Use of US passport dooms candidate


    THE Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the disqualification of a mayoral candidate who used his US passport after he renounced his American citizenship, in what could be a foreshadowing of the action it might take in a similar case involving Sen. Grace Poe.

    The High Court upheld the ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualifying Manolito S. de Leon from joining the mayoral race in Basista, Pangasinan, for being an American citizen.

    In a full court decision, the tribunal dismissed the petition of de Leon, saying he failed “to show that the Comelec en banc committed grave abuse of discretion in [rendering its

    Impleaded in the petition filed by de Leon were his rival Jocelyn O. Perez and the Comelec. The two contested the mayoral post in 2013.

    “After a judicious review of the records, the court resolves to dismiss the instant petition and affirm the resolution dated October 9, 2015 of the [Comelec en banc,]” the SC said.

    The poll body held that de Leon is deemed to have repudiated his renunciation of his American citizenship when he used his American passport on September 10, 2011 and June 26, 2012.

    This was echoed by the High Court, which said de Leon was ineligible to run for public office in the 2013 elections.

    The SC cited the case of Maquiling v. Comelec wherein the court ruled that “by using his American passport after renouncing his American citizenship, the candidate is deemed to have recanted the oath of renunciation that he took.”

    Accordingly, the High Tribunal opined, “Section 40 [d]of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, applies to petitioner’s situation, thus disqualifying him from holding the subject local elective office as he could not have been even considered as a candidate for the local elections at all.”

    De Leon’s case is somewhat similar to Poe’s who is facing several disqualification cases on claims that she is not a natural-born Filipino.

    The camp of Rizalito David, who filed one of the disqualification cases against Poe, claimed that the senator used her American passport even after she renounced her American citizenship in October 2010.

    David’s lawyer Manuelito Luna submitted to the Senate Electoral Tribunal records from the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs showing that Poe used her US passport in September 2011.

    The electoral tribunal dismissed the disqualification case against Poe but its decision was elevated to the High Court.

    Poe became a US citizen on October 18, 2001. She reacquired her Filipino citizenship in July 2006.

    In another earlier decision, the SC affirmed the disqualification of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado for using his American passport after renouncing his US citizenship.

    “Only natural-born Filipinos who owe total and undivided allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines could run for and hold elective public office,” the tribunal said through a ruling penned by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.

    It held that the use of a foreign passport after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship “is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship” and “does not divest one of the reacquired Filipino citizenship but recants the oath of renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position.”

    “By using his US passport, Arnado positively and voluntarily represented himself as an American, in effect, declaring before immigration authorities of both countries that he is an American citizen, with all attendant rights and privileges granted by the United States of America,” the high court said.


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    1. It’s no brainer, Grace Poe Llamanzares is not qualified to run for President in the country under the Philippine Constitution.The rules are clear and understandable even to grade school pupils.

    2. Grace Poe already renounced our Country for the US. Why the hell does she wants to be its president?

      Gising Bayan!

    3. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      05 Jan 2016

      The case of MANOLITO S. DE LEON bears a very striking resemblance to the case of GRACE POE LLAMANZARES.

      Thus, that case will be the Supreme Court’s precedent in adjudicating the case brought to it by GPL. Plus the high court may further rule that she is not in compliance with the Constitutional requirement of a 10-year residency.

      GPL’s “goose is cooked”–and cooked “well done!”


    4. Folks, how many times have I told you that LLAMANZARES IS A FRAUD, A LIAR, and an OPPORTUNIST? Why would anyone even consider an American to lead the Philippines? This evil person needs to be deported back to the USA!

    5. Philip Savior on

      This is a foolishness proceeding in nature involving Grace Poe case,What else evidence do we need? This is purely an act of down grading our judicial system of the Land.The supreme Court must end this issue in order to uphold the rule of law.

