Tatad to contest Poe decision, says SC did not reach a majority vote on her citizenship

Photo Credit: Rappler/Manila Bulletin
  • Former senator to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on Grace Poe
  • He says no majority decision was reached by the SC as per Justice Antonio Carpio
  • Tatad’s lawyer also says Chief Justice Sereno’s interpretation of majority voting was wrong

MANILA, Philippines – Emboldened by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s claim that the Supreme Court failed to reach a majority vote on Sen. Grace Poe’s citizenship status, former senator Kit Tatad said he will definitely ask the high tribunal to review its ruling this week.

“We were made to believe that there were nine votes in favor of Grace Poe’s so-called ‘Filipino citizenship.‘ Yun pala, walang nine votes, kundi seven votes, which is less than the majority so there is no ruling of the court. Simple majority of 15 is eight, not seven,” GMA News quoted him as saying.

The high tribunal voted 7-5-3 in favor of Poe. Under Rule 12, Section 1 of the Internal Rules of the SC, “All decisions and actions in Court en banc shall be made up upon the concurrence of the majority of the Members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues or issues involved and voted on them.”

According to Carpio, the prevailing majority vote should have been eight contrary to Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s claim because the votes of all 15 justices — including the three who voted not to rule on Poe’s citizenship — should have been counted.

“What is clear and undeniable is that there is no majority of this Court that holds that petitioner Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen,” he said.

Atty. Manuel Luna, counsel of Tatad, also described Sereno’s reasoning as unacceptable and said she might have violated the high tribunal’s internal rules.

“The total number of justices who participated and voted on the result was 15,” he said. “In the TRO, the voting was 12-3. The voting to grant or not to grant petition was 9-6. Hence, the basis for computation for the number of majority should be 15 and the majority should be eight.”