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F. Dual citizenship and dual allegiance

1. CONCEPT

a. Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship – arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. (Mercado v. Manzano, En Banc, G.R. No. 135083, 26 May 1999)

For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. (Ibid.)

1) Involuntary act

Dual citizenship is involuntary and arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Thus, like any other natural-born Filipino, it is enough for a person with dual citizenship who seeks public office to file his certificate of candidacy and swear to the oath of allegiance contained therein. (Cordora v. COMELEC, En Banc, G.R. No. 176947, 19 February 2009)

b. Dual allegiance

Dual allegiance – refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. (Mercado v. Manzano, supra.)

Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law. (Section 5, Article IV, 1987 Constitution)

1) Active participation

Dual allegiance is brought about by the individual’s active participation in the naturalization process. (Cordora v. COMELEC, En Banc, G.R. No. 176947, 19 February 2009)

a. No dual allegiance for electoral candidates

What the oath of renunciation simply does is to make express what natural-born Filipino citizens have already implicitly renounced. The requirement of express renunciation highlights the implication that it is not the exclusive means by which natural-born Filipino citizens may renounce their foreign citizenship. In reality, the oath of renunciation is a requirement simply for the purpose of running for elective public office, apparently to ensure that foreign citizenship and mixed loyalties are kept out of the elective public service. (Arnado v. COMELEC, En Banc, G.R. No. 210164, 18 August 2015)

By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws, such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. (Mercado v. Manzano, supra.)

In including Section 5 in Article IV on citizenship, the concern of the Constitutional Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Hence, the phrase “dual citizenship” in R.A. No. 7160, Section 40(d) and in R.A. No. 7854, Section 20 must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance.” (Ibid.)

Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states. (Ibid.)

2. Local Government Code, 1987 Constitution

Dual citizenship as used in the Local Government Code and reconciled the same with Article IV, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution refer to dual allegiance. Recognizing situations in which a Filipino citizen may, without performing any act, and as an involuntary consequence of the conflicting laws of different countries, be also a citizen of another state, the Court explained that dual citizenship as a disqualification must refer to citizens with dual allegiance. (Valles v. COMELEC, En Banc, G.R. No. 137000, 09 August 2000)

Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. (Ibid.)

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