Nov. 16, 2015
Unless Sen. Grace Poe can establish that her natural father or mother is a Filipino citizen, she cannot even be considered a Filipino citizen and thus is disqualified from running for president in next year’s polls. Here is a very simple but very clear opinion from Dean Arturo M. de Castro of the University of Manila College of Law
Sen. Poe does not fall in the enumerations of who can be considered Filipino citizens under Article 4, Section 1, of the Constitution. Section 1 states that those who can be considered citizens of the Philippines are: Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution; those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines; those born before Jan.17, 1973 of Filipino mothers who elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; those who are naturalized I accordance with law.
Those who do not fall under the enumerations of who are considered Filipino citizens is not a Filipino citizen, or Exclusio unius est exclusio alterius. The argument that there is an international law which presumes a foundling to be a citizen of the country where he or she was found or born is of no moment. The Philippines is not a signatory to any treaty stating such law. Therefore, it has no application to the Philippines. Moreover, that law cannot prevail over the express procession of our Constitution on citizenship. Our Constitution adopts jus sanguinis or Filipino citizenship based on blood relationship with the Filipino mother or father. Our constitution rejects jus soli which makes a person a citizen of the country where he or she was born.
Even assuming that Sen. Poe is a presumed Filipino citizen under International Law, there is no basis to presume she’s a natural born because her parents are of unknown citizenship. And as my colleagues have earlier pointed out, there is nothing in International La which makes her a natural born Filipino citizen. A person is considered a natural born Filipino citizen if born to a Filipino mother or father. It would be a dangerous precedent f a foundling of unknown parentage would be allowed to run for President.
Dean De Castro is a renowned law professor and Bar reviewer in various schools like the University of Manila, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and University of the East. He is also an author of at least a dozen books on various law subjects. 30