Why should anyone want to hurt Grace Poe?


I went to the Commission on Elections on Monday, accompanied by my lawyer Manuelito Luna, to file a petition for the disqualification of Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares as candidate for president in the 2016 elections. The petition is based on her not being a natural-born Filipino and her lack of the required residency of ten years immediately preceding the election. These are two of the constitutional requirements, aside from having to be a registered voter, being able to read and write, and at least forty years of age on election day. A swarm of reporters met me inside the Comelec building, armed with the usual questions. But the most interesting question was, what prompted me to file, which candidate did I want to favor with her disqualification?

My quick answer to that was, the rule of law. The Constitution should be the first to benefit from any positive result of the petition. I personally pray for Grace Poe Llamanzares, I wish her well. But as I have repeatedly said in this space, before anyone seeking any high office becomes the candidate of any group or political party, he should first of all be a candidate of the Constitution. Meaning, he should first comply with all the requirements of the Constitution. No one whose solemn oath, if elected, would be “to preserve and defend the Constitution, execute (the nation’s) laws, do justice to every man and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation,” should launch his campaign on the corpse of the Constitution.

Because she is still young and presumably still idealistic, many had expected Mrs. Llamanzares to insist vehemently on it. But she would have nothing do to with it. This is where she is an utter disappointment. That notwithstanding, my petition is not driven by my own personal disappointment. But this has not prevented others from questioning my motives. Why do I want to hurt Grace Poe? asks one prayerful religious acquaintance. Am I doing it to help Jojo Binay, Miriam Defensor Santiago, or Mar Roxas?

It was not simply a straightforward question. It was accusation, no matter how veiled. And my interlocutor knew me well enough to throw in some details about my personal correspondence with the major players. Isn’t my paternal grandmother a Rojas, whose descendants want me to support Mar? Isn’t Miriam a next-door neighbor who was my running mate against Erap in 1998, and for whose adopted Ilonggo daughter (one of two) I had stood as baptismal sponsor later? Did I not campaign with Binay in 2010, and lent him counsel on international affairs during his first two years as vice president? And what of the rest of the 130 presidential filers? Would not everyone of those who would survive the Comelec pruning process benefit from the disqualification?

Indeed, they would, but that would be purely an unintended consequence. That has nothing to do with my decision to seek the disqualification of Mrs. Llamanzares. I filed my petition not to afflict Grace Poe Llamanzares and to provide aid and comfort to any political party or politician, but for the dignity of our institutions, whatever is left of it. I am on record as saying that if Grace Poe Llamanzares did not have her constitutional disability, and if she has not lied too much under oath, I might have found it possible to speak in her favor, even though for reasons of national security, I could never imagine her as a Filipino Commander-in-Chief, tethered to an American husband and children.

I deeply regret any discomfort or unpleasantness my petition may have caused Mrs. Llamanzares and her local and foreign supporters; but this transcends our personal regard for each other. My personal goodwill for the Poe family needs no superficial demonstration: I did not only run with her adoptive father Fernando Poe Jr. as his senatorial candidate in 2004; I also articulated for him and his party the points nobody else could articulate against the Arroyo administration on the campaign trail, and consequently courted the same political fate as his.

One year after our electoral debacle, I exposed the infamous “Hello Garci” tape that revealed the extensive irregularities committed against us in that election. Some members of the House milked that scandal to their utmost benefit during the hearings, and two young demagogues were catapulted to the Senate, where they remain until now. I had hoped that FPJ’s adopted daughter would show some regard for the majesty of the Constitution and the rule of law, which suffered mortal injury when we lost the 2004 election; but such hope had been dashed by her resolve to run for president, on the basis of manufactured surveys, in gross disregard of the requirements of the Constitution.

The case is simple enough. The Constitution, as stated earlier, provides that 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 on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.

What is a natural-born citizen? A natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his citizenship.

And who are citizens of the country? Under the 1935 Constitution, which was in force when Grace Poe Llamanzares was born on Sept. 3, 1968, the following are Filipino citizens.

1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of its adoption;

2) Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of the Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine islands;

3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines;

4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship; and

5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

Now, to what category does Grace Poe Llamanzares belong?

None of the above. How did this happen? If she was born in the Philippines, why is she excluded from the enumeration? The answer is simple.

She is excluded from the enumeration because she was born a foundling, of no known parents; she was found abandoned in the premises of the parish church in Jaro, Iloilo City on Sept. 3, 1968 by Edgardo Militar who later put her in the custody of Emiliano Militar. Because her parents were unknown, their nationality was similarly unknown; she was therefore stateless upon birth, even though under international law every child has a right to a nationality.

