- Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has taken to social media to express his stance on the argument regarding ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III’s citizenship
- He said that questioning the citizenship of Lopez is a “weak ground” to deny the media network’s new franchise
- Enrile also believes that Lopez is qualified to own and manage a mass media broadcast business in the Philippines as he is a natural-born Filipino
- It can be recalled that Lopez’s citizenship is being tackled in an ABS-CBN franchise hearing because the country’s laws require that mass media firms should belong to a 100% Filipino owner
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Sunday, June 14, that questioning ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III’s citizenship is a “weak ground” to deny the media network’s new franchise.
In a Facebook post, Enrile expressed his belief that Lopez is qualified to own and manage a mass media broadcast business in the Philippines as he is a natural-born Filipino.
Here is Enrile’s full Facebook post:
“The citizenship of Gabby Lopez alone is a weak ground to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise or to extend its old franchise. I understand Gabby Lopez was born in the United States with parents who were both citizens of the Philippines. Under that factual situation, Gabby Lopez, at birth, acquired the status of being a natural born citizen of the United States by virtue of the principle of JUS SOLI ( law of the soil or place of birth), which is generally followed to determine the citizenship of the United States.”
“Also at birth, Gabby Lopez simultaneously acquired the status of being a natural born citizen of the Philippines by virtue of the principle of JUS SANGUINIS (law of nationality or ethnicity), which is generally followed to determine Philippine citizenship. Gabby Lopez (and all Filipinos similarly situated like him) was never required under our Constitution to elect and choose which of his two citizenship he would retain or follow. Both attached to him at birth without any choice or act on his part.”
“From the view point of US law, he is a natural born American. At the same time, from the view point of Philippine law, he is a natural born Filipino. This dual citizenship is, in fact, recognized by our Congress under the dual citizenship law passed by it. And so under those circumstances, I personally believe that Gabby Lopez is qualified to own and manage a mass media broadcast business in our country, and that ABS-CBN Corporation is not disqualified because of him to engaged in mass media broadcast business under a provision of our Constitution which says – ‘The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines….’"
It can be recalled that the citizenship of Lopez is being tackled in a House joint panel hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise because the country’s laws require that ownership and management of mass media firms should belong to a 100% Filipino.
In a previous report by KAMI, Lawmaker asks ABS-CBN executive Gabby Lopez to recite "Panatang Makabayan’".
ABS-CBN is one of the leading broadcast networks in the Philippines. Its 25-year franchise expired on May 4 and it was not able to secure another franchise.
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