Grace to foes: I’m inspired to fight

FIGHTING GOLIATH Rizalito David shows a copy of his petition stamped “Received” by the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the official receipt of the filing fee he paid on Thursday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

FIGHTING GOLIATH Rizalito David shows a copy of his petition stamped “Received” by the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the official receipt of the filing fee he paid on Thursday. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Electoral tribunal accepts petition questioning Poe’s citizenship

Sen. Grace Poe’s calm, calculating voice masked her steely resolve to fend off an attempt to keep her out of next year’s elections.

“I believe that I am not alone in this fight. I have my countrymen as my inspiration especially the more than 20 million Filipinos who elected me in the Senate. They are the reason why am here and it is only proper to fight for their decision,” she said on Thursday in reaction to the filing of a petition asking the Senate Electoral Tribunal to unseat her for being a non-Filipino.

“I am actually relieved that a petition has been filed so that I can answer the questions on my citizenship and residency. It is an opportunity for the truth to come out and for this issue to be resolved once and for all,” Poe added.

“I assure the 20 million plus fellow Filipinos who voted for me, as well as the rest of the country, that their confidence in me is not misplaced. I remain truthful to our countrymen. I am a Filipino by birth, abode and choice,” she said.

Poe, who topped the senatorial race in 2016, had repeatedly explained the citizenship issues that hounded her since it was initially brought up by Navotas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Tobias Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista, interim president and secretary-general, respectively, of the United Nationalist Alliance.

The Senate Electoral Tribunal on Thursday accepted the petition of radio commentator Rizalito David against Poe after he managed to come up with P50,000 to pay for the filing fee.

David, a former legislative officer of Sen. Francisco Tatad, said many people contributed to raise the amount after his petition was not accepted by the SET on Wednesday.
He paid the filing fee in crisp P1,000 bills.

In his quo warranto petition, David argued that Poe is ineligible to hold a Senate seat because she is a foundling and, therefore, not a “natural-born citizen.”

The 1987 Constitution requires senators to be natural-born Filipinos.

The infant Poe was reportedly found abandoned in a holy water font at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo.

An ABS-CBN report which traced Poe’s birth history when her citizenship was initially questioned early this year said it was a priest who named her “Grace” in the belief that her finding was through the grace of God.

The Militar family took care of the infant and was later passed on to Tessie Ledesma Valencia, an unmarried, childless heiress of a wealthy sugar baron from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

It was while under Valencia’s care that film stars Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces legally adopted her.

“Being a foundling, her parents are not known and cannot be presumed as Filipino citizens, hence she cannot claim or acquire the status of a natural-born citizen,” David’s petition read.

David who?
Rizalito Yap David labels himself as a socio-political analyst who ran for a Senate seat in 2013 under the Ang Kapatiran.

His advocacy includes anti-political dynasties, freedom of information, and principles-based politics.

Data available online said David was chief of the research staff of the Liberal Party-PDP-Laban in 1992.

From 1993 to 1998 he was executive assistant and later political affairs director of Sen. Francisco Tatad.

David then worked for Batangas Rep. Hernando Perez as head of political operations for Mindanao.

From 1998 to 2004, he was head executive assistant and director for political affairs of Sen. Robert Jaworski.

David is currently hosting a radio program at Radio Veritas.

After successfully filing his petition, he admitted his political links, but denied that politicians were behind his move.

“Marami po akong mga kaibigan na nagpaabot kaagad ng suporta at ngayon po ay nakalikom na tayo ng sapat na halaga [I have many friends who immediately lent me support and I have been able to raise enough money for the filing filing],” he said.

“Lahat po ng nagbigay ng financial assistance ay mga kaibigan ko na private individuals and mga kaibigan from the private sector [All those who gave financial assistance were private individuals who are my friends],” he added.

No effect
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the case will have no effect on Poe’s chances in 2016.
“Losers only complain,” Belmonte added.

“How can we accuse a foundling, an abandoned baby in Iloilo, for that matter, as an American citizen? She can expect more cases against her similar to that, but those moves will only emphasize Senator Grace’s humble beginnings. It will then strike a personal chord on Senator Poe, and the more personal pain is inflicted on her, the more her political stock will grow,” Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list said.



Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Danny Cascolan on

    Excerpt Commentary,
    Pa repost kc inedit ko for addtl clarity i hope,
    So please review your contention of Jus Soli, its american law not Ph law.
    And as I explained for the sake of rudimentary logical ll of what citizenship is from previous commentaries, theres the matter where Poe lost filipino citizenship in 2001 when Poe became an american citizen ( even before there was republic act on dual citizenship, automatically losing a citizenship loses all subclassification ciempre at that moment, that the circumstance of jus soli jus sanguine is also extinguished and loses relevance kc nga artifices ito, irrelevant na when the citizenship doesnt exist anymore . One needs to be reborn to acquire the perfect circumstance again-di biological ang citizenship kc, citizenship specifically ‘natural born’-classification is an entitlement by State law according to present circumstances that fulfills the requirement as a baby is born, the law cant entitle the same for a 2nd time without the required circumstance, 2nd time around would be aptly an application for citizenship would be an operation of naturalization.)

  2. Danny Cascolan on

    Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
    1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
    2. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
    3. Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching
    the age of majority; and
    4. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
    Section 2. 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. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in
    accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.
    Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
    Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act or
    omission they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.
    Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.

    Bakit maraming Pilipino di alam kung anu tlaga ibig sabihin ng ‘natural born’ as the constitution defined?
    Maraming Pilipino di alam na our Constitution reserved the Presidency, VP, senatorial, congressional, chair in chr, audit etc., for natural borns only? Of which Poe is flagrantly blatantly violating in her full moral knowledge? Umpisa pa lang wala nang integrity si Poe. Bakit for what sensical reason na many want to vote for someone like Poe in a fact of moral violation and loss of integrity? Dont we hate to be dumb all over again?

  3. Danny Cascolan on

    Did you receive funds from Poe or Poe allies? Kung butas butas ang inihain mo that will be shielding Poe di ba ? ( by technically invoking against double jeopardy )

    An tanong reg Grace Poe,
    Nag-renounce din ba cya ng U.S. citizenship sa america?
    by Andrew Warinner, Joseph Wang, Matt Langley, Daniel Spector,
    You can’t just renounce your citizenship and stop paying taxes.

    You have to apply to the US government to renounce your citizenship, a lengthy and laborious process, and if the US government decides you are attempting to avoid taxes, the US government will still consider you a citizen and still owing taxes (wherever you reside, another charming US policy).

    If the US government does accept your application to renounce your citizenship, you will be required to pay a special assessment on all your assets and property.

    – —
    In relation to Republic Act 9225 dual citizenship ( R.A. vs Constitutional provision might be)
    Excerpt in R.A. 9225
    Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath;
    Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: Provided, That they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath;

  4. Many many thanks to Mr. David. Finally, somebody had the guts to challenge Senator G. Poe’s qualifications. I had thought that Mr. R. Gordon, the 13th place finisher in the 2013 senatorial race would be the challenger; but he turns out to be a weak and passive man. He said he is not an “opportunist”, and would not file a disqualification petition. To me, these comments mean that Mr. Gordon does not care whether the laws of the Philippines have been followed or not with respect to a candidate’s qualifications. If he’s not willing to fight for something like this that is quite fundamental (and which may benefit him), what is the point of him thinking about running as a senatorial candidate again? For whom and for what principle will he fight?

    Most Pinoys know that Grace Poe won her senate seat because, as a candidate, she used “Poe”, rather than her married name “Llamanzares”. She has been putting out several statements since this whole matter of her citizenship and residency came up. Some of her more recent statements contradict her early ones. I eagerly wait for any hearing where she can questioned and cross-examined. Let us see the documents she has that would prove her claims that she’s a natural born Filipino and fulfilled the residency requirements when she ran for a senatorial seat.

    It is bizarre that somebody like Speaker Belmonte would give an opinion on this matter at this point in time. Clearly, as a supporter of G.Poe, he is trying to influence the future findings and decision of SET. I just hope that there will be some good men in that tribunal who will not fall for this ploy.

    I find it also weird and unexplainable why President P Noy and Mar Roxas – his anointed candidate – are still “pining” and “waiting” for Senator Poe to accept the VP candidacy position. Her possible disqualification is just not an issue for them. Is the Philippines so bereft of good qualified candidates amongst its populace that they would settle for a “Filipino by convenience” only (to use Former Ambassador Tiglao’s memorable phrase)?

    Thanks again.

  5. Grace Poe, honesty and integrity alone is not enough to run a country..Presidency is an executive position, you are still in learning process in government, 3 years experience in legislature is not enough at all to solve the tantamount problem our country have, i wonder anyway if you will win..!!

  6. Takot lang itong mga kandidato dahil itoay isang babae at sana naman
    ang pinaka mabuti ay ibunyag na niya ang tunay niyang mga magulang.
    Tutal ito maintindihan ng taong bayan. Susan Roces ipa alam mo na dahil
    hindi natin maitatago ito at lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan. DNA lang
    ang katapat nito. Sa buhok lang at laway tapos ang usapan.

