Let’s have that debate, folks

binay-mar-grace philstar

A little less playing, a lot more information, please! [Photo credit: Philstar]


by Andrew Lim

Grace Poe’s 20-point agenda, which she briefly discussed in her announcement to run for President in 2016 gave me an idea for something that has not been done here with much success. Either several of the candidates purposely avoid it, since they are incapable of handling it, revealing their inadeqacies, or they think too lowly of the Filipino voter to give it attention, preferring to sing and dance instead.

I’m talking of an honest-to-goodness debate where specifics and details of one’s agenda will be discussed. Combined with a discussion of the candidates’ track record, this promises to elevate the level of Philippine electoral politics several notches. And I really mean detailed, where one will discuss the issue of say, reducing income taxes as proposed by Poe and providing specifically the tax rates, the impact on the economy, where the shortfall will be funded, etc. Numbers, specific laws wil have to be cited. No motherhood statements, goddamit!

Ironically, it was Grace’s adoptive parent, Fernando Poe who uttered the memorable line, “Tatlo lang ang issue na importante sa ating mamamayan- almusal, tanghalian at hapunan.” (There are only three issues that matter: breakfast, lunch and dinner.) When I first heard that during the 2004 election campaigns, I couldn’t laugh any harder. I mean, wow. You cannot go lower than that!

I think this time around, the three declared candidates will not shy away from it. Let the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas handle it, with all the major media outlets covering it live. Pick a top notch moderator who can handle both English and Tagalog well who can control the debate firmly, and not allow it to go off-course. And take questions from the crowd through social media.

How about it, Mr Roxas, Ms. Poe and Mr Binay?

The Filipino people deserve this!


179 Responses to “Let’s have that debate, folks”
  1. Vicara says:

    Yes, have been dreaming of a televised real-time debate with questions from a mixed studio audience–with the proviso that these are not to be addressed to a specific candidate, to avoid audience “plants” skewing the discussion. Each question must be answered by all of the candidates in turn.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Good idea.

    • karl garcia says:

      yeah no audience plants like in noontime shows

    • neo canjeca says:


      AHAAA … HA HA HA HA HA HA HAH infinity . . . opening a can of shit full of worms?

      Grace Poe undergoing DNA match (not test?) Will a DNA match with an auntie or better a mother ONLY (never mind any DNA match with any FATHER) be enough to declare her a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN ?

      Is this another wisdom of the Supreme Court that will become law of the land. From an international precedent starred by Al Pacino having surrogate mothers (see again the film The Devil’s Advocate).

      LET THE DEBATE CONTINUE . . . . WHILE the SET is getting ready to serve their cooked putahe ? Parthenogenesis happened in a swimming pool? Snoring in
      the pancitan eh?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The following are to be debated:
      1. Napoles requesting taxi service from Malacanang
      2. Benigno’s presidential escort service of Napoles to NBI
      3. PDAF Senators, when will they ever be persecuted
      4. Mt. Makiling and take-down of Benigno’s name in BSP Wikipedia
      5. Making public of investigations
      6. Grace Poe’s citizenship and comparing it against importation of half-bred half-white Englischtzes-snob American beauty queens to represent Philippines in beauty contests AND American citizens singing Philippine National Anthem in Manny Pacquiao’s fight in Vegas
      7. Why Mar Roxas cannot show the voting public their family pictures. Grace Poe did. What is so top secret about it?
      8. Benigno’s personal meddling of Corona’s ouster but no meddling in Binay’s
      9. Macro-economic contributions of OFWs and the heat on Balikbayan boxes
      10. De-Funding of University of the Philippines, the school of crooks
      11. Investigation why U.P. produced the most crooks and their propensity to “serve” in the government
      12. Why buy 2nd hand Hamilton class frigates and never sent to patrol territorial seas of the Philippines in Philippine Sea
      13. Philippine Government response to Yolanda
      14. Why no real time economic statistics, ie: OFW receipts for the month, percent contribution of OFWs to GDP, Hotel vacancy rates, condo vacancy rates, etcetera
      15. Metro Manila traffic mess
      16. Building and business permits approval in Metro Manila causing Metro Manila traffic mess
      17. InvestigateGeneral Emilio Aguinaldo re-write of history to give credence to June 12 Independence day from July 4th
      18. Was there really a revolution in EDSA Revolution? Who were the heroes? Honasan-Enrile-Ramos? Or the balut vendors?
      19. Is Philippines really an Agricultural country that cannot produce its own food? Why smuggle onions, garlic and rice?
      20. Investigate the disappearance of Korina. Why there is no Missing Person Report?

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        21. Poe’s DNA
        22. Marwan’s finger that killed him
        23. Why Obama did not give reward money on alleged Marwan’s finger
        24. Regulation of Philippine Press
        25. Bloggy Award to exclude foreigners
        26. Bloggy Award use of English, a language of foreigners
        27. Investigation of Bloggy Award alma mater’s textbooks authors, Why American, yet exclude foreigners from Bloggy Awards?
        28. Investigate PCIJ for not investigating U.P. journalism graduates so-called hide-and-seek from Chinese frigate in Philippine China Sea.
        29. Investigate PCIJ for not investigating all of the above, why they are being selective.
        30. Why concentrate development in Metro Manila why not outlying provinces
        31. Why Davao City is top 5 safest city in the world and why not emulate it all over the Philippines?
        32. Investigate Sereno for not recusing herself from Jojo Binay when she has already pre-judge the case?
        33. Investigate Trillanes for failed coup-d’-ta’t
        34. Why Trillanes, Honasan, Ramos and Enrile are exempted from outdzating of Aguinaldo principle not Binay?
        35. Investigate Trillanes what he was expect to find in visiting BinayLand? Does Philippines have a law that says “THIS PROPERTY BELONGS TO BINAY” signage?


      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        PMA investigators should be FORCED TO READ “Baby Doe” murder in ABCNews so they can know when to release information …. so that the perpetrator is caught in their lies by not releasing information thru equally lame and naive U.P.-run Philippine Newspapers. I bet Raissa and Alan is still in a fog why we do this in America. Well, both of them are from U.P. What do I expect?

        I sense that Cebu Daily Inquirer and Cebu’s bureaucracy are light years ahead in releasing information to the Public than U.P. journalists and cabinet in Metro Manila.

        Because Cebu Daily Inquirer journalists and government’s bureacracy are not graduate from U.P.

        If you are a Bisdak from CEBU, congratulations !!!! You just receive Mariano’s Award as the most responsible bureacracy and journalsit in the Philippines.

  2. Step by step. Ideas for who the moderator should be. Winnie Monsod. Teddy Locsin Jr.

  3. I cannot stress enough how the first 2 Republican debates have been so entertaining here. Have them, and have lots of them– people have argued for lessening the number of debates over there, but I say, make a national spectacle of these debates and have as many as humanly possible, with all sorts of styles and formats. I think there should be a talent portion.

    • David Murphy says:

      I didn’t see the Republican debates but I read the comment of Bernie Sanders, Democratic party presidential candidate, who said, “If you are among the wealthiest people in this country you just spent 2 1/2 hours watching 11 candidates discussing how to make YOUR lives better.”

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Saw portions of it and I am impressed with the majority of the debaters. Even the lesser known ones are capable of saying substantial things. How I wish we can have that quality of debate here. But I think this time it can be done….no more Eraps and Fernando Poes in the lineup…

      • “saying substantial things.”

        Sorry to say, Andrew, but if you thought what little you saw was that, you’ve already set the bar too low. My girl Carly did have more substantial things to say ( compared to the boys ), but her ideas ( especially ISIS and Syria, military option ) is pretty much just Sarah Palin’s only more eloquent. David Murphy above is correct.

        Debates are for entertainment. If you want substantial, get a really good reporter or two to sit down with these guys one by one and do 3 hour long interviews in between debates. Just keep flushing out their thoughts on a variety of matters.

  4. Number of Debates and Topics
    Economics and Development Policy
    Peace and Order Policy
    Foreign Policy
    At least 3 2 hour debates for a 3 candidate race.

    Lets do a cnn style qualifier at least 5 percent or you won’t qualify for the debate.

    • Neo Canjeca says:

      let’s do it here have a mock debate, I’ll be Grace Poe and I choose FOREIGN POLICY, I will write my remarks with the theme : our foreign policy in the past was all wet : because of
      the senate pseudo patriots and heroes who torn down American bases; had not the bases been removed, China will not have the balls or even imagine they can dismember with impunity parts of Philippine territory. Development economics, and Home affairs (peace and order) I will leave that to the General Appropriations Act.

  5. Joe,back to an article a day again…?..oh my!

  6. This MUST be done! Can we create a campaign or something to get this done? Flood media networks with emails or something, enough to crash their servers?

  7. kogiks says:

    A debate would play well for Mar Roxas. By the way, I’ve yet to read about a serious policy proposal that Grace has conceived and promoted. She has simply been playing cute in the Senate. This is disconcerting because the probability of her snatching the presidency is real. I hope she has more than just being an adopted daughter of movie icons FPJ and Susan Roces.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      I think she has the mind for it, but it will take time for her to absorb and develop them and since you cannot control the pace that governance demands, that will be problematic for her. She is definitely not like her adoptive parent, that’s for sure.

      Another problem is the Poe Whisperer (Escudero). Since she will be swamped with simultaneous problems, the tendency is to listen to ideas from him.

  8. et says:

    I’d also like to see the candidates’ potential nominees for the different cabinet positions if they already have them. We’d be able to better evaluate the candidates, given those lists (“Tell me who your friends are…”). The absence of a list would still reveal how shallow their platform is or how unprepared they are.

  9. Sup says:

    When the debate is held during the airing of yayadub you have a slight chance some will watch it..
    My percentace voting related to the amount of teeth was radical said JoeAm..
    How about this one, no bankacount no vote?

    ”According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), eight out of 10 Filipinos don’t have bank accounts — an indication that financial literacy among Filipinos is not high, as CFO pointed out.”


  10. David Murphy says:

    Re the 2004 comment of Fernando Poe that the only issues were breakfast, lunch and dinner, I always interpreted that to mean that for the poorest of the poor, the only issue was where their next meal was coming from and I took it as an indication of the importance to him of improving their condition. The Philippines needs more politicians who feel the same.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Yes, but he said it in the context of rejecting the invite to a debate. He was purposely avoiding situations where you had to explain in full, like Erap did before.

      • Vicara says:

        All Filipino politicians SAY the same as Poe (senior and junior), and those who can afford to, or have a high enough profile, enlist cadres of intellectuals to make up lists of impressive policy points. And perhaps a few of those politicians actually mean what they say in their speeches—but only at the time they say it. Let us not forget Poe senior’s profession.

        But then, in the day-to-day running of an administration, post-inauguration priorities set in: paying political debts, placing political allies (both savory and unsavory), setting up new income streams to keep fractious, rent-seeking allies happy….

  11. andrewlim8 says:

    “Escudero said that he and Poe will be coming up with “the most detailed platform compared with the other candidates” in the upcoming elections to prove that lack of experience in government does not equate to inability to address the country’s pressing problems. ” – ANC news report

    We hope they follow through on this.

    • Joe America says:

      And I hope they show how the math adds up, the tax cuts and additional expenses. Right now, their plan reads like a GW Bush budget, and that is not pretty, folks.

    • With the three associate justices of the Supreme Court (SET members) agreeing that a foundling cannot be considered natural born Filipino citizen, Poe had no recourse but to agree to a DNA test, which she did today. It seems that for a foundling to be considered NBFC, Filipino blood relation must be proven to comply with the jus sanguinis of the constitution.

      If the result proves that she is indeed NBFC, (even without disclosing her real parents in public), she will be qualified to retain her seat in the Senate and be a Presidentail candidate.
      Let the court (SC) then decide on the residency requirement and the electorate to decide based on character, loyalty and experience for the top job.

      Let the debates. begin (in the SC for residency and in TV so we will know for sure who are truly qualified.

