After all the undisputed arguments have shown that Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares is constitutionally disqualified to sit in Congress or seek the presidency or the vice-presidency, any decent society or political party would have sadly but promptly declared her “political demise.” Thus, a concerned colleague suggests I should stop wasting my energy commenting on “this yesterday’s news.”
But both President B. S. Aquino 3rd and his presidential anointee Mar Roxas prevent me from dropping the issue. They have such an absurd and perverted view of the Constitution that they seem to believe one who is constitutionally disqualified from seeking the presidency may yet be recycled to seek the vice-presidency. An unschooled farmer or dockhand may entertain this view, but certainly not a sitting president or someone actively seeking the presidency.
This is culpable and injurious ignorance of the Constitution, which provides that the Vice President “shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the President.” But this is all probably feigned ignorance. For all their known limitations, PNoy and Mar cannot be that ignorant of the Constitution and the law. They have an array of highly-paid lawyers, who, to the best of our knowledge, had been researching all the legal angles of this issue.
They must know whether or not Grace Poe, who was born of unknown parents in Iloilo City on Sept. 3, 1968, has an extant birth certificate, and what’s written on it. They must know whether or not she was indeed legally adopted, as claimed, by her surrogate parents, Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces Poe, who were married three months after her birth, on Dec. 25, 1968. They must know why in order for her to be elected senatorial topnotcher in 2013, the Comelec website had to credit her with 20 million votes at the start of the counting only to reduce it to 16 million votes a few days later, and then restore it to 20 million at the end.
Indeed, they must know that she was still an American citizen in 2010 when she first attempted to run for the Senate and then quickly withdrew when she realized she was still an alien–she lost her US citizenship only in 2012–and became chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board instead.
This position also required a Philippine citizenship, but PNoy and his legal advisers must have thought this was not as serious as running for the Senate. They knew the people did not know and no one would probably object.
By claiming falsely to be the natural-born daughter of the Poe couple, she was able to “reacquire” an invalid Philippine citizenship and eventually run for the Senate. As “senator” with some passed-on celebrity status, it was easy for her promoters, defenders and funders to position her as a presidential possibility, through her adoptive uncle’s propaganda surveys, until citizen Rizalito David arrived. The people being “surveyed” for their preferred presidential candidate, like the fraudsters at work, did not care to find out whether she was constitutionally qualified. They were simply given a short list to choose from, and since she was already a senator it was easy for them to presume she had no constitutional infirmities. David was the little boy in the old story who cried that the Emperor was truly naked.
It now seems clear that there was/there is a political “project” to make Mrs. Llamanzares president—as there was a project to make Ramon Magsaysay and the Aquino mother-and-son president. Or at least a project to make Grace a presidential candidate. But once her flawed citizenship was raised before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), PNoy had to officially anoint Roxas, after recognizing Grace’s constitutional disability without saying so, and striking down her presidential project.
If her promoters, defenders and funders would insist on running her for president, PNoy might be forced to declare that she is constitutionally disqualified. Otherwise, the legal dossier which had been assembled on her citizenship would be quickly sent to the shredder, if she agreed to run for vice president.
Thus PNoy’s funny statement that Grace is not ready to become president, and that she would do well to earn some experience first by agreeing to run for Vice President. With all due respect, under the presidential system, whoever runs for vice-president must be prepared to assume the duties of the President any day after he assumes office. Thus, if Mrs. Llamanzares does not have the capability to become the president, she should not be considered at all for vice-president.
But truth to tell, if she did not have this insurmountable citizenship problem, I would have gladly put her above many of the announced presidential wannabes anytime, despite her so-called lack of experience.
To begin with, what experience is PNoy talking about? What experience did his late mother, Cory Aquino, have when she challenged Marcos and then declared herself a revolutionary president in 1986? What experience did PNoy himself have when he ran for president in 2010 just by standing on his mother’s grave? And what experience can he possibly claim to have gained after six years of failure and incompetence in 2016?
Yesterday, a group of petitioners asked the Supreme Court to ask the Ombudsman to investigate PNoy, along with other high officials of his government, for his failure (amounting to refusal) to investigate, prosecute or suspend those involved in the abuse and misuse of the P15-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional. This was in direct contempt of the Court’s order to proceed against all those involved.
Although the President is deemed immune from criminal prosecution while in office, the lawyers believe he could be investigated by the Ombudsman in order to lay the foundation for a possible impeachment complaint against the President. Will this particular episode form part of his executive experience?
As for Mar Roxas, what experience does he have which allows him to think he could hack the job?
It appears that Mrs. Llamanzares is not alone in her apparent madness. PNoy and his Liberal Party crew may be the first ones suffering from it.