[ VOL. I, June 19, 1986 ] R.C.C. NO. 13

[ VOL. I, June 19, 1986 ]

R.C.C. NO. 13

Thursday, June 19, 1986

OPENING OF SESSION

At 5:10 p.m., the President, the Honorable Cecilia Calderon Muñoz Palma, opened the session.

THE PRESIDENT: The session is called to order.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

THE PRESIDENT: Everybody will please rise to sing the National Anthem.

Everybody rose to sing the National Anthem.

THE PRESIDENT: everybody will please remain standing for the Prayer to be led by the Honorable Jose C. Colayco.

Everybody remained standing for the Prayer.

PRAYER

MR. COLAYCO: Let me begin our invocation with a quotation from Matthew, Chapter 18:20: "For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Source of all goodness and wisdom, come, we beseech Thee, join us who are gathered here this afternoon, and guide our deliberations towards the framing of the new Constitution of our people.

Enlighten our minds and strengthen our will so that we may overcome our shortcomings and transcend our personal differences.

Make us Your instruments in writing a constitution that will reflect our aspirations and promote the common good of our country and our people. Amen.

ROLL CALL

THE PRESIDENT: The Secretary-General will please call the roll.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL, reading:
Abubakar Present Bacani Present
Alonto Present Bengzon Present
Aquino Present Bennagen Present
Azcuna Present Bernas Present
Rosario Braid Present Padilla Present
Brocka Present Quesada Present

Calderon

Present Rama Present
Castro de Present Regalado Present
Colayco Present Reyes de los Present
Concepcion Present Rigos Present
Davide Present Rodrigo Present

Foz

Present Romulo Present
Garcia Present Rosales Present
Guingona Present Sarmiento Present
Jamir Present Suarez Present
Laurel Present Sumulong Present
Lerum Present * Tadeo Present
Maambong Present Tan Present
Monsod Present Tingson Present
Natividad Present Treñas Present
Nieva Absent Uka Present
Nolledo Present Villacorta Present
Ople Present Villegas Present

The President is present.

The roll call shows 45 Members responded to the call.

THE PRESIDENT: The Chair declares the presence of a quorum.

SUSPENSION OF SESSION

THE PRESIDENT: The session is suspended.

It was 5:23 p.m.

RESUMPTION OF SESSION

At 5:38 p.m., the session was resumed with the Honorable Hilario G. Davide, Jr. presiding.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The session is resumed.

The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

APPROVAL OF JOURNAL

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, I move that the reading of the Journal of the previous session be dispensed with and that the same be approved.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the Journal of the previous session is approved.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. President, before we go to the Reference of Business, I move that we defer consideration of Committee Report No. 3 on page 8 until after July 7 and that the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles submit an amended and supplemental report later.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): So, this particular item will appear in the Order of Business after July 7.

Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. President, I move that we now proceed to the Reference of Business.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.

The Secretary-General will read the Reference of Business.

REFERENCE OF BUSINESS

The Secretary-General read the following Proposed Resolutions on First Reading and Communications, the Presiding Officer making the corresponding references:

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS ON FIRST READING

Proposed Resolution No. 170, entitled:

RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION AUTHORIZING THE SUPREME COURT TO LOOK INTO THE FACTUAL BASIS IN THE DECLARATION OF MARTIAL LAW OR SUSPENSION OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS BY THE PRESIDENT.

Introduced by Hon. Bengzon, Jr.

To the Committee on the Judiciary.

Proposed Resolution No. 171, entitled:
RESOLUTION THAT A BROAD WORKING DEFINITION OF "SOCIAL JUSTICE" BE ADOPTED.
Introduced by Hon. Villegas, Sarmiento and Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

Proposed Resolution No. 172, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICES PROVISIONS — UPHOLDING THE TIME — HONORED PRINCIPLES OF THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.
Introduced by Hon. Rigos.

To the Committee on General Provisions.

Proposed Resolution No. 173, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE IN THE CONSTITUTION A PROVISION PROVIDING FOR THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
Introduced by Hon. Rigos.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 174, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION ESTABLISHING A PURELY CIVILIAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE WHICH SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION.
Introduced by Hon. Natividad, Ople, Maambong and de los Reyes, Jr.

To the Committee on General Provisions.

Proposed Resolution No. 175, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE INTO THE BILL OF RIGHTS A PROVISION RECOGNIZING AND DEFENDING THE RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE UNBORN HUMAN EMBRYO.
Introduced by Hon. Quesada, Romulo, Sarmiento, Villegas, Colayco and Bengzon, Jr.

To the Committee on Citizenship, Bill of Rights Political Rights and Obligations and Human Rights.

Proposed Resolution No. 176, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION REQUIRING THE STATE TO ESTABLISH A GENUINE AUTONOMOUS GOVERNMENT IN THE CORDILLERA REGION WITHIN A DEMOCRATIC AND SOVEREIGN FILIPINO NATION.
Introduced by Hon. Bennagen and Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Local Governments.

Proposed Resolution No. 177, entitled:
RESOLUTION PROVIDING THAT THE STATE SHALL PROMOTE THE PROPER ACQUISITION OF APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY, ITS EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT, UTILIZATION AND CONTROL.
Introduced by Hon. Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Human Resources.

Proposed Resolution No. 178, entitled:
RESOLUTION DECLARING THE AUTONOMY OF REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS AS THE BASIC FRAMEWORK OF THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF THE STATE.
Introduced by Hon. Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Local Governments.

Proposed Resolution No. 179, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES THE STATE'S COMMITMENT TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT THE WELFARE, RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF WOMEN AND THE YOUTH.
Introduced by Hon. Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 180, entitled:
RESOLUTION MANDATING COOPERATIVISM AS A BASIC PRINCIPLE OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, COOPERATIVES AS ITS VEHICLE, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NECESSARY CONDITIONS THEREFOR, AND CREATION OF A NATIONAL COOPERATIVE AND LAND REFORM AUTHORITY.
Introduced by Hon. Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

Proposed Resolution No. 181, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION AS A BARRIER TO WORK OPPORTUNITIES.
Introduced by Hon. Rosario Braid.

