MANILA - Losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David is accusing Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares of the offense of material misrepresentation for allegedly lying in her certificate of candidacy in the 2013 election.
David filed on Monday a case of offense for material misrepresentation against Poe before the Commission on Elections.
He accused Poe of not being a Filipino since she only lost her US citizenship in the last quarter of 2012 based on the US Registry. He also claimed Poe failed to satisfy the 2-year residency requirement for senatorial candidates.
David had earlier filed a quo warranto petition against Poe before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, citing a similar complaint.
David has denied that Vice-President Jejomar Binay bankrolled his petition to unseat Poe. David is a former staff member of former Sen. Francisco "Kit" Tatad, a known ally of Binay.
Spokespersons of the vice-president were also the first to claim that Poe cannot run for president in 2016 because of questions with her residency and the possibility that she is not a natural born Filipino.
Poe earlier said she is actually relieved that a petition had been filed "so that I can answer the questions on my citizenship and residency."
"It is an opportunity for the truth to come out and for this issue to be resolved once and for all," she said in a statement.
Attorney Katrina Legarda, a law professor and consultant on children's issues, earlier rejected David's claim that Poe only lost her US citizenship in the last quarter of 2012.
Legarda said that under American law, a person can lose his or her US citizenship by voluntarily performing "an act with intent" such as accepting the post of chairwoman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
She noted that it takes time for government agencies to come out with updated information.
"When she took her oath, she already lost her US citizenship. Automatic. The publication of that could take two years," Legarda said.
The lawyer said the residency requirement should not be confused with citizenship.
She said that while Poe lost her US citizenship in 2010, the latter was already staying in the Philippines in 2004.
"She has been here at least 11 years in residence because their kids are here. And that was when she told me: 'I'm going back, attorney, to live here because my mother is alone,'" she said.