Sunday, January 11, 2004

Is FPJ a natural-born Filipino?
If all the facts Fornier was saying on TV are true, then, FPJ is clearly not. According to Fornier, both parents of FPJ were not Filipinos and even if his father were Filipino, FPJ would follow the citizenship of his mother because marriage of his parents was void. Therefore, FPJ is an illegitimate son and followed the American citizenship of his mother.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, perhaps under pressure from Malacanang, has now become less enthusiastic in declaring FPJ a Filipino. Foreign Affairs spokesman Julia Heidemann now stressed that having a Philippine passport is not conclusive proof that Poe is a natural-born Filipino. I remember seeing someone from the DFA--maybe it was she--confirming that FPJ is a Filipino quite matter-of-factly.

Or perhaps there is just a slight misunderstanding here: FPJ could be a Filipino without being a natural-born Filipino. They are not the same. Natural-born citizens, the only people allowed by law to be president, are those Filipino citizens who did not have to perform any act to acquire or perfect their citizenship. Thus, FPJ can be Filipino and still not qualify as president.

Max Soliven shares in his column a brief backgrounder on Fornier. Fornier is the younger brother of the Fornier who complained about Alfredo Lim's citizenship during the last presidential elections. Lim was then declared a Filipino by the COMELEC at the eleventh hour, thus, damaging his campaign.

No comments: