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Re-acquisition of Citizenship

Citizenship may be reacquired, even though it is lost, according to the provisions of the law.
There are several ways of reacquiring citizenship. It may be reacquired through naturalization,
repatriation, or through direct act of law.
Repatriation is the recovery of original citizenship. If what was lost was naturalized citizenship,
that is what will be reacquired. If natural-born citizenship was lost, then natural-born citizenship will be
reacquired.[1] Technically, it is not acquiring citizenship as a person, but it is merely re-taking what was
once his.
Reacquisition of Philippine citizenship does not have an automatic effect. The fact that a former
Filipino is elected does not automatically restore Philippine citizenship, the possession of which is an
indispensable requirement for holding public office.[2] As what the Supreme Court has held in the case of
Labo, Jr. v. COMELEC:[3] Philippine citizenship is not a cheap commodity that can be easily recovered
after its renunciation. It may be restored only after the returning renegade makes a formal act of rededication to the country he has abjured and he solemnly affirms once again his total and exclusive loyalty
to the Republic of the Philippines.
SUBSTANTIVE LAWS ON HOW TO REAQUIRE FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP
According to Commonwealth Act No. 63, citizenship may be reacquired through the following
means:
(1)

By naturalization: Provided, That the applicant possess none of the


disqualification's prescribed in section two of Act Numbered Twenty-nine
hundred and twenty-seven,

(2) By repatriation of deserters of the Army, Navy or Air Corp: Provided, That a
woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien may be
repatriated in accordance with the provisions of this Act after the termination
of the marital status; and
(3) By direct act of the National Assembly[4]
Women who have lost their citizenship because of marriage may reacquire their citizenship by
repatriation. Republic Act No. 8171 [5] provides the following:
Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens
and natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship, including
their minor children, on account of political or economic necessity, may
reacquire Philippine citizenship through repatriation in the manner provided in
Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. 63, as amended: Provided, That the
applicant is not a:

(1) Person opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or


group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing organized
government;
(2) Person defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal
assault, or association for the predominance of their ideas;
(3) Person convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; or
(4) Person suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases.
Repatriation shall be effected by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the
Bureau of Immigration. The Bureau of Immigration shall thereupon cancel the
pertinent alien certificate of registration and issue the certificate of identification as
Filipino citizen to the repatriated citizen.
Notably, in a decision penned by Associate Justice Santiago, the Supreme Court en banc, ruled
that a repatriated person regains his old citizenship.[6] As noted civilist Arturo Tolentino said: there are
two ways of acquiring citizenship which is (1) by birth and (2) by naturalization. These ways of acquiring
citizenship correspond to the two kinds of citizens: natural-born citizen and naturalized citizen. In the
constitution, it is defined that natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth
without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.[7] On the other hand
naturalized citizen are those who become Filipinos through naturalization, generally under the Revised
Naturalization Law[8] or by Republic Act. No.530.[9] There is special type of citizenship for repatriated
Filipinos.
As earlier mentioned, there are three ways of reacquiring citizenship. Repatriation as a means of
reacquiring citizenship would result to the reacquisition of the original citizenship, since it only consists of
taking the oath of allegiance of the Republic of the Philippines and registering said oath in the Local Civil
Registry of the place where the person concerned last resided.[10] Since there are only two kinds of
citizens, a repatriated person would eventually fall in either one. Since a repatriated person is not
naturalized, and there is an absence of a category of repatriated persons, then by deduction he is a naturalborn citizen.[11]
However, in the dissenting opinion penned by Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez[12], he claimed that
reacquisition of citizenship through repatriation does not make a person a natural-born. It is noted that this
person, for some time became an alien and it is absurd that he will still revert back to his original naturalborn status. Evidently he did several processes, which is repatriation, to regain his citizenship.

Repatriation also entitles the minor children to be Filipino citizens.[13] Once the repatriation of
either of their parents is perfected then the minor children can acquire Filipino citizenship as well. This is
in line with the followed mode of acquisition of citizenship which is jus sangunis.
In Lim v. Republic[21], the Court held that a female citizen, who has lost her citizenship by reason of
marriage to an alien, may regain her original citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and registering such oath in the proper civil registry.
R.A. No. 8171[22] also currently provides for the repatriation of natural-born citizens. Natural-born
Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship upon filing a
petition with the Special Committee on Naturalization.[23] They must make a declaration that (1) petitioner
is not a person opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who
uphold and teach doctrines opposing organized government; (2) petitioner is not a person defending or
teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or assassination for the predominance of
their ideas; (3) petitioner is not a person convicted of crimes against moral turpitude; or (4) petitioner is not
a person suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases.[24]