Grace Poe: Comelec case ‘harassment,’ ‘insult’

Camille Elemia

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Grace Poe: Comelec case ‘harassment,’ ‘insult’
This is the second case filed by lawyer Rizalito David to question the citizenship of Senator Grace Poe

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The camp of Senator Grace Poe cried foul over the second case filed against the senator to question her citizenship.

George Garcia, Poe’s legal counsel, maintained there was no misrepresentation in the documents filed by Poe when she ran for senator in 2013.

This is in response to the case filed by former senatorial candidate Rizalito David’s before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, August 17. 

This is the second complaint he had filed against Poe over the same issue. He earlier filed a quo warranto petition against the senator before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

“There was no misrepresentation because Senator Grace Poe is a natural-born Filipino. We are confident that the [Supreme Court] will decide in our favor,” Garcia said in a statement on Monday.

Garcia said complainant David is “fishing for a forum to air his baseless accusations.”

“Masyado nilang inaapi si Senator Grace Poe. Ganyang-ganyan din ginawa nila sa tatay nya. Lubha  nilang  minamaliit ang talino at pang-unawa ng Pilipino. Hndi ito advocacy katulad ng pinapalabas niya ngunit isang harassment at panlalait,” Garcia said.

(They insult Senator Grace Poe so much. That’s exactly what they did to her father. They belittle the mind and understanding of Filipinos. This is not an advocacy contrary to what he is saying, but harassment and insult.)

David, in his complaint with the Comelec Legal Department, accused Poe of material misrepresentation, claiming Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, failed to comply with the two-year residency requirement for senatorial candidates, and is ineligible “for the office she sought” in 2013.

Poe’s lawyer reiterated their camp would answer the “lies” hurled at the neophyte senator, who is the front runner in national presidential preference surveys. 

Hurt by citizenship accusations

Poe, for her part, maintained she did not lie to the public about her identity.

She admitted getting hurt by David’s accusation that she is a liar for putting in her birth certificate the names of Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces as her parents, when she is a foundling.

Isa naman po yatang panglalait yan, sa mga magulang na nag-adopt ng mga bata. Dapat ba ang itawag ko sa ating mga magulang ay pangalan  lang nila sapagkat nagsisinungaling ako kapag tinawag ko silang ‘Mama’ o ‘Papa’? Hindi ba napaka…pang-uuri na po iyan,” Poe said.

Poe reiterated she is a natural-born citizen even as she is a foundling. After all, she said, international laws state that foundlings acquire the citizenship of the place where they are found.

The senator questioned David’s intention to file cases against her.

“Alam mo, wala siyang kapaguran. Pero para sa akin, yung sinasabi niya na ginagawa niya ito para sa bayan, mahirap po kasing paniwalaan yun,” Poe said.



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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.