Carpio a Filipino citizen? Let him prove that!
A front-page story in the Sept. 29 issue of the Inquirer reported that Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio was “just being consistent” when he opined that Sen. Grace Poe, adopted daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr., has the burden of proving that she is a “natural-born” Filipino (“In 2004 case, Carpio ruled that FPJ was not Filipino”). He stressed, “Any person who claims to be a citizen of the Philippines has the burden of proving his Philippine citizenship.”
Carpio’s “consistency” in turning a basic rule of evidence on its head is discomfiting. Let’s shear the gobbledygook of its sophistry and put it in its simplest terms: Suppose someone challenges Carpio’s qualification to sit as justice of the Philippine Supreme Court for being a Chinese citizen as evidenced by the looks on his face, will that ipso facto lay on him the burden of proving that he is a natural-born Filipino?
We are sure that if the tables were turned on him, Carpio would vehemently protest and vigorously assert that under the rules of evidence the challenger has the burden of first proving his own allegation! Indeed, that needs no rocket science, that’s just plain common sense.
—MELISSA SY QUIATAN,
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