Is former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban trying to influence the Supreme Court to allow Senator Grace Poe to run for president despite questions on her citizenship and residency? Defeated senatorial candidate Rizalito David sure thinks so.
In a manifestation, David asked the Supreme Court “to take action” against Panganiban for “trying to sway this Honorable Court into ruling in favor of private respondent Poe and the public respondent represented by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay.”
The broadcaster, who had questioned Poe’s eligibility to hold public office before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, cited as basis for Panganiban’s bias his Jan. 10 column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer where he equated the magistrates’ possible favorable decision for Poe as tantamount to attaining “judicial greatness”.
Panganiban urged the SC to base their decision on Poe’s eligibility “beyond the text” of the law.
“The texts of the governing laws neither include nor exclude foundlings in their lists of citizens. The facts of her residency are torn between her mistaken computation in her 2013 certificate of candidacy for the Senate and the truth that she actually transferred her domicile to the Philippines as early as 2005.
“I believe her case presents a rare moment for judicial greatness for those who see beyond the text,” he said.
For David, Panganiban’s words is “as dangerous as attempts of foreign governments to influence the executive decisions of the President of a republic.” He then reminded the magistrates to “bear in mind the stringent demands of justice, and the need to promote proper ethical conduct among the members of the bar vis-à-vis the respect due the court.”
However, he refrained from saying what particular course of action he wants the SC to take, saying the magistrates already know what to do with Panganiban.