The camp of Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that she used her US passport after reacquiring her Filipino citizenship, but insisted that the act was not illegal because she had dual citizenship.
Poe’s lawyer George Garcia clarified that the senator committed no violation under the law and is qualified to seek the presidency.
Garcia said the last time that the senator used her US passport was on March 9, 2010.
She reacquired her Filipino citizenship on July 7, 2006.
Poe, Garcia said, enjoyed her dual citizenship until October 20, 2010.
Thus, he added, she could use either US or Filipino passport.
“It is the privilege given to dual citizens,” Garcia told The Manila Times.
Poe renounced her US citizenship on October 20, 2010.
The next day, she assumed her post as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) took the same position when it submitted its comment to the petition filed at the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal junking a disqualification complaint against Poe.
The OSG said the electoral tribunal did not commit grave abuse of discretion in ruling that Poe validly reacquired her natural-born citizenship under Republic Act (RA) 9225, or the Citizenship and Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, on October 18, 2001 when she executed an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.
The Senate Electoral Tribunal said Poe’s use of her US passport after she took her oath of allegiance may not be considered a repudiation of her US citizenship since the usage of the passport between November 1, 2006 and March 27, 2010 took place before she formally renounced her US citizenship.