      • BFD says:

        Isn’t DNA just a matching of genetics, but it won’t prove if you’re a Filipino or a foreigner unless the person with the matched DNA comes forward and say he/she is a Filipino at the time Grace was conceived?

  12. edgar lores says:

    We have debates here in Oz, but I have to confess I don’t watch them.

    The reason is that the two parties here have very detailed platforms, and I vote by platform and not by personality.

    Having said that, there is a technical device here that is used during debates. The debate is usually held in a studio and the audience are carefully selected by their allegiances. I do not know the exact ratio, but the composition of the audience would be something like this: Party 1 and Party 2 would would have, say, 35% each, and the remaining 30% would be Undecideds.

    The audience are provided with remote devices with pressure buttons at each end whereby they can record their “Like” or “Dislike” of the candidates’ responses. The responses are summarized by computer and the aggregate sum is shown as a moving line at the bottom of the TV screen. The moving line is called the “Worm.” More Likes than Dislikes and the Worm moves up. More Dislikes than Likes and the Worm moves down.

    The Worm serves the purpose of giving instant feedback of how the audience feels and what the audience thinks. It is an interactive poll. It also serves as a measure of a candidate’s charisma. While platforms are important, likeability is also a factor. I guess the worm is also used to determine the winner of the debate.

  13. Bert says:

    Be careful with what you wished for, Andrew. Debate I think is a matter of intelligence and wit and we’ve seen in various fora that Grace Poe has both of it. Are we that confident on Mar on matter of debate when there’s no proof yet of his acumen? On the contrary there’s proof that he can shoot his foot at times. Just saying.

    • Intelligence and wit may not be enough, Bert….Marcos and Arroyo were examples of chief executives who are intelligent but did not use it for the good of the country but used it for their own benefit only. PNOY was often described by critics as ABNOY and retarded but has proved to be what the country needs to lift her up and enable the citizens to once more be proud to be Filipinos.

  14. Steve says:

    Really needs a series of debates… maybe in Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon, with assertive moderators that will force the candidates to define actual plans rather than spewing their usual motherhood statements.

    • chempo says:

      Here’s my una una
      First of all, Congress needs to pass a law for such debates or else you will all be in trouble.
      Secondly when the debate is telecast, no TV station must be allowed to run all those teleserve programs.
      Thirdly – what if Binay says that debaters should be given the list of questions that will be asked (they do that in Senate investigations, don’t they?)

  15. karl garcia says:

    Let it be in Fillipino. The masa must move away from celebrity/most popular voting. Let the masa vote on issues.
    let the moderator be boy abunda.

  16. neo canjeca says:

    did I not read here several yesterdays, Mar Roxas este some penduko delivered already Mar’s opening remarks. Where is that now?

  17. juanlee says:

    my first question to the presidentiables will be…if you are the president who would be your cabinet members for dilg, doj, dpwh, dswd, dotc, ltfrb, lto, boc and other highly suspected kotongan department. i ask this because no matter how good the president is, as long as he is surrounded by bad apples, his administration will be remembered as a bad administration. it is the people around the president that makes or breaks him.

    my second question is “will each of you sign a contract with the people that if you are not able to sign an effective and meaningful foi and anti dynasty laws after your first year of presidency you will resign from the presidency and let your vice president take over.” i ask this because most cadidates promises but no action…like what pnoy has promised on foi bill ( i give him a pass for this).

    i feel only roro can look me or us straight in the eye who would say yes to this challenge. the others will answer with their eyes closed and mumble an answer as clear as the dirty waters of manila bay.

    i say: gude and let us thank the Great Designer for our magandang pilipinas and for our blessings.
    roro be our vote gently to our dreams
    merrily, merilly, our pinas will be
    a country of good haven again.

  18. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    Soooooo True !!!! If I lose my job over Joeam’s blog, I AM TO BLAME …. on the other hand … well ….. I blame Joe and his awesome contributors part of it … It is intoxicating !

    I guess I need to enroll in Blogoholic Anonymous..

  19. Another article on Taxation and Bracket Creep:

    Second, the numbers in the tax rates and brackets do not tell the whole story. Eighty-five percent of BIR collection from individual taxpayers come from salaried employees, whose taxes are readily withheld from employers’ payrolls. The remaining 15 percent represent self-employed, business-owner and professional taxpayers whose incomes are not as transparent and claim various deductions. Budget Secretary Butch Abad noted that this 15 percent collectively underpays income taxes by almost P400 billion a year. On the other hand, Prof. Stella Quimbo, the pro bono consultant Miro could not afford to pay if she charged, has found that 73 percent of salaried employees are minimum-wage earners and tax-exempt. She computed that the BIR’s collection from salaried employees is really paid by only 16 percent of these 22 million employees, which in turn represents 85 percent of taxes from individual taxpayers.

    Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/88711/taxreformnow-the-97-5-must-back-angara-quimbo#ixzz3mNras5sp
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    • We cannot argue against statistics. What I will say is just assumption, failing to attend public hearings on the budget deliberations, or read about their public releases on the matter.

      It could be that the additional budget that the Dept. of Finance is asking is for computer and programming updates nationwide so they can catch the 15% self-employed, business-owner and professional taxpayers whose incomes are not as transparent and claim various deductions and thus are not paying their tax accurately or, let’s be blunt about it, simply evading tax whether at the BIR or at the Bureau of Customs.

      When loopholes are patched and proper monitoring of government employees and taxpayers to avoid red tape and corruption (it takes two to tango), then rationalization of tax rates so we can grant tax relief to the middle class employed taxpayers can be considered..

      I think measures to grant tax exemption to minimum wage earners are in the works if not already approved, not sure about that.

      I’m with you here, gian.

  20. Mami Kawada Lover says:

    A debate would be a good idea. It would help weed out all the undesirables (i.e. Binay). The moderator must be neutral, though. Also, a suggestion would be for the audience to be allowed (up to a certain limit) certain questions. For example, if the audience feels that there may be unexplained things, then something could be done about it.

    Anyway, unlike a lot of people online, I don’t think Poe has much problem with citizenship. The documents she presented seem to be genuine. Also, just because she’s a foundling doesn’t necessarily mean she isn’t a naturally-born Filipino. I think Occam’s razor applies in this case: if a baby girl is dropped off in front of a church in Iloilo, which is more likely: that the baby is Filipino, or that the baby is Malaysian?
    With that said, my opposition to Poe is not because of her citizenship and residency issues. It’s not even her “loyalty” (well she did decide to drop her American citizenship, so maybe she decided that there’s no place like home). My beef with Poe is that, perhaps due to Chiz’s antics, she has become more and more like a traditional politician. Just take for example, the INC issue. That made me realize that perhaps she’s not yet ready for the presidency next year. As for Mar, I don’t like him either (he had achievements but let’s face it he underperformed as DOTC secretary), but if there were only three candidates (Poe, Roxas, and Binay), Roxas is looking to be the lesser evil. Had Grace been cleaner and perhaps didn’t succumb to “traponess” I would have preferred her to Roxas.

  21. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: Huge thanks to Juana Pilipinas for her translation of the article on President Aquino and his service to ALL . . .

    Awesome translation … problem is it sound foreign language to me. It is easier to listen to spoken tagalog than written ones. I need to enroll in another Pilipino language class.

    Thank you Juana!

  22. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Benigno Aquino refused and did not debate Dick Gordon. Even KBP were afraid of Gordon and so did other news channel network.

    Dick Gordon was, is and forever will be the best debater.

  23. A politician dies. Saint Peter tells him you have the choice between heaven and hell.

    The politician goes to heaven. Lots of angels singing, people smiling, but very boring.

    The politician goes to hell. Hot chicks, great food and drinks, DJ Satan plays great music.

    He decides to go to hell. It is hot, lots of work, people crying and very dirty. Chicks with Satan.

    He tells Satan “this is different from what I expected!”. Satan says “that was before the election”.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Aha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I pity Satan. Satan is like Binay, blamed of all things wrong.

      Satan is caricatured as evil and ugly. Satan has no parents like Jesus. Satan is blamed of all things wrong that Jesus cannot do.

      Satan never fights back. Satan is meek and the meek shall inherit the earth.

      You are right, Irineo, Heaven is Boring. Heaven is like prison. They do not work for meals. Meals are served on the dot three times a day. Sheets are changed every other day. Cable TV all day long 24/7. They do not go to library, books are delivered. Books can be ordered. Excellent Health Care for free. They all wear uniforms like heaven.

      In heaven, you are assigned to a puff of cloud, a harp, a uniform in white, meals are delivered just like prison. Their meals consist of low-carb, non-fat, low-sodium, sugar-free diet.

      In hell, you are given a big fork which they call pitchfork. They sit and sing around a campfire grilling their humongous steak sitting side-by-side with Kim Kardashian isn’t that awesome?

      • “Satan is like Binay”. So Satan is only imitating Binay. He is acting like Senator Sotto.

        “Satan is caricatured as evil and ugly.” Satan is only caricatured. Binay IS evil and ugly.

        ” Satan has no parents like Jesus.” Maybe he should do a DNA test, like Grace Poe.

        • From what I have heard, Satan is actually very good looking and many women decide to go to Hell for him.

          This is an unconfirmed photo shot by a very daring paparazzo:

          • pelang says:

            i hardly make a comment here, but this time i can’t help it. ang pogi pala ni Satan, parang kambal ni Bina-chiz! di kataka-takang mabighani si Grace!

            • Sup says:

              I did spoil one hour of my life watching this guy yesterday at ABS CBN with Karen Davilla..
              Fake smile, high-pitch giggle…talks a lot but said nothing, evading all questions, no answers..I can not imagine that people ”fall’ for this guy……

  24. Great suggestion, andrew.

    “Sa bunganga nahuhuli ang isda.”

    Let them incriminate themselves and do the trapo tap dance with millions of Filipinos viewing.

  25. caliphman says:

    For those who have not caught up with the news yet, the proposed candidate debates may be just an academic exercise. Yesterday Justice Carpio exploded a judicial bombshell at the SET hearing by stating that Poe was a naturalized but not a natural-born citizen. He reiterated parts of his dissenting opinion in the 2004 FPJ case before the Supreme Court when it ruled 8-5 in favor of FPJ being an NBFC and his eligibility to run for president against GMA. Justice Brion who is also on the SET agreed with his conclusion. Carpio argued that while international laws may require foundlings to have a nationality at birth, he interprets the 1935 Constitution as prohibiting them from NBFC status but just naturalized citizenship. Only in the Philippines is there a Supreme Court who thinks nothing of adopting a doctrine of condonation practiced in some US States to exonerate Mayor Binay and other corrupt public officials, ignore the Constitution and established laws to grant bail to a Senator charged with plunder, a non-bailable offense, and a dissenting justice to reassert an opinion contrary to a majority Supreme Court decision and perhaps deprive an illegitimate or foundling child the rights granted by international laws to run or be elected for high public office. Perhaps this Supreme Court is beyond salvation and only seeks to interpret the law to serve the rich and powerful and not to empower the poor and our most disadvantaged of its citizens. If Roxas wins, the whole lot of them should tender their courtesy resignations and just maybe he can replace most if not all of them with justices who take to heart what equal protection under our Constitution means.

    • Neo Canjeca says:

      “For those who have not caught up with the news yet, the proposed candidate debates may be just an academic exercise. Yesterday Justice Carpio exploded a judicial bombshell at the SET hearing by stating that Poe was a naturalized but not a natural-born citizen.”

      Is it possible even probable the above quote is a brilliant part of a script. to be surprisingly
      followed by a DNA match to an auntie or a mother who are pure as gold natural born
      Filipinos? VOILA Ms. G. Poe is a natural born Filipino, Anyway the residency issue is
      already safely tucked away as non-issue; case dismissed? Nagtatanong lang po. Baka
      meron iba nakaisip din ganitong tanong.

      • Neo Canjeca says:

        what was really the case presented before the SET? Lack of residency as per lawful requirement? If that’s that, the case was already finished, cooked and DISMISSED. Patawarin ako ng Diyos sa baluktot na isip dahil sa bansa. Minsan, ang maging mali nakabubuti sa bansa.

