I’m not, and never was, an American — Yasay


Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay AFP PHOTO

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. insisted before a Commission on Appointments committee on Wednesday that he was never a United States citizen and never held a US passport.

But after over two hours of grilling,  Yasay failed to get the committee’s nod on his first appearance there.


The commission committee on foreign affairs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson suspended Yasay’s confirmation hearings on the request of committee assistant majority leader Rep. Abraham Tolentino who said this was because Yasay still had to submit documents.

Lacson later told reporters that there were committee members, mostly from the House, who wanted to question Yasay. He said the committee would schedule the next hearing for Yasay either next week or the week after.


In his opening statement, Yasay said he has both Philippine and US government “issuances” that would show he remained a Filipino citizen despite living in the United States for many years with his wife, who remains a US citizen.

He said he even ran for senator twice and even sought the vice presidency position, but his citizenship was never questioned until he was scheduled for commission confirmation.

Yasay said he became a legal permanent resident of the United States, or a green card holder, when his wife, a US citizen, petitioned him. But he has “never legally acquired American citizenship.”

He admitted applying for naturalization but before the US government acted on it, he was no longer  qualified “because, at that time, I already had plans to abandon my permanent residency in the US to return to the Philippines.” He said he abandoned his permanent residence in the United States in 1986.

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TAGS: Abraham Tolentino, Commission on Appointments, Department of Foreign Affairs, Panfilo Lacson, Perfecto Yasay Jr., Ping Lacson, Yasay's American citizenship
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