JOHN OSMENA: ANDY SEIGLE IS A FILIPINO

Manila, August 13, 2003 (MALAYA) By JOAN DAIRO  - Senator John Osmeņa yesterday issued a dissenting opinion on Andy Seigle, claiming the Purefoods player, labelled as a "Fil-sham" by two Senate committees last week, is a "true and genuine Filipino citizen."

Osmeņa, however, agreed with the findings of the two committees chaired by Senators Robert Barbers and Edgardo Angara that Asi Taulava of Talk N Text, Rudy Hatfield of Coca-Cola, Davonn Harp of Red Bull and Jon Ordonio of Alaska are "Fil-shams" and should be deported.

In a four-page dissenting and concurring opinion, Osmeņa said "Seigle's papers and claims to Filipino citizenship are straightforward, clear-cut and substantiated," adding the Purefoods' player's mother, Blesylda Yadao, "actually and really exists.

"I disagree with the findings... that he is not a Filipino citizen. There is really no law or jurisprudence setting a deadline or fixed period within which to elect Filipino citizenship. As such, there is no fair reason to deny Seigle his rightful choice. He may have been delayed in electing, but this should not be enough reason to perpetually disqualify him from acquiring Filipino citizenship," Osmeņa said.

Seigle, born in the United States to a Filipino mother, never elected Filipino citizenship when he turned 18. Seigle turned 31 last May 15.

Osmeņa also said there is no need for the Bureau of Immigration to further investigate Mick Pennisi of Red Bull, Dorian Pena of Ginebra and Alex Crisano as ordered by the committees of Barbers and Angara last week.

"They are Fil-shams. Their claims to Filipino citizenship were also concocted, scripted and planted to suit their selfish positions with basketball fortune and other economic rewards as the most obvious motivations," he said.

"The records and circumstances show that their cases are not different from Taulava, Hatfield, Ordonio and Harp. In fact, they are eerily similar-ancestors who never existed, papers with false representations and other uncorroborated claims," Osmeņa added.

Meanwhile, Senator Robert Jaworski, a former PBA player, said the league should just open its doors to all nationalities to discourage basketball teams from hiring "Fil-shams."

At the same time, Jaworski said "the problem has gone out of proportion."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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