    • That’s what I’ve been saying all along, for foundlings covered under the 1935 Constitution to qualify to hold public office, we need to amend the constitution You cannot blame the SC senior associate justice and his colleagues for citing that provision, we have to respect the fundamental law of the land, the jus sanguinis principle is what the Philippines is using, the blood of the parents will determine the citizenship and not the site of birth, unlike in the US and elsewhere.

      The DNA test taken by Poe might prove that she is NBFC, so let’s wait for that result before blaming the SET members who have stated their opinions.

      In this instance I agree with SC senior associate justice, he has a record of deciding in accordance with what the framers of the constitution and authors of laws intended which is for the general welfare of the citizens, affirming and dissenting on that basis.

      In the end, if the DNA proves that she is a NBFC, she will retain her Senate seat and will qualify to run. Then the electorate will then do the judging via the ballot box based on character, loyalty and experience.

      • Please let me restate that, in the JS principle that the Philippines is currently adopting, it is the parentage that determines whether a child is natural born citizen of this country or not. A foundling is given a citizenship so he/she will not be stateless in accordance with international laws, but natural citizen he/she cannot be unless he/she can trace his/her parentage or siblings so a DNA test can be taken for comparison. Do we change the JS principle or amend the constitution to allow naturalized Filipino citizen to hold public office?

        • caliphman says:

          There is no mention in the constitution of the jus sanguinis principle as the determining factor for citizenship or not. In the 2004 FPJ Supreme Court case , Carpio’s dissenting opinion was overruled by Chief Justice Puno, and seven other concurring justices. In his written opinion, Puno used as his basis the same international laws and found no conflict with 1935 constitutional citizenship provisions and found in favor of FPJ and his presidential bid. Perhaps Carpio should have recused himself given his overruled dissenting opinion but it is really questionable to recycle the opinion that went against the Supreme Court majority and use it to decide against the foundling daughter whose petition draws on the basic arguments given in the FPJ case by the SC majority.

          • Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood) is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state. Children at birth may automatically be citizens if their parents have state citizenship or national identities of ethnic, cultural or other origins. This principle contrasts with jus soli (Latin: right of soil).

            The Philippines is one of the countries in the world that adhere to the Jus sanguinis doctrine.

            Thus, Article IV, Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution says, in part:

            “Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:


            (2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;”

            • ARTICLE IV

              Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

              [1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;

              [2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;

              [3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and

              [4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

              Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.
              Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.

              Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act or omission, they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.

              Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.

            • caliphman says:

              Yes I know this but what I mean is the 1987 constitution defines natural born citizens and naturalized citizens without referencing or using the term jus sanguinis. For example, an NBFC which is required to run for public office in the Philippines is defined as someone who is a citizen from birth. It is an important distinction because international law confers foundlings citizenship from birth in the country they are found and hence conforms and is consistent with the constitutional definition of an NBFC.

              • SC SAJ Carpio says its the 1935 Constitution that is applicable to Poe’s case. Am not a lawyer, so not authoritative.

              • caliphman says:

                Its actually both since NBFC was defined only in the 1987 version and to be or not be a citizen at birth, the relevant version was 1935 since she was born in 1960. But its still the same issue, does the Constitution prohibit international las granting NBFC status to Poe?

              • “does the Constitution prohibit international laws granting NBFC status to Poe”

                The three associate justice members of the SET think so, the international laws could only grant her “naturalized” citizenship. If and when Poe manages to prove Filipino parentage by the DNA test that she took with the siblings from US and Canada, then she will be deemed natural born citizen of the Philippines. Otherwise, she is not a natural born citizen, unless we adopt both the jus sanguinis and jus solis doctrine, the latter for the foundlings’ benefit. I don’t know how that can be done without amending the law, introduce another law or amend the constitution. We should be a nation of laws based on the fundamental law of the land – the constitution.

                Unfair, yes but the framers thought that only natural born citizens should occupy government positions, we ratified it, so we need to abide by it, until it is amended so foundlings like Poe can be given equal opportunity.

                That’s how I understand it, I will welcome a correction / clarification, this being only a laywoman’s take on it.

          • IMO. FPJ’ s citizenship question is different from Grace Poe’s . FPJ was not a foundling, Grace Poe is. The key word here, as I understand it is, NATURAL Filipino citizen versus Filipino citizen.

            If I remember it right, FPJ’s father is a Filipino while his mother is an American. That’s all I know of the case and the SC decision on it. Please share if you know.

            • But FPJs parents were not married in the beginning, that was the issue, because if the parents are not married the citizenship of the mother applies. But they got married later so that retroactively it was deemed to be OK. Citizenship law is not that simple – I know this.

              The trouble with the natural-born citizenship requirement for President is that is what copied from the US requirement. However in the USA you have “ius solis” (born here) citizenship laws, which means there the requirement fits the intent of the law, to make sure the person is ROOTED in the country he would like to lead. Philippine law however is “ius sanguinis” (by blood) which means only parents matter not where the person is born so this is not consistent with the original intent of the law and is causing a lot of problems.

              In fact the whole foundling thing is IMHO negligence on the part of Filipino lawmakers – how do you determine “ius sanguinis” if you do not know what blood a person has? Someone found without parents on Philippine soil is a child of the country, I think. Because in such cases that legal codes are insufficient, the interpretation of the law (jurisprudence) is usually done based on what they call “natural law” among lawyers, meaning common sense interpretation of moral codes (German “Rechtsempfinden” = sense of right or law).

              • Found it… In the case of FPJ, : – the Constitution does not distinguish between a legitimate or illegitimate child as long as there is proof of filiation.

                Note: filiation – the fact of being or of being designated the child of a particular parent or parents.


                Fernando Poe Jr. hurdled the final barrier to his candidacy after the Supreme Court yesterday declared him a natural-born Filipino fit to seek the presidency.

                After one of the most contentious deliberations ever, the Supreme Court voted 8-5 to support the Feb. 6 ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Poe, known by his initials FPJ, was a natural-born citizen qualified to run for president.

                In a 53-page decision penned by Justice Jose Vitug, the court said the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion in ruling that Poe was qualified to run.

                It said Poe “is a natural-born Filipino citizen under the terms of the 1935 Constitution since his father was a Filipino, as borne by the evidence in the court’s possession.”

                The court acknowledged that Poe was born out of wedlock to American Bessie Kelley and Allan Fernando Poe Sr. The court said Poe Sr.’s father Lorenzo, “albeit a Spanish subject, was not shown to have declared his allegiance to Spain by virtue of the Treaty of Paris and the Philippine Bill of 1902.”

                The decision was heavily influenced by the legal opinions of four amici curiae or friends of the court who all said that in establishing citizenship, the Constitution does not distinguish between a legitimate or illegitimate child as long as there is proof of filiation.

                Note: filiation – the fact of being or of being designated the child of a particular parent or parents.

              • Irineo,

                You are right, and as I keep reiterating, I think the constitution must be amended. It clearly stated that only natural born citizens of the Philippines can hold positions in the government. In the article on citizenship, it defined clearly what a natural born citizen is. (Sec. 2)

              • neo canjeca says:

                Mary G.P.G., Irineo .B.R.S., Caliphman, etc.

                The ruckus, este the issue I am trying to raise is about method and process of DNA testing as may result from an interpretation of the relevant provision of the constitution. What is the entirety of a DNA Testing? How different is it from DNA Matching? For a person running for the highest office in the land, would it not be an interest or concern for 100 million souls with special mention of the spouse, children and grandchildren and other close relatives to find out through DNA testing the real father and mother of an aspiring candidate even before the date of application for the elected position ?

                The a priori cultural reason abounds and are stacked high by a cruel prudent society, unfair and unjust against a foundling, a “putok sa kawayan” because of fear of the worst of the foundling’s DNA. If prospective adaptive parents are rational about a future member of their family, should not millions of voters be similarly prudent, especially in the presence of public suspicion of questionable parentage. True, all these may be IRRELEVANT to the issue at hand. An illiterate farmer may just say I just want to know the parents of this candidate whether the father and mother are bad or good people. I want for my country a leader whose real parents (biological) are also acceptable to majority of the voters.

                The rule of law sometimes undercut the good role of law in society. The ultimate and final answers are needed for the sake of the country and perhaps the future of future generations too: (1) is it enough to just establish whether a declared wannabe presidential candidate is a natural born or naturalized citizen to erase society’s stigma of being a foundling?; (2) can a declared — by a member of the Supreme Court –naturalized citizen be transformed by SET into a natural born citizen by means of DNA Matching? (3) Who oversees the conduct and process of DNA Matching? (4) Who determines the persons male (biological father)and female (biological mother) whose DNA should be match with the foundling? (5) Should these persons be identified because DNA matching is no longer a private issue but a public concern? (6) Should a DNA match (one in one hundred million) with one natural born citizen be enough IRRESPECTIVE OF IDENTITY to legally convert a declared naturalized into a natural born cititzen? Don’t the voters need to know? (7) Can parthenogenesis which is difficult to prove be a valid reason to transform a declared naturalized citizen into natural born? (8) weigh by the scale of blindfolded justice where will you put your weight? on the side of fairness to Grace Poe or fairness on the side of the country and people?

                Well, all these can only be straws in the wind, the winds of a dying summer, but Joe Am and lots here in the Society are cerebral gourmands and gourmets of objective thinking who may want to discuss some more the 8 points mentioned.

                Grace Poe I am sure have NOT hurt anyone though she’s been hurt by circumstances under fate’s control. If we can help, she should not hurt herself. It is terrible to be alive and hurting. One can damn all the things, the country, the institutions, the people and still live in pain. Pray it should not happen to apparent faultless Grace. Behind all these, followed to the very end of the election process, is the unknown message to the clueless of what forgiveness is all about. Divine benefits go not to the offending forgiven but to the victim who forgives. Moving on steadfast is the shallow and narrow version of implied forgiveness by those victims who can’t forgive. And all these are premises confined
                to the presidential anything goes election ritual.

              • edgar lores says:

                Good questions, Neo.

                I do not know the legal side but assuming some sort of DNA test is required to establish Grace’s natural-born citizenship, here are some factors to consider:

                1. DNA Matching vs. DNA Testing. As I understand it the first is with siblings, the second parental. Parental can be paternal or maternal.

                2. The more rigid parental testing would be the proper way to go? DNA Matching by sibling is not conclusive.

                3. But even with parental testing, it cannot be proved 100% that a man or woman is a parent of a child. However, it can prove that a man or woman is NOT the parent of a child.

                4. If the results “prove” paternity (or maternity) within the accepted range (typically 99.99% compatibility), the parent must be identified as a Filipino citizen. This means he (or she) must be named. The DNA test will simply establish probability of biological parentage. It will not establish citizenship.

                4.1. I do not see why the parentage must be concealed. From the parents viewpoint, they should be proud of Grace. From Grace’s viewpoint, she should be delighted to know who her parent is. From the public viewpoint, they have the right to know since this has become a national issue. Remember, FOI.

                5. The procedure should be tight and multiple-threaded. As to the first, there should be witnesses in the gathering of the samples, and that the chain of custody will not allow substitution of samples. As to the second, the samples must be submitted to at least two independent laboratories (in two different countries?). The results must be identical.

              • neo,

                I echo all your questions and I suppose the SET and eventually the SC will rule on that based on the documents that will be presented to them.

                I voted for Poe even though it was public knowledge that she is a foundling and that ugly rumor that she is FM’s daughter. For me, it did not matter as she rose from her foundling state and with love and help from the Poe couple and of course her own diligence and work, she has found her place in society, a truly good model for all the other foundlings out there.

                However, being catapulted to the highest post of the land at this early stage is not to my liking, I was hoping that she will team up with Mar and gain more experience in the process, but she chose not to, could be a blessing in disguise with this problem of hers in citizenship and residency issues that are now being exposed which might disqualify her as the qualification requirements for President and VP are the same, plus her display of lack of discernment in major issues which laid bare her inexperience and lack of intuition.

