Philippines’ presidential hopeful Grace Poe is under fire from two sides: one from former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad questioning the residency status of her American-born husband, Teodoro Llamanzares, and one from De La Salle professor Antonio Contreras exposing Llamanzares’ past work with U.S. spy agencies.
According to CNN, Tatad’s lawyer, Manuel Luna, has asked the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration (B.I.) to determine if Senator Grace Poe’s husband, Teodoro Daniel Misael Llamanzares, aka Neil Llamanzares, is deportable. Luna’s assertion is that Llamanzares has not acquired dual citizenship, and no record exists to prove he’s had a work visa since his move to the Philippines.
In reference to Llamanzares’ current employment as chief information officer for Philippines’ prestigious San Miguel Corporation, Luna stressed the need to vet him properly since Senator Grace Poe is vying for the highest office in the land. In the complaint filed by Tatad, Poe’s husband is shown to have been born in the United States to Filipino parents, casting doubt on his status. According to GMA News, Luna suggested in a press forum that Poe has not been forthcoming about Llamanzares’ past.
“He has to clear his name. Considering that he is claiming to be dual or a Filipino when, in fact, he is an American.”
Tatad, one of the petitioners who lobbied for Senator Grace Poe’s disqualification from the Philippines’ presidential race, is now demanding her husband’s investigation. Tatad himself has been subject to controversy prior to this event.
From being Minister of Public Information under President Ferdinand Marcos, Tatad survived the ensuing turbulence and served as a senator under the Lakas-Laban Coalition of President Fidel Ramos. During the impeachment hearing of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Tatad lambasted Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon, for acting like a part of the prosecution team. Now, in anticipation of the 2016 elections, Tatad has again claimed the limelight by getting Senator Grace Poe in his crosshairs.
Meanwhile, prominent De La Salle professor and acerbic blogger Antonio Contreras uncovered Llamanzares’ alleged connection with America’s intelligence community prior to his resettlement in the Philippines. In a Facebook post published on April 15, 2016, Contreras started on Senator Grace Poe’s husband with a warning.
“Now you tell me if this is still conspiracy theory. But conspiracy theory or not, it is scandalous that if Poe is elected, we will have a First Gentleman who is not only an American citizen and a former U.S. Air Force serviceman and reservist, but also had links to the intelligence agencies of another country.”
Contreras then continued his attack on the credibility of Philippines’ Grace Poe with text from Open Source Investigations. It went as follows.
“Neil Llamanzares, the potential First Gentleman of the Philippines, is not only an American military man, but also a former U.S. Intelligence contractor. As an employee of the largest private intelligence service in the world, S.A.I.C., Grace Poe’s husband was doing specialized work for N.S.A., C.I.A. and D.I.A.: tracking foreign communications on the Internet, feeding disinformation to the foreign press, integrating classified information gathered by the major U.S. intelligence agencies worldwide. At least from 2004 to 2006, as long as he worked for S.A.I.C., the state of the Philippines was one of Neil Llamanzares’s targets.”
Backing Contreras’ assertions against Senator Grace Poe’s husband are facts about Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), an American government contractor with an annual revenue of $4.5 billion. SAIC is said to use psychological operations to influence public opinion on an international scale. SAIC operatives have reportedly been involved in every phase of the Iraq war, from pushing weapons of mass destruction claims to investigating where the intelligence went wrong. This same company has reportedly done anonymous edits on texts published online.
With the Philippines’ presidential elections just around the corner, Senator Grace Poe’s team is trying to undo the damage of cover-up allegations while front-runner Mayor Rodrigo Duterte widens his lead.
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