• As war threatens, we worry about Grace Poe becoming President


    THE WORLD is now a much more dangerous place, after the downing of a Russian bomber-plane by two Turkish F16s in disputed airspace near the Turkish-Syrian border this week. But we are so focused  on our narrow domestic cares related to the holding of our 2016 presidential elections that we seem to have no energy left for anything else.

    Indeed, these cares are not unrelated to the rule of law and the issue of peace, but we need a broader perspective, in light of fast-breaking global developments.

    Maintaining the rule of law and peace in the world will now depend a lot on what kind of restraint Russia could muster after the aircraft downing incident, in which it lost not only one war plane but also one pilot who was machine-gunned to death by terrorists as he parachuted on Syrian soil, and one serviceman aboard the rescue helicopter that was similarly attacked by missiles.

    If, by any miscalculation and against its will or best judgment, the world slips into war, all our present preoccupations about our presidential politics would disappear in smoke.

    While the world bursts into flames, we would probably end up with a national emergency or an uprising or anarchy of some sort, rather than a rigged national election, which everyone fears.  This is why it is absolutely necessary that we try to understand what’s happening in the world: this is the least we can do in the face of events we cannot control.
    Our mass media and our politicians would do well to devote a little more time and attention to what’s happening on the broad international front.

    As the cornerstone of the former Soviet empire, Russia used to be the “enemy” during the bad, old days of the Cold War. It has since emerged as a most responsible member of the international community of nations, and an emerging world leader in the fight against dysfunctional sexual and family lifestyles. But its decision to fly bombing missions against ISIS targets in Syria in support of the Basher al-Assad government has met with stern US disapproval; and lately, it has had a bad run.

    On Oct. 31, it lost all 224 passengers on board the Russian airliner which terrorists bombed off the air above the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula while en route to St. Petersburg. The terrorists’ hand in that incident was confirmed only after the ISIS attack in Paris and Saint-Denis that killed 129 and wounded 300 others on Nov. 13.  The ensuing crisis prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin from attending the APEC Economic Leaders Summit in Manila, but it did not prevent him from attending the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey and telling his colleagues there that powerful businessmen in some 40 countries,
    including some G20 countries, were among those secretly funding the ISIS.

    It was completely ironic that it was in Turkey after Putin denounced some countries’ alleged secret complicity with ISIS that Russia found itself at the receiving end of the incredible incident. Previous to this, in his address to the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations on Sept. 28, Putin called for an international coalition, based on international law, against ISIS.  He also vowed to use Russia’s chairmanship of the UN Security Council to vigorously pursue the anti-ISIS initiative.

    All this must have marked Russia as an enemy of ISIS, but certainly not of those who were also committed, at least on paper, to fight it.

    What happened in whose airspace?

    According to Western press accounts, the Russian SU-24 was downed by two US-made Turkish F16 jets after entering Turkish airspace and ignoring warnings, repeated ten times over a period of five minutes.  Immediately thereafter, Turkey turned to its NATO allies, notably US President Barack Obama who said, “Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.” He suggested the incident was bound to happen because Russia was operating very close to a Turkish border, and “they are going after a moderate opposition that are supported not only by Turkey but a wide range of countries.” In an emergency meeting, NATO repeated Obama’s standpoint, and said it stood “in solidarity” with the Turkish government.

    However, Putin directly contradicted the popular version of the incident.  In his press conference in Sochi, Russia, prior to his meeting with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II, Putin said, “Today’s loss is a result of a stab in the back delivered by terrorists’ accomplices. There is no other way I can qualify what happened today.

    “Our aircraft was shot down over Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F16 plane. It fell on Syrian territory, four kilometers from the Turkish border. When it was attacked in the air, it was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters, one (1) kilometer away from Turkish territory.  In any case, our plane and our pilots were in no way a threat to the Turkish Republic in any way…

    “We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from the ISIS-occupied territories. This explains the significant funding the terrorists are receiving. Now they are stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism. This is happening despite the agreement we have signed with our American partners to prevent air incidents, and, as you know, Turkey is among those who are supposed to be fighting terrorism with the American coalition.

