TACLOBAN CITY-Former An Waray party-list congressman Florencio “Bem” Noel expressed his elation over the decision of the Supreme Court granting Senator Grace Poe a temporary reprieve as she continues to battle legal problems on her presidential bid. The Supreme Court issued temporary restraining orders (TRO) in favor of Poe on December 28 directing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) not to bar Poe from running for President in this year’s elections. Noel, who acts as a campaign manager of Poe and that of her running-mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, said that the decision of the High Court only shows that it adheres to fairness and justice.
The former solon said that if ever their camp would be denied for a temporary retrieve from the High Court, they would not resort to any extra-judicial act. “We will abide the legal processes. We believe in the system and it (still) works,” Noel stressed. Meantime, Noel said that they are happy that despite of the legal battles that they are facing, Poe continues to be the most preferred by the Filipino voters among the presidential candidates running in next year’s elections. “Her ratings fluctuate but we are still comfortable. They know that we are ahead. That’s why, they want her disqualify,” Noel said, referring to the opponents of Poe.
The Comelec, en banc, had earlier cancelled Poe’s certificate of candidacy due to her failure to meet the 10-year residency as she also fights off issue of her being a Filipino citizen.
Noel said that they remain confident that eventually, Poe, who was just elected as senator in the 2013 elections, will hurdle the legal obstacles and will be allowed to run for President. Poe is running as an independent candidate with Escudero. Poe’s father, the late action king, Fernando Poe, Jr., ran for President in the 2010 election marred with accusation of massive cheating.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)