Citizenship process must be streamlined – Fil-Chinese leader

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Citizenship process must be streamlined – Fil-Chinese leader

By: - Reporter /
/ 06:44 PM June 20, 2024

PHOTO: Dr. Cecilio K. Pedro STORY: Citizenship process must be streamlined – Fil-Chinese leader

Dr. Cecilio Pedro, president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. —Photo from his Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Filipino-Chinese community emphasized on Thursday the importance of streamlining the process of acquiring Filipino citizenship.

Dr. Cecilio Pedro, president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) acknowledged the complexities of acquiring citizenship.

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“There are also concerns about citizenship. The citizenship is more complicated because they were able to enter here and then they adopted the Filipino citizenship,” Pedro, speaking partly in Filipino, told reporters after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between FFCCCII and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to facilitate the deportation of qualified Chinese nationals.

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Pedro was among the Chinese nationals who were granted Filipino citizenship during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos in the 70s.

“There was a general amnesty and so many of us were given citizenship during that time,” he said, adding that the others became Filipinos through other means such as the naturalization law.

“We are trying to help in the sense that we want to streamline, to make sure that the Filipino-Chinese who are staying here or even the Chinese will comply with the laws of the Philippines,” Pedro said.

He said he was hoping that Congress could help create laws to improve the process of acquiring Filipino citizenship.

He mentioned the case of Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac, whose citizenship remains a question despite her insistence of being a Filipino.

“We will spend more time looking at this concern, this Alice Guo case… We really don’t know how to move forward. But definitely, it is a concern for many Chinese, especially those new Chinese that came over,” he said.

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Last year, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla called a national security issue the proliferation of Chinese citizens who illegally entered the Philippines.

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“It becomes a national security issue if it involves faking papers. These people take for granted the value of our territorial boundaries,” Remulla said, speaking partly in Filipino.

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