    Maraming nakaka alam nito noon pa bago mag martial law. Mga taong katulad
    ko. Ang tao kahit na saan pa siya ipinaganak , sa eroplano ng ibang bansa,at
    Ibang bansa pa ipinaganak kapag kapua Pilipino ang mga magulang
    Pilipino pa rin ito. Tandaan natin ito. Batas ay hindi perpekto dahil gawa lang
    ito ng tao. May batas na hindi makatao na ginagawa para sa kanilang sariling
    pagagailangan lamang. Batas ng Diyos ay dapat natin sundin at ito ang tutuo.

  7. Poe does not have to be defensive in her remarks if she truly can set her records straight.
    It’s better for her to show her US Passport and documents that she indeed has renounced her US citizenship. If she indeed has fulfilled her residency requirements.
    People just want to know if what she claims to be honest about herself is true !
    That’s all !

  8. Danny Cascolan on

    If there are filipinos who willingly ignore facts and laws we deemed good for our protection, think again why expect order in government and future of the nation.

  9. Grace Poe heart is clean, go on fight the evil God is not sleeping. Mr. David is a typical dog accepting bribe money from his boss.

  10. Danny Cascolan on

    By attribution, natural born is defined as that no other operation of law is necessary in the entitlement of the citizenship. In acquiring the u.s. citizenship poe did renounce by legal oath to the u.s. that she renounces previous citizenship and allegiance ( at the same time that our constitution disallows dual citizenship-note that allegiance is a legality under citizenship ), by that action poe lost the filipino citizenship and whatever sub classification she was under the citizenship clause, poe naturally lost the ‘natural born’ citizenship, poe was a natural born citizen but up to the time when she didnt renounced her filipino allegiance to citizenship by oath to the u.s. becoming an american citizen. If poe renounces her american citizenship she cant revert back to her original classification status as natural born since there been operations by law that shall be making her a naturalized filipino citizen. Cant be that the attribution for natural born citizen is same to naturalisation.
    Thats the point Poe was a natural born citizen but losing it by other operations of citizenship another operation of law that gains her filipino citizenship. Ofcourse Constitutions are internal laws and basis meant ( contrary to what you said ) and under the critical conditions of running for presidency, no nation with integrity to self preservation of nation allows dual allegiances by moral logicA natural born simply has that legal purity in allegiance. If by in any way it is tarnished then that attribution is lost.

    This should be clear in breadth, Outside the artifice of legal entitlement of citizenship; and its sub classification of ‘natural born and acquired or naturalized citizenship’, the object meaning of citizenship loses relevance. In as much as the self ascriptive to be that american or filipino by lineage and geographical birthplace, the sentiment is not equivalent legal currency that is determinant to legal citizenship status and entitlement. Its only by Law of the Constitution of a nation or a State Government that Citizenship, by artificial entitlement that one becomes a citizen. Therefore citizenship and its sub classifications are artificial and impermanent in nature depending on the existence,lifespan,authority of the government and its laws. The government is a social organization not a biological organism therefore all structuring of it including laws and law entities such as citizenship are artificial.

    Ya ya the debates and arguments.. but lawyers fight for the money nowadays and not for whats right and moral,

    The term ‘natural born’ is a legal status (by virtue of being born in a location, territory of a nation) not a biological status. So when you change citizenship you are losing the ‘natural born’ status logicaly because citizenship is by virtue of a legal status. When you re-acquire your previous citizenship then you become a naturalized citizen. My pov.

    There are two kinds of citizenship, acquired naturalized and natural born citizenship. Its a legal status. If you change to american citizenship its logical you lose filipino citizenship, under both laws of u.s.a. and philippines, dual citizenship is not allowed and deemed inimical to the nation. So if you lose the citizenship in that nation legally then you lose the two kinds of citizenship, for you are called natural born and naturalized by neccessity of citizenship status.
    Its not a biological question.
    Its just a legal rule that being born in a territory entitles the natural born citizenship. Legal status of citizenship can be acquired and lost. Where in any law of logic that it says literally that the ‘natural born’ citizenship legal status is permanent forever and cannot be lost even if citizenship is abolished?

    From the word alone ‘reacquired her citizenship’ is granting new citizenship status from previous allegiance of citizenship, that is a new operation by law, Poe is a citizen again but sans the required situation of that NATURAL ‘natural born’ circumstances therefore Poe is naturalized filipino citizen. Makalintal tsk.

