Friday, July 24, 2015

2016: Roxas but no Poe?

Is Mar Roxas giving up on Grace Poe as his VP? Assuming that he does, who would be a good replacement?

One view, points to either Senators Antonio Trillanes or Alan Cayetano. Here, his VP would be the attack dog against Binay while Roxas acts presidential and explains the Tuwid na Daan plans and programs.

Another view, points to either Governor Vilma Santos or Representative Leni Robredo. Here, his VP would neutralize the appeal of Poe in the Cinema because of her parents (Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces) through a VP Vilma and the Vilmanians. Or he would have in Leni Robredo a VP who is a smart, hard working, and experienced lawyer and widow of a beloved public official. Both are comparatively beautiful, charming, and intelligent.

Depending on who is a greater threat to Roxas and the LP inheriting Malacañang, the right VP will be chosen as the neutralizing factor.

Ironically, PNoy, Mar, and the LP may not have to do anything. The demolition of the presidential candidacies of Binay and Poe would be accomplished independently through a process under the doctrine, “ours is a government of laws”. In the case of Binay, the plunder and corruption charges would destroy him without Roxas lifting a finger. In the case of Poe, if she decides to run, her qualifications at this point in time could derail her candidacy also with Roxas not lifting a finger. While defending residency is easy, proving that she is a natural born citizen is a little tricky. 

Poe is a “foundling” and it is therefore unknown if she is a natural born citizen of the Philippines under Philippine domestic laws. However, the Constitution recognizes generally accepted principles of international law as part of the country’s laws. The only relevant international law is the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which provides in Article 2,  “a foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be considered to have been born within the territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State.”

Out of 193 nations, only 63 countries or less than 1/3 have either signed or acceded to as Contracting Parties of the said 1961 Convention. In fact, of the 63, 21 or 1/3 of them have even expressed “declarations, reservations and/or objections.” Its provisions are obviously NOT what we call “generally accepted principles” of International Law. Furthermore, the Philippines is NOT a Contracting Party because it has not signed or acceded to the convention. It is therefore NOT bound by it. 

Two possible legal processes could cure this problem of “foundling” Poe. One is for PNoy, Mar, the LP and its allies to accelerate the signing and acceding to the 1961 Convention. Two is for PNoy, Mar, and the LP and its allies to help pass the Lapid bill that would recognize foundlings found in the Philippines like Poe as natural born citizens.

Would they? “Yes, if a Roxas-Poe tandem is cemented,” my barber asserts but readily admits that Chiz Escudero could easily derail it. The latter's influence on Poe is unmistakable. It is also showing that Poe is not as independent-minded as we thought she was. This is both bad and sad!

The Liberal Party had included her in the line of succession for the country's leadership in order to institute socio-economic and political reforms. It would take a whole generation or more to attain political equality, economic parity, and social equity. It takes long term-planning, real politik, patriotism, and humility to achieve such goals.

I personally proposed a system that would guarantee continuance of the "Daang Matuwid" reforms as well as an eventual presidency of both Roxas and Poe. But Poe should agree to slide down to the Vice Presidency in order to prepare for becoming a better president as proposed by some seasoned and experienced politicians.

Roxas and Poe have not declared. The way I see it the former is getting the endorsement of PNoy. He is in the best position to continue the "Daang Matuwid" reform agenda. 

Poe? Her destiny is her choice not Chiz's. She has to achieve it independent of anybody!

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