G.R. No. 142840, May 7, 2001
Respondent Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. However he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and, without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States.
After almost 9 years, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630. He ran and was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan.
Bengzon claimed that respondent Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the House of Representatives since he is not a natural-born citizen when he swore allegiance to the United States in 1995, and had to reacquire the same by repatriation.
Respondent on the other hand contends that he reacquired his status as a natural-born citizen when he was repatriated since the phrase “from birth” in Article IV, Section 2 refers to the innate, inherent and inborn characteristic of being a natural-born citizen.