Using the UP Bahay Alumni (Alumni House) for a stage, and a clone of Danding Cojuangco’s 1992 “May Bagong Umagang Darating” (A new morn is coming) as her political anthem, the non-UP alumna Grace Poe Llamanzares announced her bid for the 2016 presidency, saying, “I am Grace Poe. A Filipino. A daughter, wife and mother. And with God’s grace, I offer myself for the country’s highest calling as your President.” It was meant to be a tour de force, a major mass media/cinematic event; but it turned out to be the biggest practical joke of the season. The whole thing was built/is built on a lie. On a series of lies. How, in Heaven’s name, can one invoke God’s grace to sanctify a project founded on lies?
Her full name is Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares, Poe from her adoptive parents, Ronald Allan and Jesusa Sonora Poe, otherwise known to movie fans as Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces; and Llamanzares from her American husband Neil Llamanzares, said to be an employee of the powerful businessman Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corporation, and father of her three beautiful American children, Brian, Hanna and Nikka, all surnamed Llamanzares.
If she is running as a wife and mother, as she says she is, she should be proud to use her husband’s and children’s family name, Llamanzares. In the noblest and most dignified Filipino families, wives and mothers cannot think of doing anything else. There is great honor and pride in it. But Mary Grace dropped her husband’s and children’s name in favor of Poe when she ran for the Senate under false pretences in 2013, and stuck to “Poe,” which voters associate with the late FPJ, who died in December 2004, after losing the presidency to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo despite his large following as an action star.
It is necropolitics at its worst—-exactly as the Aquino mother and son had practiced it, except that neither Cory Aquino nor her son PNoy had to prove their legal ties to the martyred Ninoy. In her case, Mrs. Llamanzares had to claim falsely that she was born to FPJ and Susan Roces, even though she was found four months before the childless couple was married, and they adopted her only in 1974, purportedly through a municipal court proceeding in San Juan, Rizal, at a time when adoption cases were decided by the old Juvenile and Domestic Court or some other court but never by the municipal court. Where is the truth and honor or grace in that?
Mrs. Llamanzares says she is a Filipino. That is a claim rather than a fact, disputed by the law and all known facts. In fact, the Senate Electoral Tribunal is currently deliberating on this issue, upon a petition by citizen Rizalito David who questions her right to remain in the Senate. We cannot belabor this enough: she is neither a natural-born Filipino, nor even a legally naturalized Filipino. She is, in fact, stateless, according to the law. She was born a foundling on Sept 3, 1968, and found in the premises of the parish church in Jaro, Iloilo City by one Edgardo Militar who put her in the custody of Emiliano Militar. Nobody knew her parents, so nobody knew their nationality. Not having been born a Filipino, she could not claim to be a natural-born Filipino which means a Filipino from birth, without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect her citizenship.
Her adoption by the Poe couple conferred upon the right to a surname, to succession, and support, but not citizenship. Thus, how she became a Filipino citizen to enable her to travel to the United States remains a mystery up to this point. She became an American citizen by renouncing and abjuring entirely and absolutely any allegiance or loyalty to any foreign prince, power or state, but when she decided to go back to the Philippines, she renounced her US citizenship and decided to “reacquire” Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, otherwise known as the Dual Citizenship Law. This law allows “former natural-born citizens” who had lost their citizenship to become foreign citizens of another country after 2003 to reacquire their Philippine citizenship.
Mrs. Llamanzares was never a “natural-born citizen” and she became an American citizen in 2001, two years before the passage of the Dual Citizenship Law. She was not therefore qualified to apply for reacquisition of “Philippine citizenship” when she came back from the US. But she petitioned for reacquisition and her petition was approved simply by stating falsely that she is a natural-born Filipino born to the Poe couple on Sept. 3, 1968 in Jaro.
Can this lie ever be sanctified in the name of God?
Now, no person may be elected president, vice president, senator or member of the House of Representatives unless he/she is, first of all, a natural-born Filipino—and as we have more than amply and repeatedly demonstrated, she is not a natural-born Filipino, nor even legally a Filipino. Thus if her UP announcement matures into a formal candidacy, she would become the first ever non-Filipino presidential candidate in all of our history. Even if by some mysterious art she should suddenly morph into a “natural-born Filipino,” she would still become the first ever candidate for the Philippine presidency, with an American husband, and American children—an entirely American family. There was a time when no Filipino foreign service officer could marry a foreigner without obtaining the official written permission of higher authorities. This rule should apply to the President, Vice President, and members of the Cabinet.
