Yasay denies being American citizen, admits naturalization attempt though

  • DFA secretary faced Commission on Appointments on questions about his citizenship
  • He denied being an American citizen, admitted he once applied for naturalization
  • He also revealed taking an oath of allegiance, said it was for holding a green card
  • CA deferred his appointment, to wait for documents proving his claim

Manila, Philippines – Finally facing the powerful Commission on Appointments, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay denied ever being an American citizen and holding a passport.

Admitting that he once applied for naturalization, Yasay said he never finished the process as he indicated his intent to return to the Philippines after the fall of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

“When I arrived there, I had vowed to return to the Philippines only when the conditions of Martial Law would have been lifted,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying.

Yasay also clarified that he never lost his citizenship even though he took an oath of allegiance as a green card holder or legal permanent resident and when he was admitted into the York Bar as the same is different from the oath required of a naturalized American citizen.

“Legal permanent residency does not imply becoming an American citizen,” he said. “When I was admitted into the bar of the state of New York and the Federal Courts including the Supreme Court of the US, I also took an oath to support and defend the laws of the US but I did not abandon my citizenship in the Philippines so there’s no inconsistency insofar as my having taking an oath and my losing citizenship on that basis.”

Yasay added that taking the said oath was a requirement for becoming a permanent legal resident; also explained that his act of renunciation merely reinforced his disqualification to become an American citizen.

“I wanted to come up with a official renunciation that was made here in the United States Embassy referring to that old affidavit that I executed which they already accepted so if you will look at the records of that particular case, you will see that renunciation that I made was a renunciation of the time that I precisely made that admission of being disqualified as American citizen,” he said.

Despite his explanation, Yasay, however, failed to get the CA’s nod pending the production of documents supporting his claim.

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