• The rise of Poe and the fall of Binay


    “No es sueño la vida.;Alerta!; Alerta! ;Alerta!
    Nos cameos por la escalera para comer la tiera humedia”
    (Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
    We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth)
    –Ciudad del Sueño by Federico Garcia Lorca

    The start of the surveys was like a dream for VP Jejomar Binay. He topped all existing surveys until Senator Grace Poe finally announced her availability for the presidency of the realm. Then VP Binay’s fortune changed. His poll ratings started to fall – falling, falling, falling while that of Senator Poe started rising, rising, rising –now almost to a crescendo.

    Finally, Binay realized that life is not a dream after all. While enjoying the pleasures of being at the top of the polls, he should have started reading Federico Garcia Lorca, the brilliant Spanish poet, to inject some humility into his system.

    The Poe citizenship
    If there would be elections in May 2016, what’s delaying Poe’s march to victory? The issue of whether Poe is a natural born citizen, for the moment, serves as the hindrance to what surely would be a Poe triumph in the 2016 elections.

    But is Senator Poe really a natural born Filipino citizen? Earlier, I offered an opinion that she is no longer a natural born Filipino citizen because she became an American citizen and, therefore, she lost her status as a natural born citizen. I am afraid I have to reverse myself after serious and painstaking study.

    Citizenship is a legal concept. Being natural born is an issue of fact. Is Senator Poe natural born in this country? Of course, she is. That she was born in this country is not disputed; that makes her natural born.

    The fine points at issue on whether Senator Poe is a natural born Filipino are the following: First, becoming an American citizen, did she lose her Philippine citizenship? She did. Second, but did she lose the fact that she is natural born in the Philippines? Of course not! She lost her Philippine citizenship but she did not lose her being natural born here. Third, when she reacquired her Philippine citizenship, did she reacquire being natural born? Of course, she did because being natural born is an issue of fact and she was born in the Philippines.

    What is the pertinent Constitutional provision involved in this issue? It is section 2, Article IV of the Constitution which states:

    “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…”

    Based on this definition of a natural born citizen, it is quite obvious that Senator Poe is a natural born citizen. An added argument to this provision of the Constitution is section 3 of the same article of the Constitution which states:

    “Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.”

    What is the law involved in the case of Senator Poe? It is Republic Act No. 9225 which became a law on August 29, 2003 known as the “Philippine Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.” The pertinent provisions in this law that govern the case of Senator Poe are as follows:

    “Section 2. Declaration of Policy – It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.”

    “Section 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship – Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic: “

    xxx xxx xxx

    “Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities – Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions:

    xxx xxx xxx

    “(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and at the time of the filing of certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.”

    All these constitutional and statutory provisions qualify Senator Poe to run for the presidency of the Republic since the senator has complied with the constitutional and statutory requirements at the time she filed her certificate of candidacy for the Senate since under section 3 of Article VI of the Constitution to be a natural born citizen is also a requirement to be a senatorial candidate.

    All told, Senator Poe does not have to prove that she is a natural born citizen. Under this jurisdiction, the one who alleges that she is not a natural born citizen should prove it. It is only until then that she should present contradicting evidence.

    Anyone who says at this point that Senator Poe should present DNA test results that show that she has relatives who are Filipino citizens is peddling a lot of nonsense. Why the lawyers of Senator Poe should have her subjected to the ignominy of a DNA test escapes me. They should do their home work.

    As the papers report, Justice Antonio Carpio who is the Chairman of the Senate Electoral Tribunal gave the opinion that Senator Poe is not a natural born citizen. To begin with, as Chairman of the SET he has no business giving that opinion since there is still no decision of the SET. This is indicative of bias and partiality on his part in favor of the petitioner. He should inhibit himself under paragraph 2, section 1, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court and the long line of decisions of the Supreme Court which are applicable to the SET. Moreover, as Representative Silvestre Bello has stated in the papers that Carpio is connected to the lawyer of the petitioner. So this is another evidence of bias on the part of Carpio. He should inhibit now because of his bias and partiality and for offering an opinion that cannot stand the test of judicious scrutiny.

    Oath in this country has no value
    Moreover, to put so much emphasis on oath in a country like ours is outlandishly technical. To start with, who really cares about oath in this country? Let us take the case of President PNoy. His oath under section 5, Article VII of the Constitution reads:

    “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend the Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to everyman and consecrate myself to the service of the nation. So help me God.”

    Has PNoy observed his oath? Any fool knows that he has violated his oath in all directions. He is the emperor with no clothes. He is so naked and transparent that you cannot help asking yourself this question: How stupid could the Filipino voters be to elect this man as President? Well, there are these reasons, from my point of view.

