• To CJ Sereno: Why is the ‘natural-born’ qualification for the presidency an impossible condition?


    When did our people elect you, Madame Chief Justice, to amend the Constitution?

    It says simply and clearly in Sec. 2, Article VII of the Constitution : “No person may be elected president unless he is a natural- born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age at the time of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.”

    The article is written in negative form.

    Even students in elementary and secondary school can understand what the words mean. Yet, inexplicably, the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court, CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno, cannot.

    Impersonating a profound magistrate
    In her interpellation yesterday at the close of the oral arguments on the Comelec disqualification cases against Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Chief Justice Sereno laid before the nation her astonishing opinion:

    Requiring a person to prove that he or she is a natural-born citizen is “ an impossible condition” that is particularly injurious or unjust to generations of Filipino foundlings who stand to suffer from such a requirement.

    She expended 20 minutes of the court’s and the nation’s time to engage in friendly banter with Alexander Poblador, the counsel of Ms. Poe.

    Doing her best impersonation of a profound magistrate, Sereno underscored the magnitude of any decision the high court would make on Poe’s disqualification cases. She parroted the argument of Poe’s legal team that it is the petitioners for Ms. Poe’s disqualification, and not the candidate herself, who bears the burden of proof in the disqualification case.

    Sereno declared that compelling a foundling to prove his or her unknown parentage would betray the presumption in Philippine adoption laws that a foundling is a Filipino.

    She acknowledged that nowhere in the 1935 and 1987 constitutions is there any mention of foundlings. But no matter. She opined to the joy of Poblador: “We have to be careful that we’re not held by a rigid reading of what we consider as a failure to enumerate foundlings. We are going to create unintended consequences, the difficulties of which are going to be visited on so many foundlings in this country.”

    She feared that an adverse SC ruling on Ms. Poe’s case would serve as a disincentive for prospective foster parents in adopting a foundling.

    No matter its provenance, is this a sensible argument to adopt in voting on Ms. Poe’s eligibility for the presidency?

    I think not, and I will keep saying so until the Supreme Court rules with finality that she is ineligible to run for president in the May elections.

    Justice Leonen and the awa strategy
    Based on an analysis of the sounds emitted by the justices who took part in the oral arguments, I believe Grace Poe will probably get at most two votes when the high court rules on her disqualification cases.

    These votes are those of Chief Justice Sereno and Justice Marvic Leonen.

    Where Justice Sereno essayed her novel “impossible condition” argument, Justice Leonen laid out before the court the essence of Ms. Poe’s awa strategy (pity strategy), as my wife and many women have described her entire battle plan.

    Leonen’s approach was to prick the conscience and heartstrings of his fellow justices. He argued that they, the members of the SC, were “justices” and not merely “legalists” who are fixated on legal technicalities.

    Leonen argued that it is not Poe’s fault that her birth parents abandoned her. “She did not have moral volition; it was the decision of the parents.”    Then he drowned himself in a tub of self-pity. He said he knows how it feels to have missing parents.

    He related: “I grew up without a father. It was difficult. I knew who my father was but yet, it was difficult. But I think of those people who don’t know their fathers but grew up with their mother also have a difficult time.”

    The essence of constitutionalism
    Legal experts who have studied Senator Poe‘s eligibility problem aver that none of the strategies and tactics of her legal team are working. They have failed to substantiate her eligibility to run for president before the Supreme Court (SC) and to debunk her disqualification by the Commission on Elections.

    Among these experts who have issued telling comments on the case are San Beda Graduate School of Law’s Dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, election lawyer Edgardo Carlo Vistan II, and former Integrated Bar of the Philippines national president Vicente Joyas. To a man, they are unconvinced by the arguments raised by Poe’s lawyers before the high tribunal.

    Aquino said that despite the arguments presented by Poe’s camp during the oral arguments, the case boils down to whether a foundling like the senator is allowed by law to occupy the highest office in the land.

