Media giant ABS-CBN has maintained that its Chairman emeritus, Eugenio Gabriel “Gabby” Lopez 3rd, is a Filipino citizen.
This comes after The Manila Times revealed that Lopez held an American passport as recent as January 2020, according to records by the Bureau of Immigration.
In a statement, the network said that Lopez was born to Filipino parents – the late Eugenio Lopez Jr. and Conchita La’O Lopez – under the 1935 constitution that was in effect when he was born, in effect, making him a Filipino citizen.
Lopez was born on August 13, 1952.
The statement said that while Lopez was born in the United States, and thus under the US Constitution, is a US citizen, “He did not need to acquire Filipino citizenship because he never lost it or renounced it”.
The statement also said that both the Department of Justice and the BI have recognized the Philippine citizenship from birth of Lopez as per Identification Certificate no. 0069, which was issued on October 1, 2002.
“A passport is not the sole proof of citizenship. When Mr. Lopez asked the Bureau of Immigration to recognize his citizenship, it was for the purpose of getting official recognition of his Filipino citizenship.” the network statement said.