QUEZON CITY, Quezon Province, Philippines – Misplaced Filipino pride.
Sensing that media companies frequently and abusively invoke the Filipino blood of foreign entertainers to “lift” the Philippine pride, 7th District Congressman John Aballa of Negros Occidental had drafted House Bill No. 6327, or “An Act Extending Filipino Citizenship to Foreigners with Filipino Blood, Appropriating Funds Therefor And For Other Purposes”.
When asked on the purpose of writing the bill, he told, “Sa totoo lang, nakakahiya na tayo. Sasabihin ng ibang dayuhan sa atin, ‘Aba, ang mga Pinoy na ito ay walang pinagkaiba sa mga Intsik kung makaangkin.’” (The truth is, we are such a disgrace. Foreigners will tell us, “These Filipinos are no different to the Chinese when it comes to claiming things as theirs.)
“I am reminded what the media had painted Cyrus Villanueva of X-Factor Australia as Filipino. Actually on this issue, a netizen had shared this to me, ‘I’m just embarassed when my Australian friends here are seeing these types of post. When they say, Cyrus is Australian, and born here regardless of Filipino blood, why do Filipinos claim that he is a Filipino and disregard his Australian blood and citizenship? I don’t know how to explain to my Australian friends why Filipinos have the attitude to claim all the time.’”
“Misplaced na ang Filipino pride, at matagal na nangyayari iyan. Mga ten years or so? Hindi. Baka mas mahaba pa. Matagal na iyang ginagawa ng media. (Filipino pride is misplaced, and that is happening a long time ago. Ten years or so? No. It might be longer. Media’s doing it for so long.) They are also no different to my colleagues who are epal (attention-seekers).”
“At dahil misplaced na, (And because it’s misplaced already,) some netizens will tell that ‘Mas maigi na iyan, dahil may dugong Pilipino sila, kaya nakikilala tayo.’Eh di wow! (That’s better, we have been famous because of their Filipino blood. That’s wow!) The question is, when Fil-foreigners – foreigners mostly in heart and mind but incidentally Filipino by blood – step on stage of other countries, do they really lift the pride of every Filipino? Buti na lang meron tayong(Fortunately we have) Arnel Pineda, Rose Fostanes, 4th Impact, [and] Jordan Clarkson, sana makuntento na tayo sa kung ano’ng meron sa atin(hope we will be contented on what we have now).”
Citing that the media is insisting on claiming Fil-foreigners as Filipinos, and to avoid confusion to the general public in describing both the Fil-foreiger’s allegiance and citizenship, the congressman drafted a bill. Under the proposed bill, Filipino citizenship will be extended to foreigners who have at least 0.0000001% of Filipino blood, provided he/she passes the DNA testing.
With automatic extension of citizenship, Aballa hopes that they can now own real properties, purchase stocks of companies reserved for Filipinos, vote, and hold public offices, and enjoy other privileges reserved for natural-born citizens.
“We have to note that even if they are really foreigners, we will recognize them as Filipino citizens. Anyway, our principle of jus sanguinis tells us that Fil-foreigners are Filipino citizens too.”
On the question if Queen Elizabeth will be benefited from the law, he told, “We can’t tell that. In fact, Queen Elizabeth’s blood is a mixture of various races. But who knows, even a hint of Filipino blood in her can be seen. Maybe, if she proves that one of her ancestors is a Filipino, we can automatically provide her Filipino citizenship.”
When asked if Grace Poe, who was being attacked not only on insufficient residency requirement but more on allegations that she is still an American citizen, Aballa replied, “Yes, Grace Poe can benefit from the law if signed [by the President]. With even a hint of a Filipino blood, she can now run for president. Makakalusot pa nga siya sa DQ ng (She might bypass disqualification case of) COMELEC.Sana maipasa ito bago magkaroon ng break ang Kongreso. (Wish this be passed before the break of Congress.)”
The Bureau of International Revenues (BIR) Commissioner Kimmy Hinares recently issued Revenue Regulation 18-2015 stating that “for tax purposes, Filipino-foreigners who will be covered by this act, once passed, will be considered as non-resident citizens. Therefore, they are subject to all taxes as prescribed by the National Internal Revenue Code for non-resident citizens.”