MALACAÑANG brushed aside on Thursday, February 23, the questions raised about the status of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s alleged citizenship in the United States (US).

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella merely dismissed the supposed US citizenship of Yasay as “non-issue.”

“It is a non-issue simply because Secretary Yasay already explained the intricacies of what actually happened,” Abella said in a press conference.

“So in a sense, in effect, it’s really non-issue. He was never ever a US citizen,” he added.

Yasay’s citizenship continues to hound him as the Commission on Appointments decided Wednesday to defer his confirmation.

His appointment could only be confirmed if he is able to submit documents that will support his claims about his non-US citizenship.

Yasay was reportedly a naturalized US citizen and a holder of US passport but he stressed he was never able to acquire US citizenship.

At the confirmation hearing, Yasay said he took an oath to be a green card holder or permanent resident of the US in the 1980s. He, however, clarified that he did not abandon his Filipino citizenship.

“I also took an oath to support and defend the laws of the US but I did not abandon my citizenship in the Philippines so there’s no inconsistency insofar as my having taking an oath and my losing citizenship on that basis,” Yasay said.

“Legal permanent residency does not imply becoming an American citizen,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)