To the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

Proposed Resolution No. 182, entitled:
RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
Introduced by Hon. Tingson.

To the Committee on Local Governments.

Proposed Resolution No. 183, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION THAT THE SPOUSE OF THE PRESIDENT OR ANY PERSON RELATED TO THE PRESIDENT WITHIN THE THIRD DEGREE OF CONSANGUINITY OR AFFINITY SHALL NOT BE APPOINTED TO THE CABINET.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on the Executive.

Proposed Resolution No. 184, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS THAT A FOREIGNER WHO IS PERSECUTED BY HIS COUNTRY BECAUSE OF HIS POLITICAL BELIEFS SHOULD BE GIVEN ASYLUM IN THE PHILIPPINES AND THAT EXTRADITION OF FOREIGNERS FOR POLITICAL OFFENSES SHALL NOT BE GRANTED.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Citizenship, Bill of Rights, Political Rights and Obligations and Human Rights.

Proposed Resolution No. 185, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES THAT IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES OR, CONCESSIONS, THE STATE SHALL ADOPT THE FILIPINO-FIRST POLICY.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 186, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES A PROVISION THAT THE STATE RECOGNIZES THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY AND GUARANTEES FULL RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 187, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES THAT THE STATE SHALL ESTABLISH, MAINTAIN AND ENSURE ADEQUATE SOCIAL SERVICES IN THE FIELDS OF EDUCATION, HEALTH, HOUSING, UNEMPLOYMENT, WELFARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY IN ORDER TO ATTAIN A DECENT STANDARD OF LIVING FOR OUR PEOPLE.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 188, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO ENSHRINE IN THE ARTICLE ON JUDICIARY OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION ETHICAL RULES ON QUALIFICATIONS AND CONDUCT OF MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on the Judiciary.

Proposed Resolution No. 189, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT DISCRETIONARY PUBLIC FUNDS SHALL BE UNDER SUCH GUIDELINES AND RESTRICTIONS AS MAY BE FIXED BY LAW TO AVOID ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND THAT ALL DISBURSEMENTS OF DISCRETIONARY FUNDS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO STRICT AUDITING REQUIREMENTS.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on the Legislative.

Proposed Resolution No. 190, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE A PROVISION IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES THAT THE PHILIPPINES IS A REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC STATE AND THAT SOVEREIGNTY RESIDES IN THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND ALL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY EMANATES FROM THEM.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 191, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION THAT NO PERSON SHALL BE DETAINED BECAUSE OF HIS POLITICAL BELIEFS AND ASPIRATIONS.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Citizenship, Bill of Rights, Political Rights and Obligations and Human Rights.

Proposed Resolution No. 192, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCLUDE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES THE PROVISION THAT THE STATE RECOGNIZES, THE VITAL ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN NATION BUILDING AND SHALL FULLY PROMOTE THEIR PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING.
Introduced by Hon. Nolledo.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 193, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO STRENGTHEN THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS BY INCORPORATING IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION PROVISIONS REQUIRING THAT APPOINTMENTS THERETO SHALL BE MADE FROM A LIST OF NOMINEES SUBMITTED BY VARIOUS SECTORS AND INCREASING THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONER.
Introduced by Hon. Davide, Jr.

To the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies.

Proposed Resolution No. 194, entitled:
RESOLUTION GRANTING AUTHORITY TO THE SUPREME COURT TO ORGANIZE A JUDICIAL COMMISSION TO EXERCISE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OF COURTS SUBJECT TO ITS CONTROL.
Introduced by Hon. Davide, Jr.

To the Committee on the Judiciary.

Proposed Resolution No. 195, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO GUARANTEE THE RIGHT OF CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS TO BE ACCREDITED AS CITIZEN ARM OF THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND TO BE AFFORDED PROTECTION BY MAKING ITS MEMBERS WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AS AGENTS OF PERSONS IN AUTHORITY.
Introduced by Hon. Davide, Jr.

To the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies.

Proposed Resolution No. 196, entitled:
RESOLUTION INCORPORATING IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST ALL FORMS OF NEGLECT, CRUELTY AND EXPLOITATION.
Introduced by Hon. Sarmiento.

To the Committee on Preamble, National Territory, and Declaration of Principles.

Proposed Resolution No. 197, entitled:
RESOLUTION INCORPORATING IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION REQUIRING THE CONCURRENCE OF AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS TO HIGH RANKING POSITIONS IN THE GOVERNMENT.
Introduced by Hon. Sarmiento.

To the Committee on the Executive.

Proposed Resolution No. 198, entitled:
RESOLUTION TO INCORPORATE IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION A PROVISION THAT THE CANVASSING OF VOTES IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IS PURELY A MINISTERIAL DUTY.
Introduced by Hon. Natividad, Ople, Maambong and de los Reyes, Jr.

To the Committee on the Executive.

COMMUNICATIONS

Resolution No. 42, Series of 1986, of the Sangguniang Bayan of Unisan, Quezon, requesting the Constitutional Commission to include the teaching of the Holy Bible in the curricula of elementary and high school education.

(Communication No. 20 — Constitutional Commission of 1986)

To the Committee on Human Resources.

Letter from Mr. Eliseo M. Blancaflor of Teresa Village, Quezon City, proposing provisions on the promotion and development of livelihood cooperatives and the right of homeowners to bear arms.

(Communication No. 21 — Constitutional Commission of 1986)

To the Committee on the National Economy and Patrimony.

Letter from Mr. Delfin T. Tapang, Jr., Chairman of National People's Forum, transmitting a draft constitution and offering participation and assistance in the holding of public hearings.

(Communication No. 22-Constitutional Commission of 1986)

To the Ad Hoc Planning Committee on Public Hearings

Communication from Mr. Dionisio C. Araza of Bago Bantay, Quezon City, proposing provisions on the presidency, and the judiciary, among others.

