Riyadh Group Seeks Support for OFW Eyeing Senate Seat
RIYADH, 27 February 2007 — A community organization in Riyadh yesterday urged overseas Filipinos who are eligible to vote in the forthcoming Philippine senatorial election to include a fellow expatriate in their “Magic 12” list.
The Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino sa Ibayong Dagat, or Kakampi, endorsed the candidacy of Theodore Aquino, “Ka Ted” to his friends in the Filipino global community, saying he has “heart for OFWs.”
“Please call, write, text, persuade, convince your parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, relatives and friends to support us OFWs in our long quest for electoral equality, our right to vote and to be voted upon for public office,” said Kakampi political affairs committee chair Bong Amora in an e-mail.
Aquino, a civil engineer based in San Francisco, California, is currently the president of the U.P. Alumni Association in America.
Kuya Ted had been disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) last week for not meeting the residency requirement but Amora disputed the ruling. “Kuya Ted is a Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines. He was born to a Filipino father and a Filipino mother,” he said in his e-mail, adding that “Kuya Ted never renounced his Filipino citizenship…”
The Comelec has also ruled that votes cast for senatorial candidates under the name “Aquino” will be credited to Tarlac Rep. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Noynoy, son of the late former Sen. Ninoy Aquino and former President Corazon C. Aquino, has asked the Comelec to declare Kuya Ted as a nuisance candidate.
Kuya Ted, who had been acknowledged to be a successful engineer in San Francisco where he has been residing for about 40 years, is a nephew of Ninoy Aquino.
He said he was running on a platform to reverse the brain drain, and that he claims to represent the interests of Filipinos overseas.
But Noynoy Aquino, in his petition, cited news reports quoting Kuya Ted as saying he just wanted to run for the Senate to test the effectivity of the Dual Citizenship Law.
Noynoy’s petition also noted that Kuya Ted was not endorsed by any political party and does not have the capacity to conduct an electoral campaign.
Despite the disqualification, Kakampi leaders said Kuya Ted deserves the support of OFWs.
Leo Menez, chair of the Kakampi-KSA information committee, sought support for lesser known candidates running under the Ang Kapatiran Party.
One of these is lawyer Zosimo Paredes, who was fired as undersecretary of foreign affairs for standing up to Malacaٌang in the custody case of a US Marine soldier convicted of raping a Filipino woman.
Also running with Paredes are Dr. Martin Bautista and lawyer Adrian Sison.
“It is about time that new faces in Philippine politics should emerge and this could only be realized if we really have the will to choose the right one,” said the Kakampi press statement.
What It Is
The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is a “status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other”, Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 (1952).
Dual nationality results from the fact that there is no uniform rule of international law relating to the acquisition of nationality. Each country has its own laws on the subject, and its nationality is conferred upon individuals on the basis of its own independent domestic policy. Individuals may have dual nationality not by choice but by automatic operation of these different and sometimes conflicting laws.