Supreme Court allows Grace Poe to run for president

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(File photo) Sen. Grace Poe files her certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Supreme Court threw out petitions questioning Sen. Grace Poe’s candidacy.

Voting 9-6, the high tribunal said the independent presidential candidate is eligible to run for president in May 2016 elections.

"Pinaboran ng Korte Suprema ang petisyon ni Senador Grace Poe," Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Teddy Te said in a press conference on Tuesday (March 8).

[Translation: The Supreme Court favored the petition of Sen. Grace Poe.]

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led the majority of the magistrates in supporting Poe, along with Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Those who voted against Poe's petition were led by senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Teresita de Castro, Arturo Brion, Mariano del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Bienvenido Reyes.


Te did not say whether the court upheld Poe's contention that she is a natural born Filipino even though she was a foundling, or whether she met the 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate — the two requirements the Commission on Elections cited she failed to meet when it cancelled her Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

The constitution says that aside from being a natural-born Filipino citizen who has resided at least 10 years in the country, a presidential candidate must also be a registered voter, able to read and write and at least 40 years old.

After the Comelec cancelled Poe's COC in December, the senator asked the high tribunal to overrule the poll body, essentially asking the court to decide whether she is a natural-born Filipino and meets the 10-year residency requirement.

Also read: Comelec en banc cancels Poe’s certificate of candidacy

Also read: Comelec to SC: Junk Poe's petitions

In oral arguments before the tribunal, Poe's camp insisted that the senator, even as a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino who has the right to run for president and that she has been a resident of the country since May 24, 2005, the day she returned to the Philippines from the United States.

Also read: Comelec defends decision in SC oral arguments on Grace Poe case

Poe, in many interviews, has repeatedly said she was hopeful that the Supreme Court would decide in her favor — the same way it did on her father’s case in 2004, when the citizenship issues also hounded the presidential bid of the late veteran actor Fernando Poe Jr. In its decision then, the court allowed FPJ to run and let the people decide in “truly democratic elections.”

Also read: Grace Poe admits using FPJ as leverage in campaign

The senator believes that the cases against her wouldn't have been so daunting if she had joined the administration ticket.

Poe has also said she does not regret her decision to decline the Liberal Party's (LP) offer to run as Mar Roxas' vice president.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.