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SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL

DAVID v. POE-LAMANZANES
ISSUE: Whether Grace Poe is eligible to sit as a Senator of the Republic.
ARGUMENTS OF THE PETITIONER: Poe is not qualified to be a member
of the Senate on account of her not being a natural-born citizen.
1. Poe does not fall under any of the classes of natural-born citizens
enumerated in Sec. 1, Art. IV, 1987 Constitution
a. To be a natural-born citizen, ones parents must be Filipino
citizens. Poe cannot claim natural-born status as her parents are
not known and cannot be presumed as Filipino citizens.
2. The provisions of the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions
Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws and the 1961 UN
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are not applicable
because the Philippines has yet to accede to both Conventions.
3. Poes adoption did not confer upon her the status of natural-born
citizen. The effect of the adoption is to confer unto her legitimate
status.
ARGUMENTS OF THE RESPONDENT: Poe asserts that she is a naturalborn citizen and is eligible to sit as a Senator
1. As early as the 1935 Constitution, it was always the intention of the
framers to consider foundlings found in the Philippines as Filipino
citizens.
2. Poe invokes Art. 7 of the UNCRC and Art. 24 of the ICCPR. Both
treaties are ratified by the Philippines.
a. These treaties create an obligation on the part of the Philippines to
recognize a foundling as its citizen from the time of the foundlings
birth.
b. Although neither the ICCPR nor the UNCRC was in force when she
was born in 1968, each may apply retroactively to the date of her
birth. To rule otherwise would be to discriminate against
foundlings born before the ratification of these treaties.
3. Poe invokes Art. 15 of the UDHR which recognizes the right of
everyone to a nationality.
4. Poe invokes Art. 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention on Conflict of
Nationality Laws. The presumption that a foundling is a citizen of the
State in which she is found is a generally accepted principle of
international law.
5. Poe invokes Art. 2 of the UN Convention on Statelessness which
expresses a rebuttable presumption of descent from a citizen,
consistent with jus sanguinis.
6. Finally, Poe argues that she validly reacquired her natural-born status
pursuant to R.A. No. 9225.

RULING OF THE SET ON POES CITIZENSHIP:


1. From the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Convention
on citizenship, it was never the intention of the framers to
exclude foundlings from natural-born citizenship status.
Children or people born in a country of unknown parents are
citizens of this nation and the only reason that there was no
specific reference to foundlings in the 1935 provision was that
these cases are few and far in between.
Evident intent was to adopt the concept found in the Spanish Code
wherein all children of unknown parentage born in Spanish
territory are considered Spaniards, because the presumption is
that a child of unknown parentage is the son of a Spaniard.
2. Under Art. 14 of the Hague Convention of 1930 (on Conflict of
Nationality Laws), a foundling is presumed to have been born
on the territory of the State in which it was found until the
contrary is proved.
Although the Philippines is not a signatory to said convention, its
provisions are binding as they form part of the law of the land
pursuant to the incorporation clause.
Sr. Roxas in the 1934 Constitutional Convention remarked By
international law the principle that children or people born in a
country of unknown parents are citizens in this nation is
recognized
By referring to this rule in international law (which was no other
than Art. 14 of the Hague Convention of 1930), what was
effectively created in the Constitution itself, was an exception to
the general rule of natural-born citizenship based on blood
descent.
3. Hence, foundlings (children born in the Philippines with
unknown parentage) were, by birth, accorded natural-born
citizenship by the Constitution.
natural-born citizens by legal fiction
The framers of the Constitution were sufficiently empowered to
create a class of natural-born citizens by legal fiction, as an
exception to the jus sanguinis rule
This is evident from Art. 1 (State to determine who are its
nationals) and Art. 2 (questions on nationality to be determined
by the law of that State) of the 1930 Hague Convention

4. Poe validly reacquired her natural-born Filipino citizenship


upon taking her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic, as required
under Section 3, R.A. No. 9225
Before assuming her position as MTRCB Chairman, Poe executed
an affidavit of renunciation of foreign citizenship. This was
sufficient to qualify her for her appointive position, and later, her
elective office as R.A. No. 9225 did not require that her Certificate
of Loss of Nationality filed before the U.S. Embassy be first
approved in order that she may qualify for office.
Records of the Bureau of Immigration show that Poe still used her
U.S. passport after having taken her Oath of Allegiance but not
after she has renounced her U.S. Citizenship.
5. Hence, the petition for quo warranto is DISMISSED.