• The first American woman President outside the US?


    The deception intensifies
    Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares and her camp are now busy trying to make the nation believe that the former American citizen of no known biological parentage is leading the Philippine presidential race, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has yet to rule clearly and competently whether or not she has the “right to run” for the highest office. The Constitution requires, among other things, that a candidate be a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for at least 10 years immediately preceding the election. She is neither. But natural-born citizen or not, 10-year resident or not, Poe and her backers are prepared to make her the first American woman President outside the United States.

    Using the conscript media and the propaganda fraudsters, her corporate backers have come up with junk surveys claiming 66-percent public support for the SC “majority ruling” that “qualifies” her as a candidate, without a majority vote in support of her citizenship and residency claims. The alleged survey was taken on March 8 to 11, before anyone had a chance to read a single page of the more than 650 pages of materials from the justices, released only on March 11.

    More false surveys
    Her campaigners have intensified the use of misleading propaganda surveys to create the impression that she is the preferred choice of many voters, who do not care about national sovereignty or national honor, or whether she is fowl or beast. The deepest pockets behind her presidential run do not seem to mind that everything about her is now built on a lie, so there is nothing she and they will not do to wrest control or power. That makes them the most dangerous persons in the world.

    So far they seem to be having their way. But they could miscalculate the limits of what the voters would allow, and society could blow up just when they thought the people’s sense of outrage is gone. I pray this fear is exaggerated, and the analysis completely mistaken, but as I travel around the country, I hear the same thing from others.

    What happened, so far
    For background, the Commission on Elections has disqualified Mrs. Llamanzares as a candidate and cancelled her Certificate of Candidacy, for making false representations about her citizenship and residency. A decision penned by Associate Justice Jose Perez says the Comelec has no authority to pass upon the constitutional qualifications of presidential candidates. Therefore, the Comelec committed a “grave abuse of discretion” when it ruled favorably on the petitions of Atty. Estrella Elamparo, former Senator Francisco Tatad, Prof. Antonio Contreras and Dean of Law Amado Valdez against Mary Grace.

    The Perez ponencia has shocked and scandalized the nation. Contrary to what it says, the Court has long and repeatedly upheld the Comelec’s jurisdiction in various disqualification cases, some of them through the ponencia of the same Justice Perez. In fact, the Comelec summarily disqualified some 130 or so “nuisance” presidential candidates at the start of the campaign, without a word of reproach from the High Court. None of the 130 or so had citizenship or residency problems; their only problem was that they did not have the oligarchic backing of Mrs. Llamanzares.

    No majority vote
    The Perez ponencia declares Mrs. Llamanzares “qualified” to run for President, despite the lack of a Court majority supporting her citizenship and residency claims. Eight votes are needed to constitute a majority of the 15 justices. This number was not attained, as revealed by Senior Associate Antonio Carpio in his dissent. Seven Justices voted to support the claim that she is natural-born, not according to the Constitution, but solely by statistical probability, disputable presumption, and the equal protection of the law and social justice interpretation. Five rejected the claim, and three did not vote. Seven supported her claim of being a qualified resident; six rejected it; and two did not vote.

    The real majority
    Since an abstention is not a recusal, it is also a vote; it is, therefore, clear that on the two core issues of citizenship and residency, the majority did not support the ponencia’s conclusion that Mrs. Llamanzares is qualified to run for President. Nine signed the same document. But of the nine, three justices — Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardeleza and Benjamin Caguioa — agreed that the Comelec had jurisdiction, except that it failed to prove that Mrs. Llamanzares’s false representations about her citizenship and residence status were “meant to deceive.”

    Six justices said the Comelec had no jurisdiction — Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Jose Mendoza, Marvic Leonen and Perez.

