FERNANDO AIR BASE, Batangas: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday asked Supreme Court (SC) justices to clarify the country’s laws on citizenship after it ruled that Sen. Grace Poe is qualified to run for President.
One of the requirements for presidential candidates is that they should be natural-born Filipino citizens.
“Sana yung Korte Suprema dito sa kanilang desisyon ay magbigay ng todong kalinawan o paglilinaw sa sambayanan in their role as educator as far as the law is concerned [I hope that the Supreme Court, as educator, would explain its decision to the people in legal terms],” Aquino told reporters in an interview.
“Para maging klarung-klaro sa lahat ng ating mamamayan kung ano ba talaga ang alituntunin sa pagiging citizen or non-citizen ng ating bansa [For the people to clearly know the requirements for one to be a citizen and the bases for one to be called a non-citizen],” he said.
The President added that the tribunal should clarify how Poe reacquired her Filipino citizenship.
She supposedly visited a consular office in 2011 to renounce her citizenship when she was already the chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
The High Court, voting of 9-6, on Tuesday reversed a decision of the Commission on Elections to disqualify Poe from running for President in the May 2016 elections.
The poll body, in its unanimous decision, said Poe is not a natural-born citizen and she also failed to meet the 10-year residency requirement imposed by law on presidential candidates.
The high tribunal is yet to come up with a ruling that will explain how majority of the justices came to their decision that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino.
Aquino admitted that the SC decision will boost Poe’s candidacy.
“Gaano katagal? Hindi natin masabi ‘yan [For how long? We can’t say],” the President said.
Poe, who is running as an independent candidate, has consistently topped presidential surveys.
But Aquino said he will not worry about the effects of the SC decision, noting that they are beyond his control.
He noted the independence of the High Court, as four of his six appointees voted in Poe’s favor.