• Poe’s citizenship a ‘non-issue’

     Sen. Grace Poe AFP PHOTO

    Sen. Grace Poe AFP PHOTO

    Makabayan bloc: We are patriotic but realistic
    Sen. Grace Poe’s previous record as an American citizen is a non-issue for the so-called Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.

    Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, a member of the progressive bloc, noted that Makabayan has a higher standard for patriotism than a citizenship history.

    “Yes, we are for patriotic and nationalist, but we are also realistic. For us, patriotism is abrogating the VFA [Visiting Forces Agreement] and the EDCA [Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement] because the presence of American troops violates our sovereignty and kills our people, but we know that nobody from them would say that. Based on our standards, we can’t really say who is more patriotic than the others, so we find basis of unity based on the platform of governance,” Colmenares said.

    He recently declared his intention to run for the Senate and is reportedly slotted in Poe’s senatorial ticket.

    A petition assailing the constitutionality of the VFA and EDCA is pending with the Supreme Court.

    Colmenares said the Makabayan bloc, which is composed of congressional representatives from the Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan and Anakpawis party-lists, would go by the platforms of prospective presidential candidates.

    Poe’s 20-point platform, which she presented last week when she declared her intention to run for President, is the closest to what Makabayan espouses.

    “We would still have a convention next week, but personally I am inclined to support Senator Poe because her record is free from corruption, she has handled her Senate duties well, and we have points of agreement based on her 20-point platform,” Colmenares said.

    Poe is facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections because of questions on her citizenship.

    A foundling adopted by celebrity couple Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, the younger Poe pursued higher education in the United States where she eventually renounced her Filipino citizenship and became an American citizen.

    She returned to the country for good after the death of her father in 2004.

    In 2010, she reacquired her Filipino citizenship and was appointed chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    “Initially, we were deciding between Mayor [Rodrigo] Duterte and Senator Poe since our constituents from Mindanao favor Mayor Duterte. But the mayor has withdrawn from the race so the only one left for our consideration is Senator Poe, and a lot of what she wants to do is in tune with us,” according to Colmenares.

    He earlier said Senate Electoral Tribunal chairman and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is being discriminatory when he said Poe is merely naturalized because the Constitution does not state anything about foundlings.

    Colmenares cited Article 4, Section 2 of the Constitution, which defines a natural-born Filipino citizen as a citizen of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.

    That definition covers Poe’s case.

    “Since Senator Grace was presumed a citizen when she was born, she did not perform any act to be a Filipino and therefore, is a natural-born citizen,” Colmenares said.

    But for Parañaque City (Metro Manila) Rep. Gus Tambunting, it cannot be immediately assumed that Poe, a foundling, is a natural-born Filipino citizen as required by the Constitution for a presidential candidate.

    The 1987 Constitution does not have a provision on foundlings.

    In the same vein, the Charter does not state that foundlings are naturalized, not natural-born.

    “We have to respect our Constitution. We must follow it to the letter. Otherwise, that would set a dangerous precedent for our elections. I see this being resolved once we know who her parents are,” Tambunting, a member of the United Nationalist Alliance led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, told reporters.

    Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat agreed with Tambunting that the burden of proof lies with Poe.

    “The [electoral tribunal]should immediately decide on it, if there is a legislation needed for that or otherwise. This is a test case, but the best scenario for her is really to find out the identity of her parents because under existing laws, you are a natural-born Filipino if one of your parents is a natural-born Filipino,” Lobregat said.

    Erap will run if…
    Deposed president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada might seek the presidency if the Senate Electoral Tribunal unseats Poe.

    “That is possible unless there will be other candidates because to maintain our democracy, you cannot be one candidate only, people must have a choice, but that is possible. Wait for the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal or the Supreme Court,” Estrada said.

    But the former president clarified that at the moment, he is determined to seek reelection.

    “Right now, I’m determined more to run for reelection because as I have said, Manila now is behind the neighboring cities and it is the capital. So, it’s a challenge to bring back Manila to its old glory,” he said.



