MANILA – With the May 2016 national elections forthcoming and Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares eyed as a possible presidential candidate, questions on her citizenship came up.
Senator Poe, for her part, asserted yesterday that she had already settled all legal issues on her citizenship. She also claimed that she was a natural-born Philippine citizen.
When Senator Poe formerly took the position of chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, she renounced her U.S. citizenship in compliance to the Philippine law.
“That was a condition, if you will serve in the government, for whatever position, you have to give up whatever other citizenship you may have,” Poe said, adding that she consulted Senate President Franklin Drilon for assurance.
Senator Poe used to have dual citizenship as she lived in the United States for some years, when her father, former presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr., was still alive. The same issue was earlier raised against his father.
Senator Poe clarified that she reverted back to her Filipino citizenship for the MTRCB post. She also had no more citizenship issues when she ran for senator.
Now, Senator Poe had to apply for visa whenever she planned to visit the United States.
Poe still a presidential bet
In an earlier SWS poll, Senator Poe emerged as the second top bet for president in the 2016 elections with 31 percent, closely following Binay with 36 percent.
President Benigno Aquino III had also met with Senator Poe earlier this month and he was vocal on saying that he wanted a presidential candidate who would continue the reforms he started during his administration. President Aquino later on said that Poe was one of those possible candidates who could ‘continue his reforms.’
Senator Poe, for her part, had not yet declared running for a higher position in the 2016 national elections. She had also downplayed rumors on the possibility of a Roxas-Poe, Lacson-Poe or Escudero-Poe tandem in the coming elections.
But when asked for Senator Poe’s preferred running mate should she seek higher office, she admitted that she was more comfortable campaigning alongside Escudero.
“I am comfortable with Sen. Escudero but this is not the only basis. First of all, we both do not belong to a party,” Poe said, adding that she had not received any formal offer from the two ruling political parties.
In 2004, Escudero was the spokesman of her father when he ran for presidency. In 2013, Escudero campaigned for her when she ran for senator.