SEC agrees, dual citizens are '100 percent Filipino'

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2020 04:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2020 07:23 PM

SEC agrees, dual citizens are '100 percent Filipino' 1
ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III testifies via the internet before the House of Representatives hearing on the ABS-CBN Franchise on June 03, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Securities and Exchange Commission shares the view of the Justice Department that dual citizens are also "100 percent Filipino, its commissioner said Monday before a House hearing on ABS-CBN Corp's franchise.

Some lawmakers have questioned the citizenship of ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, who testified for the second time and asserted his being a Filipino citizen "in thought, word and deed."

"Our interpretation of the dual citizenship law has been similar to that of the Department of Justice...a dual citizen is 100 percent Filipino, 'yan po ang yung current interpretation namin (that's our current interpretation)," SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said during a Congressional hearing on ABS-CBN franchise. 

"A dual citizen, dun sa pag analyze po namin (based on our analysis), is essentially a Filipino and we don’t look anymore to foreign citizenship with respect to his eligibility to perform acts or engaged in businesses reserved for Filipinos," he added.

Amatong earlier said Lopez was "represented" as a Filipino citizen based on SEC records.

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The Department of Justice earlier said Lopez is a Filipino by birth since his parents are Filipinos. Lopez holds a dual citizenship after being born in the United States in 1952. 

Solicitor General Jose Calida had challenged ABS-CBN's franchise before the Supreme Court, citing Lopez's citizenship. 

Lopez was born to Filipino parents Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr. and Conchita La O’-Lopez, ABS-CBN said. Under the 1935 Philippine Constitution which was in effect at that time, he is automatically a Filipino citizen.

Lopez is also an American citizen by virtue of the fact that he was born in 1952 in the United States is the official website of ABS-CBN Corp.