Cayetano slams opinion piece questioning citizenship

Kristian Javier - Philstar.com
Cayetano slams opinion piece questioning citizenship
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano described the report as "malicious," saying he had both Philippine and American citizenships "by law."
Philstar.com / File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday criticized an opinion piece that asked whether he was a Philippine citizen. 

In an interview with DZMM on Friday, Cayetano denounced the column published by an online news agency, which claimed that his name appeared on a list of distinguished former US citizens.
Cayetano described the report as "malicious," saying he had both Philippine and American citizenships "by law."
"Ang tatay ko po Pilipino, ang nanay ko po Amerikana. I have wonderful parents, but I cannot choose my parents," the senator said.
Cayetano was the son of the late Senator Renato Cayetano to an American citizen, Sandra Schramm.
Cayetano said that it is irrelevant to question his citizenship since he already renounced his American citizenship even before he took the bar exams and ran for councilor in Taguig City in 1998.
He added that he has repeatedly answered the issues involving his citizenship and even won the case filed against him before the Commission on Elections.
Among the documents he showed to the poll body was a US visa in his passport, which proves that he was not an American citizen.  
"Pinakita ko pa nga yung US visa ko e dahil hindi ka bibigyan ng US visa kung ikaw ay Amerikano. Bawal yun under US law," Cayetano said.
In a Facebook post, Cayetano said it was unfair to be compared to former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. who was rejected as foreign affairs chief by the Commission on Appointments for lying under oath about his citizenship.

CA members gathered documents showing that Yasay acquired US citizenship in 1986 and renounced it at the US embassy in Manila only last year after he was appointed as foreign affairs chief. 

"Magkaiba kami ng kaso. Iba yung pinanganak na you have citizenship and you're allowed to choose. Iba yung pinanganak kang Pilipino, iniwan mo at kumuha ka ng ibang citizenship tapos babalikan mo yung Philippine citizenship," Cayetano said. 

"Let me state categorically na hindi ako American citizen," the senator added. 
In December last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would appoint Cayetano as foreign affairs secretary since Yasay would be returning to the US.
However, career diplomat Enrique Manalo recently took over the position of Yasay as acting foreign affairs chief. — Kristian Javier


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