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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

1. When the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitution were drafted and ratified, the concept and fact of some Filipinos having dual citizenships were already in existence and known, particularly joint Filipino and American citizenships due to the concurrence of the doctrines of jus sanguines and jus soli.

With respect to the requirement of Filipino capitalization, management and ownership of corporations, including those on mass media, the Constitution does not distinguish between a Filipino of single citizenship and a Filipino of dual citizenship.

It is axiomatic that if the law or the constitution does not distinguish, no distinction is allowed. Consequently, a Filipino with dual citizenship like Mr. Gabby Lopes is indubitably qualified to own and manage a mass media corporation like ABS-CBN.

Verily, a dual citizen is 100% Filipino. No amount of apparent contrary opinion by a few Commissioners of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 notwithstanding, would change this concept because the opinions of the drafters of the Constitution are not controlling as decided by the Supreme Court in a number of cases.

2. Under Commonwealth Act No. 63 of 1936, R.A. No. 8171 of 1995 and R.A. No. 9225 of 2003, issuance and possession of a foreign passport and participating in the election of a foreign country are not among the grounds for losing Philippine citizenship. They are simply attributes of dual citizenship.

If possessing and using a foreign passport does not amount to renunciation of Philippine citizenship, with more reason the application in any form for the issuance of a foreign passport is not a renunciation of Philippine citizenship.

3. The recognition of Philippine citizenship accorded to Mr. Gabby Lopez in 2002 was a confirmation of his being a Filipino citizen at birth, having been born of a Filipino father, and also of a Filipino mother. The recognition process was not a naturalization proceeding. It was neither a perfection of his being a natural born Filipino.

Any act which Mr. Gabby Lopez was required to perform or any document which he was required to submit in relation to his application for recognition of his Philippine citizenship does not deter from his being a natural born Filipino citizen.

4. Any passage of time before Mr. Gabby Lopez applied for recognition of his Philippine citizenship, which recognition to my mind is not even mandatory and indispensable, does not militate against his being a natural born Filipino. Likewise, the passage of time before he applied for a Philippine passport does not detract from his being a natural Filipino citizen at birth.

5. Whether he acquired and owned properties as an American citizen in the United States or paid taxes in the US is completely immaterial to the citizenship issue because acquisition and ownership of property in a foreign country or payment of taxes to a foreign government is not one of the grounds for losing Philippine citizenship.

6. What is proscribed or prohibited is “dual allegiance” which is deemed inimical to national interest according to the Constitution. It is not “dual citizenship” which is legitimate and legally recognized.

7. Absence of a Philippine birth certificate does not militate against one who is a natural born Filipino citizen at birth because of Filipino parentage.

8. Jus sanguines is not a mere legal fiction. Citizenship by blood relation consequent to parentage cannot be fictionalized. The Filipino blood that runs in the veins of a natural born Filipino is real, not fiction.