MANILA, Philippines – Philippine lawmakers have rejected the appointment of Perfecto Yasay as the top diplomat after his flip-flopping statements first denying then admitting he was once a U.S. citizen.
When he first appeared before the congressional Commission on Appointments last month, Yasay denied ever holding U.S. citizenship. During Wednesday's hearing, he admitted being granted U.S. citizenship in 1986 but maintained that citizenship was void because he abandoned his U.S. residency.
Filipino citizenship is a requirement for appointment to the executive branch.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that his Foreign Affairs Committee has unanimously endorsed rejecting Yasay's appointment as secretary of foreign affairs.
According to Lacson, Yasay is considered out of job. The Department of Foreign Affairs says it will wait for President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint Yasay's replacement.
Yasay did not comment immediately.