by Roy C. Mabasa
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. yesterday maintained that he is a Filipino citizen as questions about his citizenship continue to hound him and threatens his confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
In a televised interview, Yasay pointed out that he never told a lie when he insisted before a Senate confirmation hearing the previous week that he never acquired American citizenship.
He said the allegation that he renounced his Filipino citizenship in favor of being recognized as an American national was concocted by detractors who simply want to derail his confirmation as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“It is fair to say my detractors got it wrong,” said Yasay..
According to the foreign affairs chief, he had an American passport but that has already been returned
He said when he applied for US citizenship, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. had just been assassinated.
But when he learned the late Philippine dictator President Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown, he no longer pursued his bid to acquire US citizenship.
What was actually granted to him by the American government in 1993 was a US tourist visa.
“That’s proof I was not a US citizen,” said Yasay.