    Aquino asks rhetorically: “Does the Constitution of the Republic so ordain that no foundling shall ever be president of the land? No, under the Constitution they can become president,” if it can be shown that one of their parents is a Filipino.

    He added that some might dismiss this as “unconscionable cruelty” toward foundlings, but the “plain” fact remains that this is the state of the law in the Philippines.

    He stressed: “Abiding by the law is exactly what a rule-based society is all about. It is the very essence of constitutionalism.”

    He contended that the Philippines had several opportunities in the past to craft policies that would be favorable to foundlings. But the Philippines never did that.

    “So all this sniffling about the unfairness and the cruelty to foundlings is really misplaced. It has always been within our sovereign power to better their lot, and we chose not to do anything,” he concluded.

    The only way to make the 1987 Constitution more accommodating to foundlings like Poe is to amend the Charter. “Unless that is done, Ms. Poe cannot run for president.”

    This is many times more convincing than the laments of Sereno and Leonen about impossible conditions and technicalities.

    The Constitution is not a mere enumeration of conditions and technicalities. It is the living law of our land. If these justices cannot live with their duty, there is always the door.



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    1. you know i wonder if who owns you mr. writer was it binay or roxas? probably the first… under your argument the constitution and precisely all of the laws had become not a safe haven for filipinos but only those that are powerful and influential people…..

      you also seems to be degenerating on the rights that any person in our so called human society should enjoy…

      technically you are discriminating against those people that has to leave the philippines in search for a better opportunity abroad.

      if the good senator is really not a natural born filipino. let the accuser prove it. not with technicality or loopholes in laws, but with concrete evidence…..

      laws defines the society, a civilization should be ruled by justice moral justice!

      that’s what the lawyers, politician and a faithful dog like you are forgetting!

    2. Foundling:
      The issue before the Supreme Court is not about foundling, but rather is Grace Poe a natural born Filipino or not. A foundling is presumed and recognized as a natural born Filipino where the infant was located. The issue now is the act committed when she became an adult when she acquired a citizenship of another country and waived her right as a Filipino Citizen.
      Now that dual citizenship was made available to former citizens of this country who wish to reacquire their citizenship.
      The process of reacquisition involves the process of Naturalization whereby she is made to swear allegiance to the Pilipino flag, hence she becomes a NATURALIZED Filipino, her Filipino citizenship as recognized before, is only made possible as presumptive Pilipino.
      The constitution stated clearly, that the qualifications to run for public office one must be a Natural born Pilipino, to allow her to run for public office will be against the constitution of the Philippine, unless the constitution is amended she is disqualified to run for public office.
      As a a senator she should be unseated, for a legislator must uphold the law, the constitution of the Republic, is not only written by the PILIPINO people by virtue of its ratifications in a PLEBECITE.
      Citizenship is by choice, allegiance and loyalty, not by convenience and opportunity

      • You really are mouthwashing yourself in your own opinion and dubbious argument.. by that fact you mention deny filipino citizenship to all fil-foreigners? even those that really abide by our own laws, tradition and customs more than you do? and you are saying that all balikbayan s hould be discriminated from…. good luck explaining that to all!

    3. Mr. Writer there’s a saying that if you’re not a lawyer then don’t debate on law so if your profession is journalism then just report about the happenings at the SC deliberation and refrain from giving your views that are much awkward for it only reflects that TANGA ka. Adaza your co writer in this Newspaper is a brilliant lawyer and he supports the Law on statelessness that the foundling is a citizen of the place where she or he is found unless proven otherwise by the oppositor–allegata et probata. Mahiya ka naman..Wala kang kaalam alam sa batas eh nagaastakang mas magaling pa sa mga bihasa…

      • Why should the author refrain from giving his views? It’s a commentary after all. Also the question is not whether Grace Poe is a Filipino citizen or not. She is a Filipino citizen…just not natural-born Filipino citizen which is a requirement for the presidential position.

