I do not know what Sen. Grace Poe is thinking now, but the more oblivious she behaves about the increasing disqualification cases filed against her pertaining to her candidacy in 2016 presidential election, the deeper she gets mired and the funereal her situation becomes.
This is what she gets for being too overly ambitious and with the false pride of trying to avenge the defeat of his adoptive father, Fernando Poe Jr., when he run for president in 2004.
Poe’s yearning, nay, lust, for the presidency seems to have gotten the better of her, especially thinking that her famous name is magical and her running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who is married to a movie star, could make their candidacy a walk in the park.
There is no doubt Poe has been wrong in deciding to run in tandem with Escudero, but her biggest blunder is in assuming that nobody will strictly and fastidiously scrutinize the issue of her citizenship.
What I am reprinting below is the reason why, at the outset, I described Poe’s situation as funereal. There is no way she and her paid hacks could negate the allegations mentioned by the petitioners and the opinion rendered by well known legal luminaries.
The article was written by Hector Lawas on October 20, 2015 and published in Journal Online.
Legal experts see end to Grace’s eligibility issue
TWO legal experts yesterday said that the disqualification cases filed by former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad and former Government Service Insurance System lawyer Estrella Elamparo against Sen. Grace Poe will finally settle her eligibility for the presidency.
But known litigation lawyer Raymond Fortun and former University of the East Law dean Amado Valdez agreed with the petitioners that Poe is not qualified for the presidency because she is not a natural-born Filipino and does not have the 10-year residency requirement under the law.
They both noted the inconsistencies in the residency periods that Poe indicated in her CoCs for the 2013 and 2016 elections.
When she filed her CoC for her Senate bid in October 2012, Poe said she has been a Philippine resident for the last six years and six months.
Exactly three years later, when she filed her CoC for president last week, Poe indicated her residency period as being 10 years and 11 months, and not nine years and six months — which is what you get when you add three years to 6 yrs, 6 mos. from her 2012 CoC.
“They can’t be both correct, right?” asked Fortun, a former lawyer of former President Joseph Estrada, in an interview.
Article VII, Section 2 of the Constitution states that a presidential candidate must have been a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election to be qualified.
Asked if he maintains an earlier position that Poe was ineligible to run in the 2016 polls, Fortun said: “Absolutely.”
“She has created the scenario of ‘doubt,’ and she now has to prove through evidence as to what is her ‘reckoning point’ in fixing the date when she reacquired residency,” the lawyer added.
Valdez agreed with Fortun that granting Poe has re-acquired her citizenship or had been returning to the Philippines in 2005 or 2006, the lawmaker’s subsequent action of using her US passport still “negated” her reacquisition of Filipino citizenship.
“The ten-year period of residency must be counted from the time she re-acquired her Filipino citizenship. It is only then that she is considered domiciled in the Philippines,” stressed Valdez, who is also president of the Philippine Association of Law Schools.
“If her reacquisition of Filipino citizenship is negated by acts purporting that she is still considering herself as American citizen by using her American passport, then her stay in the Philippines will not be counted to comply with residency requirement,” Valdez added.
For Valdez, Poe’s residency should only begin in 2010, when she renounced her US citizenship.
“Her renunciation must be unequivocable. She cannot say one thing and do another. She cannot fit her feet to shoes not her size,” the former law dean said.
Tatad and Elamparo filed their separate cases after Poe submitted to the poll body her certificate of candidacy and made official her presidential bid last week.
Poe is also facing a disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal filed by Rizalito David, which cited similar grounds, in relation to her election in the 2013 senatorial race.