Spain clarifies legislation offering citizenship

Posted By on April 3, 2014

MANILA Excited about the news circulating on the internet that Spain is extending citizenship to those whose last names appear on a certain list?

Well, you can rejoice only if you're a sure descendant of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.

"The Spanish government wants to bring them back as reparation for past mistakes that is why we are tracing them to offer them citizenship," explained Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq.

Filipinos, many of whom got excited about the prospect of acquiring Spanish citizenship, quickly caught the spreading news on social media sites.

"Nakaka-excite kasi syempre ang laking opportunity yun," said Kimmi Angela Abella whose surname is included in the list.

The embassy of Spain in Manila has been receiving emails and queries since the news broke out.

Reuters reported last month that the Spanish government approved a law which would allow descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled in 1942 to seek Spanish nationality without giving up their current citizenship.

Majority of the descendants of Sephardic Jews are living in Europe and America and the chances of Filipinos coming from this lineage is slim even though many carry the same last names.

"Ang mga Pilipino noon pare-pareho ang apelido. Nahihirapan silang kumuha ng buwis. Dahil dito, taong 1849 nang ipag-utos ni Gobernador Heneral na si Narciso Claveria ang pagkakaroon ng sistema sa pangalan ng mga Pilipino," explained historian, Dr. Vic Torres of the De la Salle University.

The Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos became the list for which Filipinos select the last names that would represent their families.

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Spain clarifies legislation offering citizenship

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