(Communication No. 23 — Constitutional Commission of 1986)

To the Committee on the Executive.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIPS


MR. CALDERON: In view of her election to two new committees; namely, the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services and the Ad Hoc Committee on Public Hearings, Commissioner Teresa F. Nieva is giving up her membership in the Committee on General Provisions and the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies.

To fill these vacancies, I move that we elect Commissioner Vicente B. Foz to the Committee on General Provisions and Commissioner Decoroso R. Rosales to the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the withdrawal of Commissioner Nieva from the two committees mentioned is approved and the election of Commissioner Foz to the Committee on General Provisions and Commissioner Rosales to the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies is approved.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, a vacancy exists in the Committee on the Judiciary. I move that we elect Commissioner Ambrosio B. Padilla to fill said vacancy.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection to the election of Commissioner Padilla to the vacant position in the Committee on the Judiciary? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, Commissioners Ople and Uka have agreed to swap membership in the Committee on Style and the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services, respectively. To implement the said arrangement, I move that we elect Commissioner Ople to the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services and Commissioner Uka to the Committee on Style.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; Commissioner Uka is deemed elected to the Committee on Style and Commissioner Ople is deemed elected to the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

MR. CALDERON: Commissioner Romulo is giving up his membership in the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services in favor of Commissioner Rodrigo. I move that we elect Commissioner Rodrigo to the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; Commissioner Rodrigo is elected to the Committee on Social Justice and Social Services.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

MR. CALDERON: I move that Commissioner Tingson be recognized.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Commissioner Tingson is recognized.

SPEECH OF COMMISSIONER TINGSON

MR. TINGSON: Mr. Presiding Officer and my beloved colleagues of this Assembly:

A quarter and one centuries ago, on June 19, 1861, to be precise, an infant boy was born in Calamba, Laguna. He was to live only 35 years because on December 30, 1896 the Spanish rulers of this country had him shot in Bagumbayan.

Jose Rizal did not live to a ripe old age; hence, our endless wonder at how a man could compress in so brief a lifetime such a nationalistic and intellectual career. Jose Rizal was a novelist, a doctor of medicine, a painter, historian, sculptor, architect, surveyor, engineer, inventor, ethnologist, naturalist and philologist.

Rizal could speak 22 languages, native and foreign. In the words of a foreign contemporary, Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt: "Not only is Rizal the most famous man of his own people, but the greatest man the Malay race has produced. "

I am certain that when we and our American friends were assembling the identity of the future Republic of the Philippines, everyone was struck by the sincerity of purpose and the glitter of genius to be found in Dr. Jose Rizal that there was no doubt of his being the national hero. Jose Rizal proved what a Filipino can become. He had shown what lofty purposes the Filipino can embrace.

Rizal defined our identity and, in the end, he had proved to what extent the Filipino was willing to go to prove the things that he believed in. It is beautiful to read what he wrote in Hongkong prior to his return to the Philippines then, in a letter that he left with Dr. Marques to be opened after his death. He said in that letter:

Always have I loved our unhappy land, and I am sure that I shall continue loving it till my last moment in case men prove unjust to me. My career, my life, my happiness — all I have sacrificed for love of it. Whatever my fate, I shall die blessing it and longing for the dawn of its redemption.

Rizal had personified the very best in the Filipino. How else can we say it? By the time he was 35 years old, he was dead. He himself had premonitions of his untimely demise and yet he did not despair, but had worked and studied relentlessly and accomplished so much.

Rizal, were he alive today, would not be out of a job because his knowledge and skills were truly universal. Certainly, he will not be like some politicians who would howl and whimper when relieved of their positions in government because their prospects for employment had dimmed. And not only that Jose Rizal would not be out of a job; he would have a lot to say to his countrymen besides, especially to the Members of this august Constitutional Commission.

A Constitution is sometimes called a document of a people embodying their highest ideals and deepest aspirations. Indeed, how else can it be when it establishes the government and claims the overall control of society.

In preparing these brief remarks, I have scoured for an appropriate passage in the works of our greatest hero that might serve as a fitting advice to us here. There is a multitude of them, to be sure. But I was looking for one that will make us remember who we are and what truly we should become. After all, what I am is God's gift to me and what I become is my gift to God. For in my humble understanding, it would be the greatest blunder to fail this test in writing a Constitution. Therefore, these are the words of Simon, a character in the novel of Jose Rizal, entitled El Filibusterismo, and I quote:

You ask for the hispanization of our country, and you do not see that what you are begging for is suicide, the destruction of your nationality, the annihilation of your fatherland and the consecration of tyranny.

The Spanish conquistadores brought with them arms to subjugate and rule us. It would seem historically logical that the only way to overthrow that rule was to resort to arms. And yet Jose Rizal, the historian and student of great human affairs, did not teach his people to bear arms for their liberation. In an age of great political ferment, he cautioned against the use of arms, against a revolution, and advised his own people, tyrannized for centuries, to work instead for a peaceful political transformation. The father of Asian nationalism, Dr. Jose Rizal, was an early believer in nonviolence.

This is supposed to be the great defect in that great man; the reason why to some of us he is not the greatest national hero. To these dissenters, a revolution without blood is not a revolution, as if the spilling of blood alone can wash away so much shame, so much abomination. But I should say this nonviolent attitude in Dr. Jose Rizal is an added value instead of a defect.

Christianity itself was a peaceful revolution, a spiritual upheaval that had transformed society and individuals, perhaps more deeply than any political ideology in history. Mahatma Gandhi led a civilian disobedience movement that gained for India its independence. Martin Luther King won Negro rights through nonviolent means. And only lately, the Filipino people had succeeded in frustrating the governing will of a power that the people had perceived to be illegitimate, also through a revolution that did not call for arms. May I say that this is a legacy from that greatest of Filipinos, Dr. Jose Rizal, our own "kababayan."

