• What’s the real score between Roxas and Grace Poe?

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    THE POLITICAL season is “hotting up,” and some political witch doctors are trying to treat us like primitive Indians to some election magic. They want to exploit the ignorance of the ignorant, and bamboozle us into believing that the election period is already in full swing and that it’s time we chose the lesser of two evils for our next president.

    Is it the truth? Not quite. We don’t even have any official candidates to choose from yet. They will be known officially only after they shall have filed their respective certificates of candidacy, some time in October.

    What we have for now are presidential dreamers, aspirants, hopefuls, wannabes. Even Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, who has announced his bid as soon as he assumed office, is not yet officially a candidate. Not even Roxas, who had preceded Binay, after he gave way to PNoy’s wishes upon Cory Aquino’s death in 2010, and whom PNoy has just endorsed as his own bet for 2016.

    At this point, we have not even completed the equivalent of the “primary” which we are witnessing today in the United States. The administration and opposition parties have not yet officially chosen their respective standard bearers, nor completed their national tickets, to allow us to see the start of the race. Therefore it is quite premature to expect the voters to make their definitive choices. It is not correct to suggest that the race has narrowed down to one between Binay and Roxas.

    It has not. Mayor Rudy Duterte of Davao is still threatening to pack a surprise, and a sizeable horde of supporters is threatening to sweep the non-committal Bongbong Marcos onto center-stage by filing his certificate of candidacy without a prior declaration on the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy on October 16. This could truly upset the entire apple cart.

    But for now the two presidential hopefuls, Binay and Roxas, seem to have unusual difficulty identifying a viable teammate. To be fair, Binay’s problem may not be as serious as that of Roxas. For probably the best of reasons, Roxas has trained his eye on a female vice-presidential candidate, but he seemed to have failed to win the interest of any of the three women-politicians he has tried to win over to his cause.

    Mayor Vilma Santos Recto of Lipa, Batangas, gave him a flat no, not only from herself but also from her senator-husband, Senator Ralph Recto.

    Mrs. Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur, who now sits in Congress after her husband, the former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, was killed in an unexplained air crash while on an official mission in the Visayas, found some local political reason to say no too.

    And Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, whose eligibility to run for president or vice president, or even to remain in the Senate, is being questioned before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the Commission on Elections, and the independent press, for her not being a natural-born Filipino, has accused Roxas and the LP of double-dealing. While Roxas was trying to persuade her to run as his teammate, she said, his partymates were simultaneously attacking her for her not being a natural-born Filipino and not qualified to pursue the presidency or vice-presidency or even a seat in Congress.

    She seemed to believe the LP was secretly behind the petitions filed by former Kapatiran senatorial candidate Lito David before the SET and the Comelec to unseat her from the Senate–a charge strongly denied by the LP and David as entirely without basis.

    What is the real narrative?

    It appears that some highly-paid law office identified with Roxas had compiled an extensive dossier on Mrs. Llamanzares’ s citizenship. The Roxas camp was prepared to spring this on her should she decide to challenge Roxas’s bid, but it was also prepared to shove it under the rug if she agreed to run as his vice-president instead.

    The Constitution provides that no person may be elected president, or vice-president or member of Congress, unless he is a natural-born Filipino citizen, meaning to say a Filipino citizen from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his citizenship. It appears that the Roxas camp was prepared to interpret this provision in whatever way it would serve its political ends.

    Unfortunately, petitioner David jumped the gun on the Roxas camp.

    Now, contrary to the thrust of the study reportedly made by the law office, Roxas is compelled to say he believes Llamanzares is a Filipino from birth. But this position cannot be defended without changing the Constitution itself and the facts of the case. By virtue of her having been born of unknown parents in Jaro, Iloilo on Sept. 3, 1968, Llamanzares was stateless upon birth.

    She appears to have initially become a Filipino by claiming that she was the natural daughter of her adoptive parents, Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, who were married on Dec. 25, 1968, three months after the date of Mary Grace’s birth. The marriage was childless.

    This misrepresentation invalidated her Philippine citizenship ab initio. But even if , for the sake of argument it did not, she finally lost her Philippine citizenship in 2001 when she became a citizen of the United States. In 2012, she renounced and lost her US citizenship. But in 2006, having returned to the Philippines, she applied for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under RA 9225 or the Dual Citizenship Law.

    This law allows former natural-born Filipino citizens who had become citizens of a foreign country after RA 9225 took effect to reacquire their Philippine citizenship.

    But Llamanzares was never a former natural-born Filipino citizen, and she became a US citizen before the Dual Citizenship Law was enacted. She cannot therefore reacquire her citizenship under the law. But by lying under oath, she was able to “reacquire” her citizenship. That has to be declared null and void ab initio. Now, being no longer an American citizen, and not being validly a Filipino, she is therefore a stateless person who cannot be considered for any position under our laws.

    For Roxas to proclaim that Mrs. Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino is to say that he has not understood the Constitution and is not prepared to preserve and defend it, as stated in the President’s Oath of Office. He would be a very dangerous man to have near the presidency. He has to retract his statement, commit himself to be bound by the real meaning of the Constitution, and assure Mrs. Llamanzares of every help she needs after she loses her Senate seat, in order to become a truly naturalized Filipino citizen according to our immigration laws.

