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Jodi Sta. Maria, other Kapamilya stars and TV personalities baffled about Congress questioning Gabby Lopez’s citizenship

Jodi Sta. Maria and other known personalities were baffled about Congress questioning Gabby Lopez’s citizenship for owning a mass media company in the country

  • DOJ confirms that Lopez citizenship was “not a grant nor conducted to perfect his citizenship,”
  • Congressmen asked if Lopez III could own a mass media company that requires strict 100-percent Filipino ownership under the constitution.

Kapamilya actress Jodi Sta. Maria and other known personalities were baffled over Congress questioning Gabby Lopez on his citizenship for owning a mass media company after they approved a bill allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in power, transport and communication sectors.

On Twitter, Jodi asked, “Sila din po ito hindi ba? 🧐” while sharing the link from Philstar about Public Service Act.

On March 10, 2020, House Representatives approved HB 78, amending the Public Service Act and allowing 100% foreign ownership in power, transport and communications sector.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the House Committee on constitutional amendments said, “It aims to lift the limitations on foreign investments in public utilities and the development in natural resources in order to have more employment for Filipinos. The Philippines is lagging behind its ASEAN neighbors in the amount of foreign direct investments.”

But House Bill 78 also defines public service to cover “common carrier, railroad, street railway, subway motor vehicle, ice refrigeration plant, irrigation system, marine railways, wire or wireless communications systems; wire or wireless broadcasting stations; freight or carrier services, steam boats ferries and war craft engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight, gas, electric light, heat and power water supply and power, petroleum and sewerage system, among others.”

During the congress hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Alfredo Garbin asked whether a dual citizen like the ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III could own a mass media company that requires strict 100-percent Filipino ownership under the constitution.

Some Kapamilya and known personalities took to social media to react to this disparity.

In the end, Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar confirmed that Lopez citizenship was “not a grant nor conducted to perfect his citizenship.”

“Dahil po siya po ay mayroong magulang, both father and mother na Filipino citizen kaya po sa kaniyang pagkapanganak siya ay isang Filipino citizen.



“Tama rin po, dahil siya ay napanganak sa United States, siya rin po ay isang American citizen. By birth, both Filipino and American citizen,” she said to the lawmakers.

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