Sereno Court judgment adds reason why Grace probably won’t be a good President

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Poe-Sereno
The recent ruling of the Sereno Court, validating Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares’ (GPL) claim that she is a natural born Filipino, has underscored the need for the voters to pick someone who has a competent understanding and appreciation of the supremacy of the Constitution and not the Supreme Court itself. The Supreme Court, afterall, was borne out of the Constitution and it is merely the Supreme Court’s role to preserve constitutional norms and structures and guarantees from interference by the other branches of the government, even when those branches that command popular support (and perhaps special interest support). GPL, if (or when) she wins the Presidency, with her lack of or limited background in law and her penchant for populist rhetoric will likely appoint justices inclined to engage in judicial activism. (She is a beneficiary of judicial activism, afterall.) Picking competent and objective justices is important because we potentially run the risk of more cases of judicial overreach with judicial activists as demonstrated by the nine gods of Padre Faura whose recent ruling defied logic, competence, objectivity, and diminished the supremacy of our Constitution over external laws.

Flawed ruling

The Sereno Court seems to have redefined what a “natural born Filipino” is. It stated that GPL’s blood relationship to a Filipino is demonstrable. But as we go through the Sereno Court’s ruling, you will see that the ruling is shakier than a jackhammer operator playing Jenga on lunchbreak while standing on a greasy spring.

The Sereno Court ruled that the burden of proof for GPL’s natural born Filipino status is with the respondents (complainants) and not on the petitioner (GPL). The 47 page summary ruling seems to have ignored a relevant jurisprudence on the Paa v Chan case where it states:

“It is incumbent upon the respondent, who claims Philippine citizenship, to prove to the satisfaction of the court that he is really a Filipino. No presumption can be indulged in favor of the claimant of Philippine citizenship, and any doubt regarding citizenship must be resolved in favor of the State.”

The Court also said that the burden of proof does not shift, especially in this case where there is a high probability that her parents are Filipinos. They based this high probability claim on the statistics presented by the Solicitor General, arguing that a child born where GPL was found has more than a 99% chance of being Filipino. So in essence, the Court has embraced the principle that probability determines truth. That being a “natural born Filipino” is not determined by blood lines anymore (jus sanguinis) but by probability.

It is interesting to note that according to Adler’s philosophical argument:

The words “certainty” and “probability” do not apply to propositions that are either true or false. These propositions entertained by us with suspended judgment should never be qualified as either certain or probable.

In the Anglo-American common law there are degrees of certainty and doubt. Certainty attaches to judgments beyond the shadow of doubt; not certain are judgments made with a reasonable doubt; and less certain still are judgments made by a preponderance of the evidence.

The last two are judgments to which some degree of probability must be attached, the former more probable, the latter less probable.

In GPL’s case, we are dealing with the question whether GPL is a “natural born Filipino” or not. The Constitution is clear about the definition of what a “natural born citizen” is. Our law states:

Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.

Paragraph 3, section 1 states:

Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority

Nowhere in the Constitution can we see a suggestion that the definition of “natural born Filipino” is based on probability or amount of degree of certainty. The language regarding the definition of “natural born Filipino” in the Constitution is about NECESSITY and not possibility nor probability. So really, it is quite tempting to mock the Sereno Court’s statistics-based reason with Homer Simpson’s words of wisdom:

“Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.”

Next, the Sereno Court supported their contention in lieu of GPL’s physical features which they said are typical of how a Filipino looks. Really? This is almost laughable. It is absurd that at this age, these brilliant majority justices are ignorant of the fact that other people from other countries (such as Indonesians, Malaysians, etc.) can pass for Filipinos.

The Court also ruled that GPL’s “natural born Filipino” status is supported by international laws. A few of the laws used to justify their decision and the objections raised against such laws were discussed in a Philstar column by Federico Pascual Jr.:

1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

The main argument of the Court here was pretty much all about anti-discrimination. However, such a right guaranteed by the UDHR does not obligate states to automatically confer nationality to a foundling at birth. It also does not state mandate conferment of “natural born citizenship” at birth as defined by the Constitution.

