This is a journey that started sometime in October 2015. that was a few weeks when Mar Roxas officially announced his candidacy with a big gathering at the historic Club Pilipino in Greenhills, San Juan City. The LP faithful were all there and President Noynoy Aquino was the main speaker who announced to the country that he was endorsing the candidacy of Mar Roxas for the presidency.
Daang Matuwid was the over-all theme of that launch. Aquino had declared that Mar Roxas was the best among the presidentiables who can continue Daang Matuwid. It worked, Mar Roxas ratings in the polls jumped from an anemic single digit to double digits. Around September 2015, Roxas’ ratings were at a number that made him competitive.
At around October, I sat down and did an analysis of what was happening. There were no data available yet at that time but based on my analysis, I thought Daang Matuwid would eventually hurt Roxas.
At around that time, I started to tweet about my thoughts about the Mar Roxas campaign. I did not exprssly say Daang Matuwid was an error, but I was tweeting about problems on the Mar Roxas campaign. I kept the Daang Matuwid as the problem to myself because I thought the Roxas campaign will eventually get it and change their campaign strategy. I thought it was best to keep it a secret, not revealed publicly as I did not want to give clues to Mar Roxas’ competitors,
The qualitative data are those available in the media – survey results from Pulse Asia, SWS and the Laylo Report.
Daang Matuwid is Mar Roxas’ brand positioning, it is what he wants voters to remember him by and in effect the basis for their support for his candidacy. He used Daang Matuwid in most of his TV ads either as a tagline or in the copy. Based on news reports, he also mentioned this during his campaign sorties.
The power of an advertising positioning which in this case is Daang Matuwid is best measured by results. If this was the advertising positioning of a consumer goods brand, the best measure is market share first and box sales next. When market share and box sales go up or the goals are achieved, the advertising positioning is judged as successful. If it gives the opposite result, then it is a failure.
In this case the presidential surveys results is the best measure of how effective Mar Roxas’ Daang Matuwid brand positioning. The results are bad – after 8 months all that it got Roxas is flat ratings and flat ranking at 4th out of a field of 5 candidates.
There is no better quantitative data that proves Daang Matuwid killed the Mar Roxas presidential bid than the poll results.
we did an analysis of Mar Roxas’ Daang Matuwid brand positioning and from that analysis, though still not benefitting from data, the conclusion was it is bound to hurt Mar Roxas in this election.
this was posted here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1Z5 why Mar Roxas’ “Daang Matuwid” ad campaign is failing
Ads that have elements that are polarizing tend to fail / not do well in the market place. The ideal ad among other things is that it should only contain positive elements in it, and no negative elements.
Looking at the US elections, even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who belong to the same political party as Barack Obama are promising change. This is most obvious with Clinton who is a strong ally of Obama. She has never said she will just continue what Obama has done. In fact Clinton is promising many changes, some of them very major changes.
That is not true with Mar Roxas. Roxas very clearly states, he will just continue Daang Matuwid.
we have heard Mar Roxas very defensive on Daang Matuwid and the achievements of the Aquino administration. this did not help Roxas as it took away from him telling the people what his plans are for the country. also, Daang Matuwid is the work and program of Aquino, not his and yet all its failings is being attributed to him too.
in effect, the more Roxas talked of Daang Matuwid either in its defense or to make a promise of continuing it, it is hurting the presidential bid of Roxas.
After 8 months of Daang Matuwid as Roxas’ brand positioning and spending more than P1 Billion pesos on it and getting only 4th in the ranking at the most, it should have been obvious that changes were needed for the Mar Roxas campaign.
Being stuck at 4th for 8 months, they should have changed their campaign objective to getting switchers from the supporters of the other candidates. And if they thought of that as a campaign objective, then they would have looked at what needs to be changed in their campaign strategy, Getting switchers mean attracting them to change sides. And in attracting them, they would have looked at what are the barriers as to why they have not switched to Roxas and/or what they can say to attract them. In political campaigns removing the negatives is as important as offering the positives. The Roxas campaign did not seem to do this.