How she became a Filipino citizen from being stateless upon birth has not been substantially demonstrated or explained. But that must have involved a “process” that allowed her to acquire a Filipino citizenship before she became an American citizen, by naturalization, in 2001. Whatever process that was, it clearly destroyed any chance of her claiming natural-born status.

After living in the United States as a naturalized American citizen for years, she decided to return to the Philippines following the death of FPJ in December 2004. On July 7, 2006, she filed a petition for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation under RA 9225. Under that law, former natural-born citizens who lost their citizenship after 2003 may seek to reacquire their citizenship.

In her application, Mrs. Llamanzares said she was a natural-born Filipino, born to the spouses Ronald Allan Poe and Jesusa Sonora Poe, a completely false statement. Her petition was granted, but the Commissioner’s signature on the document was signed not by the Commissioner himself, but by a subaltern.

Mrs. Llamanzares renounced her US citizenship in 2010, and this renunciation became effective on Feb. 3, 2012. So she is no longer an American citizen. But since her reacquired citizenship is clearly invalid, she is not also legally a Filipino. She has an inchoate right to Filipino citizenship, but until she goes through the required legal process, she is not yet a citizen, and therefore stateless. She is therefore not qualified to run for President.

As far as her residency is concerned, she declared in her COC for Senator in 2013 that she had been living in the Philippines for six years and six months prior to the May 13, 2013 elections. This is questioned by some. But assuming this statement to be correct, she would have been living in the country for nine (9) years, five (5) months and four days by the time the 2016 presidential elections are held. This would be shy of the required ten years. This makes her ineligible to run for President.



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  1. 1. Most of the readers of your column, Mr. Tatad, know that you don’t wish Mrs. Grace Poe Llamnazares any harm. We know that you are after the truth and are holding the banner for the Philippine Constitution and the Rule of Law. For that, we thank and applaud you for filing a “disqualification” petition against her.

    2. Given your past and current political affiliation or association, it is to be expected that the spokesman and supporters of Mrs. Llamanzares will label you as “sinister”, an “evil doer”, or an “evil planner”. They are now even using the language of VP Jejomar Binay and his team: “harassment”, and “politically motivated”. I anticipate that the next phrase we will hear from them will be “demolition” job.

    3. Mrs. Llamanzares excessive ambition has led her astray. In these days of the Internet and widespread social media, it is incomprehensible that she, her adoptive mother Susan Roces, and her supporters and financiers actually think that with only the name “Poe” as Mrs. Llamanzares’ calling card, they can misrepresent her residency and natural-born status long enough to land her the presidency. They bank on the fact that a majority of Philippine voters make decisions based on emotions, and can be misled like sheep. They forget that there is always that one to two percent of voters who are politically literate, who will not hesitate to question her qualifications, and who will avail themselves of the legal process if need be to get to the truth. As President Abraham Lincoln once said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

  2. >>> Filipino Natural Born Citizens of the Philippines !!!!
    Lets not give to much attentions publicly this issue since this matter was already filed in the Comelec and Supreme Court.

    1935 Constitution of the Philippines already superseded and shall not be the basis of any arguments, debates and discussions.
    During the time of endorsed President (by Enrile and Ramos) Cory Cojuangco-Aquino, 1987 Constitution of the Philippines was approved, SO IT WAS WRITTEN, SO IT SHALL BE DONE !!!

  3. It is no secret that Francisco Tatad is the biggest beneficiary in a Binay presidency. Expect him to be rewarded a cabinet post in exchange for the dirty job he’s doing on Grace Poe and others who stands in the way of Jejomar Binay. Binay has been very generous putting food on Tatad’s family table. Can anyone blame Tatad?

  4. jose taganahan on

    After a case was filed against Sen. Grace Poe at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and another one from the COMELEC, I believe those who still file disqualification cases against Sen. Grace are doing it for the money or for free publicity just like what the mouthpiece of Martial Law, Mr. Kit Tatad has done.

  5. Atty. Oliveros, sobra naman ang attack mo sa mga nagbibigay ng kanilang opinion whether baseless or in your case so you say tackless. Give them a voice to speak for themselves para ka naman pikon at takot sa Misis mo o baka naman Mister mo. You’ve voiced out your opinion stop replying to their opinion. Atty. opinion lang po iyan kung me problema ka eh lumipat ka ng ibang periodika at duon ka mang-asar. Salamat po!

