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The basic issue posed by petitioner Collector of Internal Revenue in this appeal from a decision of the Court of Tax Appeals as to whether or not the requisites of statehood, or at least so much thereof as may be necessary for the acquisition of an international personality, must be satisfied for a "foreign country" to fall within the exemption of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code 1 is now ripe for adjudication. The Court of Tax Appeals answered the question in the negative. Facts:
Collector of Internal Revenue held Antonio Campos Rueda, as administrator of the estate of the late Estrella Soriano Vda. de Cerdeira, liable for the stun of P161,974.95 as deficiency estate and inheritance taxes for the transfer of intangible personal properties in the Philippines, the deceased, a Spanish national having been a resident of Tangier, Morocco from 1931 up to the time of her death in 1955. Rueda’s request for exemption was denied on the ground that the law of Tangier is not reciprocal to Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code. Rueda requested for the reconsideration of the decision denying the claim for tax exemption. However, respondent denied this request on the grounds that there was no reciprocity [with Tangier, which was moreover] a mere principality, not a foreign country. Court of Tax Appeals ruled that the expression 'foreign country,' used in the last proviso of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code, refers to a government of that foreign power which, although not an international person in the sense of international law, does not impose transfer or death taxes upon intangible personal properties of our citizens not residing therein, or whose law allows a similar exemption from such taxes. It is, therefore, not necessary that Tangier should have been recognized by our Government in order to entitle the petitioner to the exemption benefits of the last proviso of Section 122 of our Tax Code.
Issue: Whether or not the requisites of statehood, or at least so much thereof as may be necessary for the acquisition of an international personality, must be satisfied for a "foreign country" to fall within the exemption of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code Held: • • Supreme Court affirmed Court of tax Appeal’s Ruling. If a foreign country is to be identified with a state, it is required in line with Pound's formulation that it be a politically organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by ties of nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning under a regime of law. it is thus a sovereign person with the people composing it viewed as an organized corporate society under a government with the legal competence to exact obedience to its commands. The stress is on its being a nation, its people occupying a definite territory, politically organized, exercising by means of its government its sovereign will over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate international personality. State is a territorial society divided into government and subjects, claiming within its allotted area a supremacy over all other institutions. Moreover, similarly would point to the power entrusted to its government to maintain within its territory the conditions of a legal order and to enter into international relations. With the latter requisite satisfied, international law does not exact independence as a condition of statehood. Collector of Internal Revenue v. De Lara: There can be no doubt that California as a state in the American Union was lacking in the alleged requisite of international personality. Nonetheless, it was held to be a foreign country within the meaning of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code. • This Court did commit itself to the doctrine that even a tiny principality, that of Liechtenstein, hardly an international personality in the traditional sense, did fall under this exempt category.
2. THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO V THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP) G.R. NO. 183591, OCTOBER 14, 2008
Facts: A long process of negotiation and the concluding of several prior agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) took place before the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) come into existence. The GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities and the General Framework of Agreement of Intent in 1997 and 1998, respectively. However, as evidenced by early experiences, there was no any smooth sailing peace process between the GRP and The MILF. A number of municipalities in Central Mindanao were attacked by the MILF from 1999 up to early 2000, and they took control of the town hall of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in March 2000, which caused the declaration of an “all-out-war” against the MILF by then President Joseph Estrada. The military offensive against the MILF was suspended and the government sought a resumption of the peace talks when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office. Thus, in 2001, the parties signed the Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks Between the GRP and the MILF. Thereafter, the MILF suspended all its military actions. It was followed by formal peace talks between the parties which were held in Tripoli, Libaya in 2001, the outcome of which was the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001). Said agreement contained the basic principles and agenda on the security, rehabilitation, and ancestral domain aspects of negotiation. A second round of peace talks was conducted which resulted in the signing of the Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001 leading to a ceasefire status between the parties. Still, there were many incidence of violence between the government forces and the MILF. Several exploratory talks followed leading to the crafting of the draft of MOA-AD in its final form, which was scheduled to be signed on August 5, 2008. The parties in said MOA-AD are the GRP and the MILF. It’s “Terms of Reference” (TOR) includes not only earlier agreements between the GRP and the MILF, but also agreements between the GRP and the MNLF. It also identifies as TOR two local statutes – the organic act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). Furthermore, it includes as a final TOR the generic category of “compact rights entrenchment emanating from the regime of dar-ul-mua’hada (or territory under compact) and dar-ul-sulh (or territory under peace agreement) that partakes the nature of a treaty device. The MOA-AD defines the “Bangsamoro people” as the natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization, and their descendants whether mixed or of full blood, including their spouses. It further proceeds to refer to the “Bangsamoro homeland,” the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by virtue of their prior rights of occupation. The MOA-AD mentions the “Bangsamoro Juridical Entity” (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro. The MOA-AD provides the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries and shall have the option to establish trade missions in those countries. The external defense of the BJE is to remain the duty and obligation of the Central Government, which has the further duty to “take necessary steps to ensure the BJE’s participation in international meetings and events.” Moreover, the MOA-AD binds the parties to invite a multinational third-party to observe and monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Compact, which embodies the “details for the effective enforcement” and “the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation” of the MOA-AD. The relationship between the Central Government and BJE is described as “associative”, characterized by shared authority and responsibility, under the MOA-AD. The BJE under the MOAAD is also granted the power to build, develop and maintain its own institutions inclusive of civil service, electoral, financial and banking, education, legislation, legal, economic, police and internal security force, judicial system and correctional institutions. However, several petitions have been filed by different interested parties praying that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. Thus, the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the GRP from signing the same. Issue: 1. Did respondents violate constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and later initialled the MOA-AD? 2. Do the contents of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution and the laws?
Held: 1. YES. Respondents violate the constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and later initalled the MOA-AD. Access to public records is predicated on the right of the people to acquire information on matters of public concern since, undoubtedly, in a democracy; the public has a legitimate interest in matters of social and political significance. The incorporation of this right in the Constitution is recognition of the fundamental role of free exchange of information in a democracy. There can be no realistic perception by the public of the nation’s problems or a meaningful democratic decisionmaking if they are denied access to information of general interest. Information is needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the times. It also aids the people in democratic decision-making by giving them a better perspective of the vital issues confronting the nation so that they may be able to criticize and participate in the affairs of the government in a responsible, reasonable and effective manner. It is by ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited exchange of ideas among a well-informed public that a government remains responsive to the changes desired by the people. The MOA-AD is a matter of public concern for it involves the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public at large. Matters of public concern covered by the right to information include steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract because requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract, which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal, becomes fait accompli. This negates the State policy of full transparency on matters of public concern, a situation which the framers of the Constitution could not have intended. Such a requirement will prevent the citizenry from participating in the public discussion of any proposed contract, effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. One of the three underlying principles of the comprehensive peace process is that it “should be community-based, reflecting the sentiments, values and principles important to all Filipinos” and “shall be defined not by the government alone, nor by the different contending groups only, but by all Filipinos as one community.” Included as a component of the comprehensive peace process is consensus-building and empowerment for peace, which includes “continuing consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for a peace agenda and process, and the mobilization and facilitation of people’s participation in the peace process?” Furthermore, E.O. No. 3 contemplates not just the conduct of a plebiscite to effectuate “continuing” consultations, contrary to respondents’ position that plebiscite is “more than sufficient consultation.” It establishes petitioners’ right to be consulted on the peace agenda, as a corollary to the constitutional right to information and disclosure.
YES. The contents of the MOA-AD are unconstitutional. The MOA-AD explicitly alludes the concept of association, indicating that the Parties actually framed its provisions with it in mind. An association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. In the basic model, one state, the associate, delegates certain responsibilities to the other, the principal, while maintaining its international status as a state. Free associations represent a middle ground between integration and independence.
The MOA-AD contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association, specifically the following: the BJE’s capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries, the commitment of the Central Government to ensure the BJE’s participation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the specialized UN agencies, and the continuing responsibility of the Central Government over external defense. These provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it. This concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution for no province, city or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an “associative” relationship with the national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence. The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the Constitution. It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. Moreover, it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or
the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process. While the MOA-AD would not amount to an international agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the Philippines under international law, respondents’ act of guaranteeing amendments is, by itself, already a constitutional violation that renders the MOA-AD fatally defective. Decision: The MOA-AD is declared contrary to law and the Constitution.
3. ELIZABETH LEE, petitioners, vs. THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND THE ADMINISTRATOR The case under consideration is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals nullifying that of the Regional Trial Court, Roxas City, in Reconstitution Case No. R-1928, pertaining to Lot 398, Capiz Cadastre, covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 3389. Facts: Sometime in March 1936, Dinglasan, et al. sold to Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, a parcel of land. However, in 1948, the former owners filed an action against the heirs of Lee Liong for annulment of sale and recovery of land. The plaintiffs assailed the validity of the sale because of the constitutional prohibition against aliens acquiring ownership of private agricultural land, including residential, commercial or industrial land. Rebuffed in the trial court and the Court of Appeals, plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court. On June 27, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled thus: “… granting the sale to be null and void and can not give title to the vendee, it does not necessarily follow therefrom that the title remained in the vendor, who had also violated the constitutional prohibition, or that he (vendor) has the right to recover the title of which he has divested himself by his act in ignoring the prohibition. In such contingency another principle of law sets in to bar the equally guilty vendor from recovering the title which he had voluntarily conveyed for a consideration, that of pari delicto.” On January 25, 1995, the Solicitor General filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of judgment in Reconstitution Case No. 1928, alleging that the Regional Trial Court, Roxas City had no jurisdiction over the case and contended that the petitioners were not the proper parties in the reconstitution of title, since their predecessor-in-interest Lee Liong did not acquire title to the lot because he was a Chinese citizen and was constitutionally not qualified to own the subject land. On April 30, 1996, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision declaring the judgment of reconstitution void. The reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land. The purpose of the reconstitution of title is to have, after observing the procedures prescribed by law, the title reproduced in exactly the same way it has been when the loss or destruction occurred. However, there is a question as to whether Lee Liong has the qualification to own land in the Philippines. The sale of the land in question was consummated sometime in March 1936, during the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. Under the 1935 Constitution, aliens could not acquire private agricultural lands, save in cases of hereditary succession. Thus, Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, was disqualified to acquire the land in question.
In this case, subsequent circumstances militate against escheat proceedings because the land is now in the hands of Filipinos. The original vendee, Lee Liong, has since died and the land has been inherited by his heirs and subsequently their heirs, petitioners herein. Petitioners are Filipino citizens, a fact the Solicitor General does not dispute. The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or private domain was intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no more public policy violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos qualified to acquire and own such land. “If land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid.” Thus, the subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos may no longer be impugned on the basis of the invalidity of the initial transfer. The objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved.
4. MARIA C. TECSON and FELIX B. DESIDERIO, JR., petitioners, vs. COMELEC, FPJ, respondents.
Facts: Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent. The case at bar is a consolidated case filed by petitioners questioning the certificate of candidacy of herein private respondent Ronald Allan Kelly Poe also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. The latter filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of President of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) party. He represented himself in said certificate as a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, which reason that petitioners filed a petition before the Comelec to disqualify private respondent Fernando Poe, Jr. and to deny due course or to cancel hiscertificate of candidacy on the ground that the latter made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino when in truth his parents were foreigners and he is an illegitimate child. The Comelec dismissed the petition. Hence, this appeal. Issue: The controversy in the case at bar centers on the citizenship of Fernando Poe, Jr. as to whether or not he is a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines? Held: Before discussing on the issue at hand it is worth stressing that since private respondent Fernando Poe, Jr. was born on August 20, 1939, the applicable law then controlling was the 1935 constitution. The issue on private respondent’s citizenship is so essential in view of the constitutional provision that, “No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Based on the evidence presented which the Supreme consider as viable is the fact that the death certificate of Lorenzo Poe, father of Allan Poe, who in turn was the father of private respondent Fernando Poe, Jr. indicates that he died on September 11, 1954 at the age of 84 years, in San Carlos, Pangasinan. Evidently, in such death certificate , the residence of Lorenzo Poe was stated to be San Carlos, Pangansinan. In the absence of any evidence to
the contrary, it should be sound to conclude, or at least to presume, that the place of residence of a person at the time of his death was also his residence before death. Considering that the allegations of petitioners are not substantiated with proof and since Lorenzo Poe may have been benefited from the “en masse Filipinization” that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902, there is no doubt that Allan Poe father of private respondent Fernando Poe, Jr. was a Filipino citizen. And, since the latter is governed by the provisions of the 1935 Constitution which constitution considers as citizens of the Philippines those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines, Fernando Poe, Jr. was in fact a natural-born citizen of the Philippines regardless of whether or not he is legitimate or illegitimate.
VALLES VS. COMELEC • Principle of jus sanguinis • • How Philippine citizenship is acquired Effect of filing certificate of candidacy: express renunciation of other citizenship
FACTS: Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she later married a Filipino and has since then participated in the electoral process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor but Valles filed a petition for her disqualification as candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.
ISSUE: Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino HELD: The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality orcitizenship on the basis of place of birth. Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born a year before the 1935 Constitution took into effect and at that time, what served as the Constitution of the Philippines were the principal organic acts by which the United States governed the country. These were the Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of Aug. 29, 1916, also known as the Jones Law. Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April 11, 1899 and resided therein including their children are deemed to be Philippine citizens. Private respondents father, Telesforo Ybasco, was born on Jan. 5, 1879 in Daet, Camarines Norte.... Thus, under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law, Telesforo Ybasco was deemed to be a Philippine citizen. By virtue of the same laws, which were the laws in force at the time of her birth, Telesforo’s daughter, herein private respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is likewise a citizen of the Philippines.
The signing into law of the 1935 Philippine Constitution has established the principle of jus sanguinis as basis for the acquisition of Philippinecitizenship, xxx So also, the principle of jus sanguinis, which confers citizenship by virtue of blood relationship, was subsequently retained under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, the herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her Philippinecitizenship. If Australia follows the principle of jus soli, then at most, private respondent can also claim Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual citizenship.
RE: APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE PHILIPPINE BAR; VICENTE D. CHING, applicant.
Facts: Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino, was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the Philippines. On 17 July 1998, Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws course filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court, dated September 1998, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his Philippine citizenship. On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was one of the successful Bar examinees. However, because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was not allowed to take his oath. The OSG filed its comment stating that Ching, being the "legitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless upon reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship” in strict compliance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 625. The OSG adds that (w)hat he acquired at best was only an inchoate Philippine citizenship which he could perfect by election upon reaching the age of majority. In this regard, the OSG clarifies that "two (2) conditions must concur in order that the election of Philippine citizenship may be effective, namely: (a) the mother of the person making the election must be a citizen of the Philippines; and (b) said election must be made 'upon reaching the age of majority.’” The OSG then explains the meaning of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority:" The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of Justice to be three (3). Said period may be extended under certain circumstances, as when a (sic) person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino. But in Cuenco, it was held that an election done after over seven (7) years was not made within a reasonable time. In conclusion, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine citizenship and, if ever he does, it would already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence.
2. Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father validly elect Philippine
citizenship fourteen (14) years after he has reached the age of majority?
3. Whether he has elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time." In the affirmative, whether his citizenship by election
retroacted to the time he took the bar examination.
When Ching was born in 1964, the governing charter was the 1935 Constitution. Under Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. 1. Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span Of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over. This right to elect Philippine citizenship was recognized in the 1973 Constitution when it provided that "(t)hose who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five" are citizens of the Philippines. Likewise, this recognition by the 1973 Constitution was carried over to the 1987 Constitution which states that "(t)hose born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority" are Philippine citizens. It should be noted, however, that the 1973 and 1987 Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine citizenship should not be understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the acquisition of citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution.
BENGSON III VS HRET
Facts: The citizenship of Teodoro Cruz, a member of the HOR, is being questioned on the ground that he is not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Cruz was born in the Philippines in 1960, the time when the acquisition of citizenship rule was still jus soli. However, he enlisted to the US Marine Corps and he was naturalized as US citizen in connection therewith. He reacquired Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630 and ran for and was elected as a representative. When his nationality was questioned by petitioner, the HRET decided that Cruz was a natural born citizen of the Philippines.
Issue: WON Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines.
Held: YES. Natural-born citizens "are those citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect his Philippine citezenship." On the other hand, naturalized citizens are those who have become Filipino citizens through naturalization, generally under Commonwealth Act No. 473, otherwise known as the Revised Naturalization Law, which repealed the former Naturalization Law (Act No. 2927), and by Republic Act No. 530.11 To be naturalized, an applicant has to prove that he possesses all the qualifications12 and none of the disqualification. Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner provided by law. Commonwealth Act. No. (C.A. No. 63), enumerates the three modes by which Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen: (1) by naturalization, (2) by repatriation, and (3) by direct act of Congress. Naturalization is mode for both acquisition and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. As a mode of initially acquiring Philippine citizenship, naturalization is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended. On the other hand, naturalization as a mode for reacquiring Philippine citizenship is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 63.16 Under this law, a former Filipino citizen who wishes to reacquire Philippine citizenship must possess certain qualifications and none of the disqualification mentioned in Section 4 of C.A. 473. Repatriation, on the other hand, may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to: (1) desertion of the armed forces; services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II; (3) service in the Armed
Forces of the United States at any other time, (4) marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and (5) political economic necessity. As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization, repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippine and registering said oath in the Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided. Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino. In respondent Cruz's case, he lost his Filipino citizenship when he rendered service in the Armed Forces of the United States. However, he subsequently reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 2630. Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in the Civil Registry of Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, respondent Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship. MERCADO VS. MANZANO • Dual allegiance. vs. Dual citizenship • Effect of filing certificate of candidacy: repudiation of other citizenship
FACTS: Manzano and Mercado are vice-mayoral candidates Makati City in the May 11, 1998 elections. Manzano got the highest number votes while Mercado bagged the second place. However, Manzano’s proclamation was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification on the ground that he is an American citizen. In his answer, Manzano admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of Immigration and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother. He was born in the United States (San Francisco, CA) on Sept. 14, 1955 and is considered an American citizen under US laws (jus soli). But notwithstanding his registration as an American citizen, he did not lose his Filipino citizenship. The Second Division of the COMELEC granted the petition and cancelled Manzano’s certificate of candidacy on the ground that he is a dual citizen. Under the Local Government Code (sec. 40), dual citizens are disqualified from running for any position. The COMELEC en banc reversed the division’s ruling. In its resolution, it said that Manzano was both a US citizen and a Filipino citizen. It further ruled that although he was registered as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and was using an American passport, this did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship, as he did not renounce Philippine citizenship and did not take an oath of allegiance to the US. Moreover, the COMELEC found that when respondent attained the age of majority, he registered himself as a Philippine voter and voted as such, which effectively renounced his UScitizenship under American law. Under Philippine law, he no longer had US citizenship. Hence, this petition for certiorari.
Whether or not Manzano was no longer a US citizen?
Whether or not Manzano is qualified to run for and hold elective office?
HELD: DUAL CITIZENSHIP AS A GROUND FOR DISQUALIFICATION Dual Citizenship vs. Dual Allegiance To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis isborn in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: 1. Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli; 2. Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country; 3. Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship.
There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dualcitizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. LGC prohibits “Dual Allegiance” not “Dual Citizenship” The phrase “dual citizenship” in the LGC must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance.” Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dualcitizenship, it would suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states.
By Electing Philippine Citizenship, the Candidate forswear Allegiance to the Other Country By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws, such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreigncitizenship. That is of no moment.
PETITIONER’S ELECTION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP The COMELEC en banc’s ruling was that Manzano’s act of registering himself as a voter was an effective renunciation of his American citizenship. This ruling is in line with the US Immigration and Nationality Act wherein it is provided that “a person who is a national of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by: (e) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or participating in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty over foreign territory.” But this provision was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Nevertheless, our SC held that by filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post, private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship.
To recapitulate, by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his Americancitizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. On the other hand, private respondent’s oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.
His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfil his undertaking made under oath. Should he betray that trust, there are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his Philippinecitizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. In Yu v. Defensor-Santiago, we sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that, after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen, he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad that he was a Portuguese national. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who, in electing Philippine citizenship, renounces his foreign nationality, but subsequently does some act constituting renunciation of his Philippine citizenship.
5. CO VS HRET
Facts: The petitioners come to this Court asking for the setting aside and reversal of a decision of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). The HRET declared that respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar for voting purposes. The petitioners filed election protests against the private respondent premised on the following grounds: 1) Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines; and 2) Jose Ong, Jr. is not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar. The HRET in its decision dated November 6, 1989, found for the private respondent. Issues: • • • Held: • On jurisdiction: o The Constitution explicitly provides that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. When may the Court inquire into acts of the Electoral Tribunals under our constitutional grants of power? In the later case of Robles v. HRET (181 SCRA 780 ) the Supreme Court stated that the judgments of the Tribunal are beyond judicial interference save only "in the exercise of this Court's so-called extraordinary jurisdiction, . . . upon a determination that the Tribunal's decision or resolution was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion. In the case at bar, the Court finds no improvident use of power, no denial of due process on the part of the HRET which will necessitate the exercise of the power of judicial review by the Supreme Court. On the issue of citizenship: Was there grave discretion by HRET? About the jurisdiction? Whether or not Ong is a Filipino citizen? Is Ong a resident of second district of Samar?
The records show that in the year 1895, the private respondent's grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the Philippines from China. o Ong Te established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar. o As a resident of Laoang, Ong Te was able to obtain a certificate of residence from the then Spanish colonial administration. o The father of the private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in China in 1905. He was brought by Ong Te to Samar in the year 1915 and got married in 1932 to Agripina Lao, and lived according to Catholic faith and practice to a natural born-Filipino o Ong filed with the Court of First Instance of Samar an application for naturalization and on April 28, 1955, the CFI of Samar, after trial, declared Jose Ong Chuan a Filipino citizen. o In 1984, the private respondent married a Filipina named Desiree Lim. o his elder brother, Emil, was elected as a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. His status as a natural born citizen was challenged. Parenthetically, the Convention which in drafting the Constitution removed the unequal treatment given to derived citizenship on the basis of the mother's citizenship formally and solemnly declared Emil Ong, respondent's full brother, as a natural born Filipino. o In 1987, he ran in the elections for representative in the second district of Northern Samar and won. o The respondents contested Article 4, Secs. 1 and 2 of the Constitution o the bestowment of the status of "natural-born" cannot be made to depend on the fleeting accident of time or result in two kinds of citizens made up of essentially the same similarly situated members. It is for this reason that the amendments were enacted, that is, in order to remedy this accidental anomaly, and, therefore, treat equally all those born before the 1973 Constitution and who elected Philippine citizenship either before or after the effectivity of that Constitution. The Constitutional provision in question is, therefore curative in nature. The enactment was meant to correct the inequitable and absurd situation which then prevailed, and thus, render those acts valid which would have been nil at the time had it not been for the curative provisions. o Election becomes material because Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution accords natural born status to children born of Filipino mothers before January 17, 1973, if they elect citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. To expect the respondent to have formally or in writing elected citizenship when he came of age is to ask for the unnatural and unnecessary. The reason is obvious. He was already a citizen. Not only was his mother a natural born citizen but his father had been naturalized when the respondent was only nine (9) years old. The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in the Philippines. o The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still have to elect citizenship. For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up, there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be less binding. Entering a profession open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a qualification, voting during election time, running for public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature are themselves formal manifestations of choice for these persons. o The respondent HRET has an interesting view as to how Mr. Ong elected citizenship. It observed that "when protestee was only nine years of age, his father, Jose Ong Chuan became a naturalized Filipino. Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization Act squarely applies its benefit to him for he was then a minor residing in this country. Concededly, it was the law itself that had already elected Philippine citizenship for protestee by declaring him as such." (Emphasis supplied) o There is another reason why we cannot declare the HRET as having committed manifest grave abuse of discretion. The same issue of natural-born citizenship has already been decided by the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and by the Batasang Pambansa convened by authority of the Constitution drafted by that Convention. Emil Ong, full blood brother of the respondent, was declared and accepted as a natural born citizen by both bodies. o What was the basis for the Constitutional Convention's declaring Emil Ong a natural born citizen? Under the Philippine Bill of 1902, inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on the 11th day of April 1899 and then residing in said islands and their children born subsequent thereto were conferred the status of a Filipino citizen. o Was the grandfather of the private respondent a Spanish subject? The domicile of a natural person is the place of his habitual residence. This domicile, once established is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established. On the issue of residence o
o The petitioners lose sight of the meaning of "residence" under the Constitution. The term "residence" has
been understood as synonymous with domicile not only under the previous Constitutions but also under the 1987 Constitution. The term "domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, one intends to return. The absence of a person from said permanent residence, no matter how long, notwithstanding, it continues to be the domicile of that person. In other words, domicile is characterized by animus revertendi. The domicile of origin of the private respondent, which was the domicile of his parents, is fixed at Laoang, Samar. Contrary to the petitioners' imputation, Jose Ong, Jr. never abandoned said domicile; it remained fixed therein even up to the present. It has also been settled that absence from residence to pursue studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter other than in the place where one is elected, does not constitute loss of residence.
6. MOY YA VS COMMISSIONER Of IMMIGRATION
Facts: On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant. In the interrogation made in connection with her application for a temporary visitor's visa to enter the Philippines, she stated that she was a Chinese residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she desired to take a pleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her greatgranduncle Lau Ching Ping for a period of one month. She was permitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961, and was permitted to stay for a period of one month which would expire on 13 April 1961. On the date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative might properly allow. After repeated extensions, Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction with preliminary injunction. At the hearing which took place one and a half years after her arrival, it was admitted that Lau Yuen Yeung could not write either English or Tagalog. Except for a few words, she could not speak either English or Tagalog. She could not name any Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She did not know the names of her brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-law. The Court of First Instance of Manila (Civil Case 49705) denied the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau Yuen Yeung appealed.
Issue: Whether Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen.
Held: Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise, an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4. Whether the alien woman requires to undergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an applicant for naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through a naturalization proceedings, in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the same privilege. This is plain common sense and there is absolutely no evidence that the Legislature intended to treat them differently. As the laws of our country, both substantive and procedural, stand today, there is no such procedure (a substitute for naturalization proceeding to enable the alien wife of a Philippine citizen to have the matter of her own citizenship settled and established so that she may not have to be called upon to prove it everytime she has to perform an act or enter into a transaction or business or exercise a right reserved only to Filipinos), but such is no proof that the citizenship is not vested as of the date of marriage or the husband's acquisition of citizenship, as the case may be, for the truth is that the situation obtains even as to native-born Filipinos. Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case, Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to have become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of her marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.
7. RP VS DE LA ROSA
In Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections, 174 SCRA 245 (1989), this Court declared private respondent, Juan G. Frivaldo, an alien and therefore disqualified from serving as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. Once more, the citizenship of private respondent is put in issue in these petitions docketed as G.R. No.104654 and G.R. No. 105715 and G.R. No. 105735. The petitions were consolidated since they principally involve the same issues and parties. G.R. No.104654 Issues: (1) to annul the which re-admitted private respondent as a Filipino citizen under the Revised Naturalization Law (C.A. No. 63 as amended by C.A. No. 473); (2) to nullify the oath of allegiance taken by private respondent on February 27, 1992. On September 20, 1991, petitioner filed a petition for naturalization captioned: "In the Matter of Petition of Juan G. Frivaldo to be Re-admitted as a Citizen of the Philippines under Commonwealth Act No. 63". On January 14, 1992, private respondent filed a "Motion to Set Hearing Ahead of Schedule," where he manifested his intention to run for public office in the May 1992 elections. The motion was granted in an Order dated January 24, 1992, wherein the hearing of the petition was moved to February 21, 1992. The said order was not published nor a copy thereof posted. On February 21, the hearing proceeded with private respondent as the sole witness wherein he submitted documentary evidences. Six days later, on February 27, respondent Judge rendered the assailed Decision, disposing as follows: WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Petitioner JUAN G. FRIVALDO, is re-admitted as a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines by naturalization, thereby vesting upon him, all the rights and privileges of a natural born Filipino citizen (Rollo, p. 33). On the same day, private respondent was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before respondent Judge. On March 16, a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit Motion for Reconsideration" was filed by Quiterio H. Hermo. He
alleged that the proceedings were tainted with jurisdictional defects, and prayed for a new trial to conform with the requirements of the Naturalization Law. Res: In his comment to the State’s appeal of the decision granting him Philippine citizenship in G.R. No. 104654, private respondent alleges that the precarious political atmosphere in the country during Martial Law compelled him to seek political asylum in the United States, and eventually to renounce his Philippine citizenship. He claims that his petition for naturalization was his only available remedy for his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. He tried to reacquire his Philippine citizenship through repatriation and direct act of Congress. However, he was later informed that repatriation proceedings were limited to army deserters or Filipino women who had lost their citizenship by reason of their marriage to foreigners His request to Congress for sponsorship of a bill allowing him to reacquire his Philippine citizenship failed to materialize, notwithstanding the endorsement of several members of the House of Representatives in his favor . He attributed this to the maneuvers of his political rivals. The appeal of the Solicitor General in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines is meritorious. The naturalization proceedings in SP Proc. No. 91-58645 was full of procedural flaws, rendering the decision an anomaly. Private respondent, having opted to reacquire Philippine citizenship thru naturalization under the Revised Naturalization Law, is duty bound to follow the procedure prescribed by the said law. It is not for an applicant to decide for himself and to select the requirements which he believes, even sincerely, are applicable to his case and discard those which be believes are inconvenient or merely of nuisance value. The law does not distinguish between an applicant who was formerly a Filipino citizen and one who was never such a citizen. It does not provide a special procedure for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by former Filipino citizens akin to the repatriation of a woman who had lost her Philippine citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien. The trial court never acquired jurisdiction to hear the petition for naturalization of private respondent. The proceedings conducted, the decision rendered and the oath of allegiance taken therein, are null and void for failure to comply with the publication and posting requirements under the Revised Naturalization Law. The petition for naturalization lacks several allegations required by Sections 2 and 6 of the Revised Naturalization Law, particularly: (1) (2) (3) (4) that the petitioner is of good moral character; that he resided continuously in the Philippines for at least ten years; that he is able to speak and write English and any one of the principal dialects; that he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the date of the filing of the petition until his admission to Philippine citizenship; and (5) that he has filed a declaration of intention or if he is excused from said filing, the justification therefor.
The proceedings of the trial court was marred by the following irregularities: (1) the hearing of the petition was set ahead of the scheduled date of hearing, without a publication of the order advancing the date of hearing, and the petition itself; (2) the petition was heard within six months from the last publication of the petition; (3) petitioner was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before the finality of the judgment; and (4) petitioner took his oath of allegiance without observing the two-year waiting period. Section 1 of R.A. No. 530 provides that no decision granting citizenship in naturalization proceedings shall be executory until after two years from its promulgation in order to be able to observe if: (1) (2) (3) (4) the applicant has left the country; the applicant has dedicated himself continuously to a lawful calling or profession; the applicant has not been convicted of any offense or violation of government promulgated rules; and the applicant has committed any act prejudicial to the interest of the country or contrary to government announced policies.
Even discounting the provisions of R.A. No. 530, the courts cannot implement any decision granting the petition for naturalization before its finality.
G.R. No. 105715 Frivaldo was proclaimed winner but Lee filed a petition with the COMELEC to annul the proclamation of private respondent as Governor-elect of the Province of Sorsogon on the grounds: (1) that the proceedings and composition of the Provincial Board of Canvassers were not in accordance with law; (2) that private respondent is an alien, whose grant of Philippine citizenship is being questioned by the State in G.R. No. 104654; and (3) that private respondent is not a duly registered voter. Petitioner further prayed that the votes case in favor of private respondent be considered as stray votes, and that he, on the basis of the remaining valid votes cast, be proclaimed winner. On June 10, the COMELEC issued the questioned en banc resolution which dismissed the petition for having been filed out of time. Petitioner prays for: (1) the annulment of private respondent’s proclamation as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon; (2) the deletion of private respondent’s name from the list of candidates for the position of governor (3) the proclamation of the governor-elect based on the remaining votes, after the exclusion of the votes for private respondent; (4) the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin private respondent from taking his oath and assuming office; (5) the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel the COMELEC to resolve the pending disqualification case docketed as SPA Case No. 92-016, against private respondent. Res:
(1) private respondent is not yet a Filipino citizen, we have to grant the petition in G.R. No. 105715 after treating it as
a petition for certiorari instead of a petition for mandamus. Said petition assails the en banc resolution of the COMELEC, dismissing SPC Case No. 92-273, which in turn is a petition to annul private respondent’s proclamation on three grounds:
1) that the proceedings and composition of the Provincial Board of Canvassers were not in accordance with law;
2) that private respondent is an alien, whose grant of Filipino citizenship is being questioned by the State in G.R. No. 104654; and 3) that private respondent is not a duly registered voter. The COMELEC dismissed the petition on the grounds that it was filed outside the three-day period for questioning the proceedings and composition of the Provincial Board of Canvassers under Section 19 of R.A. No. 7166. We ruled that where the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified to hold the office to which he was elected, the candidate who garnered the second highest number of votes is not entitled to be declared winner G.R. No. 105735 petitioner prays for the COMELEC’s immediate resolution of SPA Case No. 92-016, which is a petition for the cancellation of private respondent’s certificate of candidacy filed on March 23, 1992 by Quiterio H. Hermo. The petition for cancellation alleged:
(1) that private respondent is an American citizen, and therefore ineligible to run as candidate for the position of governor of the Province of Sorsogon; (2) that the trial court’s decision re-admitting private respondent as a Filipino citizen was fraught with legal infirmities rendering it null and void; (3) that assuming the decision to be valid, private respondent’s oath of allegiance, which was taken on the same day the questioned decision was promulgated, violated Republic Act No. 530, which provides for a two-year waiting period before the oath of allegiance can be taken by the applicant; and (4) that the hearing of the petition on February 27, 1992, was held less than four months from the date of the last publication of the order and petition. The petition prayed for the cancellation of private respondent’s certificate of candidacy and the deletion of his name from the list of registered voters in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon. The COMELEC concedes that private respondent has not yet reacquired his Filipino citizenship because the decision granting him the same is not yet final and executory (Rollo, p. 63). However, it submits that the issue of disqualification of a candidate is not among the grounds allowed in a pre-proclamation controversy. Res: In view of the discussions of G.R. No. 104654 and G.R. No. 105715, we find the petition in G.R. No. 105735 moot and academic.
