MANILA—Under the principle of international law, Sen. Grace Poe is considered a natural born Filipino, said Katrina Legarda, a high-profile lawyer and professor of law at the University of the Philippines.
“A long-standing presumption and principle of customary international law is that a foundling takes the nationality of the place where she was found,” Legarda was quoted as saying in a Rappler report.
Poe is the adopted daughter of movie stars Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces. She was found by the couple in Iloilo.
“The presumption is Sen. Poe and all foundlings are natural born citizens, born to mothers who are Filipino because it defies imagination that a foreign woman, pregnant, will go to Iloilo or goes to our country to give birth,” Legarda was quoted as saying in a Philippine Star report.
Legarda also stressed that whoever denies Poe’s status as a natural born Filipino must prove that the senator’s mother is a foreigner and not a Filipino.
The Commission on Election (Comelec) First Division has recently disqualified Poe due her failure to meet the 10-year residency requirement for a presidential candidate.
Poe said that she will appeal the poll body’s ruling before the Supreme Court.