Poe presents papers proving citizenship
She is not only a Filipino citizen. She is a natural-born Filipino as well.
These were manifested in government documents—including a Bureau of Immigration certification and several Supreme Court rulings—submitted to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) by Sen. Grace Poe to prove her assertion that she is a Filipino.
One of the documents is a July 18, 2006, order issued by then Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr., through Associate Commissioner Roy Almoro, declaring that Poe, having been born to Filipino parents, was “presumed to be a natural-born Philippine citizen.”
The order approved Poe’s application for the cancellation of the alien and immigrant certificates and the issuance of certificates for the retention and reacquisition of Filipino citizenship to her and her three children pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225, or the Dual Citizenship Law. They submitted their application on July 10, 2006.
Defeated 2013 senatorial candidate Rizalito David has urged the SET to unseat Poe for not being a natural-born Filipino citizen and for failing to meet the two-year residency requirement prior to the May 2013 polls, which she topped.
In her comment to David’s petition, Poe said that during deliberations by the 1934 Constitutional Convention during the crafting of the 1935 Constitution, the framers had the intention to include foundlings in the term “citizens of the Philippines” and that they clearly adopted the international principle that children or people born in a country of unknown parents were citizens of the country where they were found.
“During the debates on this provision, delegate [Nicolas] Rafols presented an amendment to include as Filipino citizens… foundlings but this amendment was defeated because the convention believed the cases being too few to warrant the inclusion of a provision…. Moreover, it was believed that the rules of international law were already clear to the effect that… foundlings followed the nationality of the place where they were found, thereby making unnecessary the inclusion in the Constitution of the proposed amendment,” Poe said, quoting noted authority on the 1935 Constitution Jose Aruego.
Poe also cited a Department of Justice opinion issued in 1951 which ruled in favor of a boy who survived an air raid in the Philippines during World War II but whose parents had been killed, rendering the ascertaining of their identities impossible.
In PH since 2005
The DOJ granted the boy’s application for a Philippine passport as it declared that foundlings were citizens of the country in which they were found by virtue of principles of international law.
In an apparent bid to address the issues questioning her lack of the required 10-year residency to run for President in 2016, Poe said she had been in the country since May 2005 when she decided to live here for good after the death of her father, movie star Fernando Poe Jr.
Poe said she pulled her children out of their schools in the United States and enrolled them in Philippine schools in June 2005. They sold their house in the US in April 2006 and her husband found employment in a local company in May 2006.
The documentation procedures the senator underwent, including obtaining a taxpayer identification number and voter registration, her acceptance of the position of Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair and her candidacy for senator in 2013 also added up to her decision to stay in the Philippines.
Through her lawyers, Poe pointed out the David petition should be dismissed for forum shopping as he had lodged the same complaint on the alleged offense with the Commission on Elections.
The senator asked the SET to cite petitioner David in direct contempt for “willful and deliberate forum shopping” and as provided for in the rules of court, be fined P2,000 and jailed for 10 days. Jerome Aning
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.