MANILA – As the Supreme Court tackled on Tuesday the questions surrounding her qualifications, presidential aspirant and Senator Grace Poe expressed confidence that the law will side with her and all foundlings like her who could be stripped of their right to a nationality if her political opponents had their way.
”I have strong faith that the law will favor me on what I’ve been fighting for the right of the abandoned children. I just cannot accept that a foundling is stateless. The law must protect the right of the weak,” Poe said.
”If there is somebody who will prove that an abandoned child found in the Philippines is a foreigner, that burden proof should be on their camp. The burden of proof should not be on the adopted children,” she added.
Poe, who was abandoned and found at a church in Jaro, Iloilo as an infant, maintained that she is qualified to run for president because she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has lived in the Philippines for more than 10 years.
She reiterated her belief, based on international laws, that an abandoned child of unknown parents is a citizen of the country where the child was found, contrary to her opponents’ position that a foundling is stateless.
”This fight is not only for Grace Poe. This is a fight of the millions of adopted Filipinos,” she said.
Poe, who garnered the highest number of votes in Philippine electoral history in the 2013 senatorial election, dared her political opponents, who she believes are behind the attempts to disqualify her from the presidential race, to focus on their platforms and avoid mudslinging.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified her as presidential candidate but the Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order to stop the commission from cancelling her candidacy.
The senator’s name will remain on the ballot as a presidential candidate until the Supreme Court renders final judgment on her case.
Accompanied by her adoptive mother, actress Susan Roces, Poe attended the oral arguments at the SC on her petition to reverse the Comelec’s decision to disqualify her from running for president in the May 9 polls.
Poe did not finish the oral arguments as she rushed back at the Senate to attend the afternoon session. PNA / northboundasia.com