Philippine election frontrunner barred from poll

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Grace PoeSenator Grace Poe, according to latest surveys one favorite to succeed Benigno Aquino III as president of the Philippines, was barred on December 1 from running in the elections.

Three members of the second division of the Commission on Elections said that Poe could not run for president in elections in May because she fails to meet the 10-year residency requirement.

Poe was abandoned in a church as a baby and was adopted by actors Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, raising questions about her origins. Later she went to the US and became a naturalised American. She returned to the Philippines when her adoptive father, who ran for president and lost, died in late 2004. Six years later, she renounced her US citizenship when Aquino appointed her to a government post.

In its ruling, the election commission said that, according to a declaration on residency she made when running for senator in 2013, Poe will only have been back in the Philippines for 9.5 years at the time of the election, rendering her ineligible. Poe says this was an error, and that she came back from the US much earlier.

“I am disappointed in the decision, but this is not the end of the process,” Poe said in a statement. “I have faith in the process, and we are confident that the commission will side with the interest of the people.”

Poe’s camp said it would appeal against the decision before elevating it to the Supreme Court.

In late November, 39 per cent of people surveyed by Pulse Asia, a local polling firm, said they intended to vote for Poe, while 24 per cent favoured Vice President Jejomar Binay and 21 per cent said they would vote for Manuel Roxas, a longtime public official endorsed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino.

The May election will be closely watched by investors, who fear the political succession could derail economic progress made during Aquino’s rule.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Senator Grace Poe, according to latest surveys one favorite to succeed Benigno Aquino III as president of the Philippines, was barred on December 1 from running in the elections.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Grace PoeSenator Grace Poe, according to latest surveys one favorite to succeed Benigno Aquino III as president of the Philippines, was barred on December 1 from running in the elections.

Three members of the second division of the Commission on Elections said that Poe could not run for president in elections in May because she fails to meet the 10-year residency requirement.

Poe was abandoned in a church as a baby and was adopted by actors Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, raising questions about her origins. Later she went to the US and became a naturalised American. She returned to the Philippines when her adoptive father, who ran for president and lost, died in late 2004. Six years later, she renounced her US citizenship when Aquino appointed her to a government post.

In its ruling, the election commission said that, according to a declaration on residency she made when running for senator in 2013, Poe will only have been back in the Philippines for 9.5 years at the time of the election, rendering her ineligible. Poe says this was an error, and that she came back from the US much earlier.

“I am disappointed in the decision, but this is not the end of the process,” Poe said in a statement. “I have faith in the process, and we are confident that the commission will side with the interest of the people.”

Poe’s camp said it would appeal against the decision before elevating it to the Supreme Court.

In late November, 39 per cent of people surveyed by Pulse Asia, a local polling firm, said they intended to vote for Poe, while 24 per cent favoured Vice President Jejomar Binay and 21 per cent said they would vote for Manuel Roxas, a longtime public official endorsed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino.

The May election will be closely watched by investors, who fear the political succession could derail economic progress made during Aquino’s rule.

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