• Losing at SC could save Poe more serious troubles


    As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares’s constitutional eligibility to run for president, after having been disqualified by the Commission on Elections for misrepresenting herself as a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for over 10 years prior to the May 9 elections, one cannot help but wonder whether she might not, in fact, have an easier time if she was mercifully shut down, and spared of so much more and bigger troubles.

    As far as the Constitution is concerned, her ineligibility to run springs purely from the “circumstances” of her birth and domicile, not from any fatal character flaws or any hidden and unpunished crimes. She came into the world, through no fault of her own, a foundling of no known parentage, abandoned inside the parish church in Jaro, Iloilo on Sept. 3, 1968: she had the right to a nationality, but not to an instant citizenship—because of our jus sanguinis (right of blood) doctrine, she cannot claim to be natural-born, and the 1935 Constitution, which was in force in 1968, does not consider her a citizen.

    This is the state of the law, which only a constitutional amendment or revision, not a judicial ruling, can change.

    Beyond foundlings

    Given her well-known circumstances, she should be able to withstand an adverse ruling, without having to torment herself further. However, the situation could turn adverse, if for any reason she overcomes the otherwise final and non-reviewable ruling of the Comelec and becomes a bona fide candidate. If the ruling is attended by any suspicion of illegal conduct on the part of any interested party, trouble could embroil not only her candidacy but even the entire nation.

    Even if the majority accepted such a ruling, her enemies will want to demolish her, not for being a foundling, but for her fatal flaws in her character and her alleged crimes, which had remained unexposed for so long as she was not yet a bona fide candidate. These flaws could include her demonstrated capacity for lying, blatant opportunism, utter lack of commitment and loyalty to the flag, otherwise known as patriotism, overweening ambition and inordinate hunger for power undeterred by her unbounded limitations and lack of experience.

    Identity theft

    The data have piled up, and on Wednesday this week The Daily Tribune, in an exclusive expose by its publisher and editor-in-chief Ninez Cacho-Olivares, added the latest. The paper reported that in her early years in the United States, where she went to pursue her college education in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988 and became an American citizen in 2001, Mrs. Llamanzares took the social security number of a dead man–SSN 005-03-1988, issued between 1934 and 1951, before she was born– and used it as her own.

    The paper described this as “identity theft,” a punishable crime under US federal law.

    Mrs. Llamanzares allegedly used it three times in 1999, and once in 2006. Aside from this social security number, she allegedly took out another number–SSN 538-25-2008, this time her own.

    Allegation undenied

    Her campaign spokesman Gatchalian was quick to denounce the report as “black propaganda,” saying that SSN 538-25-2008 was her student ID number when she was studying political science in Boston. But the spokesman failed to say anything about the other number, SSN 005-03-1988, which allegedly used to belong to a dead man.

    This was rather like the man who, accused of butchering innocent children for his meals, and abusing equally innocent virgins, protested with all his might that he had never in his life violated virgins.

    Thus, whatever the final truth about the Tribune story, it will most likely be repeated against her at the hustings. No one will be prevented from suggesting a link between this alleged use of a dead man’s identity in Fairfax, Virginia and her decision to dig up the graves of unknown dead men in the province of Guimaras in search of a possible DNA match to establish her Filipino parentage.

    Character and patriotism

    All this will go into the examination of her character. Just what kind of a person is she? Some people will want to ask more intimately personal questions: How much alcohol does she take, especially in the company of her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero? How heavily does she smoke? Does she have a history of using drugs–and of being rehabilitated from the use of drugs–while she was in the US? All these, and more.

    But the one charge that is likely to summon the intense wrath of many Filipinos still has to do with her citizenship–her decision to renounce and abjure any allegiance and loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines in 2001 when she swore allegiance to the United States of America and bound herself to bear arms for the US, if needed–even it meant doing so against the country of her birth.

    A renegade president?

    Having previously completely cut off her ties with the Philippines for sheer personal convenience, what gives her the gall to think that any right-thinking Filipino should want her to become the President? Indeed, what makes her think that she could be the president of the Filipino nation while she lives with an American husband and their American children, whom she conveniently identifies, without proof, as “dual citizens?”
    The first one is unforgivable, the second one unacceptable, to decent and patriotic Filipinos.

