Press Release
September 20, 2015

Drilon asks SET to decide on quo warranto petition vs. Poe immediately

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon called on the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to decide on Senator Grace Poe's disqualification case at the soonest time possible to erase any cloud of doubt on her citizenship.

"I strongly urge the Senate Electoral Tribunal to expedite its hearings and immediately come out with a decision on the quo warranto petition against 2016 presidential aspirant Senator Poe," said Drilon.

"The petition raises serious doubts over Senator Poe's being a natural born Filipino and unavoidably, it also casts doubts on the validity of her candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections," he stressed.

"Ang agarang pagresolba ng kasong ito ay makatutulong sa lahat lalo na sa pagdedesisyon ng publiko kung sino ang kanilang ihahalal sa 2016. Maguguluhan ang botante kung ang mga tanong sa kanyang citizenship ay hindi kaagad masasagot," said Drilon.

("An immediate resolution of this case will benefit everyone, but it will help the public the most, especially as they decide who to vote for next year. If remained unanswered, these questions on Poe's citizenship would only confuse the voters.)

Drilon hopes that the SET will be able to resolve the case before the filing of certificate of candidacy which is scheduled for October 12 to 16.

The Senate chief added that a prompt SET verdict will help keep the Commission on Election's preparations for the 2016 presidential elections on schedule, such as the printing of official ballots which is scheduled for January of next year.

Drilon believes that the SET can come out with a ruling swiftly: "I hope the tribunal will act with urgency on the petition in order to clear the cloud of doubt hanging over Poe's citizenship and candidacy," he said.

"The sooner the SET can decide, the better it will be for all," he added.

Through her own submission, Drilon said that Poe admitted to the following facts: a) that she is a foundling; b) that in 2001, she was naturalized as a citizen of the United States of America; c) that in 2006, she filed with the Bureau of Immigration a sworn petition to re-acquire her Philippine citizenship; d) that in 2010, she executed before a notary public in Pasig an "Affidavit of Renunciation of Allegiance to the United States of America and Renunciation of American Citizenship"; e) that at no time after she executed the affidavit in 2010 did she ever use her U.S.A. passport; f) that in 2010, she assumed the position of chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; g) that in 2011, she executed before the Vice Consul at the U.S.A. Embassy in Manila an Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the United States; and h) that on October 2012, she filed her Certificate of Candidacy as senator.

A former Justice Secretary and a lawyer, Drilon said that "these are facts which can easily be stipulated by the parties involved. It is up to the tribunal to apply the provisions of the Constitution and the laws concerning citizenship."

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