• ‘Poe, naturalized not natural-born’

    FULL OF GRACE Supporters of Sen. Grace Poe gather in front of the Supreme Court for the start of oral arguments on a disqualification case filed against her. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    FULL OF GRACE Supporters of Sen. Grace Poe gather in front of the Supreme Court for the start of oral arguments on a disqualification case filed against her. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    Grace undergoes DNA tests to prove Filipino lineage

    Grace Poe is a Filipino–a naturalized citizen, not natural-born–under international customary laws, the chairman of the Senate Electoral Tribunal said on Monday.

    Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio made the statement during oral arguments on a disqualification case filed against the senator.

    The tribunal was convened to hear a case filed by radio commentator Rizalito David, who questioned Poe’s qualifications to sit as a member of the Philippine Senate after she topped the 2013 senatorial elections.

    David–who also vied for a Senate seat in the same elections but lost–filed a quo warranto petition before the electoral tribunal and argued that Poe should be kicked out from the Senate for failing to meet the constitutional requirement that requires a senatorial candidate to be a natural-born citizen.

    Poe, now 46, was a foundling or an infant who had been abandoned by her parents and was discovered and cared for by others. She was purportedly found inside the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo in 1968 and was eventually adopted by celebrity couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces

    Poe recently declared her intention to run for President in next year’s elections, banking primarily on the popularity of her parents who were known as the “King and Queen of Philippine Movies.”

    Under the 1987 Constitution, only a natural-born Filipino citizen is qualified to run for President.

    Poe migrated to the United States where she pursued a college degree and raised a family.

    She renounced her American citizenship in 2010 and purportedly reacquired her Filipino citizenship, paving the way for her appointment as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

    David’s counsel Manuelito Luna told the Senate Electoral Tribunal: “She is not natural-born so she cannot re-acquire something she did not possess.”

    No parentage
    The petitioner, David, argued that as a foundling whose parents were not known, she could not be considered a natural-born Filipino.

    “[A] [f]oundling has no parentage,” Luna said.

    He further claimed that Poe’s counter-argument that she was voted into office by over 20 million people is not a valid point to illustrate the “will of the people.”

    “We have to uphold the Constitution,” Luna said.

    Carpio, who heads the electoral tribunal, said the provisions of the 1935 Constitution pertaining to citizenship apply to Poe, who was presumably born in 1968.

    He added that Poe can be considered a Filipino under international customary law, but only as a naturalized citizen, not as a natural-born citizen.

    Carpio cited Article 4, Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution that he said should apply to Poe.

    The fifth paragraph of the constitutional provision considers as citizens of the Philippines “those who are naturalized in accordance with law.”

    During interpellation, Carpio said customary international law can be followed so long as it does not violate provisions of the Constitution.

    “We do not follow international customary law because our Constitution has primacy. Although under international law, we have a commitment to conform to customary international law by amending the Constitution,” he explained.

    In the absence of a law, Carpio said, an international customary law can be applied.

    “If right now, there is no law promulgated by Congress that foundlings can be deemed citizens of the Philippines, [can]customary international law supply that gap?,” he asked Luna, who answered in the affirmative.

    “If there is a customary international law saying foundlings can be deemed citizens of the country where they were found, we apply that under the principle of incorporation. It is deemed as municipal law,” Carpio said.

    “But you are still a naturalized citizen, not natural-born. Because if customary international law says a foundling is natural-born, it will violate our Constitution and we cannot apply it here.”

    “So have we solved the problem, counsel? You will agree with me that Senator Poe … at least [is]a citizen of the Philippines,” Carpio again asked Luna, who also answered in the affirmative.

    He said while the international conventions signed by the Philippines allowed foundlings in the country to be Filipino citizens, such process should be considered as a naturalization of citizenship, not as recognition that one is natural-born.

    “That’s when you grant passport to [a]foundling. That gives a foundling citizenship, which is naturalized citizenship–not natural-born… Senator Poe is at least a citizen of the Philippines,” Carpio pointed out.

    DNA testing
    The tribunal chairman said the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood) will be the sole basis for one to be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen.

    He added that the Philippine Constitution requires either of the parents of Poe to be a Filipino citizen for her to be a natural-born citizen

    “To be natural-born, you must show blood relation,” Carpio pointed out.

    He said if there are questions that Poe is not a natural-born citizen, she should now prove that her biological parents are Filipinos.

    With this, the burden of proof now shifts to Poe to prove that she is natural-born Filipino citizen.

    Carpio said foundlings like Poe could still prove their citizenship through DNA matching.
    “If tomorrow you happen to find out by DNA matching that your parent is Filipino, you can still prove that you are natural-born,” he added.

