Poe ally says even Roxas’ grandfather believed foundlings are natural-born
Even the grandfather of Interior Sec. Mar Roxas believed that foundlings are citizens of the country where they were born, an ally of Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday.
In a press conference, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo defended Poe as a natural-born citizen even if she is a foundling, citing the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention for the 1935 Constitution.
Romulo, a lawyer, said the 1935 Constitution should apply to Poe’s citizenship case because it was the existing charter when she was born in 1968.
Romulo, reportedly a senatorial candidate under Poe’s banner, said that one of the delegates which drafted the 1935 Charter was former President Manuel Roxas, the grandfather of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.
According to the transcript of the convention provided by Romulo’s office, former Pres. Roxas, then a senator, said that under international law, children born of unknown parents are citizens of the country where they were born.
Romulo said the 1935 Constitution does not have a provision on foundlings, because former Pres. Roxas thought there was no need for it because it is already stated under international law.
“By international law, the principle that children or people born in a country of unknown parents are citizens of that country is recognized, and it is not necessary to include a binding provision on the subject,” former Pres. Roxas said during the deliberations.
“Ang citizenship, kumakabit based sa Constitution on the year you are born… ‘Pag titingnan mo ang 1935 Constitution express provision, hindi naman nakasulat doon.” Romulo said.
“Pero ‘pag basahin ang deliberations, at ito ang guidance na pwede natin tingnan, kapag ikaw ay born of an unknown father and mother, you are a citizen of the country where you are born,” Romulo added.
Poe is facing disqualification cases before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections from her presidential bid. The complainants alleged that Poe cannot be certain that she is a natural-born citizen because she was a foundling in Jaro, Iloilo. The Constitution requires public officials to be natural-born.
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Romulo denied that he has talked with Poe’s legal team and that he as a lawyer looked up the issue due to curiosity.
“Ito ay base lamang sa curiousity bilang abogado, kaya tiningan ko ‘yan. Hindi ako parte ng legal team ni Senator Poe. Hindi maiiwasan na maaring may mga magtatanong ng mga bagay na ‘yan,” Romulo said.