    6. Barack Obama is not “Natural Born Citizen” of the United States and therefore was never eligible to BE “President”. There is NO “President” Obama: http://www.thepostemail.com/09/17/10/there-is-no-prsident-obama. In the 2008 Election BOTH major party candidates were ineligible. John McCain was born in Panama and Barack Obama’s Father was a British Subject. Barack Obama is the United States second usurper of the Presidency. Chester Arthur was it’s first. Arthur was also born a British Subject. Now comes Marco Rubio who was born of Parents who were both Cubans and Ted Cruz who was born in Canada to a Cuban Father.
      The US Constitution REQUIRES that a President be a “Natural Born Citizen” The US Supreme Court defined that as “one born in the US f parents are citizens themselves”. Minor v Happersett,USSCt. (1875). There is no “President” Obama. At least YOUR government is weeding out ineligible candidates. Ours is “Evading the Issue” (Justice Thomas,USSCt).

      • Felix Servidad on

        First let the supreme court decide then the people. We are ruled by the law not by emotion, don’t make the situation be rule by emotion that would be more complicated, let’s get things more simple and let the supreme court decide then it’s our turn to decide and vote.

      • That’s not true. Grace renounced her U.S. Citizenship prior to serving as head of MTRCB in 2010. Rizalino David submitted documents to the SET from the U.S. State Department showing that Grace used her U.S. Passport to travel in September of 2011.

      • How sure are you in saying that she never used her passport? All through. the years are you in the company of GPL the american candidate?

      • Not sure about that. Records show otherwise.

        The point is that having renounced her citizenship put a big question mark on her patriotism. I have been in an out of the country for almost 25 years, but never once thought of giving up my citizenship.

    7. poe llamanzares is the only 2016 presidential candidate, though claiming to be patriotic, who RENOUNCED her Filipino citizenship !!! who can beat that?

    8. laguatanlawzen.com on

      I don’t really understand why Grace P. Llamanares’s lawyer is keeping the truth from her. I don’t also believe that her lawyer as well as Chiz Escudero, also a lawyer are not aware of the existing SC decision which maybe applicable to Llamanzares DQ case.

    9. Ma. Grace Natividad Contreras-Militar y Sonora-Poe Llamanzarez and her tandem Chiz Escudero and supporters are not above the law. Their ambitious plan to corrupt the constitution is doomed since the beginning.

    10. Ms Poe I had voted you as Senator hope you complete your terms as being Elected Senator and make our Philippine laws updated as your obligation as being elected Senator.

    11. Since the solgen has manifested that it sustain the ruling of the SET THAT GRACE POE IS A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN PLUS MORE THAN 20,000,000 Filipinos have proclaimed that she is qualified to serve the people, and since their are 2 opposing views, i say LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE!

      • by saying LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE, you are thrashing the constitution. the constitution defines who are natural born filipinos and stated who are qualified to become president, vice president and senator. BY THE WAY, THE PEOPLE RATIFIED THIS CONSTITUTION AND THEY HAVE DECIDED THEN THAT THIS IS THE WAY WE SHOULD GO and NOT what you are advocating. you and llamanzares should work on the amendment of the constitution to include the likes of llamanzares to be eligible to be president, vice president and senator of this country.


    12. It would be much better for senator Grace Poe if she wait for six more years to run for the presidency, by then she should be very eligible legally in terms of residency and more experienced and competent.Her chance of winning will be much better because of more public exposures in public service

    13. Grace P. Llamanzares knows that her US citizenship has been renounced but conveniently used her US passport to show she never pledge her true allegiance to the Philippines. My thoughts are that she must have accepted so much funds for her campaign from backers and supporter in turn for favors. Backing out will not be an option for her, cause she would not be able to return all the money received. She will want to wait it out from SC decision and say was never her Intention to deceive the voter and investors. Whatever the outcome of SC , she will be spared of embarrassment !

      • Congress has pass this bills for dual citizenship,
        Long time ago. Provision to this is for the Filipino People who have businesses and parents in abroad, who want to stay temp. there and plans to return for in our country, Philippines. So there is no question about the issues for SGP Grace Poe.
        Dapat naman po na bigyan konsiderasyon ng gov’t. na maging patas sa adhikaing Mapaganda at Mas umunlad ang ating bayan.

    14. Poe’s case is clearly different from Arnado’s. The Mayor still used his American passport even when he already renounced his US citizenship which nullifies his renunciation making him disqualified.

