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SAN BEDA UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE OF LAW
MENDIOLA, MANILA

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: A REVIEW ON R.A. No. 9225


“AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF
PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE
FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP PERMANENT”

Submitted by:
DELOS SANTOS, Michelle Anne L.
LADO, Erxha Vinzinna V.
MIRANDA, Hannah Khamil H.
QUEJADA, Kenneth Aldwin M.
RODRIGUEZ, Marion Patricia L.

Submitted to:
Dean Ulpiano P. Sarmiento III
TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION .................................................................................1

A REVIEW ON THE CONCEPT OF CITIZENSHIP ............................1


Citizenship ..................................................................................1

Nationality ..................................................................................2

Modes of Acquiring Citizenship ..................................................2

Modes by which Citizenship may be Lost ..................................3

Re-acquisition of Citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 ....................4

Dual Citizenship .........................................................................6

Allegiance ...................................................................................6

DISCUSSION ......................................................................................6

Dual Citizenship v. Dual Allegiance ...........................................6

R.A. No. 9225 does not recognize Dual Allegiance ...................7

Presumption of Wisdom of Congress .........................................8

CONCLUSION ....................................................................................9

REFERENCES ..................................................................................10
INTRODUCTION

Justice Isagani Cruz once said that Philippine citizenship is a gift


that must be deserved to be retained. The Philippines for all her modest
resources compared to those of other states, is a jealous and
possessive mother demanding total love and loyalty from her children.

On 29 August 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed


into law Republic Act No. 9225 (“RA 9225”) also known as
“Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003”. This Act
provides that all Filipino citizens naturalized in another country shall be
deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.1 The
aforementioned act amended Commonwealth Act No. 63 - An Act
Providing for the Ways in which Philippine Citizenship may be Lost or
Reacquired, which provided that acquisition of foreign citizenship, on
the other hand, is a ground to lose Philippine citizenship.

The new law is claimed to indirectly allow dual citizenship by


reason of retention of foreign citizenship upon the re-acquisition of
Philippine citizenship. It paved the way for the legality of the concept
of dual citizenship, which is universally recognized as undesirable for
being associated with questionable loyalties and abuse of citizenship.
Being a citizen of a country is a privilege that requires undivided
allegiance. However, dual citizenship entails multiple loyalties, rights,
and responsibilities that one would have to adhere to. Section 5 of
Article IV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution expressly bars dual
allegiance and considers such as inimical to the national interest.
Hence, a question of constitutionality of the new law allowing dual
citizenship arises.

A REVIEW ON THE CONCEPT OF CITIZENSHIP:

Citizenship

Citizenship is defined as the personal and more or less


permanent membership in a political community. It denotes possession
within that particular political community of full civil and political rights
subject to special disqualifications such as minority.2
Revisiting the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
states that the following are the Citizens of the Philippines:3

[1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of


the adoption of this Constitution;
[2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the
Philippines;
[3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino
mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching
the age of majority; and
[4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

According to Article IV, Section 2, natural-born citizens are those


who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform
any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who
elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section
1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens.

Nationality

Nationality refers to membership in a political community, one


that is personal and more or less permanent, not temporary. The
importance of nationality in a civil law country is that the national law
of an individual regulates his civil status and condition, his family rights
and duties, the intrinsic validity of his will and the rights of succession
to his properties.

Modes of Acquiring Citizenship

Three distinct modes of acquiring citizenship are recognized by


modern law:

[1] Jus sanguinis- acquisition of citizenship on the basis of blood


relationship;
[2] Jus soli- acquisition of citizenship on the basis of the place of
birth; and
[3] Naturalization- the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing
him with the privilege of a native born citizen.4
[4] By marriage- alien woman upon marriage to a national.

Modes by which Philippine Citizenship may be lost:

[1] By Naturalization in a foreign country- in Frivaldo v.


