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Lopez vs Comelec

Lopez vs Comelec

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Published by Sigrid G. Mier
Digest of Lopez vs COMELEC
Digest of Lopez vs COMELEC

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Published by: Sigrid G. Mier on Jul 20, 2011
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12/03/2013

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G.R. No. 182701, July 23, 2008LOPEZ VS COMELEC
y
 
A Filipino-American or any dual citizen cannot run for any elective public position in the Philippinesunless he or she personally swears to a renunciation of all foreign citizenship at the time of filing thecertificate of candidacy.
 
FA
CTS:
C
ivil Procedure assailing the (1) Resolution
 
and (2) Omnibus Order of the
C
ommission on Elections(
C
OMELE
C
), Second Division, disqualifying petitioner from running as Barangay
C
hairman.Petitioner Eusebio Eugenio K. Lopez was a candidate for the position of 
C
hairman of Barangay Bagacay, SanDionisio, Iloilo
C
ity in the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections held on October 29,2007.On October 25, 2007, respondent Tessie P. Villanueva filed a petition before the Provincial ElectionSupervisor of the Province of Iloilo, praying for the disqualification of petitioner on the ground that he is anAmerican citizen, hence, ineligible from running for any public office. In his Answer,
 
petitioner argued thathe is a dual citizen, a Filipino and at the same time an American, by virtue of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225,otherwise known as the
C
itizenship Retention and Re- acquisition Act of 2003.
 
He returned to the Philippinesand resided in Barangay Bagacay. Thus, he said, he possessed all the qualifications to run for Barangay
C
hairman.After the votes for Barangay
C
hairman were canvassed, petitioner emerged as the winner.On February 6, 2008,
C
OMELE
C
issued the assailed Resolution granting the petition for disqualification.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner¶s filing of a certificate of candidacy operated as an effectiverenunciation of foreign citizenship.HELD:
R.A. No. 9225 expressly provides for the conditions before those who re-acquired Filipino citizenshipmay run for a public office in the Philippines. Section 5 of the said law states:Section 5.
Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities
.
-
Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenshipunder this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities andresponsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions:
 
x x x x(2)
Those seeking elective public office in the
Philippines shall meet the qualification for holding suchpublic office as required by the
C
onstitution and existing laws and, at the time of the filing of the certificateof candidacy,
make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before anypublic officer authorized to administer an oath.
(Emphasis added)Petitioner re-acquired his Filipino citizenship under the cited law. This new law explicitly provides that shouldone seek elective public office, he should first "make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and allforeign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath."Petitioner failed to comply with this requirement. We quote with approval the
C
OMELE
C
observation on thispoint:
 
While respondent was able to regain his Filipino
C
itizenship by virtue of the Dual
C
itizenship Law when he took hisoath of allegiance before the Vice
C
onsul of the Philippine
C
onsulate General's Office in Los Angeles,
C
alifornia, thesame is not enough to allow him to run for a public office. The above-quoted provision of law mandates that acandidate with dual citizenship must make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship

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