  6. I have read all your opinions and interpretations in regards to the citizenship status of Mrs Llamanzares. I respect them all. But this is what I’m going to say, always follow the rule of law, the right path to civilization.

  7. May I asked if the same requirements applies to people running for vice president? Because if it is, why did the LP and PNoy wooed her for the post of VP if they think she is not qualified? Would she have these disqualification cases had she agreed to run for VP of Mar? Would Mr Tatad file his case?

  8. Habang ang marami ay nagtatalo, Ang comelec at sc ay nagbibingi-bingihan at nagtutulog-tulogan,habang hinihintay ang utos ng kanilang panginoong si aquino.
    at habang pinag -iisipan pa nila kung paano nila ito,gagamitin sa kanilang sariling pakinabang.
    Destiny daw ni mar na maging pangulo sa tulong ng pamumunipalasyon nila sa sitwasyon.
    Santiago vs. MAR… KAPAG NANGYARI ITO AT NANALO SI MARRIAM. MALAMANG kung totoong may cancer siya ,at nanalo si marcos…malamang magulat ang mga yellow! hehehe!

  9. Let the people decide because we are the one who is going to vote…we don’t need descriminations

  10. The Constitution states “all government authority emanates from the people”. While there are qualifications mentioned in the Constitution, the Filipino people can choose their own leaders directly through election. Let Grace Poe run for President.

    • The Filipino people can only choose from constitutionally-qualified candidates. That is the rule of the law, not the rule of the mob.

    • Are you out of your mind? You mean its possible to elect anybody ,disregarding our constitution,just to make it convenient for those aspiring to lead our dear country.Get real Enrico! Your name sounds familiar,a mexican?! Well, anyway, i respect your opinion.

    • …in violation of the Philippine Constitution drafted by delegates chosen by the citizens of the republic? Nip it in the bud, panahon na po para gisingin po muli ang pagkilala sa ating batas, igalang po natin ang constitution ng Pilipinas…alam naman po siguro nating lahat kung papa-ano walanghiyain ang batas sa ating bayan ng mga may katungkulan sa bayan…umpisahan po nating muli sa tamang proseso..paumanhin po kung salungat sa inyo ang aking opinyon..hintayin na lang po natin ang desisyon ng SET at korte, tama na po ang “popularity” contest sa politika..

  11. Gosh we are in the 21st century, she can resort to Genealogical DNA testing to prove her case, there are people in Iloilo claiming to be a relative of her parents, provided they are genuine relatives, she can avail of such test. If the results favors her then she doesn’t need to search for her parents to prove she’s a natural-born citizen, to question her status as natural-born in any court will not merit anything.. But again even if she passes such test her “residency” issue is another story….

  12. kahit natural born sya hindi ko sya iboboto dahil dami nya utang na loob sa mga criminal. Mar or Meriam lang pagpilian ntin

  13. I cannot imagine a President of our Republic and our commander-in-chief having an american husband and american children. A president must first and foremost a patriot of his/her country. This is one of the most basic qualifications of an elected leader in all other countries in the world. This means that you love your country with all your heart and you will even give your life for its defense and honor. Can you tell a person he/she is a patriot if that person, once in his/her life, renounced her country and pledged allegiance to a foreign one? For God’s sake, this is the presidency, the highest position of the land, hence must require the highest patriotic qualification! This is not just an OFW job! (no offense meant to our OFW).

    • I am an OFW, but we must follow the constitution because it is the highest position of the country. Imagine, we have a Commander-in-Chief whose husband and children are foreigners.

  14. I wonder WHY the COMELEC does NOT seem to act at all in any or all of these petitions. Isn’t this gross negligence?

    First, with her being an incumbent “senator” despite being stateless and have committed perjury. Second, her intent of running for the presidency.

    I mean, shouldn’t COMELEC at least classify Grace Poe’s COC as PENDING in the face of all these legal quagmires?

    Days pass by and the COMELEC seems to be walking in the park despite these serious breach of national security.

    Why? The COMELEC should explain WHY!

  15. You can impute any motives on the part of Tatad, but the fact is that he is doing service to the public by bringing up the case.

  16. I have no particular view about Grace Poe, other than that her inexperience makes her ill equipped to become President. However, I do object most strongly to the view that as a ‘foundling” she is assumed to be stateless. The UN resolution, plus any humanitarian considerations must allow that in the absence of proof to the contrary, she must be granted the assumption of being a Philippina. To say otherwise is discriminatory. Issues relating to her rejection of Philippino citizenship, is another matter.

