A former law school dean formally joined the ranks of those opposed to the candidacy for President of Sen. Grace Poe.
Amado Valdez, former dean of the University of the East College of Law, on Monday filed the 5th disqualification case against the senator at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department.
Valdez argued that Poe, a foundling, has “lost forever” her natural-born status in 2001 when she took her oath as an American citizen.
He also questioned her residency in the country, which he said is short of the constitutionally-mandated requirement of 10 years.
“Once you lose natural-born status, you lose it forever, you can’t reacquire it,” Valdez said.
His petition followed the disqualification cases filed by radio commentator Rizalito David, former senator Francisco Tatad, lawyer Estrella Elamparo and political science professor Antonio Contreras.
Poe is also facing a separate disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal on similar grounds.
The senator also on Monday said she is prepared to answer the new disqualification case filed against her.
“I am ready to face these cases even tomorrow, but I also like to know their opinion on other issues as well,” Poe told reporters.
Her spokesman, Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said the senator respects the right of Valdez to file a case.
On Valdez’s claim that Poe lost her natural-born status, Gatchalian noted that provisions of RA 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 are very clear on this.
“The express provisions of this law substantiate the fact that she was deemed not to have lost her natural- born citizenship when she reacquired her Filipino citizenship. The act of repatriation is not naturalization,” he explained.
The mayor said Poe is prepared to face all the petitions that have been filed against her.
“We are ready to face all these petitions and prove them wrong,” he added.