Constitutional Law1 MERCADO V. MANZANO 307 SCRA 630 (1999) G.R. No. 135083 Ponente: Mendoza, J. Petitioner: Ernesto S.

Mercado Respondents: Eduardo B. Manzano and COMELEC FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari seeking to set aside the resolution of the COMELEC en banc and to declare Manzano disqualified to hold the office of vice-mayor of Makati City. Important details on Edu Manzano: born September 4, 1955 in San Francisco, California, USA toFilipino parents.On the May 11, 1998 elections for vice-mayoralty of Makati City, 3 candidates competed for thepost: Eduardo B. Manzano, Ernesto S. Mercado, and Gabriel V. Daza III. Manzano won the elections but hisproclamation was suspended due to a pending petition for disqualification filed by a certain Ernesto Mamarilalleging that Manzano was an American citizen. On May 7, 1998, the Second Division of the COMELECcancelled the certificate of candidacy of Manzano on the grounds of his dual-citizenship, which disqualifieshim according to Sec.40(d) of the Local Government Code. Manzano filed a motion for reconsideration.Mercado sought to intervene in the case for disqualification. Manzano opposed the motion to intervene. Themotion was unresolved. But on August 31, 1998, the COMELEC en banc (with 1 commissioner abstaining)reversed the Second Division’s ruling on the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy and directing theproclamation of Manzano as winner, saying: • Manzano, being born in the USA, obtained US citizenship by operation of the USconstitution and laws under principle of jus soli (basis is place of birth). o Yet, by being born to Filipino parents, Manzano natural born Filipino citizen, byoperation of the 1935 Philippine Constitution and laws under principle jus sanguinis (the right of blood) . Although he is registered as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and holds and American passport, he has not lost his Filipinocitizenship since he has not renounced it and has not taken an oath of allegiance to the USA. • Manzano, after the age of majority, registered himself as a voter and voted in the 1992,1995, and 1998 Philippine elections which effectively renounced his US citizenship under American law. Under Philippine law, he no longer had US

when it wasshown that the private respondent had the most votes. where a person is recognized to be a national . petitioner contends that through Sec. justifying this petition for certiorari.WON petitioner Mercado has personality to bring this suit considering that he was not anoriginal party in the case for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mamaril nor was his motionfor leave to intervene granted. REASONS:1. 1998.2.40(d) of the LocalGovernment Code (which declares as “disqualified from running for elective local position… Thosewith dualcitizenship”).citizenship. Invoking the maxim dura lex sed lex . The rule in Labo v. WON he is disqualified from being acandidate for vice-mayor in Makati City. no. 2. Dual citizenship is involuntary. Y e s . Failure of COMELEC enbanc to resolve petitioner’s motion for intervention was tantamount to denial of themotion. so was Mercado.Private respondent Manzano was then proclaimed as vice-mayor of Makati City. Congress has “command[ed] in explicit terms the ineligibility of personspossessing dual allegiance to hold elective office.” Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance.Manzano argues that Mercado has neither legal interest in the matter of litigation nor an interest toprotect because he is “a defeated candidate for the vice-mayoralty post of Makati City [who] cannotbe proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City even if the private respondent be ultimatelydisqualified by final and executory judgment. and still has an interest inousting private respondent from the race when he sought to intervene. it arises outof circumstances of birth or marriage. Electoral Reforms Law of 1987provides that intervention may be allowed in proceedings for disqualification evenafter election if there has been no final judgment rendered. being a rival candidate. and so.COMELEC only applies when the election of the respondent is contested. No. Petitioner has right to intervene even if he filed the motion on May 20. Certainly.WON respondent Manzano is a dual citizen and if so. If Mamaril was competent to bringaction.” This assumes that at the time intervention was sought. there had already been aproclamation of the election results for the vice-mayoralty elections when in fact. DECISIONS: 1 . 2. there hasnot been such a proclamation.ISSUES: 1. and the questionis WON the second placer may be declared winner. the petitioner had.