  11. Grace insists that she is not an American and she is qualified to run as Philippine president. But she does not say anything if she is competent and can handle the arduous job of a president. Hasn’t she learned from Cory and Noynoy?

  12. Danny Cascolan on

    Citizenship has political, economic, civil and social rights that must be protected too where its importance and significance plays. Nothing against filipino kinship but legal rights, justice and applications must be addressed correctly.

  13. Danny Cascolan on

    You are an enemy of the filipino and our nation if you insist that we have to be fools to believe that chicanery is democracy.

  14. Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senator Grace Poe on July 29th thumbed down a proposal by Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano to reopen the probe into the January 25 Mamasapano incident.

    In a letter dated July 23 urging Poe to reopen the probe, Cayetano cited the need to learn why the Ombudsman charged SAF personnel who survived the debacle.

    “There has not even been an ounce of justice served to our valiant SAF members, their families, and our people for this gruesome massacre and now it is the valiant survivors who are facing cases,” Cayetano said.

    Sen Poe added that she wanted to avoid a repeat of the conflicts that arose between the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines during the probe.
    (I don’t want to give them the opportunity to quarrel in public and lose respect for each other,” Poe said.

    Guess that’s why Poe gave the report to Ombudsman Morales so that it would be impossible to reopen since now Poe claims it has to be voted on to be reopened.

    There won’t be any vote to reopen the report now with the Aquino allies in congress who only do what they are told unless they want to join the 3 jailed opposition senators for giving their pork barrel allocations to fake non government organizations.

    Grace Poe is riding the Aquino express but trying to hide it.

    • She has no guts and independent decisionl ;she’s; simply NOT qualified to run for a higher office. She might even have to be removed as Senator for p[erjury.

  15. guys, what do we called someone born in the island of the Philippines? isn’t he/she a Pilipino? it will appear on birth certificates, passport. and once it appears in a passport, born in the Philippines, he/she is a Pilipino. in our constitution a natural born pilipino is the one born in the Philippines.

  16. I guess wev’e come to a point of desperations that popularity rules and if he or she is popular, he/she might be the messiah that we are all looking for. Problem is, look what happened to us now, still stuck on the bottom and still keep sinking. What we’re doing now is trial and error at people’s expense.

    How did she handle the Mamasapano inquiry? Does she have the final report so that those grieving wives/mother/father have some sort of relief and whoever was responsible will have to answer in court?

    Just asking…

    • She gave the report to Ombudsman Morales (Aquino attack dog)
      instead of to the senate for further discussion.
      That way it can not be reopened without a vote which will never happen since the congress is mostly Aquino allies who work for Aquino and not the people.

      The report is dead and buried.

      Grace Poe is riding the Aquino express

  17. Grace Sonora Poe-Llamanzares might be the fruit of an American GI Joe’s love affair with the beautiful lass from Jaro, Iloilo during the post American War in Vietnam military rest and recreation activities.

  18. The problem that bothers most Filipinos, is that there are those who take things too personal, and attacks the issue on a personal level, much like it is they who are being put on the spot, then to defend the one person in question.

    Creepy, but that is how it is, and that is reason of how things in our country are difficult to be resolved, it becomes a us and them issue, and people pull on their hairs to wrangle a argument. Why can’t Filipinos see the issue in a different light, and if indeed and in fact, Grace Llamanzares as she is wont to express her fickle mind to run for the highest position of the land, let her debate on her political platform – and then let us all listen to what comeS out of that head of hers, if it is all sound bites then surely she is not the right person to lead the country out of its rut.

    Just when will Filipinos become politically mature?

  19. Arlene Rafiq on

    Oh wow! These people are too much..their sense of logic is beyond my understanding. If Grace Poe was found as a newborn inside a church on a Philippine soil, whoever are her parents she is considered a natural born citizen of the Philippines. Yung mga pure Chinese nga na napadpad sa ating bansa, yung mga anak nila eh hindi matatawag na tsino kundi Filipino, hindi po ba? Why are these people rocking the boat too much..what are they scared of? I would agree that Grace Poe doesn’t have enough experience in the field of governance but I believe that she is qualified to run for any office. Are you people scared of an honest person to be in the government? Mahirap nang magnakaw pag maganda ang layunin ng isang namumuno sa gobierno. I would think that’s one of the reasons, if not envy. Imagine, a neophyte making waves in the political arena and a woman at that! Do not under estimate this woman…she could be your next president!