2. Convention of the Rights of the Child

Although the Philippines is a signatory of this convention, merely guarantees a child the right to acquire a nationality and requires the contracting states to ensure the implementation of this right to prevent the child from being stateless. But the convention does not guarantee a child a nationality at birth (the right to acquire is not the same as automatic conferment). Even if one argues that this is merely semantics, it still does not mean an automatic conferment of “natural born citizenship” as defined by the Constitution.

3. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Again, although the covenant states that every child has the right to acquire a nationality, it does not guarantee automatic conferment of “natural born citizenship” status as defined by our Constitution.

4. The Hague Convention

This convention says that:

A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child’s parentage is established, his nationality shall be determined by the rules applicable in cases where the parentage is known.”

So this tells that, a foundling is presumed to have been born in the territory of the state where it was found. The convention also states:

“The law of that state shall determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality.”

The contracting parties have to enact legislation prescribing the conditions for the acquisition of citizenship by a foundling. Now the Philippines is not a signatory to this convention and therefore not bound by it. But even granting (without necessarily accepting) that we have to embrace this convention, it is incumbent upon our legislative branch to craft a law on how citizenship is conferred, not the judiciary.

5. Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

The convention states that:

“A contracting state shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless.”

But again, the Philippines is not a signatory country to this convention so technically speaking we are not bound by it.

Implication

As I mentioned, the Sereno Court’s main point on the validation of GPL’s claim that she is a “natural born Filipino” seems to hinge on anti-discrimination. I don’t know about you but to me this heavily smacks of Appeal to Pity. With its landmark ruling, the Court has effectively amended the Constitution with regards to the definition of “natural born citizenship” and usurped the power of the legislature to perform the amendment function. With its reliance on international laws, especially the ones that we are not even a signatory of, it effectively abandoned the supremacy of our Constitution. Abandoning the supremacy of our laws over foreign or international laws diminishes the meaning of being a sovereign nation.

Isn’t it too far-fetched for someone who once abandoned Filipino citizenship to pledge allegiance to a foreign land, only to come back to it because of political convenience and opportunity, to embrace and appoint justices to the Supreme Court who are prone to judicial activism and judicial overreach, just like the 9 gods of Padre Faura who benefited her?

(Image taken from Inquirer.net)

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34 Comments on “Sereno Court judgment adds reason why Grace probably won’t be a good President”

  1. They based this high probability claim on the statistics presented by the Solicitor General, arguing that a child born where GPL was found has more than a 99% chance of being Filipino. So in essence, the Court has embraced the principle that probability determines truth.

    Balance-of-probabilities is a normal and logical principle of the law in most countries (I can’t think of any exceptions). The reasoning and method (looking at the statistical likelihood that GP is natural-born) is perfectly sound. This is exactly what happens in any critical case; for example, a murderer may well be convicted on a 99% likelihood.

    As for judicial activism, that’s exactly what a country like the Philippines needs. The law as it stands is a failure. In fact there is no functioning legal system which is accessible to the majority. I doubt Grace Poe can or will fix this problem, but it is at the root of the country’s woes.

    1. You’ve just validated Hector Gamboa’s reference to the nine ‘Justices’ as gods. Unfortunately, we don’t need actors in black robes carrying on as gods. We need ‘Justices’ of the ”Supreme Court Of The Land”.. who would interpret and apply the law as written in the constitution and not make their kind of ‘voodoo’ value judgement that could very well become a precedent in many unrelated cases before them. Grace Poe Llamanzares and her brand of citizenship has ceased to be the issue in this case. It is now about these clowns in black robes who seem prone to playing ‘legislators’ as well. If there be any recourse for the government to take to restore the primacy of the constitution, it should be taken now.

    2. No, it is not sound. Even considering balance-of-probabilities There is no law or rule which gives GP the legal presumption in her favor that she is a natural-born Filipino by default. The candidate always had (or used to anyway) the burden of proof to show he/she is qualified. What the court did was to assume GP was qualified on mere statistical likelihood (which has no legal basis) when it was a simple yes or no question. This isn’t like your typical civil or criminal case where there are degrees of evidence. It was either she was a natural-born Filipino or not. There are no maybes.

      Judicial activism is the last thing this country needs. If the law is a failure, blame the lazy louts in Congress. The court should stick to its role in interpreting laws, not making them up. A rogue court will do more harm to this country than any legislature.