I should like to believe that to struggle with arms for our liberation is to be hispanized. I should like to believe that Dr. Jose Rizal would rather that his people, the Filipinos, struggle to free themselves by means that are peaceful, dignified and do not do violence to man himself. I believe that this is a great legacy. And, finally, I believe that this legacy should find expression in the Constitution that we are writing for the Filipino people.

Thank you, beloved colleagues, and thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

DISCUSSION ON CITIZENSHIP


MR. CALDERON: I move that this Commission take up in a freewheeling discussion, without amendments, matters connected with citizenship, and I request that Commissioner Bernas be recognized to start the free- wheeling discussion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection to a freewheeling discussion on citizenship? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is approved.

Commissioner Bernas is recognized.

FR. BERNAS: Before we start with the discussion, I would like to make doubly clear the purpose of this discussion for the sake of my own bodily integrity. We will not proceed to the amendments. This is purely a freewheeling discussion.

Actually, the Committee on Citizenship is already prepared to make a report on the Article on Citizenship, but this will not be a report. Rather, this will be a narration of the present state of thinking of the members of the Committee as far as citizenship is concerned, and hopefully, what we bear here will also be helpful for the public hearings.

One advantage we have is that there is only one resolution on citizenship, and if we did not have our champion resolution-producer, Commissioner Davide, we would not have any resolution on citizenship. (Laughter)

So, the basis of our discussion will be Resolution No. 7, and I am looking for my copy. For the purpose of our discussion, it would be useful if the Commissioners will pull out their copies of Resolution No. 7. If one does not have a copy of Resolution No. 7, that is a major obstacle.

Let me just say that basically, Resolution No. 7 of Commissioner Davide incorporates the Article on Citizenship found in the 1973 Constitution with some amendments. We have taken up the amendments.

Section I answers the question Who are citizens of the Philippines? Section 2 answers the question: What happens to your citizenship if you get married? Section 3 speaks of acquisition or loss of citizenship. And Section 4 deals with a definition of natural-born citizens.

Section 1 states, and I quote:

Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the ratification of this Constitution.

This is bodily lifted from the 1973 Constitution which was also bodily lifted by the 1973 Constitution from the 1935 Constitution. Whoever are citizens of the Philippines now are recognized by this Constitution as citizens of the Philippines.

Paragraph 2 states: "Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines." Again, this is bodily lifted from the provision of the 1973 Constitution which was a departure from the 1935 Constitution.

Under the 1935 Constitution, to be a natural-born citizen, both your father and your mother should have been Filipino citizens. Under this provision, if at the time of an infant's birth, either the father or the mother is a Filipino citizen, that infant will also be deemed a Filipino citizen. Paragraph 3 states:

. . . Those who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five.

This paragraph is in the nature of a transitory provision.

We will recall that under the 1935 Constitution, if a child was born of a Filipino mother married to an alien, the child was given a right to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. So, when the 1973 Constitution was approved, there were children who had not yet reached the age of majority and had not yet had the opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship. This provision is intended to take care of them anytime up to .the time they reach the age of majority and, thus, elect Philippine citizenship. So, this is applicable only to children of Filipino mothers and alien fathers born prior to January 17, 1973. Upon the effectivity of the new Constitution of 1973, every child born of a Filipino mother automatically becomes a Filipino.

Paragraph 4 partly states: "Those who are naturalized in accordance with law," which is lifted from the 1973 provision. In Resolution No. 7 of Commissioner Davide, there is an addition which reads exactly this way:

Provided, however, that the naturalization of aliens under a decree of the previous regime shall be subject to judicial confirmation. Admission to Philippine citizenship is a privilege which can be revoked anytime in the manner and for causes provided by law.

The thinking of the Committee on the subject is that we should drop this suggested amendment for the following reasons: First, this could be divisive. Second, there are provisions in the Naturalization Law for stripping a naturalized person of citizenship, if certain conditions are not satisfied. Third, we are afraid that this could unduly burden the courts. So, the thinking of the Committee, as far as the suggestion of Commissioner Davide is concerned, is to drop this amendment. Hence, that answers the question: Who are citizens of the Philippines? Perhaps we can pause here and go into some discussions.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Commissioner Bengzon is recognized.

MR. BENGZON: I have some questions on paragraph 1 of Section 1. Would Commissioner Bernas answer some questions?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Commissioner may do so, if he so desires.

FR. BERNAS: Willingly.

MR. BENGZON: The word "adoption" was used under the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions. Did the Committee change this to "ratification"? Both the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions state: "Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitutions" are Filipino citizens. But when we read Section 1, the word "adoption" is changed to "ratification." Did the Committee make this change?

FR. BERNAS: Ratification is the exact word in Resolution No. 7. I would also say that a constitution is adopted upon its ratification.

MR. BENGZON: So actually, the preference of the Committee is to use the word "ratification"?

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. BENGZON: As regards Section 1, paragraph 4, I understand that those who have become naturalized according to a decree that was promulgated by the past dispensation are now Filipino citizens. The Committee senses that it will no longer burden them with a judicial affirmation.

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. BENGZON: After the ratification of this Constitution that we are making, what then would happen to the decree issued by the former President that simplified the naturalization process? Would that be automatically null and void? Do we need to go back to the old constitutional provision on naturalization or will that decree still subsist?

FR. BERNAS: That decree had a limited life span. It is no longer in effect.

MR. BENGZON: But that decree is contained in a small clause in Section 1, paragraph 4. So, under certain circumstances, that decree could still be in effect. Or is that decree totally no longer in existence?

FR. BERNAS: I am hesitant to say that Commissioner Bengzon is wrong. My impression is that it is no longer in effect.

MR. BENGZON: I see. Therefore, the process of naturalization that existed before that decree was enacted is the one that will be in effect in this Section 1.

FR. BERNAS: Yes, but I should say something about that decree which facilitated naturalization. It merely created a special administrative process for selecting those who would be naturalized. So, it is different from the Naturalization Law which created a process resulting in a decree of naturalization. Under the decree of President Marcos, what made one a citizen was a subsequent process of selection, calling it "citizenship."