COMELEC, 174 SCRA 245, he claimed that by actively
participating in the local elections, he automatically forfeited
American citizenship under the laws of the United States of
America. The Court stated that the alleged forfeiture was
between him and the US. If he really wanted to drop his
American citizenship, he could do so in accordance with C.A.
No. 63 as amended by C.A. No. 473 and PD 725. Philippine
citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of the Congress,
by naturalization, or by repatriation5 ;

[2] By Express renunciation of citizenship- in Board of


Immigration v. Go-Callano, 25 SCRA 890, it was held that
express renunciation means a renunciation that is made
known distinctly and explicitly, not left to inference or
implication.6 In Aznar v. COMELEC, it is presumed that he
was a Filipino and remained Filipino until proof could be
shown that he had renounced or lost his Philippine
citizenship.7 In addition, possession of an alien registration
certificate unaccompanied by proof of performance of acts
whereby Philippine citizenship had been lost is not an
adequate proof of loss of citizenship;

[3] By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the


Constitution or laws of a foreign country upon attaining 21
years of age- provided, however, that a Filipino may not
divest himself of a Philippine citizenship in any manner while
the Republic of the Philippines is at war with any country;
[4] By rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed
forces of a foreign country- provided that the rendering of
service to, or acceptance of such commission in the armed
forces of a foreign country and the taking of an oath of
allegiance incident thereto, with consent of the Republic of
the Philippines, shall not divest a Filipino of his Philippine
citizenship if either of the following circumstances are
present:

[i] The Republic of the Philippines has a defensive


and/or offensive pact of alliance with the said
foreign country;
[ii] The said foreign country maintains armed forces
in the Philippine territory with the consent of the
Republic of the Philippines.

[5] By cancellation of the certificate of naturalization; and

[6] By having been declared by competent authority a deserter of


the Philippine armed forces in time of war, unless
subsequently, a plenary pardon or amnesty has been
granted.8

Re-acquisition of Philippine Citizenship under RA 9225

In the Philippines, citizenship is determined by virtue of the first


mode, which is jus sanguinis. However, as stated in the earlier
discussions, another way to become a Filipino citizen was made
available by law through re-acquisition.

Under this new law, the government declares as the policy of the
State that all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another
country shall be deemed to have not lost their Philippine citizenship.9
It provides that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost
their citizenship by reason of naturalization as citizens of a foreign
country, are hereby deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship
upon taking an oath of allegiance. Section 3 of RA 9225 states that,
citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a
foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired
Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of
allegiance to the Republic:

"I _____________________, solemnly


swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend
the Constitution of the Republic of the
Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders
promulgated by the duly constituted authorities
of the Philippines; and I hereby declare that I
recognize and accept the supreme authority of
the Philippines and will maintain true faith and
allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this
obligation upon myself voluntarily without
mental reservation or purpose of evasion."

Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the


effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country
shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
aforesaid oath.10

Under the same law, the process of re-acquiring Philippine


citizenship gives rise to a set of rights which an individual can enjoy
and likewise, a set of liabilities and obligation he must adhere to. Such
rights and liabilities are the following:

Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities.


Those who retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship under
this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be
subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under
existing laws of the Philippines and the following
conditions:

(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines


shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office
as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at
the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a
personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign
citizenship before any public officer authorized to
Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is citizenship in two different countries. The


concept of dual citizenship recognizes that a person may have and
exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the
responsibilities of both. It is generally a result of the concurrent
application of the different laws of two or more states; a person is
simultaneously considered a national by the said states.

Allegiance

In the concurring opinion of Justice Perfecto in Laurel v. Misa,12


allegiance is defined as that duty from every citizen to the state, a
political duty binding on him who enjoys the protection of the
Commonwealth, to render service and fealty to the federal
government. It is that duty which is reciprocal to the right of protection,
arising from the political relations between the government and the
citizen. Allegiance is also an obligation for fidelity and obedience which
the individual owes to his government or his sovereign in return for the
protection which he receives.

DISCUSSION

Dual Citizenship is Different From Dual Allegiance

Section 5 of Article IV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states


that, “Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and
shall be dealt by law”. Through the plain reading of the provision, it is
clear that what is intended to be disallowed by law is dual allegiance
and not dual citizenship.

In Cordora v. COMELEC,13 the Supreme Court ruled that dual


citizenship is different from dual allegiance. Dual citizenship is
involuntary. It arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of
the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously
adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows
the doctrine of jus soli. Such person automatically and without any
voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both
states.

In a journal entitled, Philippine Citizenship, Dual Citizenship, and


Dual Allegiance by James Panopio,14 dual citizenship is citizenship in
two different countries. The concept of dual citizenship recognizes that
a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries
and subject to the responsibilities of both.

