18 Sep Why is Citizenship a Sentimental Issue?

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JUAN SAYS: One of the biggest issues hurled on Grace Poe is her citizenship. While she is Filipino by blood, it is said that she once renounced her Filipino citizenship to become an American. Why is this a big issue for us? Have we become so exclusive as to exclude those who have turned their backs on our flag but are still Filipinos at heart? Why then should this be an issue with Grace Poe when we toast half-Pinoys, and Pinoy-Americans who made it big internationally. Diba basta may ka-patak na dugong Pinoy (yung lolo ng lolo ng lola nya ay half PINOY half Spanish), Pinoy na pinoy pa rin kung ating ituring.
 
We know that our statement is shallow. In fact, we understand that citizenship is a very sentimental issue, especially for our elected officials, yet to the many who are asking us on our stand on this issue, we couldn’t articulate what is in our hearts. But this post explains it all.
 
Truly, it is like a husband leaving a wife to marry someone else “for the money.” And in reality, we are never OKAY with that.
 
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A post from Bobby Austria
 
Where a former Filipino citizen repents his naturalization and decides to resume his old nationality, he must manifest a becoming contrition. He cannot simply abandon his adopted country and come back to this country as if he were bestowing a gift of himself upon the nation. It is not as easy as that. He is not a donor but a supplicant [petitioner].
 
In a sense, he is an apostate [renouncer]. He has renounced Philippine citizenship by a knowing and affirmative act. When he pledged allegiance to the adopted country, he also flatly disavowed all allegiance to the Philippines. He cannot erase that infidelity by simply establishing his residence here and claiming the status he has lost.
 
The remorseful Filipino turned alien by his own choice cannot say that he sought naturalization in another country only for reasons of convenience. That pretext is itself a badge of bad faith and insincerity. It reflects on his moral character and suggests that he is not an honest person. By his own admission, he deceived his adopted country when he pretended under oath to embrace its way of life.
 
Naturalization under these circumstances is like marrying for money. The naturalized citizen is like a husband who abandoned his Filipino wife to marry a foreigner who could provide him with more material advantages. It may be that he still loves his former wife as he professes, but it is no less true that he is no longer her husband.
 
In one case, a candidate whose American citizenship disqualified him from elective office in this country claimed he had sought naturalization in the United States only because he wanted to escape persecution by the Marcos government. The best answer to that excuse is Ninoy Aquino, who never forsook his Philippine citizenship although he was the principal target of the dictatorship. He died a Filipino. There were others who faced similar perils as Ninoy but, like him, declined the haven of another citizenship.
 
-from Mr. Justice Isagani Cruz, one of my favorite Supreme Court justices writing on a Filipino who acquired a foreign citizenship and wanted to run for public office by renouncing his foreign citizenship and reacquiring his Filipino citizenship.

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