MR. BENGZON: So, there is really no conflict there.

FR. BERNAS: As far as I know, there is no conflict there.

MR. BENGZON: Paragraph 3 states that those who are born of Filipino mothers and alien fathers after the adoption of this Constitution will also be deemed as Filipino citizens, provided they elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.

FR. BERNAS: Paragraph 3 applies only to children born before January 17, 1973. Anybody born after January 17, 1973 of a Filipino mother, no matter what the citizenship of the husband is, is already a Filipino citizen at birth and therefore does not have to elect Filipino citizenship.

MR. BENGZON: That is what I want to clarify.

Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): What is the pleasure of Commissioner Suarez?

MR. SUAREZ: Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer. Will Commissioner Bernas yield to a few clarificatory questions?

FR. BERNAS: Gladly.

MR. SUAREZ: The Commissioner's statement that Section 3 of the 1973 Constitution is somewhat transitory in character disturbs me, because I interpret this section together with Section 1, Article IV of the 1935 Constitution. We will make this operative only to those who were born of a Filipino mother and an alien father before the year 1973. Is my understanding correct?

FR. BERNAS: Yes, because those born on or after January 17, 1973 are governed by paragraph 2.

MR. SUAREZ: That is, those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines?

FR. BERNAS: Yes. So, if the mother is a Filipino, there is no need for election because the child is already a Filipino citizen at birth.

MR. SUAREZ: So with respect to those born on or after 1973, there is no need for them to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority?

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. SUAREZ: Is that the Commissioner's interpretation of this particular provision?

FR. BERNAS: That is my understanding.

MR. SUAREZ: For that reason, would the Commissioner consider that transitory in character?

FR. BERNAS: Yes. In other words, by that time the last child born prior to January 17, 1973 has made the election or has failed to make the election after reaching the age of majority, then that paragraph 3 is no longer applied to anybody.

MR. SUAREZ: This really disturbs me because paragraph 3 of Section 1 of the 1973 Constitution must have been placed there for a specific purpose.

FR. BERNAS: Precisely. The purpose was to make sure that children born of Filipino parents, but had not yet elected Philippine citizenship since they had not yet reached the age of majority, could still elect.

MR. SUAREZ: But why do they have to do that if their citizenship is already guaranteed under paragraph

FR. BERNAS: No, if they were born on or before January 17, 1973 they should not come under paragraph 2.

MR. SUAREZ: The way paragraph 2 is worded is not prospective in application. It says here: "Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines." There is no required qualification. So, should we limit the application and operation of that particular paragraph only to those who were born after 1973? Is my understanding correct?

FR. BERNAS: Yes. That is my understanding on the basis of the debates in the 1971 Constitutional Convention, and because of that, its delegates thought that paragraph 3 was necessary.

If paragraph 2 is retrospective, then paragraph 3 would not be necessary.

MR. SUAREZ: In view of the Commissioner's interpretation, would he suggest the deletion of paragraph 3 of Section I of the Article on Citizenship?

FR. BERNAS: No, the Committee has a different suggestion in the definition of natural-born citizen. If we will jump to Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution, it says here that a natural-born citizen is one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his citizenship. The Committee added this proviso: PROVIDED THAT MORE WHO ELECT PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1, PARAGRAPH 3, SHALL ALSO BE DEEMED NATURAL-BORN CITIZENS.

MR. SUAREZ: May I point out the danger of that proposal. It is theoretically possible that the mother herself is not a natural-born citizen, and she may have acquired her citizenship by naturalization after the birth of that minor child. The child, being a minor, would follow constitutionally the citizenship of the unnatural-born mother. Would the Commissioner go to the extent of recommending that a child born under these circumstances be considered a natural-born citizen and, therefore, qualified to run for President of our country? Is that the meaning?

FR. BERNAS: No, I would not, because as the Commissioner described the situation of the child, he would not satisfy the definition of paragraph 3 of Section 1.

MR. SUAREZ: Yes, but that additional proposal referring to the elevation of that child, born of a Filipino mother, to the category of a natural-born child is fraught with difficulties.

FR. BERNAS: The reason behind that is just to equalize them with children born under the provision of paragraph 2.

MR. SUAREZ: That mixed me up a little bit. The Commissioner has to pardon me, but I am only concentrating on the automatic elevation of a child born of a Filipino mother to the level of a natural-born child. I would venture the opinion that is only possible, if the mother herself is a natural-born citizen of our country. But if she acquires naturalization by law, and after that she gives birth to this minor child, or at that time that minor child is legally carried by the naturalization of the mother, does not the Commissioner think of the problem that will arise in considering the child as a natural-born child?

FR. BERNAS: Under paragraph 2, if the mother acquires Philippine citizenship before she-gives birth, the child will automatically become a natural-born citizen.

MR. SUAREZ: Under paragraph 2?

FR. BERNAS: Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. SUAREZ: It does not say so, Mr. Presiding Officer.

FR. BERNAS: It says a child born of a Filipino mother. It does not say a child born of a naturalized Filipino mother.

MR. SUAREZ: That is true, Mr. Presiding Officer, but Section 2 does not say that the citizenship carries with it the stamp of being a natural-born citizen. That is under paragraph 3, Section I, as proposed by the Committee.

FR. BERNAS: No, not under Section 1, paragraph 3 but under Section 4.

MR. SUAREZ: Yes, Section 4, Mr. Presiding Officer.

FR. BERNAS: Yes, Section 4. The child will be considered, as in fact he is, a child born of a Filipino mother. In other words, the determinative point is: What was the citizenship of the mother at the time of the birth of the child? If the mother was a Filipino whether by naturalization or by birth at the time of the birth of the child, the progeny is a natural-born citizen.

MR. SUAREZ: Excuse me, but let me refer the Commissioner to paragraph 2, Section 1, Mr. Presiding Officer. It says "Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines." It does not say "citizens of the Philippines at the time of the birth of the child." So it is theoretically possible, Mr. Presiding Officer, that paragraph 2 would even apply to a situation where a child is born of a naturalized father or mother.

