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Comelec rules with finality that Cayetano is Filipino

The Commission on Elections en banc has ruled with finality that Genuine Opposition senatorial bet Alan Peter Cayetano is a Filipino citizen, affirming last month's junking of a disqualification case against him. “We’ve finally decided to put an end to the citizenship issue of Congressman Cayetano affirming the resolution of the second division, meaning he is a natural-born Filipino," Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos told reporters on Tuesday. Abalos added that a second disqualification case questioning Cayetano’s citizenship filed by broadcaster and columnist Percival Mabasa was rendered moot and academic following the en banc decision. In a decision promulgated on April 19, the Comelec's second division dismissed the disqualification case against Cayetano, who is outgoing Representative of Taguig-Pateros, filed by his local political rival, former Pateros Mayor Jose Capco. The Comelec's second division noted that said having been born in the Philippines with a Filipino father means Cayetano is a "natural-born Filipino citizen." His mother is American. Capco had argued that Cayetano is ineligible to run in the May 14 polls since the opposition bet supposedly renounced his Filipino citizenship when he was granted an alien certificate of registration in 1976 and in 1985. Cayetano, however, was issued a certificate in 1999 recognizing him as a Filipino citizen. The opposition senatorial bet has denied having renounced his Filipino citizenship, noting that he holds a Philippine passport and is a registered voter. Meanwhile, the poll chairman said that the en banc may resolve by Wednesday the disqualification case filed by Cayetano against his namesake and Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) candidate Joselito Pepito Cayetano. In his motion, Cayetano asked the Comelec to junk the motion for reconsideration filed by Joselito since it was submitted beyond three days or the prescription period set by the poll body in serving an appeal. Cayetano also asked the en banc to uphold the first division’s ruling declaring Joselito as a nuisance candidate.-GMANews.TV