    • 1. I suggest that you consult a dictionary for the definition of “foundling”.

      2. What UN Resolution are you referring to? Please try to be specific if you want to argue your position.

      3. Whatever UN resolution you have in mind, it will not trump the Philippine Constitution.

      4. Most constitutions, including that of the USA, are “discriminatory”. For the Philippine presidency, the Constitution mandates a natural born Filipino, not just any Tom, Dick or Harry who may be stateless, or possess dual citizenship. The possibility that the President of the Philippines may or will have “dual allegiance” is just not acceptable!

  17. Voice of People, ito ang palaging sinasabi ng camp at isang supporter ni Grace! Please,Mr. Supporter at camp of Grace, sundin muna ang requirements at ayusin! kung yan ang reasoning nila sa case ni Grace, eh magiging my gulay tayo sa stilo ng pagresolba sa issue ng candidacy for president!

  18. Gloria B. Wilhelm on


    An infant born in the Philippines is a natural-born citizen, whether parents are known or unknown. It is so illogical to surmise that the foundling was born elsewhere and flown to the Philippines, placed on the steps of a parish church in Jaro, Iloilo to be adopted. Even if that person became in her later life an American and then renounced her citizenship later, the fact that she was born in the Philippines should not at all affect her stature of being a natural-born. She has the inherent right because of birth. Her native country is the Philippines and SHE DID NOT REACQUIRE HER BEING “NATURAL-BORN;” she reacquired her CITIZENESS.

    There isn’t much choice among the presidential candidates. Even with lesser experience compared to the others except being a Senator since 2008, Senator Poe-LLamanzares comes clean as a whistle compared to the other candidates that are tainted so heavily, especially Binay. Mr. Tatad, sir, what is your real intention? To help your candidate win the presidency? The country will mourn if that corrupt and tainted Jejomar Binay is elected. Please give the Filipinos a chance to have clean governance.

    Canada, which is a country bigger by umpteenth fold in wealth and size, has just elected a very young candidate to be the Prime Minister, and his only credit was being a Member of the Parliament since 2008.
    Give Grace Poe a chance. Let her campaign untroubled and burdened by this trumped-up case to prevent her from running. I want to hear her agenda. Leave her alone.

    • That’s the problem. She has to prove that she was born here in the Philippines. When a child is found inside a certain country doesn’t mean he is born inside that country. And that is what the point is, nobody doesn’t like her to be a candidate the issue is that she should fix the issue about her first before filing her candidacy.

    • The Philippine nationality law is based upon the principles of jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood) and therefore descent from a parent who is a citizen or national of the Republic of the Philippines is the primary method of acquiring Philippine citizenship.

    • read the Philippine constitution first & understand it before you spout that GP has the inherent right because of birth…

    • At the expense of our constitition? Thats why we do not progress as a nation bcoz our mentality of “pwede na yan”. For heavens sake, wake up Gloria. Your last name sounds alien to me. Well,,,, ,, , ok ok,,, ok,

    • Sorry, you’re wrong. Better do research and read some more if you want to keep up.

      Your first paragraph is just laughable. Plain assertions without proof or evidence is meaningless and useless. Better give references if you want to participate in any discussion relating to Mr. Tatad’s position regarding the eligibility of Mrs G. Poe Llamanzares..

      By the way, for your information, citizenship in Canada is based on jus solis, not jus sanguines as is the case in the Philippines. Justin Trudeau’s Canadian citizenship was and is never in doubt, and unlike your candidate Mrs. Poe Llamanzares, his citizenship certainly did not arise as an issue during the recent Canadian election. As they say, apples and oranges…..

    • Let us accept the truth for the sake of our country. Let us respect and obey the Constitution of the Philippines. The world is watching us if we will bend our laws because someone has to be granted a privilege.

      Grace is popular among Pilipinos because of Fernando Poe Jr, and Susan Roces, this is a fact! We heard very little of Grace when she was growing up in the Philippines, and then she went to USA , got married there, raised children, and was an American citizen who lived there for many years. Suddenly she came back for good, after her father died. Fernando Poe is popular among poor Pilipinos because he is good with poor people, so Grace has benefited from that; very quickly she is at the top of the ladder in politics.

      We cannot compare Grace Poe to Justin Trudeau, because Justin grew up in Canada and was a son of a famous Prime Minister of all time; he as well benefited from his father’s political connection, but he has served the country in many countless way, while Grace was absent from the Philippines for many years. I just hope that Grace will spend more time to learn more about the Philippines and its constitution. Keep preparing yourself for few more years, until you become the best and the most qualified to run for the highest office.

