President Rodrigo Duterte said he would like Senator Grace Poe to be the country’s chief executive, but only if the 1987 Constitution would be amended.
At the birthday celebration of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation president Alfredo Lim in Dasmariñas, Cavite on Tuesday night, Duterte reiterated that he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision saying that foundlings are natural-born Filipino citizens.
“But 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, na ‘yung foundling are already qualified,” he said.
Duterte stressed what he learned in law school.
“Kasi ang pinaulit-ulit diyan sa amin, kailangan lumabas ka [sa] katawan ng nanay mo. Siya Pilipino, ikaw Pilipino. Eh pabalik-balik ‘yan sa law school. Kami, only to be interpreted of incorporating a treaty and overruling a strict, I said, a poignant one because you must be a citizen out… inside and out of your mother’s womb,” he said.
The SC in March 2016 ruled that Poe is a natural-born Filipino, thus, making Poe eligible to run for President in the May 2016 elections.
“She ran. Her eligibility and qualifications to run as president were sustained,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon told reporters when asked to comment on the President’s statement.
Drilon added Poe is “qualified to be president.”
When he announced his candidacy in November 2015, then-Davao City Mayor Duterte said the Senate Electoral Tribunal decision saying Poe is a natural-born Filipino triggered him to run for the country’s top post. He said this anew during Lim’s birthday bash.
“I will address myself to Grace Poe. You know, I… She’s my friend. I love her because she’s very good-natured, a gentle lady, and a true public servant. Wala akong problema diyan kay Grace,” he said.
“Pero ‘yung akin ho that would affect her also was the decision dito. Suddenly, I just said, ‘Eh kung ganoon pala, eh ‘di tatakbo na lang rin ako,’” he added.