Thursday, June 11, 2015

Grace Poe's citizenship issue is not just a technical issue, but an issue of Convenience

Senator Grace Poe says she has a dream, but failed to say what that dream was. Is it about changing the system? Is it about setting a better political system? Or her dream is for her and her financial backers to dominate and set up a cartel of sorts here in the Philippines?

When she went and renounced her Filipino citizenship and assumed American citizenship, did she do it based on a dream? Probably yes. That's always the reason why Filipinos go to America and abandoned their citizenships--they have dreams of becoming rich someday in what is described as the land "of milk and honey."

So, did Grace Poe use this off-repeated line when she faced the American consul who reviewed her application for a green card?

When I was working in Singapore several years ago, I was offered a Permanent residency status. For those in the know, the status of PR gives you some of the rights enjoyed by ordinary Singaporean citizens. One of those rights is the right to be employed there and live there for a long time. Who, in his right mind would not accept that?

Imagine, you earning four or five times the salary of a manager here and living in a very peaceful and orderly society, who would not accept that offer?

Yet, the fact remains that even if one is offered such a juicy one (imagine, you could live in a lovely place such as Singapore), one will always consider that this is an act which actually means abandoning one's identity.

So, yes, questioning Grace Poe's citizenship is a technicality but we cannot reject the fact that it is likewise an issue of allegiance to one country, and one's choice. Assuming an American citizenship is a choice for Poe, not something already given when she was born.

When you swear allegiance to another country's flag, you effectively abandoned your own. That is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE, something which for Filipinos like me, is a very serious thing. I would suppose that this is what Poe felt when she took her oath as an American citizen, or like other Pinoys, were extremely glad and proud to be an American instead of Pinoy.

Hard to say this but I will---I admire Senator Alan Peter Cayetano more than Poe because when he was offered American citizenship (he, being the son of an American woman), Cayetano rejected it. Cayetano declared without batting an eyelash that he is a Filipino, he will remain as one and will always be, Pinoy.

How about Grace Poe who only abandoned American citizenship only in 2012--two years after her assumption as MTRCB chief? Seems like Poe only considers Filipino as a status of convenience.