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Defeated senatorial bet files electoral offense complaint vs. Grace Poe


(Updated 7:30 p.m.) Defeated 2013 senatorial aspirant Rizalito David has filed another complaint against Sen. Grace Poe, this time, an electoral offense over the neophyte senator's alleged "material misrepresentation."
 
On Monday morning, David went to the Commission on Elections office in Manila and filed the complaint at the poll body's Law Department.

David said his complaint is based on three points: 
  • 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.
 
“The gravamen of the offense is material misrepresentation. As Llamanzares misrepresented her citizenship, her period of residence, and her eligibility to run for senator, these transgressions should be penalized accordingly,” he said in a 20-page petition.

"I don't take pleasure in doing this. This is an issue of rule of law," David later said, insisting that he is doing this on his own, without the help of any party or individual, since this one does not require a filing fee.
 
He added that the complaint filed with the Comelec, once found to have probable cause, may be taken up before a higher court.

Rizalito David, a defeated senatorial bet in the 2013 elections, shows a copy of his complaint filed before the Comelec's law department on Monday, August 17, against Senator Grace Poe for alleged material misrepresentation. David said, "Wala akong pambayad. Buti na lang walang filing fee." Julius Segovia 


Poe admitted being hurt by the claim that she lied when she wrote the name of Ronald Allan Poe, a.k.a. FPJ as his father and Jesusa Poe as mother in her certificate of candidacy.

“Napakasakit po, na sa isang presscon niya sinabi nila sinungaling daw ako sapagkat nilagay ko daw sa father, Ronald Allan Poe, a.k.a. FPJ at sa mother si Jesusa Poe. Dapat daw nilagay ko dun unknown yung parents,” Poe told reporters.

The senator viewed David’s statement as an insult.

“Isa naman po yatang panglalait yan, sa mga magulang na nag-adopt ng mga bata. Dapat ba ang itawag ko sa ating mga magulang ay pangalan  lang nila sapagkat nagsisinungaling ako kapag tinawag ko silang ‘Mama’ o ‘Papa’? Hindi ba napaka…pang-uuri na po iyan,” Poe said.

She also reiterated that she is a natural-born Filipino eventhough she is a foundling.

“Ang isa pa niyang sinasabing kasalanan ko ay sinabi ko na ako’y natural-born Filipino citizen. Natural, dahil pinanganak ako dito. Wala namang nakakaalam kung foreigner ang dalawa kong mga magulang, wala pang lumalapit, natural ilalagay kong natural-born,” Poe said.

“Lahat ng international law na nagsasabi kapag may batang nakita diyan, iyan ay citizen ng bansa na iyon. Gusto ba niya na ang ilagay ko, 'Parent: Republic of the Philippines',” she added.

Instead of being cowed, the senator said she was emboldened by the allegations against her.

“Mas lalo nilang ginagawa yan, kapag umatras ang isang tao, sasabihin nila duwag. Kaya nga ayokong atrasan ito,” he said.

She said David’s motive was really questionable.

“Nung tinanong siya kung sino ang nagbigay ng filing fee ang unang niyang sagot ay hindi ko pwedeng sabihin dahil mga pribadong mamamayan po sila," Poe said.

"Sa tingin ko doon pa lang magdududa ka na. Kasi kung naniniwala ka sa isang adbokasiya at wala kang masamang intensyon bakit ka matatakot ilabas,” she added.

Asked if she intends to file a case against David, Poe said she does not want to waste the time of institutions.

“Ayokong aksayahin ang oras ng ating mga institusyon para dito. Ako'y nagpapasalamat sa kanya dahil inilalabas niyo ito, at nabibigyan ako ng pagkakataon na masagot ito," Poe said.

"Dahil ito'y pang-aapi  at para sa akin hindi ko papayagan na hindi tayuan ito sapagkat napakaraming bata ang maapektuhan kung ako'y sumuko sa laban na ito,” she added.

Quo warranto complaint
 
David, who placed 50th among 61 candidates in 2013, earlier filed a quo warranto complaint against Poe before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) based on the same grounds mentioned in his Comelec complaint. 
 
Meanwhile, in a statement, Poe's lawyer George Garcia belied David's accusations and described the complaint as "a form of harassment" and an "insult."

“Nakahanda kaming sumagot at pabulaanan ang mga kasinungalingang kanilang ibinabato,” he said, as he denied that Poe committed misrepresentation.

"There was no misrepresentation because Senator Grace Poe is a natural-born Filipino," Garcia said.

Escudero to reveal David's backers

Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero, Poe's friend and political ally, said that he would reveal those behind David "in due time."

“Hindi na ako naniniwalang gumising lamang siya isang umaga at biglang nagdesisyon siya na kuwestiyunin ang  citizenship ni Sen. Poe. Aalamin namin at dapat lamang alamin kung sino ba ang nasa likod niya?" Escudero said referring to the complaints filed before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and Commission on Elections.

"Sino ba ang nagtutulak at nag-uudyok sa kanya dahil OA naman na nag-file na siya sa SET, nag-file pa siya sa Comelec, at hindi na ako magugulat kung mag-file siya saanman,” he added.

“Kapag nalaman namin, titiyakin namin ituturo at sasabihin namin. Kapag may sapat na kaming batayan at ebidensiya kung sino, palagi naming ilahahad iyon para matigil at mabisto at makita kung sino ba talaga ang nasa likod ni David at nang matanggal din yung maskara niya na sinasabi niyang adbokasiya lamang daw niya ito,” Recto said. — Julius Segovia, Rose-An Jessica Dioquino and Amita O. Legaspi/RSJ/JJ/KBK/NB, GMA News
Tags: gracepoe
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