This data was released sometime in February 2016. That was the first quantitative data that I saw which confirmed my analysis and conclusion on Daang Matuwid. The core of the points I was raising was that Daang Matuwid was hurting the Mar Roxas campaign. That was purely based on analysis using leanings and principles in marketing, advertising and brand positioning. This quantitative data confirmed my analysis.
And that was what led me to publish in my blog my thoughts on the Mar Roxas campaign, I finally had 2 quantitative data – this one and the trend line that was obvious in the Pulse Asia poll results.
The data speaks of what voters think of Mar Roxas, it tells us specifically why they are not voting Mar Roxas. They were not voting Mar Roxas because he was “masungit”, “elitista” or the allegations of his failures in his previous cabinet member jobs, it was about questions on his leadership qualities, his not having his own views and vision and his relationship with Aquino. They saw Roxas as a puppet of Aquino. And I suppose because of that they saw him unfit to be president.
We think this is the result of Roxas continuously talking about Daang Matuwid, something that everyone knows to be Aquino’s. Aquino per se or his close relationship was not hurting him but it was that he failed to show his own brand of leadership. Contrast that to his opponents, most notable Rody Duterte whose platform was essentially based on bravado and strong leadership. We are sure that if you ask people to compare Roxas to Duterte, they will say Roxas is a wimp compared to Duterte’s super hero status. On the basis of character, Roxas was inferior compared to Duterte.
The second biggest reason they are not voting Roxas is “might just be like Aquino, no change” at 16% directly supports the point I have made – that Daang Matuwid is a platform for the status quo, no change and no improvement.
–more to follow–
sometime mid March, we posted a chart over twitter for the Mar Roxas campaign. at that point there were many data points that were showing the Roxas campaign was not going anywhere. Roxas’ ratings in the polls were not going up.
in many of Mar Roxas supporters’ minds was the question – can Mar Roxas till win the election? and other questions like – what can Roxas still do to win? is it too late for him?
those questions were being asked of me over at twitter since i had taken the view that the Mar Roxas campaign was failing. having a weak campaign was a view i took since November 2o15 when i started tweeting about it. that POV was based just on an analysis of the Mar Roxas ad campaign and the resulting brand positioning that Roxas has taken. it was anchored the ad campaign and brand poisoning of “Daang Matuwid” which is the main weakness.
at that time in November there were still a few quantitative data points to support my analysis and point of view. but that changed by February 2016 when there were already an avalanche of data points that showed the Roxas campaign was failing – poll results showed he was stuck at 4th place in a field of 5 candidates and his ratings were not moving at all, it was flat within the 18% to 20% range.
this will deal with number 3 on the above – “air attack ads vs Binay, Poe and Duterte”. they are Mar Roxas’ opponents who occupy the first 3 positions ahead of his 4th ranking.
at this point, Mar Roxas’ campaign objective need to be : add supporters by gaining from and converting supporters of his opponents to his side.
he is 4th and at best has 20% in the polls. those will not win the election for him. he will obviously need to go up to 1st with at least a 35% rating. that means he needs to take 15% points from his competitors. he needs to convert that many supporters of his opponents to his side,
one of the most effective ways to do that is to air attack ads against his opponents. attack ads are ads that question the credibility, put in doubt the abilities and correct the wrongs said or done by Roxas’ opponents. the target audience are the supporters of his opponents and the goal is to convince them that they are supporting the wrong candidate and instead shift their support for Roxas.
today, we saw over at twitter memes on Grace Poe based on her performance during the last second presidential debate. these are “fact check” memes – these memes are correcting the wrong things that Poe said during the debate. these to us is a form of attack ads.
there were many more “fact check” violations committed by Grace Poe during the debate. and even much more committed by the other candidates, Rody Duterte and Jejomar Binay.
over at Twitter, i suggested to the mar Roxas campaign and Mar Roxas supporters to do more fact check memes on Poe and specially the other opponents of Roxas.
memes are cheap to make but we think if done well and in good numbers, it can be effective specially if traditional media picks them up.
attack ads are what Mar Roxas needs. they are not a WAWAM!
PDI is running an interesting series of articles on the presidentiables. we ae providing a link here and excerpts.
Agenda of the next president: Economy and jobs
Starting Feb. 9, 2016, the Inquirer is coming out with a 10-part series on pressing national concerns that should be high on the agenda of the five contenders in the May 9 presidential election. The series should help Filipinos choose wisely the country’s next leader.
