SC junks Comelec's plea for early oral argument on Poe case

THE Supreme Court junked the urgent motion filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct early oral arguments on presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe's cases.

On January 5, the Comelec asked the SC to conduct the oral arguments on an earlier date as it is set to finalize the official list of national and local candidates for the May 2016 elections on January 20.

The Comelec argued that it would like to make sure that their strict timeline will be followed as the date of the election is immovable.

The upcoming national elections will be held on May 9.

On its en banc session, the SC dismissed Comelec's appeal, however, it also announced that the oral arguments, which was originally scheduled for January 19 at 2 p.m. is set to another date.

In an advisory released on Wednesday, the SC said that there will be a preliminary conference for the parties involved in Poe's disqualification case on January 14, 10 a.m. at the Supreme Court.

The advisory addresses limitation of issues, the order and duration of presentations by counsels, post-argument procedures and other matters.

The high court on its en banc session held on Tuesday also affirmed the temporary restraining orders issued to the Comelec to stop the cancellation of Poe's certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

The court voted 12-3 to confirm the TRO issued by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in Poe's two cases on December 28.

Poe's first petition challenged a Comelec en banc's decision that granted lawyer Estrella Elamparo's appeal to have her COC be cancelled while Poe's second petition challenged the poll body's decision on a separate disqualification case filed by former Sen. Francisco Tatad, political analyst Antonio Contreras and former law dean Amado Valdez.

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