FR. BERNAS: Correct, that is what I am saying. But it does not apply to a situation where a child is born and then the mother gets naturalized. That is a different story.

MR. SUAREZ: That is why that would fall either under paragraph 3 or, as proposed to be amended, paragraph 4.

FR. BERNAS: No, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. SUAREZ: Mr. Presiding Officer, I am still confused, but thank you anyway.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): What is the pleasure of Commissioner Concepcion?

MR. CONCEPCION: Mr. Presiding Officer, I have two points on which I would appreciate a clarification. The draft prepared by the Committee seems to liberalize naturalization proceedings. Is that impression correct?

FR. BERNAS: With reference to children born of Filipino mother and alien father prior to the liberalization of the old law in 1971. That is the only liberalization added by the Committee.

MR. CONCEPCION: In principle, would the Commissioner favor the idea that we adopt the policy of being more strict insofar as naturalization is concerned?

FR. BERNAS: In so far as naturalization is concerned, yes.

MR. CONCEPCION: I will not discuss now the question of liberalization insofar as children born of a Filipino mother and an alien father are concerned.

FR. BERNAS: That is the only one which has been liberalized by the Committee.

MR. CONCEPCION: I will not go deep into that question as yet. My next question is on paragraph 4 which provides that those who are naturalized in accordance with law are Filipino citizens.

FR. BERNAS: Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. CONCEPCION: Would the Commissioner favor the insertion of the word JUDICIALLY before "naturalized" so it would read: "JUDICIALLY naturalized in accordance with law"? I ask this question because during the Marcos regime, the President issued a decree permitting administrative naturalization. And even in cases of judicial naturalization, I know for a fact that there have been many, many irregularities made possible by the cooperation of the prosecuting force and court personnel. I have been made to understand that under the decree permitting administrative naturalization, there have been far more irregularities.

FR. BERNAS: First of all, perhaps I would disagree with the statement by the Gentleman that naturalization under former President Marcos was administrative naturalization. I think it was legislative naturalization. The administrative process was simply for the purpose of screening. It was legislative naturalization because the operative act which naturalized these people was the decree with the force of law specifically naturalizing these individuals. So I would say that I would perhaps oppose the idea of naturalization solely by judicial process because I also accept the possibility of naturalization by legislative process.

MR. CONCEPCION: I brought out the idea of judicial naturalization precisely to avoid naturalization either by legislation or by decree. I think a good many of the Members of the Commission are lawyers, and I am sure many of them have had experience in the matter of judicial naturalization by even the court personnel. I have heard stories about officials of the prosecutory force and practicing lawyers who have made fortunes in naturalization proceedings. Insofar as that is concerned, what would be the difference if naturalization takes place by legislation? Would this not offer the temptation which, we are told very often, politicians find irresistible additional income through legislative naturalization, since it is something that though affecting national interest apparently is not controversial, though not actually a matter of attitude or policy? But there seems to be a general feeling that the process of legislation is often dominated by the policy: "You scratch my back and I will scratch yours." That is why I was hoping that the Committee would find it advisable to adopt a restrictive policy by authorizing naturalization solely by judicial proceedings.

FR. BERNAS: Certainly, the Committee will entertain such amendments during the period of amendments.

MR. CONCEPCION: I touch on this question because we have the problem of becoming overpopulated. We are trying to persuade the people, the natural-born Filipinos to slow down our population growth. I hope we would not impose upon them the duty to limit the number of their children, although we still adopt measures encouraging foreigners to reside in the Philippines and become Filipinos. This seems to be rather incongruous.

So, I would prefer and suggest that naturalization be possible only through judicial proceedings, without prejudice to legislative grants of honorary citizenship, without the rights of a naturalized citizen. The number of cases for naturalization has grown considerably since the adoption of the 1935 Constitution which limits the enjoyment of natural resources and the participation in the operation of public utilities to citizens of the Philippines. A liberalization through legislative action would enhance the problem of reserving the enjoyment of our resources to Filipinos and not only in terms of physical or tangible possessions but also insofar as human resources are concerned. Many Filipinos had to go abroad for employment opportunities. So I would earnestly welcome and suggest the adoption of the principle that naturalization may be effected only through judicial proceedings, without prejudice to the authority of the Assembly to confer honorary citizenship devoid of all the right to enjoy natural resources and participate in the operation of public utilities.

FR. BERNAS: Certainly, our Committee will entertain such an amendment at the proper time.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): What is the pleasure of Commissioner Treñas?

MR. TREÑAS: Will Commissioner Bernas answer a few questions?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): He may yield, if he so desires.

FR. BERNAS: Gladly, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. TREÑAS: The Committee on Citizenship, Bill of Rights, Political Rights and Obligations and Human Rights has more or less decided to extend the interpretation of who is a natural-born Filipino citizen as provided in Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution, by adding that persons who have elected Philippine citizen ship under the 1935 Constitution shall be considered natural-born. Am I right, Mr. Presiding Officer?

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. TREÑAS: And does the Commissioner think that this addition to Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution would be contrary to the spirit of that section?

FR. BERNAS: Yes, we are quite aware that it is contrary to the letter really. But whether it is contrary to the spirit is something that has been debated before and is being debated even now. We will recall that during the 1971 Constitutional Convention, the status of natural born citizenship of one of the delegates, Mr. Ang, was challenged precisely because he was a citizen by election. Finally, the 1971 Constitutional Convention considered him a natural-born citizen, one of the requirements to be a Member of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. The reason behind that decision was that a person under his circumstances already had the inchoate right to be a citizen by the fact that the mother was a Filipino. And as a matter of fact, the 1971 Constitutional Convention formalized that recognition by adopting paragraph 2 of Section 1 of the 1971 Constitution. So, the entire purpose of this proviso is simply to perhaps remedy whatever injustice there may be so that these people born before January 17, 1973 who are not naturalized and people who are not natural born but who are in the same situation as we are considered natural-born citizens. So, the intention of the Committee in proposing this is to equalize their status.

