Alcala says new NFA chief is Pinoy
MANILA – Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on Monday defended the appointment of Orlan Calayag as head of the National Food Authority (NFA).
In an interview on dzMM, Alcala belied lawyer Argee Guevarra's claim that Calayag remains an American citizen and therefore should not be appointed to the NFA.
Alcala said Calayag personally told him that he has already already renounced his American citizenship.
"Siya po ay nag-renounce, bumalik po siya sa kanyang pagka-Pilipino. Siya po ay natural-born Filipino na nabigyan ng pagkakataon na maging American citizen, ngunit siya po ay bumalik sa pagka-Pilipino," he said.
Alcala added that Calayag is very much qualified for the post, and that NFA employees appreciate the reforms he instituted in the agency.
A Philippine Star report earlier said Calayag, a former aide of Alcala when the latter was still Quezon congressman, flew from the United States back to the Philippines on Dec. 19, 2011 bearing US Passport No.462971672.
He has since acquired dual citizenship as American and Filipino on Jan. 7, 2013 or six months after his appointment as NFA administrator that took effect on July 1, 2012.
In a STAR interview, Guevarra, citing jurisprudence, argued that "someone who renounces his Philippine citizenship when he became an American citizen is no longer a natural-born citizen of the Philippines" and "even when he became a dual citizen under RA No. 9225 he does not automatically re-acquire his status as a natural-born citizen of the Philippines."
The NFA charter states that its administrator must be a natural-born Filipino.
Calayag’s appointment into the NFA, “absent the vetting process required under the Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Reform Law 1,” according to Guevarra, also made him chairman of the Food Terminals Inc. and director of the Philippine Fisheries Development Corp. – with The Philippine Star