MANILA — After more than three hours, the first day of the oral arguments on the cancellation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of the certificate of candidady (COC) of Senator Grace Poe to run for president in the May 9, 2016 elections ended on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court (SC) adjourned the first day of the oral arguments at 5:20 p.m. and set the next hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 at 2 p.m.
During the oral arguments Associate Justice Marvic F. Leonen interpellated on Atty. Alexander Poblador, counsel of Poe.
Leonen asked whether the camp of Poe thought that there were political parties interfering in the case?
Poblador replied that he could not say whether there were political parties interfering in the case.
Meanwhile, Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo De Castro took up the issue on the being “foundling” of Poe.
For De Castro, the “principle of presumption” in the case of the “foundlings” cannot be immediately availed of in the sense that there is a necessary process to undertake to do it.
De Castro explained that there should be an official recognition that a child was indeed a “foundling” and that the process should passed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
She said that this was because nobody knew where, when and from whom a “foundling” was born.
De Castro cited as an example the case of Poe such that nobody really knew whether she was indeed born on Sept. 3, 1968 and whether she was indeed born in Iloilo where she was allegedly found.
De Castro also believes that a “foundling” can be a Filipino Citizen, but not a natural-born citizen.
She stressed that if the camp of Poe would insist that on international law, it does not depend on the blood relationship, but rather, on the principle of international law.
De Castro pointed out that if Poe would depend on international law, she cannot be considered as a natural born citizen because it would appear that she has a citizenship by law.
Because of this, De Castro said, there a “foundling” still has to undergo a process to make him a Filipino Citizen.
De Castro added that this matter was not within the scope of the definition of natural born, which is a “birthright” and there’s no process needed to acquire it.
On the interpellation of Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, Poblador argued that the accusers of Poe should present a “substantial evidence” to prove that she was not a natural-born citizen. Perfecto Raymundo/PNA / northboundasia.com