On the other hand, in the case of Mercado v. Manzano15, dual


allegiance refers to the situation wherein a person, simultaneously
owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual
citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s
own volition.

Under RA 9225, a Filipino who becomes a naturalized citizen of


another country is allowed to retain his Filipino citizenship by swearing
to the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines.16 The act
of taking an oath of allegiance is an implicit renunciation of a
naturalized citizen’s foreign citizenship.

Section 5 of Article IV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states


that, “Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and
shall be dealt by law”. Through the plain reading of the provision, what
is intended to be disallowed by law is dual allegiance and not dual
citizenship.

RA 9225 Itself Does Not Recognize Dual Allegiance

Furthermore, in the case of Calilung vs. Secretary of Justice,17


the Supreme Court cleared that:
What Republic Act 9225 does is allow dual
citizenship to natural-born Filipino citizens who have lost
Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as
citizens of a foreign country. On its face, it does not
recognize dual allegiance. By swearing to the supreme
authority of the Republic, the person implicitly renounces
his foreign citizenship. Plainly, from Section 3, Rep. Act No.
9225 stayed clear out of the problem of dual allegiance and
shifted the burden of confronting the issue of whether or
not there is dual allegiance to the concerned foreign
country. What happens to the other citizenship was not
made a concern of Rep. Act No. 9225.

Under RA 9225, Dual Allegiance is not a matter of importance.


Once a former Filipino took an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines under RA 9225,18 the problem of dual citizenship will be
automatically transferred from the Philippines to the foreign country.

The latest oath taken by an individual is deemed as a


manifestation of his will and intent to disregard past allegiances made
to other countries. Since under the effects of RA 9225 the latest oath
that will be taken is an oath of allegiance to the Philippines, the burden
of assessing the matter of whether that oath will mean that the
individual has disregarded a previous oath made with a foreign country
will fall on said foreign country.

There Must Be A Presumption Of Wisdom On The Part of the


Legislature in Passing RA 9225

Ultimately, it should be of utmost consideration that it is but with


decent respect to the legislature to presume the validity of the law, until
such is proven to be constitutionally infirm. As held in Estrada v.
Sandiganbayan,19

If there is any reasonable basis upon which the legislation


may firmly rest, the courts must assume that the legislature is
ever conscious of the borders and edges of its plenary powers,
and has passed the law with full knowledge of the facts and for
the purpose of promoting what is right and advancing the welfare
of the majority. Hence in determining whether the acts of the
legislature are in tune with the fundamental law, courts should
proceed with judicial restraint and act with caution and
forbearance. Every intendment of the law must be adjudged by
measure of last resort. In construing therefore, the provisions of
a statute, courts must first ascertain whether an interpretation is
fairly possible to sidestep the question of constitutionality.
(Emphasis supplied)

CONCLUSION

The constitutionality of RA 9225 is upheld. Dual citizenship, as


being different from dual allegiance, is not included in the proscription
of Section 5, Article IV of the 1987 Constitution. What the fundamental
law forbids is dual allegiance, which must be of more paramount
consideration, as it is injurious to the interest of the State. As laid down
in the case of Calilung v. Secretary of Justice, it is not anymore the
concern of the Philippines as the latest oath taken was conducted in
deference to one’s Filipino identity. Hence, the issue of inconsistency
with the constitution does not hold water.
REFERENCES

1987 Philippine Constitution, Art. IV.


Aznar v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 83820 (1990).
Black’s Law Dictionary (2014).
Bengzon v. Cruz, G.R. No. 142840 (2001).
Calilung v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 160869 (2007).
Com. Act. No. 63 (1936).
Cordora v. COMELEC, GR No. 176947 (2009).
Estrada v. Sandigabayan, GR No. 148560 (2011).
Jacot v. Dal, G.R. No. 179848 (2008).
Laurel vs. Misa, GR No. L-409 (1947).
Mercado v. Manzano, G.R.No. 135083 (1999).
Panopio, J. (2005). Philippine Citizenship, Dual Citizenship, and Dual
Allegiance: An Evaluation of R.A. 9225, The Dual Citizenship
Law. UST Law Review.
Rep. Act. No. 9225 (2003).