Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay could be facing perjury charges after admitting he owned an American passport which was contrary to what he said during an inquiry made by the Commission on Appointments.
In a television interview, he said that he had once carried an American passport but he had returned it along with his naturalization certificate.
It has been reported earlier that Yasay had denied his status as an American citizen. He also mentioned that it was “incorrect” to say that he had only formally renounced his citizenship last year in the US Embassy in Manila two days before his appointment as Foreign Secretary. He said it is rather an act of “confirmation, reiteration, and furtherance of what I had done in 1993”.
According to a publicly released document, Yasay had personally appeared before Vice Consul Kristy Haller at the US Embassy last year on June 28, to formally renounce his citizenship. However, Yasay pointed out that the second page of the document states that his appearance at the Embassy was to confirm and reiterate his act of giving up his citizenship in 1993.
Yasay said that he was granted citizenship in November 1986 but around that time he already had “preconceived intent” of returning to the Philippines.
He admitted taking oath as a US citizen on November 24, 1986.
“Taking my oath did not make me a US citizen if the basis upon which the grant of American citizenship is flawed and defective. I would not have and I did not acquire legally American citizenship,” he said.
According to Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, it will be very likely that the CA will reject Yasay’s appointment as Foreign Affairs Secretary.
It takes 13 votes to confirm or reject an appointee.
Yasay’s confirmation hearing will be on March 8.