PNoy’s DILG Secretary a foreigner — Solon

PNS — Lawmakers on Thursday urged President Aquino to fire Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo who is a foreigner and barred by the Constitution from holding national position especially the one that has to do with national security even in an “acting capacity.”

Robredo, who is facing a deportation case before the Bureau of Immigration, has falsified documents, perjured himself and fraudulently misrepresented himself as a Filipino, when he is actually a Chinese citizen, according to Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Robredo Villafuerte.

“Robredo sought to justify fraudulent misrepresentations. He falsely registered as a voter by pretending to be a Filipino, voted fraudulently in spite of being an alien, became a candidate by misrepresenting his qualification, unlawfully participating in the political exercise of the nation, all under false pretenses,” Villafuerte said, citing the ruling of the Commission on Elections.

In 2007, the Comelec found Robredo a non-Filipino citizen, and the ruling was made as basis for the deportation case against him.

“We have to look into the Chinese citizenship of Robredo. President Aquino may have violated the Constitution for appointing him as DILG chief,” House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said. Lagman demanded that Robredo relinquish his post for failing to take control of the hostage-taking situation that ended in eight Hong Kong nationals getting killed.

Villafuerte said Robredo’s father, Jose, could not even show proof that he was a naturalized or natural-born Filipino. Robredo also failed to do that, he said.

“Both father and son applied for passports and fabricated documents, including papers that would show Robredo’ grandfather died in the Philippines and the friendly parish produced documents that the grandfather was interred in 1972 when he died in China in 1933,” Villafuerte said, citing court documents.

Comelec, Immigration and Supreme Court records show that Robredo’s grandparents were born and died in China, his father was born in China and used the Robredo family name by passing himself off as a relative of Villafuerte, who was orphaned at the age of 5.

“His father named his children after the brothers’ and sisters’ of my late mother and they bore my mother’s maiden name without the courts allowing him to do so,” Villafuerte told Manila Standard in an interview.

“President Aquino should fire Robredo, whose position as DILG chief, allows him to have access to all national security plans and state secrets, when all along, he did not elect to be a Filipino when he reached the legal age of 21,” Villafuerte said. Robredo is 42.

Villafuerte said Robredo’s father also resided with them and did not acquire a domicile as required by law to acquire Filipino citizenship. He also failed to show proof of birth in the Philippines.

Robredo admitted being a Chinese citizen by asserting that he had acquired the Filipino citizenship through “implied election” for being voted into office for 19 years. He also voted as a Filipino, and took the oath of office when he was elected as Mayor of Naga City and thus committing perjury, Villafuerte said.

In 2007, the Comelec ruled: “Having been cornered into a very untenable situation that respondents Chinese ancestry has been clearly demonstrated, and that the principle on the essence of transmissiveness of citizenship indubitably leads to the conclusion that respondents are not Filipino citizens.

“Respondent Jesse M. Robredo, in particular, in a desperate move pleaded that even if he was not able to formally elect Filipino citizenship at the age of majority according to the strictures of the law, still, he should be accorded the privilege of “IMPLIED ELECTION” of citizenship because he registered as a voter, ran for public office as a Mayor and is a multi-awarded local executive.

“In invoking the alleged “implied election” of citizenship, respondent Jesse M. Robredo, conveniently forgot that nobody and absolutely nobody can invoke an “implied election” of citizenship, without admitting that indeed, he was and still is, a foreigner, i.e. Chinese citizen,” the Comelec ruled.

“These pretenders (of Filipino citizenship) would even go to the extent of employing fraudulent schemes and committing perjury through declarations of lies and falsehoods under oath, just so they can pursue their deceitful claim of Filipino citizenship. Said contention of “implied election” therefore should not be given credence by the Bureau of Immigration,” Immigration records show.

The deportation case was filed against Robredo by businessman Orlando Tan.

Businessman Jojo Villafuerte, the congressman’s nephew, wanted the Supreme Court en banc to rule with finality on the citizenship of Robredo. The case is still pending with the high court.

The young Villafuerte cited the Comelec decision that says Robredo remains a Chinese citizen in view of his grandfather Lim Teng, who failed to establish proof of residency in the Philippines.

In response to the Comelec disqualification suit, Robredo said his grandfather later adopted the name “Juan Robredo.”

“Juan is the name of my late mother’s brother, and Robredo is my mother’s maiden name,” Villafuerte pointed out.

The Comelec said there was no evidence that Lim Teng was the same person as “Juan Robredo.”

Immigration records show that Robredo’s grandfather, Lim Teng remained a Chinese citizen, since the only proof of his being in the Philippines was Lim’s arrival on April 2, 1896.

“Robredo failed to prove that Lim Teng, a.k.a Juan Robredo, was able to establish his permanent residence here. In fact, he died in China,” Villafuerte said.