8. LIMKAICHONG VS COMELEC
Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal begins over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications, and mere allegation as to the invalidity of her proclamation does not divest the Electoral Tribunal of its jurisdiction. Consolidated petitions: (1) the Joint Resolution of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division dated May 17, 2007, disqualifying Jocelyn D. Sy Limkaichong (Limkaichong) from running as a congressional candidate for the First District of Negros Oriental; (2) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007, affirming her disqualification; (3) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated August 16, 2007, resolving that all pending incidents relating to her qualifications should now be determined by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). Facts: On March 26, 2007, Limkaichong filed with the COMELEC her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental. Petitions for disqualifications: (1) Napoleon Camero - alleged that she is not a natural-born Filipino because her parents were Chinese citizens at the time of her birth. (2) Renald F. Villando - filed the second petition on the same ground of citizenship; claimed that when Limkaichong was born, her parents were still Chinese citizens as the proceedings for the naturalization of Julio Ong Sy, her father, never attained finality due to procedural and substantial defects.
In her separate Answers to the petitions, Limkaichong claimed that she is a natural-born Filipino since she was born to a naturalized Filipino father and a natural-born Filipino mother, who had reacquired her status as such due to her husband's naturalization. Thus, at the time of her birth on November 9, 1959, nineteen (19) days had already passed after her father took his Oath of Allegiance on October 21, 1959 and after he was issued a Certificate of Naturalization on the same day. The COMELEC consolidated the two (2) petitions which remained pending on May 14, 2007, when the National and Local Elections were conducted. After the elections, Limkaichong was elected as the Congresswoman of Negros Oriental. In a Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007, the COMELEC Second Division granted the petitions in the disqualification cases, disqualified Limkaichong as a candidate for Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental. Among it’s decision: On the substantial issue of whether respondent Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong is disqualified to run for the congressional seat of the First District of Negros Oriental on the ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino, we hold that she is so disqualified. Petitioners have successfully discharged their burden of proof and has convincingly shown with pieces of documentary evidence that Julio Ong Sy, father of herein respondent Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong, failed to acquire Filipino citizenship in the naturalization proceedings which he underwent for the said purpose. An examination of the records of Special Case No. 1043 would reveal that the Office of the Solicitor General was deprived of its participation in all the stages of the proceedings therein, as required under Commonwealth Act No. 473 or the Revised Naturalization Law and Republic Act No. 530, An Act Making Additional Provisions for Naturalization. The documents presented by petitioners showed that the OSG was not furnished copies of two material orders of the trial court in the said proceedings. One was the July 9, 1957 Order granting his petition for naturalization and the other was the September 21, 1959 Order declaring Julio Ong Sy as a Filipino citizen. Moreover, from a perusal of the same page 171 of the OSG logbook, we have determined that the OSG did not receive a notice for the hearing conducted by the trial court on July 9, 1959, prior to its issuance of the September 12, 1959 Order declaring Julio Ong Sy as a Filipino citizen. As correctly pointed out by petitioners, this was fatal to the naturalization proceedings of Julio Ong Sy, and prevented the same from gaining finality. Another glaring defect in the said proceedings was the fact that Julio Ong Sy took his Oath of Allegiance on October 21, 1959, which was exactly thirty (30) days after his declaration as a naturalized Filipino. The thirty-day reglementary period is so required under the law so that the OSG could make known his objections and to appeal from the order of the trial court declaring the petitioner a naturalized Filipino citizen. This is also the reason why a copy of the petitioner’s motion to take his oath of allegiance has to be furnished to the OSG. She would have been correct had all the necessary parties to the case been informed of the same. The OSG, being the counsel for the government, has to participate in all the proceedings so that it could be bound by what has transpired therein. Lacking the participation of this indispensable party to the same, the proceedings are null and void and, hence, no rights could arise therefrom. From all the foregoing, therefore, it could be seen that Julio Ong Sy did not acquire Filipino citizenship through the naturalization proceedings in Special Case No. 1043. Thus, he was only able to transmit to his offspring, Chinese citizenship. Respondent Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong being the daughter of Julio Ong Sy, and having been born on November 9, 1959, under the 1935 Philippine Constitution, is a Chinese national, and is disqualified to run as First District Representative of Negros Oriental.
The following day, or on May 18, 2007, the COMELEC En Banc issued Resolution No. 8062 adopting the policyguidelines of not suspending the proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases which shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases. Limkaichong was then proclaimed winner of the elections. The COMELEC then contested that since she was already proclaimed all matters concerning the case should be directed to the HRET. Issues: (1) Whether the proclamation of Limkaichong by the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Negros Oriental is valid; (2) Whether said proclamation divested the Commission on Elections of jurisdiction to resolve the issue of Limkaichong's citizenship; (3) Whether the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal shall assume jurisdiction, in lieu of the COMELEC, over the issue of Limkaichong's citizenship; (4) Whether the COMELEC Second Division and the COMELEC En Banc correctly ruled that Limkaichong is disqualified from running as a Member of the House of Representatives on the ground that she is not a naturalborn citizen; (5) Whether the COMELEC disqualification of Limkaichong is final and executory; and, (6) Whether the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be compelled to prohibit Limkaichong from assuming her duties as a Member of the House of Representatives.
When Limkaichong filed her COC, she stated therein that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. It was not true, according to the petitioners in the disqualification cases, because her father remained a Chinese citizen at the time of her birth. The COMELEC Second Division has sided with Camero and Villando, and disqualified Limkaichong to run as a congressional candidate in the First District of Negros Oriental for having failed to comply with the citizenship requirement. Accordingly, her proclamation was ordered suspended notwithstanding that she obtained the highest number of votes during the elections. Nonetheless, she was proclaimed by the PBOC pursuant to the policy guidelines of COMELEC En Banc Resolution No. 8062, and she has since assumed her position and performed her functions as a Member of the House of Representatives. Held:
Whether Limkaichong’s proclamation was valid. - The proclamation of Limkaichong was valid. The COMELEC Second Division rendered its Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007. On May 20, 2007, Limkaichong timely filed with the COMELEC En Banc her motion for reconsideration as well as for the lifting of the incorporated directive suspending her proclamation. The filing of the motion for reconsideration effectively suspended the execution of the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution. Since the execution of the May 17, 2007 Joint Resolution was suspended, there was no impediment to the valid proclamation of Limkaichong as the winner. a. The Court has held in the case of Planas v. COMELEC, that at the time of the proclamation of Defensor, the respondent therein who garnered the highest number of votes, the Division Resolution invalidating his certificate of candidacy was not yet final. As such, his proclamation was valid or legal, as he had at that point in time remained qualified. Limkaichong’s situation is no different from that of Defensor, the former having been disqualified by a Division Resolution on the basis of her not being a natural-born Filipino citizen. When she was proclaimed by the PBOC, she was the winner during the elections for obtaining the highest number of votes, and at that time, the Division Resolution disqualifying her has not yet became final as a result of the motion for reconsideration.
Whether, upon Limkaichong's proclamation, the HRET, instead of the COMELEC, should assume jurisdiction over the disqualification cases. - The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins. It follows then that the proclamation of a winning candidate divests the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before it at the time of the proclamation. The party questioning his qualification should now present his case in a proper proceeding before the HRET, the constitutionally mandated tribunal to hear and decide a case involving a Member of the House of Representatives with respect to the latter's election, returns and qualifications.
Whether the COMELEC Second Division and the COMELEC En Banc correctly disqualified Limkaichong on the ground that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen. - In resolving the disqualification cases, the COMELEC Second Division relied on the entries in the docket book of the OSG, the only remaining record of the naturalization proceedings, and ruled on the basis thereof that the naturalization proceedings of Julio Ong Sy, Limkaichong’s father, in Special Case No. 1043, were null and void. The COMELEC Second Division adopted Villando and Camero’s arguments that the OSG was deprived of its participation in the said case for it was not furnished copies of the following: (a) the July 9, 1957 Order of the Court of First Instance (CFI) granting the petition for naturalization; and (b) the September 21, 1959 Order of the CFI declaring Julio Ong Sy a Filipino citizen. Thus, when the latter took his oath of allegiance on October 21, 1959, it was exactly 30 days after his declaration as a naturalized Filipino, or one day short of the reglementary period required under Sections 11 and 12 of Commonwealth Act No. 473. Such defects were fatal to the naturalization proceedings of Julio Ong Sy and prevented the same from gaining finality. The COMELEC Second Division concluded that since Julio Ong Sy did not acquire Philippine citizenship through the said naturalization proceedings, it follows that Limkaichong remains a Chinese national and is disqualified to run as candidate and be elected as a Member of the House of Representatives.
(4)Whether the COMELEC's disqualification of Limkaichong is final and executory. - In his Memorandum
dated June 27, 2008, Biraogo stated that the Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc in the disqualification cases became final and executory after five (5) days from its promulgation and that the same was not restrained by this Court pursuant to Section 13(b), Rule 18 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure. He averred that since Limkaichong received a copy of the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007 on July 3, 2007, she had until July 8, 2007 within which to obtain a restraining order from the Court to prevent the same from becoming final and executory. However, she did not do anything to that effect. Instead of asking the Court for what Biraogo opined as a restraining order, Limkaichong filed with this Court, on August 1, 2007, her petition for certiorari assailing the said COMELEC En Banc Resolution pursuant to Section 2, Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, postulating that she had thirty (30) days from July 4, 2007 within which to file the petition, or until August 3, 2007. In his Comment on the petition, Villando prayed for the outright dismissal of Limkaichong’s petition as:
a. it was filed beyond the reglementary period; b. Limkaichong engaged in prohibited forum shopping; and c. Limkaichong admitted that the issues raised have become moot and academic. He also sought to declare
Limkaichong in contempt of court for forum shopping. The COMELEC, through the OSG, also filed its Comment, praying for the denial of Limkaichong's petition and its dismissal for being moot, contending that: (a) the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated August 16, 2007 has rendered the instant petition moot and academic; and (b) Limkaichong knowingly and intentionally engaged in forum shopping. Notably, the seeming impropriety of the Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc dated June 29, 2007 has since been remedied by the promulgation of its Resolution dated August 16, 2007, recognizing that it no longer has jurisdiction over the disqualification cases following the valid proclamation of Limkaichong and her assumption of office as a Member of the House of Representatives.
