Carpio: Poe must prove she’s natural-born Filipino
During the proceedings, Sen. Loren Legarda, among six senators joining three justices on the SET, got Luna to concede that his client did not have proof that Poe’s parents were foreigners.
The petitioner’s core argument is Poe’s lack of clear parentage, hence the uncertainty of her citizenship.
“We’re not saying that her [Poe’s] father is a foreigner,” Luna told Legarda.
“All you’re saying is that her parentage is unknown. So the unknown father can either be foreign or Filipino?” Legarda said.
“Yes,” Luna replied.
Legarda continued her line of questioning, this time about Poe’s biological mother: “You are not saying with legal and factual basis that Senator Poe’s mother is a foreigner?”
“Yes,” Luna said.
“So the unknown mother can be a Filipino?” Legarda asked.
“Yes,” Luna replied.
The senator pressed on: “You can’t say that both parents are foreigners?”
Luna again agreed.
“You can’t exclude with certainty that Senator Poe’s parents are Filipinos?” Legarda asked.
Luna again responded in the affirmative.
Asked later along the same line by Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Luna admitted that his client did not have proof that Poe’s parents were in fact foreigners.
The four-hour hearing ended around 2:30 p.m., with Carpio ordering the two sides to present their final positions and arguments within 15 days.
Burden of proof
Poe’s lawyer, Alexander Poblador, insisted on the dismissal of David’s petition, saying it should be David, not Poe, who should present proof that Poe was not a natural-born Filipino because her parents were allegedly foreigners.
“If respondent is not a natural-born Filipino, it can only be because neither her mother nor her father was a Filipino. This is the ultimate fact that the petitioner must allege and thereafter prove [but failed to do so],” Poblador said.
He said David’s petition shifted the burden of proof to Poe when he claimed that Poe was a foundling and because her parents were unknown, there was no evidence that her father or mother was a Filipino.
Poblador said David then “jumped to the conclusion” that Poe could not be considered a natural-born citizen unless she could prove that her mother or father was a Filipino.
Poblador said Poe enjoyed the presumption of law, citing the various documents and records she submitted that established her natural-born citizenship as a qualification to run for public office.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Carpio should be more circumspect in making statements about the case of Poe.
“That is a legal question not for one person like Senior [Associate] Justice Carpio. That is for a whole set of people to decide. That is a collective thing, it is pending with the SET,” Belmonte told reporters.
Asked if Carpio should have kept quiet until the SET was ready to decide the case, Belmonte said: “Personally, I think so.”—With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan
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