I did not have the time or opportunity to watch or listen to the show. Together with former President Fidel V. Ramos. Some of my surviving colleagues in the Marcos Cabinet (Cesar Virata and Gerry Sicat), and other friends, I was detained at the launch of Joey P. Leviste Jr’s anthology on Lee Kwan Yew, containing tributes to the recently departed father of modern Singapore from 35 Filipinos. But my friends who watched and listened to Mrs. Llamanzares found her performance exceptionally underwhelming, bereft even of any entertainment value. Antonio “Butch” Valdes of Solidarity for Sovereignty and Save the Nation Movement immediately texted me to say, “After listening to Grace Poe, I am all the more convinced that our envisioned revolution will be an act of Divine Providence. He, mercifully, will have to intervene.”
God save us from Mrs. Llamanzares! This is what this important witness is saying. But all we have to do is to enforce the Constitution and the law not only on Mrs. Llamanzares but on all her swaggering oligarchic patrons who seem to believe they could do anything and everything they want with their power and money. Since she is already facing a disqualification suit before the SET for not being a natural-born Filipino, divine intervention could come in the form of a judgment from that body, unseating her from the Senate. If this judgment comes before the October filing of certificates of candidacy, then Mrs. Llamanzares would be spared the trouble of having to file an invalid certificate. Otherwise, the legal proceedings questioning her ineligibility to run before the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court could be protracted unduly.
However, many are inclined to look at Mrs. Llamanzares’s “candidacy” as a practical joke, no different from the satirical “candidacy” of the 15-year-old “Deez Nuts” in the US primary that’s trying to choose the official presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties for the 2016 US presidential election. Deez Nuts (whose real name is Brady C. Olson) is a high school student from 2248 450th Avenue, Wallingford, Iowa, 20 years too young to be legally elected president. He entered his name in the primary, and Public Policy Polling included him in the opinion surveys that had Hillary Clinton (D), and Donald Trump (R) fighting head to head.
In that survey, which appears to be far more reputable than the paid propaganda surveys of False Asia and Mrs. Llamanzares’s adoptive uncle Mahal Mang-ahas, Trump polled 40 percent, Clinton 38 percent, and Deez Nuts 9 percent. We have not heard much from him since then, but he appears to have gained support beyond Iowa, and triggered some kind of revolution in the filing of “fake-name” candidacies. Some people from 23 states have offered to help him campaign, he says. Deez Nuts says he is willing to step aside in favor of any of three worthy politicians, notably Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), who is talking to America about changing the system, instead of simply trying to improve it. From Sanders’s camp, we hear the very slogan that powered the UP quarter storms in the seventies: “If not now, when? If not us, who?”
Unlike our presidential wannabes with their enormous problems trying to find a possible vice presidential candidate, Deez Nuts has a ready-made VP. “I would choose Limbertbutt McCubbins (D-VT),” he says. “McCubbins is actually a house cat, albeit with a catchy slogan.” I suppose Mar Roxas could learn from this.
What prompted Olson to do it? In one interview online, he said, “I really didn’t want to see Clinton, Bush or Trump in the White House, so I guess I’m just trying to put up a fight.”
Question: What do you think qualifies you to be president?
Answer: The fact that I can fill out a form so vague that it doesn’t include your age, or the fact that you get accepted, even if they’re only partially filled, anyone can win.
Q. Did Public Policy Polling start using your name in polls at your request—-or did they start doing that independently?
A. I asked, but I wanted it to be against low-pollers, like me vs. Lindsey Graham vs. Lincoln Chafee, to see how desperate voters would be in that situation.
Q. How far are you willing to take this practical joke?
A. As far as America wants to take it.
The difference between Mrs. Llamanzares and Deez Nuts is that while the latter knows his “candidacy” is nothing but a practical joke, and that he has no right to expect to be elected, this joke of a senator is puffed up with every illusion that she has a right (even duty) to run for, and be elected as president, regardless of what the Constitution says, just because those who control her believe they own the country and all its political processes and could crush anything that lies on her path to electoral victory.
We cannot take this wicked candidacy seriously. We must reject it, even it if is imposed on us by naked power, mass media and money. We have a right to insist that “revolution,” “revolutionary council,” or “revolutionary change” replace this illegitimate candidacy.
IN MEMORIAM. Atty. Alan F. Paguia, dear friend, patriot, law professor, and firm advocate and defender of the rule of law, died in the peace of our Lord yesterday. We shared many legal and political battles together, including the fight against the patently unconstitutional Reproductive Health Law. He would have turned 61 on Oct. 10. I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Pilar and family, and I ask the pious reader to join me in praying for the repose of his soul. Thank you very much.