Category: dura lex sed lex

give it up, grace

being a natural born citizen has nothing to do pala with where you were born, rather, it has everything to do with the citizenship of your parents.  you can be born in the philippines but if neither parent is a filipino citizen, then you’re not a natural born filipino.

check out harvard law review‘s On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” — we copied it from the americans, after all — in the spirit of clarifying terms amid continuing allegations that obama was not natural born and therefore not qualified to be president.

… the phrase “natural born Citizen” has a specific meaning: namely, someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time. And Congress has made equally clear from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day that, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.

… The original meaning of “natural born Citizen” also comports with what we know of the Framers’ purpose in including this language in the Constitution. The phrase first appeared in the draft Constitution shortly after George Washington received a letter from John Jay, the future first Chief Justice of the United States, suggesting:

[W]hether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a . . . strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american [sic] army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.12.

As recounted by Justice Joseph Story in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution, the purpose of the natural born Citizen clause was thus to “cut off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interpose a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.”

makes sense, di ba?  paano kung mga intsik pala o mga kano ang mga magulang niya, e di nalintikan tayo pag nahalal siya tapos biglang umapir ang mga iyan, behind the scenes of course, at subukang mangialam sa spratlys at kung saan-saan pa, haha, parang pelikula, but certainly within the realm of possibilities in this age of geopolitical conspiracies.

it is not enough to say she was born here, kilala naman natin siya, kilalang kilala natin ang umampon at nagpalaki sa kanya, e ano kung nangibang-bansa siya at naging US citizen, heto’t bumalik naman para nga magsilbi sa bayan, di ba, at para isulong ang mga karapatan ng mga foundling na tulad niya, with matching tears.

ang problema kasi ni grace ay foundling siya, or so she says.  maaaring totoo ito — napulot lang siya sa isang simbahan sa iloilo, in which case, sorry na lang, she’s simply not qualified, not until she is able to find her parents and they prove to be filipino citizens.   pero maaari ring hindi — posible ring ayaw lang niya na malaman natin for whatever reason kung sino ang mga magulang niya, kaya gumawa na lang ng istorya.

kung foundling siya talaga, bakit hindi siya registered as foundling, and why are her official documents a mess?  as accountant and tax practitioner jesus clavo points out in his comment to inquirer‘s Comelec has authority when it disqualified Poe, says veteran lawyer:

It will really be an uphill battle for Grace Poe. In the next three cases to be heard, the biggest challenge facing her is her status as a natural-born citizen or not. The two contradicting birth certificates will be focused upon. The first birth certificate dated Nov. 27, 1968 which contain handwritten notes in the margin says a foundling named Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar was found in the church at Jaro, Iloilo on Sept. 3, 1968. The notation says “adopted child of spouses Ronald Allan Poe and Jesus Sonora Poe per court Order Municipal Court San Juan Rizal by Judge A Gorgonio dated May 13, 1974. The second birth certificate dated May 4, 2006 EXECUTED BY JESUS SONORA POE states Mary Grace was born to Jesus Sonora Poe and Ronald Allan Poe Sept. 3, 1968. Something is really wrong because the second document wasi misleading and make Grace Poe a natural-born child of Poe and Sonora, who were married only in December 1968. Jesusa Sonora Poe is known to have not given birth to any child. That fictitious birth certificate executed in May 4, 2006 was obviuolsy prepared to support the application of Grace Poe to reacquire her Filipino citizenship filed in July 10, 2006. Based on the second birth certificate, Poe is now a natural-born citizen instead of a “foundling”. There was a deliberate act to deceive.

and please, itigil na iyang let-the-people-decide eklat.  this, from a reader cited by yen makabenta, demolishes the soundness of that vox populi, vox dei argument.

Reader Jose Oliveros, who is most likely a lawyer, has sent me several reactions to my columns that shed much light on the “let the people decide” argument.

He informs me that former Chief Justice Panganiban has the penchant for citing his ponencia in the 1996 Frivaldo case that on questions of qualification of a candidate, let the people decide. But in 2008, the Supreme Court, in an en banc decision, debunked that position in the following words:

“Petitioner also makes much of the fact that he received the highest number of votes for the position of Vice Mayor of Catarman during the 2007 local elections. The fact that a candidate, who must comply with the election requirements applicable to dual citizens and failed to do so, received the highest number of votes for an elective position does not dispense with, or amount to a waiver of, such requirement. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed that the candidate was qualified. The rules on citizenship qualifications of a candidate must be strictly applied. If a person seeks to serve the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his loyalty to this country only, abjuring and renouncing all fealty and fidelity to any other state. The application of the constitutional and statutory provisions on disqualification is not a matter of popularity….

“In his dissenting opinion in the 2004 FPJ citizenship case, then Associate Justice Tinga characterized the “let the people decide” mentality as a “malaise, whether caused by academic sloth, intellectual cowardice or judicial amnesia which has unfortunately plagued this Court. (Here, Tinga cited the 1996 case of Frivaldo v Comelec). Continuing, Tinga said: “It is an easy cop-out that overlooks the fact that the Constitution is itself an expression of the sovereign will. The Filipino people, by ratifying the Constitution, elected to be bound by it, to be ruled by a fundamental law and not by a hooting throng.”

there is a time and a place naman for hooting throngs, but, please, not when the law is clear and reasonable, and certainly not for the sake of one grace doe, i mean, poe, and her trapo and tibak cohorts.

give it up for now, grace, alang-alang sa bayan.  kung ukol, bubukol, in its own good time.


Satur Sulit

the law is harsh but it is the law, lawyers argue
if the law wrongs you there’s nothing they can do
sorry but tough, the other got the better of you
there is injustice in this, but the law is blind
not for truth but for other purposes designed

when the law knocks and papers are served you
accusing you of this or that, be it true or spurious
outlaws know it well, money is the real issue
good if you have it, rich friends or family
else you must find it, and a friendly attorney

laws are pliable, lawyers know what to do
they think as we do, of people there are but two
who wins and who loses, the doer and the done to
guilty or not guilty only dizzies the head
it can go either way, be generous or you’re dead

the law is for sale, you can buy you protection
go see what the cost is of a counteraction
the law is full of holes, designed for your discretion
the stakes are divided defense and prosecution
money is legal tender, it is so-called for a reason.