Comelec appeals SC decision allowing Poe to run

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has filed a motion for reconsideration on the Supreme Court (SC) decision upholding the qualifications of presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe.

In the 59-page MR, the Comelec urged the high court to apply Section 2, Rule 12 of its Internal Rules which provides that "where the court en banc is equally divided in opinion or the necessary majority vote cannot be had, the court shall deliberate on it anew" and "[i]f after such deliberation still no decision is reached, the court shall, in an original action filed with it, dismiss the case; in appealed cases, it shall affirm the judgment or order appealed from."

Voting 9-6, the high court junked Poe's disqualification by the Comelec over her citizenship and residency qualifications. The high court ruled that the poll body committed grave abuse of discretion in cancelling Poe's certificate of candidacy.

The Comelec, however, pointed out that there was actually "no majority vote" on the natural-born Filipino challenge to Poe's citizenship since out of the 15 magistrates who participated in the deliberation, only 7 justices voted that she is a natural-born Filipino.

"There is no majority vote finding the petitioner as a natural-born Filipino citizen, hence, there is no factual or legal basis for the ruling that the petitioner is a qualified candidate for president in the 9 May 2016 National Elections," the MR read. 

The Comelec argued that "chaos or anarchy will not be far behind" if a "potentially ineligible candidate [is allowed to] run and be elected president despite a clear absence of a majority vote finding her a natural-born Filipino citizen."

The Comelec said the re-deliberation and re-voting of the high court on the case which it is asking for is in keeping with the SC Internal Rules.