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Political Law | Bar Question 1 Answer

April 18, 2017

“A” was born in 1951 in the United States of a Chinese father and a Filipina
mother. Under Chinese laws, ”A’s” mother automatically became a Chinese
national by her marriage.
In 1973, upon reaching the age of majority, “A” elected to acquire Philippine
citizenship. However, “A” continued to reside in California and to carry an
American passport. He also paid allegiance to the Taipeh government. In the 1987
Philippine National elections, he was elected Senator. His opponent moved to
disqualify him on the grounds:
1. That he was not a natural-born citizen; and
2. That he had “dual allegiance” not only to the United States but also to the
Republic of China.
Decide. (1987 Bar Question)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The electoral contest must be dismissed.
1. “A” is a natural born citizen. Art. IV, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that
“those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Sec. 1 hereof
shall be deemed natural born citizens.” The purpose of this provision is to equalize the
status of those who elected Philippine citizenship before and those who did so after
January 17, 1973 when the previous Constitution took effect.
2. The “dual allegiance” declared inimical to national interest in Art. IV, Sec. 5 refers to
the dual allegiance of some such as naturalized Filipino citizens (mostly Chinese) who
maintain allegiance to Nationalist China as shown in some cases by their membership
in the legislative Yuan after their naturalization as citizens of the Philippines. The
prohibition does not apply in situations brought about by dual citizenship, such as the
one involved in the problem. Indeed, a Filipino woman can have dual allegiance
resulting from her- marriage to a foreigner under Sec. 4, so long as she does not do or
omit to do an act amounting to renunciation under Commonwealth Act. No. 63, Sec.
1(2). Under this law, express renunciation is different from an act of allegiance to a
foreign power as a ground for loss of Philippine citizenship. Moreover, what constitutes
“dual allegiance” inimical to national interest is and what the sanctions for such dual
allegiance will be, will still have to be defined by law pending adoption of such
legislation, objection based on dual allegiance will be premature.

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