      At this stage, our country with over 100 million people needed someone who is very qualified to run it. We have so many highly qualified individuals, but they are not that popular. Pilipinos must start thinking for the future generation, if we cannot fix the sickness of our country now, the next generation of Pilipinos, and the next,,, and the next… will suffer. We must love our country and start putting our mind together so we can help find the right people to lead this beautiful nation.

  19. Mark San Pablo on

    We should not question Mr. Tatad’s motives for filing this petition. He has declared he is doing this for the rule of law and the Constitution, so let’s leave it at that. I appreciate Mr. Tatad for his courage and his lucid arguments, and I believe by this action he is doing the Filipino people a BIG service. Besides, exposing oneself to criticisms, as what Mr. Tatad has gone through here, is not easy to decide on. If I have the talent that Mr. Tatad has, I would have done the same thing as he did. Let the COMELEC, and later on the Supreme Court, rule on the merits of this case.

  20. If Grace poe was found in the Philippines abandoned when she was newly born doesn’t that make her a natural born citizen without having to do anything to perfect it? I think that she is truly a natural born citizen and that the only thing that will prosper in her DQ case would be the lack of residency requirement counting from the day in which Grace herself wrote in her COC for senator under oath.

    • Jose A. Oliveros on

      Under the 1935 Philippine Constitution, only those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines are considered natural-born Filipino citizens. Now, who is the father of Grace Poe-Llamanzares and what is his nationality? The Philippines adopts and adheres to the citizenship principle of jus sanguinis, meaning a child follows the citizenship of his or her father; not jus soli or citizenship by reason of the place where a child was born.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Whichever that might be or both, disgraced Grace is not qualified to run for president neither to seat as senator in the senate. She knows it and she lied saying that her father and mother are Fernando and Susan. God bless the Philippines.

  21. Sa lahat ng pinoy ,one reason why our country is in the toilet bowl,dahil hinde natin sinusunod ang batas pasaway kung ano ang requirement for a presidential candidate must be applied according to what the constitution says; no problem her running for higher office but she respect what is written in a constitution of a country. People need to be reminded that popularity doesnt bring progress to our nation-tandsan ninyo sa election
    meron mga investor na namumuhunan at pag nanalo ang kandidato nila its about time to get an ROI return on investment,at higit pa ang kanilang kikitain kaya kawawa ang public services puro kilang sa pondo-kaya mgs pinoy gising pinsglalaruan lang kayo ng mga pulitiko at negosyaste, kaya di umaasenso ang buhay ng ordinaryong pilipino.

  22. The arguments of Mr. Tatad is truly educational and logical. What is unfortunate is that majority of the electorate are naive and politically immature. Thus most of the Filipino voters can easily be swayed by an emotional and passionate presentations in the public discourse on the said issue. Truth and Reason is foreign to their mindsets and in fact the approach of the Grace Llamanzares presidential candidacy backers is to exploit the emotional angle of the Philippine citizenry. Sadly, this is being spread by the opportunistic and selfish sectors of the media and oligarchy for their advantage.

  23. Is the rule of eligibility for Senate seat different from the published qualifications to run for presidential race?

    On the assumption that Ms Grace Poe is disqualified, and Mr JoJo Binay is in jail, the presidential contest is virtually a toss up between Inday Miriam and Mar Roxas. Unless, Mayor Duterte would make himself available to join the political contest.

    • Quite possible. The only thing that need to be checked is Miriam’s state of health. Is she’s indeed sick then it will just be Mar for President. This is destiny.

    • Jose A. Oliveros on

      As to citizenship, yes. Being a natural-born Filipino citizen is a common requirement for one aspiring to be elected as President, Vice President, Senator, Member of the House of Representatives. As for Binay going to jail before the May 2016 elections, that is wishful thinking. The cases for plunder against Enrile, Revilla and Jinggoy have been pending for the last 2 or 3 years and trial is not even half-way through. What more about the cases for Binay which has not been filed yet before the Sandiganbayan.

    • Except for natural-born Filipino citizenship, The age and residency requirement are different for Senator and President. The minimum age requirement for Senator is 35 years, whereas for President, it is 40 years.
      The residency requirement for Senator is at least 2 years, whereas for President, it is 10 years.

    • Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has been rejected twice by the Filipino people. I predict that she will be rejected a third time. One does not call her “Brenda” for nothing. Of course, her candidacy will most likely provide “comic relief” during the campaign, and especially, during the debates. “Abangan” as they say.