    First, the Filipino, especially the voter, has been rendered stupid, dense and incompetent by the oligarchs, the politicians and other vested interest because that is the surest way for them to retain political and economic power.

    Second, the Filipino has been pre-conditioned by the same powerful interests that everything that goes on in this country is in the natural course of things.

    Third, people have been conditioned to believe that even if the natural course of things is criminal, there is nothing anybody can do about it.

    Fourth, the powerful interests think that the people are helpless because they have no money, therefore powerless.

    This is the reason why the people are not moving and accepting, with almost complete resignation, their day-to-day unjust and oppressive conditions. But is the claim that the people are powerless valid? Of course not! As the late Dolphy would have it – Dassa lot of nonsense.

    It is sad that a woman like Senator Poe is wasting away the great moral force that she has in her hands by behaving like a traditional politician. She will likely win with the support of PNoy but that is Pyrrhic victory because she will just end up like Cory and PNoy and when the genuine history of the country will be written – and it will be whether the prevailing powerful interests like it or not–she will be nothing but dust in the dustbin of history.

    As I have said over and over again, as of the moment, we need elections like a hole in the head. In true leadership and democratic context, Senator Poe has yet to undergo a seminar for six years to qualify for the presidency of the Republic, just like the rest of the pack. However, if she really loves this country, she should use that moral force in awakening the people to become the political tsunami that will sweep away the present political, economic and social system – the oppression, the injustice, the ignorance, the crooks, the grafters, the drug lords, the smuggling syndicates, the gambling lords, the corrupt, the pretenders and the other criminals.

    She cannot do all these by becoming president. She can do these with other kindred souls by being at the vanguard in the revolt of the masses.


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    1. In this column, Atty Adaza is only discussing the citizenship of Sen. Poe, it doesn’t mean he is pro-poe. I don’t believe in election anymore.. no matter who wins in the 2016 election, the system will be the same.. corruption, injustice and poverty will still go on. May God bless the Philippines.

    2. @Raymond Toledo the SET dropped all discussions about residency. So it would be uselesss to talk about it in this article

      • Mr. Raymond Toledo has a point.

        what SET dropped is the residency issue pertaining to GP’s senatorial bid.

        But the same issue merits discussion by Atty. Adaza as it now relates to GP’s candidacy for the position of President of the Philippines,

    3. I just cannot imagine how we can have a lady president whose husband and children are american citizens. Would we allow to be led by someone whose loyalty and character is questionable? Grace is a fraud and should never be considered a true Filipino.

    4. ““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…” (Art. IV, Section 2 pf the 1987 Constitution)

      Based on this definition of a natural born citizen, it is quite obvious that Senator Poe is a natural born citizen.”

      What Clamor said above is correct. It is basic in Philippine law/jurisprudence that what we follow here when it comes to determination of natural born status is jus sanguinis or relationship by blood, not jus soli or place of birth. Thus, in the legal aspect it is NOT obvious she is natural born. To brush aside this technicality would certainly leave a gap in our law where aliens choosing not to identify themselves may leave their offspring in our land for the latter to be claimed as natural born citizens. Though unlikely, this is still a problem that needs to be addressed because the law should not be left in a vacuum, especially when the offspring seeks to be elected in a position reserved only for natural borns. Though harsh it may be, it is still our law.

      The comment perceived as bias from Justice Carpio by Poe supporters should not be held against him because I believe there is no prohibition over a judge in making a comment on the level of legal argumentation. The comment might not be in favor of a party but it is a comment that had been heard, nonetheless. That party is not denied due process and is certainly given the chance to refute the comment. Justice Carpio should not be perceived as arguing for one side but considered as reminding the parties what hurdles they are to face. It seems more that he is even lecturing the parties as to what the basics are in terms of the definition of a foundling, that the latter does not have known parents (so we cannot be sure if they are Filipinos or not) and our law follows the jus sanguinis rule (so there is a need to determine whether your biological parent/s are/is Filipino/s.) To be sure, if the other two Supreme Court judges are in agreement with this argumentation, then the more should we be careful and thoughtful with our own argumentation and NOT state that a certain fact is, as clear as day, obvious.

    5. Your statement “That she was born in this country is not disputed;” is true, I agree! But your inference that ” that makes her natural born” is true, I also agree 100%! But isn’t it also true that “natural born” is different from “natural born citizen”? Are we talking here about HOW a child is born? Or about WHAT KIND of citizenship the child assumes.

    6. Sir, you talk too much. You talk about natural born, the constitution, oath, etc. All you have said in your column is another rhetoric which I’ve been reading for weeks now. You seems the forget the word loyalty or why our hero like Rizal and Bonifacio died because they love and fought for our country. This is no longer about citizenship or natural born Filipino. This is also about allegiance to your country. Grace Poe, once renounced his Filipino citizenship and Roxas nor Binay did not. Her family has dual citizenship . It is unfair to have a president who once disloyal to our country The Philippines.

