Poe chides Justice Carpio for SET vote

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2015 08:37 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2015 11:31 PM

BULACAN - Presidential aspirant and Senator Grace Poe on Thursday questioned a Supreme Court magistrate for rejecting international laws that govern foundlings.

Poe and his running-mate, Senator Francis Escudero, visited Bulacan State University where they held a dialogue with students.

When asked about her disqualification case, Poe threw subtle criticisms at Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who believes Poe is not a natural-born Filipino.

Poe said she wonders why there are magistrates who defend the country's claims in the West Philippine Sea using international conventions while pushing for international customary law to disqualify her.

"Yung mga taong nagtutulak na magkaroon ng territorial integrity sa West Philippine Sea, ano ba ginagamit nila?" she asked.

Asked specifically if she was referring to Carpio, who is a staunch defender of the West Philippine Sea, Poe said: "Siya nga."

READ: A foundling named Grace

Carpio is one of four Senate Electoral Tribunal members who did not join the majority of five who voted that Sen. Poe is a natural-born Filipino.

'NATURALIZED, NOT NATURAL-BORN'

Carpio, chairman of the SET, earlier said Poe is not a natural-born citizen but a naturalized Filipino.

Poe has said the 1935 Philippine Constitution and international laws and conventions grant her the status of a natural-born. She countered Carpio's argument by saying that for someone to be naturalized, a process must be undertaken, which, in her case, did not happen.

Carpio said Poe can only be considered a natural-born Filipino if she can prove that at least one of her parents is a Filipino.

The senator attempted to prove this by undergoing DNA tests with her prospective relatives. The tests yielded negative results.

For his part, Escudero said the three SC justices who are part of the SET may inhibit once the citizenship case before the SET is elevated to the Supreme Court.

Escudero said justices do not review their own decisions. "Malamang sa malamang, magi-inhibit," he said.

The two front-runners in the recent Pulse Asia survey for the 2016 elections also thanked those who continue to trust them, but added that they will have to double their efforts in bringing to the public their plans if elected into office.

Senatorial bets Samuel Pagdilao, Edu Manzano, Toots Ople, Roman Romulo, Neri Colmenares and Isko Moreno also attended the public forum with students and teachers of Bulacan State University.