Monsod wrong on candidate Poe’s ‘deliberate lie’
IN MANY instances, we agree with Solita Monsod’s erudite columns. But that one titled “Nothing capricious in Comelec rulings on Poe” (Opinion, 4/2/16) really stuck in our craw. She rallied behind the Commission on Elections’ rulings finding presidential candidate Grace Poe to have maliciously lied in her certificate of candidacy about being a natural-born Filipino and 10-year resident of the Philippines.
We do not have the luxury of being able to go to lengths as Monsod does in her columns. We can only be as brief as this box can allow, so here goes our humble two-cents’ worth: The only issue before the Comelec was whether Poe “deliberately intended” to lie and deceive everyone. That could be determined with certitude only if there was already an acceptable metric by which such qualification issues could be gauged.
By clear constitutional mandate, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) is the “sole judge” with the authority to rule upon the qualifications of a president. What business was it of the Comelec to usurp that authority? Outside of the PET’s definitive rulings, legal opinions (like the election commissioners’) are just speculations and guesses. They do not form an unshakable basis to condemn anyone for believing otherwise. Contrary opinions can indeed be excused as “honest mistakes,” if at all.
Monsod nevertheless protested: “Gee whiz! If those were honest mistakes, then Grace Poe doesn’t deserve to be president. Committing those honest mistakes makes her less than intelligent…” Good grief! Monsod has never come down this hard on another presidential candidate who stands accused of looting and plundering public funds! Is committing mistakes a more despicable crime to her than robbing taxpayers blind? Where is her moral sense of proportion?
We are one with the ABB (Anybody But Binay) conscience bloc. Honestly, we would have preferred Mar Roxas whose public record is untarnished; but from all indications he doesn’t stand a chance against Jejomar Binay! The 2010 election proved that abundantly and nothing has given us any hope that Roxas might do better this time around. Poe is the only one who can beat Binay! She has overtaken him and taken the lead in surveys. So for love of country, we are going for the lesser evil in the absence of a better (“winnable”) alternative! And may God have mercy on this country and stop “vox populi” from getting kleptocrats elected over and over again!
—YVETTE SAN LUIS-PETROCELLI, firstname.lastname@example.org
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