      • May I ask you. What’s GOD has to do with Philippine politics? Please do not mention GOD in vain!!

    7. Rosauro Feliciano on

      This is what I said in my previous postings that we don’t need to be a lawyer to interpret a law if we have all the references in front of us. The wonder of electronic engineering discipline makes our lives easy to understand what we didn’t understand in the past. Through the internet, we can find almost anything we want to know. However, sooner the internet will be obsolete as well as many inventions before the internet were.

    8. Grace Llamanzares is nothing but a fraud.

      She is in the Senate via electoral fraud.

      Her birth certificates are frauds.

      Her preferred name is a fraud. (Her name is Llamanzares not Poe.)

      Her CV is a fraud.

      Her adoptive father was a fraud.

      And that is why Pinoys love her because is the nation that simply adores fraud in all its forms.

    9. Sir, you may have left the realm of fact for the realm of faith, thus you’re wrecking your own opinion’s credibility.

    10. as follow up to Nancy cake comment that Binay term with people has come to an end. please remember walang forever sa mga corrupt.

    11. Stop dreaming! Poe is an opportunist…
      Any person with common sense will see this from 100 miles away!

      But yeah, this is the Philippines, the country filled with blinded…

    12. Honest Traffic Enforcer on

      Wow, finally! A sane and straightforward explanation that, surprisingly, everyone and their uncle failed to understand!! Mr. Adaza, your explanation here may be late, but better late than never

      I seriously started to doubt my sanity when talking heads and pundits babbled about Poe ceasing to be a natural born citizen despite the fact that she was born in the PH!
      I really believed that people of the PH have become so stupid, based on their assertions about Poe’s ineligibility as a presidential candidate!!

      I posited that the law needed to be changed; however you made it clear here that the law had been on Poe’s side all along, and that nothing needed to be amended.

      I loved the part about the oath Poe took, heheh, and that of Pnoy’s oath upon his becoming “‘president”. That was a gem!

      Keep up the good work, and thank you. God bless you.

    13. A person born in the Philippines need to have both parents a Philippine Citizen to be called Natural Born. If both parents or even one parent is a Foreigner, then He/She cannot claim Natural Born Philippine Citizenship.

      • Honest Traffic Enforcer on

        Wrong! wrong wrong! You are so confused that I won’t even try to explain the terms ”citizenship” and ”natural born” to you here.

        Just read Mr Adaza’s article over and over again, until it sinks in to your psyche. Read it every day, I suggest!

        Then when you think you finally got it, read it again for good measure.

      • Grace Poe’s lawyers are moving fast to get a DNA analysis. Grace’s DNA has to be compared to a male Pinoy citizen. So is that why the story is spreading that Grace is filing a court-case to get permission —> buksan the kabaong of former president Ferdinand Marcos to get DNA specimen.

    14. But then again it is easier said than done. The parent know the pain of grace Poe . There is more to this case than meets the eye. Are they willing to share the secrets behind the love affairs of her parents. I interviewed some militay people but there is no proof that the single encounter produced a pregnancy. Poor Grace, she had a good life in the states. Why did you ever think of entering this dirty, corrupt Philippine politics.

      • Honest Traffic Enforcer on

        Good life in the states….hmm…have you lived in the states for a good length of time?

        Anyways, wouldn’t the reason why she chose to enter this ”dirty corrupt Philippine politics” be for the love of country and a calling to step up and rid this country of corruption and improve the lives of the poor?

        And if you think political experience equates to success as a President or other political position, look no farther than Binay. Is he a success as a public servant?

        Sometimes, the Lord summons a David to slay a Goliath.

      • “…..there’s no proof that the single encounter produce a pregnancy.” So does this mean there was really an encounter? If there really was even if it was just once as it is stated, how can we be sure if it did not produce a pregnancy? If it happened once, how can we be sure if it was really just once?

    15. I am very sad that you have put a lot of time on this dilemma. The description of a natural born citizen and naturalized citizen does not fit grace Poe condition. The if that is the case , what is she, a stateless person. I do not believe the decision of these 2 justices already stating their opinion on this case. It is so unprofessional but then again who am I to judge. In my humble option the only way to pass SET is for one of the parent of grace to show up ASAP before the filing of candidacy in October . I am not a Poe supporter but it is her parents that should show up. She will definitely win but will be disqualified later.

      • I fully agree with this. Grace should have figured this out even before thinking about being a candidate for President. Remember, it has already been revealed that in 2006 she perjured herself by claiming to have been born to Ronnie and Susan ( this is a documented lie which i think is indefensible!). Now they should be willing to reveal their family “secret” just to win her case. This is not a matter of being ABLE to win but a matter of WILLINGNESS to reveal (or is it confirm?) a “secret”. But granting that she wins this case, how about that perjury?