MR. TREÑAS: I see. Just one more question: Did the Committee not think of preventing in the future any situation of indiscriminate grants of Filipino citizenship by decree or presidential action and of safeguarding that?

FR. BERNAS: I guess the Committee was of the belief that there is nothing in the Constitution which would stop indiscriminate actions in the future. But we do say "those who are naturalized in accordance with law," which decision, I guess, is to leave to future legislation the formulation of wise naturalization.

MR. TREÑAS: Thank you very much.

MR. NOLLEDO: Mr. Presiding Officer, will Reverend Father Bernas yield to interpellations?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Commissioner Nolledo is recognized, then Commissioner Romulo.

MR. NOLLEDO: Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer. Reverend Father Bernas — I add "Reverend" for we call him only Father Bernas. I think the right address should be Reverend.

Mr. Presiding Officer, I think Reverend Father Bernas will remember that I was the one who wrote the decision in the 1971 Constitutional Convention in the case of Moreno vs. Ernesto Ang.

FR. BERNAS: I do not remember but I am glad the Gentleman reminded me.

MR. NOLLEDO: And I remember very well that in Reverend Father Bernas' well-written book, he said that the decision was designed merely to accommodate former Delegate Ernesto Ang, and that the definition on natural-born citizen has no retroactive effect, rather only prospective effect. I was nervous when then Mr. Pacificador questioned the citizenship of Chief Justice Teehankee because had Mr. Pacificador read and cited the Reverend's book, the status of Chief Justice Teehankee would have been prejudiced. I prayed hard that Mr. Pacificador would not read it, anyway he does not know how to read good books. My prayer was answered because I successfully defended the citizenship of Chief Justice Teehankee.

Now it seems to me that Reverend Father Bernas is going against his contention by supporting the amendment.

FR. BERNAS: As the Commissioner can see, there has been an evolution in my thinking.

MR. NOLLEDO: Yes, it seems to me because Reverend Father Bernas has a very progressive mind. I am happy I am now vindicated.

Mr. Presiding Officer, in connection with that, I know that the proposed provision of Reverend Father Bernas that those who have elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority are also considered natural-born, is consistent with the provision of Section 1, paragraph 2 that those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines are considered natural-born citizens of the Philippines. That is an egalitarian provision designed to recognize the principle that men and women are equal before the law.

But I have a problem, Mr. Presiding Officer, and I think Reverend Father Bernas could help me solve it. This is in relation to Section 2 which states:

A female citizen of the Philippines who marries an alien shall retain her Philippine citizenship, unless by acts or omission as deemed and determined by law she is deemed to have renounced her Philippine citizenship.

Under the Civil Code of the Philippines both the father and the mother exercise joint parental authority over their minor children. If a child was born of Filipino mother and alien father, according to Section 1, paragraph 2, the child is a citizen of the Philippines, regardless of the citizenship of the father.

That is what I understand. Am I correct?

FR. BERNAS: That is also my understanding.

MR. NOLLEDO: Suppose the mother, through her omission, becomes an alien while the child is still a minor, what is now the citizenship of that child whose parents are both aliens? Kindly help me solve this problem.

Thank you.

FR. BERNAS: If I recall, that matter is not governed by constitutional law but by the Revised Naturalization Law which says that the citizenship of children follows the citizenship of the parents.

MR. NOLLEDO: So, in that case, the child during his minority was formerly a Filipino because he was born of a Filipino mother, but when the mother became an alien, the child also became an alien.

FR. BERNAS: As I understand the present state of the law, that would seem to be the case.

MR. NOLLEDO: I agree.

Thank you, Commissioner Bernas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Commissioner Romulo is recognized.

MR. ROMULO: May I ask a few questions. I want to determine whether or not a child, whose circumstances I will describe later, may have a dual citizenship even upon reaching the age of majority. A child is born in the United States of both Filipino parents, therefore, as I understand American laws, he is a natural-born American.

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. ROMULO: And as I understand these provisions, he is also a natural-born Filipino.

FR. BERNAS: Yes.

MR. ROMULO: He did not elect citizenship, neither under American law nor under Philippine law. Am I then correct in saying that he has dual citizenship for the rest of his life?

FR. BERNAS: I am not sure, if there is now a law in the Philippines requiring him to choose. I am not sure; but certainly he is born with dual citizenship.

MR. ROMULO: Yes.

FR. BERNAS: How long he is allowed to keep that, I am not sure.

MR. ROMULO: That is my question, and should that not be settled by the Constitution?

FR. BERNAS: We will entertain the wisdom of others on that.

MR. BENGZON: Mr. Presiding Officer, just in relation to what is in the discussion.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): May we recognize Commissioner Ople first and then have Commissioner Bengzon later.

MR. OPLE: Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.

Will Commissioner Bernas yield to a few questions?

FR. BERNAS: Gladly.

MR. OPLE: These questions will be focused on citizenship and national security. If I recall right, this presidential decree that simplified and liberalized the naturalization process was promulgated sometime in

FR. BERNAS: Possibly earlier than that.

MR. OPLE: In 1974 or 1975, I wanted to contribute my own recollection of the circumstances under which that decree was promulgated on the recommendation of the Cabinet at that time. We were on the eve of a momentous decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and I remember that the question of the presence in the Philippines of a very considerable number of the Chinese community could have an impact on the national security unless they were helped to become Filipino citizens, the alternative being that most of these Chinese would actually fall under the citizenship of the new legitimate government based in Peking and to be recognized by the Philippines.

I do not know if Commissioner Bernas recalls the data at the time. There were 600,000 Chinese in the Philippines according to the Philippine Constabulary, but only 174,000 were recorded in the Bureau of Immigration. At that time this was a major cause of concern and the decision was that it would be helpful to the national security, if the laws were changed so that there would be greater simplification and liberalization of the naturalization law.

