Any human being, born anywhere in the world, whose natural mother OR natural father is a Filipino citizen, automatically becomes a natural-born Filipino citizen. This is the principle of Jus Sanguinis ("Right of the Blood") by which all natural-born Filipinos become Filipino citizens. It is a biological birthright, a matter of the composition of your DNA--at least half of it must have come from a person who was a Filipino citizen when he and or she gave it to "you."
In contrast, any human being, born within the territory of the United States of America, regardless of the citizenship(s) of natural parents, automatically becomes a natural-born American citizen. This is the principle called Jus Soli ("Right of the Soil"), by which most Americans become natural-born citizens--they are born in America.
Notice that both citizenships are granted automatically at birth--the human being has no choice in the matter. Whether you like it or not, you are deemed a citizen based on the circumstances of your birth, over which you hardly have any control.
Now think about what happens when Filipinos come to live and work in the United States of America and have children. Notice that both principles, jus soli and jus sanguinis apply in full to such human beings born to Filipinos within the US homeland. This creates a very large class of natural born dual citizens of the Philippines and the United States. Every child born in America whose father OR mother is a Filipino citizen at the time of his or her birth is automatically BOTH an American AND a Filipino citizen. They really have NO choice in the matter. Human beings do not choose their original citizenship. Citizenship rights and duties are shoved upon them at birth by one or more countries, depending on the biological and geographic circumstances whether they like it or not.
Natural-born Filipino citizens often become citizens of the US by a process called NATURALIZATION, which of course is a conscious and purposeful act that normally follows from moving to the US to live and work, something we've been doing for centuries, if Rodel Rodis and various Filipino-American historians are to be believed. Simple logic and arithmetic shows however, that natural born dual citizens far outnumber those who have only recently re-acquired Filipino citizenship under RA 9225, the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003. Natural born citizens of both countries however, do not have to do anything to perfect their citizenships, which are rights acquired at birth. They can only lose such rights by explicitly rejecting and abjuring them.
I myself was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA when both my Filipino parents were doing Master of Laws studies at not-distant Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. ("Go Hoosiers!"). But exactly half of the more than fifty winters on my head were also spent in the summer, spring and fall of both countries. I was less than a year old when I first returned to the Philippines, where I grew up and first lived until I was eighteen, when Ferdinand Marcos arrested, then exiled me as an undesirable teenager writing nasty editorials about him in a college newspaper (The La Sallian). But I was eventually released from the custody of one Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos and our official gaoler, Juan Ponce Enrile, and thus departed the privileged company of such as Ninoy Aquino, Chino Roces, Pepe Diokno, Haydee Yorac, and many other of martial law's earliest foes, bunkmates at the Camp Crame Officers Gym. I moved to America on the strength of a letter from the US Embassy that I was protected by the laws and Constitution of the United States. (Or perhaps it was Marcos' realization that I was the least of his worries in that august company still within his detention.) With the help of many little brown brothers and sisters--and yellow, and black, and white, and red, all the technicolors of the rainbow called Humanity--I put myself and the Mrs. through college, working full time and studying full-time which only the young can do. In time I became a Harvard Physicist and General Electric Co. Scientist and before I knew it, Marcos was gone, and it was the Nineties. I came home in 1995 and have been here in the Archipelago since--writing, mainly. Observing, mostly. Other writers, especially.
And so, it is with the same spirit of ginger trepidation with which I approach a live crustacean, like a crab or lobster bristling with pincers and a spiny exoskeleton, that I comment upon Isagani Cruz's blast at Dual Citizens with Dual Allegiance in Saturday PDI.
First, Isagani Cruz argues with the 1987 Constitution, as follows:
"Art. IV, Sec. 5 of the Constitution provides, “Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.” In Mercado v. Manzano, 307 SCRA 630, the Supreme Court, citing the debates in the Constitutional Commission of 1986, distinguished between dual allegiance and dual citizenship and held that while the former was illegal the latter was allowed.CAVEATS:
I beg to differ. Citizenship indispensably requires allegiance and dual citizenship allows dual allegiance, which the Constitution itself says is “inimical to the national interest.” Where the national interests of the countries of the dual citizen clash, which of his two countries should he support? The loyalty of the citizen should be absolute but it must be divided and diluted if he is a dual citizen."
(1) This is called ZERO-SUM thinking because Isagani Cruz studiously ignores the very reason why both the US and the Philippines and most other civilized countries allow dual citizenship, which is that the "national interests of the countries of the dual citizen" COINCIDE much more than they CLASH.
(2) Isagani Cruz also ignores the basic humanitarian motivation behind dual citizenship, which is that there are unavoidable biological, cultural and historical ties that bind persons to families and communities and places that have nothing to do with the legalities of Constitutions and the perorations of former Supreme Court Justices.
(3) Loyalty and allegiance are however not zero-sum quantities. For loyalty and allegiance are akin to the emotion called Love, which is not zero-sum quantity. The fact that I have two parents, a mother and a father, does not mean I can be loyal to, or love, only one of them. Though my Love and Loyalty ARE divided between them, neither my Love nor Loyalty is diluted by such a division!
(4) Both zero sum thinking and the disregard for the human conditions that accompany a world of international immigration and travel, are clear symptoms of CRUSTACEANITIS, that crab-like syndrome which further motivates Isagani Cruz to say things like this:
I.C.: "I am reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 16:9-15: “No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”Cruz is actually grousing about OFWs having their cake and eating it too, perhaps after himself imbibing too much of Conrado de Quiros' bitter bile against the emigrants.
The cloying sentimentality of sob sisters in Congress now allows undeserved privileges to former Filipinos who have abandoned this country for the greener pastures of other lands. The dual citizen is like a man who abandons the wife he loves to marry another woman he needs. As “This country of ours, for all its difficulties and limitations, is like a jealous and possessive mother,” I had written earlier. “Once it is rejected, it is not quick to welcome back with open arms its prodigal and repentant children.” The dual citizens are not even repentant children.Oh Repent Ye Disloyal Dual Citizens You!