SENATOR Grace Poe on Friday said she is willing to relinquish her post if it will be proven that she is not worthy to be a senator of the Philippines.
This was Poe’s response when she was asked about her next move in case she fails to get a favorable decision on her citizenship case pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
A petition had been filed by losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David, who claimed that Poe failed to meet the residency and the citizenship requirements for her to be eligible to run for the Senate.
“I will respect our laws. If proven that I am not worthy to be senator as provided by law, I will immediately relinquish my post,” Poe said in a news conference in Butuan City, Agusan del Sur.
The senator, however, noted that the citizenship case is not only her fight but also the fight of the hundreds of thousands of children and individuals in the country who still do not know who their real parents are.
“And if I will lose in this fight, they will also have doubts on their nationality,” she said.
The independent presidential candidate said her concern is not about being disqualified as a senator but the idea of not being able to help other individuals who are in the same situation to be recognized as natural-born Filipinos.
Poe added that if the electoral tribunal or the Supreme Court will grant the petition filed against her, she has no right to stay in her post, but she is hoping that the court will also give consideration to the more than 20 million Filipinos who voted for her in 2013.
“This is the mandate that I will respect and value,” she said.
David has been insisting that Poe, a foundling, is considered stateless or an individual that does not have citizenship, making her unworthy to become senator.
Poe’s camp maintained that the senator is considered a “natural-born” citizen and, even if she is a foundling, she did not perform any act to acquire Philippine citizenship.
It said the Constitution provides that the generally accepted principles of international law shall form part of the laws of the Philippines.
These include the three United Nations conventions that state that no person or child can be considered stateless and these are the UN convention on the rights of the child, the UN convention on human rights and the UN convention on civil and political rights.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal is expected to come up with its decision on Poe’s disqualification case by November.|
Although the tribunal’s decision is considered final, the concerned parties can still run to the Supreme Court (SC).