Sereno worried about rights of foundlings


Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday said if foundlings are not considered natural-born Filipinos, Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares and others similarly situated would be considered second class citizens.

Sereno shared this insight during the continuation of the oral arguments on the petition to reverse the Commission on Elections’ disqualification of Poe from the presidential race.

The Chief Justice said that thousands of foundlings may lose their positions in government and scholarship grants simply because they do not know who their parents are.

Poe, a foundling, was disqualified because according to the Comelec, she is not a natural-born Filipino.

As Sereno questioned Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim, she read a list of positions in government that can only be occupied by natural-born citizens.

“If you are saying that foundlings are not natural-born citizens, have you thought about the impact on the rights of all foundlings?” she questioned Lim.

“The court now has to categorically answer the question about her (Poe’s) status, because the pronouncements we will make will affect so many others,” the Chief Justice noted.

“If I am going to say that a foundling is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, that they cannot hold thousands of offices that require natural-born citizens, any of those persons holding any of those positions who is alleged to be a foundling must be removed?” she asked.

“If your relative is a foundling, a petition for quo warranto may be brought against them to remove them from office, so the Solicitor General’s office must set up a special division to handle all the cases,” she opined.


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  1. Rommel Calzado on

    What is the existing law on this as of this moment? Foundlings are not natural-born citizens but naturalized citizens.. Presidents and Vice-Presidents should be natural-born citizens and not naturalized ones. If that is the case, Poe is not qualified to run. The rule of law should be followed and this should not be construed as discrimination. After these elections, the lawmakers should enact a law opening these positions to naturalized citizens. After this law is passed and signed into law, that is the time that Poe can run for these positions

  2. cj sereno was just too presumptous that if grace poe as foundling will not be a natural born citizen by the supreme court will be dissqualified from running for president and remove from the senate. That is the only implication. The rest of the case will be heard before the courts and due process will be accorded to them . Not automatic , as cj insinuates fear among other foundling. However if they intent to run for higher public office then they have to face this contentious judgment by the SC.

  3. Danny Cascolan on

    XA lying Chief Justice appointee of Aquino and Leonen is a Security Disaster in the Philippines.

  4. Madam Chief Justice, your personal affection is for your own consumption. You have been bestowed such position and power to apply the basic and fundamental law of our country and not the laws of any treaty which we does not accept as part of our laws. The law may be hard but it is the law. To legislate the constitution and to go down to what the framers of the constitution thinks at the time they framed this is not for you to do. That is basically we have 3 branches of our government. The legislative-to legislate laws; the executive-to apply the laws; and the judiciary-to decide whether or not the law is applicable or not. You as CJ do not have the power to legislate laws. Of you feel that the rights of foundling has to expanded and grant them automatic as natural born citizen then you should instruct congress to legislate such laws. That is basically why our brains was placed above our hearts so that our emotions will not surpass our intelligence. Stick to what the law provides and not on what it otherwise provides.

  5. CJ Sereno is a great example of what a Justice should be.
    You must always think of the implications of your decisions.

    She is right that the law had always considered them as natural-born, so
    why should they not let it be in this case? Why take away the rights of
    these foundlings.