Supreme Court probes citizenship, residency status of Sen. Grace Poe

"Insofar as the requirements of law are concerned, I think she followed the law completely, she followed the law," said Senator Grace Poe's legal counsel Atty. Poblador when asked about the renunciation of the senator's U.S. citizenship.


Nanindigan ang kampo ni Senator Grace Poe na qualified siyang kumandidato bilang presidente ngayong 2016 elections.

Sa ginanap na pagdinig sa Supreme Court ngayong Martes, January 19, kinuwestiyon ng Supreme Court kung bakit naghintay pa ng apat na taon si Poe bago bitiwan ang kanyang U.S. citizenship.

Kaugnay ito ng argumento ng legal counsel ni Poe na si Atty. Alexander Poblador na taong 2005 pa lamang ay may intensiyon na ang senadora na manirahan sa Pilipinas.

Sabi ni Supreme Court Justice Mariano del Castillo, ayon sa ulat ng GMA News Online, "She waited here for four years. Perhaps she was testing the waters.

"I would like to find out. We could not really determine."

Minsan nang nailathala ang detalye tungkol sa pagiging ampon ni Poe, desisyon niyang manirahan sa U.S. kasama ng kanyang mister na si Neil Llamanzares, at pagiging naturalized American citizen ng senadora noong October 18, 2001.

Dito ay nabanggit din na noong 2005 ay nagbalik ng Pilipinas si Poe, at saka muling nanumpa at nakakuha ng kanyang Filipino citizenship mula sa Bureau of Immigration noong July 10, 2006.

Sa pagpapatuloy ng paliwanag ni Atty. Poblador, nabanggit niyang maituturing na dual citizen si Poe mula nang siya ay manumpa ng Oath of Allegiance sa Republika ng Pilipinas hanggang sa pormal na ni-renounce ng senadora ang kanyang U.S. citizenship noong 2009.

Ito ay alinsunod umano sa probisyon ng Presidential Decree No. 1986 na dapat ay natural-born Filipino ang may mga posisyon sa Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

Tanong ni Justice Mariano: "So you're saying had the President not appointed her chairman of the MTRCB, she would not have renounced her American citizenship?"

Sagot ni Atty. Poblador: "She would still be a dual citizen at that point."

Pagkatapos ay nagkomento si Justice Mariano na ang isang dual citizen ay hindi maaaring kumandidato bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas.

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Sagot ulit ni Atty. Poblador, "Yes, before she could run for president, she had to renounce her US citizenship and she had done that."

Dagdag pa ng abugado, "Insofar as the requirements of law are concerned, I think she followed the law completely, she followed the law.

"Maybe we can make judgment to the effect—perhaps she should have renounced her US citizenship earlier—but there are not any legal arguments against her eligibility today that she's running for the office of the president."

Bukod dito, inilitag din ng kampo ni Poe ang kanyang argumento hinggil sa status niya bilang natural-born Filipino, na saklaw umano ng deliberations noong 1934 Constitutional Convention.

Matatandaang idineklara ng Senate Electoral Tribunal na natural-born Filipino si Poe sa kabila ng pagkuwestiyon ng petitioner na si Rizalito David sa estado ng citizenship ng senadora.

Noong January 4, sinuportahan ng Office of the Solicitor General ang desisyong ito ng SET.

Sabi sa isang bahagi ng pahayag ng SolGen ukol dito, “Even on the assumption that the 1935 Constitution does not recognize foundlings as natural-born Filipinos en masse, private respondent should nonetheless be considered a natural-born citizen, given the facts of her case.

“Thus, the SET did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it held that the burden is on the petitioner to prove that private respondent is not a natural-born citizen.”

Read: SolGen backs SET ruling that Grace Poe is natural-born Filipino

Sa January 28 nakatakdang isagawa ang ikalawang pagdinig hinggil sa consolidated disqualification cases na kinahaharap ni Poe.


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