                Mar has the better qualities and experience.

              • Is the assumption here that Grace Poe is Chinese, or Japanese, or Indonesian, or Martian?
                I agree with Ireneo here, common sense should over-rule technicalities when interpreting the law.

                The Jewish tradition should be imitated, that Jews come out of Jewish mothers– fathership you can never be 100% sure.

                So unless there’s an an Anchor Baby industry over there (like here), common sense tells us her mom was Filipino, no?

            • caliphman says:

              No two Supreme Court cases are the same or identical. There are always similarities and differences but if the similarities are such that they present essentally the same legal issues, the ruling or reasoning established by the Supreme Court on one of the cases serves as jurisprudence in arguing for the same judicial treatment in the other case. In the FPJ case, the majority SC decision favored him and he was judged an NBFC and eligible to run for president. FPJ not being a foundling is an irrelevant and different issue. And let me repeat what I have said in my previous posts, it is the majority SC opinion and decision that establishes case law and Carpio’s dissenting opinion does not. The significant similar legal issues are does international principles establish an NBFC presumption for FPJ or a foundling named GP. Secondly is the international law in confllict or prohibited by the Constitution? Chief Justice Reynaldo Puno who was concurred by 7 other justices wrote in his separate opinion that international law does confer NBFC to stateless children. Furthermore he did not see any prohibition by the Constitution against following or applying the international principle in FPJ’s case. The question with Carpio’s SET declaration is it is not in accordance with SC case law in how he interprets constitutional citizenship ptovisions.

              • FPJ’s parents were known by the SC, the only question that they ruled on is whether the father was a Filipino citizen being a former subject of Spain and the mother was an American. Since he was born out of wedlock , he was supposed to carry the citizenship of his American mother, per the petitioner. The Court ruled 8-5 in favor of FPJ, his illegitimacy at the time of his birth did not matter because he was recognized by the father and that his parents got married eventually.

                Grace Poe’s parents were unknown – so there lies the difference. Jus soli is not followed here as principle for citizenship, jus sanguinis is. Whose blood will determine her citizenship? so for her not to be stateless, she was adopted and given the citizenship of her adoptive parents, I don’t know when we recognized the international law on foundlings, or was it enacted only after Grace was adopted by the Poes. This is so complicated, and only the courts can clarify this with finality. A lawyer stated in his blog (forgot his name) that in a worse scenario, Poe will lose her Senate seat…that’s unfair and ironic given that she garnered the most number of votes in 2013 and she has shown that she is effective there.

              • Neo Canjeca says:

                Thank s a lot Edgar Lores

                I for one and probably many others too CAN’T and won’t get any clearest answer than from your crystal clear amplified explanation on the DNA issues I raised– cut clean like dry science and non-partisan. Here at Joe Am I admit I never stopped learning or admiring lucidity of reason.

              • “Secondly is the international law in confllict or prohibited by the Constitution”

                Per SC SAJ Carpio, we have to follow the international laws on foundlings, hence the naturalized citizenship for Grace Poe, so she and other foundlings would not be stateless, but giving her a natural born citizenship would be a violation. IMO, the international laws on foundlings are so that all foundlings wherever they are found would not be stateless. I repeat, we need to amend the constitution so “naturalized” foundlings can be allowed to hold public office. The international laws on foundlings, I think, did not touch on the qualification for the respective countries’ top executive or legislative posts, they are internal matters.

              • “Is the assumption here that Grace Poe is Chinese, or Japanese, or Indonesian, or Martian?”

                I will repeat SC SAJ Carpio’s (opinion shared by two of his colleagues in the Senate Election Tribunal – SET) Grace Poe is a naturalized citizen of the Philippines by virtue of international laws on foundlings, and if those laws are not yet adopted by the Philippines at that time, she received the gift of Filipino citizenship by her adoptive parents, the Poes. She and all other foundlings here were treated rather well by the Philippine government, and by her countrymen, they did not remain stateless, or a Martian.

                The only difference with her and all the other natural born citizens of the Philippines is that she has to do something, or something has to be done for her so her citizenship can be given, and that was clearly stated in the Constitution’s definition of a natural born citizen, reprinted above, ARTICLE IV, Section 2.

  26. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    There cannot be debate between Poe and Mar …. because Poe cannot prove she’s born in the Philippines … it is not even her fault that she’s not borned in the Philippines … Carpio instructed Poe to prove she’s borned in the Philippines.

    What Justice Carpio should do is not for Poe to prove she’s borned and raced in the Philippines, it is the job of COMELEC, NBI and Immigration.

    What they need to do is subpoena American Embassy what Poe has submitted to them to apply for immigration and citizenship documents in the US. PRONTO !!!!


    Maybe they learned from Trillanes. Trillanes has all the tools and access to Land Titles in Register of Deeds, instead they asked Trillanes to show proof he owns BinayLand.

    Haaaay, naku kayo mga Filipinos. Meron bang matino doon?

    I have to comment in tagalog kasi mas masakit ang salitang Tagalog komparar sa English comment. A comment in tagalog hurts than if I comment in English.

    Alam na pala nila ‘tong mga Penoys na si Poe hindi Filipino, ba’t hindi nila gi-deport from the day they knew Poe is not a Filipino. Ba’t ngayon lang? Huh?

    Si Poe ay gaya ni Binay. Sinabihan ni Benigno si Binay na h’wag tatakbo pagka president para forgive and forgets ang mga kalokohan n’ya. Kasi sikat atska popular si Binay. So hinabol si Binay sa mga attack paid dogs ni Benigno. Ngayon sikat na si Poe, benigno applies the same crookery.

    Haaay naku. It is more of the same. Walang matino sa failed Filipins.

  27. bauwow says:

    Manong Joe, hope you won’t mind. I found this on Facebook and would like to share it with everyone.


    It’s about Grace Poe’ s switching allegiances like changing her clothes.

    • Joe, I hope you don’t mind, I found this link from bauwow so inspiring that I would like to post it here (aside from my facebook page) in its entirety for all those like me whose gadget and internet connection do not allow opening of links at the click of the site. I share his conclusion at the end.

      My Citizenship of Inconvenience
      Oscar Picazo•Sunday, 20 September 2015
      Who was it who said, “The personal is the political”? In the unprecedented and complicated case of Sen. Grace Poe’s citizenship issue, netizens are using their personal experience as lens to scrutinize each and every detail and come to a personal conclusion on whether or not she deserves to be elected president.

      In this light, let me also narrate my personal experience about the choices I faced in adult life on citizenship, and why I think Senator Poe does not deserve to be elected president. The columnist Mr. Rigoberto Tiglao, in one of his columns, has characterized Sen. Poe’s choice as “citizenship of convenience,” using her American passport/identity when it is convenient for her to do so, and then using her Filipino passport/identity when it is convenient for her to do the same. I characterize this baldly as being Janus-faced, for that is what it is – no malice intended. I do not know the ethics of being a dual citizen, and the use of which passports.
      I, too studied and worked in the U.S. for many years, a total of 9. One year of study (1991-92) under J1/J2 visa, and then 8 years of work with an international development institution (1997-2006), until that institution (World Bank) assigned me to Pretoria, South Africa (2006-2009). While working in the U.S., I enjoyed G4 visa status.

      While still living in the U.S. many friends and colleagues encouraged me to apply for a green card, which I hesitated to do. The usual arguments were that the Philippines is very unstable and that I would have a better life in the U.S. I already had a very good job in an international development agency and have accumulated a modicum of assets while earning well. According to these people’s arguments, getting a green card for me would be easy, with my qualifications. That may well be the case.

      I love the U.S.! I love things American! Foremost, I love American literature. In my college years in the 1970s, I used to spend entire weekends at the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center (TJCC), when it was still in that huge library (now a funeral parlor) along the G. Araneta Avenue. I am proud to say I could be an American Studies major, having read the whole gamut of its culture (films, music, and theatre – aside from literature). And I love Hollywood films and TV. Back in the days when movies and TV still mattered (1970s and 1980s), I watched every major issue of Hollywood, and would spend time watching primetime TV, which invariably showed canned American shows.
      My father worked for 28 years at the two American bases (Clark and Wallace Air Station in Poro Point, La Union), and he would bring home the usual old, unsold copies of glossy magazines, which invariably was Playboy (ha ha!) or some other magazine that the military personnel liked. Strangely, I never heard him say he would one day want to migrate to the U.S. Never!

      As luck would have it, I also had the chance to work for many years (7) with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), both in Manila and in its regional office in Nairobi, Kenya.

      I relate these details because outwardly, I would have been a perfect green card applicant and holder. But at that moment that I entered the lawyer’s office in Washington, DC to begin applying for a green card, I froze and asked myself, What am I doing here? In fact, when the immigration lawyer appeared and handed me the forms, I did not ask any question. I did not bother to fill them up and apply for a green card.

      That was when I decided I would just complete ten years of my stay at the World Bank, and then retire and come back to the Philippines. Yes, I took the proverbial “other road,” and that has made all the difference. While the queue of Filipinos wanting to go to the U.S. lengthened, I went against the current, choosing my “citizenship of inconvenience.” And that is why I am here, bearing the four-hour traffic on EDSA and C-5, braving getting mugged in the evenings, suffering the prospect of getting deaf from the political noise, seeing so much poverty still, and yes, going crazy in this crazy country of ours.

      I bet you, 99 percent of my U.S.-based relatives, friends, and colleagues think I made the wrong decision. After all, America is the land of plenty, the land of comfort, the land of super-efficiency, the land of pasteurized milk and organic honey. What many of these people do not understand is the true love of country. I do not wear my patriotism and nationalism on my sleeves. (After all, who was it who said Nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel?) But what I can tell you honestly is this: There is no other country I would wish to be a citizen of except the Philippines. I do not begrudge other people’s citizenship choices, as much as I wish people did not begrudge me of my “inconvenient” choice.

      What is love of country? For me, it is participating in its construction. (One major reason I didn’t like being an American green card holder and eventually and hopefully a citizen is that I felt like a free-loader, benefiting from its bounty but not contributing to its building. It is like being a welfare recipient. Yes, as you can see, I am a proud person.) I have been very lucky in getting work since I came back in 2009 that involves nation-building, mainly through research, teaching, and NGO involvement. There is no greater pleasure than seeing your country bloom, and being able to participate in that blooming.

      Love of country is being connected in every way to its pulse and pores. This is hard to describe, for it is better felt. It is loving its landscape, no matter how modest it is. (Did you notice I take too many pictures and post them in Facebook every time?) Loving its languages, no matter how crude they may be. Loving the quirks of its people, and quirky we really are (else how do you explain Al-Dub?). Being able to bear its pestering challenges, its stupidities, and its absurdities, for which the Philippines seems to have an excess quota.

      What does this have to do with Sen. Poe? As you can see, Senator Poe chose the “citizenship of convenience” while I chose the “citizenship of inconvenience.” For many years of her adult life, she chose to be American, and then she became a dual citizen. From the records, it seems like she used her American passport/identity when it was convenient for her to do so, and then used her Filipino passport/identity when it was convenient for her to do the same. She does not seem to have any abiding faith in either country, the way I felt a serious existential dilemma in the room of the immigration lawyer. I cannot make a judgment on her integrity or loyalty for these are internal feelings beyond my observation, but from what she has displayed so far in her actual behavior pertaining to her citizenship, I don’t think she deserves to be president, by my standards.

      • andrewlim8 says:

        You have put forward very strong arguments against Grace Poe. Not legal ones that will determine her qualification to run, but strong value judgments for people who made decisions like her.

      • Mary,

        “I relate these details because outwardly, I would have been a perfect green card applicant and holder. But at that moment that I entered the lawyer’s office in Washington, DC to begin applying for a green card, I froze and asked myself, What am I doing here? In fact, when the immigration lawyer appeared and handed me the forms, I did not ask any question. I did not bother to fill them up and apply for a green card.”

        For some reason this is very suspicious for me ( just based on my experience with Filipinos ). For me, what Poe and her husband did is pretty cut and dry. This guy’s account just doesn’t fit.