    Having been born with no known citizenship, it remains unclear how she became a naturalized Filipino citizen in the first place. This was not sufficiently discussed in the extensive Oral Arguments or in the exchanges of memoranda before the Supreme Court.

    She was adopted by Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, aka Fernando Poe Jr. and Jesusa Sonora Poe, aka Susan Roces, in 1974, in a municipal court proceeding in San Juan, Rizal, at a time when municipal courts did not have any jurisdiction on adoption cases; she eventually registered as a voter and obtained a Philippine passport.

    She has since cited these circumstances to claim Filipino citizenship, but several Justices have pointed out this is not correct– the illegal exercise by a non-citizen of the rights of citizenship does not prove or confer upon her actual citizenship.

    Filipino by day, American by night

    Mrs. Llamanzares’ first known and uncontested citizenship is that of an American; and her last known and uncontested citizenship is that of an American too. She officially renounced her US citizenship in 2011, but her husband and children remain American. Assuming they are, as she claims, “dual citizens,” although this must be sufficiently proved, they are at least “half-Americans,” or as a friend of mine puts it, “Americans by day, Filipinos by night,” or “Filipinos by day, Americans by night.”

    In the United States, no one who had previously abandoned American citizenship could ever hope to run for President or any high office. In the Philippines, members of the diplomatic service in the beginning had to abandon the service if they were to marry foreigners; later they were required to obtain the government’s official permission before they could. This liberalized the policy, without eliminating the security risks. But no one has ever sought the presidency or even the vice-presidency while being married to a foreigner. It is simply anathema, unthinkable, for any self-respecting, sovereign state.

    This is because the presidency is the highest repository of the nation’s sovereignty, and top official secrets–the nation cannot afford the risk of having a president who sleeps with a potential if not actual foreign agent. Mrs. Llamanzares is the first former American to aspire for the Philippine presidency, and she has never been subtle or shy in trying to make people believe she is “the American candidate,” assuming the US has a particular presidential candidate.

    A gross insult

    No doubt, the US is our primary ally and Filipinos are generally “pro-American.” But even though our national interests may not collide, their permanent interests are separate and distinct from our own. We cannot afford to have a president serving US national interests as though they were our own, and well before our own. For this reason alone, it is a gross insult to the nation to even consider a former American as a possible presidential option.

    Mrs. Llamanzares’ record of lying under oath has been thoroughly documented in the course of the Comelec, Senate Electoral Tribunal, and Supreme Court proceedings. We shall not replay this here. But every lie she has ever told about her personal circumstances to try to establish her “right” to run for president will surely be thrown back at her during the campaign.

    Mamasapano cover-up

    Beyond this, her celebrated double-speak in the Senate hearings of the Mamasapano massacre to cover up for President B. S. Aquino 3rd will not be forgotten. In those hearings, she initially declared that Aquino, who took personal charge of Oplan Exodus, which resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos of the Philippine National Police in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was directly accountable.

    But she became the principal instrument for the cover-up when she sent the committee report on the hearings to the Archives, in apparent conspiracy with the Senate leadership, without first discussing it on the Floor. She never rectified this mistake even after the inquiry reopened recently, upon the motion of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, to reexamine Aquino’s culpability in the death of the 44.

    Whose candidate?

    Many saw this as the beginning of her effort to assure Aquino that she would protect him from his enemies, after he is out of office, if she became the president. More and more people are now convinced that if she ends up finally running, it would principally be because of Aquino, and she would be doing so as his “Manchurian candidate.” They also see her as the candidate of “big business.” Although she is not yet a bona fide candidate, she is already outspending some of the bona fide candidates, because of the unabashed support of the CEO of one well-known conglomerate.

    If for any reason then she is allowed to run, she will have to convince the voters that she is not wholly-owned by any political, commercial or foreign interest, and that if she should ever win, it would because the election was clean, honest, and transparent, and not because it was bought and manipulated by an outgoing single-term president, who is trying to avoid a “second term” in prison, and by the President’s crony on top of a privileged conglomerate who may have long gone beyond his permissible reach.

