Grace Poe is clearly Filipino – election lawyer
Senator Grace Poe’s citizenship should be no issue in case she decides to run for President in 2016, a prominent election lawyer has said.
Once on the side of the political rival of Poe’s late father in the 2004 electoral protests, Romulo Macalintal is siding with the Senator in the wake of a recent report claiming that she was being “hounded by questions on her citizenship.”
For Macalintal, it is clear that Poe is Filipino and qualified to run for President- a prospect that even the incumbent President Aquino has spoken about positively.
“All issues pertaining to Senator Grace Poe’s status as a natural-born Filipino citizen had been put to rest when she renounced her American citizenship and took her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines when she was appointed to the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) and ran for senator in the 2013 elections,” said the lawyer in a statement Wednesday.
Macalintal, who represented former President Gloria Arroyo in the election protest that Poe’s father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., had filed at the Supreme Court citing alleged cheating in the 2004 national polls, said the senator had “reacquired” her Philippine citizenship when she decided to renounce her allegiance to the US.
The late Poe also faced citizenship issues in the elections 11 years ago.
Poe, the senator, said as much on Monday, saying she had given up her dual citizenship before entering government service in 2010. She explained that she never abandoned her Philippine citizenship.
In his statement, Macalintal cited jurisprudence in a case he argued before the Supreme Court involving a lawmaker whose citizenship was questioned when he won a congressional seat in the 1998 elections.
In upholding the election of then Pangasinan Representative Teodoro Cruz, a retired United States Marine, the high court ruled that “repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality.”
“The court stressed that ‘the act of repatriation’ allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship,” said Macalintal.
“And so it should be in the case of Poe. Like Cruz, her repatriation resulted in the recovery of her “original nationality”, that of a “natural-born” Filipino citizen which removed any legal or constitutional impediment to her election as senator and eventually as candidate for President of the country,” the lawyer said. AC
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