At the time of said travel. “I am not a permanent resident of . In Sec. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government. persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under thisdisqualification.” Therefore.by twoor more states. and practiced his profession here. the use of an American passport was simply an assertion of his American nationality before the termination of his American citizenship. such persons with dualcitizenships have elected their Philippine citizenship to terminate their dual citizenship. the fact that Manzano admitted that he was registered as an American citizen with thePhilippine Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and that he holds an American passportwhich he used for his last travel to the US dated April 22. Inprivate respondent’s certificate of candidacy. it was held that “By laws of the United States…Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the PhilippineGovernment when he ran for Governor in 1988. Therefore. COMELEC ). therefore posting a threat to a country’s sovereignty. or immigrant to . Also. it is a situation wherein aperson simultaneously owes. 1998 : “I am a Filipino citizen…Natural-born”. effectively removing any disqualification he might have as adualcitizen. and in 1995. butwith naturalized citizens who maintain allegiance to their countries of origin even after naturalization. Dualcitizenship is an issue because a person who has this raises a question of which state’s lawmust apply to him/her. to be effective. together with the fact he has spent his life here. Manzano’s oath of allegiance. a foreign country.” “I am eligible for the office I seek to be elected. received hiseducation here. It should suffice that upon filing of certificates for candidacy. equally without merit is his contention that. Hence. In Frivaldo v. 1997should not be such a bigdeal. and has taken part in past Philippineelections. Dual allegiance is a result of a person’s volition. petitioner Mercado’s contention that the oath of allegiance contained in private respondent’scertificate of candidacy is insufficient to constitute his renunciation of his Americancitizenship. leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship. Plus.5 ArticleIV of the Constitution on Citizenship. loyalty to two or more states. I will supportand defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiancethereto…” The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce hisAmerican citizenship. COMELEC. Admitting thathe was a registered alien does not mean that he is not still a Filipino ( Aznar v. suchrenunciation should have been made upon reaching the age of majority since no lawrequires the election of Philippine citizenship to be made upon majority age. by some positive act. he made these statements under oath onMarch 27. “dual citizenship” in the aforementioned disqualification clause mustmean “dual allegiance”. the concern was not with dual citizenship per se. . in 1992.

v. DISMISSED. *Ineligibility refers to lack of qualifications prescribed Tecson. petition for certiorari. et.WHEREFORE. Commission on Elections . al.

Petitioners also introduced an “uncertified” copy of a supposed certificate of the alleged marriage of Allan Poe and Paulita Gomez on 5 July 1936. held that Fernando Poe Jr. The Supreme Court. First. they argue that granting Allan F. being the ponente in this case. While the record of birth of Lorenzo Pou was not presented in evidence. Second. is a natural-born Filipino citizen and must be allowed to continue his bid for the Presidency of the Republic. his father. . Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of FPJ on two assertions – first. The marriage certificate of Allan F. Allan F. In his certificate of candidacy. Poe and Bessie Kelley reflected the date of their marriage to be on September 16. respondent Ronald Allan Kelly Poe. his parents were foreigners. the father of Allan F. at the time of his death on September 11. was a Filipino citizen. since FPJ is an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Allan F. The certificate of birth of the father of FPJ showed that he was born on May 17. however. Moreover. who was a Spanish subject. Poe. in this case. Various petitioners sought to disqualify FPJ in his bid for the presidency on the contention that he made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth. In the same certificate. Lorenzo Pou was 84 yrs. Fourth. Allan Poe married Bessie Kelley only a year after the birth of FPJ. even if no such prior marriage existed. his mother an American and his father. his death certificate. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessy Kelley and second. 1954. Petitioners presented documentary evidence that indicate that the earliest established direct ascendant of FPJ was his paternal grandfather Lorenzo Pou. he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to his son. Poe and Bessy Kelley.On 31 December 2003. Poe was stated to be twenty-five years old. Lorenzo Pou. Poe was Lorenzo Pou. 1954. and a mestiza mother. a resident of San Carlos. Third. filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines for the May 2004 national elections under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Party. And fifth. old. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on September 16. Allan F. Marta Reyes. Bessy Kelley. married to Marta Reyes and the father of Allan Poe. the parents of FPJ were Allan F. 1915 to an Español father. Jr. identified him to be a Filipino. FPJ was born to them on August 20. 1939. 1940. a Spanish national since his father was the son of Lorenzo Pou. 1940. Pangasinan. also known as Fernando Poe. Justice Vitug. (FPJ). and 84 years old at the time of his death on September 11. cited five conclusions that can be drawn with some degree of certainty from the documents presented by both sides. FPJ represented himself to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

Petitioner argued that Lorenzo Pou was not in the Philippines during the crucial period of from 1898 to 1902 considering that there was no existing record about such fact in the Records Management and Archives Office. The marriage certificate of Allan Poe and Bessie Kelley. an American citizen. married to Bessie Kelley. and the birth certificate of FPJ. In line with this fact. the marriage certificate of Allan Poe and Bessie Kelley. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are documents of public record in the custody of a public officer. . Pangasinan. it would be extremely doubtful if the Records Management and Archives Office had complete records of all residents of the Philippines from 1898 to 1902. 1939 to Allan Poe. the Court presumed that the residence of the person at the time of his death was also his residence before death. Section 3 Rule 130. would disclose that he was born on August 20. Rules of Court states “When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document. Poe and Paulita Gomez can be found and that the certificate of their marriage presented was only an “uncertified” photocopy. since a certification was issued by the Officer-in-Charge of the Archives Division of the National Archives that no available information about the marriage of Allan F. it was not greatly considered by the Court in this case. Citizenship of Grandfather The death certificate of Lorenzo Pou would indicate that he died on 11 September 1954. unmarried. constitute prima facie proof of their contents in line with Section 44. except in the following cases: xxx xxx xxx (d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public office or is recorded in a public office. and Bessie Kelley to be twenty-two years old. Pangasinan. Both contending parties have submitted these documents in evidence during the proceedings before the COMELEC. and an American citizen. in San Carlos.unmarried. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary. twenty-one years old and married. however. no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself. In his death certificate. the birth certificate of FPJ. twenty-four years old. therefore. Petitioner. at the age of 84 years old. the residence of Lorenzo Pou was stated to be San Carlos. The birth certificate of FPJ. Consequently.” Being public documents. the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou. and a Filipino citizen. In fact. a Filipino. It could thus be assumed that Lorenzo Pou was born sometime in the year 1870 when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. likewise failed to show that Lorenzo Pou was at any other place during the same period.

