Press Release
September 15, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero lashed out at defeated senatorial candidate Rizalito David for accusing Sen. Grace Poe of dragging other foundlings into the issue concerning her citizenship.

"In the first place, it was David who brought up the foundling issue since he started his campaign against Sen. Grace last month. It was also David who raised the issue before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and made a general statement that foundlings like Sen. Grace are stateless and could be denied of their right to a citizenship," Escudero pointed out.

Escudero said David seemed to be backtracking from his generalized statement on foundlings and is now insisting that the disqualification case "is personal to Poe and does not affect other foundlings."

"This was not the first time David backtracked on his issues against Sen. Grace. Earlier, he also agreed to drop the residency issue in the petition he had filed against her due to a rule requiring the filing of disqualification case based on residency within 10 days from proclamation of the candidate," Escudero said.

He added that family law expert Katrina Legarda was right when she pointed out that David's petition was a clear form of discrimination against abandoned children.

Escudero, who is a lawyer, said that Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen because under the 1987 Constitution, international law and domestic laws, a foundling found in the Philippines is presumed to have Filipino biological parents.

"To say that a foundling like Sen. Grace cannot be considered a citizen of the Philippines is a violation of an individual's basic and alienable human right to bear a nationality from birth," Escudero pointed out.

At the same time, Escudero also questioned David's motives for engaging Poe in a political discourse considering that the SET had already given due course to his petition.

"The petition was given due course and Sen. Grace already faced him at the SET. I don't understand why he called for a press conference against Sen. Grace, unless his motives are purely political," Escudero said.

"If indeed political, who is behind David? Why is he engaging Sen. Grace in a political discourse outside the SET?" he asked.

Earlier, Escudero said that some quarters, particularly possible presidential contenders, could be using David to pressure Poe against running for president.

He added that the David petition was a clear harassment, noting that nobody questioned Poe's citizenship and residency for the last two years that she was senator.

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