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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

POE, A NATURALIZED CITIZEN, SAYS JUSTICE CARPIO AT ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL DEBATE
[“Because Poe’s parents are unknown, she must now prove that (they are Filipinos),” Justice Brion said. DNA test Poe is seriously searching for her biological parents, her lawyer Alex Poblador told the SET hearing.]


SEPTEMBER 22 -CARPIO: During the oral argument on the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David against Poe, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio cited the principle of jus sanguini (right of blood) under the Constitution, which requires either of Poe’s parents to be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born. SC file Sen. Grace Poe, being a foundling, is not a natural-born but a naturalized citizen and not qualified for an electoral post, unless she proves her biological parents are Filipinos, the chairman of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) said yesterday.
During the oral argument on the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David against Poe, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio cited the principle of jus sanguini (right of blood) under the Constitution, which requires either of Poe’s parents to be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born. “To be natural-born, you must show blood relation,” Carpio said. He said international conventions of which the Philippines is a signatory allowed foundlings in the country to be Filipino citizens, which is considered naturalization of citizenship. “That’s when you grant passport to foundling. That gives a foundling citizenship, which is naturalized citizenship – not natural-born… Senator Poe is at least a citizen of the Philippines,” Carpio said. SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion, another member of the SET, agreed with Carpio’s argument. “Because Poe’s parents are unknown, she must now prove that (they are Filipinos),” Brion said. DNA test Poe is seriously searching for her biological parents, her lawyer Alex Poblador told the SET hearing. “We are already in the process of conducting DNA test for probable parents of the senator,” Poblador said. “It’s in the process in the hope that we can determine (my roots),” Poe said. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace denies influencing Carpio in Poe's SET case ...

ALSO: Poe's lawyer: Carpio's argument 'erroneous'


SEPTEMBER 22-Sen. Grace Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Philstar /Jonathan Asuncion, file
The camp of Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday insisted that Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio's line of questioning pertaining to the law is "erroneous."
During the oral arguments on the disqualification case filed against Poe on Monday, Carpio said that the senator is likely not a natural-born citizen but a naturalized Filipino. Carpio cited the principle of "right of blood" under the Constitution which requires either of Poe's parents should be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born. Poe's lawyer, George Garcia, contradicted Carpio's pronouncement, citing international law. "Medyo we do not agree with that contention dahil nga sa maliwanag kasi ang international law and there is no presumption," Garcia told members of the press during an interview on Monday. Garcia explained that the presumption under the law is that Poe is a citizen of the Philippines where she was discovered as a foundling. READ MORE...

ALSO Escudero: Poe a natural-born Filipino; I won’t take her place


SEPTEMBER 22 -THE MAN BEHIND GRACE An elated Sen. Francis Escudero joins Sen. Grace Poe onstage on Thursday at Club Filipino, where she named him her running mate in the 2016 elections. Poe announced her presidential bid a day earlier at Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The anticipated team-up drew a strong mix of show biz and political personalities. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
While confident that Senator Grace Poe would not be disqualified from the presidential race, her running mate, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero made it clear this early that he has no plans to take her place and run for the highest post instead.Escudero said that in the first place, he was confident that Poe would be allowed to run for president next year, despite a disqualification case filed against her at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) over questions raised on her citizenship.“I don’t see that happening quite frankly,” Escudero said on Tuesday when asked during a Pandesal Forum in Quezon City about the possibility that Poe would be disqualified from joining the 2016 elections.Asked again if he would consider substituting for Poe, Escudero again said: “I don’t see that happening and that’s not legally possible too because one you’ve filed, you cannot file for any other position or substitute for any other position in accordance with law, in accordance with election code.”“Kapag nakapag-file na po hindi na po pwedeng mag-file pa para sa ibang pwesto neither are you qualified to be a substitute and I have no plans of doing that.”(Once you’ve filed, you can’t file for any other position neither are you qualified to be a substitute and I have no plans of doing that)“For one simple reason, kompyansa ako na malalampasan ni Sen. Poe itong kaso laban sa kanya sa SET, sa qualification man ‘yan bilang senador o sa qualification man n’ya bilang pangulo ng bansa at pag-file n’ya ng certificate of candidacy,” he further said.READ MORE...

ALSO by Kit Tatad: Blessing the non-candidates


SEPTEMBER 11 -LIGHT ATMOSPHERE.' A photo obtained by Rappler shows Vice President Jejomar Binay (1st from left), Senator Grace Poe (3rd), and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II (4th) posing with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (2nd) and election reform advocate Henrietta de Villa (5th). The Archbishop said there was "no political discussion" in his prayer meeting with the Philippines’ top 3 presidential bets in his official residence. FROM RAPPLER.COM
Cardinal Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila may have taken a bold step when he met the other day with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, and Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares to confer his episcopal blessings upon the wannabes. It is easy enough to assume that all three politicians had wanted to see the Cardinal separately in private, but the Cardinal decided to see them all together instead. He thus bestowed upon them the same blessing; no one got more, no one got less. But by receiving them together, the Cardinal might have unwittingly lent the impression that he considered all three of them potential presidential candidates for 2016. This may have been a mistake. Why so? Because, first of all, the three are not yet candidates. They will become candidates when they formally file their certificates of candidacy in October. Only then will we know if all three are indeed running, and if any more would be running at that point. That may be the best time for His Eminence to give them his blessings in episcopal audience. Although all three are interested in the same thing, not all have the same constitutional standing to qualify as potential candidates. One may be more popular than the other two, but she is, in my book, constitutionally ineligible from running for the office. I refer to Mrs. Llamanzares. She is a former American citizen, with an American husband and three American children, whose qualification to remain in the Senate is being questioned by petitioner Rizalito David through counsel Manuelito Luna before the Senate Electoral Tribunal on her lack of citizenship and residence. It is not fair therefore for anyone to suggest that the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila has given Mrs. Llamanzares his moral seal of approval to seek the presidency while this issue pends before the SET. According to the best evidence available, supplied by Mrs. Llamanzares herself, she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, and is apparently stateless at this point; not qualified to run for President, Vice President, Senator or member of the House of Representatives. If stateless, she would not even be qualified to vote. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace Poe undergoes DNA tests to verify ties with ‘biological kin’


