Can a dual citizen by virtue of Republic Act 9225 run for public office in the Philippines?
Republic Act (RA) 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 is the law that allows a natural-born Filipino citizen who has acquired foreign citizenship to retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship. This is particularly provided by Section 3 thereof, as follows:
“Section 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship – Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic:
“I _____________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath.”
Those who exercise the right provided under the said law shall enjoy full civil and political rights as well as the concomitant obligations under existing laws of the Philippines. However, those intending to seek elective post in the Philippines, aside from meeting the qualifications provided by the constitution and existing laws for the said position, at the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy, he/she shall make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public office authorized to administer an oath (Section 5 (2), RA 9225).
Nevertheless, those who retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship in accordance with the aforementioned law are prohibited from exercising their right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines, if they are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized citizens and/or in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country of which they are naturalized citizens (Section 5 (5), Ibid.).
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org