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Catanduanes ex-gov. Cua is Filipino, says COMELEC

Former Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua
Image via http://filipino.cri.cn/
VIRAC, Catanduanes—A two-time provincial governor, who failed to win his reelection bid in 2013 because of a strong campaign waged against his citizenship, is a naturalized Filipino citizen, according to documents obtained over the weekend.

The Commission on Election en banc upheld with finality its earlier resolution on April 10, 2013 that then governor Joseph Cua of Catanduanes is a Filipino citizen.

Many residents in the province were made to believe that Cua was not a Filipino on the strength of a complaint of a fellow Chinese-blooded resident named Larry Que.

Que filed a motion for reconsideration on April 19, 2013 asserting his complaint against Cua, which reportedly rocked the reelection bid of the governor.

A defeated gubernatorial bet during the 2013 election, Que’s candidacy and fight against the governor citizenship allegedly was strongly backed also by a moneyed Filipino-Chinese gubernatorial bet.

The 2013 election was won by the incumbent Gov. Araceli Wong.

In dismissing the motion for reconsideration dated August 8, 2014, a copy of which was obtained by the Philippines News Agency on Friday, the Comelec assailed the complainant’s motive in filing the case against then-governor Cua, saying the complainant's allegations cannot topple the judicial and other documentary evidence presented by Cua supporting his naturalization to Filipino citizenship.

In his motion for reconsideration, the petitioner questioned the Comelec's First Division ruling on April 10, 2013, saying it miserably failed in appreciating his evidence presented that the former governor did not fully comply with the requirements to qualify running for governor as a naturalized Filipino citizen, saying his judicial records still showed he is still carrying the name Joseph Qua and not Joseph Cua.

According to an earlier petition, Cua allegedly doctored the documents for correction of his certificate of live birth at the municipal registrar's office in San Andres, Catanduanes, by exerting undue influence on the petition for correction of alleged clerical error in his certificate of live birth.

Cua was the San Andres mayor from 2001 to 2004 and became governor from 2007 to 2013.

The documents showed that Cua’s petition for correction of his clerically erroneous family name from Qua to Cua was approved by the San Andres municipal civil registrar on Feb. 5, 2002 and subsequently affirmed by CRG on April 15, 2002 in accordance with R.A. 9048.

Petitioner Que asserted in his claim that Cua allegedly is not a Filipino citizen as claimed in his live birth certificate as he was born to a parents who are both Chinese.

Capitol insider said Que is among the respected political lieutenants of Wong.

In a text message, Cua admitted his parents were both Chinese nationals when he was born in San Andres, Catanduanes, however, his father Fernando So Cua was duly granted Philippine citizenship pursuant to Presidential Decree 836 and was thereafter issued a certificate of naturalization.

The former governor said his records also showed he then became a Filipino citizen through the derivative mode of naturalization since he was born in, and a resident of, the Philippines as well as still of minor age at the time his father was granted the Filipino citizenship.

He admitted that the citizenship issue strongly waged by his critics against him during the 2013 election had affected much his campaign for reelection. (By Manilyn Ugalde, PNA)

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