  24. This means under the article on citizenship approved by the 1934-1935 Con-Con, a natural-born Filipino citizen is one whose father is a Filipino citizen. Nothing can be clearer.

    This did not specify an adoptive father or biological father, if FPJ is her father then she is qualified to be a natural born citizen of the Philippines. Please let the Filipino people decide.

  25. To all, your opinion is heard BUT we have to follow the RULE OF LAW. Allow Cha-cha then you can bring your issues to light and fight for it.

    • She should have bothered. Doing something wrong, is still wrong even when nobody complained about it

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Nagpalusot at nakalusot. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit hindi napansin ang katayuan sa kapanganakan ni disgraced Grace. Manalig na lamang tayo sa katarungan at katotohanan ng Panginoon. Pagpalain tayo ng Panginoon.

  26. Jose A. Oliveros on

    The intention of the framers of the 1935 Constitution was to consider foundlings as natural-born Filipino citizens. This is the contention of senatorial candidate Roman Romulo citing a remark of Delegate Manuel Roxas during the deliberations of the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention that the “(1935) Charte must oberve international laws that acknowledges that foundlings should be considered citizens of the country where they are found.” (Manila Bulletin, Oct. 21, 2015, p. 16).But the same Delegate Manuel A. Roxas, in reply to a request for clarification from Delegate Jose Artadi stated that “bajolas dispociones de los articulos sobre ciudadania que hemos aprobado, seria ciudadano por nacimiento, o se natural born todos aquellos nacidos en padre que es ciudadano filipino, ya sea una pesona nacida en Filipinas o fuera de ellas.) [Dissenting Opinion of Justice Conchita Carpio Morales in the 2004 FPJ citizenship case, footnote 161 citing V PROCEEDINGS OF THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION {1934-1935}, Tuesday, December 18, 1934 10:10A.M – 7:07PM, pp. 306-308]. This means under the article on citizenship approved by the 1934-1935 Con-Con, a natural-born Filipino citizen is one whose father is a Filipino citizen. Nothing can be clearer.

    • “Bajolas dispociones de los articulos sobre ciudadania que hemos aprobado, seria ciudadano por nacimiento, o se natural born todos aquellos nacidos en padre que es ciudadano filipino, ya sea una pesona nacida en Filipinas o fuera de ellas” – under the disposition of the articles on citizenship that we have approved, it would be citizen by birth, that is to say, natural born, those born of a father who is a Filipino citizen, whether that person is born in the Philippines or outside of it.

      So this Spanish passage actually supports Mr. Tatad’s assertion and Grace Poe still has to prove her father is a Filipino citizen… but she cannot prove that. Ergo, she is not natural born, it’s so simple, even in Spanish. Claro?

    • But, Mrs. Llamanzares was yet in the “air” at the time of the adoption of the Constitution you are referring to.(?)

    • A former SC justice supporting Poe has said in his article, that the reason why the framers of the 1935 Constitution did not include foundlings in the Article IV-Citizenship is because there are already existing international laws which covers the rights of foundlings to have a nationality. But none of those international laws or UN Conventions, to which the Philippines has acceded to, clearly define what kind of nationality can be granted to a foundling.
      Only the 1961 Hague Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which came into force only in 1975, or seven years after Poe was born, made the presumption of natural-born citizenship for foundlings.
      Article 2 of this Convention stipulates: “A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be considered to have been born within that territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State.” Since the Philippines is not a signatory to this Convention, it cannot be applied as Article 12 of the same convention states:
      “The provisions of Article 2 of this Convention shall apply only to foundlings found in the territory of a Contracting State after the entry into force of the Convention for that State.” The Philippines has not yet to adhere to this Convention.

      Furthermore, not one of the lawyers and former SC justice supporting Grace Poe’s claim, ever mention the relevant Articles or Sections of the referred international laws, which recognize the need for legislation for the child to acquire the nationality of a Contracting Party (a country that has acceded to or ratified the convention), and also recognizes that if implementing legislation is not passed, a child could be stateless. It is also interesting to note that Poe’s lawyers continue to refer to internationa l laws as their basis and made no reference to the Philippine Constitution, which is the fundamental law of our country.