(5)Whether the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be compelled to prohibit Limkaichong from
assuming her duties as a Member of the House of Representatives. - Biraogo's contention was that De Venecia should be stopped from entering Limkaichong's name in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives because he has no power to allow an alien to sit and continue to sit therein as it would amount to an unlawful exercise of his legal authority. Moreover, Biraogo opposes Limkaichong’s assumption of office in the House of Representatives since she is not qualified to sit therein, being a Chinese citizen and, thus, disqualified by virtue of a final and executory judgment of the COMELEC En Banc. He relied on the COMELEC En Banc Resolution dated June 29, 2007, which affirmed the COMELEC Second Division Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007 disqualifying Limkaichong from holding public office. He contended that the said Resolution dated June 29, 2007 is already final and executory; hence, it should be respected pursuant to the principle of res judicata.
De Venecia, on the other hand, argued that he should not be faulted for honoring the proclamation of Limkaichong, because it had the hallmarks of regularity, and he had no power to exclude any Member of the House of Representatives motu proprio. In their Comment on the petition, respondents De Venecia, et al., contended that the enrollment of a Member in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives and his/her recognition as such becomes the ministerial duty of the Secretary General and the House of Representatives upon presentation by such Member of a valid Certificate of Proclamation and Oath of Office. Respondent Nograles, as De Venecia's, substitute, filed a Memorandum dated July 16, 2008 stating that under the circumstances, the House of Representatives, and its officials, are without recourse except to honor the validity of the proclamation of Limkaichong until the same is canceled, revoked or nullified, and to continue to recognize her as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental until it is ordered by this Court, as it was in Codilla, to recognize somebody else. He went on to state that after assumption by the Member-elect, or having acquired a presumptively valid title to the office, the House of Representatives cannot, motu proprio, cancel, revoke, withdraw any recognition given to a sitting Member or to “remove” his name from its roll, as such would amount to a removal of such Member from his office without due process of law. Verily, it is only after a determination by the appropriate tribunal (as in this case, the HRET), pursuant to a final and executory order, that the Member does not have a right to the office (i.e., not being a duly elected Member), that the House of Representatives is directed to exclude the said Member.
9. COQUILLA VS COMELEC
The facts are as follows: Petitioner Coquilla was born on February 17, 1938 of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar. He grew up and resided there until 1965, when he joined the United States Navy. He was subsequently naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Subsequently, petitioner applied for repatriation under R.A. No. 8171 to the Special Committee on Naturalization. His application was approved and he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines. On November 21, 2000, petitioner applied for registration as a voter of Butnga, Oras, Eastern Samar. His application was approved and on February 27, 2001, he filed his certificate of candidacy stating therein that he had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for “two (2) years. Respondent Neil M. Alvarez, sought the cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy on the ground that the latter had made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by stating that he had been a resident of Oras for two years when in truth he had resided therein for only about six months since November 10, 2000, when he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines. COMELEC was unable to render judgment on the case before the elections on May 2001. Meanwhile, petitioner was voted for and received the highest number of votes. On May 17, 2001, petitioner was proclaimed mayor of Oras by the Municipal Board of Canvassers. On July 19, 2001, the Second Division of the COMELEC granted private respondent’s petition and ordered the cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy on the basis of the following findings: Respondent’s frequent or regular trips to the Philippines and stay in Oras, cannot be considered as a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant . . . of the U.S.A. The one (1) year residency requirement contemplates of the actual residence of a Filipino citizen in the constituency where he seeks to be elected. All things considered, the number of years he claimed to have resided or stayed in Oras, Eastern Samar since 1985 as an American citizen and permanent resident of the U.S.A. before November 10, 2000 when he reacquired his Philippine citizenship by [repatriation] cannot be added to his actual residence thereat after November 10, 2000 until May 14, 2001 to cure his deficiency in days, months, and year to allow or render him eligible to run for an elective office in the Philippines. Under such circumstances, by whatever formula of computation used, respondent is short of the one-year residence requirement before the May 14, 2001 elections.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the COMELEC en banc on January 30, 2002. Hence this petition. Issues:
Whether the 30-day period for appealing the resolution of the COMELEC was suspended by the filing of a motion for reconsideration by petitioner Whether the COMELEC retained jurisdiction to decide this case notwithstanding the proclamation of petitioner Whether Coquilla has complied with the 1-year residence requirement before the elections
1. private respondent contends that the petition in this case should be dismissed because it was filed late; that the
COMELEC en banc had denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration for being pro forma. Private respondent’s contention has no merit. The motion for reconsideration was not pro forma and its filing did suspend the period for filing the petition for certiorari in this case. The mere reiteration in a motion for reconsideration of the issues raised by the parties and passed upon by the court does not make a motion pro forma; otherwise, the movant’s remedy would not be a reconsideration of the decision but a new trial or some other remedy.
2. The rule then is that candidates who are disqualified by final judgment before the election shall not be voted for
and the votes cast for them shall not be counted. But those against whom no final judgment of disqualification had been rendered may be voted for and proclaimed, unless, on motion of the complainant, the COMELEC suspends their proclamation because the grounds for their disqualification or cancellation of their certificates of candidacy are strong. Meanwhile, the proceedings for disqualification of candidates or for the cancellation or denial of certificates of candidacy, which have been begun before the elections, should continue even after such elections and proclamation of the winners. In Abella v. COMELEC and Salcedo II v. COMELEC, the candidates whose certificates of candidacy were the subject of petitions for cancellation were voted for and, having received the highest number of votes, were duly proclaimed winners. This Court, in the first case, affirmed and, in the second, reversed the decisions of the COMELEC rendered after the proclamation of candidates, not on the ground that the latter had been divested of jurisdiction upon the candidates’ proclamation but on the merits.
3. The Local Government Code (R.A No. 7160) provides: a. Qualifications. - (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the
barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. The term “residence” is to be understood not in its common acceptation as referring to “dwelling” or “habitation,” but rather to “domicile” or legal residence, that is, “the place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi).” A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place where the child’s parents reside and continues until the same is abandoned by acquisition of new domicile (domicile of choice). In the case at bar, petitioner lost his domicile of origin in Oras by becoming a U.S. citizen after enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1965. From then on and until November 10, 2000, when he reacquired Philippine citizenship, petitioner was an alien without any right to reside in the Philippines save as our immigration laws may have allowed him to stay as a visitor or as a resident alien. It is noteworthy that petitioner was repatriated not under R.A. No. 2630, which applies to the repatriation of those who lost their Philippine citizenship by accepting commission in the Armed Forces of the United States, but under R.A. No. 8171, which, as earlier mentioned, provides for the repatriation of, among others, natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship
on account of political or economic necessity. In any event, the fact is that, by having been naturalized abroad, he lost his Philippine citizenship and with it his residence in the Philippines. Until his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship on November 10, 2000, petitioner did not reacquire his legal residence in this country. The status of being an alien and a non-resident can be waived either separately, when one acquires the status of a resident alien before acquiring Philippine citizenship, or at the same time when one acquires Philippine citizenship. As an alien, an individual may obtain an immigrant visa under §13 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1948 and an Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) and thus waive his status as a non-resident. On the other hand, he may acquire Philippine citizenship by naturalization under C.A. No. 473, as amended, or, if he is a former Philippine national, he may reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation or by an act of Congress, in which case he waives not only his status as an alien but also his status as a non-resident alien. The statement in petitioner’s certificate of candidacy that he had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for “two years” at the time he filed such certificate is not true. The question is whether the COMELEC was justified in ordering the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy for this reason. We hold that it was. Petitioner made a false representation of a material fact in his certificate of candidacy, thus rendering such certificate liable to cancellation. In the case at bar, what is involved is a false statement concerning a candidate’s qualification for an office for which he filed the certificate of candidacy. This is a misrepresentation of a material fact justifying the cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy. The cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy in this case is thus fully justified. WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the resolution of the Second Division of the Commission on Elections, dated July 19, 2001, and the order, dated January 30, 2002 of the Commission on Elections en banc are AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.