SEPTEMBER 21 -Are we related? Grace Poe’s ‘biological siblings’ offer to undergo DNA tests  GMA NEWS Amid questions on her citizenship, Sen. Grace Poe has already conducted DNA tests to verify her kinship with probable biological relatives who are Filipinos. This was revealed by Poe's lawyer, Alexander Poblador, during oral arguments conducted by the Senate Electoral Tribunal at the Supreme Court, on a petition from Rizalito David. But Poblador clarified that resorting to DNA testing did not mean Poe's lawyers were abandoning their original position on Poe's presumed nationality despite being a foundling. "[Our statement on DNA testing is] without prejudice to our legal position. We do not have the burden of proof and that we have the presumption of law in our favor," Poblador said. Poe's lawyer told the nine-member SET that he had been authorized to reveal that Poe was already "in the process" of having DNA testing for a "probable biological match." "Respondent [Poe] has taken steps towards having a DNA test conducted with a probable biological match. And when results come out, we will disclose the results," said Poblador. At the Senate, Poe confirmed on Monday that she underwent a DNA test to prove that she was a Filipino and born of Filipino parents. “Nasa proseso na (ang DNA test). Sila ang lumapit sa akin, hindi ko sasabihin kung kilala ko noon pa sapagkat magkakaroon pa ng spekulasyon,” Poe told reporters. The senator refused to name those who gave their specimens, saying that they were private persons. “Ang masasabi ko lang, dahil ito ay mga pribadong tao... kung sila nga ang aking magiging kadugo, ako ay matutuwa sapagkat napakadisenteng mga tao, napakabait," Poe said. "Pero syempre hindi pa rin tayo nakasisiguro. syempre hihintayin natin (ang DNA result) dahil hindi mismo sa mga magulang kundi sa mga siblings o mga kapatid (nakuha),” she added. Poe said the person approached her for several relatives to undergo a DNA test. “Basta ‘yung lumapit sa akin hindi ko relative ngayon. ‘Yung lumapit mukhang may basehan, yung lumapit nagpakita ng litrato," Poe said. "‘Di ba minsan pagka gustong-gusto mo, parang nakikita mo yung similarity kasi you are trying to convince yourself pero syempre 'pag pisikal hindi natin alam pero parang may basehan nga para gawin yun (DNA test),” she added. Asked if she felt any connection or “lukso ng dugo” with the person, the senator said: “Basta ang masasabi ko napaka-gentle, mabait, malumanay magsalita. Sabi ko baka pwede.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Poe's cousin actress, Sheryl Cruz firm on stand vs Grace Poe candidacy


SEPTEMBER 22 -SHERYL CRUZ Actress Sheryl Cruz has no plans to vilify or shame her cousin, Sen. Grace Poe, after saying she is against the senator’s bid for the presidency in 2016. According to Cruz, her statement is her opinion as a Filipino, and she believes informing the public of her stance on the issue is her responsibility as a voter.“I don’t plan to make a scene or be the center of attraction. I have spoken because I also have an obligation as a Filipino, as a voter, and as a taxpayer. I believe this is not the right time for her to run. I just voiced out my sentiments, is that wrong?” Cruz, pressed for comment, told reporters after a press conference for the film “Felix Manalo” at Manila Hotel on Tuesday.“It’s just too soon for her. It may be better if she could draft more laws as a senator, then maybe in the 2022 presidential elections, she would be ready. Because, like what I said, this is politics, not show biz. It’s more complicated, dirtier. This is my opinion, and I rarely speak,” Cruz said.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Poe a naturalized Pinoy – Carpio


CARPIO: During the oral argument on the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David against Poe, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio cited the principle of jus sanguini (right of blood) under the Constitution, which requires either of Poe’s parents to be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born. SC file

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015, (PHILSTAR) By Edu Punay - Sen. Grace Poe, being a foundling, is not a natural-born but a naturalized citizen and not qualified for an electoral post, unless she proves her biological parents are Filipinos, the chairman of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) said yesterday.

During the oral argument on the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David against Poe, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio cited the principle of jus sanguini (right of blood) under the Constitution, which requires either of Poe’s parents to be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born.

“To be natural-born, you must show blood relation,” Carpio said.

He said international conventions of which the Philippines is a signatory allowed foundlings in the country to be Filipino citizens, which is considered naturalization of citizenship.

“That’s when you grant passport to foundling. That gives a foundling citizenship, which is naturalized citizenship – not natural-born… Senator Poe is at least a citizen of the Philippines,” Carpio said.

SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion, another member of the SET, agreed with Carpio’s argument.

“Because Poe’s parents are unknown, she must now prove that (they are Filipinos),” Brion said.

DNA test

Poe is seriously searching for her biological parents, her lawyer Alex Poblador told the SET hearing.

“We are already in the process of conducting DNA test for probable parents of the senator,” Poblador said.

“It’s in the process in the hope that we can determine (my roots),” Poe said.

READ MORE...

Poe said the alleged relatives of her parents, whom she did not identify, volunteered to subject themselves for DNA testing.

“All I can say is that they are private persons and if they are really my relatives, I am very happy,” she said, describing her relatives as “decent” and “very kind” individuals.

“We have the benefit of science so we are trying to exhaust that advantage. If not, there is still internationally accepted principles of law that is applied in our country,” she added.

Poblador told reporters in a chance interview the results of the DNA test might be available after two weeks, adding Poe herself would make the announcement.

He said two sets of “probable relatives” of Poe’s mother are being subjected to DNA testing.

Burden of proof Poblador, however, said the burden of proof is on David, being the petitioner.


Rizalito David, a defeated senatorial bet in the 2013 elections, shows a copy of his complaint filed in the Comelec’s law department on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, against Senator Grace Poe for alleged material misrepresentation. INQUIRER/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Poe had said she has been trying for years to find her biological parents, who chose to abandon her.

In June, Poe went to Iloilo and met with family friends who, she said, gave her more information about the possible identity of her biological parents.

She was told that her biological father was one Edgardo Militar, a brother-in-law of Sayong Militar, who was supposed to have found her in a church nearly five decades ago.

Militar was the signatory in Poe’s foundling certificate.

Poe said Militar is dead, but her children have expressed their willingness to help her determine whether they are related.

Poe was found abandoned in front of the Jaro Cathedral before dawn on Sept. 3, 1968.

Not final

Carpio said a decision on Poe’s citizenship is not final even if she fails to present her biological parents now.

“It can always be questioned… If tomorrow you happen to find out by DNA matching that your parent is Filipino, you can still prove that you are natural-born,” he said.

At the same hearing, David’s counsel Manuelito Luna said there was a “pattern of fraudulent acts” committed by Poe to re-acquire Filipino citizenship supposedly for her political plans.

Luna cited discrepancies in the 1968 birth certificate of the senator. He also questioned the validity of her 1974 adoption, which was approved by the San Juan municipal trial court.

He questioned why Poe registered another birth certificate in 2006 after her adoptive father action star Fernando Poe Jr. died, saying it was proof of her intention to re-acquire Philippine citizenship for convenience and as part of political plans.

International agreements Sen. Pia Cayetano, a lawyer, cited the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and International Convention on Reduction of Statelessness, which grant nationality to foundlings like Poe.

Cayetano, however, said such agreements would need an enabling law before it could be implemented.

