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Poe upset with plans to question her citizenship to preempt 2016 run

Senator Grace Poe expressed disappointment on Thursday that some individuals were planning to question her citizenship even when she remained undecided on whether to seek a higher post in 2016.

“It’s sad that others have to resort to the same issue on citizenship the way that they did with FPJ (her late adoptive father, actor and one-time presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.),” Poe told GMA News Online.

Fernando Poe Jr.'s citizenship was also questioned at the height of the 2004 elections. The Supreme Court decided in favor of FPJ and declared him a natural-born Filipino citizen and qualified to run for an elective post.

“The qualifications for higher office is the same for that of a senator,” Poe added when asked about the reported plan of some groups to prevent her from becoming president if ever she ran for the post.

The senator said that she had always been honest about the circumstances of her birth. She was was adopted by the late Poe and his wife, veteran actress Susan Roces.

“Perhaps others use the citizenship issue when they have no other way to attack a possible opponent,” Poe said.

A blog by columnist Ellen Tordesillas stated that Poe's possible political opponents are planning to question her citizenship.

Poe’s colleague, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said there was no issue with her citizenship.

“Iyong citizenship kasi na requirement for the President is the same for senators. If we have been allowing her to peacefully discharge her duties as a senator, why should she be prevented from becoming President or Vice President e we have accepted her citizenship now,” Pimentel told reporters.

“So those with evidence and have questions should start formally questioning it now kasi she is a senator required to be of the same kind of citizenship as the President,” he added.

He said what is important is what is written on the birth certificate of Poe.

“Ang importante titignan ko iyong kanyang birth certificate at I’m sure meron nang tumingin. Pagtakbo niyang senador, dapat kinuwestyon na iyan. She has been found to be qualified to be a senator and the citizenship requirement for senator is the same for President,” Pimentel said.

He said those who intended to question Poe’s citizenship should show evidence.

“Those who want to question it can do so pero huwag namang i-question for the sake of questioning lang. You must have something. Basta ako, I’m not interested in questioning it and I have no question,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel added that the people should be able to distinguish the issues that would be raised against candidates in 2016.

“Nakatakbong senador, nakaupong senador, functioning as a senator, if there is really an issue dapat lumabas na 'yan noon pa. Kung iyan ang gagamitin nilang issue, the people should be conscious between a legitimate issue and a political issue,” Pimentel said. -NB/ELR, GMA News