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THIS is a warning to lonely, love-sick and sex-starved women who have been abandoned by their husbands or who have been widowed.

There are so many scammers locally and abroad, and I have heard horror stories about women in their 50s, 60s and 70s being duped through the Internet, especially Facebook.

ABS-CBN reported lately an example of scammers who victimized lonely women, credulous enough to fall victims of a local “I love you honey” scam, where love-sick and widowed women call a line supposedly owned by another lonely man and widowers.

Soon enough, the man asks the woman for some money. At this point, she has become so lovesick that she sends money to an address.

Facebook, supposedly for bonding purposes, is a dangerous social network. It can become a tool for scammers and can every betray one’s self to the BIR for tax evasion purposes. I know that BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has her people watching Facebook users, especially government officials, posting their travels abroad, staying in expensive hotels, and buying signature bags.

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“[Grace] Poe is a Filipino, a naturalized citizen, not natural-born under international customary laws,” Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio said during the oral arguments in connection with the disqualification case filed against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

To further elucidate his statement, Carpio cited Article 4, Section 1, of the 1935 Constitution that he said should apply to Senator Poe. The  fifth paragraph of the constitutional provision considers as citizens of the Philippine “those who are naturalized in accordance with law.” During interpellation, Carpio said “customary international law can be followed so long as it does not violate provisions of the Constitution.

“We do not follow international customary law because our Constitution has primacy. Although under international law, we have a commitment to conform to customary international law by amending the Constitution,” Carpio explained.

He added that in the absence of a law, an international customary law can be applied. Directing his question to the lawyer of the petitioner, Carpio asked: “If right now, there is no law promulgated by Congress that foundlings can be deemed citizens of the Philippines, [can] customary international law supply that gap?” The lawyer of the petitioner gave an affirmative answer.

Going further, “if there is a customary international law saying foundlings can be deemed citizens of the country where they were found, we apply that under the principle of incorporation. It is deemed as municipal law, Carpio said. But you are still a naturalized citizen, not natural-born. Because if customary international law says a foundling is natural-born, it will violate our Constitution and we cannot have it here,” the justice said.

“So, have we solved the problem, counsel? You will agree with me that Senator Poe... at least [is] a citizen of the Philippines,” Carpio again asked the lawyer of the petitioner, who again answered in the affirmative.

Santa Banana, here’s the kicker when Carpio said that while international convention signed by the Philippines allowed foundlings in the country as Filipino citizens, such process should be considered as a naturalization  of citizenship.

Carpio said the principle of “jus sanguinis” (right of blood) will be the sole basis for one to be considered a natural born Filipino, adding that under the Constitution, either of the parents must be a Filipino for her to be a natural born citizen. That is clear enough to understand.

And my gulay, that shifts the burden of proof on Poe to prove she is natural-born. Carpio said to prove this, foundlings like her must still prove their citizenship through DNA testing, to which the lawyer of Poe said that the process is on its way when alleged siblings of Grace said they were willing to have DNA tests.

My gulay, with the burden of proof now on Poe to prove that she had either parents as Filipino citizens, she must explain her 1968 birth certificates, heavily altered, and another one in 2006, both documents now in the possession of the tribunal.

More importantly, Santa Banana, her notarized petition for retention and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225, known as the Dual Citizenship Law, where she stated:

“I am a natural-born Philippine citizen, born Sept. 3, 1968 in Iloilo City to Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, a Filipino citizen, and Jesusa Sonora Poe, a Filipino citizen. I became an American national on Oct. 18, 2001, thereby lost my Philippine citizenship. Pursuant thereto, I am a holder of a US Passport with Passport No. 01737793, issued on Dec. 19, 2001 in Washington.” Santa Banana, that’s not only misrepresentation, but an outright lie by somebody who claims to be honest. She can be jailed for perjury. It’s a smoking gun against her.

While the statements of Carpio as tribunal chairman cannot yet be binding, the wisdom of his opinion on the citizenship of Poe cannot be disputed.

It’s now for Senator Poe to prove that she is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Arturo Brion, a member of the tribunal, said.

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