Sen. Loren Legarda questioned Luna’s argument, saying it would be discriminatory to foundlings seeking employment or owning properties.

“Are you foreclosing all these seemingly ordinary occupations and hopes to foundlings?” Legarda asked Luna.

Luna admitted that there is discrimination, but stressed the law must prevail.

Circumspect Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Carpio should have been more circumspect in discussing Poe’s case.

“That is a legal question not for one person like Senior Associate Justice Carpio – that’s for a whole set of people to decide,” Belmonte told reporters.

He said there is also a strong possibility the case would be elevated to the SC.

Belmonte, however, said he sees Carpio as being fair despite his previous connections when he was still in the private sector.

“I know and trust Justice Carpio as a man of intelligence,” he said.

He called on all concerned not to speculate on Poe’s case before the SET. “I think we ought to await the decision of the SET,” he said.

More experience Poe should first gain more experience as a political leader by running for vice president in 2016 or finishing her six-year term as senator, Rep. Arnel Ty of party-list group Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association said yesterday.

“Senator Poe is fairly young at 47. She can always run for president in 2022, when she will be 53 years old. Meantime, she should seek the vice presidency to obtain more experience,” Ty said.

“The longer she serves the country, either as vice president or as senator, the better. She will also be able to convince a greater number of Filipinos that she is here to stay for good,” he added.

Ty noted that by her own account, Poe spent much of her adult life in the United States, and decided to be an American citizen in 2001. She returned to the Philippines in 2004.

“It is not even clear if she finally returned here in 2004, or if she still went back and forth the US and the Philippines between 2004 and 2010, considering that she gave up her US citizenship only in 2010, when she was named chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board,” he said.

Ty said in a four- or five-way fight, Poe “will be up against tough and tested rivals who will surely give her a run for her money.”

“In fact, the 2016 battle lines in many provinces have been drawn this early, mainly between resigned Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay,” he said.

But if Poe runs for vice president, she is “virtually unbeatable” in 2016, he said.– With Jess Diaz, Paolo Romero, Christina Mendez

---------------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace denies influencing Carpio in Poe's SET case By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 22, 2015 - 5:26pm 0 1 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe gestures as she declares her presidential candidacy last week in UP Diliman. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang denied Tuesday that it influenced Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who said that Sen. Grace Poe is a naturalized citizen and not qualified for an electoral post.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that independent government officials comprise the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) hearing Poe's disqualification case, chaired by Carpio.

"Ang prosesong nagaganap ngayon ay proseso ng Senate Electoral Tribunal at ito ay binubuo ng mga mahistrado ng Korte Suprema at mga halal na senador. Binubuo ito ng mga kinatawan ng hudikatura at lehislatura," Coloma said in a press briefing.

"At sa ilalim ng ating prosesong pampamahalaan, ito ay dalawang hiwalay at kapantay na sangay ng ehekutibo," he added.

During Monday's oral argument on the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David against Poe, Carpio cited the principle of jus sanguini (right of blood) under the Constitution.

The said principle requires either of Poe's parents to be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born.

READ MORE...

"To be natural-born, you must show blood relation," Carpio said.

He said international conventions of which the Philippines is a signatory allowed foundlings in the country like Poe to be Filipino citizens, which is considered naturalization of citizenship.

"That's when you grant passport to foundling. That gives a foundling citizenship, which is naturalized citizenship – not natural-born… Senator Poe is at least a citizen of the Philippines," Carpio said.

SC Associate Justice Arturo Brion, another member of the SET, agreed with Carpio's argument.

"Because Poe's parents are unknown, she must now prove that (they are Filipinos)," Brion said.


PHILSTAR

Poe camp: Carpio's argument 'erroneous' By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 22, 2015 - 10:07am 10 1403 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday insisted that Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio's line of questioning pertaining to the law is "erroneous."

During the oral arguments on the disqualification case filed against Poe on Monday, Carpio said that the senator is likely not a natural-born citizen but a naturalized Filipino.

Carpio cited the principle of "right of blood" under the Constitution which requires either of Poe's parents should be a Filipino citizen for her to be considered natural-born.

Poe's lawyer, George Garcia, contradicted Carpio's pronouncement, citing international law.

"Medyo we do not agree with that contention dahil nga sa maliwanag kasi ang international law and there is no presumption," Garcia told members of the press during an interview on Monday.

Garcia explained that the presumption under the law is that Poe is a citizen of the Philippines where she was discovered as a foundling.

READ MORE...

Poe's legal counsel added that the senator did not undergo a naturalization process.

"So dapat babagsak kami sa presumption ng law na either number four ang tatay mo ay Filipino or number five ang nanay mo Filipina," Garcia said.

The senator's camp also revealed that Poe is "in the process" of conducting a DNA test to prove her citizenship.

"Siyempre kapag nilabas na ito maaaring positibo o negatibo. Basta para sa amin, ginagawa namin ang lahat para naman malaman ng ating mga hukom na hangga’t maaari ay ginagawa namin yung sa aming panig," Poe said.


INQUIRER

Escudero: Poe a natural-born Filipino; I won’t take her place @inquirerdotnet 02:01 PM September 22nd, 2015


THE MAN BEHIND GRACE An elated Sen. Francis Escudero joins Sen. Grace Poe onstage on Thursday at Club Filipino, where she named him her running mate in the 2016 elections. Poe announced her presidential bid a day earlier at Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The anticipated team-up drew a strong mix of show biz and political personalities. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

While confident that Senator Grace Poe would not be disqualified from the presidential race, her running mate, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero made it clear this early that he has no plans to take her place and run for the highest post instead.

Escudero said that in the first place, he was confident that Poe would be allowed to run for president next year, despite a disqualification case filed against her at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) over questions raised on her citizenship.

“I don’t see that happening quite frankly,” Escudero said on Tuesday when asked during a Pandesal Forum in Quezon City about the possibility that Poe would be disqualified from joining the 2016 elections.

Asked again if he would consider substituting for Poe, Escudero again said: “I don’t see that happening and that’s not legally possible too because one you’ve filed, you cannot file for any other position or substitute for any other position in accordance with law, in accordance with election code.”

“Kapag nakapag-file na po hindi na po pwedeng mag-file pa para sa ibang pwesto neither are you qualified to be a substitute and I have no plans of doing that.”

(Once you’ve filed, you can’t file for any other position neither are you qualified to be a substitute and I have no plans of doing that)

“For one simple reason, kompyansa ako na malalampasan ni Sen. Poe itong kaso laban sa kanya sa SET, sa qualification man ‘yan bilang senador o sa qualification man n’ya bilang pangulo ng bansa at pag-file n’ya ng certificate of candidacy,” he further said.

READ MORE...