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion said it is now up to Poe to prove that she is a natural -born citizen of the Philippines.

    “Because Poe’s parents are unknown, she must now prove that [they are Filipinos],” he added.

    Poe’s lawyer, Alex Poblador, said the senator already underwent DNA testing “with a probable biological match” to prove her Filipino lineage.

    The results, he said, would be available in two to three weeks and would be immediately presented to the electoral tribunal.

    Poe later told reporters that her DNA would be matched with samples taken from her “siblings.” She gave no further details.

    She claimed she was approached by individuals who offered to undergo DNA testing.

    “Pero syempre hindi pa rin tayo nakakasiguro. Hihintayin natin dahil hindi mismo sa mga magulang, kundi sa mga siblings o mga kapatid [But of course, we’re still not sure about this. We’ll still wait for the results because the samples were not taken from my biological parents but from my supposed siblings],” the senator told reporters.

    Fraudulent acts
    David’s counsel Luna, meanwhile, accused Poe of committing a “pattern of fraudulent acts” to reacquire Philippine citizenship to pursue her political career.

    Luna cited evident discrepancies in the 1968 birth certificate of the Poe as well as the questioned validity of her 1974 adoption approved by San Juan municipal trial court.
    San Juan is now a city that is part of Metro Manila.

    Luna assailed the purpose of Poe in getting another birth certificate in 2006.

    This was after her adoptive father, Fernando Poe Jr. passed away.

    Luna said that it was proof of her intention to reacquire Philippine citizenship for convenience and part of her political ambitions.



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    1. Xmy pov on corrupt lawyering and foundling,

      would be worst chicanery for an election lawyer to make a transferee become valedictorian of the school.

      Sans proof, citizenship of a foundling can only be assumed therefore cannot be attributed the perfect state of citizenship ( natural born citizenship ).

      And more absurd the logic ( example of Bello ), a preposterous presumption only that an external factor like international law can impose to an internal affair of another nation who to grant perfect citizenship.

    2. When it concerns legality and or constitutionality, there will be 1 problem 1000 solutions to this 1 problem. I only can pity g.poe for entering this corrupt philippine politics. Imagine, she does know her parents which is a big problem and 1000 politicians want to destroy her reputation. Poor lady, she is like a ship in a stormy sea beind influence by so called friends riding on her popularity. She needs a lot of guidance from God almighty. G. POE who are your friends?

    3. Frank A. Tucker on

      FYI: http://www.uscis.gov/…citiz...

      Jan 22, 2013 – Naturalization is the process by which citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance.

    4. It is surprising that DNA testing and the search for Poe’s biological parents are only being done now. With her resources and all the political noise, this could have happened months ago. Even years ago, if Poe so wished to know. Or is this all just for show?

      Isn’t it more plausible that Grace Poe already knows who her blood parents are and knew this long ago? And the reason for keeping this secret? A forbidden romance, maybe. Something the public must not know then, and there is a reluctance to reveal so now.

      If the Poe camp should suddenly confirm a match with some non-well-known Filipino, I assume David and her detractors will insist and pay for an independent, confirmatory testing.

    5. This saga which Llamanzares and her foster parents made up, is like stuff which legends are made of, in part this will expose what Filipinos had long suspected about her real parents. With her telling the media of her DNA matching with her ‘siblings’, she probably thinks it will end the issue of her citizenship and of being a Filipino.

      In fact, it will lead to open up more issues of the legitimacy of her birth, for which Susan Roces (Jesusa Purificación Sonora) had long been keeping secret and away from public scrutiny. If Grace Llamanzares had indeed undergone a DNA match with her ‘sibling’, would it come from the family of Poe or Sonora? Or, could these ‘siblings’ be remotely detached from either of the two families of Poe & Sonora?

      Once the DNA could prove a positive match, Susan Roces should better come out with a very convincing explanation, why until now she had been keeping it secret. Or, had been spinning all these lies for so long, to convince the public of the true identity of Grace Llamanzares real parents as both FPJ and her – as she was noted to quip ‘ang sinugaling ay kapatid ng magnanakaw’.

      • Maraming paikot ikot pa. Ang nanay ni Grace Poe ay si Rosemarie Sonora na ni rape ni Marcos. Nabuntis at nagka anak pinangalanan Grace . Sa US si Grace isinilang, humingi ng pabor si Makoy kay Fernando na e adapt. Yan ang alam ng mga Filipino na nabuhay at nag dusa sa ilalim ng Martial Law ni Marcos. At yan ang totoo, walang kumokontra o nagpapasinungaling sa pangyayaring ito.

