Lim wins citizenship
By Andrea H. Trinidad, PDI
NO BALLOTS had yet been cast, but Alfredo Lim hadreason to celebrate.
Lim, Liberal Party standard-bearer, yesterday claimed an ''initial victory'' after the
Commission on Elections dismissed a petition challenging his citizenship and allowed him
to pursue his campaign for the presidency.
Voting 7-0, the Comelec, sitting as a whole body, threw out a petition filed by lawyer
Andresito Fornier, who wanted Lim barred from running for allegedly not being a
Lim lauded the seven-member poll body for its decision. He had expressed optimism about
the outcome of the case, saying even his opponents knew from the start that he was a
''My fight (for the presidency) continues. And we assure the Filipino people of a clean,
honest and good government,'' a visibly elated Lim said after the decision was handed
In a seven-page resolution, Comelec said Fornier failed to present enough facts to prove
''We find the petitioner's view that respondent is not a natural-born Filipino . . .
insufficient and inconclusive,'' it said.
Fornier had cited as basis for his petition the original copy of Lim's birth certificate
found in the National Archives.
The poll body said a birth certificate did not prove one's citizenship and therefore was
not enough basis to reach a ''conclusive determination'' on the issue.
Last week, the poll body's second division dismissed Fornier's petition, saying the
Supreme Court and not the Comelec was the proper venue for the case.
The Comelec, however, reversed the ruling of its second decision and assumed jurisdiction
over the case.
''We rule that the Commission is vested with jurisdiction over the petition for the
disqualification of respondent Alfredo Lim,'' the poll body said in its ruling, penned by
Chair Bernardo Pardo.
Liberal Party leaders came in full force to the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros to
await the decision, while hundreds of Lim's supporters milled outside it.
His confidence buoyed up by the ruling, Lim held two grand rallies yesterday--one at
Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila and another at Fort Bonifacio in Makati.
''I am very happy that the Comelec has lived up to its mandate to uphold the law,'' he
said. ''The Comelec members deserve our commendation for not succumbing to pressures from
those who hold power in government (and) who are moving heaven and earth to derail my
''By ruling in my favor, the Comelec did not only confirm that I am a Filipino citizen,
but, more importantly, it also proclaimed that this was all just a dirty political trick
invented by my opponents who became desperate because of my surge in the presidential
race,'' he added.
LP president and senatorial candidate Raul Daza also hailed the decision.
He conceded that the citizenship issue had, for a while, stalled Lim's campaign but
expressed gladness that truth prevailed in the end.
Daza condemned the filing of what he called a ''nuisance case'' and asked the Comelec to
initiate punitive action against people filing cases without basis for the purpose of
destroying a candidate, especially if he is a presidential candidate.