(For one simple reason, I am confident that Sen. Poe will overcome the case against her at the SET, [questioning] her qualification either as a senator or as president and her plan to file her certificate of candidacy)

Escudero also dismissed speculations that he would end up running alone in 2016.

“I’m confident that she will not be disqualified, that she will be allowed to run and at the end of the day the people will decide on this issue,” he said.

Escudero, who was a former member of SET, insisted that Poe is a natural-born Filipino, contrary to the opinion of the tribunal’s chairman, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

“What Justice Carpio was quoted as having said, sabi n’ya naturalized Filipino raw tila si Senator Poe. I disagree,” he said. “Dalawang klase po lamang ang Pilipino sa ilalim ng ating Saligang Batas, naturalized, or natural-born. Paano maging naturalized citizen, dalawa lang po ang paraan, by a court decree or by an act of Congress.”

(What Justice Carpio was quoted as having said was that Senator Poe was a naturalized Filipino. I disagree. There are only two kinds of Filipino under the Constitution — naturalized or natural-born. There are only two ways how to be a naturalized citizen, by a court decree or by an act of Congress)

But the senator noted that during Monday’s oral arguments at the SET, the lawyers of the complainant, Rizalito David, admitted that they did not have evidence to prove that Poe was indeed a naturalized citizen.

Escudero also disagreed with the opinion that Poe should first identify her biological parents to find out her citizenship.

“Again, I disagree, kung alam na ho ni Senator Poe ang magulang n’ya hindi na po foundling ang tawag sa kanya, abandoned na po ang tawag sa kanya,” he said.
(Again I disagree, if Senator Poe already knew her parents, then she is no longer a foundling, but an abandoned child.)


FRANCIS 'CHIZ' ESCUDERO: Senator of the Philippines:Incumbent, Assumed office June 30, 2007; House of Representatives: Minority Floor Leader, In office July 26, 2004 – June 8, 2007; Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Sorsogon's First District In office June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007; Political party: NPC (1998–2009); Independent (2009–present) Alma mater: University of the Philippines (BA Political Scinece/BA Laws and Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Masters in International and Comparative Law); Religion Roman Catholicism; Website www.chizescudero.com/ FROM WIKIPEDIA


The senator also pointed out that under the Constitution, natural-born Filipinos are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect Filipino citizenship.

“May ginawa po ba si Senator Poe para ma-issuehan s’ya ng Philippine passport noong s’ya ay bata at pinanganak? Wala po. Hindi namna po s’ya dumaan sa korte para idekalarang Pilipino s’ya. Wala din namang Act of Congress or Republic Act na nagsasabing Pilipino s’ya so therefore she’s a Filipino, and a natural-born at that,” he further said.

(Did Senator Poe do anything to be issued a Philippine passport when she was younger? No, she did not. She did not go to the court to be declared a Filipino. There is also no act of Congress of a Republic Act that says she’s a Filipino, therefore she’s a Filipino, and a natural-born one at that.)

Besides, Escudero said, it should not be Poe who should prove that she is a natural-born Filipino but the petitioner, who alleges otherwise.

“Bakit naman ilalagay natin sa isang batang iniwan sa simbahan ang responsibilidad para patunayan na s’ya ay Pilipino at kung sino ang magulang nya? Iniwan na nga po s’ya noon e at hindi n’ya alam e. Wala naman pong foundling na hindi gustong malaman kung sino ang kanyang mga magulang,” said the senator.

(Why should we leave it to a child, abandoned in a church, the responsibility to prove that she is a Filipino and identify her parents? She was abandoned so she does not know [her parents ]. There’s no foundling who does not want to know her biological parents)
Maila Ager/IDL


MANILA TIMES COMMENTARY

Blessing the non-candidates September 11, 2015 12:15 am by FRANCISCO S. TATAD


'LIGHT ATMOSPHERE.' A photo obtained by Rappler shows Vice President Jejomar Binay (1st from left), Senator Grace Poe (3rd), and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II (4th) posing with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (2nd) and election reform advocate Henrietta de Villa (5th). The Archbishop said there was "no political discussion" in his prayer meeting with the Philippines’ top 3 presidential bets in his official residence. FROM RAPPLER.COM


BY KIT TATAD (Manila Times)

Cardinal Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila may have taken a bold step when he met the other day with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, and Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares to confer his episcopal blessings upon the wannabes. It is easy enough to assume that all three politicians had wanted to see the Cardinal separately in private, but the Cardinal decided to see them all together instead.

He thus bestowed upon them the same blessing; no one got more, no one got less. But by receiving them together, the Cardinal might have unwittingly lent the impression that he considered all three of them potential presidential candidates for 2016. This may have been a mistake.

Why so? Because, first of all, the three are not yet candidates.

They will become candidates when they formally file their certificates of candidacy in October. Only then will we know if all three are indeed running, and if any more would be running at that point. That may be the best time for His Eminence to give them his blessings in episcopal audience.

Although all three are interested in the same thing, not all have the same constitutional standing to qualify as potential candidates. One may be more popular than the other two, but she is, in my book, constitutionally ineligible from running for the office. I refer to Mrs. Llamanzares.


LLAMANZARES FAMILY

She is a former American citizen, with an American husband and three American children, whose qualification to remain in the Senate is being questioned by petitioner Rizalito David through counsel Manuelito Luna before the Senate Electoral Tribunal on her lack of citizenship and residence.

It is not fair therefore for anyone to suggest that the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila has given Mrs. Llamanzares his moral seal of approval to seek the presidency while this issue pends before the SET.

According to the best evidence available, supplied by Mrs. Llamanzares herself, she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, and is apparently stateless at this point; not qualified to run for President, Vice President, Senator or member of the House of Representatives. If stateless, she would not even be qualified to vote.

READ MORE...

But just because we saw her being “blessed” by our cardinal, some of us might think that her constitutional defect is a non-issue, which the Church could blithely overlook.

PNoy and Roxas and their filthy rich cronies might have all the arrogance and conceit to believe the Constitution and the remaining few willing to die for it could be easily trodden underfoot without creating holes in the soles of one’s shoes. But never the Church.

The Church must be the first one to insist that even if no two voters could agree on the personal qualifications and worth of any candidate for high office, no voter should complain that any candidate has failed to meet any of the constitutional and legal qualifications for seeking the office.

This means, as provided in Section 2, Article VII of the Constitution, that “no person may be elected President or Vice-President unless he is a natural-born citizen, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.”

The law is so clear that no two individuals who understand every word used in the sentence could have two different interpretations and understanding of it. The only word or phrase that makes one pause is, “natural-born citizen.”

What does it mean?

Does it refer to the way babies are born?

The Constitution answers in Section 2, Article IV: “Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their citizenship.” This definition is so clear that no two qualified individuals can have two different understanding of it.