      • If ever Grace wins her case BEFORE the deadline of filing candidacies, I expect a lot will vie for the position of VICE PRESIDENT. I truly believe that if ever Grace wins the Presidency, whoever the VP will eventually become the President!

    16. The only reason why Poe is running is because her father was almost elected as president, and that today she would claim that position. Sadly, people believe that she has more to offer. Very sad. Very unfortunate. Disaster for the country.

    17. Between Justice Carpio and Homobono Adaza, when it comes to questions of law, I am inclined to side with Justice Carpio. So despite all of the arguments you presented in this column, I still believe Justice Carpio’s opinion carries more weight than yours, he being a Supreme Court Justice and the most senior at that.

      • Actually, I think Carpio was just playing devil’s advocate when he ventured those statements. I don’t think he revealed what he was really thinking. He was interrogating Poe’s lawyers at that time and was asking clarificatory questions or making provocative statements,such as the one he made, to evoke a reaction.

        The media was unfair in its reporting, as oftentimes the case. The media should frame the statements within the whole context of the conversation, and reveal the nuances. Nuances delineate the intelligent from the merely ordinary who tend to speak categorically without much thought. Thus, Carpio was unfairly crucified by the Poe camp, and undeservedly praised by those from the other persuasion. As a member of a dignified body, Justice Carpio, rightfully, made no comments to the media.

      • Not only mr. Cardio a member of the supreme court but a powerful member of Senate Electoral Tribunal SET. But then again he is stating that Poe is a naturalized citizen. Read the qualification of naturalized born citizen per our constitution and you will see that Poe does fit the description. If carpio stick to the constitution then he is wrong to say that Poe is a naturalized citizen. Can mr. Cairo respond to this. If you want honest debate, do not hide your argument under the constitution because the readers will have to believe you. Answer me, how can Poe be a naturalized citizen? If the law is quiet on our constitution , the we follow united nation law on fondling which Poe is a fondling. Have you not discriminated this lady so much? Maybe you are not hurt but her whole family is.

      • agree…Justice Carpio said that Senator GP’s being a natural born or not is covered by the provisions of the 1935 Constitution..

    18. I can’t believed what you are saying, An oath in this country has no value? No wonder you are a failure on everything you endeavored. If we follow your line of thinking, all public officials who took their oath and followed the constitution had no probative value to you! Then goes with all the affidavits submitted by GP lawyers because they are all sworn in to as true and authentic to support her contention that she natural born.

    19. “Being natural born is an issue of fact. Is Senator Poe natural born in this country? Of course, she is. That she was born in this country is not disputed; that makes her natural born.”
      Dear Mr. Adaza, I believe that your statement is inconsistent with the definition of “natural born Filipino citizens” in our Constitution. The principle of “Jus Sanguinis (blood relationship)” is the basis of the definition, not “Jus Soli” (place of birth)”. That is why Article IV of the Constitution requires that one the parents of the child must be a Filipino citizen at the time of birth.

    20. Atty. Adaza, I notice you have not touched on the issue of Poe’s compliance with the 10 years prior residency constitutional requirement for presidential candidates. Considering that she took her Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines on July 7, 2006 — which is 2 months short of 10 years before the May 9, 2016 election day — and renounced her US citizenship only in 2010, can she comply with the 10 years residency required by our constitution? Due to her non-compliance, shouldn’t she be disqualified by COMELEC when she registers her presidential candidacy? Kindly discuss this issue. Thank you.

      – Raymond L. Toledo

    21. Nancy Bulok Cake on

      You said, “The start of the surveys was like a dream for VP Jejomar Binay. He topped all existing surveys until Senator Grace Poe finally announced her availability for the presidency of the realm. Then VP Binay’s fortune changed. His poll ratings started to fall – falling, falling, falling while that of Senator Poe started rising, rising, rising –now almost to a crescendo.” Truly you are right. Binay topped the previous surveys for five years because Binay did nothing to the government from 2010 to the present except to campaign for the presidency. As Pinoy said, I have to see first what Binay did from 2010 to the present. Of course Binay did not do anything except sit down quietly during cabinet meetings. Binay cannot even express himself to present any ideas to promote the welfare of the Filipino. What’s in his mind from the time he was assigned as caretaker of Makati to the present is how to steal more money from the government. From the present to May 2016, Binays rating will continually go down the drain and gone would be his dreams of becoming president, enriching his family, having more Chinese dummies and 13% or 30% commission for selling some islands from the Spratlys to the Chinese. Let us thank the Lord for Binay’s dwindling position in the surveys. Let us continue to pray to save the Philippines from the Binays.