PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — For faking his citizenship, Alan Peter Cayetano should be disqualified from running for the Senate, a former mayor told the Commission on Elections yesterday.
In an eight-page petition, former Pateros Mayor Jose Capco alleged that Cayetano is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and that he made misrepresentations in his certificate of candidacy.
Capco cited Section 3, Article VI of the Constitution, which provides that “no person shall be a senator unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.”
Capco alleged that Cayetano is “in fact an American citizen” who has “willfully and expressly renounced his Filipino citizenship” through a series of acts that “indicate his real allegiance to a foreign country and leaves no doubt as to the manifest character of his renunciation.”
“Accordingly, someone who has expressly renounced his Philippine citizenship willfully and deliberately. .. cannot be elected as a senator, precisely because such a person is not a Filipino citizen as required by law,” Capco said in his petition.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez raised the issue of Cayetano’s fitness to run for senator on the basis of his nationality, saying that based on records available to the Department of Justice, the candidate is apparently an American citizen.
But Cayetano shrugged off the disqualification case as baseless. “There’s no nationality issue actually, there’s only a Gonzalez ‘kulang sa pansin’ [attention deficit] syndrome,” Cayetano told reporters.
“Under the Supreme Court ruling on the dual citizenship, whether or not Secretary Gonzalez is telling the truth, I’d still be qualified.”
In his complaint, Capco alleged that Cayetano was granted an Alien Certificate of Registration on March 18, 1976, which indicates that he is an American citizen.
On Jan. 23, 1985, Capco said Cayetano personally applied for and was granted a new ACR, where the latter stated that he is a citizen of the United States of America.
But when campaigning for municipal councilor of Taguig in the 1992 elections, Cayetano obtained an Identification Certificate BC-1295, as a Filipino citizen, by the Bureau of Immigration on March 2, 1992.
However, Capco said such identification certificate “has never been affirmed by the secretary of justice” as required by the law.
By indicating in his certificate of candidacy for senator that he is a Filipino citizen, Capco said Cayetano committed material misrepresentation, one of the grounds for disqualification of a candidate.
“By claiming and subscribing under oath that he is a Filipino citizen, despite not being such, respondent clearly intends to willfully and deliberately misrepresent to the electorate that he is qualified when in fact he is not,” Capco said.