SUPREME Court (SC) justices will hear in January next year arguments for or against the Senate Electoral Tribunal's decision that said Senator Grace Poe is qualified to seek high government office as she is a natural-born Filipino.

In a press conference on Wednesday, SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the oral argument on the petition filed by losing senatorial bet Rizalito David was set for January 19, 2016.

The SC also gave Poe and SET 15 days from receipt of notice to comment on David's petition.

David, who believes Poe is not a natural-born, brought the issue to the SC last week after the SET, composed of three SC justices and six senators, voted 5-4, to junk his petition to invalidate Poe's 2013 Senate victory.

The SET ruled that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born citizen under the 1935 and 1987 Constitutions "as she is a citizen of the Philippines from birth, without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect her Philippine citizenship."

David however argued that the five senators who sided with Poe committed grave abuse of discretion as the presidential hopeful allegedly failed to present evidence that one of her parents is a Filipino.

David's position was supported by SET chairman Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion and Senator Nancy Binay, daughter of Poe's rival, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Poe also faces four disqualification cases before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in connection with her 2016 presidential bid.

In separate decisions, the Comelec First and Second Divisions ordered to cancel Poe’s certificate of candidacy on grounds that she made “material misrepresentations” with respect to her citizenship and residency.

A motion for reconsideration had been filed by Poe’s camp before the Comelec en banc.

These cases are widely expected to reach the SC, regardless of the decision of the Comelec en banc.

“All these cases are deliberately tagged ‘disqualification cases’ even when they are not, to highlight the intention to paint her as an alien and brainwash the Filipino voters that sooner or later she will be disqualified and the voters should not waste their time considering that she is not a candidate for president anymore,” said lawyer Lorna Kapunan, one of Poe's senatorial candidates.

Kapunan said that the disinformation drive is part of a two-pronged tactic being employed by Poe’s opponents to stop her from being elected as president.

She said the other approach is to disqualify her outright.

Poe's rivals, Vice President Binay and administration bet Manuel Roxas II, had already denied the senator's accusation that they are involved in the plan to remove her from the presidential race. (Sunnex)