But I am glad to be reassured by Commissioner Bernas that this law was self-destructive and that it is no longer in force and in effect. Therefore, we may shift our concern to reports that we hear about those Chinese naturalized since 1974 under that simplified procedure but who still retained their citizenship under the Republic of China and the Republic of Taiwan.

Has Commissioner Bernas heard this report?

FR. BERNAS: Yes, I have heard the report.

MR. OPLE: And I think every October 10 or thereabouts, a good number of Filipino-Chinese go to Taiwan in order to participate in that great event commemorating the Sun Yat Sen Republic. Commissioner Bernas is undoubtedly aware of that.

FR. BERNAS: It is valuable information.

MR. OPLE: Therefore, I would like to revert to the point earlier raised by Commissioner Romulo on whether or not it might be tine for his Committee to consider a more categorical policy on double citizenship, not only for the sake of national security but also for a greater clarity about our policy, it having been admitted earlier that it is actually possible for a Filipino-Chinese to be born and be reared under a double citizenship, if he is born in the United States of Filipino parents, and, therefore, his political status can be very ambivalent until he reaches a point where he is forced to make a choice between two citizenships.

Does Commissioner Bernas' Committee contemplate the possibility of addressing this concern now about double citizenship?

FR. BERNAS: The Committee in its discussion did not consider that, partly because the Committee thought that this is a matter better left to ordinary legislation because we already have in Section 3 a provision which says: "Philippine citizenship may be lost or re-acquired in the manner provided by law."

So, the option we have really is, do we treat the matter of double citizenship — dual citizenship — in the Constitution or do we relegate that to ordinary legislation? It is something which we can discuss.

MR. OPLE: Yes, I hope that the Committee, in due course, will welcome an amendment on the question of double citizenship which we can jointly present to Commissioner Romulo.

My last question has to do with hundreds of thousands of our countrymen abroad now — about a million of them in the United States; about 150,000 in Canada; and at least 30,000 in Australia — who are permanent residents and of whom a good number chose the citizenship of their respective new countries of residence but who later on might become contrite about this early decision and would like to reacquire their Filipino citizenship and maybe choose to retire and die in their own native land.

For purposes of regaining citizenship — I am not knowledgeable about the existing law, if any — is there any procedure that makes it easier for these Filipinos who have become repentant about an earlier choice of foreign citizenship to reacquire their former natural birthright?

FR. BERNAS: As a matter of fact, under the Revised Naturalization Law, the process of reacquisition of citizenship called repatriation, not naturalization, is rather simple. As I recall, it is just a matter of taking a new oath of allegiance.

MR. OPLE: That is very reassuring and, of course, we will appreciate it if the Committee on Citizenship might recognize later on the advent of a new situation comparatively recent in our history where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have gone abroad to live and work there. It is true that in the early '20s and the '30s a substantial number of Ilocanos went to Hawaii, and that just about summed up the Filipino exodus at that time. But today there is what looks like a Filipino diaspora where hundreds of thousands have left and hundreds of thousands are going to leave in the next few years.

I would like to solicit the Committee's attention to the possibility that many of our countrymen later on will genuinely repent about their having embraced a foreign citizenship, and when they are ready to come back home and readopt their citizenship, it will be relatively simpler for them and there will be no hassle doing this.

Thank you, Commissioner Bernas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

MR. CALDERON: All good things must come to an end . . .

MR. DE CASTRO: Just one questions please.

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, I move for the adjournment of the session.

MR. DE CASTRO: Mr. Presiding Officer, for my peace of mind, I would like to ask this question of the honorable Committee member.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): With the permission of the Floor Leader, may we allow Commissioner de Castro to have the floor?

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, I withdraw my motion for adjournment.

MR. DE CASTRO: Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.

May Commissioner Bernas yield to a few questions?

FR. BERNAS: Very willingly, yes.

MR. DE CASTRO: A while ago, I heard the Honorable Bernas state that there is no possibility of a double citizenship under his proposal.

FR. BERNAS: I said there is a possibility.

MR. DE CASTRO: It is not a possibility, it is true right now. My daughter married a Swiss; therefore, she became a Swiss citizen. Then under the decree on repatriation, I had her repatriated sometime in 1982 and she became a Filipino, but she is carrying a Swiss passport because she is still a Swiss. As of now, she has a double citizenship. Will you agree to that situation?

FR. BERNAS: As I said, there are people enjoying dual citizenship.

MR. DE CASTRO: Yes. I would like the question resolved for my peace of mind.

My daughter married a Swiss in 1970 and she automatically became a Swiss. As she was a vice consul in the Philippine Embassy in Paris, she had to quit, or she had to be eased out of office because she was already a Swiss. Then a baby was born in 1974 when she was still a Swiss. Sometime in 1982, I had her repatriated and she became a Filipino. Now, can we say that her child is a Filipino considering that Section 1, paragraph 2 states that "Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines" are therefore considered citizens of the Philippines?

FR. BERNAS: My understanding of subparagraph 2 of Section I is that it applies to children born of Filipino parents at the time of birth.

MR. DE CASTRO: But nothing in this provision states that it is at the time of birth. It simply says: "Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines." And since my daughter is now a citizen of the Philippines, having been repatriated sometime in 1981 or 1982. . .

FR. BERNAS: As I said, the letter of the law is subject to your interpretation. As a matter of fact, a careful reading of the debates of the 1971 Constitutional Convention clearly reveals the intention that this applies only to children born of parents who are Filipino citizens at the time of birth.

MR. DE CASTRO: This will be subject to interpretation by the . . .

FR. BERNAS: I am not aware of any definitive decision of the Supreme Court on this matter.

MR. DE CASTRO: Thank you, Commissioner Bernas.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): The Assistant Floor Leader is recognized.

ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION

MR. CALDERON: Mr. Presiding Officer, I move that we adjourn until nine o'clock tomorrow morning.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Davide): Is there any objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the session is adjourned until tomorrow at nine o'clock in the morning.

It was 7:01 p.m.


* Appeared after the Roll Call.

Popular Posts