      • Who is the greater fool, the fool or the one that follows him? Poe’s citizenship status is a legal question that judicial and legal experts with all their training and expertise cannot resolve. The Surpreme Court does and is empowered to rule on this question with finality. For a layman to be presumptious enough to declare his opinion is superior to that of the Chief Justice is surely a fool. Anyone who believes his deflaration, an ev3n bigger one.

    4. No question about it. Chief Justice Sereno and Associate Justice Leonen came across as “activist judges” or “judicial activists” during the hearings. These two will ignore or interpret the Constitution so as to change and/or influence government and public policy. Although the issue before the Court is whether the Comelec committed “a grave abuse of its discretion” in denying Mrs. Grace Poe Llamanzares “due course” of her candidacy and cancelling her CoC, these two justices are defining and framing the issue in terms of their personal experiences, beliefs, and their own vision of what constitutes fairness and justice to foundlings and orphans. They have tipped their hand and clearly support the representations of Mrs. Llamanzares’ lawyer Atty. A. Poblador. Many times in the course of these justices interpellations, Poblador was reduced to saying “I agree your honor” because both justices pretty well carried the water for him.

      In my view, however, Justices Sereno and Leonen will not succeed in bringing the other justices to their side. Based on their own questions and comments, the other justices – a majority of them – sounded as adherents of the rule of law, and will stick to the text of the Constitution. No amount of grandstanding and emotional appeals by Leonen and Sereno to the other justices can and/or will transform a foundling into a natural-born Filipino citizen. “The law is harsh, but it is the law”.

    5. In every elected President, in case Grace Poe allowed to run & win presidency, there is always a hidden foreign hand pushing for this.

    6. If I were Grace P. Llamanzares, I would give in and I would continue my ambition to be a presidential candidate in 2022 election. If she is 50 years old now, she would be still young to lead our country so that by that time, she has gained a lot of wisdom. In this time of uncertainties, we need a president who has a lot of wisdom especially in curbing the monstrous grafts and corruptions in the Philippines which is an invitation and excellent breeding grounds of high profile criminals like drug lords, oligarchs, robbers, killers, rapist, rebels and the like. We need the calibers of Duterte, Cayetano, and Lacson to address these perceived menaces of our society.

    7. I am at a lost why 2 distinguished justices of the SC, one of which is the chief itself is so astonishingly ignorant of our Constitution. The law is the law and no amount of circumventions could muddle the clarity of its wisdom and meaning. The stupidity of this minority group should not dampen the legal and moral stand of the majority who will positively take the right path in upholding the rule of law as expected by the greater part of the citizenry………………….accommodation and being subjected to powerful inside-pressure are very evident in this case….. so each and every justices should insulate themselves from these highly immoral acts and just INTERPRET AND FOLLOW THE LAW…….

    8. so embarrassing for some of the members of the SC– they should study under Mr. Catalino Generillo

    9. Why we argue for the foundling, as stated before Dis Grace was adopted so she is a Natural Born Citizen, but she relinquished her Pilipino Citizenship and became a US Citizen. Now she re-acquire her Pilipino Citizenship so she is Naturalized Citizen as per our Constitution. As per Our Constitution Natural-Born Citizen are those are citizens of the Philippines from birth who do not have to perform any act or perfect their Philippines Citizenship. Base on this statement Dis Grace is a Naturalized Citizen. Even a elementary student can clearly understand. Hope our SC Justices will abide our Constitution.

      • As you quoted in the constitution: “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”.

        Then your argument is wrong because she re-acquired her Filipino Citizenship, meaning she performed an act to acquire her Philippine citizenship… that’s the opposite of being natural-born.

        IMHO, being a foundling is not relevant anymore. Her state of being a Filipino now is flawed. She was a Filipino citizen then legally an American citizen then became a Filipino citizen. Her new Filipino citizenship is acquired.

    10. Just impose the law and the Constitution. Or amend
      the Constitution. For now, Disgrace TraPOE is unqualified to run for the presidency.

