G.R. No. 195649. April 16, 2013
Respondent Arnado is a natural born Filipino citizen however through naturalization he became a US citizen. In 2008, Arnado applied for repatriation under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 and took the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines twice. Approval of his Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition was issued in his favor. Arnado filed his Certificate of Candidacy for Mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
Balua (Balua), another mayoralty candidate, filed a petition to disqualify Arnado and/or to cancel his certificate of candidacy for municipal mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. Balua presented a travel record that Arnado has been using his US Passport. The record presents that Arnado after renouncing his foreign citizenship, continued to use his US passport to travel in and out of the country before filing his certificate of candidacy on 30 November 2009.
Whether or not the use of a foreign passport after renouncing foreign citizenship amounts to undoing a renunciation earlier made.
Yes. Between 03 April 2009, the date he renounced his foreign citizenship, and 30 November 2009, the date he filed his COC, he used his US passport four times, actions that run counter to the affidavit of renunciation he had earlier executed. By using his foreign passport, Arnado positively and voluntarily represented himself as an American, in effect declaring before immigration authorities of both countries that he is an American citizen, with all attendant rights and privileges granted by the United States of America.
The renunciation of foreign citizenship requires an absolute and perpetual renunciation of the foreign citizenship and a full divestment of all civil and political rights granted by the foreign country which granted the citizenship.
When Arnado used his US passport on 14 April 2009, or just eleven days after he renounced his American citizenship, he recanted his Oath of Renunciation that he “absolutely and perpetually renounce(s) all allegiance and fidelity to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and that he “divest(s) [him]self of full employment of all civil and political rights and privileges of the United States of America
The citizenship requirement for elective public office is a continuing one. It must be possessed not just at the time of the renunciation of the foreign citizenship but continuously. Any act which violates the oath of renunciation opens the citizenship issue to attack.
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