Actor Johnny Revilla, who now sits as a representative of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Family Club in Congress, could face perjury charges for lying about his Filipino citizenship, a former envoy said Monday.
OFW Family Club Rep. Roy Señeres of OFW, the former Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, made the disclosure on Monday on the sidelines of the Executive Course for neophyte lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
Señeres noted that even if Revilla’s claim that he already renounced his American citizenship before he filed his certificate of candidacy before the Commission on Elections is true, Revilla would still need to reapply for the Filipino citizenship to be qualified as a party-list representative.
“If he renounced his US citizenship, he needs to reapply for his Filipino citizenship. Otherwise, he [Revilla] is stateless. He cannot claim that he secured dual citizenship because if you want to be a citizen of the most powerful country in the world, you have to renounce your existing citizenship,” Señeres, a lawyer, pointed out.
“He perjured his statements before the Comelec when he stated there that has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. He should tell the truth in that statement [before the Comelec]. Otherwise, he could face up to seven years imprisonment for perjury,” Señeres added.
Revilla, however, argued that he remains a Filipino citizen being born to Filipino father and mother.
“It is not true that I am a US citizen. I am a Filipino, born in UST hospital, January 26, 1955. You can check my records. I am a Filipino through and through,” Revilla said in a separate interview.
Further, Revilla invoked that Señeres was just misinformed by the people around him.
“Somebody is trying to pollute his mind and we are trying to find out who they are. We are like a family who squabbles from time to time. It is only a misunderstanding and the lawyers are on it. There is nothing to worry about,” Revilla stressed.
“I am qualified to represent the OFW Family Club and qualified to run under OFW Family Club,” Revilla added in closing.