In line with the Inquirer’s “ThINQ.Vote.” advocacy, we have asked the presidential candidates to outline their concrete plans of action in dealing with 10 decades-long issues on poverty, economy and jobs, food security, peace and order, corruption, health care, foreign policy, traffic, climate change and Internet connectivity.
Under the Aquino administration, the economy has grown by an average of 6.2 percent–the fastest since the late ’70s. And thanks to reforms in the bureaucracy, business has been bullish and foreign direct investment has been rising 53.1 percent from 2012 to 2014. But not everything is rosy. Creating jobs remains a challenge, more so as global oil prices plunge. If the downturn continues, some 1.5 million temporary workers in the Middle East could lose their jobs.
INQUIRER.net is publishing verbatim the candidates’ action plans to strengthen the economy and create jobs for Filipinos. For the summary of the 10 pressing issues, go to our special Election 2016 website.
A Binay administration will pursue the amendment of the economic provisions of the Constitution. We aim to ease the foreign ownership restrictions on key sectors as this will open up the economy further–a major factor in attracting more foreign direct investments (FDIs). More FDIs mean more jobs and livelihood for Filipinos.
Under a Binay presidency, we will also strengthen substantially the sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, business
process outsourcing, and exporting–which are the five biggest job generators.
Reforms will be undertaken to foster a competitive and sustainable agriculture and fisheries sector to increase agricultural productivity. A Binay presidency will create agricultural economic zones in key agricultural provinces and promote agricultural value-added processes to increase job creation, reduce post-harvest process and enhance output value.
We will train farmers to shift from subsistence farming to agribusiness; amend CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) provisions to allow farmers to lease their land to agri-entrepreneurs and investors; and push crop diversification, wherein high-value crops–much more profitable than rice and corn–are planted.
A Binay administration will also provide subsidies in irrigation, fertilizer and seeds to help farmers defray some costs. We will also help farmers get connected to markets such as restaurant chains, supermarkets and food processing companies, and enable them to access credit. We will strengthen crop insurance services and credit guarantee to minimize farm-related credit risk. We will also seek to lower transaction cost to reduce lending rates.
We will improve water resource management and planning through research, and train local farmers as an operational intervention to increase manpower and double the area of irrigated lands.
Many of our farmers are now aging and young Filipinos shun farming because it is perceived to be difficult and its returns are low. It is vital that the government help reverse this thinking in order to ensure the sustainability of our agricultural sector and our food security.
Business Process Outsourcing
The business process outsourcing industry has greatly contributed to the economy and provided an unprecedented number of jobs to the Filipino people. The “IT-BPO Roadmap 2011-2016: Driving Global Leadership” formulated by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines stated that if the forecast will come true, the IT-BPO companies could employ up to 1.3 million Filipinos and generate 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
As the industry relies heavily on good Internet connection, the Binay administration will create a Department of Information and Communications Technology to help improve the country’s IT infrastructure and help grow the BPO sector further.
The Philippines also needs to promote tourism as an economic driver. If tourist arrivals increase to 15 million by 2020, it will result in employing almost 10% of our population in tourism-related work and for the tourism sector to contribute 10% of our GDP. A Binay administration will develop, craft and implement a National Tourism Strategy that will link infrastructure development, support services and establishments, marketing and promotions plan, and development plans for tourism areas.
Manufacturing and export
There is a need for the manufacturing and export sector to become more competitive since the sector provides higher wages and absorbs more Filipino workers as compared to other sectors. A Binay presidency will focus on policies and reforms that will allow expansion of this sector by improving infrastructure and technology/logistics to lower costs of production, establish finance support programs for small- and medium-scale enterprises, streamline the bureaucratic process such as establishing one-stop shop, ensure affordable energy/power cost, continue to produce strong and highly-skilled workforce and encourage domestic linkages for raw materials.
To bolster these areas of development, it is essential that: (1) infrastructure development is made a priority; (2) increase fiscal space to benefit the businessmen and free the middle class; (3) streamline the bureaucracy; (4) adopt an energy policy conducive to growth; (5) leave business to the businessmen; (6) empower the local government units; (7) adopt policies that take into consideration issues on climate changes; and (8) a cooperative foreign policy.