  27. No, she said she would have resided in the Philippines for 10 years and 11 months on May 9, 2016 in her recently-filed Certificate of Candidacy for Presiden (plus 12 days so the series of numbers – 10-11-12 – would be easy to remember esp with an onse in the middle ?). Now which is true her first declaration in 2013 in here COC for Senator that she have lived in the Philippines for 6 years and 6 months (and six days to complete this to an easily remembered and infamous number 666 ?) on May 13, 2013. There is always just ONE VERSION of the TRUTH as there is only ONE GOD for GOD is the TRUTH. And a possible infinite number of versions of a LIE. It seems that the TRUTH is NOT even somewhere in those numerous date-sensitive public document declarations that Poe seemingly manufactured and used for official purposes. Go figure how all these can be straightened out ! With some more LIES ?

  28. i think the word ‘such’ is missing in ‘presiding such elections’ mentioned in 87 constitution.
    Grace Poe is qualified whatever angle we looked at it unless the word ‘such’ is taken away in the constitution.

    • Jose A. Oliveros on

      Under the 1935 Philippine Constitution, only those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines are considered natural-born Filipino citizens. Now, who is the father of Grace Poe-Llamanzares and what is his nationality? The Philippines adopts and adheres to the citizenship principle of jus sanguinis, meaning a child follows the citizenship of his or her father; not jus soli or citizenship by reason of the place where a child was born.

    • Jose A. Oliveros on

      Please cite the exact provision of the 1987 Constitution where the phrase “presiding (sic.) such elections (sic.)” can be found.

  29. Fellow Pinoys, Mr. Tatad’s rationalization in trying to derail Senator Poe’s election bid to become the next President of our beloved country is still evasive, trying to hide
    something behind the cloak of his seeming mastery of the Constitution. Check this

    1) Why should anyone want to hurt Senator Poe?

    2) Why should anyone want to hurt Senator Benigno Aquino?

    Is it the RULE OF LAW? What’s the difference? Do we see the difference, folks?

    I was born in the jungle of the Philippines out of wedlock from Pilipino parents,
    without knowing who my parents were, but all the while I grew up knowing that I
    was a natural-born Pinoy and looked upon and accepted as a native Pinoy, not a stateless child. But because I am not a candidate for President of the Philippines,
    much less a charismatic one like Senator Poe, no person like Mr. Tatad is bothering
    me because of a RULE OF LAW.

    Will someone please tell me what the RULE OF LAW is in our country, I mean the
    real one? You have a nice day, folks!

    despite the factnot know in
    Why shou

    • Rule of law. The law here means the Constitution of the Philippines. Other countries like the US follow the “jus soli” (citizen by birth place) principle unlike the Philippines which follow the “jus sanguine” (by blood relationship) principle to establish whether one is natural or naturalized citizen. The Philippine Constitution allows specifically higher elected position only to “natural” born citizen, not to naturalized as with Mrs. Llamanzares. She is a naturalized because she needs to perform and undergo some legal processes before becoming a Filipino citizen. She needs first to submit a DNA test results to prove she is a natural born citizen, a person born of Filipino parents. That is the rule of Philippine law. Walang umaapi kay Mrs. Llamanzares. Her birth circumstances work against her presidential bid.

    • Mr. Tatad was right as a Filipino to question any candidate for President or any officials for that matter. Let’s not shoot the messenger. Your case is different since you may know one or both of your parents and you’re right you are not running for any position so people will be not bother you. As they say, “Don’t raise your head too high because when the ax fall, your head will be chop off first”. The good thing about raising this issue now is that we should not have a President whose real parents are not known. There is pressure on Grace to find her real parents and also to the relatives. Isn’t that we all wanted to know? Suppose one her parent showed and claimed that he/she was the parent, what will be the scenario? Would she then change carry the real parent’s name? would she still be popular? So there’s a lot of scenario’s here. Stay tune.

    • What are you saying frank abueg? Do you want to be bothered? Go file for your COC first then wait and see if Mr Tatad won’t bother you. If he doesn’t then you can start complaining.

  30. Sir, my explanation why Ms. Llamanzares is not eligible to run for president is simple.

    Our constitution says that a natural born citizen of the Philippines is one who is a citizen from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his citizenship.

    Even granting that Ms. Llamanzares was a natural born citizen, the fact that she renounced that citizenship and embraced the citizenship of another country and later filed a petition to reacquire Philippine citizenship, Ms. Llamanzares performed an act to acquire or perfect her citizenship that bars her a natural born citizen status.

    In other words, one must be a natural born citizen from cradle to grave without interruption to satisfy the eligibility requirement. That is as it should be – a strict interpretation of this provision – because being a leader of a country is a very serious responsibility.

    At best, she is a naturalized Filipino citizen however granting that her birth certificate declaring that she was born from the marriage of Roland Allan Poe and Jesusa Sonora Poe is true. Otherwise, if this birth certificate is incorrect, then Ms Llamanzares may indeed be stateless today.

