|Written by Manuel Buencamino / Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom|
All I want is a little more than I can get.—Ashleigh Brilliant
Dear Professor Olivar,
Here you are; it’s already February 24, 2010, two weeks after it became known that you are a government official with dual allegiance, and you are still clinging to your job.
I read what you said in response to questions about your divided loyalties. “My government work is fully compliant with both the privileges and constraints of that status as defined by both the Philippine and US governments.”
My dear Professor Olivar, it does not matter whether you believe it’s okay to “recognize and accept the supreme authority” of two flags and to “maintain true faith and allegiance” to both. The legal opinion of both the Philippine and US governments is not the issue here. What matters here is what Philippine law states very clearly.
“Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: provided, that they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath;”—Section 5 (3) of the Dual Citizenship Law
What part of “provided” don’t you understand?
For your edification, “provided” means “on the condition or understanding that....” That means when you accept any appointive position in the Philippine government, whether it be for dogcatcher or a “senior policy-making” post as you describe the position you hold, you must go through the renunciation bit. You cannot be a dual citizen and a government official at the same time. It is prohibited.
The reason for Section 5 (3) is obvious. There is no “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” involved in your situation. The choice is not between God and man, it is between two Golden Calves, although I can understand why you would mistake America for God.
There are no loopholes, no “ifs or buts,” no legal technicalities to use as weapons to kill the letter and the spirit of the stipulation prohibiting dual allegiance for government officials. Do read the law again, and carefully this time around, so you don’t go around whining and blaming everyone else for your predicament.
I know you’re disappointed that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita did not vouch for your patriotism. “All I can say is Professor Gary Olivar is a Filipino citizen and he tells me, well, he has dual citizenship and under that principle, he is confident that this is backed up by appropriate law, that he is right now in Malacañang.”
Ermita left you twisting in the wind. But can you blame him for not covering your behind? You wanted a little more than you can get and that, especially in a government run by thieves, is a no-no.
I know it’s harsh, especially for someone who appears to have mastered the art of serving two flags simultaneously, to remind you that you have no option except to resign from your job or renounce your allegiance to the US. But the Dual Citizenship Law does not allow a dual citizen to hold a government job. Period. As former Miss International Melanie Marquez would put it, “You can’t eat your cake and bake it, too.”
Hugs and kisses,