Initiate measures to curb the present practice of contractualization.
Set higher coverage targets for the Social Security Systems, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and Pag-ibig Fund.
Revitalize basic industries like steel to create raw materials for downstream industries that are job generating.
Prioritize agriculture and the processing of agricultural products to provide job and livelihood opportunities in the countryside, as
well as increase farm incomes, farmers and fishermen being among the poorest of our population.
Create the peaceful environment in the countryside to encourage investment beyond incentives.
Lower electricity costs by encouraging smart grids and small scale power generation to include household solar power generation.
By prioritizing agricultural development, coupled with transportation infrastructure to link farm production with their markets, we can ensure accessibility and affordability of food, which is the biggest part of average household expenditures.
Infrastructure gaps, whether in the countryside or in key urban centers, shall be prioritized and substantially filled, or at least initiated, during my term.
Poverty Alleviation: Poverty Alleviation is our flagship economic strategy.
Pursue a context sensitive poverty alleviation strategy anchored on enterprise development, development of agriculture/agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism, human development, fair competition policy, political empowerment and participatory development, social security, direct assistance to the poor and asset building and reform.
Critical Infrastructure: Ensure that our infrastructure program is
designed to be participative, collaborative and innovative.
Undertake a whole-of-government approach and tap the participation of private sector and civil society in making an assessment and evaluation of our existing infrastructure situation for a sounder national infrastructure plan
Review existing contracts, particularly in transport infrastructure, to terminate onerous agreements and contracts loaded with huge penalty payments and sovereign guarantees that short-change both the general public and taxpayers
Maximize three viable options in the development of key infrastructure projects: National Government Financing, Public-Private Partnerships and Office Development Assistance and ensure the wise and strategic use of these mechanisms.
Regional Competitiveness: The building blocks of national competitiveness are competitive regions. Our program to increase regional competitiveness is anchored on three pillars: 1) fostering a healthy local economy, 2) good local governance and 3) appropriate infrastructure.
Healthy Local Economy. Coupled with efforts to development enterprises, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be empowered to have full access to and become competitive in both regional and international markets by: (1) identifying markets and opportunities where their products and services are in demand, (2) upscaling the quality and compliance of their products to international standards, and (2) finding ways to move their goods and services to various markets at the least possible cost.
Good Local Governance. Establish an apex MSME agency to ensure the effective implementation of the integrated services system; Harmonize the efforts of both national agencies and local government units to make the support system—from access to finance to business mentoring—easily accessible to MSMEs.
Appropriate Infrastructure. National government agencies such as the Department of Transportation and Communications and Department of Public Works and Highways will work with regional and local government counterparts to ensure that infrastructure projects undergo correct procurement process and projects are awarded to contractors with track records in long-term maintenance.
Tax Environment: Design and implement a tax system that is simple, stable and certain.
Tax rate and bracketing reforms. Introduce two sets of reforms in our tax system:
Adjust income tax brackets taking into account inflation so that the cut-off for every tax bracket would be increased based on the amount of current prices to protect the purchasing power of the individual tax payer
Lower personal and corporate tax rates in a well-phased manner (annual) to be at par with our Asean neighbors
Tax administration. Improve tax collection rates of both the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs from a moderate 1% to an aggressive 2% of the GDP by leveraging on full automation of tax filing and customs procedures through ICT to ensure maximum tax compliance.
Tax simplification. Re-engineer the tax filing process by minimizing the number of steps, requirements, forms and fees imposed by tax collection agencies. It takes around 36 payments and 193 hours to fully comply with tax obligations.
Investment Climate: Create an attractive, healthy, low-cost and predictable investment climate.
Increase level of cohesion between government, business groups and stakeholders in crafting and developing industry roadmaps to attract more investments in the country.
Investment promotions agencies such as the Bureau of International Trade Relations, Export Marketing Bureau and Foreign Trade Services Corps shall work with the Board of Investment to identify bottlenecks that cause foreign direct investment inflow fluctuation and align investment priority areas with industry roadmaps for a solid and time-bound action agenda.
