If we really need a Poe, why not Susan Roces Poe?

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IN my last piece, I said we need an honest to goodness moral, spiritual and political revolution instead of one more rotten presidential election. If we have to have an election, it should not be as big a farce or a swindle as the ones we had in 2010 and 2013. As an absolute minimum, we should replace the Smartmatic Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machine with something infinitely more trustworthy and transparent. We have a choice between PATaS and TAPAT, two indigenous alternative systems developed by Filipino engineers. And we should prevent a constitutionally disqualified individual from being imposed upon us as a presidential candidate by transnational actors who seem to believe they could get away with anything, just because they own the puppet regime and have all the power, money and dirty tricks at their command.

In their naivete or plain good faith, our voters are routinely attracted to so-called “popular” candidates. These are usually personalities with celebrity status who have all the “falsies,” though not the substance, and who have consistently invested in the popularity surveys. Even in the United States, which seems a bit more advanced, the voters this season seem to respond more to the reputed popularity of some presidential hopefuls than to their known or suspected merits.

This applies to the flamboyant billionaire Donald Trump, who has been leading the surveys of Republican hopefuls until he tried to self-destruct in the first Republican primary debate. But here as elsewhere, it is not enough for a presidential hopeful to rate well in the paid propaganda surveys. He or she must be seen to be morally and intellectually fit for the job; first and foremost, he or she must meet the constitutional requirements for the office.

Under our Constitution, 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 at least ten years immediately preceding such election. These are ironclad requirements. They cannot be waived or diluted. And there is no way of misreading or misunderstanding any part of the statement.


You may not even have a primary school education or the slightest clue on how the society or the state or the financial system works. But if you have all the previously mentioned constitutional qualifications, you could declare yourself a presidential candidate, even ahead of the official period for announcing presidential candidacies. But even if you had the genius of an Einstein, the money of a Bill Gates and all the taipans on Forbes magazine’s annual listing of dollar billionaires, and the popularity of a Pope Francis, if you do not meet any of the constitutional requirements, you simply have no business aspiring to be voted upon as president.

This is the exact situation of Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares. There is a great foreign-assisted lobby to make her the next corporate puppet after B. S. Aquino 3rd begins his long-awaited prison term or rides into the sunset. She is 47 years old, able to read and write, and was a voter in the 2013 election which put her on top of the infamous 60-30-10 special operations in favor of PNoy’s senatorial candidates.

But it is now as clear as day that she is not a natural-born Filipino, which is also an indispensable requirement for running for the Senate or the House of Representatives. She is not even a legal Filipino citizen at this point.

This is why Kapatiran senatorial candidate Lito David is asking the Senate Electoral Tribunal to declare by what right she sits in the Senate. It is also why I have tirelessly exposed the sordidness, depravity and contemptuousness of the campaign to make her a presidential candidate, in defiance of the Constitution and our laws. After saying repeatedly in this space that she is not a “natural-born Filipino,” I have to amend that statement, on the basis of the facts and the law, to say that she is not even legally a Filipino, at this point.

This seems an unduly excessive statement. But there is no other way of putting it. As Mrs. Llamanzares was stateless upon birth because of her unknown parentage, she is stateless all over again, because of her failure to legally reacquire her Philippine citizenship. I thought I had sufficiently discussed this issue, with readers who react to me from various parts of Asia, the US, Europe, Latin America and the Baltics, until a young senator showed me the other day he was a complete ignoramus on this all-important issue, which affects the nation’s inherent dignity, beyond that of the Senate.

I asked the young senator why neither he nor any of his colleagues had ever looked into what the Constitution says about the citizenship of Sen. Llamanzares. He expressed complete surprise, for in his view Mrs. Llamanzares was born in the Philippines and was therefore a Filipino. Reminded that she was a foundling and therefore stateless upon birth, the senator said she become a Filipino when she was adopted by the famous

Fernando Poe and Susan Roces couple who were both Filipinos.

I told him —and here I was rather direct–that as a Harvard-trained lawyer he should know that adoption does not confer citizenship. So if she had become a Filipino after having been born stateless, it must have been through some legal or illegal process. Now, whatever process made her initially a Filipino ultimately deprived her of any claim to being a “natural-born Filipino,” pursuant to the constitutional provision, which defines “natural-born Filipino” as a citizen of the Philippines from birth, without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his/her citizenship.

Through some unknown and unexplained process, Mrs. Llamanzares became a Filipino, though not a natural-born Filipino, before migrating to the US. She lost her questionable “Philippine citizenship” in 2001 when she became a citizen of the United States. In 2006, upon her return to the Philippines following the death in December 2004 of her adoptive father and former presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., she executed under oath a notarized petition for the “reacquisition” of her Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225, popularly known as the Dual Citizenship Act of 2003.

