MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Grace Poe announced on Friday, May 6, that her husband will get his certificate of loss of nationality today, 3 days before the May 9 polls.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Poe clarified issues surrounding her husband Teodoro Misael Daniel "Neil" Vera Llamanzares' renouncement of his American citizenship.
"My husband has renounced before a public officer here in the Philippines, and has done so also in the US embassy, and he's actually getting his certificate already today," Poe said during the interview.
Poe first revealed her husband's renouncement during the 3rd presidential debate on April 24. On April 7 or weeks before the presidential debate, Llamanzares filed his renunciation before Carlos Alan Tañada Yam, chairman of Barangay Greenhills in San Juan.
Under Philippine law, a person only needs to take an oath of renunciation of foreign nationality before a notary public to effectively reject it.
But under US law, one has to fill out a questionnaire at the US embassy to confirm the renunciation. After this, the consular officer would issue a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.
"It's a long process," Poe said on Friday. "There's a fee for that, you should be able to file your taxes for the last 5 years, you have to put all those documents together and to submit that, so by the time you go [to the US embassy], you have to have it ready."
She reiterated her husband is a natural-born Filipino, since both of his parents are Filipino. She also belied talks his family has not voted in past Philippine elections.
"Sinasabi nila anak, asawa, 'di bumoboto? Since 2007, 2010, 2013, at hanggang ngayon may record ng pagkaboto (They say my child, my husband don't vote? Since 2007, 2010, 2013, and until now there is a record of their voting)."
She also dismissed as "ridiculous" the rumors going around that Llamanzares works for the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
"Yung asawa ko, kasama ko 'yan palagi, katabi ko yan, sigurado akong hindi 'yan CIA. Hindi 'to True Lies, na bigla na lang siya mawawala, at biglang nagta-tango somewhere else, hindi," she said, referring to the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
(I'm always with my husband, I'm sure he's not from the CIA. This is not True Lies, where he suddenly disappears and dances tango somewhere else, no.)
"Kilala ko asawa ko at nakita naman natin sa kanyang pagkatao, hindi nga nakikialam. Ang dami niyang hindi kilala sa mundo ng politika. Siguro kung siya ay naging CIA, matagal na siyang pinaalis dahil useless siya at wala siyang maibibigay na kontribusyon."
(I know my husband and we've seen his personality, he doesn't get involved. He doesn't know a lot of people in politics. If he's really from CIA, they would have kicked him out already because he's useless and he would not have made any contribution.)
Poe herself faced issues concerning her citizenship, after she renounced her Philippine citizenship in 2001 "out of love". She became a dual citizen in 2006, only to renounce her US citizenship in 2010 – the year she was appointed as chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.