FEDERALISM CHARTER SHUTS OUT GLOBAL FILIPINOS

The Federalism Constitution terminates all of the citizenship rights of dual citizens and deprives all global Filipinos of any form of representation in national governance through the Legislature.

The question then is: what would motivate global Filipinos to nurture a sense of identification with the Motherland and support the approval of the Federalism Constitution in a Referendum?

  1. COMPLETE ABROGATION OF CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS OF DUAL CITIZENS

The FederalismConstitution completely abolishes the existing citizenship rights of dual citizens. Duals will not have any suffrage and other basic rights available to citizens under the Constitution. Duals may not even acquirereal properties such as condominiums. The table below shows the comparative situation now and under the Federalism Constitution:

Citizenship Right of Dual Citizens Now (Under R.A. 9223 ) Federalism Constitution
a.)right to vote Yes No
b.) run for public office or be appointed to public office No Yes
c.) run for public office right after renouncing foreign citizenship Yes No
d.) own land Yes No
e.) aside from land, own real property such as buildings, condominiums, and machinery Yes No
e.) practice licensed profession Yes No

The pertinent provision of the Draft of the Revised Constitution reads:

ARTICLE IV    CITIZENSHIP

SECTION 5. Filipinos with dual or more citizenships may not acquire real properties or exercise the right to vote or run for public office or exercise any profession in the Federal Republic, unless he or she renounces any or all of his or her foreign citizenships.

If the renunciation of his or her foreign citizenship(s) is intended to qualify him or her to be a candidate for public office, it must be done, at least, four years prior to any election in which he or she is a candidate for any office.”

  1. NO SENATORIAL REPRESENTATION

The Federalism Constitution refers to the election of Senators by Federated Region. As clarified, the Regions refer only to territories in the Philippines. Therefore, it is a sad commentary that Former Senate President Nene Pimentel’s enlightened vision of allotting three Senatorial positions for global Filipinos in three global regions did not meet the approval of the ConCom.

Here is the pertinent section of the Draft of the Revised Constitution:

ARTICLE VII   LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

SECTION 2. Every Federated Region shall be represented by at least two (2) Senators elected by the qualified voters in the Federated Region, provided that each region shall have the same number of senators.”

After decades of advocating proportional representation, global Filipinos will continue to live in the shadow of suppressed suffrage rights. They are citizens without a consequential voice in national governance – in contrast to the policy of progressive nations that provides legislative representation for overseas citizens.

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