    She may or may not survive the ferocity and nastiness at the trenches. The campaign could be more brutal and unforgiving than anything she had ever imagined or prepared for. This is why it may be all for her own good that Mrs. Llamanzares and her patrons abandon all their desires and ambitions to overthrow the Constitution and make fools of us all.



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    1. Cge igiit nyong gusto nyo. Sabi na nga ng constitution na natural born citizen at hinde naturalized after nyang mag pledge ng allegiance sa mga puti. Naman sa ganitong sitwasyon hinde dapat emosyon ang pinaiiral kundi ang utak.

    2. ang dami bang hindi naka.intindi na hindi siya pwede dahil hindi pa siya bonafide filipino citizen up to this time… ilabas na natin yung ampon siya at foundling. napaka.engot naman! kaya walng pinatunguhan ang ating bansa! simpleng batas at nasa saligang batas pa ay hndi pa kayang sundin. at saka wlang mananalong grace poe, binay, roxas. hindi na pinakamarami ang tanga sa ngayon.

    3. Ako ay Pilipino on

      Kahit sabihin pa natin na natural born Pilipino siya.. at, naging pangulo.. ang tanong ko..papayag ba kayo na ang first gentleman at ang kanyang mga anak na babantayan ng PSG ay mga amerikano? Samakatwid baga, ang first family ng Pilipinas ay amerikano? Yung, iba siguro magsasabi na ok lang.. kasi, ally naman natin ang amerika.. sa, amerika ba pwede ba ang first family ay dayuhan? At,paano kung darating ang panahon na ang first family ay kalaban ng ating bansa? Kaya, kung maari sana amendahan ang batas..sa comelec palang bawal na sila tumakbo kung ang kanyang mga asawa at anak ay dayuhan..

    4. NINEZ cacho -olivares thought the people
      believes all her personal attack against our candidate senator GRACE
      POE.they can find anymore lies to discredit her .WE ARE LIVING IN


      If people believes that grace poe is a
      liar how come she is still the topnotcher in recent polls .PEOPLE HAS

      NINEZ cacho -olivares thought the people
      believes all her personal attack against our candidate senator GRACE
      POE.they can find anymore lies to discredit her .WE ARE LIVING IN

      • Not the real survey! Pakana lang ng tiyuhin nya yan dahil tiyuhin nya ang gumagawa sa Pulse Asia, etc. Actually talunan si Grace.

      • Tinalikuran nya ang pilipinas noong 30+ xa. Matanong ko lng, where is her lover for the country? Patriotism? Where?

        She was of sound mind and of legal age when she turned her back from her supposed to be beloved country. Why should we want a president who might turn her back from us. That my friend is one of the things that will make us vote for Duterte.

    6. Kung sino man ang nagisip na ok lang na maging presidente ng pilipinas ang taong minsang tinalikuran o tinakwil ang bansa para mabuhay sa ibang bansa ay dapat may sira tuktok.

    7. The Supreme might rule to disqualify Grace Poe Llamanzares based on the 10 yr residency issue. The SC might not rule on wether she is natural born Filipino or not since the SC cannot decide base on the 1935 constitution or the 1987 constitution.
      Grace shall be retained a senator & finish her term. The congress can always amend the constItution later especially with a friendly President & members of the Senate & Congress, if done Grace can run for reelection in the Senate in 2019 & run for President in 2022 when congress approved an amendment for Foundlings in 1935 up to 1987 only under the
      new constitution

    8. You like Binay to win ha. You are hiding yourself and I am sure you do not love this country. Your heart is full of hate. If Poe is DQ, Binay will win for sure. Do you know what will happen to our country or you just do not care.

    9. Stephen Marko on

      She is a serial liar plain and simple. Does she think that the average pinoy is stupid? Just becoz she is adopted child of that fernando poe , automatically we will vote for her? Ano ba ang napatunayan ni ronnie poe? WALA! Artista sya yon lang! In fact he ran for president JUST TO Save hiS best friend ex convict erap! Parepareho lang sila OPURTUNISTA!!! Pwe!!!