      How naive are you to assume that an activist court will be good for the people? Do you really think that this decision allowing GP to run was done out of kindness and a soft spot for foundlings and not due to some malign political calculation? What if there were certain interests that would benefit greatly if GP were to continue running and nudged the court to come up with a ruling that suits their purpose? Of course, an ACTIVIST court would be, by definition, political. What if the day comes that its political leanings will be something you strongly disagree with, what will you do? Impeach them? What if Congress agrees with their politics? What if they all become tainted by this wretched patronage politics that pervades every nook of this corrupt system? Do you see now the dangers of judicial activism? Be careful what you wish for.

      1. >> What the court did was to assume GP was qualified on mere statistical likelihood (which has no legal basis) when it was a simple yes or no question.

        It has centuries of precedent; possibly millennia. The Law always works on balance of probabilities, given the evidence available at the time. Always. Of course a case can be dismissed on the basis of insufficient evidence, but in this case the judges had little choice except to render a yes-or-no judgement.

        The courts assumed nothing: they weighed the evidence, as they should, and observed that the evidence in favour (ie., that the vast majority of adopted children are natural-born Filipinos) outweighs the evidence against (ie., nothing whatsoever).

        >> Do you really think that this decision allowing GP to run was done out of kindness and a soft spot for foundlings and not due to some malign political calculation?

        Nobody has any way of knowing this. It was a logical judgement, and that’s all that can be said. Consider: if they had said, “no, GP is not a natural-born Filipino”, what argument could they muster in their support? I cannot think of any rational argument that wouldn’t involve a wild flight of fancy. People demanded a judgement and they did the best they could under the circumstances.

        >> Of course, an ACTIVIST court would be, by definition, political.

        Yes. I was merely suggesting that because the State is weak, the legal profession might actually do some good where nobody else wants to. However, I agree that it could swing either way 🙂

        1. >>It has centuries of precedent; possibly millennia. The Law always works on balance of probabilities, given the evidence available at the time. Always. Of course a case can be dismissed on the basis of insufficient evidence, but in this case the judges had little choice except to render a yes-or-no judgement.

          Why do you keep applying balance-of-probabilities in a case where it does not apply? This isn’t an ordinary civil case where there are standards of evidence. There is only one standard to consider provided by the constitution and it’s that you must be a natural-born Filipino. You are or you aren’t. There are no maybes.

          >>The courts assumed nothing: they weighed the evidence, as they should, and observed that the evidence in favour (ie., that the vast majority of adopted children are natural-born Filipinos) outweighs the evidence against (ie., nothing whatsoever).

          What evidence? That statistically GP could be natural-born? Sorry, evidence that something might be is not evidence that something definitely is.

          >>Nobody has any way of knowing this. It was a logical judgement, and that’s all that can be said. Consider: if they had said, “no, GP is not a natural-born Filipino”, what argument could they muster in their support? I cannot think of any rational argument that wouldn’t involve a wild flight of fancy. People demanded a judgement and they did the best they could under the circumstances.

          If the Supreme Court ruled against Poe, they could have simply stated that she had insufficient evidence to prove she is natural-born. It’s not the court’s job to argue for her. You seem to think that this is an ordinary case where two sides present their cases and may the best one win. No, it’s not. It’s a case where there’s a standard and the candidate’s job is to overcome that standard, otherwise, the presumption against her stands. What the court has done is turn the tables. You are now presumed to be qualified until someone else proves you’re not. That’s why this decision is so abhorrent and controversial. It’s a reversal of the way things are done.

          >>Yes. I was merely suggesting that because the State is weak, the legal profession might actually do some good where nobody else wants to. However, I agree that it could swing either way.

          To each his own, I guess. I wouldn’t like to see the courts exceed their boundaries; tyranny in fancier robes. The medicine may be deadlier than the disease.

        2. >> It’s a case where there’s a standard and the candidate’s job is to overcome that standard, otherwise, the presumption against her stands.

          The balance-of-probabilities approach was correct precisely because there is not a standard; or rather, the standard is poorly worded and incomplete: it’s not that cases like Grace Poe’s are explicitly excluded, it’s that they weren’t even considered in the first place. Therefore, the justices must interpret the intent of the constitution.

