Friday, April 1, 2016

Cong. Lord Allan Velasco refutes rival's press statements

Reyes admitted under oath her non-compliance with the requirements of RA9225

 In 2013, the SC sitting en banc upheld the decision of the Comelec declaring Reyes ineligible for a congressional seat due to her failure to sufficiently establish that she reacquired her Philippine citizenship in accordance with the provisions of RA 9225. 


According to the SC, a person who seeks to reacquire his/her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225 must accomplish the following acts: (1) take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Consul General of the Philippine Consulate in the USA; and (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath, which Reyes had been remiss to do.




Marinduque solon refutes rival’s claim over natural-born issue


Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco took exception to the claim of his nemesis, ousted Rep. Gina Reyes, that she is similarly situated with presidential candidate Grace Poe-Llamanzares, and that she should benefit from the recent SC decision allowing Poe to run.

Reyes argued that if Poe, a foundling, was allowed by the SC to continue her presidential bid, then she, a natural-born Filipino, whose parents are known to be Filipino citizens, should be allowed to run for public office.

Velasco explained that Reyes cannot take refuge on the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision allowing Poe to continue her presidential bid for two reasons: first, Poe had shown by unquestionable documents that she had already lost her US citizenship. Actually, apart from simply executing an Oath of Renunciation, Poe had executed an “Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the United States” before the Vice Consul of the US Embassy in Manila, who subsequently issued a “Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States.”

A fact that is glaringly absent from Reyes’ evidence. Truth is, Reyes is still an American citizen. The Oath of Renunciation she submitted before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ineffective because Reyes failed to present such evidence supplied by Grace Poe.

Velasco explained that unlike Reyes, Poe undertook the tedious process and actually made overt acts to show her intention to renounce her US citizenship. Poe took an oath of allegiance and renounced her American citizenship in accordance with law, to wit: (1) Poe took her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and filed with the Bureau of Immigration a sworn petition to reacquire her Philippine citizenship; (2) Before she assumed the position of chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), she executed an “Affidavit of Renunciation of Allegiance to the United States of America and Renunciation of American Citizenship” before a notary public in Pasig City; (3) She executed an “Oath/ Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the United States” before the Vice Consul of the US Embassy in Manila, who subsequently issued a “Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States”; and (4) She attached to her certificate of candidacy for Presidency an “Affidavit Affirming Renunciation of USA Citizenship,” which was subscribed and sworn to before a notary public in Quezon City.

Velasco pointed out that Reyes, on the other hand, was a natural-born citizen who, by virtue of her marriage to an American citizen allegedly acquired the citizenship of her American spouse.

She is a holder of an American passport, which she repeatedly used, evidencing her status as an American citizen. In 2013, the SC sitting en banc upheld the decision of the Comelec declaring Reyes ineligible for a congressional seat due to her failure to sufficiently establish that she reacquired her Philippine citizenship in accordance with the provisions of RA 9225. 

According to the SC, a person who seeks to reacquire his/her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225 must accomplish the following acts: (1) take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Consul General of the Philippine Consulate in the USA; and (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath, which Reyes had been remiss to do.

It is also not true that the SC held in the Poe case that the Comelec cannot disqualify candidates under Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules. What the SC ponencia actually discussed is that proceedings under Rule 23 “must be based on a prior authoritative finding that the candidate is not qualified,” which authoritative finding becomes the measure by which the falsity or the representation can be determined. - The Daily Tribune

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