    Civil unrest
    In a carefully worded Motion for Reconsideration (MR), the Commission on Elections asked the High Court last week to deliberate and vote anew on Mrs. Llamanzares’ petition for certiorari. “With due respect,” said the MR, “the Court should reexamine its majority decision, for its legal and constitutional infirmities and, more importantly, for having heightened political passions in the country that could ignite civil strife. There is no factual or legal basis for the ruling that the petitioner is a qualified candidate in the May 9, 2016 national elections. There is, therefore, a need for the court to redeliberate and revote on the issue of citizenship to avoid the dire repercussions that the majority decision has brought in its wake.”

    Section 2, Rule 12 of the SC Internal Rules of Procedure provides that the Court shall deliberate anew whenever it fails to attain the necessary majority vote. “Such action of redeliberating and revoting will serve as a shining example to the Bar and Bench that in deciding a case, especially one involving the fundamental law, nothing but the Constitution, law and jurisprudence should be the overriding factors and considerations,” the Comelec said.

    Our own MR
    Preceding the Comelec action was that of the four original petitioners Elamparo, Tatad, Contreras and Valdez, assisted by my legal counsel Manuelito Luna. In our MR, we asked the Court to reverse the Perez ponencia and save the election from being thoroughly debased by the participation of a “true nuisance candidate.”

    We said that the Court erred in declaring Mrs. Llamanzares a “qualified candidate;” in declaring that the Comelec had no jurisdiction; in declaring that Mrs. Llamanzares is a natural-born citizen by statistical probability, presumption, and under the equal protection of the law and social justice clause; in ruling that foundlings are citizens under the 1935 Constitution; in ruling that foundlings are natural-born citizens under international law; in declaring that the “reacquisition” of citizenship under Republic Act 9225 vested natural-born status upon Mrs. Llamanzares; in holding that she complied with the 10-year residence requirement; and in declaring that her false representation about her citizenship and residency did not intend to mislead.

    The IBP speaks up
    Aside from one former chief justice who has been speaking for Mrs. Llamanzares from the very beginning, not a single legal luminary has spoken in defense of the widely attacked Perez ponencia. In an unprecedented act, the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which normally supports even the most controversial decisions of the Court, declared in a formal statement that the Court has failed to make a valid ruling on the Comelec decision against Mrs. Llamanzares.

    This means that if the SC ruling is not reversed, and Mrs. Llamanzares gets elected in any kind of election, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal will have to decide her case in a quo warranto petition. But the PET would be made up of the same justices, some of whom did not have the courage to defend the Constitution. The farce would continue, wouldn’t it? One could imagine Chief Justice Sereno proclaiming, “the people have spoken,” despite the long established jurisprudence which holds that the people’s votes do not and can never qualify anyone for any office for which he is not constitutionally eligible from the very beginning.

    Real unrest could explode, if it had not yet exploded by then.

    Disgusted lawyer
    So high are the passions unleashed by the Perez ponencia that a lawyer in his 80s, who has spent the better part of his professional life in the ministry of public opinion, has vowed to return his professional license to the Supreme Court should it fail to correct its patently diseased decision. A much younger reader has threatened to revive Bartolome Cabangbang’s long discredited “Philippine US-Statehood Movement” if Mrs. Llamanzares is not prevented from running.

    Nor is this the only thing that disturbs patriots and plain citizens. Some observers have noticed that Mrs. Llamanzares has not been particularly shy in advertising herself as the candidate of a well known politically connected conglomerate. During the presidential debate in Cebu, while Mayor Rodrigo Duterte spoke of “leadership,” Vice President Jejomar C. Binay spoke of “experience,” and Mar Roxas promised more of B. S. Aquino 3rd’s failed “daang matuwid” (straight path), Mrs. Llamanzares promised to build more prisons and make one retired Marine Colonel — Ariel Querubin — the “crime czar” of her hypothetical government.

    Blowing RSA’s cover
    Querubin is a bemedalled Marine colonel, who had figured in some attempts to unseat then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and was detained. While under detention, he ran for the Senate in 2010. Querubin now works as the internal security consultant to San Miguel Corporation’s Ramon S. Ang (RSA), whom my Times colleague,Yen Makabenta, has identified as Mrs. Llamanzares’s principal funder. He is also said to be her husband’s current employer.

