Senator Chiz Escudero said the claim of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that Senator Grace Poe is an American citizen is a “bare-faced allegation” without an “iota of evidence.”
Duterte has announced he is joining the 2016 presidential election in protest of the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) which declared Poe as qualified to run for President.
I cannot allow the country to be ruled by an American President, said Duterte after the 9-member SET favored Poe in a petition that questioned her citizenship that could have disqualified her from running.
PAOLO HITS CHIZ
Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the son of Duterte lashed out at Escudero after the vice presidential aspirant said Duterte should not use Poe as an excuse to join the presidential race.
Davao City-based online news site Newsdesk Asia in a report quoted the young Duterte as saying that Escudero should know that Poe is not qualified to run for president because she is not considered a natural-born Filipino.
“I am certain that Escudero, who is a lawyer himself, knows all too well that Grace Poe cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen and does not satisfy the residency requirement, yet he persistently pushes her to the presidential race. Who’s now using who?’ the young Duterte said.
Mayor Duterte said Poe is not a natural-born Filipino and possessed only a “presumptive Filipino citizenship” and under the Constitution should be barred from running for President.
But Escudero said there is no evidence showing that Poe is an American citizen.
“Other than the bare-faced allegation by the opponents and detractors of Sen. Grace that she is not a Filipino, there is no iota of evidence that even suggests that she is American or any other nationality for that matter,” said Escudero, Poe’s running mate in the 2016 polls under the independent bloc Team Galing at Puso.
But even as he hit Duterte, Escudero said he respects the opinion of the mayor on the SET ruling.
However, he said that “laws are used to render justice, not injustice and I believe, the SET rendered justice to Sen. Grace and all other foundlings similarly situated.”