Press Release
August 6, 2015


Is Grace Poe a natural born Filipino?

1. Grace Poe is a natural born Filipino. The parents of a foundling found in the Philippines are presumed Filipino. Having been born of Filipino parents, even by presumption, she is a natural born Filipino. He who claims that her parents are not Filipino should prove it.

Where did you get this presumption?

2. This presumption is in International Law. Even President Manuel Roxas, the grandfather of Mar Roxas, recognized this presumption in the 1935 Constitutional Convention. President Roxas was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1935. He affirmed this presumption when he stated in the deliberation of the Convention concerning the provision on Philippine Citizenship the following:

"By international law the principle that children or people born in a country of unknown parents are citizens of that country is recognized, and it is not necessary to include a binding provision on the subject."

3. The same presumption was followed in Spain as discussed by Delegate Montinola of the 1935 Concon. He declared the following:

"Spanish Code considers as Spaniards all children of unknown parentage born in Spanish territory because the presumption is that the child of unknown parents is the son of a Spaniard, and that may apply in the Philippines that an unknown son, born here in the Philippines, is considered a Filipino"

While it may be conceded that as a foundling Grace Poe is a Filipino, is she a natural-born Filipino?

4. To be considered a "natural-born" Philippine citizen under the 1987 Constitution, a person must: (a) be a Philippine citizen from birth; and (b) possess said citizenship without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect said person's Philippine citizenship.

Since Grace Poe was a Filipino citizen from the time she was born and did not have to do any act to acquire or perfect such Filipino citizenship, she must be a natural born Filipino citizen.

Is International Law in force in the Philippines?

5. Yes, it is. The Constitution provides that the generally accepted principles of international law shall form part of the law of the Philippines.

Grace Poe lost her Filipino citizenship when she was naturalized as a US citizen. When she became a Filipino again, did she revert to her status as natural born Filipino?

6. Yes, she did. The law allowing such repatriation expressly provides that the former Filipino shall reacquire his Filipino citizenship as if he did not lose it. The deliberation in Congress clearly proves that it was the intention of the law.

When Grace Poe repatriated, she became a Filipino. But did she regain her status as natural born Filipino?

7. Yes, she did. Her status before she became a naturalized US citizen was natural born Filipino. When she repatriated, she is deemed not to have lost her Filipino citizenship. Since her citizenship was natural born Filipino, she is deemed not to have lost that status.

When Grace Poe took her oath of allegiance to the Philippines when she repatriated, is not the taking of that oath considered an act that she had to do to acquire or perfect her Filipino citizenship? And since she had to do that act, is she still considered natural born?

8. Yes, she is still considered a natural born Filipino. The law itself provides that such taking of oath did not amount to perfecting her Filipino citizenship. There is no Filipino citizenship that she has to acquire or perfect because she did not lose such natural born Filipino citizenship in the first place.

9. The Supreme Court has ruled that there are only 2 kinds of Filipino Citizens: those who were natural born, and those who were naturalized. If a person is a Filipino but not naturalized, he must be a natural born.

Grace was never naturalized as a Filipino. Hence, she must be natural-born. The act of repatriation is not naturalization. She did not undergo naturalization because, by express provision of the law, she was deemed not to have lost her natural born citizenship.

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