David takes Poe citizenship case to SC

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2015 06:49 PM

MANILA - Ang Kapatiran Party's Rizalito David has brought his case against the citizenship of Senator Grace Poe before the Supreme Court (SC).

In a 74-page petition filed on Tuesday, David accused the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), which affirmed Poe's natural-born Filipino status, of grave abuse of discretion or having committed "reversible error."

David echoed the arguments he raised before the SET, mainly on the issue of Poe being a foundling who cannot establish her parentage. Voting 5-4, the SET junked his quo warranto petition against Poe which sought to oust the lawmaker from her Senate post for alleged failure to comply with the constitutional requirement on citizenship.

"Being a foundling, and thus, cannot say if she were born of Filipino parents, private respondent Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares, cannot be considered a citizen of the Philippines, much less natural-born. This is so because under Section 1, Article IV of the 1935 Constitution -- then in force at the time of her birth on September 3, 1968 -- only those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines are considered natural-born citizens at birth," David said.

David accused those who voted in the majority of having acted "based on personal and political considerations."

The majority vote is composed of Senators Loren Legarda, Tito Sotto, Bam Aquino, Cynthia Villar, and Pia Cayetano. Those who voted in favor of David's petition were SET chairman and SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, SC Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Arturo Brion, and Senator Nancy Binay.

David urged the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the implementation of the SET ruling while his petition is pending.