Duterte: I like Grace Poe to be president, but she's to run under a new Charter recognizing foundlings
President Rodrigo Duterte has said Senator Grace Poe could run again for president, but under a different Constitution which recognizes foundlings.
In a speech Tuesday night in the birthday party of lawyer Alfredo Lim in Dasmarinas, Cavite, Duterte said he has no personal problem with Poe because "she's my friend."
"I like Grace Poe to be president someday if the requirement remains to be same. But, I said, I think we will amend the Constitution and make that exemption, that the foundling(s) are already qualified," he said.
Duterte recalled that the decision of the Supreme Court allowing Poe to run for the presidency in the 2016 elections despite the strict requirement of the 1987 Constitution for a president to be a "natural-born Filipino" triggered him to join in the race.
Poe, an adopted daughter of late actor Fernando Poe Jr and actress Susan Roces, is a foundling.
"The only way to be a natural-born is really to go out of your mother's womb. You are already a Filipino. But there's a treaty somewhere that (the foundlings) are pitiful and I agree with the treaty. That a person cannot be stateless. It would really be a pity (for) a human being to have no citizenship. And that’s why the treaty mandates every member of the United Nations recognizing the treaty, if you are a signatory to that, or those who do not know the mother or father, are considered citizens of the country where they are found," said Duterte, who is a lawyer by profession.
He said he agrees with it in all form.
However, he said the problem was on the interpretation of the acquired citizenship.
"A treaty overruling a very poignant and strict requirement that you must be a citizen when you were born. Because if you don't have know father or mother, you are a foundling, and then you cannot really say with certainty now that you are a natural-born citizen...I disagreed with the Supreme Court," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS