Presidential candidate and senator Miriam Defensor Santiago revealed her opinion on issues concerning fellow presidentiables Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In an interview with DZMM’s radio program Ikaw Na Ba: The DZMM Presidential Candidate Interview, the feisty senator said she believes Poe is not a natural-born Filipino. Early this week, Poe was disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for not being a natural-born Filipino and for not meeting the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.
“Malaki ang problema niya kasi nakalagay sa ating Constitution, ang requirements for president and vice-president halos pareho,” Santiago said.
(She’s got a big problem because according to the Constitution, the requirements for president and vice-president are almost the same.)
“In all of these provisions, the requirement is a natural-born Filipino. The Constitution says a natural-born Filipino is one who becomes a Filipino citizen even without undertaking any act,” Santiago added.
Poe, a foundling adopted by celebrities Fernado Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, claimed that she is a natural-born Filipino since she was found in the Philippines. This premise is supported by international law.
However, Santiago pointed out that international law is different from the country’s constitutional law.
“International law does not apply in our country unless we pass a law in Congress that says we adopt this customary international law as part of our own law here,” Santiago explained.
Asked about what she thinks about Duterte’s latest issues, Santiago said that the tough-talking mayor is taking a gamble by giving “colorful speeches” and disclosing his faults as a womanizer.
Duterte was earlier slammed by netizens for cursing Pope Francis during his speech as the standard bearer of PDP-Laban on Monday, November 30.
Describing Duterte’s language as “usapan sa kanto,” Santiago commented, “He is taking a gamble. Normally, you’d sanitize your language if you are going to appear before the public. But in this case, he is attracting public attention. Some are scandalized. Some are considering it’s just part of normal reality. This is a revelation of his personality. Not everybody talks like that.”
According to Santiago, she would support Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas if ever she decides to back out from the presidential race.
Featured image credits to PhilStar.