Comelec 1st Division cancels Grace Poe's COC

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division canceled Sen. Grace Poe's certificate of candidacy (COC) for president on Friday (December 11), voting 2-1.

Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim and Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Guia gave the verdict based on three separate cases filed by former Sen. Francisco "Kit" Tatad, professor Antonio Contreras, constitutionalist Amado Valdez. The three cases were tackled individually and a consolidated decision was issued.


The petition filed by Tatad and Valdez insisted on Poe not being a natural-born Filipino, while Contreras focused on Poe's residency.

The Comelec Second Division last December 1 granted a petition of lawyer Estrella Elamparo to cancel the senator's certificate of candidacy (COC) for presidency in the 2016 elections for failing to meet the residency requirements.

'A glimmer of hope'

Poe's lawyer Atty. George Garcia told CNN Philippines that their camp will file a motion for reconsideration and appeal to the Comelec en banc.

He said that the First Division not ruling unanimously is a welcome news.

"The voting is not unanimous. Somebody voted in our favor. Somebody is saying we were correct in all our evidence and in all our contention... We are seeing a glimmer of hope... This lone dissent may become the basis of the Supreme Court in affirming the candidacy of Sen. Grace," he said on Friday.

Poe said that when the disqualification cases against her were filed, all she asked for was a fair consideration of the facts.

"We submitted evidence of my citizenship and residence, putting our full faith in a just process. It is sad that the Comelec First Division has chosen to ignore the facts just to deny me the chance to better serve our countrymen, and to also deny our people their choices in an open election," she said.

CNN Philippines' JC Gotinga contributed to this report.