MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senator Grace Poe will attend on Friday the preliminary conference of the Senate Electoral Tribunal that will hear the quo warranto case questioning her qualification to run for the Senate, the lawmaker’s chief of staff has confirmed.
“Yes, she will (attend),” Victorino said when asked about the senator’s attendance.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) has set for September 21 the hearing for the disqualification case filed against Senator Grace Poe.
Supreme Court Public Information Office chief and spokesman Theodore Te said SET chair Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio relayed to him that the proceedings would be held at the SC session hall at 2 p.m.
Before the hearing, the SET is set convene the parties in a closed-door preliminary conference, also at the SC, on Friday, September 11.
The SET is comprised of its chair, Justice Carpio, Supreme Court Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Arturo Brion, Sens. Loren Legarda, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Pia Cayetano, Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay.
The quo warranto complaint was filed by Rizalito David, who placed 50th among 61 candidates in the 2013 senatorial race.
He claimed that Poe filed a certificate of candidacy in 2013 even when she isn’t a natural born Filipino citizen, that she declared that she has been residing in the Philippines for six months and six years at that time, and that she was ineligible to run because her COC was questionable.
David would later file a similar complaint before the Comelec, citing the same grounds he mentioned in his SET complaint.
Poe’s lawyer George Garcia had earlier denied David’s accusations and described the complaint as “a form of harassment” and an “insult.” Poe herself last week submitted documents to the SC to prove her eligibility in the 2013 polls.
Meanwhile, Senator Vicente Sotto III said he has yet to decide what he will do on the disqualification complaint filed against his colleague.
Sotto, a member of the SET, said he will have to hear first the presentation of both parties before making a decision.
“I am still contemplating on what to do. I will decide on what to do after we hear the presentations tomorrow,” he said.
A source said Wednesday that Sotto will move to have the petition filed by dismissed on Friday, the first hearing of the SET.
“The gameplan is to have Senator Sotto dismiss the case on a technical aspect on day one of the SET’s hearing,” the source said.
“If ever he doesn’t succeed, that means the case will have to be decided by February,” it added.(MNS)