It is understandable that Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero came immediately to the rescue of his presidential candidate, Sen. Grace Poe, when Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte deplored the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s (SET) ruling favoring Poe’s stay in the senate and her presidential ambition despite failing to prove that she is a natural born Filipino, as a constitutional requirement for nationally elected senator.
Escudero even became more defensive of Poe when Duterte claimed that the SET decision was the ultimate reason why he came openly from his cocoon and declare himself a candidate for the 2016 presidential derby.
In declaring, Duterte said that he could not just keep quiet and placid that the country will be run not by a true-blue Filipino, but by one, whose Filipino citizenship, to this day, remains utterly questionable.
In fact it can be said that Duterte, perhaps, got frantic in joining the presidential race especially that Poe has been padding her lead as the preferred presidential candidate of Filipinos in the latest poll survey.
Escudero’s concern and defense for Poe is, therefore, justifiable considering that he is running in tandem with Poe for vice president and Poe’s popularity is helping his candidacy, which is just what he wants as he himself has burning ambition to become president one day.
But what I find erroneous in Escudero’s defense of Poe is when he issued the following statement meant for Duterte: “I respect his opinion but I disagree with it. Laws are used to render justice, not injustice, and I believe the SET rendered justice to Sen. Grace Poe and all other foundlings similarly situated. As the saying goes, those who have less in life should have more in law.”
For Chrissake, the SET decision was not about justice or injustice for foundlings, or Poe’s status in life. Yet, Escudero wants Duterte and others to respect the SET decision, as a constitutional body, it having been created precisely to decide on matters such as the disqualification case filed against Poe over her citizenship.
But, the question is: Did the five (5) SET politician-members, who decided that Poe retains her Senate seat because she is a natural born Filipino, really took pains in reading and interpreting the citizenship requirement, as a constitutional requirement for nationally elected congressmen and senators, the way the losing SC justice-members respected the legality of the provisions?
Escudero is no different than the lawyer-politicians that favored Poe’s stay in the senate and allowing her to further aspire for the presidency.
Thanks goodness the country has a Duterte who is defying the conspiracy emanating from the SET and is now taking the bull by the horns.