I’ve been mulling about writing a long article on the subject of Senator Grace Poe’s case in the Supreme Court for some time now, but figured out that what I have to say about his very complicated and complex legal issue amounts to less than five hundred words.
What do I really know about the laws and legalities of Poe’s case? Nothing really.
Except for the lawyers who’ve weighed in, one way or the other, I think everybody else hawking their particular point of view ought to just shut up and listen to the arguments at the Supreme Court.
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There are a lot of really good articles coming out about the case and I don’t know if there is any sense in coming up with a blog post reacting to these articles.
On one hand, I can appreciate the legal arguments being discussed. On the other hand, I find such talk about rules and laws so anal.
All this discussion of rules and laws don’t seem to come close to any discussion of what I think should be at the heart of the matter which is LOYALTY.
If you searched for the reason why our constitution requires that those seeking the presidency should be a natural born citizen and a resident of 10 years, one of the answers you will find is that it is rooted in the idea that such qualifications will thwart any attempt of another country to dominate the politics of another country. This was better discussed in an article on Ted Cruz and if you want to read it (you should) you can follow the link here.
I think the underlying idea here is that someone born in a particular place and who has lived there for a number of years will be more loyal to the people of that place than someone who was born or grew up elsewhere.
I don’t think there is any empirical evidence to support this view, especially if we are talking about the Philippines.
Everybody here from the richest to the poor will sell out the country’s interests with little or no prodding. Fear of foreign domination? YEAH RIGHT!
While it is easy enough to figure out what loyalty is, it is nearly impossible to figure out what being loyal to the Philippines is all about and this is because, as Senator Dick Gordon once said, Filipinos have no sense of country.
If people have no sense of country, how can they be loyal to it?
As pointed out in that movie Luna, Filipinos are loyal to their families more than any idea of nationhood and as far as families are concerned, there are only a handful of families in the country that control most of the wealth in it.
Ever come across the idea that a country’s laws were made and are being used to protect the interests of the status quo? Look it up.
If you don’t believe me, just figure that it has been widely spread that Roxas’ camp actually funded the filing of the cases questioning Poe’s citizenship and residency qualifications. Roxas belongs to the Araneta clan, the most visible member of which (apart from Roxas himself) is Jorge Araneta — ranked 26th richest billionaire in the Philippines by Forbes.
Another family whose interests are threatened by Poe’s candidacy is the Binays, who belong to the country’s political elite and we’ve also seen articles hawking the idea that they’ve backed the cases against Poe.
Looking at things this way, I think Poe’s case in the Supreme Court is not really about her qualifications for presidency but whether someone outside of the political and economic elite can challenge the status quo.