  20. Now, garantisado. Tiangco and Bise and all of Binay clan will say “… hah??? Sino iyang David na iyan?!” Kit Tatad? He’ll surely say he has nothing to do with David’s filing, yan ang hula ko.

  21. The probability is super-very-very-low, but what if her parents are from Mars? Okay, that’s unlikely. What if one or both her parents are from Malaysia? Or from Indonesia? Or from China? Or an American citizen with Hawaii or Visayan lineage?
    Hey… maybe that super-nonsensical Aguinaldo doctrine applies, too. But it is good for some political pusher-da-pusher to pay the fee so the case goes to Supremo Korte.

  22. The probability of a foundling like Grace as not a natural-born citizen is very slim. She could have a foreigner as father, but the likelihood of her having a Filipino mother who gave birth to her in Iloilo is very strong. Does not make sense to accuse her as non-Filipino because she is a foundling.

  23. Makikiraanlangpo on

    Wala ka bang magawa Mr. David? Hindi ako maka POE pero nagsasayang lang kayo parepareho ng oras. Mas maraming mahalagang bagay na importante ang dapat pag laan ng atensyon. Mabuti hindi ka nanalong senador.

  24. P.Akialamiro on

    Being inspired is very much different from being positive. Her birth citizenship and reacquired citizenship are questionable”. Besides, she has no track record of job that points to her being qualified to be VP, much, much less a President. She might even be disqualified as a Senator and can be prosecuted for perjury which is a criminal offense, Right on, Mr. David and good luck.

    • Seen Sen. Llamanzares work already, she buried that committee report on the Mamasapano SAF 44 massacre. She was supposed to submit the report to plenary.

      When asked why she didn’t submit the report to plenary Grace Poe said that the Mamasapano report “is a fact-finding report, and it is not an ordinary formatted legislation that can be debated in detail.”

      “In fact, it’s recommendatory in terms of action and policy direction,” Poe insisted

      Drilon supported Poe’s move not to tackle the Mamasapano report in the plenary, where it will revive attention to the issue – could remind people that giving justice to the SAF 44 remained an unfinished business of the Aquino administration.

      Poe-Llamanzares chose to give the report to Ombudsman Morales instead of letting the other senators that were not on the committee continue it if they had questions.
      The first thing Morales did was clear the President of everything.

      Welcome to another government coverup.

  25. Felimon A. Soria on

    Why can’t anyone understand that if there is doubt as to Sen. Llamanzares eligibility for any position in government, the courts are the best to arbitrate it. Yet the respected Speaker of the House Mr. Belmonte is calling the person who filed a case a loser. Mr. Speaker, don’t you think the constitution of the republic be respected by everyone?

    • Those clowns in the government don’t follow the constitution unless it suits them.

      Where is the anti dynasty law that was supposed to be defined by congress for the past 28 years according to the 1987 constitution which prohibits political family dynasties.

      Anything in the constitution about getting kickbacks from giving your P200 million pork barrel allocation to fake non government organizations ?

      How about cancelling projects allocated by congress and call that money saving and giving that money P50 million to each senator that voted to impeach the Supreme Court chief justice Corona ?

      Anything in the constitution about only charging the 3 opposition senators for plunder and shielding the other 15 Aquino allies that did the exact same thing ?

  26. Is Ms. Grace Poe legally married? If so, why is she ashamed to carry the last name of her husband? It is without respect and honor for the husband’s family name to be just taken for granted if he is still very much living. Please do not hide your status in life from all your dealings. Thanks.

    • A legally married woman under the constitution has all the rights to use her surname or husband’s surname like
      Grace Sonora Poe or Grace S . Poe-Llamanzares

  27. “How can we accuse a foundling, an abandoned baby in Iloilo, for that matter, as an American citizen? She can expect more cases against her similar to that, but those moves will only emphasize Senator Grace’s humble beginnings. It will then strike a personal chord on Senator Poe, and the more personal pain is inflicted on her, the more her political stock will grow,” Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list said.

    Try reading the constitution something Rep Batocabe, if you can’t understand it get someone to read it to you.

    Poe-llamanzares is a foundling and not able to run for President or sit in the senate.

  28. “Poe,…had repeatedly explained the citizenship issues… ” – I find this quite inaccurate. Poe has been vague in her explanations and has not presented any evidence to disprove claims that she is no longer a US citizen, when or how.

    • 2012 she gave up her U.S citizenship according to United States records.

      I’m waiting for her to roll out someone claiming to be one of her parents she found her parents or relatives.

  29. Grace , I think everyone is! Can you imagine someone running for office and not being inspired? Might as well stay home, right?