MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Presidential bet Grace Poe on Wednesday, April 20, presented her college identification card to disprove allegations she used a fake social security number in the United States.
This comes a day after Poe herself said that her school, Boston College, asked her to personally get the records, as they were already in the archives. (READ: Poe on proof of SSN: I need to personally get it in the US)
On Tuesday, April 19, Poe also failed to give a specific period when she could present the document. She maintained she hid nothing, saying she is ready to face allegations against her.
Asked about the sudden change, her spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, said they just found the document Wednesday noon.
"After digging through tons of old documents stored since 2006, this ID was finally found. As in just now," Gatchalian told Rappler in a text message.
Poe said the original ID was found in a file cabinet of her father, the late action star, Fernando Poe Jr.
"At saka hindi ko rin kasi inisip na kailangan talagang paglaanan pa ng ganoong oras sapagkat hindi naman ako nagsisinungaling. Iyon nga ‘yung totoo. Kaya sa ating mga kababayan, para lang sa kapanatagan ng loob ng iba, e bakit ko naman lilinlangin para lamang doon," Poe said in a chance interview with reporters in Cagayan De Oro.
(And I really did not think that I should spend time on that because I was not lying. That's the truth. To all our fellowmen, for the peace of mind of others, why would I conceal it?)
Poe studied in Boston College from 1988 to 1991. She returned to the Philippines from the US in 2005. Her family's things were shipped to the country in 2006. (READ: TIMELINE: Grace Poe's citizenship, residency)
Photo by Rex Gatchalian
The senator’s maiden name, Mary Grace Poe, was indicated in the ID. Below it was her supposed student number, 005031988, the same number being alleged as a fake SSN.
Critics have accused Poe of using two social security numbers (SSNs) in the US – SSN 538-25-2008 and SSN 005-03-1988. The latter, they alleged, belonged to a deceased person.
Poe earlier denied having two SSNs and said the one in question, SSN 005-03-1988, was her student number, which corresponds to her college enrolment date in 1988.
An online news report said student numbers in Boston College – both in recent years and during the early 1990s when Poe graduated – had only 8 digits.
But Poe denied this, saying the school made use of 9 digits prior to 1992, as exhibited in the ID she sent to the media. Poe graduated from Boston College in 1991 with a degree in political science.
Do you know anybody who studied at Boston College? Tell us in the comments below what you know about how the school numbers and issues IDs to students. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com