SENATOR Grace Poe will submit her citizenship papers and travel documents to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) next week when she files her answer to a complaint filed against her by Rizalito David.
The SET in a resolution directed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the National Statistics Office (NSO) to submit Poe’s immigration records and birth certificate, respectively, as it started to tackle the case questioning the senator’s citizenship.
The resolution was signed by members of the tribunal headed by Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
The tribunal is composed of SC Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Arturo Brion and Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd, Paolo Benigno Aqui¬no 4th, Nancy Binay, Pia Caye¬tano, Loren Legarda and Cynthia Villar.
The SET order took the form of a subpoena duces tecum.
In his complaint, David said Poe is not eligible to seek a post at the Senate because she did not satisfy the basic qualification requirements for a senator. He claimed that Poe is not a natural-born citizen and she lacks the residency requirement for her to be eligible to run for Senate.
David also said Poe was named chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) while she was still an American citizen.
Poe said her camp will submit the documents being asked by the tribunal from the BI and the NSO next week.
“We are in fact submitting those same documents to the SET together with our response on Tuesday,” the senator said in a text message.
Poe’s chief of staff Nelson Victorino said the subpoena issued by the SET is not necessary because certified true copies of all pertinent documents from the NSO and BI relative to the case will all be submitted to the tribunal by Poe.
The documents, he said, will be attached to Poe’s answer to David’s petition.
The senator earlier said efforts to question her citizenship, residency and qualification as senator are just part of a plan to sow confusion.
Poe said she will answer the issues regarding her citizenship because the people are curious of her status.
“Lahat ng tao curious talaga. Ano ba talaga ang buhay nitong taong ito? Pilipino ba talaga siya? Tama lang na suriin nila ang aking pagkatao. Kaya mabuti na nanggagaling na mismo sa akin dahil hindi naman ako nagtatago ng katotohanan sa kanila (Everybody is curious. What really is her life story? Is she really a Filipino? It is just right for the people to scrutinize my life. That’s why I would want to answer them myself because I am not hiding anything from the public),” Poe said during a recent stop in Nueva Ecija.
Poe acquired her American citizenship when she studied in the United States.
She returned to the country in 2005 after her father, Fernando Poe, Jr., died.
The senator has insisted that she is a natural born Filipino under the Philippine Constitution and international laws.
“We have laws for it and we will abide by it. We won’t hide anything that the public needs to know,” Poe said.
WITH LLANESCA T. PANTI