    6. The citizenship case of Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares is too vague. meaning its not clear or detailed. Foundling, this is the word they use and i know what it means. The best move for her to prove that she is a natural born citizen is DNA test from her biological parents. DNA from siblings could help. huwag muna natin siyang husgaan dahil sa puso at isipan siya pilipino.

    7. Hindi naman panloloko.Ipasiguro lamang na ang constitution ay masusunod. The biological father of Grace Poe is reportedly Edgardo Militar, a Filipino who migrated to the USA and may be an American citizen when he visited Iloilo and left Grace to be taken cared by his kin Emiliano.


    9. Poe later told reporters that her DNA would be matched with samples taken from her “siblings.” She gave no further details.

      Alam niya pala ang mga kapatid niya, di alam niya rin ang biological parents niya…!

    10. the questioning of Grace Poe’s as a natural born pilipino only shows that the yellow regime is on its fall. what do they call someone who’s born in the philippines? isn’t it she/he a natural born pilipino born in philippine soil? they’re just scared of Poe ’cause they’ll all go to jail one day.

      Maski po born in the Philippines, kung ang mga magaulang ay Amerikano, Russo, Tsino, Malaysians, Hapon oy galing sa ibang bayan at hindi mga Pilipino ang ipinangank sa Pilipinas ay hindi natural0born Filipino citizen.

    11. Ms. Grace Llmanarez Poe, is liken to this Aesop Fables.

      A scorpion and a Frog met on the bank of a stream. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the the stream on its back. The frog asked,” How do you know you won’t sting me?” The Scorpion said, ” Because if I do, I will die too__I can’t swim.” The frog replied,” How do I know you won’t sting me once we reach the other side?” “Kind sir, I would be so grateful for your assistance that I wouldn’t dream of such a dastardly deed,” responded the Scorpion.

      The Frog was satisfied and allowed the Scorpion to crawl onto his back as they set out into the water. The Frog was swimming across the stream when the Scorpion suddenly stung the Frog. The Frog felt the onset of paralysis and started to sink. With its last grasp , the Frog asked. ” Why did you sting me? Now we’re both going to die.” The Scorpion replied, ” Because it’s my nature.

      Tapos na POE….!

      The first batch of scorpions used her, and the second batch of Scorpions want to use her too…Intiende…!

    12. As a ‘foundling’, where was Senator Poe found while abandoned by her unknown parents? Of course, in Iloilo, Philippines. Therefore, Senator Poe is a Pilipino, a natural-born Pilipino.

      When she became a US citizen, just like me, she was a naturalized US citizen, but
      her nationality remains a Pilipino, just like me.

      After renouncing her US citizenship which is a normal thing to do, she reacquired her Pilipino citizenship which is a normal thing to do, whatever her reason. I may do the same sometime.

      So what’s the problem here, is it the Philippine constitution or just the politics? Somebody tell me, please!

      • Ok I’ll tell you, Grace is just floating the idea that she a foundling because according to the Phil. constitution, a person can be senator or president if she is a natural born filipino. A lot of filipino know that she is not a foundling. Grace knows exactly who her parent was and she is born in the US with a filipino citizen parent. She just want to run in the highest position of the land that is why she is lying thru her teeth.

    13. Per evidence I read through the media Ms Poe should never have been allowed to run for Philippine government office. Why does her attitude of “By hook or by crook” to be in government should prevail. She should be impeached. This is just my “two cents”.

    14. I think that the 3 justices of the Supreme Court are requiring Grace Poe to present either of her parents complete with their match DNA results. She can not bring a brother or sister DNA because it could to intricacies to the case. This is now Grace biggest problem because she listened to the opinion of Atty. Macalintal. Had she stayed quietly in the senate her citizenship might not be questioned by anybody. If Rosemarie Sonora will shows up and claim to be real mother it will open to more problem because they will be called a bunch of liars. People will questions the integrity of the whole family for keeping secret about who the real parents of Grace Poe. Either way Grace Poe just lost her case.

    15. Now the ball is on Grace P. Llamanares. And this will not solve the problem she is facing. She still have to face the legality of her citizenship and her change of citizenship from Filipino to U.S. and back to Filipino and moreover, the time element.

    16. Natural born citizen by blood DNA? Now the turn of events is on the road of moronic S2pidity. Natural born is natural as in natural to the max. beyond doubt, with out acts of law or acts of science. A Filipino born outside the country from long ago migrant Filipinos in Liliput land can be natural born Filipino citizen by blood DNA. There will be a new law = all creatures on earth with traces of Filipino blood DNA are natural born Filipino citizens. WhaDapak, why not just all creature on earth are natural born Filipino citizens by virtue of Adam and Eve blood DNA.