          I suspect this seems obvious to me but not to you because my country is based on the tradition of Roman law, which in turn was derived from Greco-Roman principles of logic. We’ve been steeped in this way of thinking for so long that it’s second nature.

          Asia, by contrast, never developed formal logic. The Chinese developed the most bizarre equivalent around contradictions (I’m sure they must have been stoned at the time). I’m often struck by what I perceive (from my cultural viewpoint) as a failure of natural logic in the Philippines.

          Now, you might say, as you just did: well, this is the way we do things in the Philippines. This is our culture. Well, that’s nice, except that your way doesn’t work (at all) and ours works somewhat better (it’s far from perfect). While the Philippines wallows in misery, poverty and injustice, the Roman Law derivatives work reasonably well.

          Let’s state this clearly: the country has no functioning legal system. It’s a charade, a poor carbon copy of what real countries do. It is inevitable that the legal profession will fiddle with it until (hopefully) it evolves into something better. There’s no point clinging onto something half-formed and broken.

        3. There was a standard. Article VII Section 2. No person may be elected President unless he is a NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.

          So let’s engage in logic. To be President, you must definitely be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Does the article say you only need to be probably natural-born? No it doesn’t. To be natural born, in GP’s case, she would have to be born of Filipino parents. By her own admission, her parents are unknown. Therefore, logically, we cannot say for sure that she is a natural-born Filipino. The court can use statistics all it wants but you cannot arrive at an absolute certainty by probability.

          Let’s say you were an old man and created a will to pass your property to your children. An absolute stranger comes along claiming to be your son and wants a part of the inheritance. What would happen?

          If you said that the stranger would have to prove that he is your son in court, after all, he who alleges has the burden of proof, you’d be correct. We cannot presume he is your son by his word alone because there is no law or rule which gives him a legal presumption in his favor.

          If we were to apply your way of thinking, the judge would, citing “balance of probabilities”, demand that you also prove that the stranger is not your son or else, he is your son because there exists a statistical probability that he could be and that he also has the same hair color as you. That’s the ridiculousness of the court’s logic in this case.

          Roman Law is nice and all, but there are also the concept of burden of proof or onus probandi if you like. GP says she is qualified. Did she prove it? No, but I guess we should be satisfied that she probably is despite the constitution not allowing for such chances.

        4. >> To be President, you must definitely be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

          Yes. But the constitution’s definition of “natural born” is logically incomplete. So, as I said, the judiciary have to fill in the gaps. That’s their job. Or at least it is their job in all other countries with a written constitution.

          The example you give isn’t even remotely comparable, hence my assertion that Filipinos just aren’t good at logic (or math, it seems).

          The chance of any random stranger being the son of any random old man is fairly easy to estimate, statistically speaking. In the absence of any other information, it’s several million-to-one against. If you can add circumstantial information (eg., similar physical features, same geographical area) you might get it down to several thousand to one against. If you can add some specifics (say the old man had an affair with possible-son’s mother, X years ago) you might get it down to 1:10 against. It’s still not 99:1 in favour, as in this case.

          I bet no president has ever had to submit to a paternity test, have they? Can we be 100% sure that NoyNoy Aquino (for example) is natural-born? Well, he probably is. 99.9%. We assume that the attending obstetrician recorded the birth accurately, that there was no mix-up in the hospital, and that Cory Aquino never had an affair with Bruce Lee. Why? Because these things are highly improbable, not because we have cast-iron proof that they didn’t happen.

        5. It is not the court’s job to fill in the blanks. Its job is to interpret the law, not to add things into it. If the law is “logically incomplete” as you say, then it must still be taken as is and applied even if it excludes Poe.

          >>The chance of any random stranger being the son of any random old man is fairly easy to estimate, statistically speaking. In the absence of any other information, it’s several million-to-one against. If you can add circumstantial information (eg., similar physical features, same geographical area) you might get it down to several thousand to one against. If you can add some specifics (say the old man had an affair with possible-son’s mother, X years ago) you might get it down to 1:10 against. It’s still not 99:1 in favour, as in this case.

          So applying this, humor me. Would the stranger be entitled to inheritance?

