Duterte: Poe can be President someday if Constitution allows foundlings to run
President Rodrigo Duterte said he would want Sen. Grace Poe to be the country’s president someday but on one condition: amend the Constitution that would explicitly allow foundlings to run for office.
In a speech during a birthday party in Cavite on Tuesday night, Duterte said he did not agree with the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born citizen.
“But I like Grace Poe to be President someday if the requirement remains to be same. But, I said, I think we will amend the Constitution and make that exemption, na ‘yung foundling are already qualified,” Duterte said.
While he treats Poe as a friend, Duterte said there is only one way to become a natural-born citizen, and that is to “go out of your mother’s womb.”
“Eh pabalik-balik ‘yan sa (It’s been repeated in) law school. Kami, only to be interpreted of incorporating a treaty and overruling a strict, I said, a poignant one because you must be a citizen out… inside and out of your mother’s womb,” Duterte said.
“Kasi kung wala kang (Because if you have no) known father or mother, you are a foundling, and then you cannot really say with certainty now that you are a natural-born citizen. ‘Yun lang po (That’s all). I disagreed with the Supreme Court,” he added.
Duterte has repeatedly said that the SC decision allowing Poe to run prompted him to pursue his candidacy during the 2016 elections.
Even as President, Duterte has insisted on many occasions that Poe was not a natural-born Filipino and stressed that she should banned from running for public office.
On March 8, 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that Poe is “presumptively natural born,” overturning the Commission on Election’s decision to disqualify the senator from running for public office.
Months later, on September 21, the high court en banc upheld the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, declaring Poe a natural-born Filipino citizen and qualified to run for public office. /je
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