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Caasi v. CA

Caasi v. CA

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Published by Raymond Roque

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Published by: Raymond Roque on Oct 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/08/2013

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Caasi vs. Court of AppealsFacts: This case refers to the two consolidated petitions both seeking the disqualificationunder Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code of Merito Miguel, for the position of municipalmayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan, to which he was elected in the local elections of January 18,1988, on the ground that he is a green card holder hence, a permanent resident of theUnited States of America and not of Bolinao. Miguel admits that he holds a green card issuedto him by the US Immigration Service, but he denied that he is a permanent resident of theUnited States. He argued that he obtained the green card for convenience in order that hemay freely enter the United States for his periodic medical examination and to visit hischildren there and that he is a permanent resident of Bolinao, Pangasinan and that he votedin all previous elections, including the plebiscite on February 2, 1987 for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and the congressional elections on May 18, 1987. After hearing theconsolidated petitions before it, the COMELEC dismissed the petitions. It held that thepossession of a green card by the respondent Miguel does not sufficiently establish that hehas abandoned his residence in the Philippines. However, in his dissenting opinion,Commissioner Badoy, Jr. opined that a green card holder being a permanent resident of oran immigrant of a foreign country and respondent having admitted that he is a green cardholder, it is incumbent upon him, under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, to provethat he "has waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant" to be qualified to runfor elected office. This respondent has not done.Issues:Whether a green card is proof that the holder thereof is a permanent resident of theUnited States such that it would disqualify him to run for any elective local positionHeld: Yes. Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U.S.and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is apermanent resident of the U.S. Despite his vigorous disclaimer, Miguel's immigration to theUnited States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in thePhilippines. He did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there.He entered the US with the intention to live there permanently as evidenced by hisapplication for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa.Issue:Whether Merito Miguel, by returning to the Philippines in November 1987 andpresenting himself as a candidate for mayor of Bolinao in the January 18, 1988 localelections, waive his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United StatesHeld:No. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his applicationfor it. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that hesurrendered his green card to the appropriate U.S. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local elections on January 18, 1988, the conclusion is that he was disqualifiedto run for said public office. Hence, his election was null and void.Residence in the municipality where he intends to run for elective office for at leastone (1) year at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy is one of the qualifications that acandidate for elective public office must possess. Miguel did not possess that qualificationbecause he was a permanent resident of the United States and he resided in Bolinao for a
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