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    1. XWhoever supports what clearly is crooked in principle is also unmasking himself as a crook or a henceman. I hope Neri Colmenares is just making an honest error but he is not. Neri Colmenares by intent supports violation of moral integrity and constitutional anarchy this is clear. That can change our views that his past achievements were for egalitarian intent, now it becomes that Neri did his Job just for the scaling of a political position in government. If that be for Neri Colmenares, Good then that we have not voted for seriously a sham Neri and his Makabayan – misleading and misnomer bloc.
      Ang masakit dito para,sa mamamayan ng Pilipinas e ang inakala natin na kakampi ng Bansa ay kaaway pala at kasama rin talaga ng LP – Linlang Pilipinas Group at mga neoliberalista nagpapahirap sa Bansa! Nagkunwang Tupa at nagtatanggol sa Karapatan ng Dukha at Masa un pala ay instrumento din ng Pang-aapi! Kaya pala ciguro ang maka-kaliwang mga grupo ( Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis, Gabriela? etc. ) ay di naging matagumpay kahit ilang taon na ang lumipas sa mga ipinaglalaban kasi nga ay may halong PAGKA-PEKE at kunwa ay laban sa exploitation pero interesado lang maka-pusisyun sa gobyerno at marahil ay tagong instrumento din lang talaga ng Pamunuang Oligarko Neoliberalismo!!. Kawawang mga mamamayan at nagamit lang din.

      SORRY Neri Colmenares BUT NO THANK YOU.


    2. Mar Padilla, Jr. on

      I got enough. The law is the law. It has been decided. Just follow it. Don’t try to circumvent the law. Or if you could appeal the decision, then appeal it.

    3. “Since Senator Grace was presumed a citizen when she was born, she did not perform any act to be a Filipino and therefore, is a natural-born citizen,” Colmenares said.
      This is the same position taken by Grace Poe’s lawyers. Unfortunately, as revealed during the oral arguments at SET, this position seems weak since it is a presumption based on international law which does not even define who are natural born Filipinos. Whereas, the Constitution clearly defines natural born Filipinos based on the principle of Jun Sangunis (blood relationship). The only way for Grace Poe to be a natural born Filipino is to prove that one of her parents is a Filipino. The phrase “without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.” cannot be taken separately from the complete statement of “Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.” The 1st part of the sentence is crucial and must be satisfied.

    4. Many of the comments here are missing the point of Rep. Colmenares’s statement. Maybe the writer could have done a better job of making the article clearer. What Rep. Colmenares is saying is that; 1, as a party Makabayan, among other reasons, is supporting Poes’ bid for presidency based on her platform. She has a program closest to what the coalition espouses; 2. For the Makabayan bloc, the issue of Poe’s citizenship is a non-issue for the Makabayan bloc because it is the coalition’s stand that Poe qualifies as a natural-born Filipino citing Sec. 2 of Article IV of the Constitution. Because she as presumed to be a natural-born Filipino right from the start, she satisfies the definition. Therefore, she is not violation the Constitution. That is all. Several comments here are also downright bigoted and discriminatory against foundlings. I

    5. The constitution does not speak of a presumed natural born only of natural born. A presumed natural born must be different from a natural and must be treated differently. A presumed natural born does not have the rights as that of a natural born.

    6. G. Colmenares, kung ang mga kasama mo ay kapareho ng iyong pananaw, di dapat tawaging Makabayan ang grupo ninyo. Ang isang makabayan ay hindi ipagsasawalang bahala ang Saligang Batas para lang masunod ang gusto niya. Mambabatas ka pa namang naturingan. Gusto mo ba na ang batas na ikaw mismo ang gumawa ay balewalain lang ng bayan? Sige nga, mag-isip ka!

    7. it is very clear citizenship is important not only to Poe since she want to be president of our country, but to all of us. Let keep our faith to law and hopefully the fairness will come out. but my real concern is, she renounced her citizenship as Filipino. her family is american citizen until now. how long she lived here in Philippines for her to know the country needs? the issue she needs to make a decision? i mean, for me she is using her popularity and she is being used to run for personal interest, not the future of our country.

    8. The respected Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from running for Myanmar’s presidency because her late husband and children are foreigners. There is widespread domestic and international criticism of this ban.

      Grace Poe’s American husband and children does not stop her from running for Philippine president, although many seem to take issue with that. There seems to be an outcry against installing an American family in Malacanang.

      Yes, there is a world of a difference between Ms. Suu Kyi and Ms. Poe. Ms. Suu Kyi has a long track record as an activist and freedom fighter. Her father was a key historic figure in the Burmese fight for independence. Poe was ………. Well, her father was a popular actor and a National Artist.

      Another difference is that Ms. Suu Kyi never renounced her citizenship. Her loyalty to her native country was never in question, except, perhaps, by a few generals.

    9. Makabayan bloc: We are patriotic but realistic??? What are the value of these words to Colmerares now if he apparently does not affirm the rule of law but mere emotions and realism? That’s nothing, (0) zero.