          Pnoy is definitely the son of Cory and Ninoy who were in fact, Filipinos as he proved before the COMELEC when he applied for his candidacy. There are some things in this world that are certain and we call them facts and facts can be proven by evidence that the court recognizes like birth certificates. All I ask of Poe is to simply prove the fact of her natural-born citizenship. That’s all. FACTS are what the constitution demands, not chances.

        6. Marius,

          Nice attempt at logic there.

          Must be != Might be.

          It can’t get simpler than that.

          The fact that you needed to move the goal post to “balance of probabilities” proves that you know very well the logical implication of the “Might be” argument.

          Tank is correct. GP MUST BE a natural born Filipino citizen, not a very much likely natural born Filipino citizen.

          Let’s state this clearly: the country has no functioning legal system.

          Irrelevant. The country has a functioning Constitution. All the judges needed to do is to read and interpret what it says word for word.

        7. >> So applying this, humor me. Would the stranger be entitled to inheritance?

          Um .. really? I have to spell it out? Of course he wouldn’t, because the best probability that we can come up with, given the facts available to us, is 0.1, which is too low to take seriously. The chance that GP is Filipino is 0.99, which is too high not to take seriously.

          >> Pnoy is definitely the son of Cory and Ninoy

          Ah, you were present at conception and birth, were you? That must have been interesting.

          Look, this is the Philippines we’re talking about. I know where you can buy birth certificates, marriage certificates, absolutely anything you like. I’m not saying that happened in this case, but I think you’ll agree that the Filipino elites can buy absolutely anything they like. The probability of NoyNoy being natural-born Filipino is close to, but not equal to, 1.

          I know probability theory and statistics are not taught at all in school here, but you can always google these things for yourself.

          . There are some things in this world that are certain and we call them facts and facts can be proven by evidence that the court recognizes like birth certificates.

        8. .99% is not 100%. Again, the constitution demands 100%; you are either natural-born or not.

          >>Look, this is the Philippines we’re talking about. I know where you can buy birth certificates, marriage certificates, absolutely anything you like. I’m not saying that happened in this case, but I think you’ll agree that the Filipino elites can buy absolutely anything they like. The probability of NoyNoy being natural-born Filipino is close to, but not equal to, 1

          That’s an overly cynical way of looking at the Philippines, isn’t it? So you’re saying Pnoy is a natural-born Filipino not because of a birth certificate (which could be forged thus worthless) but by virtue of there being a good enough chance that he is, “close to but not equal to 1”.

          So if the stranger in my example had a better chance of being your son, let’s say the odds were 95%, the court can then definitively establish he is your son and he’d get a share since the odds are that good. Do you see the problem of relying on chances to reach a definite conclusion of FACT? “Balance-of-probabilities” isn’t everything. There are things such as burden of proof and legal presumptions to consider.

          Your point of view seems to be that ACTUAL FACTS can be established based merely on how good the chances of it are. Since the Philippines is so bad, isn’t it possible that the information the SC relied to reach the “99%” chance GP is a natural-born citizen could be wrong or even a lie? I guess the odds must be good enough to take the chance.

          That’s not how the legal system works. The possibility that something is does not mean that that it is.

          By the way, no need to be so condescending.

        9. I know probability theory and statistics are not taught at all in school here, but you can always google these things for yourself.

          This is really telling. Marius claims to know about probability theory and statistics but obviously does not know when to apply it. Proof? Marius misapplies statistical significance on determining with certainty the state of being a natural born citizen or not of an individual whose parents are unknown.

  2. That where the least injury done to the meanest individual, is considered as an insult on the whole constitution.

  3. LOL, what do you want. The Pinoys go to the United Nations when they want help. They also want to turn their backs on the basic laws of the United Nations. Make up your minds. Are you going to follow the intent of the International laws or not? In all modern court systems including America and here in the Philippines it is the responsibility of the state or the accusers to prove guilt, beyond a reason of doubt. The doubt here is very simple in this case. Either Philippines accepts foundlings as their own and bestow the all the rights of citizenship in accordance with international law and common sense or they do not. The Philippines is a member of the United Nations. If they want to choose and pick what they uphold then break away from the United Nations and the money it gives to the Philippines. Anyone want to guess when that will happen?