In this petition, she told one over-extravagant deliberate lie–that she was a natural-born Filipino, born on Sept. 3, 1968 in Iloilo City to Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, a Filipino citizen, and Jesusa Sonora Poe, a Filipino citizen. This bare-faced falsification of critical data rendered her “reacquisition” of Philippine citizenship null and void.

This also rendered her stateless, since she also lost her US citizenship as of the second quarter of 2012. But even without this falsification, and the Bureau of Immigration’s erroneously allowing her faulty “reacquisition,” she was from the very beginning not qualified to benefit from RA 9225.

Under this law, only former natural-born Filipino citizens who became citizens of a foreign country after 2003 could regain their citizenship by taking the legally prescribed oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. But she was never a natural-born citizen, and she became a US citizen two years before the law took effect in 2003. Therefore, she could not, even under the most favorable circumstances, avail herself of the benefits of the Dual Citizenship Act.

And yet she was able to take the oath and reacquire a Philippine “citizenship,” simply by telling that sordid lie about her being the biological daughter of the childless FPJ and Susan Roces couple, who were married on Dec. 25, 1968, three months after her birth. Obviously the authorities took her word at face value, without checking it.

But despite all the lies that have shrouded this case, the truth cannot be suppressed. Grace Poe Llamanzares is constitutionally disqualified from remaining in the Senate and from aspiring to become a presidential candidate.

Why is it then that at least two former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, more than one dean of a College of Law and a School of Government, some highly paid elections lawyer, a number of columnists, so many rich businessmen and some foreign diplomats are insisting that Mrs. Llamanzares should simply run and leave it to the Supreme Court to rule later whether or not she is qualified to run? This is the biggest conspiracy against the Constitution and the Republic.

Under this conspiracy, Mrs. Llamanzares will be encouraged to file her certificate of candidacy at the appropriate date. Various parties will naturally move for her disqualification. But every legal and illegal maneuver will try to prevent the Comelec or the Supreme Court from acting seasonably on the suit.

Supported by the biggest war chest ever put together to capture political power, together with the manufactured propaganda surveys, the bought media, and the naked intervention of some foreign powers, Mrs. Llamanzares will be proclaimed “elected” even before the actual official canvassing is completed, as happened to B. S. Aquino 3rd\ in 2010. Finally, invoking the principle of “vox populi, vox Dei,” the open-and-shut case against the constitutionally disqualified puppet would be declared moot and academic.

I suspect that in her heart of hearts, the more decent side of Mrs. Llamanzares is trying to resist this criminal scenario. But the transnational cabal that’s out to own the next government is much too powerful to resist. It is also possible that Mrs. Llamanzares has already received too much money from the taipans who are out to control her and the next government. What is cooking is a dangerous brew that could bring out the most dangerous impulses from Filipinos. Mrs. Llamanzares should reflect well on this.

But I have a modest proposal, which the Poe supporters may wish to consider. If we are going to have elections in 2016, and if they sincerely believe we need a Poe to run in that election, let them support the “right Poe,” rather than the “wrong Poe” in such election. Never having been a natural-born Filipino, and being stateless now, and facing expulsion from the Senate on this very ground, Grace Poe Llamanzares is the “wrong Poe” to seek the presidency at anytime.

Susan Roces Poe, FPJ’s widow and Mary Grace’s surrogate mother, is the “right Poe” whom Poe supporters should support. While Mary Grace is constitutionally disqualified for any public office at this point, Susan Roces Poe has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications for the highest office, even though she may never have thought of it at all. She cannot be criticized for it.

Cory Aquino set her eyes on the presidency after her husband was killed, and PNoy, her son, sought the office from her deathbed. Nobody could ever accuse Susan Roces Poe of engaging in the same brand of necropolitics.

We pray she could be persuaded to sacrifice if only to save her adopted daughter from her foolish ambitions, and help the country save itself.

fstatad@gmail.com

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28 Comments

  1. Kit, pls ask Ernie Maceda yng biological father at mother ni Grace. Parehong BOSS nyo nuon yng tinutokoy. Parang mahinto na yng duda sa pagka natural born Filipino ni Llamanzares.

  2. The facts, as they now stand, show that Mrs. Grace Poe is constitutionally ineligible to sit as senator, and to be a candidate for the presidency of the Philippines. Some of her legal supporters keep on mentioning the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness as the basis for her natural born status; i.e, she was found in Iloilo, Phillipines, therefore, under the convention, her parents must be Filipinos, and she must be a “natural born” Filipino. But the Philippines is not a signatory to this convention. More importantly, the Philippine constitution is sovereign over all. Its specific provision re: “natural born” citizens trumps and supersedes the generalized principles stated in this 1961 UN convention.

