Kit Tatad files disqualification case vs Poe

Pia Gutierrez,

Posted at Oct 19 2015 11:21 AM | Updated as of Oct 19 2015 07:27 PM

MANILA - Former senator Francisco "Kit" Tatad on Monday filed a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe less than a week after the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2016 polls .

In the motion filed by his lawyer, Tatad said Poe cannot run for president next year because she is not a natural born Filipino and because she failed to meet the residency requirement for candidates.

Tatad denied that the move is meant to benefit a specific candidate, saying he acted on his own because he wants those who committed violations to be answerable.

This is the second case filed against Poe before the Commission on Elections since last week.

Last Friday, Atty. Estrella Elamparo filed a petition to deny due course or cancel Poe's COC for alleged "material misrepresentation in stating that she is a natural-born Filipino."

Elamparo argued that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen because she is a foundling, and that her adoption did not have the effect of transmitting or conferring upon her the status of a natural-born Filipino.

READ: A foundling named Grace

She also argued that international conventions and treaties on stateless persons are not sufficient to grant Poe the status of a natural-born citizen, and any presumption that the senator is a natural-born Filipino is not sufficient for the residency requirement under the Constitution.

Poe, currently the front runner in pre-election surveys, is facing a quo warranto case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal in relation to her winning a Senate seat in the 2013 mid-term elections.

Her accuser, presidential wannabe Rizalito David, said Poe must be disqualified because she is not a natural-born Filipino due to her foundling status.

Poe’s camp has argued that the burden to prove that she is not a natural-born Filipino rests on her accuser.

Another point being raised against Poe is her acquisition of US citizenship. The senator has since renounced her US citizenship, but Elamparo said Poe is not qualified to reacquire her Filipino citizenship, “assuming arguendo that she was a natural-born.”

The petitioner also said Poe’s use of her passport after she renounced her US citizenship on October 20, 2010 rendered her renunciation meaningless.