  4. The consequences into the recent decision of the SC on GPL’s candidacy has a ripple effect well beyond my existence. It is like a teenage child rebelling against its own parents over indulgence unknown to the many of us. It is like re-writing the language in the constitution as though in a new convention less the guise of legislation. Ninety-nine per cent Filipino? Would I really want my president to be 99%… of anything? It’s like a bridge. Except that one per cent half way was never built. Too difficult to connect over the rush of the raging waters underneath.

  5. “Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.” Well, a foundling does not have to perform any act to acquire or perfect his/her citizenship. Based on this could have been judged in favor of GPL.

    And physical appearance should never been used for such a deseision. Assume the following: An European moves to the Philippine and after a while he/she gets naturalized. New new Filipino marries another European. If they have a bany now then this baby would been a natural-born Filipino though he/she would look perfectly European.

    I recommend to drop the naturally born requirement because I don’t see any advantage.

    Make it simple and put in the constitution, that a candidate is Philippine citizen, has been resident for at least 10 years after reaching adulthood and is at least 40 years old. All other issues may the voters decide.

  6. The Legislative Branch of the government, consists mostly of Aquino YellowTards. See, how CJ Corona was impeached by Pork Barrel Bribery?

    The Judicial Branch , may had shown a little bit of independence. “Natural Born”, means, they are born in the country. However, “natural born children” must prove the citizenship of their parents. Before, the child can be declared a “natural born” citizen, as stated by the author of this web article.

    A foundling found in the Philippines, cannot become, a citizen. Because the parents, are unknown. So, the child become, a: “naturalized born citizen”…what a stupid law, we have; this is the reason, we are the basket case country of Asia…

    It is thru Genetic DNA testing that, we can prove, that a child has Filipino parentage. DNA Genetic Science is an accurate Scientific method to determine the parentage of Grace Poe…it can be resolved, once and for all..DNA is not statistics, or based on probability. It is Genetic Science, like all Sciences, of : Mathematics, Calculus, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, etc…

    1. And,because of this Supreme Court verdict…Grace Poe will not become a good President. It is only now, that a Supreme Court verdict, will determine, if someone, would become a good President or not.

      Why not just determine the Philippine Presidency by the Supreme Court verdict? We don’t need to have an election.

    2. No, there is no such thing as Filipino DNA. You can only prove by DNA that a person is Filipino is you have a DNA sample od a Filipino relative. If you don’t have any relative you can neither prove that the person is Filipino nor that he/she is not.

      1. Believe me, there is such one…Grace Poes’s parents may have come from the Tagalog Provinces. We can sample DNA comparison, from people in the Tagalog Provinces.

        1. No, does not work. She was found in Iloilo City which is in the Visayas and not in a Tagelog Province. And the mother could have been from a different part of the Philippines. So you would need thousands of DNA samples to compare.

  7. If the nine magistrates voted against Grace Poe, she may earn most votes for president as her name is already included in the list of presidential candidates in the ballot. Filipinos are known for sympathetic vote. But now that the nine magistrates ruled the Supreme Court decision in her favor Grace Poe may now earn hatred vote as even the level d and e voters hate swell headed and opportunist. The Supreme Court decision is a legal victory but the voice of the people will be the moral supremacy.

  8. On the question of her citizenship, well, fine. Dura Lex Sed Lex. Perhaps the Court found something that is just hard for us to look at. Fine, GPL is once and for all a Filipino as finally put by the Philippine Supreme Court (or at least 9 of its present members).

    But what about the question of her loyalty? Unfortunately, I don’t remember that being the issue in the petition.

    Tsk tsk these are times when I wish JBL Reyes is still with the Supreme Court.

    1. Is loyalty mentioned in the constitution. Is an assumed lack of loyalty a reason for disqualification according to the constitution? Sorry but I don’t find that clause.

    2. @Stefan:

      Contact any DNA Ancestry firm, or DNA Ancestry Pro Geneology firm; in the U.S.; or any advanced country in Genetic Engineering and Science. They will be able to do it.

      We in the Philippines, are two (2) centuries behind in Science and Technology, compared to any advanced countries. Because our people are: “star struck ignoramuses”…

  9. For lack of competent people among mainstream true-blue Pinoys, zombies need to pull out of their magic hat of “abnormal” people -> this time one of dubious origins.

