MANILA—Despite the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division’s decision to disqualify Sen. Grace Poe from the 2016 election, the senator remains positive of her candidacy and maintains that she is a “true Filipino from birth”.
“I am a true Filipino from birth. I was raised as a Filipino, lived, studied, got married in the Philippines, and wish to serve fellow Filipinos as a Filipino,” she said in a statement.
Poe admitted that she was hurt and saddened by the decision of the poll body. She said that she had presented evidences of her citizenship and residence and believed that the Comelec First Division will give “fair consideration of the facts”. However, the poll body “chose to ignore the facts”, she added.
“It is sad that the Comelec First Division has chosen to ignore the facts just to deny me the chance to better serve our countrymen, and to also deny our people their choices in an open election,” Poe said.
Poe also said that her case is not only an issue of candidacy but will also affect the opportunities of foundlings like her.
“How these cases will be resolved will ultimately pervade the lives, status and limited opportunities accorded to all other foundlings, putting them at disadvantage for reasons and circumstances that are not their doing,” the senator said.
The senator believes that Comelec’s decision will also have an impact to overseas Filipinos who wish to return to the country and seek government posts.
“Thus, that institutions are being used to exclude fellow Filipinos, is a cause for serious concern. Our laws should protect and defend their welfare, not shut them out,” she added.
One of the controversies thrown at Poe is her citizenship status. Poe lived in the United States of America for years. She became a naturalized U.S citizen in 2001 and denounced her Filipino citizenship. In 2006, after her family has moved back to the Philippines, Poe applied for dual citizenship and became dual citizens of the U.S. and the Philippines. In 2011, Poe signed a certificate renouncing her U.S. citizenship so she could sit as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). It was only in 2012 when the U.S State Department approved her Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States.
Poe will appeal the verdict of Comelec First Division before the Supreme Court which she believes will “uphold the truth”.
“In the meantime, I assure you that I am still a candidate for president,” she said.