MANILA – Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga on Monday said having dual citizenship means having dual loyalties and allegiances, which could pose threats to national interest and security.
During the House hearing on media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise issue, Barzaga cited a constitutional provision stating that “dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law”.
He was referring to the dual citizenship of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III that has been one of the major issues surrounding the network’s franchise application.
“‘Pag ikaw ay dual citizen meron kang dual allegiance. Ang katapatan mo ay sa dalawang bansa. Katulad ni Mr. Lopez, ang katapatan niya ay sa bansang Pilipinas at sa bansang America (If you are a dual citizen, you have dual allegiance. Your loyalty lies with two countries. Just like Mr. Lopez, his loyalty both lies with the Philippines and America),” Barzaga said.
He further cited then Constitutional Commissioner Blas Ople, who said: “in dual allegiance, there can be malice or an insidious threat to our sovereignty and security”.
Barzaga stressed that every citizen has a duty of loyalty to only one country.
“Obligasyon ng bawat mamayan na kinakailangan na isa lamang ang kanyang katapatan sa isang bansa at sa ating mga Filipino citizens ang ating katapatan ay dapat lamang sa bansang Pilipinas at hindi dapat sa ibang bansa (It is the obligation of every citizen to show loyalty to only one country and Filipino citizens owe their allegiance to the Philippines and to not any other country),” he said.
He also reiterated Article 16, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution requiring that ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by these citizens.
He argued that 100 percent Filipino ownership is required in the operation of telecommunications and mass media because these involve national interest and security.
During the same hearing, Lopez said he has no allegiance with the United States despite his dual citizenship, maintaining that he is “100 percent Filipino”. (PNA)