    “If ISIS is making so much money–we are talking of tens, or maybe even hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars in oil trade, and they are supported by the armed forces of an entire state, it is clear why they are being so daring and imprudent, why they are killing people in such gruesome ways, why they are committing terrorist attacks all over the world, including in the heart of Europe…

    “Today’s tragic event will have significant consequences for Russian-Turkish relations. We have always treated Turkey not merely as a close neighbor, but as a friendly state. I do not know who benefits from what has happened today. We certainly do not. Moreover, instead of immediately establishing contacts with us, as far as we know, Turkey turned to its NATO partners to discuss the incident. As if we had hit their plane, and not the other way around…”

    The Russian general staff denounced the incident as a “flagrant violation of international law with extremely grave consequences, and a direct breach of the memorandum on air-incident prevention and flight safety over the Syrian Arab Republic, which had been signed by the United States and relevant for all countries of the anti-terrorism coalition, including Turkey.”  At the same time the Russian defense ministry showed some radar-based videos to support its allegation that the Russian plane did not cross Turkish airspace, that to the contrary it was the Turkish jets that violated Syrian airspace to make the kill.

    Nothing like this has ever happened since the creation of the NATO or the end of World War II.  Russia has since deployed its Moskva warship, equipped with “Fort” air defense systems, similar to the S-300, to the coastal region off Latakia in Syria, where the ill-fated SU-24 was based.  It has suspended all tourism, terminated all military cooperation with Turkey, and military-to-military contact between the two countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov canceled a scheduled meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Istanbul. The situation is fluid, to say the least.


    While the world teeters on the brink of violent confrontation, we play our little games on how to circumvent the Constitution in the name of a constitutionally ineligible presidential candidate, Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares.  I was at the Commission on Elections on Wednesday for a “clarificatory hearing” on my petition for the disqualification of Mrs. Llamanzares as a presidential candidate, and I could not believe how surreal the situation has become since the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruled on Nov. 17 on Rizalito David’s petition to disqualify Mrs. Llamanzares from the Senate for not being a Filipino citizen.

    Senior Associate Justice Antonio as chair of the SET, together with Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Teresita Leonardo de Castro, plus Senator Nancy Binay voted to disqualify the respondent for not being a natural-born Filipino under the Constitution, but the five other members, only one of whom is a lawyer, voted in favor of the respondent, for reasons having nothing to do with the Constitution. All three justices explained extensively Mrs. Llamanzares’s constitutional violation, Justice Brion in particular pointed out that the senators themselves violated the Constitution in upholding Mrs. Llamanzares’s unconstitutional occupation of her Senate position.

    My petition against Mrs. Llamanzares’s presidential candidacy cites her lack of citizenship and residency, as provided in the Constitution.   Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “no person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than ten years immediately preceding such election.” Article IV, Sec. 2 provides that “natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.”

    Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares was born a foundling, of no known parents, and found in the premises of Jaro parish church on Sept. 3, 1968. The parents being unknown, their nationality was also unknown–and remains unknown to this day. Under the jus sanguinis principle, her nationality must follow her father’s bloodline. But since this is unknown, her bloodline is unknown. Now, under international law, every child must have a nationality, so Mary Grace is entitled to a nationality. But such nationality is not automatically awarded to any foundling; the state must first provide the process for the foundling to acquire a nationality, and the foundling must avail herself of that process.

    The Philippines has a legal naturalization process, which has been followed by many.  Yet there is no evidence to show that Mrs. Llamanzares has ever availed herself of this process. So since she is not natural-born, how did she become a naturalized Filipino?  She presents her case in the opposite way: Since she is not naturalized, then she is obviously a natural-born Filipino.  She insists on the theory that there are only two types of citizens–the natural born and the naturalized. She overlooks the fact that aside from the citizens, there are the non-citizens, the foundling who are stateless before they are naturalized.

    She alludes to the rights and privileges of Filipino citizenship which she has availed of as proofs of her being a natural-born Filipino. Her earliest acts consisted of her registering as a voter and acquiring a Philippine passport, without first having become a Filipino.  Her latest act was to “reacquire Philippine citizenship” upon her return to the Philippines from the US, where she ( along with her family) had moved to and lived in as an American citizen by falsely representing herself as a “former natural-born Filipino.” If these prove anything, they merely prove that she has illegally exercised these rights and  privileges without first having become a Filipino.  This means that she has committed acts punishable under our laws.