    10. Voting by emotion and sympathy will bring us nowhere.
      Like the situation we are in now.

    11. artemio de Guzman on

      How can a natural born Filipino who renounced her Philippine citizenship to become an American serve the Philippines and its people?

      If it is then, the Philippines might as well drop the Constitution and become a colony of America!

    12. What about our SC Justices , Are they being railroaded to side with Poe ?
      This are dangerous times and we must be pro vigilant to save our Constitution !

      I appreciate your vigilance Mr. Tatad for exposing the Truth.
      People must vote for the Legitimate candidate allowed by Our Constitution!

    13. With an aremikan husband, the military should immediately arrest Grace Poe as an agent of a sovereign power. Being privy to state secrets especially those discussed in Executive Sessions, I can not fathom why the Senate as a whole has yet to remove a foreign spy in their midst. Isn’t it ridiculous for the whole Philippine Senate to be allowing an agent of a foreign power to be moving in their circle? Parenthetically, the US Government under the Patriot Act should also summon the husband as a spy of a foreign power.

    14. I think, Mr. Tatad, that you reversed or mixed up the SSNs. It is “SSN 005-03-1988”, not “SSN 538-25-2008”, that Mrs. G. Poe Llamanzares’ spokesman Mr. Rex Gatchalian asserts to be her student ID number at Boston College. Supposedly, the number represents the date she enrolled at the College on May 3, 1988. The only problem with this claim is that when a student ID is issued, it shows or should show the name of the student who enrolled. Specifically, for international students, it should be the name shown in her passport, which is used as a form of ID in the USA. Grace was a single or unmarried woman in 1988. Thus, her Philippine passport and subsequent Boston College student ID should have shown “Grace Poe”, not “Grace Poe Llamanzares” which is what The Daily Tribune found to be associated with SSN 005-03-1988 (the deceased person’s SSN issued in Maine).

      In trying to refute Ms. Ninez Cacho Olivares’ findings, Mr. Gatchalian actually used the number “005-003-1988”, not “005-03-1988” (see The Daily Tribune of March 3, 2016: “Poe, Allies Deny, Slam SSN Story”, or PDI, March 2, 2016, “Poe camp shoots down report she has 2 US Social Security numbers”). It should be pointed out that Gatchalian’s number, unlike SSNs which contain nine digits, has ten (10) digits. Further, a Google search of student IDs at Boston College in 1988 showed that, unlike 9-digits SSNs, they only showed eight digits or 16 digits if the card was to be used as an ATM or bank card. This apparent discrepancy means only one thing: that Mr. Gatchalian is wrong or mistaken because SSN 005-03-1988 is not a valid student ID number, but a legitimate SSN that was used by Grace Llamanzares Poe in 1999 and 2006 (query: why would someone use a student ID several years after graduation?). Indeed, as Ninez found, she used two different SSNs while living in the USA.

      Of course, Mrs. Llamanzares can always prove her claim by showing her old student ID card. If she cannot locate it, she or her camp should write the Students Records Office at Boston College to get this number. I suspect she would not be willing to do this as she might again be caught in a lie. Remember what her adoptive mother Susan Roces said? “Ang sinungaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw”. The reverse is also true: “Ang magnanakaw ay kapatid ng sinungaling”.

      • Bradzie Maria on

        Hindi Grace lang ang name nya Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares ang full name nya. Nag search ako 3 ang kapangalan nya. At sabi nila ginamit ang SSN ng 3 times sa 1999 at once lang ng 2006. Bakit ka gagamit ng 2 SSN kung legal naman sya, nasaan ang logic. At 2006 pa ginamit, eh 2004 palang nandito na sya ng mamatay si FPJ, Nung 2005 nag stay na sya dito. At kung gagamitin din nya un fake SSN hindi sya papayagan mag US citizen. At pwedeng makasuhan kaso wala naman kaso. Ang pwede lang magsabi nyan kung totoo or hindi ay US govt wala ng iba.