    Thank goodness, Mr. R. David, a former senatorial candidate in 2013, has already filed a petition concerning Mrs. Poe’s right to sit as senator. As for the presidency, it is imperative that as soon as she declares her candidacy that many concerned Filipino citizens (in the Philippines and abroad) file a petition before the Comelec questioning her citizenship and residency status. This way, Comelec may be forced to act, to do the right thing and come up with a quick decision before the 2016 elections are held. Of course, the issue will end up in the Supreme Court. But under the new regime of Chief Justice Sereno, maybe the issue of public interest/public good may motivate the justices to take up the case and issue a decision prior to election day. Do we want an American family in Malacanang?

    As for Mrs. Susan Roces Poe, I say no. She’s very much aware and is a party to all of her adopted daughter’s misrepresentations (mens rea). Like Diogenes with his lamp searching for an honest citizen in ancient Athens, let us search for an honest citizen in present-day Philippines. Surely, amongst almost 100 million Filipinos, there is one?

  3. Amnata Pundit on

    If you can get Bongbong, Erap, Lacson and Duterte to support her you have a candidate.

  4. For those of us who claim natural-born citizen, it is mainly because we did not have to do anything to perfect our citizenship. We might not all be lawyers, but the same law applies to those who are not fortunate enough to know their parents. In short all the abandoned children who were born in th Philippines who do not know their parents are natural-born. And if anybody else disagree, it is your burden to provide proof. Otherwise, stop picking on the most vulnerable children and start writing more pressing issues.

  5. Mr. Tatad , Binay and Roxas black propaganda against Grace Poe are unbelievable!We are not that stupid We the masses do not believe TO THOSE PANINIRA KAY GRACE POE .She is not like them .BINAY AND ROXAS are both in the goverment for so long but the poor people can not feel what they did to make the country progress. Baka iyong cake ni binay o iyong tsinilas na binibigay ni koring . .We will not forget the yolanda incident and air conditioned piggery .Hello ! Si BINAY AT ROXAS KASI ARE VERY ANXIOUS AND VERY AFRAID OF GRACE POE. They don’t want grace poe to run for president because grace poe will be a sure winner. Go,Go Grace Poe for president we will support you .Mabuhay Grace !

  6. genesisbughaw on

    Sir,
    Yung handler po ni frankeinstenic Abnoy ay matagumpay na kalikutin ang utak daga at napaniwala pa nga po na siya ang darling of Asia.
    Si grace poe naman siya ang ipapalit at gagawin barbie doll ng oligarchs at foreign masters niya.
    Ganun pa man, sa usapin constitutional at legal na domain ng mga lawyers abangan natin si barbie doll kung mag susuicide siya.

  7. Amen, Senator Tatad. I do not know how clearer any one else can be after reading this column to accept the fact that Ms Poe is not qualified as per constitutional requirements. I am quiet baffled.

  8. Kit, if she is the daughter of your old boss, does it change your outlook? Come on, you know!

  9. Susan, nasaan ka na.Kailangan ka ng magpaliwanag.Nakakabingi ang pananahimik mo.Puro kasinungalingan ang pinagasabi ng ampon.Ang kapatid ng sinungaling ay magnanakaw.Di ba.Susan?

  10. ms. Mary Grace Poe lost her pilipino citizenship when she became a US citizen. but, she didn’t lost her being a natural born pilipino. since birth of ms Grace Poe, how many years more she studied in the philippines before her US continuing educatio? that i think the 10 years residency preceding such elections. did she made it?

  11. baket wala na bang karapatan ang isang ampon,,,,,,,,,,,bakit mukang takot na takot kyong lumaban sya,,,ikaw naman na tuta ni marcos,ala ka naman nagawa during your time,,,,

  12. Will Susan Poe be immune to the machinations of the same people who want to control our country? I dont think so. She may be a highschool graduate but………we may be jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

  13. silvino sarga on

    Hayaan mo na lang ang mga botante na pumili: Roxas, Binay, Poe-LLamanzares, Ali Ponga o sinupaman Kung pipili sila ng sikat at cute na pinuno na magpapatupad lang ng cute at popular na solusyon na makakasama sa pangmatagalan, hala hayaan natin ang Pilipinas na paikut-kot sa kangkungan.

  14. Guillermo Hernandez on

    The IDIOTIZATION of the Filipinos by this madman Aquino is showing its effectiveness.
    Since 2010. He has treated the entire nation as idiots through his lies…total disregard of the Philippine Constitution and rule of law……massive corruption of both Houses of the Congress…..ignoring the plight of the poor Filipinos numbering almost half the country’s population …….keeping away international donations for the 2013 thypoon victims and re-channelling said monies for heinous political objectives…..deliberately defying Supreme Court decisions …….and worst of all, the denying honours due to the
    MARTYRED SAF44.