    At Wednesday’s hearing, I was pleased to see Atty. George Erwin Garcia speak for the respondent Sen. Llamanzares, after he had been sidelined by an older counsel in the SET hearings.  He is a well-mannered lawyer, who has been handling election cases from the beginning, and I looked forward to hearing him present his client’s case, while Atty. Manuelito Luna spoke on my behalf.

    He exceeded my expectations. His first point was that the Comelec had no jurisdiction over questions of qualifications of presidential candidates, and therefore my petition should be dismissed. The remedy, he said, was to let Mrs. Llamanzares run despite her constitutional infirmities, and should she win, to question her right to sit as president on a quo warranto petition before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. It was a novel proposition delivered with some panache, but my good friend failed to point out how the Comelec could possibly discharge itself from the task of passing on the constitutional eligibility of Mrs. Llamanzares while at the same time exercising the routine duty of weeding out so-called “nuisance candidates” from the list of 130 presidential “candidates.”

    Still the best was yet to come. Despite the clear language of the Constitution, and the jus sanguinis doctrine that determines the citizenship of Filipino children, Garcia proposed that every foundling born in the Philippines is a natural-born citizen, without the parentage being known. Upon interpellation by the razor-sharp Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Garcia melted like butter, forced to say yes even to the absurd proposition that a green-eyed, purple-skinned, blonde foundling could be so declared a natural-born Filipino citizen, fit to become president of the Philippines in forty years.



    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. And even if Ms Grace Poe is a filipino citizen, she lacks of qualification of being Head of State as President. People, dont play games or dont put the future of the filipino people and out nation again into DISASTER.
      We have a lot of Problems and even Grace Poe doesnt have the conclusion to solved about the Mamasapano massacre..Iyan ba ang gagawin ninyong Presidente. She doesnt know nothing… SHE IS NOTHING NOTHING. She is only plane housewife aside from being a US citizen..Again dont try to make a trial and error policy ..like corykong..

    2. Gerardo Fernandez on

      I challenge Grace Poe to have a DNA testing match with Irene Marcos (the only child of Marcos without a doubt of Marcos’ paternity), to assuage and mollify those who suffered under martial law and the kleptocracy that came with it of a return of the Marcos family to Malacanang. AS A CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, THIS IS GRACE POE’S DUTY AND OBLIGATION NOT ONLY TO THE NATION BUT ALSO TO HIS DAD, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, TO WHOM SHE MUST BE GRATEFUL AND PROUD OF FOR GIVING HER LIFE. A DNA MATCHING TEST WITH HER PRESUMPTIVE MOM, ROSEMARIE SONORA, IS EQUALLY A DUTY OF GRACE POE TO THE NATION AND TO HER MOM. REFUSING TO DO SO DOES NOT SPEAK WELL OF HER VALUES.

    3. Grace is either the daughter of FPJ or Rosemarie. There must be an interesting story that Susan and FPj knows about Grace when hundreds of children for adoption the popular couple chose Grace. But when I look at her height and specially her NOSE I am convinced that she is a Filipino.

    4. Let’s do away with this nonsense debate on citizenship, let’s join a new club named Du30 for President Movement 2016. Du30 is the true blooded Filipino, blood, mind and soul 100% Filipino. So forget all presidential candidates except Duterte/Cayetano or BBM. Du30 is the messiah we are waiting for to save our beloved Philippines from perdition from oligarchy.

    5. Indeed, world events are forcing us to reset our priorities and regain our perspective. Unfortunately, for most people, life interferes, and there is little time to delve fully into the events happening in Europe and the Middle East. It is so much easier to resort to the usual rhetoric: Russia and China = Bad; USA and the Western Alliance = Good. That is why it is very worrying to think that an unqualified candidate like Mrs. G. Poe Llamanzares may win the presidency. The Philippines needs and deserves a president who is experienced, knowledgeable, incorruptible, and not owned and operated by oligarchs. Mrs. Llamanzares has been shown to be a liar, a fabricator, an opportunist (remember what she said during the INC demonstration?), and a manipulator. Is she the kind of Commander-in-Chief who should be at the helm when a military crisis hits the Philippines? I think not.