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    14 Comments

    1. Let the columnist speak for what he knows! Fact is, it is the constitution’s requirement. And who drafted/framed this Constitution? Cory and the yellow freaks/fanatics.
      Tatad is perceived to be conditioning the Filipino readers? And isn’t the retarded president of yours doing the worst? How dare him say “Ipagpatuloy ang programa tungo sa Tuwid na daan” , and ” Walang mahirap kung walang corrupt?” Sino kaya ang nang corrupt sa senators at congressmen kundi siya? From Corona’s ouster to th BBL and, mind you, what was the plan behind using the suspended Gen. Purisima to ordering the 44 SAF police that eventuated to their demise? Abnoy was the corrupt element in the plot, joining hands with his favorite general!

    2. in my view, it’s never hate personally. but stating the facts about the situation on hand. the need to write it again and again may be a tactic of psychological persuasion, conditioning the minds of the readers. after all, that is what most in the media are doing. but still, facts are facts, and the government for the past decades failed to serve the public the services it badly needs to uplift the lives of every( “every”) filipino.

    3. Kit had made his observations on Grace’s case very clearly here. The issue is whether or not Grace is a “natural born” Filipino! Being “natural born” is one of the important constitutional qualifications to run for this Republic’s presidency, isn’t it? Assuming that Grace is a Filipino, was her birth “natural” — meaning borne out of the love (or, lust, to say otherwise ) between two natural-born Filipino citizens? Or, baka ipinanganak siyang “Ceasarian”. Who knows? He…he…he…

    4. The issue about Grace Llamanzares serves as a distraction of more pressing and relevant national and international issues, which Filipinos need to tackle with utmost expediency, the less space and exposure given to her by media, would plummet her popularity, so much so that she becomes irrelevant.

      Media should give importance and more emphasis on the BBL issue, of the sorry state of our economy and daily flight and plight of professional Filipinos seeking employment abroad. Grace Llamanzares should only be given space, if she comes out and pass FOI and charge BS Cojuangco Aquino III of being the directly involved in Mamasapano massacre.

      Let us not dignify Grace Llamanzares on her cunning and conniving ways, more than she needs to be as a simpleton, by giving her the limelight, which she dearly crave for to obtain political capital and clout.

    5. This process of looking for a VP is a masquerade. Everything will not work out – and at the end, the LP will say they have no choice but MA-NOY 2016. Mar and Noynoy to continue whatever it is they’re doing to the country. Watch out!

    6. Mar Roxas has been a disappointment with respect to this issue. His dog-like “courting” of Grace Poe to be his VP is so undignified for one who aspires to be the president of the Philippines. He claims to have Plans A,B,C, etc.with respect to his choice of running mate. But to date he’s still patiently waiting for Grace Poe to say “yes”. “Nakakahiya”. He behaves like a “loser”, not a “winner” even at this early stage of the game. Let’s hope another candidate will step forward to challenge him, Binay, or potentially, Poe.

    7. Dominador D. Canastra on

      All these morally disanled people know what the laws and the Constitution say. They just want to continue being in power and never mind if the Philippine Republic and the Filipino people, 97 % of whom are too poor (36%) and 61% are too desperate in their struggle to remain “unpoor” and “unhungry” to do anything about the oppresor elites anyway.

    8. jesus nazario on

      “Ang Sinungaling Ay Kapatid ng Magnanakaw” Season 2 Episode 1 has began filming. Watch for it. The primary characters are already signed up and in fact have began promoting the TV drama ? action ? comedy?, slapstick? or horror ? We can still very well remember who uttered those famous words only just yesterday in the political time-scale.

    9. Jose A. Oliveros on

      Former Senator Kit Tatad has correctly pointed out that Sen. Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares is stateless because her parents and consequently, their citizenship are unknown. Being stateless, she has no Filipino citizenship to retain nor re-acquire under Sec. 2 of the Dual Citizenship Law. Furthermore, under Sec. 3 of the same law, provides that those seeking elective public office in the Philippines must meet all the qualifications for the office he or she is seeking and “at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.” There is no record that she made that sworn renunciation when she filed her certificate of candidacy for Senator in 2013.

    10. Reyno del rosario on

      Bugok talaga itong si tatad, halos Araw Araw ay puro yung citizenship issue Kay Sen Grace Poe ang isinusulat. Kung Hindi ka binayaran eh ano ka. Sira ulo? Nasa comelec at NASA husgado na yung reklamo nung aso mong si David ayaw mo pang tigilan si sen Poe.

      • Araw-araw nyang kailangang gawin yan para matandaan ng tao. Kasi araw-araw din na may mga gunggung na nagdedepensa kay Grace Poe kaso lang mali naman. Inilalayo nila ang isyu. Hindi ang pagiging Filipino ni Grace Poe ang issue, kundi yung hindi sya NATURAL-BORN Filipino.

    11. Kit, I think you just hate PNoy and Grace. Better shut up re citizenship of Grace. Let the legal and constitutional experts and the courts take care of that. You should have taken an action ahead of David. You just did not believe what you are writing about. Do not use your column for strictly personal and dubious interest. You hate not being listened to. Your time has passed. Leave the Philippines affairs to the current leaders, or seek the office itself if you have the “it”. The people have thanked you for whatever, if any, you have served them during your time!