Ijust can’t understand what Sen. Chiz Escudero is driving at. The other day, he lambasted former Sen. Kit Tatad for allegedly singling out Sen. Grace Poe as he builds a case against his colleague over her citizenship and residency issues while at the same time tolerating the alleged anomalies committed by Vice Presdient Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and his family.
But what do the allegations against Binay have to do with Poe’s cases? Tatad can file disqualification cases against other presidential aspirants including the inter-galactic candidate and and the demon’s envoy but all those won’t change the fact Poe remains a foundling whose natural-born citizenship cannot be provided by the existing laws of the land, that she reacquired her Filipino citizenship after taking an oath of allegiance to the United States and that she fails to meet the residency requirement for the presidency, according to her own admission when she filed her certificate of candidacy for the senatorial elections in 2013.
In his eagerness to defend Poe, Escudero is evading the real issues, insisting his standard bearer is not yet disqualified and she and her late adoptive father share the same legal issues, hence, it could only be expected that the high court would issue a favorable decision on Poe, just like the DQ case of the late Fernando Poe Jr.
Has Escudero read the decision of the Commission on Election on Poe’s candidacy? The poll body, in case Escudero might have forgotten, had disqualified Poe and that they acknowledged the Comelec’s decision when they appealed its ruling before the poll body sitting en banc and before the Supreme Court (SC).
And the latest ad released by Poe’s camp is misleading as Poe and her late adoptive father do not share the same issue.
Another boo-boo for Poe’s camp is the way her defense lawyer is handling her case.
In his defense of his client, lawyer Alexander Poblador insists that while Poe used a balikbayan visa when she returned to the country in 2005, it was her intention to live in the country permanently.
And that was only four years after she acquired her US citizenship.
Poblador says Poe was forced to acquire US citizenship in the aftermath of the 9/11 bombing which made it harder for foreign residents such as his client to land jobs in the United States.
But as the SC justices maintained, if Poe intended to stay permanently in the country as early as 2005, why had she used a temporary visa and why did she continue to use her US passport until 2009, renouncing her US citizenship only in 2011 after she was appointed to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board?
Poblador also tried to pull a fast one on the SC justices when he declared Poe is natural-born citizenship, like that of other foundlings, was guaranteed in the 1935 Constitution when then Con-Con delegate Manuel Roxas adverted to international law on foundlings being considered natural-born citizens in the state where they were found.
Poblador obviously did not do his homework when Justice Antonio Carpio reminded him there was no international law existing at the time the 1935 Charter was drafted and eventually promulgated.
With regard to the issue of residency, Poblador could only assert his client is an honest liar.
But what could constitute the biggest blooper in Tuesday’s oral argument on the Poe case was the position of Associate Justice Marvic Leon to allow Poe to run for the presidency before settling the questions on her qualifications.
That, is tantamount to saying “let us violate the law first, see how the people would react and from there, we will render our decision.”
Has Leonen forgotten that four months ago, the same set of SC justices hearing Poe’s case now, upheld the Comelec ruling disqualifying Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado in the 2013 mayoral elections for continuing to use a foreign passport even after he renounced his US citizenship.
And just last November, the same set of SC justices again affirmed the Comelec’s ouster of the winner of the 2013 mayoral race in Basista, Pangasinan province, Manolito de Leon over the same offense, using his passport even after he had renounced his United States citizenship.
In both cases, the people voted and decided to elect Arnaldo and De Leon still, the SC decided to oust them from their elective post after having found them to have violated qualification requirements, and in the process, established a jurisprudence which could guide them in Poe’s disqualification case.
So, what exactly does Leonen have in his mind?
Are these real lawyers we are talking of? Then God help us.