    15. Senator Poe did not use her US passport after she renounced her US citizenship, Arnado did. See the difference? It’s as simple as that. SHE IS QUALIFIED.

    16. Godofredo Bernabe Sr. on

      Dual citizenship is disallowed in local elective posts, how much more to the national positions. Poe’s case is indefensible before the Supreme Court.

    17. It is very clear that ms Poe lied and violate the national election code and here she is trying to destroy the national election law. She should be dismissed from the senate by declaring she is a Filipino.

    18. Amado P Salvador on

      I am not a lawyer but i am afraid the similarities of the SC decided cases to the facts of the case involving Sen Poe could be used as the basis for the possible decision to be handed down on the disqualification case filed against by at least 3 individuals.

    19. I must be missing something as I am unable to understand this ruling. If the Philippines now recognizes dual citizenship it follows that the person who enjoys this legal privilege is at liberty to use either of the countries’ passport since he is recognized as being a citizen of both countries. It would not be a recognition of dual citizenship if you lose your rights of Filipino citizenship by exercising your rights as an American citizen.

      • Tristan Mendoza on

        That is true that Philippines recognize dual citizenship but there are limits to it. Perfect example is the current discussion in this column. The electoral guidelines limits the elective positions to natural born citizens.

      • There is no dual citizenship in Poe’s case as she had supposedly officially renounced her USA citizenship already. She still used her American passport after this renunciation. This was made possible as this USA passport was still valid in those times that she used it even after the renunciation. As far as the SC is concerned, using the foreign passport after renunciation of the same passport nationality revokes that renunciation. Also, dual citizenship is NOT allowed for Philippine elective positions.

      • Doroy Delacruz on

        It is a matter of loyalty to the country. Can you imagine having a President who is being coached by foreign interests?

      • Dual Citizenship under PH laws is recognized in all other cases, with rights and privileges that goes with it, except to hold public office, or to participate in local and national elections which requires undivided allegiance to the Philippine Constitution.

        Ika nga pag dating sa public office hindi ka pwede mamangka sa dalawang ilog.

      • Godofredo Bernabe Sr. on

        Those privileges one may enjoy. But running for public office is different that is why they are specific in applicable legislation.

      • Hi Sir,

        My answer to your question is that, yes as a dual citizen you can use both passport any way you want as a private persons you can even work and study in both countries. However, as a dual citizen you cannot hold any public or government position because you are not full pledge filipino, and that’s the only restriction you must follow as a dual citizen person. i hope this clears everything for you.

      • Yes Fil-Ams are free as a bird to use both passports as dual citizens but they are prohibited, discriminated and banned for life to be elected or appointed to any delicate, important and prominent post that requires unwavering loyalty and faith to the Filipino race, the Filipino nation, Philippine flag and constitution.

    20. I don’t even know why Grace Poe and her camp does not have a clue of foreign passport used. I would suspect that she even entered American Citizen line to present her passport. What is she doing is to correct the wrong and hoping she can get away fro it.

    21. To be fair, the same case should be applied to Llamanzares (an opportunist, not qualified candidate). Llamanzares should and must be disqualified by the SC solely based on her usage of a foreign passport after she renounced her citizenship from a foreign country. If ever SC will make a decision to favor Llamanzares, there should be a condition to the former pre-school nanny to use the name Llamanzares instead of FPJ’s. Llamanzares should abide by any SC decision be it favorable or not to her.

      • Eduardo Manalon on

        I agree 100% to you Mr. Ed de Leon, Mrs. Grace P. Llamanzares should stop using Poe. If she really love her husband, she would be proud to use his family surname.

    22. that would be true if grace poe used her american passport after her last oath of office. if she made an oath for an office that required her to be a natural born filipino citizen after the last time she used her passport, that jurisprudence will not apply.

      • if the reported dates are correct, she used it after she was sworn in as a Philippine senator.

    23. What a waste of time and money to be dealing with this case. She fooled the people once, she’d like to fool them again! Too much! How qualified is she that this case was considered this far? Or, she’s just ‘popular’? This kind of mentality is ‘dooming’ the country.

      May God Bless the Philippines; may God bless the Filipino people.