    Reader Francis Paolo Tioplanco is particularly concerned about the legal and ethical implications of this “candidate’s” ties with SMC or RSA, which could run afoul of the Omnibus Election Code. Section 95 of the OEC enumerates the various entities that cannot contribute to a candidate or a political party, and makes receiving money from these sources a ground for disqualifying a candidate.

    Tioplanco points out that San Miguel (referred to as “Ang Miguel” in some circles) controls, or is, otherwise, affiliated with companies that are prohibited by law from making political contributions to candidates or political parties, namely, Bank of Commerce, Petron Corporation, SMC Global Power Holdings (administers Sual, San Roque, and Iligan power plants among others), San Miguel Holdings Corp. (TPLEX, Skyway Stage 3, NAIAEX, etc.)

    Mrs. Llamanzares has admitted using Mr. Ang’s or SMC’s private planes on her sorties, but neither party has revealed the exact extent of financial contributions she has received from this particular donor. Unlike in the US, where immediate public disclosure is required for any contribution in excess of $200, all contributions in the Philippines are reported only after the elections. There is no requirement for contributions to be audited by a reputable firm, nor to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.

    The general impression is that no candidate or political party ever files an honest report of contributions and expenditures, and that it takes an unusually unlucky pol like the last governor-elect of Laguna, E. R. Ejercito, to be found guilty of overspending.

    In promising to create a non-existent job for RSA’s internal security consultant, should she prevail against the Constitution, Mary Grace, who is supposed to be “the fresh face of the presidential race,” showed too much eagerness to play “patronage politics,” Tioplanco complains. Well, this is not just patronage politics, sir.

    This shows, rather, the real rules of serfdom. She simply wants to assure her backers that she is ready and willing to be owned by people who, because of their money, have come to believe they can own everyone and everything.



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    1. Simple! if you are rich and powerful, you are above the Law. This is typical in the our Country…

    2. Those who do not appreciate history………….

      1> Di maganda ang record ng Presidente na galing sa showbiz

      2> Di din maganda ang pakita ng mga Babae na naging Prsidente na

    3. Graham Godfrey on

      I read this and it makes me sad for the Philippines. That such hatred and blatant political bias would pretend to use the law to justify their absurd claims. Of course Poe is a natural born Filipino. The author knows this. As a foreigner who talks to lots of other foreigners it is not Poe running for presidency that damages the reputation of the Philippines but the low levels that political candidates and their puppets go to to score points.

    4. What is disturbing is the fact that people are willing to vote with their heart and not their minds. Sometimes I truly believe we are a nation riddled with “I don’t want to accept the truth” lemmings bent on electing an unqualified candidate out of “blind faith.” The SC itself has confirmed what the rest of the world already knows; we are a nations of laws to be observed when it is convenient but, the rule of law must never interfere with the balance of power held by the 160 or so political families over the entire country.

      To those willing to hand over their law license in support of the Country and the Constitution; you are true patriots.

    5. It is just a 10-yr residency period. is that hard to compute? we can easily count our more than 10 yrs of celebrated b-days and anniversaries! Para walang qualms about the court’s ruling on Poe’s, DU30 for president! This country does not need hypocrites or dishonest leaders. WE need someone who is an action and service oriented person like DUTERTE. During the 2nd debate in Cebu, when Poe said na pupunuin niya ang bilangoan ng mga corrupt or the like… she was not addressing the disease that the country was facing, nor was Roxas when he brags about the criminals he sent to jail because we saw n TV that these people or criminals continue their dirty jobs in jail. The Philippines needs rehabilitation. WE need to cultivate and strengthen our moral values and love for country. WE need to work together to a progressive and peaceful Pinas. I believe DU30 is the sincerest and dedicated person to lead this country. No worry….DU30!

    6. She is the most qualified leader among the candidates decent and intelligent. She has the vision for the Philippines. Stop barking my friend Kit Tatad, I know you love Jojo Binay.