Take careful but important steps to review and amend the economic provisions of the Constitution, particularly in industries that need more foreign investments—the primary and service sectors, mining, oil and gas industries while ensuring that support systems and adequate safety nets are in place to increase absorptive capacities of our local industries.
For the past five years, we’ve managed to sustain our growth numbers but efforts to do so were simultaneous with our anticorruption measures, which may have limited government spending at first. Nonetheless, we have managed to yield positive results and gained the confidence of the world from being the “sick man of Asia” to “Asia’s bright spot” by upholding the bedrock principles of Daang Matuwid: Transparency, rules-based
governance and a strong anticorruption foundation. To make for an environment that is even more conducive for social and economic development, we must ensure stability and predictability of policy outcomes.
Therefore, it follows that if we want to achieve more, we must continue on our path. The first five years of Daang Matuwid have allowed us to address the leakages in the system. Now that the pipelines have been sealed, the next years will be devoted to investing in our people by providing quality services such as education, trainings in diversified skills, infrastructure, and the creation of more and higher value jobs.
For example, we see agriculture as both an immense challenge and a lucrative opportunity that holds the key to our country’s development. We can revitalize our agricultural sector by consolidating the production of agricultural products in order to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale. In the process, we are insulating our farmers from vulnerabilities caused by natural calamities such as droughts and typhoons by treating them as employees with a monthly salary. Not only are we providing the farmers a safety net, we are also reducing their operational costs, making agriculture an efficient, profitable, and competitive venture for investors and job-seekers.
We also intend to see resurgence in the manufacturing industry by inducing competition in the power sector, which in turn will lower power costs and attract investments in industry. Jobs generated in the manufacturing sector can provide a stable source of income for Filipinos. By using our balance sheet to make capital more accessible to the people, we can also spur growth in local economies and unleash the energies of our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.
All these deliberate efforts will be undertaken to ensure that the workforce can move higher in the value chain and that every Filipino family is given a fair chance to be free from hunger, free from fear, and free to dream.
I commit that the Philippine economy will grow faster than ever before, that it will be truly inclusive by making sure that real incomes of workers will increase over time. We will achieve the goal of higher and sustained economic growth by investing heavily in public infrastructure. Our roads, bridges, urban transit systems, airports and seaports are crumbling. We need to build them up at par with, if not better than, our Asean neighbors. We need to prepare our people for a more modern, more competitive global
economy. We need to educate them, take care of their health, and feed them so they will become productive members of a growing work force. Only by investing in people can we truly make growth inclusive. Only if the young are educated and healthy can they benefit from growing economic prosperity. My administration will:
Modernize agriculture and make it more productive by:
Investing in productivity enhancing infrastructure to boost agriculture;
Investing in irrigation and water impounding facilities in order to allow more planting cycles and to minimize the impact of El Niño and La Niña;
Financing programs that would expand the use of new seed varieties and modern technology in order to increase farm yield; and
Investing in research and technology;
Reinvigorate manufacturing and reenergize exports by:
Implementing a more affordable and stable power supply;
Reducing cost of doing business in the Philippines;
Improving peace and order in farms and factories;
Creating national industries that can be marketed internationally, such as machinery and equipment for agriculture; and
Making the peso competitive relative to currencies of our competitors;
Improve the investment climate by:
Streamlining and harmonizing business process and licensing procedures;
Codifying and updating laws and issuances affecting customs and tariffs;
Enhancing trade facilitation measures;
Cutting red tape at the local government level;
Drastically reducing regulations at the Bureau of Customs and the regulatory bodies; and
Amending the restrictive provisions in the Philippine Constitution which have discouraged the entry of foreign investors into the country;
Reform the tax system by:
Adopting comprehensive income taxation and reducing maximum personal income tax rate from 32 percent to 25 percent;
Reducing the corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 30 percent to 25 percent;
Rationalizing fiscal incentives to partly offset the revenue loss from lowering the CIT rate;
Imposing a national real property tax (RPT) piggybacked on local RPT;
Abolishing the estate tax;
Abolishing tax on dividends; and
Gradually raising the value-added tax rate from 12 to 15 percent by 2019; and
Reduce unemployment and underemployement by:
Ending contractualization, which is an economic deprivation of life and security of person;
Creating national industries to increase job opportunities for skilled workers in the Philippines to prevent migration of workers; and
Creating more jobs per sector, especially in the science and technology, and infrastructure industry.
