung (decision) kay Senator Poe deals with a person as opposed itong sa desisyon tungkol sa resibo, deals with the system. Kumbaga, it materially impacts nga our preparation so sa amin, kumbaga kami bumoto diyan isa-isa mayroon kaming sariling paninindigan. But after all is said and done, we did our part, we did our job. We have to respect the (SC) decision."