        Does anyone know here if it’s possible to look up a name in some USCIS data base and search if this guy’s in there or not? And check if he, in fact, did not apply for a green card?

        • caliphman says:

          It certainly does not pass my smell test and it seems very much like the negative campaigning and hatchet job against Poe you find in CPM regardless of what the blog topic is. Here it is grossly inappropriate if the blog concept is to conduct a serious debate on platforms and priorities. If the debate is about character assassination with no solid proof or just hearsay which is ehat this is, please leave me out of it. This is the wrong blogsite
          for something of that nature.

        • It does fit, but does not prove the person is particularly patriotic. I know Filipinos who work in international organizations, that is a crowd of its own, much like the typical DFA crowd that get assigned abroad to Embassies they do not need to have a foreign passport.

          In fact having a non-Filipino passport or changing one’s citizenship is detrimental in that world, because each nationality has its official or unofficial quotas – and networks as well that usually take care of their own. I don’t know if Filipinos working in some official capacity still have the old official passport like during Marcos time, but it used to exist and gave the holder another status at borders than the typical OFW. So it cannot really be compared.

          Some of these Filipinos officially abroad may even be UP faculty members or connected to some Department, on indefinite leave. Changing citizenship means risking state pension, won’t be that high if you haven’t worked back home all the time, but one can live quite OK.

          • ” In fact having a non-Filipino passport or changing one’s citizenship is detrimental in that world, because each nationality has its official or unofficial quotas – and networks as well that usually take care of their own. “

            OK, that makes more sense now, Ireneo, kinda like the UN gig for 3rd world citizens.

            • But this article above smells.

              • …the exception to the rule of convenience and expediency versus sincere patriotism? I was once labelled crazy for rejecting a chance to 1) work in the US when I was fresh college graduate then much much later, 2) marry one of her citizens.

                This smells, too? hahaha…

              • Of courrse it smells. MRP is very right: it looks like a maneuver by the Roxas camp to throw dirt at Grace Poe. In fact Duterte already warned Roxas – stand on your merits, do not have your people throw dirt at everybody including me just because you are behind.

                In fact throwing dirt too hard at Grace Poe and Binay may backfire, because Mar, Grace and Binay represent in my opinion three sectors of Philippine society: the established, the upstarts and the underdogs. I posted the picture of Chiz for several reasons, one being to show that he is the “smart hustler” type a la Kayne West that the upstart crowd around Grace Poe admires. This upstart crowd is suspicious of the established and tries to be different from the underdog crowd – after all Kayne West will not associate with 50 Cent.

                Now if the upstart crowd manages to spin things in such a way that the established crowd is not letting them get their “piece of the action”, this is where things backfire really bad.

                Just going with my hunches here, but often people will vote according the group they identify with. The middle class is IMHO the battleground for the coming elections.

                Middle class wants to be established, but if some of them feel the established still want them to be lackeys as always – which is the vibe that especially Mar Roxas has – they will go for the upstarts even if they are opportunists and smart hustlers like Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero, because they feel they might have a better chance for their own interests under them than under the established who have always taken care of their own – the arrogant “East Coasters” so to speak. Elections are also about different social groups, their perceived alliances and interests. It’s just like Democrats always win in Baltimore.

              • “I was once labelled crazy for rejecting a chance to 1) work in the US when I was fresh college graduate then much much later, 2) marry one of her citizens.” Which shows that different groups of people have different values. I can imagine what they said to you “Mary maging praktikal ka” among other things – praktikal for our English-speaking crowd means expedient more than practical, or grab opportunities when they are there. Or some might have told you “stay like that, Mary, your reward is in heaven” – I know these attitudes…

                In fact a certain crowd may admire Grace Poe because she is “smart” – in urban Filipino talk I know from the 1980s that used to mean a bit devious to ones own advantage, and Chiz because he is a smooth hustler type, that kind of stuff could be considered “suwabe”.

                That same crowd will however not like Binay because he is too dishonest without style… 🙂

              • ” I was once labelled crazy for rejecting a chance to 1) work in the US when I was fresh college graduate “


                What was the reason for that decision, and don’t try to reverse engineer some sort patriotic melo-drama, just a practical reason for not doing something.

                2) marry one of her citizens.

                Again, no reverse engineered story, just practical reasons why you said no– ie. he had smelly arm pits, wasn’t good in bed, etc.

                Then compared those practical reasons to this guy’s article. That’s why it’s smelly.

              • Here’s my bias, Mary.

                Patriotism is a high level concept. People in the 1st world get this not because we’re smarter but because we have nothing better to do, and many times we get it wrong all too often– https://joeam.com/2015/09/13/metro-manila-traffic-congestion-getting-to-the-church-on-time/#comment-136048 (scroll down to the 2nd story).

                People make decisions out of practicality not some abstract notion. I joined the Marines because I wanted action and adventure. When you’re in harms way you don’t think of America or some flag that’s more likely than not Made in China, you think about what you can do at that moment– what will benefit you, what will benefit your plans right then and there.

                So when this guy sat in that Immigration Law office and had a Patriotic epiphany, it’s not how the world works, it’s an aberration. There’s a better reason why he didn’t become a citizen or a permanent resident– Ireneo’s reason fits reality.

              • Other reasons (that fit reality) may surface, like his application was actually denied. etc. etc.

              • uhmmm. Irineo…this bashing of Poe did not come from Mar’s camp, I think. Up to the last minute, on the eve of Poe’s announcement of her candidacy, PNOY and Mar have not given up on her agreeing to be the latter’s VP candidate.

                You and I visit raissa’s site and you cannot deny that this is being discussed not to bash anyone but to search for the truth and nothing but. When Poe placed herself in public position, (in Senate or as P candidate), she cannot escape being put under a microscope so to speak, that goes with being a public figure. That’s part of the game she chose to join in.

              • The criticisms regarding Grace Poe are no problem for me – that is democracy. All that are on top or want to be must live with being under scrutiny, the President himself must live with it also. But Raissa’s seems to have hardly any topic anymore now than Grace.

                BTW: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/philippine-history-part-ii-state-section-2/ in the first Philippine Assembly Election in 1907, the citizenship of one candidate was heavily questioned, so there is nothing really new under the Philippine sun. 🙂

            • Irineo pretty much sums it up in his 2:27 post. Hey, why am I suddenly put on the spot here? I only said I found Oscar Picazo’s “My Citizenship of Inconvenience” article inspiring. being an exception to the general rule of convenience and expediency. It is so rare these days of materialism.

              Lcpl_X, let’s leave it at that, please. I’m not a material girl, I don’t go for instant gratification, and I didn’t even go for casual sex, ever, I think already shared a part of my early college days with you, guys, let’s stay on topic on this one, hahaha….whew!

              • Did you make your decisions out of patriotism? That’s kinda the point here.

              • You’re relentless, I can see that.

                Partly patriotism, partly family reason, my father had cancer then, stage 5 lung carcinoma, inoperable, with only months to live, my mother would need me to help care for him, that’s also the time when my apathy was rudely taken away by the assassination of Ninoy, PNOY, father. I was busy working in Ayala on regular days and doing part time work in a former assemblywoman’s library at her residence on weekends, helping my mother at nights and monitoring the political situation all the time.

              • Sorry, Mary.

                When something doesn’t seem right, I have to see it through, or I can’t sleep soundly (now I can).

                That is a traumatic predicament, both personal and national ( like 9/11 or JFK ).

                Yours I can understand as patriotic, this guy’s article still smells.

      • juanlee says:

        obama’s dad was like that, he chose to go back to kenya for patriotic reasons, i think. he left barry and barry’s mother, even if he had a good reason to stay in usa. so the young barry grew up with his grandma in hawaii and the rest is ‘birther and muslimer saga’ history.

        it looks like we have a nbfcer saga too…filifino for convenience or for inconvenience. life is great for freedom of choice…gude…God bless us all.

    • neo canjeca says:

      bauwow thanks.

      before going down Mary’s pasting of Picaso’s piece, I must say
      reading him gave me the shivers, feelings blew my mind groping how Oscar P’s love of country could be likened to Romeo’s love of Juliet country, of Tristan to Isolde, how to explain his write is better than mine because of USIS Library, when longer than Oscar I have followed that library’s journey from Escolta to A.Mabini.-P.Faura to near Embassy Theater, to Buendia Ave. TJ Library over the years sort of Americanized me not enough to be a green card holder or a citizen too.

      But Oscar P could be so UNFILIPINO because he can’t dance the twist like most Filipinos do, the likes of Grace Poe. I will prefer if I have and like to make a choice the UNFILIPINO kind of Oscar P not the kind of Grace P. It is deep and holy to recognize alive and kicking a true Filipino soul.

  28. wjarko says:

    I can totally relate…. Cant work when Im glued in to the really good articles and very widely interesting discussions. So much for work and making living huh.

    At least Joe’s pretty blunt about it. Too blunt.

  29. The problem is that a debate is not a good gauge on what a person really stands for Especially when a question is something you aren’t really prepared to answer or worse you don’t really have any idea yet you have to say something without thinking much about it.

  30. caliphman says:

    Its clear to me that there are those who barely understand the law and the judicial process who are inclined to accept Carpio’s statement and reasoning as speaking for the supreme court that foundlings cannot be NBFC and full citizens because the 1935 or 1987 Constitution forbids it. That and that the foundling having the burden of proof of proving parentage with Filipino citizenship (if she could, she would not be a foundling, no?). In actuality, the Supreme Court is silent if not taken the contrary view on these issues, so it was out of place for him to speak out so definitively at the SET when this matters clearly need to be argued and resolved before the Supreme Court.

    • caliphman says:


      Drilon and a few senators supporting Poe have taken this view on Carpio’s ruling. How absurd is it that a foundling with its umblical cord attached in a churchyard in Jaro, whose physical features are Filipino, can be presumed to have parents who are most likely non-Filipino citizens? Why would not the burden of proof be with the person claiming a very unlikely possibility rather than the other around. Where in the Constitution or enacted law or prior Supreme Court jurisprudence states that it is a foundling’s burden to name the identities of parents who abandoned her and are anonymous to her and prove their Filipino citizenship or lose the full citizenship she is entitled to?

      • “Why would not the burden of proof be with the person claiming a very unlikely possibility rather than the other around”

        She is a candidate for a government position that requires a natural born citizen. Poe herself recognized that, hence her decision to take that DNA test or DNA Matching, whatever.

        Anyways, the decision of the SET will most probably be elevated to the SC who will have the final say. Let’s wait, huh….BTW, I respect SC SAJ Carpio. He has wisdom, clarity, and the right intuition, in spades.

        • caliphman says:

          And where do you find the Constitutional provision,legal statute, settled or juridical law or Comelec administrative procedure that specifically states that? If that is merely your opinion and is not based on law, it is usually accepted legal procedure that it is the person making an allegation that has the burden of proof to support the accusation.

      • Peter Penduke says:

        The restriction was laid by the constitution by declaring who can be “natural” born, not who are likely or presumed to be natural born. So the burden of proof will be for those trying to overcome the constitution.

        Grace is trying to do that now, correctly. David just pointed out the provision being violated. There is no need for proof because it was admitted by both sides Grace is a foundling. Had she not, that will be the time David will be compelled to provide proof that Grace is a foundling.

        A foundling can overcome his/her status by presenting proof. And it isn’t far fetched. And the few instances that it is required, more than likely the foundling is already an adult (like running for President). Enough time to research, I guess. He/she doesn’t have to prove NBFC status with the umbilical cord attached. They are citizens right after being found by virtue of an international law. (hence, by operation of law)

        Heck, they can even wait till they are in their 40’s before they prove. Where else will they need it for?

        Hypothetical: An abandoned baby with caucasian features right at the gates of the US embassy cannot be presumed or likely to be of American parents. But it is a possibility.

        All possibilities in the gates of US embassy applies to the churchyard of Jaro in the realm of presumptions.

