Press Release
February 26, 2016


DUMAGUETE CITY--Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero criticized attempts to confuse the public on the supposed similarity of the case of his presidential running mate Sen. Grace Poe to that of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnaldo.

Arnaldo was recently disqualified by the Supreme Court, which ruled that he was not eligible to hold public office as a natural-born resident after he used his American passport just 11 days following his renunciation of his US citizenship.

Escudero said the jurisprudence laid down in the Arnaldo case was "not applicable to the petitions filed by Sen. Grace against the Commission on Elections."

He said Poe's case was "totally different" because the records would show that the presidential frontrunner never used her US passport after renouncing her American citizenship in October 2010, when she assumed as chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

"Nanlilito lamang sila sa Arnaldo case. Sa Arnaldo case, ginamit ni mayor ang passport pagkatapos mag-repatriate. Ang sabi ng korte, ang pag-repatriate at pag-renounce ay balewala at walang bisa matapos nyang gamitin ang kanyang US passport," Escudero pointed out.

"Ang tagal nang may mga nagsasabi na ginamit daw ni Sen. Grace ang kanyang US passport pagkatapos nyang mag-repatriate pero walang nailabas na ebidensya tungkol doon," he added.

According to the veteran lawmaker, entries on Poe's passport and travel records at the Bureau of Immigration would bear that the last time she used her US passport was in March 2010 or seven months before she renounced her American citizenship.

Poe has a pending petition in the SC seeking to reverse two Comelec decisions canceling her certificate of candidacy for president allegedly due to false material representations regarding her citizenship and residency.

In her petition, Poe maintains that she is qualified to seek the presidency because she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has complied with the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.

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