    10. Mr Colemares and his Bayan Muna gang: if you are REALISTIC as what you say, Why don’t you condemn the atrocities of the NPA? Although they are your affilites, they are wrecking havoc on LOWLY government soldiers( who are only making a living as gornment employees) being killed by INTERNATIONALLY banned LANDMINES!
      Does your patriotism include killing lowly paid soldiers who are only ekking out a living as soldiers for want of other decent jobs?? Where is your humanity? Why don’t you tell your NPA gang to kill criminals and corrupt officials instead? like Atong Ang, virgie Torres, Singson, Estrada, Drilon, ABAD, tupas, dinky soliman, alcala, noynoy at iba pa? Dahil ba walang propaganda benefit sa iyong kilusan pag yang mga ma-impluwensyang pangalan ang papatayin ninyo?
      Kaya isa ka ring anay sa lipunan Colmenares, katulad ka rin ng mga taong kunwari kinakalaban mo. Mas matindi ka pa dahil nagkukunwari ka na makabayan.
      Nakikisakay ka rin lang sa popularity ni Grace LLamanzares. Isa ka ring opportunista.

    11. Mr. Colmenares, you allied your party with Ms. Poe because your party “find basis of unity based on platform of governance.” And to you and your party patriotism is not a matter of mere citizenship but abrogating VFA and EDCA. Please let us know whether Ms. Poe advocates abrogation of these VFA and EDCA. I have never heard the good senator or her Partido Pilipinas saying anything about these issues.

    12. ako ko ay natutulala kapag nakikita ko si Grace Poe na hinahangahan ng maraming madla habang nagsasalita sa maraming pagtitipon. Kinikilabutan din ako sa pag asta ng kanyang mukha na tila isang tupang maamo. Gawa pa na lagi siyang nakasuot ng puting pananamit na akala mo ay isang banal. Ito ay kabaligtaran lahat. Yong pinakikita niyang mmaamong mukha ay maskara lamang pala ni ,,,,,,,,,, na manlilinlang at ang puting kasuotan ay cosmetic cover pala ng kadiliman. GRACE, may budhi ka pa kaya na humarap sa tao sa lahat ng kaguluhang ito. May mukha ka pa ba na sabihin ang pangalan ng panginoon sa iyong panlilinlang. KAWAWANG BAYAN PILIPINAS LAHAT NA LANG NG PULITICO AY MANLILINLANG


      No one has a monopoly on patriotism and on being a nationalistic MORON!

      BUT!!!!!!! THE FIRST SWORN DUTY of a patriotic citizen is to defend and protect OUR CONSTITUTION – YOU, NERI as a public official took your oath under the mantle of the Philippine Constitution.


    14. Neri Colmenares is defending GRACE POE at the expense of our CONSTITUTION for purely selfish reasons. He is running for senator under GRACE and CHIZ slate.

      My goodness. What happened to your so-called principles, Mr. Colmenares???

      You are no different than the big crocodiles around you in Congress after all.

    15. We practically don’t know who will be the next leader to rule our debts entangled country?

      1. Will it be a “A Trying-Hard Kargador” from the Philippine Aristocracy?
      2. Will it be a semi Dark-Skinned candidate who is a deeply classified Aquino bet?
      3. Will it be a Co-Councilor of Naturalized Born Pilipino Senator?
      4. Or will it be the Naturalized-born Pilipino senator who chairmanship the Mamasapano SAF-44 Massacres, yet, effectively presided and lawyerly defended Aquino?

    16. Realism at the expense of patriotism is a dangerous doctrine in a state that adheres to the principle of the rule of law. If the constitutional provision on the qualifications of a presidential aspirant can be cast aside in favor of realism , then we may as well completely cast aside the constitution and laws emanating therefrom and let realism reign supreme. But whose realism? That of those who in the first place don’t really believe in the constitution but use it as a means to wrest power through above- ground parliamentary struggle? That of those who may be legitimate leaders but who because of naive realism allow themselves to be used as veils for those with sinister goal of eventual total power? Or that of the multitude mass who knowingly allow themselves to be mesmerized by sweet – talking “leaders”?

    17. We’ll of course, Mr Colmenares, no party will accept you to be included in their line up and at the same time because of delicadeza, you won’t switch cause they will call you balimbing and an opportunist. I ‘ve seen a breed of your kind Mr. Colmenares.

      • Last 2013 election, I voted only Ted Casino senator as this will give him plus 12 votes. My friends and relatives asked why did I vote Mr.Ted Casino he is a leftist. I told them ” I prefer one honest leftist than 12 GRAFT AND CORRUPT democrats.”.
        This 2016, I’ve been telling my friends that if Neri Colminares will run for the senate, I’ll vote only for him but now I changed my mind as I see him as the same as all politicians who are all ” Balimbings ” and like Grace Poe Llamanzares who is a Pilipino by Convenient, Coleminares is also a politicians by CONVENIENT. I will not vote any senator come 2016.

    18. Why would a party, the Makabayan bloc, even consider the constitutional requirements in running for higher office when they cannot even appreciate the pro-life and pro-family character of the charter. The reaffirmists are again in a quandary like before. With their inability to run on their own and by themselves, they are forced to choose even among those who stand opposed to their basic ideological pretensions. Truly the cause is lost. Truly they are lost.

    19. Makabayan Bloc is in no position to determine whether poe’s citizenship is a non-issue or not. Let’s wait for the findings of the SET.

    20. The gossip mill will surely blow a big society scandal in our midst if ever Grace Poe has her DNA matching with a number of personalities or anyone of them like the actress cousin , the two actress sisters, the so called bro senator. Is there anybody among them will dare the challenge to have one. Maybe , it is a high time to settle this issue for the sake of the Philippines. Grace Poe has the potentials to lead the country if ever she hurdles the problems she is facing now. Filipinos love the underdog that is why the other presidentiables are trying to be underdogs

    21. Masyadong ipokrito itong partido Makabayan. Hindi ba ang citizenship ang pinak-unang issue na dapat talakayin sa isang kandidato sa pagka Presidente?

      Ang bibilis ng mga taong humusga, lalo na iyong may mga kinikilingan. Hindi nila inaalintana kung ang kanilang mga sasabihin ay may katuturan o magpapakita lamang ng kawalan ng sariling kaalaman o kahihiyan. Sangayon ako kay Sheryl na hindi dapat kumandidato si Grace Poe para maging Punong Pambansa ng Pilipinas. Hindi ako sangayon na maari siyang kumandidato sa 2022. Unang-una, bukod sa anumang katangian, hindi ba LOYALTY sa Pilipinas ang una ninyong hahanapin sa kandidato?

      Itinakwil na ni Grace Poe minsan ang Pilipinas. Ito ay pagpapatunay na hindi siya maaring pagtiwalaan pagdating sa kapakanan ng bansa. Ipagpapalit niya ito sandaling magbago ang isip niya, makakita siya ng bagong oportunidad. Pangalawa, patitirahin niya sa Malacanang ang mga banyaga. Pag sila ay nagsiping sa kama, hindi kaya niya maibunghalit ang mga sekreto ng bansa? Maliwanag na “conflict of interest” at “primary national security risk” ang dadalahin niya sa posisyon pag siya ay nahalal.

      Nasaan ang kahihiyan ng mga pumapanig sa kanya? Payag kayo na ang maging Presidente ninyo ay minsan nang itinakwil ang kanyang pagka-Pilipino sa walang dahilan. Maliban sa pagboto, halos pareho ang pribilehiyo ng American Citizen at Green Card Holder sa Amerika. Marami nang pumunta at tumira sa Amerika na nagkaroon ng pagkakataon pero hindi nag american citizen. Payag din kayo na ang maging “First Gentleman” ninyo ay Amerikano at titira sa Malacanang? Nasaan ang inyong National Pride?

      Kung ayaw ninyo doon sa dalawa pang kandidato, bakit kailangan may iboto pa kayo sa Presidente? Mag-isip-isip kayo bayan!!!

    22. fred villaragoisa on

      Manila now is behind the neighboring cities and it is the capital. So, it’s a challenge to bring back Manila to its old glory,” he said.

      For how long he would bring back Manila to it old glory? Since Estrada became the mayor Manila did he put any visible improvement, Nada. The place is the same shit and will be shit forever.

      • Indeed, a small-town mayor mentality with no grasp of the demands of a world class city can never be able to build one – much less, plan. Yun na nga lang pagpapatupad ng batas, di na magawa, sigurado na puro pangako lang lalabas sa bibig. That old site of Cinerama where a Gotesco Mall stands is on a waterway which was just covered by the builders of that mall. Cinerama was demolished because it was built on a waterway. Bakit hindi mapagiba ni Joseph ang mall which construction was violative of our laws?

