(Article published in the Jan
19,2004 issue of TODAY, Business Section)
the matter with you, Atty. Victorino X. Fornier,?
Why do you seek to prevent the panday
from becoming president of our blissful republic on the basis of something
he had nothing to do about? Could
he have done anything about it any more than you could have for being the
brother of Andresito?
his competence, character, or, charisma, if you wish, but certainly not
the circumstance of his birth. Everyone knows he cried when he was born. He cried in protest, “cut, cut”, because the nurses were
taking too long with his umbilical cord.
I think I know what drives you, Vic.
Your middle initial betrays it.
Your ideas come from your idol Congressman Ex Javier.
Only he can concoct such a preposterous excuse for disqualifying
FPJ for the race for the Philippine presidency, just as only he should be
blamed for the bankers’ woes under Comprehensive Tax Reform Law.
Just ask Topper Coronel and Mike Andaya.
Section 2 of Article VII of the present Constitution states that “no
person may be elected president unless he is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines…” That rule has long been with us, we have had that since
1935, we have been following it blindly and religiously (with our special
brand of being religious). It
is an antique and that is the reason why it could only come from the
Congressman from Antique.
my view, “natural-born citizen” should be given as much concern as
legislators give to the constitutional provisions on the responsibilities
of a citizen, as drivers conform to the speed limits on our highways, and
as busses pay attention to the yellow lanes on EDSA drawn by Bayani
tell us that a natural born citizen is one who is Filipino at birth. Hence, the issue is not whether FPJ is a citizen, but whether
he was a citizen when he was born. They say that only to show that the FPJ
spokesmen are out to confuse the issue.
what is wrong with that? This
is the season of election, and election is confusion.
More so this season. We
have a president running for president who only months ago she said she
would rather run the country. We
have a vice presidential candidate running in the opposition ticket of a
party that is opposing itself. We
have an administration roll of candidates which includes opposition
figures. We even have Raul
Goco working against Raul Roco. If
you want to take sides, you see Raul.
any rate, what is the true meaning of “natural-born”?
Take the word “born”. It
is cognate of “borne”. In
1935, the only way one could be “born” was to be first be “borne”
in a mother’s womb. But
that was scientific millenniums ago.
Nowadays, we are not too far away from seeing one from a female egg
fertilized by a male sperm in a test tube and nurtured in a laboratory for
the period it takes to develop intrauterine. Would that person be
“born” is he was not “borne” in a human womb?
why require citizenship only at the time of birth?
If being citizen from the beginning is so essential, then the
fertilized egg must be a citizen. And
since the point of reference will then be the time when one was still an
egg, then the correct legal terminology is not “natural-born”, but
who is to say now what is “natural”?
Once upon a time, every came into this world through the opening
provided by nature. That is
natural. But, nowadays, whenever an obsterician wants to travel to
Europe or see a child studying in the States, he or she is under great
temptation, for reasons of time or money or both, to recommend a caesarian
operation to deliver the baby. Is
that natural? Natural for the
obsterician, maybe; but going through a corridor cut by man and by-passing
the hallway where the story began may not be.
only way to get us out of this legal mess caused by Fornier and Javier is
to go to the root of the problem, and go deep, like the native kamote.
We should go to the massa,
the grass roots, and pose the question, “was FPJ, who is undoubtedly a
unanimous answer, I bet my writer’s fee, will be “natural!”
That’s it. FPJ is a
natural-born Filipino. We can
then all go on with the show, this cinema called “Philippine
democracy”, a government of kamotes, by kamotes, and for kamotes.