finally completed – these are the two (2) mini attack ads by Mar Roxas
this was the first one aired:
the emphatic ending of “higit sa lahat hindi ko kayo nanakawan” is an obvious reference to Jojo Binay.
this is the second one:
- “walang drama” – refers to Grace Poe and her dramatics
- “hindi ako paawa” – refers to Jojo Binay
- “hindi ako siga-siga: – refers to Rody Duterte
- “hindi run ako abusado” – most probably refers to Jojo Binay
- “at hindi ako magnanakaw” – definitely refers to Jojo Binay
we think Binay had the most mention, 3 mentions out of 5 because he is #1 in he presidentiables survey. Poe and Duterte got one mention each because they are the other two contenders. Santiago did not get any mention because she is even lower than Roxas at the surveys.
what do you think of these ads? let us know by posting your comments here.
the SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) has voted not to disqualify Grace Poe with a 5 – 4 vote with the 5 voting not to disqualify Poe. the 5 votes are from senators Aquino, Sotto, Legarda, Villar and Cayetano. the 4 who voted for disqualification came from the 3 SC justices who are members of the SET and senator Nancy Binay. the SC justices are Carpio, Brion and de Castro.
her disqualification case will surely reach the SC no matter what the final decision is at the SET. when that happens, will she lose at the SC case given what the SC justices decided who are members of the SET?
in recent days, copies of the explanations from the SC justices have been released. we have here the explanation from Carpio and de Castro. the two justices voted on the basis of law, their reading of the constitution and what they mean.
Justice de Castro: Poe’s citizenship claim constitutionally objectionable November 22, 2015 10:54am
Senate Electoral Tribunal member Associate Justice Teresita de Castro maintains that presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe’s citizenship claim is constitutionally objectionable.
In her separate dissenting opinion released days after the SET voted 5-4, junking the petition against Poe over citizenship issue, de Castro said the respondent based her claim only on “generally accepted principle of international law that stemmed from a theory of incorporation … but not on the constitution.”
She said Poe claimed to be a natural-born citizen, with a Filipino father or mother, on the basis of “a supposed legal fiction which will run afoul of the concept of natural-born citizenship under the 1935 Constitution…”
The 1935 Constitution—still in effect when Poe was born in 1968—follows the principle of jus Sanguinis” or natural-born citizenship based on blood relationship to a Filipino father or Filipino mother.
De Castro said that Poe anchored her claim of being a natural-born on international conventions such as the the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
These conventions particularly provide for the right of a child to nationality.
But de Castro said the conventions are not self-executing as they are not binding because the contracting state is free to determine the international agreements’ application based on national laws.
Besides, she said the Philippines has not ratified the 1930 and the 1961 conventions.
Moreover, de Castro wrote: “Even then, the citizenship, if acquired by virtue of such conventions, assuming the latter are implemented by Philippine law, is akin to the citizenship falling under the Section 1(4), Article IV of the 1987 Constitution, recognizing citizenship by naturalization in accordance with law or by a special act of Congress.”
“The definition of a natural-born citizen, under Section 2, Article IV of the 1987 Constitution, cannot be met by a foundling even if the disputable presumption is applied because before the said presumption can operate, the fact of being a foundling must first be established by a legal proceeding, as illustrated by Section 5 of R.A. No. 8552, and Sections 4, 5 and 8 of R.A. 9523, which require an official declaration tha the child is a foundling or an abandoned child before he/she can be entitled to the rights of a Filipino child under the aforesaid laws,” she added.
Carpio: Poe is Filipino but not natural-born
November 21, 2015 8:27pm
By JOSEPH MORONG, GMA News
Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe is a Filipino but not a natural-born one, Senate Electoral Tribunal chairman Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said.
In his dissenting opinion released four days after the SET voted 5-4, junking the petition of Rizalito David against Poe over citizenship issue, Carpio said: “there is no dispute that respondent Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares is a Filipino citizen, as she publicly claims to be.”