  31. A very good, clear and, professionally presented argument.
    Mabuhay ka Senator Kit Tatad

  32. I think Grace Poe is not acting according on what she thinks, to that, it will make her a bad President in case she won. The people who are capitalizing on her popularity for their political ambition is the real culprit and it will not end well for them. Escudero, Gatchalian and Romulo insist that she is qualified, but cannot explain why and how. How this bozos became a lawyer?

    • Honesty? Grace is not true to this word as she said is required for a person running to whatever elective position in the government wherein she added intellect and or experience comes second. Remember the words WHITE LIES commonly used as alibis by honest people under different circumstances? Want to be ruled by a foreigner?

  33. It is regrettable that Mr. Francisco “Kit” Tatad was not chosen by previous administrations to be one of the Justices of the Supreme Court. I have been following all his comments on newspapers and I am very much impressed by his logic and knowledge of law. He could have been a very important and reliable advocate of justice for the oppressed and indigent Filipinos.

    • I am not a constitutionalist and to a certain degree, I respect Mr. Tatad’s position on Grace Poe’s ineligibility to run as President.
      I’m just a Filipino living abroad now who remembers Mr. Tatad as Marcos’ puppet information officer during his martial law dictator days and in fact, I think it was Mr. Tatad who announced the declaration of Martial Law.
      I wonder if there were any constitutionalists during that time that would have questioned Marcos’ actions as brought to the country by his information officer, Mr. Tatad. Probably none, because if memory serves me right, they tried to do everything by the book with their manipulated Presidential decrees. In the end, old Marcos is gone, son of Marcos is back and Mr. Tatad is now a constitutionalist.
      Philippine history is indeed interesting.

    • Rodan Guerrero on

      Kits Tatad is not a lawyer, he is a journalist by profession. Of course Ex. Senator Tatad is fully knowlegeable of our Constitution which incidentally many do not like Grace Poe who does not understand it or probably has not read it because she is just after her FOOLISH AMBITIONS. Our Constitution had been written on its simplest and most accurate manner such that even grade schoolers will understand it being the BASIC LAW OF THE LAND. It is very elementary and everybody, even illiterates understand it.

  34. the problem with this all issue whether Grace is not natural born Filipino citizen, is we’re giving her too much publicity and name-recall. in case the court decides later in her favor, this publicity may be helping her candidacy and win the presidency. Now that a case is already filed, let the court the decide whether she is natural-born Filipino or not.

  35. If she’s not qualified then she should be disqualified. If she can prove otherwise then good luck to her.

  36. Right or wrong, there will always be detractors, but you’re doing the country and people a “BIG” service. On the other hand, Mrs. Llamanzaares is doing a “BIG” ‘dis-service’ knowing pretty well that she is not qualified under the Constitution. More so, she is not seasoned enough to govern the country of 100 million, or so, people.Just the fact that she is married to an American citizen with American citizen children, put the country in an “odd” situation. Is she all the Filipinos can ‘afford’? Where have all the members of the ‘intellegentia’, student and other political leaders gone? Or, are we still clinging to that ‘colonial’ mentality even in ‘politics’?

    There are enough ‘damages’ to the Constitution in the case of the DAP/PDAF, removal of the former CJ, etc.

    Steady on, Mr. David, Atty. Elamparo and this columnist. Thank you and “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”

  37. Maraming Salamat Mr.Tatad for defending our Constitution .
    This is what we should all be doing ,as well as All members of the Senate / Congress/ and the Candidates that wished to serve in government .
    There must be some Nationalistic Integrity to bind us all. A Core Value that must be Respected without Prejudice!

  38. SIr yoU are full of cow shit,why not go after her residency status when she run for senator,why now?


      Because her qualifications have not been brought to light yet at that time. Everybody thought that she had all the qualifications. The question should be : “Why was she not honest enough to admit that she was not qualified?”

  39. Ronaldo Valdes on

    You are againts Grace Poe from the beginning. Why did you not petition when she run for senator.. Why Now.?? What is your motivation??

  40. Ronaldo Valdes on

    How About Corrupt politician like Binay . Why don’t you file a petition againts HIM.
    or you cater for him.That the only reason you want Grace Poe is out .

    • Jose A. Oliveros on

      The charges of corruption against Binay has not yet been proven beyond a shadow of doubt. Besides, being corrupt is not a ground for disqualification to run for the presidency. Please do not pontificate on an issue far in excess of your less than moderate intellectual endowment.