    11. Catalino Generillo on

      Who says members of the Supreme Court or lawyers of Poe are brilliant?
      None of them raised a very importantlegal precedent during the oral argument.
      In a book entitled, The Law of Nations, written by Emmerich de Vattel, a Swiss-German philosopher of law, the following definition of a “natural born citizen” appears, in Book I, Chapter 19, § 212, of the English translation of 1797 (p. 110):

      Ҥ 212. Citizens and natives.
      The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights…”

      The French original of 1757, on that same passage read thus: “Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays de parents citoyens, ..”

      In the political philosophy of Vattel, the term “naturels” refers to citizens who are such by the Law of Nature, that is by the natural circumstances of their birth — which they did not choose; the term “indigenes” is from the Latin, indigenes, which like the English, “indigenous”, means “begotten from within” (inde-genes), as in the phrase “the indigenous natives are the peoples who have been born and lived there for generations.” Hence the meaning the the term, “natural born citizen”, or “naturels ou indigenes” is the same: born in the country of two parents who are citizens of that country.

      Vattel did not invent the notion “natural born citizen”; he was merely applying the Law of Nature to questions of citizenship. In fact the term first appears in a letter of the future Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, to George Washington during the Constitutional Convention, where the Framers were consulting 3 copies of Vattel’s book to complete their work (according to the testimony of Benjamin Franklin)..

      In the first case decided by the US Supreme Court (The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814), Justice Livingston, who wrote the unanimous decision, quoted the entire §212nd paragraph from the French edition, using his own English, viz:

      “Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says:
      ‘The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.
      “The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it…’”

      In an 1875 case (Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875), the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court wrote the majority opinion, in which he stated:

      “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents.”

      The dramatis persona in this landmark case need further enlightenment

      • There is no need to refer to the above references because, unlike in the USA where the natural born status of one of the Republican candidates -Ted Cruz – has been questioned and put into doubt, the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines included a definition of “a natural-born Filipino citizen”. Section 2: “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.”

      • Erlee, Did she perform an act to perfect her citizenship before she was issued a philippine passport?

    12. Justices Sereno and Leonen has the duty to themselves to obey their conscience since the worst thing a man can do to himself is to violate his own conscience. However a good conscience that has been formed all through the years always seek goodness and truth. Therefore, if Sereno and Leonen formed their consciences, otherwise and acted erroneously, it is very clear, they were both bound to face the due process of law by impeachment.

    13. Why is Susan Roces so silent when Bongbong Marcos offered Grace Poe to conduct a D N A test with him, why did Grace Poe went to Guimaras to exhume to dead for a DN A test, since Bongbong has volunteered to put a rest to a 4 decade rumor that she is a daughter of Rosemarie & Ferdinand Marcos. Isn’t it proper to DNA test wd Rosemarie,
      Sheryl Cruz or her brothers or even to Susan Roces to end the long time rumor to rest.

      Please study the face & features of Grace she is a duplicate of Rosemarie & brain of Ferdinand Marcos

      As a foundling wd unknown Filipino parents Grace Poe should follow the adoptive citizenship of her adopted parents wc entitles her to become a naturalize Filipino citizen thru court adoption proceedings, hence she is not a natural born Filipino

      • Rodan Guerrero on

        To Noel Garcia…. Not exactly my friend, RE MARCOS BRAIN, the constitution is very clear and simple yet Grace Llamanzares Marcos was considered a political genius, but not of Grace Llamanzares she is nothing but a STUPID EPAL! Her insistence that she is a natural born Filipino is a sign of GROSS STUPIDITY.

