Some more heat coming PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 15:14

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Another lackluster political day yesterday. No clatter from either side. But earlier thoughts of mine, molded by fictitious perceptions fed by an LP insider, that the much-believed inevitable encounter of two former allies was going pffft, is erased.

Thus, I stand by my statement yesterday having heard from other sources that the LDP camp on Sunday was in the thick of a line-up organization - “So, contrary to my earlier observation on what I thought is a dousing of the political heat, the ardor is still up.

If that is not smack in the face contradictory to the Beng follower fiction, then I do not know what is.

The fight is on.

Some more heat are coming, That, I bet you.”

* *  * *

On the national level, however, politics appears hotter. Although only quoting senate sources as to be of Grace Poe’s office, without identities, it was reported Sen. Grace Poe is running for President and she will formally announce her bid on Wednesday, in Zamboanga, that is today.

As it is, the story could be taken as factual as even the venue of the event was announced, and that is at the Bahay ng Alumni in the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City.

Right after, no less than President Benigno Aquino III said the Liberal Party camp remains unperturbed by the buzz, at the same though expressing interest on what she has to say. And further offering, the administration-aided LP is not troubled

You will recall, up until the most recent days, Aquino and the LP have consistently refused giving up on Poe, declaring their decision to be up until the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy in October.

Along the way, however, they continued to criticize Poe for her inexperience in government service. Aside from Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay, the other supposed contender was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who had announced last week that he was no longer interested in the presidency. And lurking on the sides is Sen. Bongbong Marcos (SBM).

And should Poe truly go for the presidency, how would that leave Bongbong Marcos (SBM), who had said that he will run only for VP if Poe goes for the presidency?

* * * *

But SBM believers do still have hopes. If you recall, I had touched on the possibility for Poe being barred from running due to her questioned citizenship.

Kit Tatad, when speaking of such issue, exudes total confidence, finding out yesterday he has clear knowledge of the issue as the complaining petitioner was his chief of staff when he was senator, giving the impression he is in the know on the documents in the hands of Lawyer David. To emphasize my point, here are major pertinent portions of a column in the MST written by Victor Arvecilla. “Actually, residency is a non-issue against Poe in the SET. The SET case is solely about whether or not Poe should be unseated from the Senate, and it has nothing to do with her qualifications for the presidency by May 2016 ...

… Dropping of the residency issue was not a victory for Poe. To repeat, it was a non-issue to begin with.

The residency issue may still be raised against Poe in the event that she runs for the presidency in May 2016. Under the Constitution, a candidate for the presidency must be a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years prior to election day. From what has been established by Poe’s own documented admissions, she does not meet this residency requirement.

the event that Poe does run for president in May 2016, the residency issue may be raised against her before the Commission on Elections the moment she files her certificate of candidacy for the presidency.

Right now, Poe’s concern should be focused on the citizenship issue raised against her before the SET. Despite Poe’s public protestations that she is a Filipino citizen, the documentation relating to her case warrants her disqualification.

Poe claims that she was born on Sept. 3, 1968 in Iloilo City to Ronald Allan Kelly Poe (also known as Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ), a Filipino citizen, and to Jesusa Sonora Poe (also known as Susan Roces), a Filipino citizen. That statement is false because Poe was not born to FPJ and Susan Roces. Poe is a foundling, discovered in a church, and the identity of her biological parents is not known. She was adopted by FPJ and Susan Roces.

Assuming that Poe was born prior to January 1973, her citizenship is covered by the 1935 Constitution. Under the 1935 charter, one whose father or mother is a citizen of the Philippines is also a citizen of the Philippines. Poe’s legal problem is that she is a foundling, and that she was adopted by FPJ and Susan Roces.

Philippine jurisprudence stresses that the adoption of a foundling only confers the status of a legitimate child on the adopted, and that adoption does not confer citizenship on the adopted.    The rationale for this doctrine is that aliens should not be allowed to use adoption as a means of circumventing the strict requirements for naturalization as a Filipino citizen. Moreover, adoption is a status between the adopter and the adopted, while citizenship is a status between a person and the state.

Under the 1935 Constitution, therefore, Poe is not even a citizen of the Philippines.

Since Poe ran for the Senate in May 2013, her qualifications for this public office is governed by the 1987 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution defines natural-born Philippine citizenship, and requires every senator to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

Article IV of the 1987 Constitution confers natural-born citizenship on the sole basis of actual birth, and not on the basis of adoption. It says, “Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.” Since the circumstances of the birth of Poe are a mystery, and considering that the citizenship of any of Poe’s biological parents has not been ascertained, Poe’s claim to Philippine citizenship is at best speculative. Evidently, Poe does not meet the constitutional definition of natural-born Philippine citizenship.

Documentation so far submitted by Poe to the SET indicates that she had to take an oath to re-acquire Philippine citizenship, which is an act to acquire or perfect her Philippine citizenship. This fact alone confirms that Poe is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

Republic Act No. 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, suggests that a former Filipino who became an alien and, thereafter, a Filipino once again, shall retain his or her Philippine citizenship upon taking a prescribed oath. Precisely because Republic Act No. 9225 amends or modifies the definition of natural-born citizenship found in the 1987 Constitution, that statute is unconstitutional and, therefore, void.

There is likewise nothing in international law which favors Poe. Although the 1961 International Convention on Statelessness provides that a foundling is presumed to possess the nationality of the state where he or she is found, the Philippines is not a signatory to this convention, and cannot be bound by it. The refusal of Manila to sign this convention for the past 54 years is enough indication that the Philippines does not want to be bound by it.

Other international conventions cited in favor of Poe