    23. I will vote for Rep. Colmenares although I do not exactly share their principles.At least the Makabayan bloc remains consistent, a necessary evil in our political system of unabashed turncoatism,dirty money and dynastic opportunism. They constitute a real change in the senate , the august body which became a family affair chamber of traditional politicians.

      • That “makabayan” stance is already passe. Even Lenin was an advocate of Internationalism. With Asean Integration, the narrow mindset of parochial politics should attune itself to the realities of global trends and megacities planning.

    24. Grace Poe is a disgrace to the election of a philippine president. ampon ni FPJ na wala pang napapatunayan ay llalaban dahil sikat si FPJ hanapin muna niya ang tunaY niyang putang magulang na nagtapon sa kanya. TAGGALIN NA SENADO SI GRACE POE PARA MADALA ANG MAYAYAMAN URI SA PILIPINAS

      • Sa mga taga suporta ni Sen. Grace Poe ito ay pansamantalang balakid sa kanyng kandidatura sa pag ka pangulo at mananaig ang katarungan ipapataw ng Korte Suprema ano man ito, pabor o hindi kay Sen. Grace Poe ngunit kung mapatunayang natural born nga po si Sen. Grace Poe napalaking dagok ito doon sa mga gustong iitsa pwera siya sa kandidatura ng pagka pangulo, nag didiwang na ang mga huwad na may malaskit sa bayan, ngunit ang huling halakhak ay posibleng hindi nila alam kung kay sino?

    25. How hypocritical and contradictory can Colmenares be! He’d rather be realistic with EDCA than being patriotic and nationalistic in relation to the citizenship of Mrs. Llamanzres.

      Following his ‘logic’, he’d rather have one of questionable integrity and loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines, as president. How short-sighted and unimaginative can Colmenares be, about the powers of a head of state!

      Assuming that she is qualified because her ‘handlers’ support her, by hook or by crook, will she be as strong-willed and independent from her ‘handlers’ who may have agenda unbeknown to her. Here’s a naive head of the country, who doesn’t have a SOLID loyalty to the country because her immediate family members are American citizens, yet citizenship is ‘non-issue’?.

      Perhaps, Mr. Colmenares is one of those “star-struck” who’d want to ‘ride’ on the derivative’ popularity of Mrs. Llamanzares from her adoptive father who was a hero and champion-of-the-poor and the oppressed…..in fantasy world! Get real Mr. Colmenares.

    26. If ever only in the Philippines A “Filipina” president with an American Family.
      Makabayan bloc hated so much the American bases and asked them to leave, knowing fully we cannot defend ourselves from China..
      Now you want her as a president. Where is your pride?.

    27. Nancy Bulok Cake on

      Be careful voting Poe for President with the Leftists. This might again be the same Cory Aquino who kicked out the Americans from Clark and Subic bases. What do we have in return? Begging for military assistance from the U.S. as well as their presence in our country to defend us from communist China. The group of Colmenares will try their best to get in any government positions to benefit their comrades and financier China. To all Filipinos, let us all say NO to Poe and the leftists.

    28. Makabayan bang gawain ang ginawa ni Grace Poe na manumpa siya upang maging Amercano Cong. Colminares? Gusto pala ni Grace Poe maging pangulo bakit niya tinalikuran ang bayan natin? Aba kung kampi ka kay Grace Poe Cong. Colmenares umalis ka diyan Bayan Muna party list. Nakaka dismaya ang pananaw mo parang ka din si Grace, sarli Muna bago bayan.

    29. What a lot of BS and nonsense from Rep. Neri Colmenares. He talks about “patriotism being higher than citizenship history”. Has Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares ever shown or done anything to warrant the label “patriot”? I suggest that Mr. Colmenares look up the dictionary meaning of “patriot”. He obviously considers someone who gave up her Filipino citizenship to become a US citizen to be a “patriot”. Talk about abandoning allegiance to one’s own country! Poor Philippines if this is the kind of person considered “patriot” by some such House representatives as Mr. Neri Colmenares.

    30. The bottom line is there is an issue on Poe’s compliance to natural-born citizenship. It is not a question whether she is patriotic or nationalistic because there are foreigners who are more patriotic than some of the Filipino leaders. SC Senior Associate Justice is correct in defining what constitute a natural-born citizenship and clarified that the constitution does not include foundlings for obvious reason. We need a President who knows her parents and are Filipinos. Sooner or later I hope the parents will show up or be known.
      Therefore the burden of proof is with Grace Poe. I think she should listen to Sheryl Cruz who seems to be intelligent and more in sync on politics.