Press Release
December 13, 2015


Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) should keep the name of Sen. Grace Poe on the 2016 ballot despite the unfavorable rulings by its two divisions on her presidential candidacy.

Speaking before the Cauayan City Leadership Summit held in the province of Isabela, Escudero said that until the Supreme Court rules with finality on the disqualification cases filed against Poe, his running mate is still in the presidential race.

"Para sa akin dapat isama ang pangalan ni Senator Grace hanggang hindi nagbibigay ng pinal na desisyon ang Korte Suprema tungkol sa mga petisyon na inihain laban sa kanya," Escudero told the gathering of more than 3,000 mayors, vice mayors and barangay officials in the province. "Inuulit ko po na si Senator Grace ay kandidato pa rin natin sa pagka-pangulo."

The frontrunner in the vice-presidential race explained to local government executives that the rulings of the First and Second Divisions on the four petitions filed against Poe with the poll body will still be tackled by the COMELEC full commission, whose decisions are expected to be challenged before the high tribunal by either party.

"Apat na kaso yan at ang desisyon dyan ay aakyat pa sa COMELEC en banc. Magdedesisyon ang en banc at hindi yan magiging final and executory dahil may panahon pa iakyat sa Supreme Court," said Escudero, who was joined by Poe and Partido Galing at Puso senatorial bets Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and ACT-CIS Rep. Samuel "Sir TsiP" Pagdilao.

But the veteran senator shared his sentiments with the local officials on the apparent haste in deciding on the disqualification cases against Poe when the COMELEC has yet to purge the official list of names who are obviously nuisance candidates. "Nagtataka ako bakit nauna pang i-disqualifysi Senator Grace kaysa sa mga kandidatong ang pangalan ay 'Intergalactic' at 'Satanas.'"

Escudero maintained that Poe is a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country, thus, qualified to run for the highest position on the land based on facts, previous high court rulings and existing local and international laws.

"Nagtitiwala kami na kakampi namin ni Senator Grace ang batas at kakatigan ng Korte Suprema ang katotohanan at hustisya," Escudero said.

Among those who attended the leadership summit on Saturday were Isabela Gov. Faustino "Bodjie" Dy III, Cauayan City Mayor Bernard Faustino M. Dy, Benito Soliven Mayor Benjamin Sanglay, Cabatuan Mayor Charlton Uy, Roxas Mayor Benedict Calderon, Luna Mayor Jaime Atayde, Jones Mayor Leticia Sebastian, Alicia Mayor Ian Dy, Aurora Mayor William "Tet-Tet" Uy, and Cordon Mayor Laurencio Zuniega.

San Mateo Vice Roberto Agcaoili, Ramon Vice Mayor Jon-jon Dela Cruz, San Guillermo Vice Mayor Edgar Guyud Sr., and Jones Vice Mayor Ronaldo Lucas, as well as barangay officials joined the gathering.

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