TABASA VS CA
The Case The instant petition for review under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure contests the denial by the Court of Appeals (CA) of the Petition for Habeas Corpus interposed by petitioner Joevanie Arellano Tabasa from the Order of Summary Deportation issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) for his return to the United States. The Facts The facts as culled by the CA from the records show that petitioner Joevanie Arellano Tabasa was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. In 1968, when petitioner was seven years old, his father, Rodolfo Tabasa, became a naturalized citizen of the United States. By derivative naturalization (citizenship derived from that of another as from a person who holds citizenship by virtue of naturalization), petitioner also acquired American citizenship. Petitioner arrived in the Philippines on August 3, 1995, and was admitted as a “balikbayan” for one year. Thereafter, petitioner was arrested and detained by agent Wilson Soluren of the BID on May 23, 1996, pursuant to BID Mission Order No. LIV-96-72 in Baybay, Malay, Aklan; subsequently, he was brought to the BID Detention Center in Manila. Mr. Tabasa’s passport has been revoked because he is the subject of an outstanding federal warrant of arrest issued on January 25, 1996 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, for violation of Section 1073, “Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution,” of Title 18 of the United States Code. He is charged with one count of a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of California Penal Code, Section 12021(A)(1), and one count of sexual battery, in violation of California Penal Code, Section 243.4 (D). Petitioner filed before the CA a Petition for Habeas Corpus with Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order on May 29, 1996, Tabasa alleged that he was not afforded due process; that no warrant of arrest for deportation may be issued by immigration authorities before a final order of deportation is made; that no notice of the cancellation of his passport was made by the U.S. Embassy; that he is entitled to admission or to a change of his immigration status as a non-quota immigrant because he is married to a Filipino citizen as provided in Section 13, paragraph (a) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940; and that he was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines prior to his derivative naturalization when he was seven years old due to the naturalization of his father, Rodolfo Tabasa, in 1968. on June 13, 1996, petitioner filed a Supplemental Petition alleging that he had acquired Filipino citizenship by repatriation in accordance with Republic Act No. 8171 (RA 8171), and that because he is now a Filipino citizen, he cannot be deported or detained by the respondent Bureau. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals The CA, in its August 7, 1996 Decision, denied Tabasa’s petition on the ground that he had not legally and successfully acquired––by repatriation––his Filipino citizenship as provided in RA 8171. The court said that although he became an American citizen by derivative naturalization when his father was naturalized in 1968, there is no evidence to show that he lost his Philippine citizenship “on account of political or economic necessity,” as explicitly provided in Section 1, RA 8171—the law governing the repatriation of natural-born Filipinos who have lost their citizenship. The affidavit does not state that political or economic necessity was the compelling reason for petitioner’s parents to give up their Filipino citizenship in 1968. The court a quo noted that after petitioner was
ordered deported by the BID on May 29, 1996, he successively executed an Affidavit of Repatriation on June 6, 1996 and took an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on June 13, 1996––more than ten months after his arrival in the country on August 3, 1995. The appellate court considered petitioner’s “repatriation” as a last ditch effort to avoid deportation and prosecution in the United States. The appellate court concluded that his only reason to want to reacquire Filipino citizenship is to avoid criminal prosecution in the United States of America. The court a quo, therefore, ruled against Tabasa, whose petition is now before us. The Issue whether petitioner has validly reacquired Philippine citizenship under RA 8171. If there is no valid repatriation, then he can be summarily deported for his being an undocumented alien. The Court’s Ruling The Court finds no merit in this petition. RA 8171, “An Act Providing for the Repatriation of Filipino Women Who Have Lost Their Philippine Citizenship by Marriage to Aliens and of Natural-Born Filipinos,” was enacted on October 23, 1995. It provides for the repatriation of only two (2) classes of persons, viz:
Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship
Does petitioner Tabasa qualify as a natural-born Filipino who had lost his Philippine citizenship by reason of political or economic necessity under RA 8171? He does not. Petitioner theorizes that he could be repatriated under RA 8171 because he is a child of a natural-born Filipino, and that he lost his Philippine citizenship by derivative naturalization when he was still a minor. Petitioner overlooks the fact that the privilege of repatriation under RA 8171 is available only to natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship on account of political or economic necessity, and to the minor children of said natural-born Filipinos. This means that if a parent who had renounced his Philippine citizenship due to political or economic reasons later decides to repatriate under RA 8171, his repatriation will also benefit his minor children according to the law. This includes a situation where a former Filipino subsequently had children while he was a naturalized citizen of a foreign country. The repatriation of the former Filipino will allow him to recover his natural-born citizenship and automatically vest Philippine citizenship on his children of jus sanguinis or blood relationship: the children acquire the citizenship of their parent(s) who are natural-born Filipinos. To claim the benefit of RA 8171, however, the children must be of minor age at the time the petition for repatriation is filed by the parent. This is so because a child does not have the legal capacity for all acts of civil life much less the capacity to undertake a political act like the election of citizenship. On their own, the minor children cannot apply for repatriation or naturalization separately from their parents. In the case at bar, there is no dispute that petitioner was a Filipino at birth. In 1968, while he was still a minor, his father was naturalized as an American citizen; and by derivative naturalization, petitioner acquired U.S. citizenship. Petitioner now wants us to believe that he is entitled to automatic repatriation as a child of natural-born Filipinos who left the country due to political or economic necessity. This is absurd. Petitioner was no longer a minor at the time of his “repatriation” on June 13, 1996. The privilege under RA 8171 belongs to children who are of minor age at the time of the filing of the petition for repatriation. Neither can petitioner be a natural-born Filipino who left the country due to political or economic necessity. Clearly, he lost his Philippine citizenship by operation of law and not due to political or economic exigencies. It was his father who could have been motivated by economic or political reasons in deciding to apply for naturalization. The decision was his parent’s and not his. The privilege of repatriation under RA 8171 is extended directly to the natural-born Filipinos who could prove that they acquired citizenship of a foreign country due to political and economic reasons, and extended indirectly to the minor children at the time of repatriation. In sum, petitioner is not qualified to avail himself of repatriation under RA 8171. However, he can possibly reacquire Philippine citizenship by availing of the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9225) by simply taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Where to file a petition for repatriation pursuant to RA 8171 The Amended Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 8171 issued by the SCN on August 5, 1999, applicants for repatriation are required to submit documents in support of their petition such as their birth certificate and other evidence proving their claim to Filipino citizenship. These requirements were imposed to enable the SCN to verify the qualifications of the applicant particularly in light of the reasons for the renunciation of Philippine citizenship. What petitioner simply did was that he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; then, executed an affidavit of repatriation, which he registered, together with the certificate of live birth, with the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Manila. The said office subsequently issued him a certificate of such registration.
Requirements for repatriation under RA 8171 Even if petitioner––now of legal age––can still apply for repatriation under RA 8171, he nevertheless failed to prove that his parents relinquished their Philippine citizenship on account of political or economic necessity as provided for in the law. Nowhere in his affidavit of repatriation did he mention that his parents lost their Philippine citizenship on account of political or economic reasons. It is notable that under the Amended Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 8171, the SCN requires a petitioner for repatriation to set forth, among others, “the reason/s why petitioner lost his/her Filipino citizenship, whether by marriage in case of Filipino woman, or whether by political or economic necessity in case of [a] natural-born Filipino citizen who lost his/her Filipino citizenship. In case of the latter, such political or economic necessity should be specified.” Petitioner: an undocumented alien subject to summary deportation Petitioner claims that because of his repatriation, he has reacquired his Philippine citizenship; therefore, he is not an undocumented alien subject to deportation. This theory is incorrect. As previously explained, petitioner is not entitled to repatriation under RA 8171 for he has not shown that his case falls within the coverage of the law. Petitioner Tabasa, whose passport was cancelled after his admission into the country, became an undocumented alien who can be summarily deported. His subsequent “repatriation” cannot bar such deportation especially considering that he has no legal and valid reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.
ANGAT VS RP
"In the Matter of the Petition of Gerardo Angat y Legaspi to be Re-admitted as a Citizen of the Philippines under Commonwealth Act No. 63, as amended, and Republic Act ("R.A.")” Petitioner Gerardo Angat was a natural born citizen of the Philippines until he lost his citizenship by naturalization in the United States of America. Now residing at Marikina City, Angat filed on 11 March 1996 before the RTC of Marikina City, Branch 272, a petition to regain his Status as a citizen of the Philippines under Commonwealth Act No. 63, Republic Act No. 965 and Republic Act No. 2630 (docketed as N-96-03-MK). In his petition, "applying for naturalization," he averred that — His full name is GERARDO LEGASPI ANGAT. His present place of residence is #69 New York St., Provident Village, Marikina, Metro Manila and his former residence was in Las Vegas, U.S. His trade or profession is in buy and sell and managing the properties of his parents which he has been engaged since his arrival here in the Philippines. He was born on the 22nd day of June 1954 at Tondo, Manila. He was formerly a citizen of the Philippines. He lost his Philippine citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country. He is at present a citizen or subject of the United States of America. He is newly married to Zenaida Lim who was born in Tondo, Manila and now resides at petitioner's residence at Marikina, Metro Manila. He returned to the Philippines from the United States of America in 1991 He has the qualifications required by Commonwealth Act No. 63 as amended, and Republic Act Nos. 965 and 2639 to reacquire Philippine citizenship, and possesses none of the disqualification prescribed in Commonwealth Act No. 473. He has resided in the Philippines at least six months immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit: since 1991. He has conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines, in his relations with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living. He is not opposed to an organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized government. He is not defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault or assassination for the success and predominance of men's ideas. He is not a polygamist or believer in the practice of polygamy. He has not been convicted of any crime involving moral
turpitude. He is not suffering from any mental alienation or incurable contagious disease. The nation of which he is a citizen or subject is not at war with the Philippines. It is his intention to reacquire Philippine citizenship and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to the United State of America to which at this time he is a citizen.
On 30 April 1996, the trial court, through the branch clerk of court, issued a notice setting the case for initial hearing on 27 January 1997. On 13 June 1996, petitioner sought to be allowed to take his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to R.A. 8171. The motion was denied by the trial judge in his order of 12 July 1996. Another motion filed by petitioner on 13 August 1996 to have the denial reconsidered was found to be meritorious by the court a quo in an order, dated 20 September 1996. Which stated, among other things, that — A close scrutiny of R.A. 8171 shows that petitioner is entitled to the benefits of the said law considering that herein petitioner is a natural born Filipino citizen who lost his citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country. The petition and motion of the petitioner to take his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines likewise show that the petitioner possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications under R.A. 8171. Concluding, the court ruled: foregoing premises considered, the Order of the Court dated July 12, 1996 is hereby set aside. The petitioner is ordered to take his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to R.A. 8171 before the undersigned on October 03, 1996 at 11:00 in the morning.After taking his Oath of Allegiance on 03 October 1996, another order was issued by the trial judge on 04 October 1996 to the following effect. On 19 March 1997, a Manifestation and Motion (virtually a motion for reconsideration) filed by the OSG asserted that the petition itself should have been dismissed by the court a quo for lack of jurisdiction because the proper forum for it was the Special Committee on Naturalization consistently with Administrative Order No. 285 ("AO 285"), dated 22 August 1996, issued by President Fidel V. Ramos. AO 285 had tasked the Special Committee on Naturalization to be the implementing agency of R.A 8171. The motion was found to be well taken by the trial court. A motion for reconsideration, filed by petitioner on 13 October 1997, questioned the aforequoted order asservating that since his petition was filed on 14 March 1996, or months before the Special Committee on Naturalization was constituted by the President under AO 285 on 22 August 1996, the court a quo had the authority to take cognizance of the case. Petitioner would insist that the trial court had jurisdiction over his petition for naturalization filed on 11 March 1996, and that he had acquired a vested right as a repatriated citizen of the Philippines when the court declared him repatriated following the order, dated 20 September 1996, allowing him to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines which was, in fact, administered to him on 03 October 1996. R.A. No. 8171, which has lapsed into law on 23 October 1995, is an act providing for the repatriation (a) of Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and (b) of natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship on account or political or economic necessity. Under Section 1 of Presidential Decree ("P.D.") No. 725, 8 dated 05 June 1975, amending Commonwealth Act No. 63, an application for repatriation could be filed by Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens, as well as by natural born Filipinos who lost their Philippine citizenship, with the Special Committee on Naturalization. The committee, chaired by the Solicitor General with the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency as the other members, was created pursuant to Letter of Instruction ("LOI") No. 270, dated 11 April 1975, as amended by LOI No. 283 and LOI No. 491 issued, respectively, on 04 June 1975 and on 29 December 1976. Although the agency was deactivated by virtue of President Corazon C. Aquino's Memorandum of 27 March 1987, it was not however, abrogated. Indeed, the Committee was reactivated on 08 June 1995; 12 hence, when petitioner filed his petition on 11 March 1996, the Special Committee on Naturalization constituted pursuant to LOI No. 270 under P.D. No. 725 was in place. Administrative Order 285, 13 promulgated on 22 August 1996 relative to R.A. No. 8171, in effect, was merely then a confirmatory issuance. The Office of the Solicitor General was right in maintaining that Angat's petition should have been filed with the Committee, aforesaid, and not with the RTC which had no jurisdiction thereover. The court's order of 04 October 1996 was thereby null and void, and it did not acquire finality 14 nor could be a source of right on the part of petitioner. 15 It
should also be noteworthy that the petition in Case No. N-96-03-MK was one for repatriation, and it was thus incorrect for petitioner to initially invoke Republic Act No. 965 16 and R.A. No. 2630 17 since these laws could only apply to persons who had lost their citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of an allied foreign country or the armed forces of the United States of America, a factual matter not alleged in the petition, Parenthetically, under these statutes, the person desiring to re-acquire Philippine citizenship would not even be required to file a petition in court, and all that he had to do was to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to register that fact with the civil registry in the place of his residence or where he had last resided in the Philippines.