    Throughout all these Aquino indiscretions …….100 million Filipinos stayed SILENT !
    Any now with the situation with this STATELESS PERSON …..they still keep silent………
    ……unaware or unconcerned or simply oblivious about the gravity of the situation concerning the possibility of electing this totally disqualified person to the highest office
    of the land.

    Six years of Aquino’s misrule of the Philippines have made IDIOTS out of 100 million
    Filipino citizens.

  15. jesus nazario on

    Beware Kit ! Baka kumagat sa payo mo si Susan Roces, lalong sumama ang takbo ng panahon.

  16. Desert Wander on

    Oh, come on, Mr. Tatad! Susan Roces-Poe? Stop the crap! …enough with another housewife..we are not progressing as a nation of having presidents who become popular with the death of a husband…death of a mother..focus your thrust on more sensible and more so presidential individuals…the likes of one senator who worked so hard for an alternative BBL, is the best alternative to move forward to the presidency…enough with the “palengke” dude…and more enough for the Obama-like complexion early dreamer to become president.

  17. Jose A. Oliveros on

    If that young senator referred to by former Sen. Tatad is not a lawyer, he may be forgiven for believing that Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares became a Filipino citizen when she was adopted by the late FPJ and his now widow, Susan Roces. But what is really surprising is a “noted election lawyer” (that is how news paper reports describe him) also posits that legal heresy on the ground that the Constitution simply says that those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines are also Filipino citizens because the Constitution does not distinguish between a “natural father” and an “adoptive father.” To that young Senator and that “noted election lawyer” I want to call their attention to: (a) the 1958 Supreme Court decision in Chin Leng v. Galang where the Supreme Court categorically ruled that adoption does not confer citizenship; (b) Art. 340 of the Civil Code which mentions the rights acquired by an adoptee which do not include citizenship; and (c) the Child and Youth Welfare Code of 1975 [P.D. 603] which expressly provides that adoption does not citizenship on the adoptee.

  18. Mr Tatad is full if wisdom! He had eloquently touched on and explained the moral and constitutional aspect of the issues surrounding the qualification of Mrs Llamanzarez and the current political undercurrents. It’s never been clearer and I do not fathom why supposed former Chief Justices and well known lawyers and well placed, well educated people do not comprehend or refused to comprehend why Grace cannot be constitutionally qualified for the offices mentioned above. It’s not even a debatable issue as it’s clear as daylight! Mr Tatad, you bring cerebral eloquence into any conversation of this kind. You are needed back in the Senate, Sir! Your frontal brain is very well developed indeed!

  19. Senator Tatad, Susan is a good alternative but once elected, she may not be manipulated by puppet makers. Uncle Sam and Uncle Sycip will not like this.

  20. from the point of view of ex senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad” I am very supportive of what his idea “if we need Poe why not Susan Poe for Presidency if by the legal for her no questions about being a filipino citizen, right?

  21. If it is indeed true that Grace Poe have already received the financial support, backing and material and moral encouragement by the top Chinese business interests (Taipans) and foreign lobbyist, Grave Poe seems to be plotting and scheming to run for the top office of the nation, the Presidency, if only to keep for her own self the a chunk of the political donations and contributions of those business people, without regard to the legality of her qualifications to the Office. Grace Poe will finally be forced by these circumstance and her ego-trip of celebrity popularity status to declare her run for the presidency even if she knew of her legal handicap (not a natural-born Filipino citizen), since she will hallucinate that she can win and her legal problems will then disappear. Being so popular with. the Classes “D” and “E” voters, which segment call the winning shot to the Presidency, Grace Poe is taking a “winning gamble” of making a “pile” of wealth from political windfalls AND a great chance of winning the highest post. Thus, win or lose in the election, she will however amass an unimaginable millions of wealth from the political donations. These factors of becoming wealthy and big chance of getting elected are the overriding factors to make her finally decide to put her on the running for the Presidency, with a voice of Escudero, another opportunist and fund enthusiast, to beg her VP running mate. The clue that Grace Poe will run is she is enthused on laying the groundwork of her political party and her Program or Platform of government! She knows her survey ratings will carry her to her election as against BINAY whose corruption charges will drag him down as a damaged goods and Roxas who has no personal charisma and appeal to the mass electorate!
    In short, Grace Poe is compelled to run due to above circumstances: amass wealth and great chance to win and forget her citizenship status once there!
    The legitimate issue of Grace Poe’s qualification based on her status as a “non-natural born Filipino citizen”, will not deter, prevent or put a bar on her to ultimately declare her so-called “patriotic duty to serve her country” ……although she once a abjured and renounced it when she got naturalized as an American citizen!
    I say, therefore, Grace Poe, is untruthful, dishonest opportunist “stateless” person motivated only by greed for wealth and power. May her tribe decrease!