        Hence, the constitution leaves out presumptions by declaring who can be what. The babies above will be naturalized instantly by virtue of international law.

        Above is my bare understanding of what I have read so far of the issue. I am willing to be educated.

        • caliphman says:

          There is nothing in the constitution that specifically states that foundlings are or not natural born or naturalized citizens. The members of the constitutional convention are reported to have considered specifically including foundlings as natural born citizens in accordance with international convention agreements then but they decided issues involving foundlings would be rare, it was excluded. When the Supreme Court considers the citizenship provisions of the Constitution and these are either silent, unclear or ambiguous, the intent or meaning of the framers are factored in as well as prevailing international principles. Carpio in his SET declarations admitted to international principles applying to foundlings like Poe therefore granting them citizenship, neglecting the fact that these principles also stipulate that foundlings become citizens of the countries where they are found from birth, the constitutional definition of natural born citizenship. He went on to declare however that the 1935 Constitution prohibits foundings from being natural born citizens without explaining the legal basis for his pronouncement, omitting the reported intent of the framers, not citing any Supreme Court jurisprudence supporting this prohibition, and ruling only in his capacity as SET chairman. He went on to decide that foundlings and Poe can only be a naturalized citizen being a good compromise between international principles and his opinion of what is allowed in the Constitution. Carpio definitely overreached and his legal basis for ruling that the Constitution prohibits foundlings from being NBFC’s is questionable if not just plain wrong. This should be grounds for alleging Carpio and the SET for grave abuse of discretion.

          Even Aquino is not too happy wth Carpio’s declarations, as reported in the news report below:


          • You’re fighting a good fight here, caliphman. From the gut it seems all wrong, but your facts on this confirms my gut feeling– thanks for the commentary.

          • caliph, I have a question for you:

            Suppose a baby was found somewhere in the Philippines, with blond hair, fairest skin and blue eyes, that baby was given a naturalized citizenship so he will not be stateless by virtue of the international law on foundlings. At age 50 he decides to be a candidate for position of the Philippine president. Will you still be fighting the he be given a natural born citizen status even if it is obvious that his parents are not Filipinos? We share the same coloring with Malaysian, Indonesians, do you accept the possibility that Poe’s parents could be Malaysian or Indonesian? Isn’t that what the framers want to avoid happening when they required that government positions should be held by natural born citizen? The framers are very clear, they want our government officials to be natural born citizen and proceeded to define it.

            • caliphman says:

              Mary, when you can go around asserting that the framers are very clear on what they wanted and what they wanted to avoid, you are a better lawyer and constitutional expert than me, the faux Supreme Court and judicial experts at CPM I used to cross legal swords with, and maybe even more qualified than even Carpio and Brion combined…hehehe. Yeah, Poe’s parents could be VenusianInwho left her in that Jaro churchyard when their flying saucer ran low on fuel and they had to rendezvous back with the mothership. They left a spacephone and a note for GP to phone home with Edwin Militar who lost the note and pawned the phone. I only return this even absurd hypothetical only half in jest because I seem to be making the same points again and again and its not getting through. If you are really interested in understanding some of these stuff, most of it can be found in an intermediate textbook on Philippine constitutional law.

              The answer to your hypothetical is that like in any specific case and in any country whether it be here or in the US or there in the Philippines, whats written in the constitution, the international principle, enacted legislation, Supreme Court jurisprudence and particular facts of the case are all factors that need to be factored, argued and weighed by the
              Court. If the Philippines acceded to the UNHR Covention on the Reduction of Statelessness without any resevations it becomes part of Philippine law , and your 50 year old Caucasian as a foundling was a Filipino citizen since birth. In my hypothetical, if the foundling had greenskin, huge head, big eyes, and spindly limbs the possibility of it being human
              nevermind born of a Filipino parent is highly unlikely, I doubt very much any challenger would have any difficulty proving before the Comelec the alien was not an NBFC.

              Excuse me if I take a break from responding or talking about legal issues which seems to have been taking more of my time lately than I care to spend.

              • My extraterrestrial sources tell me that the aliens left two of their kids in the Philippines:

                Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero. They are in fact brother and sister.

              • That was a serious question deserving of a serious answer, caliphman…

                I ask because I want to know, not to be ridiculed, I know I’m not am expert that’s why I’m asking. I keep reiterating here to let us wait for the SET and eventually the SC to rule with finality. We are just discussing here and exchanging opinions. And my opinion of the constitution enumeration of the qualification of those wishing to hold public positions is from my honest laywoman’s understanding of it. I don’t claim to be more knowledgeable than you are, never had. I offer MY opinion and repeatedly say that I welcome clarification. Your answer is oozing with condescending sarcasm. I have always been civil to you and I think i don’t deserve that.

          • Peter Penduke says:

            The constitution specifically declared who are natural born citizens (no law required) , and who are not (operation of law required to become citizen– in case of foundlings, international convention is required).

            “… reported to have considered specifically including foundlings as natural born citizens in accordance with international convention agreements then but they decided issues involving foundlings would be rare, it was excluded.”

            Excluded, therefore, they are not. Why do we have to adhere to that International Convention if they are NB in the first place? We do not need to follow that convention, it will be redundant. International agreement has the effect of a law – not as part of constitution. So we follow that convention – give citizenship to foundlings (an operation of law).

            Hypothetical: an abandoned baby of American parents will automatically be granted NBFC status? Precisely because nobody knows who the parents are, I think the constitution does not want to assume either way. Hence the availment of the international convention.

            My 4 cents.

            • My laywoman’s understanding of it too, Peter Penduke

            • edgar lores says:

              Again we see here the difference in perspective. I think Peter is looking at a half-full glass and Caliphman at a half-empty glass. Just looking at the Constitution and disregarding international agreements:

              Peter seems to be saying that the Constitution explicitly defines who are NB citizens. Therefore, anyone outside of the definitions is not NB.

              Caliphman seems to be saying that the Constitution does not explicitly deny foundlings are NOT NB citizens. Therefore, foundlings are NB.

              • caliphman says:

                Edgar, it is as I posted above. Interpreting the constitution and applying it in resolving a specific issue is the Supreme Court’s responsibility. And you are correct in stating that the constitution does not explicitly deny or confirm whether foundlings are NBFC or not, it is just silent. The Supreme Court considers a multiple of things including the intent of the framers, the fact that the constitution itself states that accepted international legal principles are to be incorporated as part of the basic law, and of course prior court decisions or jurisprudence. It is not true that the constitutional provisions on citizenship are clear and unambiguous. Carpio enumerated the types of citizens listed in the 1935 basic law to determine what foundlings are by elimination including flatly declaring they cannot be NBFC, which is questionable. Thus he concluded they had to be naturalized citizens. The problem with that is there is a famous Supreme Court case where Atty. Makalintal argued that a person cannot be a naturalized citizen unless he undergoes a procedure of naturalization that is specified by the constitution. In this particular case, the legal issue was when a person becomes a Filipino citizen again using the RA 9225 aka the dual citizenship law, is he a naturalized or natural born citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance? Makalintal argued that his client did not go through a naturalization procedure, by the same process of enumeration and elimination, he was necessarily a natural born citizen. And the Court agreed and his client overcame the challenge to his successful election. My point is that enumeration process does not work and leads to either conclusion. Perhaps its time for the Court to address and resolve this issue once and for all when the Poe case is brought before them.

                I am sorry if this all sounds repetitive and may have been mentioned here before. And pardon me but I have to run.

              • edgar lores says:

                Thanks, Caliphman.

                I am aware of your points and they are tenable. I do not have the wherewithal, the legal expertise, to argue the points. My initial opinion on Grace’s candidacy do not revolve around the citizenship and the residency issues. My opinion has always been premised on character and judgement as I see them. Opinions will differ.

                I have raised possible ethical issues, the potential conflict of interests of having a non-full Filipino citizen spouse occupying Malacanang. I have also spoken about the proper procedure for conducting a DNA test, which is a side issue of the greater citizenship issue.

                I think discussions of these issues are material and important. Everything about Binay’s corruption, Mar’s incompetence and Grace’s inexperience bear scrutiny and — as much as possible — “objective” scrutiny.

                As to Grace’s particular citizenship and residency issues, I agree that these should be resolved by the SC once and for all. I am certain, however, that other citizenship and residency issues will crop up as time goes by. And it is proper that the pros and cons be rightly discussed in social media as input and refinement to the final judicial decisions. Social media has become a great tool for keeping the bastards honest.

              • “the potential conflict of interests of having a non-full Filipino citizen spouse occupying Malacanang.”


                Enjoying the discussion.

                1. What is the actual background of Poe’s husband. He’s Filipino ethnically, and citizen of the US– but was he born in the US, or did he move to the US (when?)?

                2. Did he and Poe meet in the US?

                3. Is the assumption ( because he and their kids refuse to renounce their American citizenship– I’m assuming all the children were born in the U.S. ) that he’ll somehow be an American pawn? or have loyalties elsewhere?

                “Social media has become a great tool for keeping the bastards honest.”

                Absolutely agree with keeping everyone in positions of power over there honest.

                Here’s my take on this, https://joeam.com/2015/09/14/the-lion-about-to-roar-at-grace-poe-americans-in-the-palace/#comment-136166

              • edgar lores says:

                As I gather:

                1. Born in the US (jus soli) of a Filipina mother (jus sanguinis). Hence, dual citizenship.
                2. Yes
                3. Not sure about the children. They may already be Filipino citizens. However, if born in the US, they may opt for US citizenship upon reaching 18. The children should not be an issue.
                4. My point about the spouse having dual citizenship is conflict of interest. It may not matter because he is partly a US citizen, and US is an ally. But what if he was a Chinese-Filipino citizen?
                5. I should rephrase that last quote: Social media has become a great tool of making the bastards honest.

              • Joe America says:

                There are actually women here, too, so the “Fellas” remark tends to grate on me. I believe comments should be inclusive of all.

              • Sorry, Joe, I meant that as inclusive– should’ve used “Folks”, my bad.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks. I won’t have to file a case with the Tanods . . . 🙂

            • Peter,

              I have decided to post in this thread a comment by Rene-Ipil at Raissa’s blog, Philippine Politics and Beyond. As usual, I want updated information and opinions on this issue which became a national one since it is now at the SET. Someone (forgot now who but it’s also in that site) said that announcing candidacy for any elective position is like applying for a position in a private company wherein you have to satisfy all the requirements for the position being applied for and aside from submitting all the required documents, must prove thru verified references the truthfulness of what you say so in them. In other words it’s up to the applicant to prove the veracity of all the claims placed in the said documents. In Poe’s case, she is not being accused or charged of any crime, she is being challenged to prove something as an applicant for the position of the President of the Philippines.

              [Rene-Ipil says:
              September 28, 2015 at 6:51 am

              In defense of Grace L. former CJ Panganiban anchored his argument on the following provision of the 1961 UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness, to wit:

              “Article 2 – 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.”

              But Article 12 (3) of the 1961 UN Convention provides that Article 2 of said Convention shall take effect only after its ratification by the contracting state.

              “3. 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.”

              Let us assume that same Convention is a customary international law and is now a Philippine statute. What does this adopted law mandate? It mandates that a foundling found in the Philippines is considered born in the country of Filipino parents only after satisfying certain conditions.

              That the Philippines has ratified or signed the Convention. That the instrument of ratification has been deposited with the Secretary-General of the UN (Article 16-3).

              “3. This Convention shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

              And that the Convention shall take effect on the 90th day AFTER the deposit of same instrument (Article 18-2).

              “2. . . it shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification . . .”

              Sadly, the requisites laid down by the adopted law have not been satisfied. And the belief, opinion, view or supposition – that the foundling found in the Philippines is born of Filipino parents – does not hold water.

