MANILA – With reports stating that Senator Grace Poe assumed government office while still an American citizen, she was quick to clarify that she had already renounced her dual citizenship before taking any administrative post in the country.
When Poe became the head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 2010, she had renounced her US citizenship before a public officer as mandated by law.
After the senator’s first renunciation, she then went to the US Embassy to again renounce her dual citizenship. However, processing requirements delayed her second renunciation.
“Puwede ko sanang niloko ang ating mga kababayan at nanumpa lang ako sa public officer dito sa Pilipinas. Hindi naman nakalagay doon na kailangang pumunta ka sa embassy o sa iba… ‘Yung pagpunta sa US Embassy, added bonus na ginawa ko ‘yon,” she said.
(I could have deceived our fellowmen and renounced before a public officer here in the Philippines. It is not written there (Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003) that you are required to go to an embassy or elsewhere… I went to the US Embassy as an added bonus.)
With the US government dropping Poe’s dual citizenship only in 2012, she again explained that all the required documents delayed the finalization.
Moreover, Poe proudly stated that she is now a pure Filipino. But should her citizenship issue be brought to the court, the senator disclosed that she had nothing to worry about as she had documents to support her Filipino citizenship.
“So for those who are raising the issue, I will not run for senator if I still have dual citizenship… I am willing to show my visa. Even the US told me that I don’t need to give it up, but I told them that it is required by our (Philippine) laws,” Poe said, stressing that she never hid or denied her dual citizenship.
Now, Poe applies for US visa whenever she visits the country.