LET’S start from the end.
Senator Grace Poe has emerged as the front-runner candidate for presidency in 2016. Even President BS Aquino 3d met her – and not the VP.
Obviously, to President Aquino, VIP muna, bago VP.
And with the presidency at stake, candidates are scrutinized for their qualifications, eligibility, popularity and win-nability – not necessarily in that order.
Rewind to Senator Grace Poe’s family and citizenship history.
It is public knowledge that she is an adopted daughter of the late Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces.
The adoption itself is not the issue but rather Senator Poe’s citizenship since Grace is being wooed by various polit-ical parties and coalition groups. She also has expressed her willingness to pursue a higher calling.
Whether that would be as a back-up candidate to Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Chiz Escudero (or the re-verse in a Poe-Escudero tandem); or be the standard bearer of the Liberal Party with Interior and Local Govern-ment Secretary Mar Roxas as VP – giving way a second time to a winning candidate – is still in the air.
She could also run as an independent given the fact that donors and patrons are likely to beat the path to her door.
Candidates for Philippine President and Vice President must meet the following qualifications:
1. Be a natural born citizen of the Philippines
2. Be a registered voter
3. Be able to read and write
4. Be at least 40 years of age on the day of election
5. Be a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding the election.
Of the five qualifications, being a natural-born Filipino has emerged as the issue that Senator Poe seeks to put to rest as she easily meets the other four.
Is Senator Grace Poe a US citizen? Is she a Filipino citizen? Or both?
Senator Poe has been reported to have renounced her US citizenship after reacquiring her Filipino citizenship. So yes, she does not deny having acquired US citizenship.
Obtaining US Citizenship
Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution states that “(a)ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they re-side. “
A child adopted by a US citizen parent may obtain US citizenship if the adoption was finalized before the child’s 16th birthday, the adoptive parent had legal custody of the child and resided with the child for at least two years, or if the child was admitted into the US as an orphan or Convention adoptee to be adopted by a US citizen parent and the adoption was completed before the child’s 18th birthday.
Dual Citizenship. Section 1 of the dual citizenship law – Republic Act 9225 allows a former natural born Filipino citi-zen to retain and/or reacquire Philippine citizenship. The rules shall apply to former natural-born citizens of the Philippines, as defined by Philippine law and jurisprudence, who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country.
Section 9 of R.A. 9225 requires the applicant seeking to retain or reacquire Filipino citizenship to execute and sub-mit an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines “to support and defend the Constitution of the Repub-lic of the Philippines…accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and maintain true faith and allegiance there-to…”
Renunciation or abandonment of the foreign citizenship, e.g., US citizenship is not a requirement since the law was created precisely to encourage and recognize dual citizenship.
Dual citizens may acquire and own property, establish a business, generate employment and taxes, stay in the Philippines for as long as he or she wants enjoying the full rights and benefits of a Filipino citizen except to vote or run for elective positions – unless the dual citizen has formally renounced his or her U.S. citizenship.
So another yes: Senator Grace has admitted to have reacquired Filipino citizenship. Did she lose her US citizenship?
Loss of U.S. Citizenship requires a written renunciation before a U.S. Consular Officer in a prescribed form stipulat-ed under Section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and Section 50.50 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
In renouncing US citizenship one is irrevocably giving up all rights and privileges attendant to being a US citizen.
Under Section 22.1 Title 22 (CFR) an administrative processing fee is collected after the individual has decided to proceed with the renunciation.
The officer conducting the renunciation must ask the renunciant to read Form DS 4081, Statement of Understand-ing Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of US Citizenship. The re-nunciant must indicate full understanding of signing the form.
Failure to sign the Form DS 4081 will prevent the renunciation or relinquishment from being approved, as the fail-ure to sign may be considered indicative of a lack of knowing intent to relinquish the United States citizenship (7 Foreign Affairs Manual 1262.4)
The person renouncing US citizenship must also read and sign another form – DS 4081, Oath/Affirmation of Renun-ciation of the Nationality of the United States.
Senator Grace Poe is a citizen.
Detractors need to present proof of what country.