              The signing, ratification and deposit of the instrument of ratification must be done as follows:

              1. The Philippine ambassador to the UN must sign the Convention in the UN Headquarters.
              2. The Philippine senate must convene to pass a resolution ratifying the UN Convention.
              3. The said senate resolution must be deposited with the UN Secretary General”]

              – end of post from Rene-Ipil –

              It seems that the Philippines up to now, has not done these (signing of the Convention by the Phil. ambassador to the UN; Senate convening to pass the resolution; and depositing said resolution with the UN Sec. Gen) would that be correct? dunno, so my initial impression is that the adoptive parents, the Poes, were the one who gifted Grace with the Filipino citizenship, though not a natural one.

              “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.”

              Parents possessing the nationality of that State – am confused again, the parents of the foundling are unknown, that’s why they are called foundling. Why is it stated like that? I need to take up law. hahaha.

              • Peter Penduke says:

                Madam Grace, my opinion:

                The citizenship issue is about so many things for so many people (ratified?, customary law/adopted, natural or lack of mention, etc.).However, I believe among the top jurists (i.e.: CJ Panganiban on one side and J Carpio on the other) I think the issue has been reduced to the “operation of law”. They pretty much agree on all the points re: International Law/Convention on Nationality and the UN Declaration on Statelessness. These are customary, adopted and part of the law of the land. Using it is an operation of the law.

                Therefore, it now conflicts with the Constitutional definition of “Natural Born = No Operation of Law”.

                CJ Panganiban posits that is not the case for foundlings. Article 2 confers citizenship to the foundling’s parents, not to the foundling, thus the operation of law does not apply to the foundling. If the foundling’s parents are of citizenship of the territory where he/she was found, then the foundling is Natural Born. Seems logical on the surface.

                However, this is where the spirit and intent of the law kicks in: Are those customary and adopted laws constructed with the missing parent’s welfare in mind? Take note of the declaration title: “1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness” and objective: “A central focus of the Convention is the prevention of statelessness at birth by requiring States to grant citizenship to children born on their territory… “ On the contrary, this is all about the foundlings and the missing parents were just instruments to grant citizenship to the child.

                Why not grant the citizenship to the foundling outright? In current case, it is irrelevant. No matter how and which way, it is still an operation of law. And to whom does it apply? IMHO, if top jurists can’t seem to agree, can a layman do better? A devil’s advocate can.

          • Godnoyam says:

            ” Carpio definitely overreached and his legal basis for ruling that the Constitution prohibits foundlings from being NBFC’s is questionable if not just plain wrong. This should be grounds for alleging Carpio and the SET for grave abuse of discretion.

            Even Aquino is not too happy wth Carpio’s declarations, as reported in the news report below:

            Given that NBFC is a primary requirement for holding higher public office (Senate, Presidency and VP), as specifically stated in our constitution I also believed that Grace Poe should hold the responsibility of proving her being NBFC.

            If she didn’t aspire and declared her ambition to any these coveted positions, NOBODY cares whether she is a natural born or simply citizen of the Philippine Republic. We dont even care if she is still an American citizen… But she wanted all so let her prove her qualifications.

            AJ Carpio is right.

            • caliphman says:

              With all due respect, you have provided no legal basis or argument to establish your claim that Poe has the burden of proof in a court of law to show she is a natural born Filipino citizen. However this forum is not a court of law and neither are we all lawyers, but if you are presenting us a legal opinion based on your knowledge of specific rules of court, SET rules of procedure, or laws governing presentation of proof or evidence, kindly please share this with us as we are all here to learn. I personally have done some research on this issue and would love to know what I may have missed as my understanding is the party who makes an allegation has the burden of proof and not the defendant, regardless of what is at stake. In this case, this principle is even more important because the defendant has been accused of committing a crime. Otherwise we here learn just your personal opinion and preferences as to what you desire should happen at the SET tribunal, which is just fine if this is the nature of the debate proposed in this blog.

              • Godnoyam says:

                This case of Grace Poe, a foundling @SET tribunal ballooned a big issue only because of its political nature. I am just trying to express my personal opinion in the most simplified way.

                There was no allegations or accusations found from petitioner as everybody recognized Grace Poe as foundling. There exist a “question of compliance” for Grace Poe of a specific primary requirement of our constitution in order to hold a public office(Senate/Presidency) = that being a natural born Filipino Citizen.

                In compliance of a specific requirement, Grace Poe has to prove her qualifications.

              • caliphman says:


                Does this complaint filed by David at the SET against Poe for material representation claiming she is really not an NBFC not seem like an allegation to you??

              • Godnoyam says:

                “quo warranto” complaint against Poe is not allegation but a challenge. As i said “question of compliance” since Grace Poe by her own admission was a foundling.

                How do you ascertain the citizenship of a foundling? It is the responsibility of the foundling to provide the requirements in compliance to our constitutional requirement for the designated public offices.

                as i said earlier, nobody is interested of Grace Poe’s citizenship being a foundling if she is not holding public office that specifically required being NBFC. Its the foundling’s desire for these offices that she have to comply of the requirements.

                Last reply ko na ito for this exchange. I hope i contributed something on this topic whether my arguments are acceptable or not. Regards to all

              • Joe America says:

                You have expressed yourself very well, Godnoyam, and it is this matter of self-accountability is very important here. If a candidate does not have it, that should be recorded as one of the factors that goes into voting decisions.

  31. Pinoys are uncomfortable with debates. Must be a cultural thing because we don’t like face-to-face disagreements, much less a public one. A better alternative with would be a set of well-thought out questions that every candidate should answer (not just the what is your program of gov’t type of questions) taped and then simultaneously broadcasted later so we can compare answers to each question (and even translated to Tagalog, Cebuano, or whatever).

  32. Yes
    A debate along with succinct and logical policy proposals.

  33. neo canjeca says:

    instead of in the other thread I should have posted it here this hereinbelow comment:

    Start to accept it now. MAR ROXAS CAN BE RUNNING UNOPPOSED.

    If only opinion makers and media will go beyond reading between the lines and instead discern what’s behind events using selfless cold as steel reason: Mar Roxas will run unopposed come May 2016. MAR ROXAS will be the ONLY CANDIDATE and SURE WINNER in the presidential election.

    OH YEAH? How is that NONSENSE again, MAR ROXAS WITH NO OPPONENTS, you who must be dreaming in the pancitan. Well, who’s snoring all these months?

    It is not about the principle of the HIDDEN hand more like a statesmanship of the rare kind. PNoy’s track record is subtle, unpredictable, measured and calculating, prudent, humane, more apolitical than dirty politician. The wise, the optimists, the honest and the patriots MIGHT just LEAVE IT to him, to leave it to the physics of politics the fate of the succeeding presidency. Let the Officials and bureaucrats DO THEIR JOBS in accordance with their GOOD and not their BAD conscience. PNoy can crack the whip and BINGO Pinas is on its way to Tuwid na Daan. But he’s not likely to do it. Just as knowledge is not the monopoly of one man so also is love of country and heroism to keep the undeserved and unqualified. PNoy is he really giving others the honor to DO right by their country?

    Others in the government can just do it, ENSURE a clean and proper presidential election. What a joke, a clean and proper election with only one candidate? Why not even when the other candidates are first class clowns? Well, Widow Leni Robredo could win like, unopposed too.

  34. From a commenter at PDI…For verification against intermediate textbooks on Philippine constitutional law while the case is still pending at the SET which presumably will be elevated to the SC. I want to learn, that’s why I ask questions. When the SC decides this case with finality, I need to know also the basis. This MIGHT be in aid for further analysis so I can grow. I care so I share so others can grow with me. Disregard if not interested, just scroll to the next message from other commenters.

    dakila • 2 hours ago

    Summary of Position

    1. Poe, born a foundling in 1968, is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines within the language and intent of the 1935 Constitution. Rather, Poe is a citizen of the Philippines by operation of law.

    2. This status of a citizen by operation of law is accorded to foundlings, like Poe, by applying, to the extent compatible with the 1935 Constitution, Art. 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention, which declares foundlings to be nationals of the territory where they were found.

    3. Not being a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, Poe is ineligible to sit as a Member of the Senate.Poe is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines

    4. Poe is staking her claim of status as a natural-born Filipino citizen exclusively on the basis of her legal category as a foundling. The identities and circumstances, including the citizenship, of the father and/or mother of the foundlings are unknown.

    5. The 1935 Constitution, the fundamental law in force at the time of Poe’s birth in 1968, enumerated who were citizens of the Philippines in Art. IV, Section 1, to wit:

    “Sec. 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

    1. Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.

    2. Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this 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.

    5. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.”

    6. The 1935 Constitution did not use or define the term “natural born citizen.” But the meaning of the term is settled: a natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth. The meaning of the “natural-born citizen” has been made explicit in the 1973 and 1987
    Constitutions, thus: “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 Philippine citizenship.”

    7. The citizenship from birth is by virtue either of the blood relationship of the child with the parent/s (jus sanguinis mode), or by virtue of the place of birth, regardless of the citizenship of the parent/s (jus soli mode). There are countries (like the U.S.) which adopt both the jus sanguinis and jus soli modes, so the term “natural-born citizen” applies to those who acquired their citizenship through either mode.

    8. In our jurisdiction the jus soli mode has been abandoned. The jus sanguinis mode remains, so that the “natural-born citizen” refers only to one whose father or mother is a citizen of the Philippines. The citizenship is based on blood relationship. In the 1935 Constitution, the natural born citizens are those who fall under Nos. 3 or 4 of Art. IV.

    9. Poe contends that she is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines by applying the 1930 Hague Convention (“Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws”), which forms part of the body of “generally accepted principles of international law” which are deemed incorporated as part of the law of the land as of the date of Poe’s birth in 1968. Specifically, Art. 14 of this Convention states:
    “A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child’s parentage is established, its nationality shall be determined by the rules
    applicable in cases where the parentage is known. A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was

    10. Note that under Art. 14, the nationality declared for the foundling is based on the jus soli mode. Art. 14 presumes that a foundling found in a State is born in that State (2nd par.), and, therefore, the foundling shall have the nationality of that State (1st par.). No presumption is made in Art. 14 that either father or mother, or both, of the foundling is a national of the State where the foundling was found and presumed to have been born.

    11. Art. 14 of the 1930 Convention cannot be incorporated verbatim as part of the 1935 Constitution, particularly as falling within the terms of Art. IV, Sec. 1, Nos. 3 and 4, for the following reasons:

    (a) Under Nos. 3 and 4, Art. IV of the 1935 Constitution, citizenship is conferred at birth, by reason of the blood relationship of the child with the father and/or mother. This provision hews to the jus sanguinis mode of acquiring citizenship.

    (b) In contrast, the 1930 Hague Convention adopted in Art. 14 the jus soli mode of acquiring citizenship with respect to a foundling. As earlier mentioned, the nationality of the parent/s of the foundling was immaterial.

    (c) Therefore, Art. 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention which adopts the jus soli mode, cannot fall within the terms of Art. IV, Sec. 3 and 4 of the 1935 Constitution, which follow the jus sanguinis mode. The jus sanguinis and jus soli modes are as different from each other as apples are from oranges. Verba legis non est recedendum – from the words of a statute
    there should be no departure.

    (d) Moreover, the jus soli mode of acquiring citizenship was abandoned in the 1935 Constitution.

    12. Based on the foregoing considerations, Poe is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines in the context of Art. IV, Sec. 1, Nos. 3 and 4,of the 1935 Constitution.
    Nonetheless, Poe is a citizen of the Philippines by operation of law

    13. The Philippines is obliged to adhere to international agreements, treaties, conventions and the like — embraced in the collective phrase “generally accepted principles of international law” — which have been adopted as part of the law of the land in the 1935, 1973 and 1987

    14. An important obligation assumed by the Philippines, which is relevant to the discussion, is to recognize the right of the child born or found within its territory to acquire a nationality from birth, in order to prevent statelessness of the child. A child’s right to nationality is recognized in Art. 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    15. Art. 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention grants the foundling the right to nationality of the country where the foundling is found. The objective is to prevent the foundling from becoming stateless. To repeat, the provision made no express or implied presumption regarding the
    citizenship of the parent/s. Hence, regardless of the citizenship of the father and/or mother, the foundling was to be considered a national of the State where it is found.