      Thank you for keeping your readers current and up-to-date with the progress of your disqualification petition against Mrs. Llamanzares. I find it weird and bizarre that her lawyer Atty. Garcia would show up at the COMELEC hearing and then claim that it has no jurisdiction over the case. Even more bizarre is his contention that the case should be heard by the Presidential Election Tribunal after the election if his client wins. Presumably, if his client loses, he hopes that the case will be moot and need be not heard. But if she wins, and is later disqualified by the Supreme Court (SC), I suspect he wants an EDSA 4 to materialize so that the SC can then be intimidated into reversing its decision. Fat chance this would take place unless her puppeteers are willing to blow a lot of money for a paid crowd.

      Fortunately, the members of COMELEC seem to know their law and are not to be distracted. Commissioner Rowena Ganzon’s question to Atty Garcia as to whether a “green-eyed, purple-skinned, blonde foundling” can be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen (NBFC) strikes at the heart of the matter. The question exposed the absurdity of Atty. Garcia’s claim that Mrs. Llamanzares is an NBFC. Some of her clueless supporters have even insisted that she looks like a Filipino,and therefore, must be a a natural-born Filipino!

      As for the residency issue, this becomes relevant only if, in the first place, COMELEC would declare her to be a natural-born Filipino. Otherwise, she is still stateless, and there is no point counting and arguing about the number of years she can be considered to be a resident of the Philippines. At best, COMELEC would consider her to be a “naturalized” Filipino who is ineligible to run as candidate for the presidency.

    6. Rodan Guerrero on

      What I would like to know is the penalty for committing perjury and falcification of public documents, in which Grace Llamanzarez is liable. She willfully did these crimes as signified in the documents she provided for her defense. She may not face any penalty by being disqualified but she must not be spared from doing crimes as an aftermath of intentionally doing illegal deeds in the pursuit of her illegal goal.

    7. What if her mother will surface would that be enough that she is a natural born citizen?

      We always think that any of our media and our oligarchs and minions of the oligarchs points their fingers that walang kuwentang tao yan. we tends to believe at instant.

      Never let media and this minions dictates your judgement. Makibaka Makialam… wag magpaloko ng mga minions ng mga taong naninira ng ibang tao.

      She is new. She was not on EDSA 1 & 2. have you ever asked yourself who funded those on what they call revolution and crucify GMA because She has an independent mind and didnot agree on the demands of this oligarchs. Privatization of basic services like water, power, internet backbone, with deals with government to government deals 25 years to pay no cash outlay minimum of 4Mbps to 1Tbps nationwide with every Municipal is the center. and here comes Joey with the private service provider at his back and then lag lagins after the issue has gone on their favor.

      This is the same with Grace Poe. no one can hold her neck. she has her independent progressive mind. … now they are trying to DQ her but some of their minions are approaching her to help…. this is our politics now…. lets stop this and make an authentic progressive revolution now

    8. Even at the start, tri-media is inculcating in the minds of the public the three, Poe, Binay and Mar maintaining the news pros & cons. The reason? They are the candidates of Penoy and picos. Binay ‘s name made by Cory, Mar is LP and Poe was graced by Bam in the disqualification case, who is campaign manager of Mar.Even though Mar & Binay are not in good terms, we understand. It was long before the time of elder Roxas’, Binay was a foe of the Roxases. Till they compete being VP in 2010. The voting public is brain-washed by these three so that no question in the result to be finalized by Smartmatic and the SURVEYS (60-30-10) REMEMBER?

    9. The lawyer of Grace Poe is just saying anything because he was paid to so. Atty. George Garcia can not point out anything that was written in our constitution because there is nothing to point out there. What George Garcia is trying to project with the Commissioners is outside our Constitution which can be considered futile. I believe the Comelec division will disqualify Grace Poe and her lawyer will be fling a MR with the Comelec en banc which could easily take a month to resolve. No one has ever over turned a Comelec division decision thru an MR with the Comelec en banc. The predicament of Grace Poe fate is that a candidate who is disqualified before and up the time of Election Day will mean that the system will not count her votes.

