- Commission on Appointments rejected Yasay as Foreign Affairs Secretary
- Yasay also scored for note telling the truth earlier about his US passport
- He apologized to the Commission, insisted he never acquired US citizenship
MANILA, Philippines – The powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) thumbed down Perfecto Yasay’s appointment as Foreign Affairs Secretary amid questions about his citizenship.
Sen. Ping Lacson, chairman of the CA, moved to reject his appointment—a motion unanimously accepted by the members.
“The Commission has gone over the qualifications and issues besetting the appointee. After careful deliberations of the foregoing circumstances, and upon a unanimous vote of 15 of its members present in a caucus held this morning, this representation as chair of the foreign affairs, hereby, moves to reject the ad interim appointment of Atty. Perfecto Rivas Yasay Jr. as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. I so move,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
Lacson also took a dig at Yasay after he flip-flopped on the issue of his US passport, saying he should have told the CA the truth.
“Let this be a reminder to everyone present in this hall that by definition, an oath is a solemn declaration, accompanied by a swearing to God,” he said.
With the rejection, Yasay can no longer be re-appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In an earlier hearing, Yasay denied he ever held a US passport. Prior to this hearing however, he admitted having been issued one but insisted his US citizenship was invalid.
Before the deliberations on his fate, Yasay apologized to the Commission but posited the same defense of invalid acquisition of US citizenship.
“Let me quickly apologize for having inadvertently misled the Commission on this matter. It has never been my intention to deceive this Commission about my citizenship status,” he said. “It was invalid under the US Immigration and Nationality Act because of a preconceived intent to relinquish my US residency at the time of said grant followed by the actual abandonment of such residency three months thereafter.”