    7. Jherald Doing on

      Ang gusto kong malaman ay bakit o sino ba si col Ariel Querubin? bakit ipinangangalandakan ni poe sa debate na siya ang gagawing crime czar..ang pangalan o katauhan ba ni col. Querubin ay maituturing na isang plataporma na makapag aangat sa kalagayan ng bansa?
      At bakit kailangan na niyang mag talaga ng isang personal sa isang position, hindi pa man lang siya nanalo bilang presidente?

    8. Why always poe u r writing in ur column how about the other presidential candidates. Do they have no shortcomings? Are they immacullate clean. In the interest of fair play also write the defects of the other candidates so the voters can be enlightened of choosing their candidates after all lahat nman tumatanggap ng campaign donation. As to querubin i agree that his expertise is not law enforcement there might be problems that will be encounter along the way.

      • This is not just about Poe. It is about the damage that is being done to our jurisprudence and the disregard for explicit requirements of the Constitution. I’m not a fan of Tatad either, he the former Marcos Information Minister. But I am with him on this particular issue.

    9. We’ll a first intelligent, competent, Filipino woman President if Poe wins.
      her detractors should just stop whining. I believe the SC ruling will not be overturned. The fight is done.

      And if ever she wins and there will be a PET case, im confident she’d still win that.

      • intelligent? Maybe. Competent? Debatable. What has she achieved in her short time in the Senate? Has she done anything to make the lives of Filipino men better? Isn’t she doing the opposite? She signed the coco levy fund that she vehemently denied. If Fernando Poe didn’t not die she wouldn’t have any chance of winning. She keeps on saying ‘Ipagtuloy ko.’ What is??? Explain it to me. Fernando Poe did not do anything other than being a star. What has he achieved that helps the Filipino people?

        Wake up. Now is the time be wise. We’ll maybe you enjoy riding the trains in Manila or the trash doesn’t bother you at all. If that’s what you want, go ahead vote that fraudster.

    10. ernie del rosario on

      We will not only have the first American woman President of the Philippines. We will also have a female Judas Iscariot as President. Only in the…..!

    11. No disrespect to Col. Querubin but he was a a soldier who follow orders! he was not a law enforcer and his expertise is not Criminal Investigation and crime prevention. That promise by Ms. Grace shows her total lack of understanding and experience in the matters ofPublic Safety. and yet, filipinos want her to be their president? oh my lord,really….

    12. I just hope Duterte wins so Poe and her transgressions would just be part of a national nightmare. Also, I’m sure that if Duterte wins, he’ll make everyone toe the line, hopefully including the erring justices of the SC.

    13. You really do not want to stop ha. I will not doubt if you will be charge for sedition and encouraging to incite rebellion by the Justice Dept. after the election. I hope DeLima is still in office because she is not scared to open a case against you.

    14. Ang KAPAL ng MUKHA ni GPoe, a CHEAT, eh grabe walang hiya, shameless bitch. Our constitution has been bastardized masunod Lang ang animal na Ito.

      • E yon nagnakaw ny billion sa makati ,Hindi walanghiya ? Yon pumatay ng Tao na walang sandata, Hindi walanghiya ? Yon
        Nagpabaya sa MRT at Yolanda victims, Hindi walanghiya ?vPoe does not have these inhuman action and now it appears to you that she is the worst of them all.

    15. Leodegardo Pruna on

      GRACE continues to disgrace herself and her supporters as well continues to take advantage of her with their insatiable greed for money and position from the “Ang Miguel”. The true Filipinos are hoping that the original “Boss” of “Ang Miguel” has his hands off in this corruptible arrangement. As Easter reminds us that there is life after our physical death, the evil deeds will come to be judged and meted the corresponding penalties. We pray that God will intervene in order to save the Philippines from evil and the evil ones. God, please save the Philippines.

