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Dual Citizenship or Dual Allegiance?

Posted by lexforiphilippines on February 5, 2010

Since it is election time, we are hearing a lot of cases being filed to seek the disqualification of certain candidates from seeking elective posts.  Most notable is the case for disqualification of Vivien Tan, daughter of Lucio Tan, from seeking the congressional seat for a Quezon City district.

But what is really the basis for disqualification? Is it dual citizenship or dual allegiance?

In Cordora vs. COMELEC, et al. (G.R. No. 176947, 19 February 2009) , the Supreme Court explained –

Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance.

Dual citizenship is involuntary and arises when, as 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.  For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis* is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli.**  Such a person, automatically and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states.

Given the provisions on citizenship under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship:

(1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli;

(2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country;

(3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship.

There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing any act, be also a citizen of another state.

Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which 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 volition – his active participation in the naturalization process.

Under Republic Act No. 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. The act of taking an oath of allegiance is an implicit renunciation of a naturalized citizen’s foreign citizenship.

Dual citizenship is not a ground for disqualification from running for elective position.  Like any other natural-born Filipino, it is enough for a person with dual citizenship who seeks public office to file his certificate of candidacy and swear to the Oath of Allegiance contained therein.  On the other hand, a person with dual allegiance who seeks public office must (apart from meeting the qualifications under Philippine law) swear to an Oath of Allegiance and execute a Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship pursuant to R.A. 9225.

* A child’s citizenship is determined by its parents’ citizenship, as in the Philippines.

** A child’s citizenship is determined by its place of birth, as in the United States of America.

*** The Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.


2 Responses to “Dual Citizenship or Dual Allegiance?”

  1. cAmfY said

    This is very helpful!
    I’m studying in my “PolSci 1a” class as a BSIT student in one Universities in the northern part of the Philippines. Even though I’m not a PolSci student, this article helped me understand better on what is dual citizenship and dual allegiance. ^^

  2. jessica a. eugenio said

    thanks .. it helps a lot ..

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