26 Feb Will Poe Suffer the Same Fate? Mayor Disqualified for Using US Passport
The Supreme Court regarded the use of a foreign passport by dual citizens as evidence of ineligibility to hold public office as natural-born residents with undivided allegiance to the Philippines. So when a foreign passport is still being used even after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship, the Supreme Court regarded it as “a positive and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship” and “does not divest one of the reacquired Filipino citizenship but recants the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position.”
Just like the case of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado, he was disqualified in the 2013 elections for using his American passport eleven days after he renounced his US citenship, as what the Supreme Court ruling was.
“By using his US passport, Arnado positively and voluntarily represented himself as an American, in effect, declaring before immigration authorities of both countries that he is an American citizen, with all attendant rights and privileges granted by the United States of America,” the SC mentioned. They added that renunciation of foreign citizenship “is not a hollow oath that can simply be professed at any time, only to be violated the next day” and “requires an absolute and perpetual renunciation of the foreign citizenship and a full divestment of all civil and political rights granted by the foreign country which granted the citizenship.”
So, in a two-page resolution promulgated on Feb. 9, the Supreme Court issued an entry of judgment in the case of Arnado to be considered for presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe’s case about the issue of her citizenship.
Poe’s case has been submitted for resolution by the high tribunal after five hearings and was found out that she continued to use her passport until March 2010 after her return to the country in 2005. And as what the Consitution says, it requires residency in the country of at least 10 years prior to Election Day for a presidential candidate to be considered a natural-born citizen. It was given that Poe renounced her American citizenship only on October 20 of 2010, that was the day before she took her oath of office as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board’s chairperson.
BUT one of four disqualification petitioners against Poe in the Commission on Elections, Manuelito Luna, cited records from US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs that display Poe still used her US passport after renouncing her American citizenship. Luna said that the documents determined Poe used her US passport in September 2011 which was a month before her passport expired.
With this, as what the Comelec insisted, Poe’s residency eligibility still would fall short by about three months after reacquiring her domicile in teh country on August 31, 2006.
Let us see in the coming days pertaining to this issue.