“But [she] has failed to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, and is thus not qualified to sit as a member of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines.”
This echoes the justice’s earlier pronouncement during the oral arguments at the SET that Poe is a naturalized Filipino citizen.
Carpio wrote that even the framers of the 1935 Constitution did not intend to consider foundlings in the Philippines natural-born citizens at birth.
Carpio pointed out that those who argued during the deliberation of the 1935 Constitution that international law principle recognized a foundling to be a citizen at birth of the country where the foundling were misplaced. This includes, former President Manuel Roxas.
“There is nothing in international law that which automatically grants citizenship to foundlings at birth. In fact, Delegate Roxas did not cite any international law principle to that effect,” Carpio said.
According to Carpio, only the 1930 The Hague Convention was in existence during the deliberations on the 1935 Constitution.
“Therefore, there was no prevailing customary international law at that time, as there is still none today, conferring automatically a nationality to foundlings at birth.”
Any international law conferring natural-born nationality to foundlings at birth runs contrary to the concept of jus sanguinis under the 1935 Constitution which requires blood relation to the father to establish the natural-born citizenship of a child, Carpio said.
He wrote: “The 1935 Constitution clearly required blood relations to the father to establish the natural-born citizenship of a child. The 1935 Constitution did not contain any provision expressly or impliedly granting Filipino citizenship to foundlings on the basis of birth in the Philippines (jus soli or law of the soil) with the presumption of Filipino parentage as to make them natural-born citizens.”
“Only those citizens at birth because of jus sanguinis, which requires blood relation to a parent, are natural-born Filipino citizens under the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitution,” he added
Citing deliberations on the 1935 Constitution, Carpio also pointed out that when it came to the discussion on the qualifications President and Vice President, delegate Roxas pointed out that “natural-born citizens, means a citizen by birth, a person who is a citizen by reason of birth, and not by naturalization or by a further declaration required by law for his citizenship.”
Citing delegate Roxas, Carpio wrote: “In the Philippines … under the provisions of the article on citizenship which we have approved, all those born of a father who is a Filipino citizen, be they persons born in the Philippines or outside, would be citizens by birth or ‘natural-born … According to this interpretation, the child of a Filipino mother with a foreign father would not be a citizen by birth, because the law or the Constitution requires that he make a further declaration after his birth.”
“In short, under the 1935 Constitution, only children whose fathers were Filipino citizens were natural-born Filipino citizens,” Carpio said.
He further said: “It is also the height of absurdity to presume that all foundlings found in the Philippines, by sole reason that their parentage is unknown, are not only Filipino citizens but also natural-born Filipino citizens. To illustrate, if in 1968, on the same day that respondent was found in a church in Jaro, Iloilo, three infants were also found in front of the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, will all the three infants be considered natural-born Filipino citizens?”
Carpio said that it would lead to a “preposterous situation which could not have been intended by the framers of the 1935 Constitution.”
“If the first infant was an African black, the second a Caucasian white, and the third infant with Chinese features, would all three infants be automatically considered natural-born Filipino citizens with the conclusive presumption that their parents were Filipino citizens? … If at all the framers intended a strict interpretation of the term natural-born citizen, considering that they limited the term natural-born citizen to those who fathers were Filipino citizens and did not extend it to those who were born of Filipino mothers and alien fathers.”
Carpio also addressed the issue of the plight of foundlings if found not to be natural-born Filipinos as argued by Poe’s camp.
“The sentimental plea, however, conveniently forgets the expressed language of the Constitution reserving those high positions, in this case the position of Senator of the Republic, exclusively to natural-born Filipino citizens … being sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, the members of this Tribunal have no other choice but to apply the clear letter and intent of the Constitution,” he said.
Carpio however added that Poe may still be declared a natural-born Filipino if she can find a match to a Filipino parent.
All three Supreme Court justices in the nine-member SET—Chairman Carpio, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, and Associate Justice Arturo Brion have separte dissenting opinions on the SET ruling favoring Poe.
Four other cases of disqualification anchored on citizenship and residency issues are currently lodged with the Comelec.
A fifth disqualification case, an election offense case of misrepresentation, also filed by Rizalito David, is being heard by the Comelec Law Department. — LBG, GMA News