Grace Poe likens self to OFWs in wake of DQ due to residency problem
Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday took her case before migrant workers and their families as she cited what she believes is a supposed double standard in the treatment of Filipinos working aboard.
“Kung merong grupong nakikisimpatya sa citizenship case ko ay kayo dahil alam ninyo kung papaano manirahan sa ibang bansa,” Poe said when asked during a forum on the importance of migrant vote in 2016 polls held at the University of the Philippines, Quezon City.
“Kapag kayo ay umalis at nagpadala ng pera dito, nagbigay ng pasalubong kayo ay bagong bayani, pero pag kayo ay tatakbo na ay hindi na kayo bayani. Sa tingin ko doon nagkakaroon ng hindi patas na pagtingin,” she added.
Poe is facing disqualification cases before the Supreme Court and the Commission on Elections.
She said many Filipinos are abroad because they have to earn a living. She, however, said that there are Filipinos who return to the country to help whenever they have an opportunity to do so.
“Maraming magagaling na Filipino ang umuuwi at nagtatayo ng negosyo sa atin, nagbibigay ng oportunidad o nagsisilbi. Ang pagmamahal sa bayan ay hindi po determinado lamang ng teritoryo, kahit saan tayo, tayo ay nanatiling Filipino,” Poe said.
“Mas lalo nga tayong Filipino kapag andun tayo sapagkat mas nami-miss natin ang bayan natin at kapag bumabalik tayo dito para bang ayaw na rin nating umalis,” she said.
Poe lived in the US to work until the mid-2000s when her adoptive father Fernando Poe Jr. died.
Aside from her questioned citizenship, another issue being raised against her qualification to run for president is her supposed lack of residency before May 2016.
Having stated in her certificate for candidacy for senator in 2013 that she established her residency in the country in November 2006, Poe falls short by a few months of the required 10-year residency under the constitution.
Poe's camp has maintained that the entry on residency in her COC for senator was "an honest mistake."
The senator said their her life in the US was difficult but she added that she and her husband managed to provide for their children. She said her husband had a good job.
“Pero noong bumalik ako sa Pilipinas noong 2005, yun po ang panahon ng ibang administrasyon, kamamatay lang ng tatay ko. Maraming issue ang nilabanan natin," Poe said.
"Hindi po yun ang panahon na madali dito para sa amin pero nakita ko kailangan nating ipaglaban ang ating paniniwala at hustisya din kaya bumalik ako dito,” she added.
The question on her citizenship is based on her being a foundling.
Petitioners against her presidential candidacy argued that she can't be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen, a requirement for those running for president, because her parents have yet to be identified.
Happy for Digong
Poe is hoping that the Comelec will also give her a chance to run in the 2016 elections as she lauded the poll body’s decision to accept the certificate of candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte's COC was accepted by the Comelec but Chairman Andres Bautista said he could still be disqualified depending on how the disqualification case against him would be resolved.
“Ang palagi ko naman pong posisyon ay dapat pahalagahan ang tinig ng taumbayan. Para sa akin, kung malinaw naman ang intensyon, bigyan ng pagkakataon,” Poe said when asked if she would find it unfair for the Comelec to cancel her COC when it accepted Duterte’s.
“Masaya nga ako na natanggap ang kanyang COC dahil marami siyang tagasuporta, maraming naniniwala na dapat mabigyan siya ng pagkakataon,” she added. —NB, GMA News