      • I agree that Poe is not a NBFC. however, please do not say that her brain is a duplicate of Ferdinand Marcos’.

        early in life FM exhibited brilliance, far above average intelligence, as shown by passing the bar exam with the highest score at that time while defending himself in the nalundasan murder case. he was a force to be reckoned with in his days in the legislature and was a senate president during a time when the cream of filipino legal minds were elected to the senate, i.e., tolentino, pelaez, recto, manglapus, tanada, salonga, et al.

        grace POE llamanzares to date, has not shown or accomplished anything to merit her being elected to the presidency, except having a maiden surname of POE, as if that would matter much in effectively governing our country

    14. Sec. 2, Article VII of the Constitution : “No person may be elected president unless he is a natural- born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age at the time of the election…”

      Candidates for the Philippine president should be at least 50 years old. By that age, the candidates are generally more mature, experienced, discerning, have lots of wisdom.

    15. If the foundling they found in that Iloilo church looked Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes, will they still argue she’s a natural born because she was found in the Philippines?

      • Jay Valenzuela on

        Good point Mr. Royce.

        But though the foundling may look Caucasian but with one parent as Filipino, then she is natural-born. That is the problem of GPL… none of her parents will show up. They may be deceased, so they will never show up, therefore she can never prove her being natural-born.

        On the context of elections, of course they will argue… power is power and people who hunger for it will kill for it… even if it kills a whole nation or even its future generations.

        And to GPL… you are still a citizen of the Philippines, with equal rights as with every Filipino. Also, please bear in mind (and in heart) that the Presidency is not the only way one can help one’s country.

    16. yan ang mahirap sa mga lawyers dito sa Pinas…ang baluktot, tinutuwid at ang tuwid, binabaluktot…sa madaling salita pinapaikot ang batas para sa kanilang sariling interest!!!shyet!!!!

    17. Ay naku, don’t anybody realize that in the Philippines, there are billions of reasons why the constitution can be discarded? In a more recent case, didn’t they made a mockery of the constitution viz the EDCA case? I am sure, there were billions of reasons why the SC made such ruling. Surely, for at least five billion reasons, anything can happen. Anyway, just ten centavos raise in fuel prices for six years can easily compensate for those billions of reasons.

    18. Sir,
      Constutional principles, practice of justice vis a vis legalism.
      Nobody is above the law.
      Interpretation and amplification of constitutional law should be the guidelines of our magistrates and not as to be percieved as lawmakers and breakers.

    19. Its very simple, well said father rhany, law is law, there should be no excuses, back to basic, pag sinabing si pwede, bakit pa tayo maghahanap ng malalimang dahilan para gawing pwede and hidi pwede, ang constituion natin ay hindi isang orsinaryong papel la, sagrado po ito pagkat ito ang batas natin, kung di po kayang sundin, disregard nalang po natin, live our life in philippines without responsiblity and limitations….wala naman palang batas….

    20. In the Philippines Supreme Court Justices usually give their opinion to a case being heard before they give or promulgate a decision. Can they render an impartial decision? Probably not. Why are they in the Court? Probably they kiss President’s ass, before nomination and after nomination. They need to be impeach.

    21. If a foundling is considered a natural born Filipino what can stop the Chinese Premier or President from sending his sons pregnant wife 2 month before giving birth to tour the Philippines & give birth to a son & leave her in a church or any other public place, thereby found by an arrange Filipino couple with Chinese Ancestry. The Chinese Premiere or President would then finance the upbringing & education of his grandson to exclusive school like Ateneo or La Salle. When grown up the son would join politics like congressman, councilors etc then upon reaching the age of 40 becomes a candidate for senator or President. Since he is qualified as a natural born foundling
      adopted by Filipino parents the next Philippine president will be a Chinese from the
      mainland. Spratley’s will then become China

      • Very good, that is exactly a kind of scenario that the framers of our Philippine Constitution want them to avoid that will happen in this country.

      • Jay Valenzuela on

        Common sense is not so common, especially when it is not for the common good. Kudos Noel.

    22. WOW!..I will adopt a child because I dont have children but specifically a fondling child and raise him to be a president of a country!!!! How many foster parent are like that! …Amend the constitution is the solution! and fortunate for Grace Poe but it will benefit the millions of younger foundling child to aspire for presidency!….

