Press Release
December 17, 2015


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, an aspirant for the vice presidency in the 2016 elections, today said the growing clamor both from ordinary people and respected statesmen to let the people decide on the presidential bid of his fellow senator, Grace Poe, is beginning to snowball and will be very hard to ignore in the coming days.

"I see the clamor to let the people decide on Senator Poe's candidacy to continue growing and to snowball in the coming days and weeks," Trillanes said a day after former President Fidel V. Ramos expressed such sentiment during a media forum in Quezon City.

"We now have no less than two Presidents, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice and a former Chairman of the Commission on Elections all saying the voice of the Filipino electorate must ultimately be heard and heeded when a presidential aspirant is facing questions of eligibility," Trillanes said.

He pointed out that before Ramos made his statement "to let the people decide" on Poe's candidacy, President Benigno S. Aquino III likewise said "let her run", referring to Poe, during a foreign leaders' summit in Malaysia last month.

Trillanes said the case of Senator Poe has clear legal precedents. He recalled that the late Fernando Poe Jr., the senator's father, was allowed to run by the Supreme Court after his qualifications for president was also questioned in 2004.

 "In the case of FPJ, the Supreme Court, through then Chief Justice Reynato Puno, came out with a decision that said, 'It is the people who should decide because we are not the voices of all. We are the unelected members of society'," Trillanes said.

Earlier, former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillante said the poll body has no jurisdiction to rule on the disqualification cases against Senator Poe, and that the proper forum to file cases against presidential candidates is not even the Supreme Court but only the Presidential Electoral Tribunal after the elections are over.

"Despite the opinions of such respected statesmen and established jurisprudence, however, we have witnessed in the past few days the Comelec coming out with two adverse rulings against Senator Poe, both disqualifying her from the 2016 presidential elections," Trillanes said.

"It is as if six or seven people have all the power to decide for all of us 100 million Filipinos," Trillanes said.

"The members of our honourable courts should never forget for a moment that they are not rulers and sovereigns. Never forget what Chief Justice Puno said: 'It is the people who should decide because we are not the voices of all'.

"I am certain that the sovereign Filipino people will not allow a few voices to decide our fate. Let our people decide who we want to elect as president; let our voices be heard," Trillanes said.

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