Actor Johnny Revilla, who starred in “The Strangers”, now sits as a representative of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Family Club in the Philippine House of Representatives, after taking oath on the 26th of June, 2014, could face up to seven years of imprisonment if he is a U.S. citizen.
Documentation obtained from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration shows that he travelled using an American passport from 2002 up to 2009.
A scan through the names listed in the Federal Register reveals no mention of a “Johnny Revilla”. The closest similarity one can find is a “Johnny Kim”, who is listed as having given up the blue passport in the second quarter of 2010 and then again in the first quarter of 2011. Is Johnny Kim incorrectly listed twice or was his last name mispelled? Maybe Johnny knows. Don’t rely on the Federal Register for accuracy.
The Wiki list of former United States citizens who relinquished their nationality makes no mention of a “Revilla” or even a “Johnny”. Yet, Johnny Revilla still insists that he is not a US citizen.
“It is not true that I am a US citizen. I am a Filipino, born in UST hospital, January 26, 1955. You can check my records. I am a Filipino through and through,” Revilla said in a separate interview.
The Manila Times
Yet, it is argued that Johnny claimed that he dropped his US citizenship in 2001 and will prove to the press that he is a citizen of the Philippines.
Nang tanungin si Revilla ukol dito, tahasan niyang itinanggi ang alegasyon sa pagsasabing noon pang 2001 niya binitiwan ang pagiging American citizen.
Si Revilla na anak ng beteranong actor na si Armando Goyena ay nagsabing sa tamang panahon ay haharap siya sa isang press conference upang patunayan na siya ay isa ng Filipino citizen.
According to OFW Family Club Rep. Roy Seneres of OFW, the former Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Johnny cannot be a citizen of the Philippines if he is a citizen of America.
“If he renounced his US citizenship, he needs to reapply for his Filipino citizenship. Otherwise, he [Revilla] is stateless. He cannot claim that he secured dual citizenship because if you want to be a citizen of the most powerful country in the world, you have to renounce your existing citizenship,”
Yet, such is not the case. Johnny could be a citizen of either nation or both and might simply need to reacquire his Filipino citizenship. With the Philippine Republic Act No.9225, the “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003”, “all Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.” I find that Johnny’s situation is similar to that of Byron, mentioned in the following article:
The case of Byron is different. He was born in the Philippines of Filipino parents. As such, he is a 100% Filipino citizen at birth… Despite his success in America, Byron discovers that his heart truly belongs in the Philippines… Byron only had one citizenship at birth and he lost it when he became a U.S. citizen. There is no Philippine citizenship to recognize anymore. As a foreigner, his land ownership is also restricted. Byron intends to buy 20 hectares of coconut land for his copra business, which is more than the allowable 3 hectares of rural land allowed to former Filipinos. Fortunately for Byron, the Philippines now has Republic Act No.9225, the “Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.” Under this law, Byron can reacquire his Filipino citizenship. In fact, the law declares “that all Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.” The procedure under this new law is quite simple. Byron simply has to present his birth certificate plus passport photos to the nearest Philippine consulate and, for a fee of just $50.00, he can take his oath as a Filipino citizen. He can even apply for a Philippine passport afterwards. The United States recognizes dual citizenship, but some concerns have been raised that taking the oath of Philippine citizenship may amount to a renunciation of U.S. citizenship. According to the “Advice About Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality” issued by the Department of State, dual citizenship can cause loss of U.S. citizen-ship only “if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship”. It adds that the taking of a mere routine oath of allegiance to a foreign country carries with it the presumption that the person intends to retain his U.S.citizenship. In light of this, the Oath of Allegiance required by RA 9225 does not contain any indication of relinquishing one’s U.S. citizenship. It reads: “I,________________, solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and local orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines, and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto, and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.” So, no worries for Byron. He can go ahead and enjoy the best of both worlds. He can purchase the coconut farm and do business in the Philippines. He can travel back and forth the United States and the Philippines as often and for as long as he wants. He can enjoy the warmth of the Philippines under the protection of the world’s most powerful nation
The warmth of the Phipppines is certainly desirable, but Johnny obviously doesn’t want the protection of the world’s most powerful nation.