The Constitution provides minimum qualifications to encourage as many individuals as possible to qualify. This is to make sure that before one becomes the candidate of a group, a political party or coalition, or even one’s own pure illusions, he is first of all a candidate of the Constitution.

This is what our predatory elite would like to stamp out by insisting on running Mrs. Llamanzares for president or vice president, despite her ineligibility under the Constitution.

Some of them have the gall to suggest that their money and power will resolve everything in their favor, simply by corrupting everyone who could be corrupted anywhere.

Knowing the colonial mentality of our people, and the fact that no American official would dignify the propaganda rubbish in the grapevine, some of them even have the temerity to claim that Mrs. Llamanzares is the “American candidate” in the next election.

The apparent purpose is to stampede the ignorant and the gullible into boarding their fraudulently confected bandwagon.

But at the Supreme Court this morning, Justices Antonio Carpio, Arturo Brion and Teresita de Castro will lead the nine-man Senate Electoral Tribunal in a preliminary conference on David’s petition to unseat Mrs. Llamanzares.

Petitioner David through counsel Manny Luna will try to present his case, using the documents supplied by Mrs. Llamanzares herself. This promises to be fun.

The documents show that Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares was born a foundling in Jaro, Iloilo, sometime on Sept. 3, 1968 in Jaro. Her biological parents were unknown; their citizenship similarly unknown.

She was found on a parish church property by one Edgardo Militar, who turned her over to another native of Jaro named Emiliano Militar.

Under the 1935 Constitution, which was in force at the time, the following are citizens of the Philippines:

1) those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of its adoption;

2) those born on the Philippine islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of the Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine islands;

3) those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines; and

4) those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Mary Grace did not fall under any of these categories. She was therefore stateless at birth.

Among the documents are two purported certificates of live birth. One is dated Nov. 27, 1968 and refers to the birth of one Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar, found in the parish church of Jaro on Sept. 3, 1968, by Edgardo Militar.

The main body of the document is typewritten, but it contains handwritten inserts, which make the authenticity of the document highly questionable.

The name “Natividad” is handwritten, while the typewritten name “Contreras Natividad,” is bracketed by hand, and above it “Sonora Poe” is handwritten.

On the right hand side is a handwritten note of seven short lines saying, “the child was adopted by spouses Ronald Allan Poe and Jesusa Sonora Poe, as per decision of the Municipal Court of San Juan, Rizal under Judge Alfredo Gorgonio dated May 13, 1974.”

The certificate is dated Nov. 27, 1968, yet it mentions the child’s adoption which was supposed to have taken place six years later, in 1974.

The second certificate of live birth was received by the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City on May 4, 2006—38 years after Grace Poe’s date of birth—from Mrs. Jesusa Sonora Poe, her surrogate mother, who supplied all the “information” contained therein.

In this document, the informant said Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe was born on Sept. 3, 1968 in Jaro to herself (Jesusa) and her husband Ronald Allan Poe, who were married on Dec. 25, 1968, three months after Mary Grace was born.

There is no evidence, however, not even a rumor, that Mrs. Poe ever delivered a child.

The couple was shown to have adopted Mary Grace Natividad at court proceedings in the San Juan municipal court in 1974. If the information is correct, the proceeding is questionable because at the time, adoption cases fell under the jurisdiction of the regional trial court, not any municipal court.

How did Mary Grace Natividad Poe, who was stateless upon birth, acquire her Philippine citizenship? She was adopted by a Filipino couple, but under the law then in force adoption conferred surname, succession, and support to the adopted child, but not citizenship.

Presumably she obtained a Philippine citizenship by some means, fair or foul, legal or illegal, but the very means employed to acquire such citizenship deprived her of any possible claim to a “natural-born status.”

In any case, she permanently lost her Philippine “citizenship” when she became an American citizen in 2001. On Oct. 20, 2010, she executed an affidavit of renunciation of allegiance to the United States of America and renunciation of her American citizenship

On July 12, 2011, she formalized her renunciation of her American citizenship in the presence of a US vice consul (signature illegible) at the US Embassy in Manila. The Federal Register, the Daily Journal of the US Government, recorded this renunciation in the second quarter of 2012 ending June 30.

Previous to that, on July 10, 2006, Mrs. Llamanzares filed a petition for the “reacquisition” of Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, or the Dual Citizenship Law of 2003. This law allows “former natural-born citizens” who had become citizens of another country after 2003 to reacquire their Philippine citizenship by taking a prescribed oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

But Mrs. Llamanzares was not/is not qualified to “reacquire Philippine citizenship” under this law on two counts.

First, she was never a natural-born Filipino, and second, she became an American citizen in 2001, before the Dual Citizenship Law took effect. The law has no retroactive effect.

And yet in her petition she said she was a natural-born Filipino, born to Ronald Allan Kelley Poe and Jesusa Sonora Poe, both Filipinos. Thus her application was given due course and approved by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation without doing any due diligence and demanding proof of her claim of natural-born status.

Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. did not sign the document himself, somebody else signed on his behalf. She repeated her false claim about her citizenship, birth and parentage in 2013 when she filed her certificate of candidacy for the Senate.

From the documents before the SET, the facts seem clear. Having renounced her American citizenship in 2011/2012, Mrs. Llamanzares has ceased to be an American citizen.

But not being qualified to reacquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, her Philippine citizenship is null and void ab initio. She is not legally a Filipino, much less a natural-born Filipino. Thus as she was stateless upon birth 47 years ago, so is she stateless now.

We sympathize with Mrs. Llamanzares, but one who wants to preserve and defend the Constitution from everyone else must first preserve and defend it from oneself.

PNoy and Roxas and their friends can help if instead of saying they have not given up on her as a possible vice presidential candidate, they would help her face reality and manage her crisis. fstatad@gmail.com