    15. Migs Doromal on

      It is utterly pathetic and bordering on desperation and nonsense that NINEZ CACHO-OLIVAREZ, publisher of the Daily Tribune based her scoop from what she called “an extensive background check.”

      You call using two internet search engines as extensive background check???

      My gulay!

      • bernard s balatbat on

        yes, if it searches what it needs to search…..why do you need to personally go to the US to get information that they offer on the net?

    16. If there are fools in all of these fabrications of wild stories that have been going around, it is the writer of this article and his ignorant followers. I don’t think these wild allegations are damaging enough to change the minds of Grace Poe supporters which represents every hard working families that wake up at 5 in the morning to be at work to pay their dues. Grace Poe supporters are not the “palamunins” of this society, they are not the unemployables, they are not criminals and all those lazy bastards that does nothing but occupy spaces and produce mountains of trash that pollute this beautiful country. These “palamunins” are the people that supports your candidate Jejomar Binay. The United Nations call them useless “surplus population.”

      Bring it on Francisco Tatad, we hope you can come up with something the rest of us would believe.

    17. Ha ha ha mga Bobotantes 2011 Lang Nya ni renounce yung US Citizenship Nya at dyan pa lamang simula Ang pagbilang ng kanyang Residency Status dito sa Pilipinas Kung nag stay na sya permanently. Hindi kasama sa bilang yung 2005 onward 2011 at sya ay isang US Citizen Pa! Niloloko nyo Lang sarili nyo at nagbubulagan lamang sa katotohanan.

      • bernard s balatbat on

        sadyang maraming tao ang hindi marunong magbilang…. 2011 gamit nya pa american passport nya……so kailan ba sya talaga naging pilipino, kung talagang naging pilipino nga sya

    18. The wisdom why our founding fathers explicitly included in the qualifications of the president as “natural born Filipino”, is to ensure that this god damned country, is govern by a person who is absolutely a Filipino. His or her being a Filipino should be unblemished and not tainted with issues, doubts, technicalities, lies, deception and treachery. According to president, Manuel L Quezon “I’d rather prefer the Philippines, run like hell by Filipinos, than run like heavens by the Americans.”.Quezon has an fiery brand of patriotism especially on the issue of leadership of this country which young generations should emulate and uphold. I hope the justices of the SC still have this brand of patriotism left on their senses..

    19. Kahit ano pong sabihin niyo, suportado parin ng marami si Sen. Grace Poe! Hindi siya susuko dahil ipag lalaban niya pa ang mga Pilipino at and Pilipinas!!

    20. Mas confident pa akong iboto si grace poe and sen chiz escudero kesa kay binay o roxas. Kung platform lang din ang usapan, poe-escudero na. Kung ang usapin ay tungkol sa abilidad,si pnoy nag OJT din naman subalit claim ng government na isa siya sa okay na performance combined ang mga ibang past presidents. Although experience makes you tougher but having the knowledge to govern is still different. I think Poe is prepared for this.

    21. “ALL THESE AND MORE”… What?
      Just what kind of a person is she? Some people will want to ask more intimately personal questions: How much alcohol does she take, especially in the company of her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero? How heavily does she smoke? Does she have a history of using drugs–and of being rehabilitated from the use of drugs–while she was in the US? All these, and more.- TATAD

    22. Noong hindi pa kumankandidato si Grace Poe,walang pilipino ang nagsasabing hindi siya natural born pilipino siya,at walang isa man ang makakapagpapatotoo na anak siya ng dayuhan.at patunayan ninyo na hindi dugong pilipino siya!

      • she is not yet at the limelight then . . . . but now she wants it more cinematic like her “dad’s” films . . . . kaya lang even it is a little bit late . . .NOW IS THE TIME OF REVELATION

      • bernard s balatbat on

        kahit totoong anak sya ni FPJ at susan roces….wala syang karapatang maging presidente dahil itinakwil nya ang pagiging pilipino…….hindi biro ang mga binibitiwang sumpa para maging isang amerikano at di rin biro ang pagtakwil bilang isang pilipino

    23. Dapat lang madisqualify na si Grace Poe. Dagok sa Pinas mga lies, lies, lies – not once but many!

      • She began her earthly existence with the BIGGEST lie of her life. She’s not a foundling but the daughter of true blue Filipinos that everyone knows except Susan Roces, who will be in self-denial forever.