    23. Chris Espiritu on

      If Sen. Grace Llamanzares truly believes she deserved to be the President of this country then-holer adherence to the Constitution should precede her political ambitions. It is very clear that the said charter mentioned that only natural-born citizens are qualified to run as president, nor foundlings. With her dramatic approach to the SC turning out to be a dud, then it is curtains for her with no encore performance necessary.

    24. renato s. irlanda on

      as you say that “if the justices cannot live with their duty, there is always the door.”
      susmaryosep!!! SERENO AND HER SIDEKICK LEONEN will go to the extent of putting a dead bolt on both sides of that door and swallow the keys!!!!!

    25. Indeed, and it is clear that that whole “awa” strategy has been scripted by some high power for all its little marionettes to mouth and play out… and then impose a decision on the naiton just like EDCA with this one poisoning the wellspring of all Philippine jurisprudence and popular understanding of Law forever…

    26. The Constitution was ‘invented’ primarily for the protection of the weak, the oppressed, the marginalized sector of our society like foundlings and not for the powerful. It guarantees due process equal protection of the law. Disallowing foundlings to run for POTP is discriminating a sub-class of society is unconstitutional because it has no rational basis because there’s no clear-cut provision in the Constitution that disallow foundling to run for POTP. To discriminate foundlings (illegitimacy), the Court or the law/regulations should pass muster the “intermediate scrutiny test”. IOW, the SC must find any basis that their decision should further an important government interest by means that are substantially related to that interest. Here… the State and the Petitioners failed to adduce any. Therefore, foundlings and the likes can run as POTP.

      • “The Constitution was ‘invented’ primarily for the protection of the weak, the oppressed, the marginalized sector of our society like foundlings and not for the powerful.”

        wrong!!!constitution is made as guide/basis for all citizens to act accordingly. it was not made to protect anyone… it’s applicable to all citizenry of the state whoever and whatever you are…

      • sir, baguhin mo ang konstitusyon. Ganito na lang sana, Ang mga natural born at ang mga foundling puwedeng tumakbo sa pagka presidente tsk tsk tsk… ano ba yan. Bakit kaya hindi isinama ng mga framers ng ating konstitusyon ang foulndling? bakit natural born lang? sobrang talino bobo naman yata eh…

    27. It will be a very bad precedent for foundlings if the SC would make the wrong
      decision. They will be second-class citizens, with limited rights. what
      will happen to their future? it is simply UNREASONABLE to say that they
      are naturalized citizens.

      • foundling are stll citizen of the phils..to be a gov’t elected official the constitution specifically stated it should be natural born…sabi mo ano na ang magiging future ng foundling sa pinas..bakit pagiging presidente at senators lang ba ang pwedeng maging career mo para matawag na may future ka sa pinas…

      • Ang bunga ng manga kahit ano pa ang mangyari manga pa rin. Hindi kasalanan ng bunga ng manga kung bakit siya naging manga. Kung ang kailangan ng bumibili ay lanzones, hindi puwedeng mag reklamo ang manga kung hindi siya ang bilhin. Simple lang ang rason, dahil hindi siya lanzones. Pero may pagasa pa rin siyang mabili, doon sa naghahanap ng manga. isip isip.isp… huwag ang emosyon ang pairalin.. simple lang naman at huwag ng pahirapan pa….

    28. Leodegardo Pruna on

      The problem with disgraced Poe and those who are siding with her is that finding no reason or excuse in their arguments, they are now embarking on a premise that it should be those who are for her disqualification to prove that she is not a natural born citizen. These are the people who would want the constitutional processes thrown out and dismantled. The Philippine Constitution is quite clear about the definition of who is a “natural-born citizen” and that is it. Why did disgraced GRACE go through the DNA in the first place? When that is not coming out to her content, she and her fans are now shifting to the reverse gear. Probably the administration, which is not for MAR, is desperate for it is for GRACE God bless the Philippines.

      • Jay Valenzuela on

        Simple lang di ba Sir Leodegardo? Hindi ko din maintindihan samantalang the Constitution is very explicit on this. Self-explanatory kumbaga.

        Well, if this goes through, someday we will have a President with not an drop of Filipino blood running in his or her veins.

        Power intoxicates.

    29. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      27 January 2016

      Supreme Court Chief Justice MARIA LOURDES SERENO and Justice MARVIC LEONIN obviously need to be reminded that they are there to INTERPRET and APPLY the Constitution and the Laws, and not “legislate from the bench” for any reason at all.

      Otherwise they open themselves up for IMPEACHMENT for “grave abuse of discretion!”

      The Constitution is clear enough on two points: To be qualified to be a candidate for President, one has to satisfy two conditions: 1] He or she must be a natural-born Filipino citizen; and 2] He or she must comply with the 10-year residency requirements.

      Applying these two constitutional provisions, the COMELEC disqualifed GRACE POE LLAMANZARES, and did so THREE TIMES.

      The Supreme Court is duty-bound to AFFIRM the ruling of the COMELEC.


    30. Jose A. Oliveros on

      Article IV of the 1935 which was in force and effect in 1968, the given year of birth of Grace Poe-Llamanzares and jurisprudence thereunder should be the one and only basis in deciding whether she is a “natural-born Filipino citizen” or not. Not on the basis of “awa” or anything else. The rights of other foundlings, like her, is the proper subject of pertinent legislation and based on the records of the Senate, it was the supposedly non-performing Senator Lito Lapid who has filed a bill on the rights of foundlings – not foundling Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

    31. The puppet judges were totally ignoring the whole definition of the constitution. They were there as political dummies to serve the appointing authority and not for anything else.

    32. Sereno should not have been chief justice. BSAquino gave her that position even if she still lacks knowledge and wisdom. Sereno never earned that position of Chief Justice!

    33. If the Sereno and others allowed Poe to run for president, they should be impeached for not following the Philippine Constitution. It is not impossible to be a “natural born” Filipino citizen.

      She renounced her US citizenship and if is true that her continued using her US passport in traveling to the US and elsewhere is also a ground to disqualify her.

      Poe is the lesser evil among the presidential aspirants. She is not a magnanakaw like others, but we have laws to follow.

    34. There is nothing in Republic Act 8552 (Domestic Adoption Law) declaring or presuming foundlings to be natural born citizens let alone citizens. The law’s purpose is to protect foundlings and abandoned children from falling into the hands of otherwise unfit adoptive parents, whether Filipinos or foreigners. With respect to foundlings, the Act provides for the process under which they can be registered as such and subsequently declared in a legal proceeding as “abandoned” before they can be considered “available for adoption” either administratively or judicially under Section 8 of the Act. Section 5. Location of Unknown Parent(s). – “It shall be the duty of the Department or the child-placing or child-caring agency which has custody of the child to exert all efforts to locate his/her unknown biological parent(s). If such efforts fail, the child shall be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared abandoned.” Section 8: Who May be Adopted – (a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption…” If anything, RA 8552, in outlining a stringent process for adoption of abandoned children, strengthens the proposition that foundlings are not automatically conferred citizenship. They have to go through a process of adoption and subsequent naturalization. Under Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, natural born citizens are citizens from birth who do not have to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Section 2: “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.” Adoption is part of the process to acquire or perfect Philippine citizenship. Depending on the laws applicable to the adoptive parents, the adopted child can either be automatically considered a citizen upon adoption, or subsequently apply for naturalization.

      • Since the constitution failed to classify the status of a foundling it is assumed that foundlings are natural born. Adoption is a process which comes after a child is born. But when a child is born, there is no process yet hence he/she is considered natural born, whether a foundling or not? This will apply to Grace and other foundlings. See, what is written in the constitution is very simple. Sometimes, it becomes complicated when interpreted by lawyers or persons with personal biases or motives. I think the SC will side with Grace.

