MANILA, Dec 3 (Mabuhay) – Opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Thursday said it had no hand on the disqualification of Senator Grace Poe from the 2016 presidential race as rendered by a division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Reacting to the statement of Poe that two of her rivals were behind efforts to stop her presidential bid, UNA vice presidential bet Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan said the party was not in a position to influence an independent body like the Comelec.
“The United Nationalist Alliance, as a matter of principle and as the party of the accredited political opposition, upholds and respects due process and the rule of law,” Honasan said in a statement.
“UNA is not in any position nor is it inclined to influence the deliberations, decisions and rulings of constitutionally mandated institutions,” he added.
The Comelec’s second division on Tuesday ruled to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy for president amid questions on her citizenship and residency.
Poe had hinted on Wednesday that UNA standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II were behind the series of disqualification cases against her.
“Who else would benefit from this? [There’s no one else] but my two rivals who, I’m sure, had sent their people to file these cases,” Poe said in Filipino. “I’m not afraid,” a defiant Poe told reporters. “After all the allegations thrown at me, it only strengthened my belief that we should not let this kind of people lead our country.”
Honasan said Poe’s accusation was part of “malicious prosecutions” that UNA has been receiving ahead of next year’s polls.
“The UNA party adopts this position from our continuing painful and unwarranted experience in malicious prosecution which we accept as a matter of partisan political reality on the eve of the coming May 2016 elections,” the senator said.
Poe, the adopted daughter of movie stars Susan Roces and Fernando Poe Jr., previously renounced her Filipino citizenship to work in the United States. She returned to the Philippines and renounced her American citizenship after being appointed chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board in 2010.
Poe had repeatedly said she had fulfilled the 10-year residency requirement when she returned to the country after the death of her adoptive father in 2004. (MNS)