25 Responses to Blessing the non-candidates
Mike Gonz says:
September 12, 2015 at 8:14 pm
Undergoing a naturalization process is the natural way for Grace Poe to become bona fide citizen of the Philippines. The long way and legitimate! Othewise, Poe is still an immigrant or resident alien to the Philippines as of now!
Reply
Romeyao says:
September 12, 2015 at 6:19 am
Mr. Tatad, you mentioned that the 1935 Phil Constitution is the one applicable on Ms. Poe’s. If so, what happened to Article II, Section 3, which states in part ” . . . . and adopts generally accepted principles of international law as apart of the laws of the Nation (Philippines)”. Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban wrote, and I cite herein the relevant part” . . . .Applicable international law. Mijares vs Ranada (April 12, 2005) held that “generally accepted principles of international law … even if they [are] not derived from treaty obligations… [have] two elements: the established, widespread and consistent practice on the part of states; and a psychological element known as the opinio juris sive necessitates (opinion as to law or necessity) … a belief that the practice in question is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it.” Under Art. 2 of the 1961 International Convention on Statelessness, “[a] foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be considered to have been born within the territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State.”
Applying that article to Senator Poe, a foundling found in the Philippines is presumed, in the absence of contrary proof, to have Filipino biological parents. Since she was found near a church in Jaro, Iloilo, when she was only a few days old, her parents are presumed to be Filipinos”. Chief Justice based on the above went on to conclude that Grace Poe is a natural born citizen of the Philippines.
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erlee says:
September 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm
What CJ Panganiban forgot to mention in his opinion is that the Philippines did not ratify the 1961 UN Convention that you mentioned (by the way, in an earlier column Mr. Tatad mentioned that CJ Panganiban was a good friend of FPJ, and therefore can be considered biased in favor of Grace Poe). Even those countries that did sign, such as Belgium, reserved the right to define what is meant by “natural born citizen” as applied to their own country. Since the Philippines was not a signatory to the Convention, meaning it is not a “contracting state”, then it is not bound by the Convention. More importantly, the Philippine Constitution is sovereign overall, and trumps or supersedes the Convention. Part of its articles expresses specifically the meaning of “natural born” and “citizens” of the Philippines. Specific domestic law cannot be overturned by the UN 1961 Convention.
The citizenship of Grace Poe’s biological parents are unknown and continue to be unknown. They could have been Chinese, Filipino, American, etc. That is why she is considered “stateless” at birth. The 1935 Constitution applies to her for reasons mentioned by Mr. Tatad.
I think the whole issue of Grace Poe’s citizenship will be passed on to the Supreme Court. There are too many politicians in SET, and some (such as V Sotto) have their own political agenda to promote.
mELBAROSE r. sASOT says:
September 15, 2015 at 5:14 am
Sen. Poe Llamanzares will never be a natural born citizen as required by the Constitution. She lost it when she renounced it on October 18, 2001 when she was naturalized as a citizen of the USA and she is not qualified under RA9225 to reacquire it because she became an American citizen in 2001 and RA 9225 applies only to Filipino citizens who became citizen of another country after 2003. So, she is not qualified to run in fact for Senator, much more for vice President and President of this country.
Blasco says:
September 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm
Very well-written article about the technicalities of the constitution and Pilipinas “re-acquisition-of citizenship” law.
Reply
Butch says:
September 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm
In your dreams Ka Eddie, baka ikaw bayarin NG mga dilaw. Dami nilang pera para sa katulad mo, walang principio. May batas kailangan sundin, yon Lang.
Isa pa ang tangang si Tagle, bakit wala sa Marcos, Duterte at iba pa. Si Gloria inakusahan na nag Bigay NG Pajero sa simbahan, ano KAYA ang binibigay ni Pinoy?
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Amnata Pundit says:
September 11, 2015 at 1:49 pm
Unwittingly? I do not believe the clear-thinking Cardinal Tagle is capable of this faux pas. The Church is a pillar of the yellow regime. Therefore to me, this is a clear signal in the midst of all these confusing propaganda that the yellow candidates are these cheap politicians whose ambitions are exceeded only by their gross unfitness for the office they are seeking. To be unfit is obviously the major qualification to be president under the yellow regime, isn’t it?
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Mike Gonz says:
September 12, 2015 at 8:16 pm
Be careful of the present Scribes and Pharisees today! See and observe their modus operandi!
Uytengco says:
September 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm
It will be a nightmare for our country if Mar Roxas becomes the next president. Imagine walang nagawa sa DTI, DOTC at DILG, what more kung sa buong bansa.
Reply
Sixto Dianco says:
September 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm
Sa February 2016 pa daw ang resolution ng disqualification case ni Sen Grace Poe sa SET. Si VP Jojo Binay kase ang gumawa ng timeline ng hearing, siya kase ang magmamanipula lahat niyan.
Reply
Jake says:
September 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm
Maybe the blessing of the Cardinal will help Llamanzares realize the folly of what she is doing. Even Atty. Katrina has weighed in already and making this a discrimination issue. Talagang sumasawsaw na lahat.
Reply
erlee says:
September 11, 2015 at 11:58 am
It is good that Mr. Tatad mentioned G. Poe’s renunciation of her US citizenship. Although she claims that she renounced it on October 20, 2010 prior to accepting the MTRCB chairmanship, this is not the renunciation that resulted in her ceasing to be a US citizen. As far as the US Government is concerned, unless one follows certain prescribed steps, the US citizen remains a US citizen (google “Renunciation of US Citizenship) . The date when G. Poe received her Certificate of Loss of Nationality or CLN (sometime in December 2011) is the date she ceased to be a US citizen. Presumably, her US passport which she was required to submit to the US Consulate when she applied for renunciation was also canceled on that date. This cancelled passport should have been returned to her with the word “Canceled” in big bold capital letters. Mr. R. David, as petitioner seeking to disqualify Ms. Poe to sit as a senator, should ensure that this US passport of Ms. Poe is entered as evidence during the proceedings of SET. The passport had an expiry date sometime in 2011. Unless canceled, through the CLN, Ms. Poe remained a US citizen.
RA 9225 does not apply to Ms. Poe. To acquire Philippine Citizenship she had to or needs to undergo the “naturalization” process.
Reply
Mike Gonz says:
September 12, 2015 at 8:23 pm
Let’s re-enact what Grace Poe did! When she renounced her Philippine citizenship by virtue of the paperless adoption of her state as a foundling, then she was considered as a bona fide Filipino citizen. But her migration to America and she became an American Citizen after filing her naturalization process to the INS-CIS. Her going back to the Philippines to run for Senator and spending some two years, she fooled the Filipino people by doing a short-cut because of her Poe popular name. But if she is like me a nobody running for a public office, she may be denied by the COMELEC because of residency requirements. Now she wants to short-cut again her ambitions to become an elected president of the Philippines. Now, this is the adage that is applicable to her, “Fool me once, shame on me! Fool me twice, Shame on you, Grace Poe!”
Naldo says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:37 am
Well, what have we here is a show of utter hypocrisy, both by the catholic church leader and those whom Tagle blessed, because there is no moral standard in this show of complete disregard of the sanctity of a blessing.
Now, is it a question as to why some catholics are joining other religious sect, and shun the teachings of the catholic church, such a pity that Pope Francis, who would want to rehabilitate the church and restore the faith of its’ followers, to have people like Tagle doing the opposite of his aim to free the catholics of devious shepherds or wolves in sheeps clothing, whose only interest is to keep themselves on the good side of manipulators and exploiters.
So, where is that often called out – separation between the state and the church? Shame on Tagle for using the catholic church to pursue is personal ambitions.
Reply
Lemon says:
September 11, 2015 at 9:53 am
To Kit….. you explained very well the status of Disgrace but yellow trolls wouldn’t accept the fact and the truth from the grain.We’ll, I salute you, sir.
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don costes says:
September 11, 2015 at 8:19 am
Plain and simple, this is ‘bulok na sistema”, where the ruling elite perpetuates as the Catholic Church hierarchy in connivance and conspiracy. When governance is lorded by money and the oligarchy takes advantage of the general populace hoodwinked by popularity of candidate regardless of qualification and track record of merits and performance. We are a doomed as a race unless we eliminate the system that continuously breed this kind of governance.
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jesus nazario says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:59 am
Kit, I got the impression from the “graduation” picture of the event that there are 4 candidates in the line-up. Is she leaving the leadership of the PPCRV ?
Reply
jesus nazario says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:55 am
Sadly it is not ONLY Cardinal Tagle who is getting entangled with controversies lately. Even Pope Francis seems to be also sinking into very very serious entanglements. Cardinal Tagle’s may be categorized as (Philippine) constitutional while the Pope’s is deeply doctrinal. Aren’t these frightfully auspicious ? The approximate time gaps between Adam to Abraham was 2,000 years, Abraham to the Babylonian Captivity was 2,000 years, the Babylonian Captivity to King David was also 2,000 years, King David to Jesus was 2,000 years as well and from Jesus to-date was another 2,000 years. Is something as historic as what happened over these 5 periods in history about to happen ?
Reply
Leodegardo Pruna says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:24 am
Disgraced Grace is in the company of disgraced people who have disgraced themselves through lies and grandiose ambition. God bless the Philippines.
Reply
Jose A. Oliveros says:
September 11, 2015 at 6:45 am
A news report on page 3 of the Manila Bulletin issue yesterday, 10 September 2015 under the by-line of Leo Postrado, quoted Atty. Alexander Poblador, lawyer of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, as saying that her naturalization as an American citizen is not a sign of lack of patriotism. She just wanted to be with her family to keep them together. This reasoning is either shallow, or outright hollow. During martial law, many Filipinos opposed to the Marcos dictatorship went on self-exile to the US and continued their fight against the Marcos regime thus placing their lives in danger. Yet they never had themselves naturalized as American citizens so they could seek protection from the US government against pro-Marcos elements in the US who were constantly hunting and hounding them.
The late Bonifacio Gillego of Sorsogon and Heherson “Sony” Alvarez of Cagayan and Manila were able to leave the Philippines for the US upon imposition of martial rule and thus avoided being arrested and incarcerated like Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno and others. In the US, they continued the fight against Marcos. Gillego, a retired Army major worked as security guard on night shift and at daytime researched on the war record of Marcos that led him to expose the Marcos claim of heroism during WW II was based on fake documents. Alvarez founded the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) shortly after Aquino was killed on Sept. 21, 1983. But despite continuing threats to their lives, they never renounced their Philippine citizenship that is why when elections were held in 1987, Gillego was elected Congressman of Sorsogon and Alvarez as Senator. Being a natural-born Filipino citizen is a constitutional requirement for both positions.
Reply
Ka Eddie says:
September 11, 2015 at 3:36 am
Jesus! NOT AGAIN, an entire space dedicated to bring down a not yet official candidate, instead of writing about the carmaggedon, it seems your obsession about the foundling is now in ‘mental’ level and an obvious paid propaganda despite the BI ruling that SHE IS A CITIZEN. The choice is clear among candidates, The Lawrence of Incompetence, The thief of Baghdad, or the ‘American’ foundling?
Reply
erlee says:
September 11, 2015 at 11:25 am
You can always skip reading the column. It is not up to you to decide what an opinion columnist should write about.
By the way, it is not the BI that has ultimate authority to decide the question of whether someone is a natural born Filipino or not. It is the Supreme
Court of the Philippines. If you read the column, Mr. Tatad is saying some documents submitted by G Poe to SET are questionable and include false or inaccurate statements.
Jose A. Oliveros says:
September 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm
The Bureau of Immigration did not rule that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. What the document signed by Associate Commissioner Roy Almoro states is Grace Poe-Llamanzares is “presumed to be a Filipino citizen”. Not a categorical statement that she is a Filipino citizen. That is why her citizenship can be questioned anytime, specially since she is an incumbent Senator whose term expires in 2019.
Reyno del rosario says:
September 11, 2015 at 3:16 am
Ask ko Lang Mr. Kit Tatad, magkano ba talaga ang tinatanggap mo Kay Binay? May Nnaghain na ng reklamo Kay Sen Grace sa SET, bakit ayaw mo pang tumigil sa kasusulat tungkol sa citizenship issue sa kanya. Ginagawa mo na yata talagang inutil ang mga Pilipino. Mukha ka na talagang Pera.
Reply
Ka Eddie says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:00 am
very obvious na ba? , note the title – “Blessing the non candidates” and yet, only Grace was mentioned from top to bottom,conveniently skipping the 2 trapos, He keeps invoking the Constitution – the same Consti that he and the NTC try to get rid of! (huli ka mama!) He really thinks that somebody can be stateless(singaw?)Oh well, theres no such thing as negative publicity, in fact he is doing her a favor, people just love underdogs, she will be THE NEXT PRESIDENT…….and theres nothing he can do about it…….


