- Papers showed DFA Secretary really became a US citizen in 1986
- Lawmaker said Yasay could now be stateless
- Position as foreign affairs chief possibly in jeopardy
MANILA, Philippines – Two documents acquired by the Philippine Daily Inquirer shows that current Department of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr. really was at one point a US citizen.
The first one, an affidavit executed by Yasay in 1993 and addressed to the District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Newark, New Jersey, shows the foreign affairs secretary contending that his grant of US citizenship on November 24, 1986 was null and void because he of his non-intent to reside and subsequent abandonment of his residency thereof.
“In this connection, I hereby make this final and irrevocable admission to the effect that soon after I acquired my United States citizenship on November 24, 1986, and within one year thereafter, I abandoned my U.S. States residency and acquired permanent residence in the Philippines where I continue to reside up to the present. I further make this final and irrevocable admission and confession to the effect that when I applied for and was granted U.S. citizenship, I did not have the required intention to reside in the United States, thereby making me ineligible and disqualified for such citizenship,” read the meat of the affidavit.
The second document, a “Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States”, explicitly mentions Yasay as having acquired American citizenship by virtue of naturalization. What’s more, the Certificate was approved only on June 28, 2016.
According to one lawmaker, Yasay’s job as DFA chief may possibly be in jeopardy as he could be considered stateless — neither Filipino nor American.
He said that Yasay did not lose his American citizenship in 1993 because he did not renounce it in the presence of a US consular or diplomatic officer and because his affidavit is not an equivalent of the signed oath of renunciation as required under the US Immigration and Nationality Act.
Technically, this would mean he was an American citizen when he started working for the Securities and Exchange Commission in March 1993, the lawmaker pointed out.
The lawmaker said that assuming Yasay lost his American citizenship, he could not have automatically reacquired his Filipino citizenship pursuant to Philippine law.
Under RA 9225 of 2003, Yasay had to first file a petition for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship before the Bureau of Immigration and take an oath of allegiance so he could again be considered a natural-born Filipino.
However, the lawmaker was sure Yasay did not do this as he would in effect be admitting he was an American citizen when he was a SEC official in 1993.
“He wanted to cover his tracks. At the time he accepted the appointment as associate commissioner of the SEC, he knew he was an American citizen,” he said. “I am sure he has not taken his oath as a Filipino citizen in 2003 because that would expose him as not being a Filipino citizen when he was at the SEC. He was caught in a web of legal complications.”
Due to him having formally lost his US citizenship only in 2016 and not yet having reacquired his Filipino citizenship, Yasay can be considered stateless, the lawmaker added.
Yasay has repeatedly denied ever being a US citizen.