    35. Many yellows were saying that the appointees of Gloria Arroyo to the Supreme Court were political, fortunately, they may be political but they are not giving headaches to the Constitution. But the appointees of PNoy are not only political expediency but they are giving headaches to the Constitution, the laws of the land with their out-of-the-world comments. This is what the people get for electing an idiot, without balls and without brain man as president – with his SC appointees who does not have the experience in Judiciary work and are amateurs and lightweights.

    36. Of course the door is wide open. If not, impeach Serena and Leonen. Did they not swear to uphold the Constitution when they took their offices for this solemn duty? Do we have to remind them that? Are they now suffering from amnesia, dementia, or brain tumor? If they are, they lost their fitness to serve in that capacity and the sovereign Filipino nation cannot afford to have these individuals occupy these positions at our expense. Or perhaps they were never qualified themselves when they were appointed for their positions in the first place.

      So why are they now trampling the Constitution to which they swore to defend and protect, so help them God?

      The same God will smite them.

    37. Doing her best impersonation of a profound magistrate, Sereno underscored the magnitude of any decision the high court would make on Poe’s disqualification cases. She parroted the argument of Poe’s legal team that it is the petitioners for Ms. Poe’s disqualification, and not the candidate herself, who bears the burden of proof in the disqualification case.
      The justice is completely right abt this.
      It is upon the persons who filed a case against Poe, to submit proof of their allegations!!!

      So my dear mister columnist pls study the lwas and specially how lwa is interpreted
      Stop focussing on the literally interpretation of the law.
      There r so many ways to interpret law and seemingly you are not slightly aware of these ways.
      I always wonder how law is being taught in the Phils whenever I read comments or articles posted by so-called lwayers or law scholars!!
      It shows that they are so illiterate when it comes how to use the logical interpretation of law articles

      • I guess you have to make your own laws and let 100 million Filipinos interpret it…in their own way…the way you did!

    38. sa mga nangyayari sa supreme court ngayon darating ang araw na wala ng magtitiwala sa atin batas. imbes na itama nila at sundin ang nasa batas sila pa ngayon ang ngaiinterpret ng contra sa constitution. they are manipulating our laws to give special treatment to grace poe.

    39. Papaano kung si gpl ay anak ng foreign diplomats na di puwedeng lumantad kaya siya ay inabanduna? kaya nga dapat niyang patunayan na siya ay anak ng kahit isa sa kanyang magulang ay Filipino.

      • INQUIRER.net
        09:02 PM August 29th, 2012

        MANILA, Philippines—The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) said that the psychological and psychiatric evaluations of aspirants for the Chief Justice and Ombudsman posts “do not matter.”

        Newly appointed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza reportedly got the lowest psychological evaluation ratings given by the JBC to nominees to the Chief Justice position.

        A story that appeared in another newspaper cited an 11-page Psychiatric and Psychological Report submitted to the JBC by a group of two medical psychiatrists and two psychologists.

        The report cited supposedly said that Sereno and Jardeleza each got a grade of “4” after the tests, adding copies of the report were distributed to JBC members during their July 19 preliminary meeting.
        Under the test, there was a five-point numerical rating system where 1 is the highest or most superior, 3 is the median and five the lowest, or a failing mark.

        The report claimed Sereno “keeps a smiling face to project that she is happy”. It also claimed that Sereno “is dramatic and emotional,” and that she may tend to “make decisions based on current mood.”
        Lawyer Milagros Cayosa, representative of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to the JBC, in an interview with reporters on Wednesday explained that the scores of the candidates do not matter.
        “As long as there are no findings of psychosis, then the candidate is qualified,” Cayosa told reporters on the sidelines of the 23rd Conference of the Presidents of Law Associations in Asia.

        “As we already stated, before we even take a vote, we determine if there are those who suffered from any disqualification including failure to pass the psych evaluation, so it is safe to conclude that whoever is voted upon has no infirmities as far as psych evaluation is concerned,” Cayosa said.