ALTAREJOS VS COMELEC
The factual antecedents are as follows: Petitioner Altarejos was a candidate for mayor in the Municipality of San Jacinto, Masbate in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections. On January 15, 2004, private respondents Jose Almiñe Altiche and Vernon Versozafiled with the COMELEC, a petition to disqualify and to deny due course or cancel the certificate of candidacy of petitioner on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen and that he made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy that "[he] was not a permanent resident of or immigrant to a foreign country. Respondents contest that petitioner was a holder of a permanent U.S. resident visa, an Alien Certificate of Registration No. E139507 issued on November 3, 1997, and an Immigration Certificate of Residence No. 320846 issued on November 3, 1997 by the Bureau of Immigration. Petitioner filed an Answer stating, that he did not commit false representation in his application for candidacy as mayor because as early as December 17, 1997, he was already issued a Certificate of Repatriation by the Special Committee on Naturalization, after he filed a petition for repatriation pursuant to Republic Act No. 8171. Thus, petitioner claimed that his Filipino citizenship was already restored, and he was qualified to run as mayor in the May 10, 2004 elections. On the date of the hearing, the parties were required to submit their Memoranda within three days. Private respondents filed their Memorandum, while petitioner did not file one within the required period.4 Petitioner, however, filed a Reply Memorandum subsequently. Atty. Zacarias C. Zaragoza, Jr, hearing officer of this case, recommended that petitioner Altarejos be disqualified from being a candidate for the position of mayor. Basis: [SEC. 40. Disqualifications. – The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective position:] (d) Those with dual citizenship. (f) Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside abroad and continue to avail of the same right after the effectivity of this Code; xxx
In the present case, it has been established by clear and convincing evidence that respondent is a citizen of the United States of America. Such fact is proven by his Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) No. E139507 issued on 3 November 1997 and Immigration Certificate of Residence (ICR) with No. 320846 issued on 3 November 1997 by the Alien Registration Division, Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. This was further confirmed in a letter dated 25 June 2001 of then Commissioner ANDREA D. DOMINGO of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. Although respondent had petitioned for his repatriation as a Filipino citizen under Republic Act No. 8171 on 17 December 1997, this did not restore to respondent his Filipino citizenship, because Section 2 of the aforecited Republic Act No. 8171 specifically provides that "repatriation shall be effected by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration." It appears from the records of this case that respondent failed to prove that he has fully complied with requirements of the abovequoted Section 2 of Republic Act 8171 to perfect his repatriation and reacquire his Filipino citizenship. Respondent has not submitted any document to prove that he has taken his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and that he has registered his fact of repatriation in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration. In fact, in a letter date 25 June 2001, Commissioner ANDREA DOMINGO stated that RESPONDENT is still a holder of visa under Section 13 (g) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 as amended, with an indefinite authorized stay in the Philippines, implying that respondent did not register his supposed Certificate of Repatriation with the Bureau of Immigration otherwise his Alien Visa would have already been cancelled. In March 25, 2004, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration and attached the following documents to prove that he had completed all the requirements for repatriation which thus entitled him to run for an elective office, viz: (1) Oath of Allegiance dated December 17, 1997; (2) Identification Certificate No. 116543 issued by the Bureau of Immigration on March 1, 2004; (3) Certification from the City Civil Registration Office, Makati City, that the Certificate of Repatriation and Oath of Allegiance of petitioner was received by said office and registered, with the corresponding fee paid, on February 18, 2004; (4) A letter dated December 17, 1997 from the Special Committee on Naturalization to the Bureau on Immigration and Deportation that it was furnishing said office with the Oath of Allegiance and Certificate of Repatriation of petitioner for the cancellation of petitioner's registration in said office as an alien, and the issuance to him of the corresponding Identification Card as Filipino citizen; (5) A letter dated December 17, 1997 from the Special Committee on Naturalization to the Local Registrar of San Jacinto, Masbate that it was sending petitioner's Oath of Allegiance and Certificate of Repatriation for registration in their records and for petitioner's reacquisition of his former Philippine citizenship. On May 7, 2004, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution denying the motion for reconsideration. It states: The Comelec Rules of Procedure provides that insufficiency of evidence to justify the decision is a ground for a motion for reconsideration (Rule 19, Section 1). The evidence referred to in the above provision and to be considered in the Motion for Reconsideration are those which were submitted during the hearing and attached to the respective Memoranda of the parties which are already part of the records of the case. In this regard, the evidence of the respondent were not able to overcome the evidence of the petitioners. Assuming that the new evidence of the respondent are admitted, with more reason should we cancel his certificate of candidacy for his act of [misrepresenting] himself as a Filipino citizen when at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy, he has not yet perfected the process of repatriation. He failed to comply with the requirements under Section 2 of [Republic Act No.] 8171 which provides that repatriation shall be effected by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration. Obviously, he was able to register in the proper civil registry only on February 18, 2004. This fact confirms the finding of the Commission (First Division) that at the time respondent filed his certificate of candidacy he is yet to complete the requirement under section two (2) of RA 8171. As a consequence of not being a Filipino citizen, he has committed false representation in his certificate of candidacy. Such false representation constitutes a material misrepresentation as it relates to his qualification as a candidate. As such the certificate of candidacy may be cancelled on such ground. On May 10, 2004, the election day itself, petitioner filed this petition. In its Comment,10 the Office of the Solicitor General stated that, based on the information relayed to it by the COMELEC, petitioner's name, as a mayoralty candidate, was retained in the list of candidates voted upon by the electorate in the said municipality. Hence, the cancellation of petitioner's certificate of candidacy was never implemented. The COMELEC also informed the Office of the Solicitor General that petitioner's opponent, Dr. Emilio Aris V. Espinosa, was already proclaimed duly elected Mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate. The Office of the Solicitor General contends that said supervening event has rendered the instant petition moot and academic, and it prayed for the dismissal of the petition. In his Reply, petitioner opposed the dismissal of his petition. He claims that the COMELEC resolutions disqualifying him from running as a mayoralty candidate adversely affected his candidacy, since his supporters were made to believe that his votes would not be counted. Moreover, he stated that said COMELEC resolutions cast a doubt on his Philippine citizenship. Petitioner points out that he took his Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on December 17, 1997. In view thereof, he ran and was even elected as Mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate during the 1998 elections. He argues that if there was delay in the registration of his Certificate of Repatriation with the Bureau of Immigration and with the proper civil registry, the same was brought about by the inaction on the part of said offices since the records of the Special Committee on Naturalization show that his Certificate of Repatriation and Oath of Allegiance have long been transmitted to said offices. Petitioner also asserts that the subsequent registration of his Certificate of Repatriation with the Bureau of Immigration and with the Civil Registry of Makati City prior to the May 10, 2004 elections has the effect of curing the defect, if any, in the reacquisition of his Filipino citizenship as his repatriation retroacted to the date of his application for repatriation as held in Frivaldo v. Comelec.
Issues raised: • Is the registration of petitioner's repatriation with the proper civil registry and with the Bureau of Immigration a prerequisite in effecting repatriation; Whether or not the COMELEC en banc committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in affirming the Resolution of the COMELEC, First Division.
As stated by the Office of the Solicitor General, where the issues have become moot and academic, there is no justiciable controversy, thereby rendering the resolution of the same of no practical use or value. Nonetheless, courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of repetition, yet evading review. Held: The law is clear that repatriation is effected "by taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau of Immigration." Hence, in addition to taking the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, the registration of the Certificate of Repatriation in the proper civil registry and the Bureau of Immigration is a prerequisite in effecting the repatriation of a citizen. In this case, petitioner took his Oath of Allegiance on December 17, 1997, but his Certificate of Repatriation was registered with the Civil Registry of Makati City only after six years or on February 18, 2004, and with the Bureau of Immigration on March 1, 2004. Petitioner, therefore, completed all the requirements of repatriation only after he filed his certificate of candidacy for a mayoralty position, but before the elections. When does the citizenship qualification of a candidate for an elective office apply? In Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections, the Court ruled that the citizenship qualification must be construed as "applying to the time of proclamation of the elected official and at the start of his term." Accordingly, petitioner's repatriation retroacted to the date he filed his application in 1997. Petitioner was, therefore, qualified to run for a mayoralty position in the government in the May 10, 2004 elections. Apparently, the COMELEC was cognizant of this fact since it did not implement the assailed Resolutions disqualifying petitioner to run as mayor of San Jacinto, Masbate. The Court cannot fault the COMELEC en banc for affirming the decision of the COMELEC, First Division, considering that petitioner failed to prove before the COMELEC that he had complied with the requirements of repatriation. Petitioner submitted the necessary documents proving compliance with the requirements of repatriation only during his motion for reconsideration, when the COMELEC en banc could no longer consider said evidence.
It is, therefore, incumbent upon candidates for an elective office, who are repatriated citizens, to be ready with sufficient evidence of their repatriation in case their Filipino citizenship is questioned to prevent a repetition of this case. WHEREFORE, the petition seeking the nullification of the Resolution of the COMELEC en banc of May 7, 2004, affirming the Resolution of its First Division dated March 22, 2004, is hereby DENIED. No costs.
13. NICOLAS-LEWIS V COMELEC G.R. NO 162759, AUG 4, 2006
***duals may now exercise the right to suffrage thru the absentee voting scheme and as overseas absentee voters*** Facts: Petitioners were successful applicants for recognition of Philippine citizenship under RA 9225 which accords to such applicants the right to suffrage, among others. Long before the May 2004 national and local elections, petitioners sought registration and certification as "overseas absentee voter" only to be advised by the Philippine Embassy in the United States that, per a COMELEC letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs dated September 23, 2003, they have yet no right to vote in such elections owing to their lack of the one-year residence requirement prescribed by the Constitution. The same letter, however, urged the different Philippine posts abroad not to discontinue their campaign for voter’s registration, as the residence restriction adverted to would contextually affect merely certain individuals who would likely be eligible to vote in future elections. However, the COMELEC denied petition of the petitioners on the ground that to exercise absentee voting; the one year residency requirement should be fulfilled. Held: RA 9189 provides a lists those who cannot avail themselves of the absentee voting mechanism. However, Section 5(d) of the enumeration respecting Filipino immigrants and permanent residents in another country opens an exception and qualifies the disqualification rule. Section 5(d) of R.A. No. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is "recognized as such in the host country" because immigration or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of one's residence in his country of origin.
