Candidates now required to renounce alien citizenship | Global News

Candidates now required to renounce alien citizenship

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 04:35 AM September 19, 2015

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will now require candidates for the 2016 elections to include in their certificates of candidacy (COCs) a sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship, if applicable.

The amendment to the COC form is apparently being made amid the citizenship questions surrounding presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe.

According to Comelec Resolution No. 9989, the COCs of candidates for the May 2016 polls will bear the statement: “I executed a Sworn Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship (if applicable, attach a copy).”


The Comelec explained that there was a need to amend the COC forms because of the enactment of Republic Act No. 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, and the recent Supreme Court decision, Arnado v. Comelec.


Section 5 of RA 9225 provides that those who shall retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship under this law shall enjoy full civil and political rights, with those seeking elective public office required to make a personal and sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship at the time of the filing of the COC.

In the Arnado v. Comelec case, which the high court decided on Aug. 18, the high tribunal ruled that a person with dual citizenship may run for public office in the Philippines provided that they meet the qualifications set by the Constitution and existing laws, and make a personal and sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship at the time of the filing of the COC.

Because of the high court decision, there was a need to amend the guidelines and include in the COC forms “an item on the compliance by candidates, who are dual citizens, of the requirements of RA 9225, if applicable,” the Comelec en banc said in its resolution.

The Comelec also amended the COC form before the 2013 elections, requiring candidates to declare under oath that they would file their statements of contributions and expenditures (Soce) within 30 days after the election.

Another previous innovation was the introduction of the entry “name/words to appear on the ballot not to exceed 30 characters” in the COC form.



Poe case

The latest amendments in the COC form came as the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) starts oral arguments tomorrow on a petition to unseat Poe from the Senate over citizenship questions.

Petitioner Rizalito David, a defeated senatorial candidate in the 2013 elections in which Poe emerged the topnotcher, contends that Poe is disqualified from continuing to hold the position of senator because of her questionable citizenship.

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Poe has claimed that she had renounced her United States citizenship before she entered the government service in 2010. However, David said Poe continued to use her US passport even after her claimed reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.

TAGS: comelec, Commission on Elections, foreign citizenship, Sen. Grace Poe, Supreme Court

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