    16. During the deliberations of the framers of the 1935 Constitution, a proposal was made to include “foundlings” in the enumeration of citizens of the Philippines but the proposal “was defeated, primarily because the Convention believed that the cases, being too few to warrant the inclusion of a provision in the Constitution to apply to them, should be governed by statutory legislation. Moreover, it was believed that the rules of international law were already clear to the effect that illegitimate children followed the citizenship of the mother, and that foundlings followed the nationality of the place where they were found, thereby making unnecessary the inclusion of the proposed amendment.

    17. The above-quoted deliberations did not indicate what type of citizenship was to be granted to the “foundling,” but adverted to the “rules of international law” to the effect that “foundlings followed the nationality of the place where they were found.”

    18. While the Philippines is obligated by the principles of international law to grant citizenship to a foundling, the supremacy of the municipal law of the Philippines is still to be respected.

    (a) Art. 1 of the 1930 Hague Convention holds that “it is for each State to determine under its own law who are its nationals.”

    (b) Art. 15 states that “[w]here the nationality of a State is not acquired by reason of birth on its territory, a child born on the territory of that State of parents having no nationality, or of unknown nationality, may obtain the nationality of the said State. The law of that State shall
    determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality in such cases.”

    19. Article 15 of the 1930 Hague Convention carries significant implications with respect to the applicability of Art. 14.

    (a) Art. 14 (which is based on the jus soli mode), does not automatically apply to a State which does not recognize jus soli as a mode of acquiring nationality. Therefore, the Philippines, which does not adhere to the jus soli mode, is not bound to automatically grant nationality to the foundling found in its territory.

    (b) The use of the word “may” on the matter of obtaining the nationality of the country that does not adhere to the jus soli mode, implies that the granting of a nationality status to a foundling is subject tocompliance with “the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality
    in such cases.” Under the regime of the 1935 Constitution, and up to now, no legislation has been passed providing for the conditions by which a foundling may obtain citizenship.

    20. There being no specific legislation in the country dealing directly with the nationality status of a foundling, the status of Poe as a citizen has to be determined based on available legislation and pertinent principles of international law.

    21. Legal commentaries on the subject of citizenship tend to classify the modes of acquiring citizenship into three:

    (a) by blood relationship to the parent/s (jus sanguinis);

    (b) by place of birth, regardless of the citizenship of the parent/s (jus soli); and

    (c) by operation of law(naturalization or other ways).

    22. With respect to Poe who has the status of a foundling, for reasons already discussed, she could not have acquired citizenship by the jus sanguinis mode, or by reason of blood relationship to the father and/or mother, as the identities, including citizenship, of both parents were unknown.

    23. Likewise, Poe could not have acquired citizenship by the jus soli mode, or by reason of place of birth, or regardless of the citizenship of the parents, because jus soli ceased to be recognized as a mode of acquiring citizenship.

    24. With jus sanguinis and jus soli modes inapplicable, by which a foundling found in the Philippines, what remains is to determine if Poe can be granted the status of a citizen by operation of law.

    25. Citizenship can be bestowed by operation of law. The term “by operation of law” expresses the manner in which rights, and sometimes liabilities, devolve upon a person by the mere application to the particular transaction of the established rules of law, without the act or participation of the party himself. Falling within this classification is citizenship by naturalization, “generally under Commonwealth Act No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised Naturalization Law, which repealed the former Naturalization Law (Act No. 2927), and by Republic Act No. 530.

    26. The acquisition of citizenship “by operation of law” is recognized in international law. As an example, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (1961 Convention) mandates under Art. I that a Contracting State shall grant nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless, and such nationality shall be granted:

    (a)at birth;

    (b) by operation of law; or

    (c) upon application being lodged with the appropriate authority.

    27. There are sufficient grounds to support the conclusion that Poe is a citizen of the Philippines by operation of law, by the application of Art.14 of the 1930 Hague Convention in harmony with the 1935 Constitution.

    (a) Being born a foundling, and hence with unknown identities and citizenship of her parents, she could not be considered a natural-born citizen by the jus sanguinis mode, as that status is restricted only to those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at the time of her birth. Poe could also not be considered a natural-born citizen by the jus soli mode, which had already been abandoned in our jurisdiction well before Poe was born in 1968.

    (b) Poe is entitled to citizenship under the generally accepted principles of international law to protect her from becoming stateless.

    (c) The principle of international law directly relevant to Poe’s status is Art. 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention, which mandates the country to grant citizenship to a foundling who is found and, therefore, is presumed born, in the country.

    (d) The granting of citizenship to a foundling under Art. 14 is based on the jus soli mode. For countries that do not follow the jus soli mode, Art.15 of the 1930 Convention, the country may grant nationality subject to the conditions that the country may impose in such situation.

    (e) Under the regimes of the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, no legislation has been passed addressing specifically the citizenship of a foundling found in the country’s territory.

    (f) The fact that Poe is not a natural-born citizen, or that the Art. 14 does not automatically apply to her, or that there is no law establishing the basis and conditions for granting citizenship status to a foundling, should not prevent the State from granting her a status of a citizen of the Philippines.

    (g) Not to grant Poe citizenship status would render her stateless and not to grant her citizenship will violate our commitment to the international community to treat a foundling with compassionate predilection.

    (h) Besides, nature abhors a vacuum and so does the law. Hence, it is imperative to look for available principles that are consistent with the Constitutions, the laws and cases in our jurisdiction to confer upon Poe the status of a citizen of the Philippines.

    End Notes

    28. Poe is deemed to have lost her status as citizen of the Philippines by operation of law when she became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 2001.

    29. She retained her U.S. citizenship notwithstanding her petition under RA 9225 (Dual Citizenship Law). She was not covered by this law, since it applied only to natural-born citizens of the Philippines who lost their status as such by acquiring foreign citizenship.

    30. When Poe renounced her U.S. citizenship in 2010, she reverted to her original status as a citizen by operation of law acquired in accordance with the 1930 Hague Convention as discussed.

    • “Operation of law” is the right term – it is exactly the mode of acquiring citizenship between being natural born and naturalized. To be naturalized you have to apply for it yourself – this is not the case with Grace Poe she already acquired Filipino citizenship as a child.

      Operation of law is exactly what is used in such cases where a person is not by definition clearly natural-born but there is a law that gives the person citizenship of the country. Google “citizenship by operation of law” and you will find examples from many countries.

      Still in my opinion there is a gap in Philippine laws because there is the requirement that a President be natural born, but no law explicitly states who is natural born and who is not. The 1935, 1973 and 1986 Constitutions all state who is by default a citizen, but there is no wording “natural born” in any of them. The makers of the 1935 Constitution did not expect foundlings to run for President. The country was even more of a class society in that time.

      It even meant something if you were a illegitimate child in those days, or a “bastardo” which was what they called Juanito Furugunan before his father recognized him and he became Juan Ponce Enrile. There were cases in those days where the illegitimate sons of Filipinas were adopted by their brothers or cousins who had families to avoid shame and difficulties in a culture that was conservative, even hypocritical, and sometimes still very much is.

      Regarding intent of a law some lawyers will use the argument that times and attitudes have changed since then and that even if the intent was such at that time it may no longer be applicable in the present day context. See the legal issue of Fernando Poes being born out of wedlock in relation to citizenship. The final instance that can and must decide which interpretation is correct and appropriate to the present is in my opinion the Supreme Court.

      • P.S. not adopted – the brother or cousin simply pretended that the child was by his wife. Especially in those days it was impossible to find out later if that was true or not, and in villages and in families people kept silent about things like that – even if everybody knew it.

        • caliphman says:

          That shared post is rife with errors and irrelevancies, which is the term Atty. Oscar Tan used in describing all the undeserved brouhaha from Raissa’s bombshell about the delayed 2012 by the US to cancel her citizenship. Its in his column at the PDI. My issue with shared posts like this one is I am unable to engage the original poster in a two way exchange of comments and ideas which is important when many statementx and conclusions ars legally questionable and pointing these out in his absence really seems improper as he is not around to defend his views

          • caliphman says:

            Thank you for sharing it anyway, Mary. I post frequently at PDI and the Star so perhaps ext time I am there I will look for this post and comment on it directly

            • Why can’t you share your opinions, here? I shared it so I can learn from reactions from fellow commenters. dakila specifically stated that this long post that he posted in PDI and in turn shared by me here, is not his opinion…JUST SHARING, OPINION NOT MINE are his exact words. He did not say whose positions they are. Probably just posted as a springboard for discussions just as I did. Can’t we say somebody offered this positions and just comment on those positions? If they are wrong, they are wrong, as simple as that. Leaving them as they are without being rebutted is unfair to us who read them, and because we are not lawyers, we might believe them. We are not equipped with techniques that only lawyers possess. We are interested to know the truth because this is a presidential candidate we are talking about and we want to know if she fully meets the requirements specified in the constitution. Sometimes the SC errs in its rulings as we have oftentimes observe, we know it is a numbers game, so even if they come up with a ruling, we would like to understand so we can decide properly. Election is still 7 and a half years away, plenty of time for us to study , analyze and decide with finality who will get our vote.

  35. caliphman says:

    Although its really up to Joe since he own and manages this blogsite, there is nothing stated in its terms of service that bans or in any way liits repostings. However this current blog is about debating patforms and issues of each candidate includig Poe’s citizenship question. I do not know about anyone else here but I would rather debate the strengths and weaknesses of the positions and ideas of the person who wrote and has the rationale for them so he can share thisif questioned. Its hard debating against a wall.

    • Joe America says:

      Walk through them, Caliphman, walk through them. The walls, I mean.

      Walking Through a Wall by Louis Jenkins.

      Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps. I got started at a picnic up in Bowstring in the northern part of the state. A fellow walked through a brick wall right there in the park. I said, ‘Say, I want to try that.’ Stone walls are best, then brick and wood. Wooden walls with fiberglass insulation and steel doors aren’t so good. They won’t hurt you. If your wall walking is done properly, both you and the wall are left intact. It is just that they aren’t pleasant somehow. The worst things are wire fences, maybe it’s the molecular structure of the alloy or just the amount of give in a fence, I don’t know, but I’ve torn my jacket and lost my hat in a lot of fences. The best approach to a wall is, first, two hands placed flat against the surface; it’s a matter of concentration and just the right pressure. You will feel the dry, cool inner wall with your fingers, then there is a moment of total darkness before you step through on the other side.

  36. caliphman says:

    JoeAm, very powerful you must be.Unlike you, walk through solid walls I cannot. But even if mere mortal am I, stepping on water and passing through walls, try I shall. But to talk with no one except bare walls and empty halls, going crazy afraid am I!

  37. caliphman says:

    Okay this is slightly out of topic but quite a scoop. Asia Pulse came out with its fall survey results. Poe still has the lead at 27%, Binay 21% and Roxas18%. From June, Poe’s lead shrunk by 3%, Binay ‘s core supporters dug in and had no defections, and Roxas rocketed 8% or almost doubled. But thats not the real scoop. It how Roxas accomplished this minor miracle. Roxas upped his share from the D or masa segment from 10% in June to 19% almost doubling and tying Binay’s 20% share from this group which comprises 60-70% oll voters.This, the masa bloc is where Roxas has to make progress and where he is considered a tough sell because of his lack of starpower or charisma with the group if he is to win against Poe and Binay. Where did he get the masa votes from? Not from Binay but 4 % from Poe, 2 % from Duterte and the rest from also running but less well known candidates .

  38. Luis Esquillo says:

    That all-encompassing debate would definitely be an eye-opener on who among the three candidates have the werewithal to make things happen if they get elected. Traditional glib of tongue has been common fare since the Filipinos exercised their right to suffrage.Great and timely suggest from Andrew, thank you!

  39. karlgarcia says:

    So far I am more impressed by the VP candidates debate.Binay messed up the presidential debates. I am sure Duterte will be heckled in the next one.
    The networks will learn from past mistakes in approach.At least we are being shown that no scripted platforms can escape the hard questions.

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