Dual citizens have right to engage in business in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Dual citizens by birth—like ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III—have the right to engage in businesses in the country, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Monday.
During the House committee on legislative franchises and the committee on good government and public accountability, DOJ Assistant Secretary Nicholas Ty explained that there are two types of dual citizenship—by birth and by acquisition.
Under Republic Act 9225 or the “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003,” those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship “shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines.”
Asked by Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin if the same rights are available for dual citizens by birth, Ty said: “It would appear that there is no distinction made between Filipinos who are dual citizens upon birth and Filipinos who are dual citizens by virtue of the application of R.A. 9225.”
Garbin then manifested that if those who only re-acquired their citizenship are given such rights, why can’t those who are dual citizens by birth have the same rights?
Ty responded saying: “It would appear that the benefits that are accorded to dual citizens by virtue of R.A. 9225 are likewise accorded to dual citizens by birth.”
Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin Remulla, however, noted that under the Constitution, mass media companies should be 100-percent owned by Filipinos.
“In making the opinion, I think the DOJ should bear in mind that the Constitution is very clear as to the provisions on 100 percent ownership, wholly-owned, of mass media by Filipinos or corporations which are 100 percent Filipino. That is to be construed with R.A. 9225,” Remulla said.
Under Article XVI, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution, “the ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.”
This section of the law, however, does not explicitly state if dual citizens are allowed to own media entities.
Lopez’s legal counsel, Ayo Bautista, has said that the ABS-CBN official is a dual citizen since he is born a Filipino citizen by Filipino parents, but was born in the US, which recognizes the legal principle of jus soli, or grant of citizenship if one was born in US soil.
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