    Well, if it can happen in the US (with Obama), how much more in a third-world country:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_citizenship_conspiracy_theories

    I predict this issue on Poe’s origin will just fizzle out as everyone gets accustomed to seeing her face on the daily news. So predictable – Pinoy nga naman: open up their coconuts and you’ll find a beating heart instead of a functional brain.

    Good luck with Poe guys – at least (pampalubag loob) – having lived in the US, she’s got some first-world mentality (hopefully Zaxxun-class). It’s like being ruled by Americans again (which should at least be better than the Hell that Manual Quezon promised us).

    When the best brains in PH are just relegated to blogging spectators of all the action in the arena of bozos – it’s really pathetic (ahaay intawon).

    1. Come to think of it, isn’t there this controversy that Republican candidate Ted Cruz is a Canadian?

      We might as well get with the times.

      1. Se. Ted Cruz (R) is a presidential aspirant of the Republican Party nomination. He has an American mother, and a Cuban father. Sen. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada.

        There is a part in the old U.S. Constitution, that states: “children of U.S. Citizen ( mother or father), born in foreign countries, are also U.S. citizens”. So, legally, Sen. Ted Cruz, is a U.S. citizen, because his mother is a U.S. citizen…

    2. AFAIK only Philippines and USA have this natural-born-clause in their constitution and in both countries it’s just a source of conmflict. The rest of the world lives well without. So just amend the constitution and drop it.

    3. In other countries, you don’t need to be natural born. Take Adolf Hitler for example, staunch proponent of German supremacy – He wasn’t even German to begin with…

      Born an Austrian citizen and raised near Linz, Hitler moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. …. Hitler had formally renounced his Austrian citizenship on 7 April 1925, but at the time did not acquire German citizenship. For almost seven years he was stateless, unable to run for public office, and facing the risk of deportation. – wiki

      Another originally Austrian was Arnold Schwarzenegger who became governor of California. Can we question his loyalty to the US – considering he owes so much to Hollywood?

      —-

      As much as the ruling on Poe is technically a violation of the constitution depending on who is arguing, we also need to look into the spirit of the law. The clause is there to ensure loyalty – for one is naturally loyal and attached to the land of his/her birth/race (country one is FIRST citizen of).

      We can argue all day about 99% probabilities, DNA and what not, but NO ONE will go all the way to fight this off mega-ballistic People Power style – it just isn’t worth it – I’m sure even Hector has better things to do with his life.

      So I guess, we’ll just have to sing Disney’s song again … “let it go, let it go…” – a little patience in the land of the zombies can save us some additional white hairs.

      Anyway, this all makes for good cerebral exercise (like solving those “so practically useful” differential equations) – keep it up guys

  10. Pilipinos should take advantage of Al Gore’s presence in the Philippines. they should cry now…’MAKE THE PHILIPPINES A STATE OF AMERICA’

    1. LOL, the people from the USA will not now or ever take the Philippines back as one of its own. Here are the top reasons why. 1. Puerto Rico, Guam and many other territories have stayed faithful to the USA. 2. The Philippines cost the USA a great financial burden and a major insult when the people let the USA bases close. 3. Today , there is still not support from the nation for the USA to even have a military presence in the Philippines. The USA will never have a territory that lets protestors and the people dictate terms over it military. This is why many of its current territories have not been made states of the USA right now.

  11. This is where it gets completely awry:

    The Solicitor General makes the further point that the framers “worked to create a just and humane society,” that “they were reasonable patriots and that it would be unfair to impute upon them a discriminatory intent against foundlings.” He exhorts that, given the grave implications of the argument that foundlings are not natural-born Filipinos, the Court must search the records of the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions “for an express intention to deny foundlings the status of Filipinos. The burden is on those who wish to use the constitution to discriminate against foundlings to show that the constitution really intended to take this path to the dark side and inflict this across the board marginalization.

    We find no such intent or language permitting discrimination against foundlings. On the contrary, all three Constitutions guarantee the basic right to equal protection of the laws. All exhort the State to render social justice.

    Equal protection of the laws is not social justice.

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