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Grace Poe undergoes DNA tests to verify ties with ‘biological kin’ September 21, 2015 4:49pm Tags: gracepoe, 2016elections, senateelectoraltribunal By MARK MERUEÑAS and AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News (Updated 9:14 p.m.)


Are we related? Grace Poe’s ‘biological siblings’ offer to undergo DNA tests  GMA NEWS NETWORK

Amid questions on her citizenship, Sen. Grace Poe has already conducted DNA tests to verify her kinship with probable biological relatives who are Filipinos.

This was revealed by Poe's lawyer, Alexander Poblador, during oral arguments conducted by the Senate Electoral Tribunal at the Supreme Court, on a petition from Rizalito David.

But Poblador clarified that resorting to DNA testing did not mean Poe's lawyers were abandoning their original position on Poe's presumed nationality despite being a foundling.


PHOTO © Benjie Castro: Lawyer Alex Poblador, counsel of Senator Grace Poe, briefs Senate media regarding the citizenship issue of his client, which is being deliberated by the Senate Electoral Tribunal on Monday…GMA NEWS

"[Our statement on DNA testing is] without prejudice to our legal position. We do not have the burden of proof and that we have the presumption of law in our favor," Poblador said.

Poe's lawyer told the nine-member SET that he had been authorized to reveal that Poe was already "in the process" of having DNA testing for a "probable biological match."

"Respondent [Poe] has taken steps towards having a DNA test conducted with a probable biological match. And when results come out, we will disclose the results," said Poblador.