    10. Miguel Talavera Baterna on

      I believe Grace Poe has become a baggage to the topsy -turvey cycle of dirty politics. It is rather shameful of her to simply ignore the Constitution and pursue her misguided ambition. For being adamant and stubborn for the sake of achieving her capricious ambition, she has earned the label of opportunist. The same is true with her running mate Escudero.., they are both thick-face political animals and opportunists! We must throw them to the dustbin of dirty politics. Shameful!

    11. Copy and Paste

      I checked and double checked.This is True. If you are doubt ,go and check too.

      Aurora Marzan • a day ago

      Grace renounced her US citizenship on July 27, 2012. Here is the proof> Please read on. SEARCH RESULTSSearch Government Publications Advanced Search
      Retrieve by Citation
      Help Within Results

      Results 1 – 1 of 1 Sort by: Relevance Date (New to Old) Date (Old to New) Alphabetical (A-Z) Alphabetical (Z-A) 10 per page 50 per page 100 per page
      1.77 FR 44310 – Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039G [PDF 83 KB]

      Results 1 – 1 of 1 Sort by: Relevance Date (New to Old) Date (Old to New) Alphabetical (A-Z) Alphabetical (Z-A) 10 per page 50 per page 100 per page
      From the US Government Publishing Office. She is a liar and opportunist and she is taking you for a ride.

      She fooled 20 millions voters and now she is going to fool us again

      So don’t be fool again fellows…!

    12. And yet when she ran for the senate nobody bothered to question or challenge her. Seems like you’re too late for that mr. Tatad or is it because that time nobody feels threatened by her ambition?

    13. Are these powerful people, and also disappointingly now-unwise Professor Rene Saguisag, simply so obsessed with getting Grace Poe elected that they are willing to trample on, trash and f__k the Philippine Republic and its Constitution?
      Have they suddenly become so foolish as to foist the scammers’ motto “Voc Popoli vox Dei” on our population?

    14. “The qualification of Llamanzares Poe to run for president is a dangerous thing”.This will erode the faith in the Philippine Constitution as it will be interpreted in accordance with the corrupt political processes of the country. If Poe really cares about the country, she should “cease and desists” seeking for the top position of the land; she is simply NOT qualified; just too ambitious!

    15. Mrs. Grace P. Llamanzares have no chance to qualify to the presidency. She even did not qualify to work in the MTRCB nor as a senator, based on what the CONSTITUTION says. But why is Llamanzares hanging on for dear life as if not being qualified is the end of the world for her. She does even no experience in public service except MTRCB and 3 years as senator, no experience in leadership and professional management, not an economist, not a finance expert, not an officer of the PNP or the AFP. She is lacking in everything needed to lead us yet continue to force herself in. Our suspicion is the power and wealth as the highest government position of the land is too tempting to set aside.

    16. Isobel Valdevieso on

      Although, it is perceptible to me that the international law and its conventionally accepted principles are standard with the laws of our land. It’s in the Constitution. Poe does not neglect the laws when it comes to the restrictions of residency in our land, in fact, she makes the grade. Not limited to a position in the Senate, but higher office as well.

    17. Pen Pen Gonzales on

      I like the earlier part of this article. Very informative. But is this how Manila Times operates when they want to demolish someone? I mean, do they need to write something interesting and forcibly connect it to, like what we did here, Grace Poe just to bring her down? I can’t believe Manila Times allowed it.

    18. I would worry more, sir, if the corrupt or elitist candidate becomes our president. Grace Poe becoming the President would be the best solution for our country. Yes, we follow jus sanguinis but foundlings are left behind by their parents, and now you ask them to find their relatives in a country of 100 million people? i dont think that’s a logical move to ask from the foundlings. considering them as NBF is the most rightful thing to do.

      • candidate of the oligarch and the left? No way. She is also a candidate by the yellow and very easy to be manipulated and be a puppet.

      • shiela, logical or not that is what our constitution requires of a senator, vice president and president. to thrash the constitution is not the right thing just to accomodate llamanzares. amend the constitution is the right thing to do to accomodate foundlings like llamanzares. no international law or conventions can invalidate what the constitution says. that is our basic law.