and Serra v. SJ is most convincing in the issue at hand. Paa v. it transgresses the equal protection clause. and second. which was about the son of an illegitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. jurisprudence has established a test to determine valid classification. an American.Thus. The facts in these cases were not the same as those in the case at bar. Thus. Cayat. is likewise held to be a natural-born Filipino in accordance with the 1935 Constitution. de Leon (82 Phil. Moreover. . it would also violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Although distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children rests on real differences. 914). In fact. the argument was based from an obiter dictum. Republic (91 Phil. Chiongbian v. it must be considered that it was not the fault of the child that his parents had illicit liaison. There is neither justice nor rationality in that. First. Allan Poe is also a Filipino upon birth and Fernando Poe Jr. which was about a legitimate son of a father who had become Filipino by election to public office before the 1935 Constitution. which was about a stepson of a Filipino but the child of a Chinese mother and a Chinese father. On Legitimacy or Illegitimacy The opinion of Joaquin Bernas. Vivo (20 SCRA 562). Chan (21 SCRA 753). these differences may justify distinction for one purpose but not for another. being a Spanish subject who continued to reside in the Philippines without preserving his allegiance to the Crown of Spain. in another case. Among the cases cited were Morano v. 771). then he was converted to a Filipino citizen in accordance with the Philippine Bill of 1902. To disqualify the illegitimate child from holding an important public office is to punish him for the indiscretion of his parents. the Supreme Court concluded that if Lorenzo Pou is assumed to be in the Philippines in 11 April 1891. In the case of People v. Lorenzo Pou now being a Filipino. which was absolutely unnecessary for the case and cannot be given great weight. it would make an illegitimate distinction between the illegitimate child of a Filipino father and the illegitimate child of a Filipino mother. Father Bernas further stated that aside from the fact that such pronouncement that an illegitimate child of a Filipino father cannot run for public office would have no textual foundation in the Constitution. it would make an illegitimate distinction between a legitimate child and an illegitimate child. He stated that the Court must ask what the lis mota was in each of the cases cited by the petitioners to support their contention that birth to unmarried parents would make FPJ an illegitimate child and therefore he would follow the citizenship of his mother. which was about an illegitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother.

The majority opinion and the dissenting opinions also discussed the concepts derived from the Civil Code in relation to this issue. When FPJ was born in 1939. civil rights. He further noted that the Convention does not guarantee a child a citizenship at birth. it did so for the benefit of the child. A violation of one right is considered a violation of the other rights.” The Convention protects in the most comprehensive way all rights of children: political rights. Mr. After his birth FPJ also had the right to acquire Philippine citizenship by proving his filiations to his alleged Filipino father in accordance with Philippine law. also reiterated that where jurisprudence regarded an illegitimate child as taking after the citizenship of its mother. FPJ cannot invoke the Convention to claim he is a naturalborn Philippine citizen. he was apparently under United States law an American citizen at birth. social rights. Justice Mendoza. thus. Clearly.Another amicus curiae. economic rights and cultural rights. It also embraced the rule that all actions of a State concerning the child should consider the “best interests” of the chi ld. It was to ensure a Filipino nationality for the illegitimate child of an alien father in line with the assumption that the mother had custody. this was not given great weight by the Court since the distinctions between legitimacy and illegitimacy codified in the Civil Code should remain only in the sphere of civil law and not unduly impede or infringe on the domain of political law. however. but merely “the right to acquire a nationality” in accordance with municipal law. has no retroactive effect. At no point in time was FPJ in danger of being stateless. would exercise parental authority and had the duty to support her illegitimate child. attacked by Justice Carpio in his dissent by stating that FPJ cannot invoke the Convention since he is no longer a child when the convention was ratified in the Philippines in September 1990 and. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was also used as basis in this case since it abolished all discriminations on account of “birth or other status. However. he stated that the Convention has the status of a municipal law and its ratification could not have amended the express requirement in the Constitution that only natural-born citizens of the Philippines are qualified to be President. . not prejudice or discriminate him. This was. It was to help the child. Moreover.

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