    16. Cris de vera on

      Bakit kailangan pa harangin ang kanyang kandidatura at labis kang nanggagalaiti sa kanya. Ipaubaya nalang sa madlang Pilipino ang decission. Sinang ayunan ng supreme court ang reclamo mo, ano pa ang gusto mo? Di ba Mr. Tatad dati kang sendor at dati kang information secretary. Di ba dapat alam mo rule of law. Kong aapila ka kaso sa sc hindi fb. Pasensya na sir, hindi po ako maka poe pero nakakasawa kana. Nererespeto ko yong opinion mo pero kong gagamitin mo media para mtupad gusto mo medyo hindi tama. Pangsarili nal lamang hindi kapakanan ng pilipino ang naisin mo. Sana doon nalang sa sc makipag debate kaso parehas hindi abogado

      • um….you’re missing the point. Also, he’s a contributor. he’ll write what he feel strongly about.

      • Agree with you. But let Kit express his thoughts since this is part of our democratic exercise. He has a strong argument given his knowledge and the many sources of information he got. if we have to follow strictly the rules he is correct to point this out. If the number of years required for residency then anything below 10 years will be unacceptable. I also agree with Kit about this statement.
        “The deepest pockets behind her presidential run do not seem to mind that everything about her is now built on a lie, so there is nothing she and they will not do to wrest control or power…NPC, UCPB, Estradas, Cojuangcos, etc. That makes them the most dangerous persons in the world”.

      • Hindi dapat ipaubaya sa bayang Pilipino ang desisyon sa kaso ni Grace Poe. Sa kadhilananag karamihan sa atin ay mang-mang, walang kakayahan umusisa ng tamang impormasyon. At yun namang natitira sanang may utak, ay nabobobo tuwing eleksyon. Let’s face it, the Filipino in general is stupid and stubborn. Time and again the Filipino has demonstrated its ability to self-destruct and its incapacity to select the right leaders. Hence the term “Only in the Philippines.”.

    17. better than spending govt resources (BUBs) like you know who
      and your dark knight with corruption charges

    18. Having an American citizen as our president will make us what? The 51st state of America? Wouldn’t she be like a governor then? LOL!

    19. The more I read Kit Tatad’s reasons of hatred against Grace Poe the more I am convinced that she is the best alternative among voters who are desperately seeking a change in the political system of this country.After the SC vote allowing Poe to campaign for president ,he predicts a peoples revolt that never happen, enticing a military upheaval but was ignored. He writes about Poe’s conglomerates dirty money but praised his pet Bonget Marcos cool campaign,where else did his favorite candidate got his well organized machinery? he is privy to that.He castigates Poe as an american woman but always cite US jurisprudence. I hope his MR will be decided soonest to be thrown as thrash with finality and his worst nightmare in the May election coming to reality.

    20. If and when this American Girl Grace Poe becomes president, we
      Filipinos should brace for the worst. Magiging parang GMA presidency lang yan..From day 1 pagdududahan ang mandato nya….Baka magka coup de etat na naman.

    21. If Poe-Llamanzares wins and becomes the next President of the Republic of the Philippines because the SC ‘said’ so, and ‘confirmed’ by its ‘wrong’ simple computation and interpretation of majority, it may not be a shame to surrender one’s membership in the IBP.

      May God save the Republic of the Philippines!

    22. Sen.Grace Poe is the people choice and i am sure that she will be the next President.you are always telling bad publicity to our dear senator however nobody beleives you because we love and we beleived her.

      • oh common who are you to say that she is the people choice? She is a liar. cheat. Masunod lang ang ambisyon niya kahit masisira na ang batas natin ok lang sa kanya. greedy. kapal mus talaga.

      • noel, as i have commented after the release of the supposed majority decision favoring poequino-poejuangco, the previously disqualified by the sc would want a reversal of the ruling against them. one that is set to question her disqualification is ex-cong reyes of marinduque. she was disqualified by the sc with finality only recently. she was also a former usa citizen and reverted to filipino. she was a real natural born filipino unlike poequino-poejuangco. i wonder what the 2 mayors recently disqualified by sc would do also. btw, the sc justice perez was also the one who penned the decision disqualifying reyes if i recall correctly.