    24. … you forgot: that she may be a mafia enforcer; hired killer; drug dealer; bank robber, etc. Mr. Tatad, remember this: no matter what…you cannot put a good man down!

    25. Samuel Santos on

      Better for Grace not to set foot on American soil again; she might just find herself in jail. Kung sabagay, maganda naman yata ang buhay ng isang bilanggo duon; di tulad dito na, kumbaga, ay isang “living hell.”

      • Concerned citizen on

        This can’t be true. A student with a student visa in the US can legally obtain a social security number. And a student in the US is issued a student id number. The purported number was her student id number. Am I missing something here.

        Come on. Get real here!

    26. Jose Samilin on

      Mrs. Grace P. Llamanzares cannot be the President of the Republic with all the baggage she’s carrying, otherwise she is bound to fail and bring great disaster to this now suffering nation. Be intelligent enough to vote and emotion free.

    27. Lahat naman ng mga binabatong issue kay Grace Poe e black propaganda lamang, wala naman kasing basehan ang mga paninira na ito sa kanya e. lalo na yung sa SSN, napaka walang basehan, papaano naging dalawa ang SSN niya? at sinong dead person yung sinasabi nila doon? basta may mailabas na lang talaga na news. kainis

      • Ay naku… wala nang magawa si former Sen Tatad kundi patulan si Poe.Bakit wala naman lang siyang masabi hinggil sa kanyang manok na nusiance candidate na si David? Wala na siyang makita sa mundo kundi si Grace.

      • No basis????? As what is written, d nya kasalanan un issue about her being natural born citizen but it is unacceptable that she gave up her being a filipino to obtain US citizenship.
        How can u afford to trust someone to lead ur country when she has no loyalty to it.
        Giving up filipino citizenship is not just a small deal. It really symbolized patriotism…..

    28. Noon : Kumandidato si “PANDAY” para ma-tulungan niya ang kaibigang si “ASIONG SALONGA”.

      Ngayon : Ka-kandidato ang ”ANAK ni PANDAY” para ma-tulungan niya ang ”ANAK ni ASIONG SALONGA” na maka-labas sa kulungan … at

      Upang hindi ma-kulong ang ”ANAK ng isang tinaguriang ‘SANTA’ pagka-tapos ng termino niya”.

      Tama kaya ang aking haka-haka ?

    29. Walang magiging problema kung papanigan ng korte suprema si Sen Grace Poe dahil wala sila basehan upang hindi aprubahan ito dahil nasunod naman ni Sen Poe ang mga dapat sundin at isa pa may kakayahan siya at alam sa bansa.

    30. Natalia Salvacion on

      I am confident na hindi madidisaualify si Sen. Poe. Di ko alam kung ano na naman ang ibang ibabato laban sa kanya. Sen. Poe deserves this. She is qualified to run. Naniniwala po ako sa kanya. At para naman Sa mga hinayupak niyang maninira, sige lang. Wala naman kayong mapapala. Hanggang panira lang alam niyo

      • Ako ay Pilipino on

        Maam, ipagpalagay natin natural born siya..at, manalo sa pagkapangulo.. pero, may tanong ako sayo.. papayag ba kayo na ang first gentleman natin ay amerikano? Samakatwid bagay yung first family ng Pilipinas ay Amerikano..na silang babantayan ng PSG.. at, ang maninirahan sa malakanyang ay amerikano.. hindi nga makapasok ang ordinaryong mamamayan diyan, dayuhan pwede.. yung, amerika ba papayag na ang first family nila ay Pilipino? Alam mo maam isa itong kahihiyan sa bansa kung mangyari man.. wala akong againts kay senadora pero yung magiging sitwasyun ng bansa natin ang hindi ko magustohan..