At the Senate, Poe confirmed on Monday that she underwent a DNA test to prove that she was a Filipino and born of Filipino parents.

“Nasa proseso na (ang DNA test). Sila ang lumapit sa akin, hindi ko sasabihin kung kilala ko noon pa sapagkat magkakaroon pa ng spekulasyon,” Poe told reporters.

The senator refused to name those who gave their specimens, saying that they were private persons.

“Ang masasabi ko lang, dahil ito ay mga pribadong tao... kung sila nga ang aking magiging kadugo, ako ay matutuwa sapagkat napakadisenteng mga tao, napakabait," Poe said.

"Pero syempre hindi pa rin tayo nakasisiguro. syempre hihintayin natin (ang DNA result) dahil hindi mismo sa mga magulang kundi sa mga siblings o mga kapatid (nakuha),” she added.

Poe said the person approached her for several relatives to undergo a DNA test.

“Basta ‘yung lumapit sa akin hindi ko relative ngayon. ‘Yung lumapit mukhang may basehan, yung lumapit nagpakita ng litrato," Poe said.

"‘Di ba minsan pagka gustong-gusto mo, parang nakikita mo yung similarity kasi you are trying to convince yourself pero syempre 'pag pisikal hindi natin alam pero parang may basehan nga para gawin yun (DNA test),” she added.

Asked if she felt any connection or “lukso ng dugo” with the person, the senator said: “Basta ang masasabi ko napaka-gentle, mabait, malumanay magsalita. Sabi ko baka pwede.”

READ MORE...

‘Wonderful’

Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, the chairman of the SET, expressed delight over Poblador's announcement as regards Poe's DNA tests.

"We have rules in court that a DNA match is a conclusive presumption affiliation. So that [DNA tests] would solve our problems here because you cannot argue with that anymore," Carpio said.

"If you could present a DNA match, that would be wonderful," added the senior magistrate.

Carpio during the oral arguments said Poe may be considered a naturalized Filipino citizen and not a natural-born citizen.

Carpio stressed that customary international law can be followed so long as it does not violate provisions of the Constitution.

"If there is a customary international law saying foundlings can be deemed citizens of the country where they were found, we apply that under the principle of incorporation. It is deemed as municipal law," Carpio said.

The senior magistrate, however, quickly added: "But you are still a naturalized citizen, not natural born. Because if customary international law says a foundling is natural born, it will violate our Constitution and we cannot apply it here."

After emerging from the SET hearing, David told reporters that their camp commissioned the conduct of two sets of DNA tests on relatives of Poe' supposed biological parents.

He refused to give further details on the DNA tests but said the results would be released later.

During the hearing, Poblador maintained that the generally acceptable principles of international law, treaties and conventions show that a foundling found in the Philippines is presumed to have Filipino biological parents, making him or her a natural-born Filipino citizen.

‘Burden on petitioner’

Associate Justice Arturo Brion, another SET member, said that because the Poe’s parents were unknown, she had to prove that her parents were Filipinos.

Poblador, however, maintained it should be the petitioner who must present evidence that the biological parents of Poe were foreigners.

“The petitioner must show that Senator Poe’s parents are foreigners. We do not have the burden of proof,” Poblador said.

Poe had said she had been trying for years to find out who her biological parents were, even though they chose to abandon her. She decided to renew her search, however, amid questions on her citizenship raised by critics.

In June, Poe met with family friends who she said gave her more information about the possible identity of her biological parents.

Among those she had breakfast with were Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, a distant relative of Roces; and 81-year-old Sofia Mijares, a former house help of Roces and Poe's adoptive father Fernando Poe Jr.

Edgardo Militar

Both said they've heard stories that her biological father was one Edgardo Militar, a brother-in-law of Sayong Militar who was supposed to have found her inside the Jaro Cathedral decades ago.

Edgardo was actually the signatory in her foundling certificate, indicating that he was the one who found her in the church.

During the hearing, Poblador clarified that their camp was not proposing to give "special treatment" to foundlings. He said it merely wanted foundlings to be "fitted" into a category in which they would not be subjected to discrimination.

"If foundlings are given special treatment, it is because of their disadvantaged positions. I think it is almost a universal concern that foundlings are in a situation not of their own creation that they are to be discriminated against," said Poblador.

"We are not trying to create or give an enhanced position for foundlings. We are just avoiding foundlings to be discriminated against," he added.

"We are fitting the presumption created in the UN Convention in the Reduction of Statelessness within the jus sanguinis ("right of blood") principle in the Constitution," said Poblador.

The jus sanguinis is a legal principle by which citizenship is determined not by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of that state.

‘Legal fiction’

For her part, SET member Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro asked Poblador to include in their memorandum an explanation why their camp thinks there should be an exception in the case of foundlings in which they can be considered natural-born citizens "by legal fiction."

Poblador, however, clarified that a presumption of law is not considered a "fiction of law."

"By definition, [the presumption of law is] an assumption as to the existence of fact not known but that assumption is based on proven facts," the lawyer said. —NB, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Sheryl Cruz firm on stand vs Grace Poe candidacy SHARES: 1421 VIEW COMMENTS By: Ervin Santiago @ervinsantiago7 Inquirer Bandera 09:08 PM September 22nd, 2015


SHERYL CRUZ

Actress Sheryl Cruz has no plans to vilify or shame her cousin, Sen. Grace Poe, after saying she is against the senator’s bid for the presidency in 2016.

According to Cruz, her statement is her opinion as a Filipino, and she believes informing the public of her stance on the issue is her responsibility as a voter.
“I don’t plan to make a scene or be the center of attraction. I have spoken because I also have an obligation as a Filipino, as a voter, and as a taxpayer. I believe this is not the right time for her to run. I just voiced out my sentiments, is that wrong?” Cruz, pressed for comment, told reporters after a press conference for the film “Felix Manalo” at Manila Hotel on Tuesday.
“It’s just too soon for her. It may be better if she could draft more laws as a senator, then maybe in the 2022 presidential elections, she would be ready. Because, like what I said, this is politics, not show biz. It’s more complicated, dirtier. This is my opinion, and I rarely speak,” Cruz said.

READ MORE...

Would this infuriate Susan Roces? “I don’t think she will misinterpret this. My aunt always respects our opinions. We may have different opinions but at the end of the day, we’re still family. Blood will always be thicker than water.
“I love my cousin. Never question that. I supported my cousin during her senatorial candidacy. I toured the whole Philippines to represent her. If I don’t believe in her capability, why would I do that?” Cruz said.
Cruz added that her manager Rams David had resigned after experiencing harassment following her recent statements. RC
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Sheryl Cruz nanindigan sa pagkontra sa pagtakbo ni Grace Poe
Kalat na: Sheryl Cruz kumontra sa pagtakbo ni Grace Poe sa 2016


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