However, same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that "all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law" must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and, that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting; for otherwise, if actual, physical residence in the Philippines is required, there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting. After what appears to be a successful application for recognition of Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9189, petitioners now invoke their right to enjoy political rights, specifically the right of suffrage, pursuant to Section 5 thereof. As may be noted, there is no provision in the dual citizenship law - R.A. 9225 - requiring "duals" to actually establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary, R.A. 9225, in implicit acknowledgment that "duals" are most likely non-residents, grants under its Section 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R.A. 9189. It cannot be overemphasized that R.A. 9189 aims, in essence, to enfranchise as much as possible all overseas Filipinos who, save for the residency requirements exacted of an ordinary voter under ordinary conditions, are qualified to vote. It is clear from these discussions of the Constitutional Commission that [it] intended to enfranchise as much as possible all Filipino citizens abroad who have not abandoned their domicile of origin. The Commission even intended to extend to young Filipinos who reach voting age abroad whose parents domicile of origin is in the Philippines, and consider them qualified as voters for the first time. Considering the unison intent of the Constitution and R.A. 9189 and the expansion of the scope of that law with the passage of R.A. 9225, the irresistible conclusion is that "duals" may now exercise the right of suffrage thru the absentee voting scheme and as overseas absentee voters. R.A. 9189 defines the terms adverted to in the following wise:
"Absentee Voting" refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise their right vote; "Overseas Absentee Voter" refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is qualified to register and vote under this Act, not otherwise disqualified by law, who is abroad on the day of elections 14. CALILUNG VS DATUMANONG
Petitioner filed the instant petition against respondent, then Secretary of Justice Simeon Datumanong, the official tasked to implement laws governing citizenship. Petitioner prays that a writ of prohibition be issued to stop respondent from implementing Republic Act No. 9225, entitled “An Act Making the Citizenship of Philippine Citizens Who Acquire Foreign Citizenship Permanent, Amending for the Purpose Commonwealth Act No. 63, As Amended, and for Other Purposes.” Petitioner avers that Rep. Act No. 9225 is unconstitutional as it violates Section 5, Article IV of the 1987 Constitution that states, “Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.”
Act is on the copy of cases!
Issues: 1. 2. Held: Is Rep. Act No. 9225 unconstitutional? Does this Court have jurisdiction to pass upon the issue of dual allegiance?
Petitioner contends that Rep. Act No. 9225 cheapens Philippine citizenship. He avers that Sections 2 and 3 of Rep. Act No. 9225, together, allow dual allegiance and not dual citizenship. Petitioner maintains that Section 2 allows all Filipinos, either natural-born or naturalized, who become foreign citizens, to retain their Philippine citizenship without losing their foreign citizenship. Section 3 permits dual allegiance because said law allows natural-born citizens of the Philippines to regain their Philippine citizenship by simply taking an oath of allegiance without forfeiting their foreign allegiance. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) claims that Section 2 merely declares as a state policy that “Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.” The OSG further claims that the oath in Section 3 does not allow dual allegiance since the oath taken by the former Filipino citizen is an effective renunciation and repudiation of his foreign citizenship. The fact that the applicant taking the oath recognizes and accepts the supreme authority of the Philippines is an unmistakable and categorical affirmation of his undivided loyalty to the Republic.
In resolving the aforecited issues in this case, resort to the deliberations of Congress is necessary to determine the intent of the legislative branch in drafting the assailed law. During the deliberations, the issue of whether Rep. Act No. 9225 would allow dual allegiance had in fact been the subject of debate. Rep. Locsin underscored that the measure does not seek to address the constitutional injunction on dual allegiance as inimical to public interest. He said that the proposed law aims to facilitate the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by speedy means. However, he said that in one sense, it addresses the problem of dual citizenship by requiring the taking of an oath. He explained that the problem of dual citizenship is transferred from the Philippines to the foreign country because the latest oath that will be taken by the former Filipino is one of allegiance to the Philippines and not to the United States, as the case may be. He added that this is a matter which the Philippine government will have no concern and competence over. Rep. Locsin also clarified that this was precisely his objection to the original version of the bill, which did not require an oath of allegiance. Since the measure now requires this oath, the problem of dual allegiance is transferred from the Philippines to the foreign country concerned, he explained. Rep. Locsin clarified that by swearing to the supreme authority of the Republic, the person implicitly renounces his foreign citizenship. Rep. Locsin replied that it is imperative that those who have dual allegiance contrary to national interest should be dealt with by law. However, he said that the dual allegiance problem is not addressed in the bill. He then cited the Declaration of Policy in the bill which states that “It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.” He stressed that what the bill does is recognize Philippine citizenship but says nothing about the other citizenship. Rep. Locsin further pointed out that the problem of dual allegiance is created wherein a natural-born citizen of the Philippines takes an oath of allegiance to another country and in that oath says that he abjures and absolutely renounces all allegiance to his country of origin and swears allegiance to that foreign country. The original Bill had left it at this stage, he explained. In the present measure, he clarified, a person is required to take an oath and the last he utters is one of allegiance to the country. He then said that the problem of dual allegiance is no longer the problem of the Philippines but of the other foreign country. From the above excerpts of the legislative record, it is clear that the intent of the legislature in drafting Rep. Act No. 9225 is to do away with the provision in Commonwealth Act No. 63 which takes away Philippine citizenship from natural-born Filipinos who become naturalized citizens of other countries. What Rep. Act No. 9225 does is allow dual citizenship to natural-born Filipino citizens who have lost Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country. On its face, it does not recognize dual allegiance. By swearing to the supreme authority of the Republic, the person implicitly renounces his foreign citizenship. Plainly, from Section 3, Rep. Act No. 9225 stayed clear out of the problem of dual allegiance and shifted the burden of confronting the issue of whether or not there is dual allegiance to the concerned foreign country. What happens to the other citizenship was not made a concern of Rep. Act No. 9225.
Petitioner likewise advances the proposition that although Congress has not yet passed any law on the matter of dual allegiance, such absence of a law should not be justification why this Court could not rule on the issue. He further contends that while it is true that there is no enabling law yet on dual allegiance, the Supreme Court, through Mercado v. Manzano, already had drawn up the guidelines on how to distinguish dual allegiance from dual citizenship. For its part, the OSG counters that pursuant to Section 5, Article IV of the 1987 Constitution, dual allegiance shall be dealt with by law. Thus, until a law on dual allegiance is enacted by Congress, the Supreme Court is without any jurisdiction to entertain issues regarding dual allegiance.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.
REAGAN VS CIR
20. Facts: A question novel in character, the answer to which has far-reaching implications, is raised by petitioner
William C. Reagan, at one time a civilian employee of an American corporation providing technical assistance to the United States Air Force in the Philippines. He would dispute the payment of the income tax assessed on him by respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue on an amount realized by him on a sale of his automobile to a member of the United States Marine Corps, the transaction having taken place at the Clark Field Air Base at Pampanga. It is his contention, seriously and earnestly pressed, that in legal contemplation the sale was made outside Philippine territory and therefore beyond our jurisdictional power to tax. Issue: Whether or not the sale was made outside the Philippine territory and therefore beyond our jurisdictional function to tax. Held: The Court held that nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion there of that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of its sovereignty.
It is to be admitted that any state may, by its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. That is the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation, which, in the succinct language of Jellinek, "is the property of a state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction." 7 A state then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence. Its laws may as to some persons found within its territory no longer control. Nor does the matter end there. It is not precluded from allowing another power to participate in the exercise of jurisdictional right over certain portions of its territory. If it does so, it by no means follows that such areas become impressed with an alien character. They retain their status as native soil. They are still subject to its authority. Its jurisdiction may be diminished, but it does not disappear. So it is with the bases under lease to the American armed forces by virtue of the military bases agreement of 1947. They are not and cannot be foreign territory.
TAÑADA VS ANGARA
Note: Justice Panganiban provides a brief historical background on the development of the WTO (see p28-34)
On April 15, 1994, Respondent Rizalino Navarro, then Secretary of The Department of Trade and Industry, representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations (Final Act, for brevity). (Note: This act makes the Philippines one of the founding members of the WTO) On August 12, 1994, the members of the Philippine Senate received a letter dated August 11, 1994 from the President of the Philippines, stating among others that "the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution." On August 13, 1994, the members of the Philippine Senate received another letter from the President of the Philippines likewise dated August 11, 1994, which stated among others that "the Uruguay Round Final Act, the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions, and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services are hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution."
On December 9, 1994, the President of the Philippines certified the necessity of the immediate adoption of P.S. 1083, a resolution entitled "Concurring in the Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization." On December 14, 1994, the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. 97 which "Resolved, as it is hereby resolved, that the Senate concur, as it hereby concurs, in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization." The text of the WTO Agreement is written on pages 137 et seq. of Volume I of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and includes various agreements and associated legal instruments (identified in the said Agreement as Annexes 1, 2 and 3 thereto and collectively referred to as Multilateral Trade Agreements, for brevity) as follows: ANNEX 1 Annex 1A: Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Goods Annex 1B: General Agreement on Trade in Services and Annexes Annex 1C: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ANNEX 2 Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes ANNEX 3 Trade Policy Review Mechanism On December 16, 1994, the President of the Philippines signed the Instrument of Ratification, declaring the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1), two (2) and three (3) ratified and confirmed To emphasize, the WTO Agreement ratified by the President of the Philippines is composed of the Agreement Proper and "the associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1), two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof." On the other hand, the Final Act signed by Secretary Navarro embodies not only the WTO Agreement (and its integral annexes aforementioned) but also (1) the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and (2) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. The Solicitor General describes these two latter documents as follows: The Ministerial Decisions and Declarations are twenty-five declarations and decisions on matters such as measures in favor of least developed countries, notification procedures etc. The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services dwell on, among other things, standstill or limitations and qualifications of commitments to existing non-conforming measures, market access, national treatment etc. On December 29, 1994, the present petition was filed. The Court resolved on December 12, 1995, to give due course to the petition. The court also requested the Hon. Lilia R. Bautista, the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, to submit a paper, hereafter referred to as "Bautista Paper,", (1) providing a historical background of and (2) summarizing the said agreements. During the Oral Argument held on August 27, 1996, the Court directed the petitioners to submit the (1) Senate Committee Report on the matter in controversy and (2) the transcript of proceedings/hearings in the Senate; and the Solicitor General, as counsel for respondents, to file (1) a list of Philippine treaties signed prior to the Philippine adherence to the WTO Agreement, which derogate from Philippine sovereignty and (2) copies of the multi-volume WTO Agreement and other documents mentioned in the Final Act. Issues: 1. WON the petition presents a justiciable controversy
2. 3. 4. 5.
WON the provision of the WTO agreement and its three annexes contravene sec. 19, article 2 and sec. 10 and 12, article 12 of the Philippine Constitution WON the provisions of said agreement and its annexes limit, restrict or impair the exercise of legislative power by congress WON said provisions unduly impair or interfere with the exercise of judicial power by this court in promulgating rules on evidence WON the concurrence of the senate in the WTO agreement and its annexes are sufficient and/or valid, considering that it did not include the final act, ministerial declarations and decisions, and the understanding on commitments in financial services
Holding: the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
Ratio: 1. WON the Court has jurisdiction over the controversy Yes. The jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate the matters raised in the petition is clearly set out in the 1987 Constitution, as follows: Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. As the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion and as there is no other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, we have no hesitation at all in holding that this petition should be given due course and the vital questions raised therein ruled upon under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Indeed, certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify, when proper, acts of legislative and executive officials. On this, we have no equivocation. We should stress that, in deciding to take jurisdiction over this petition, this Court will not review the wisdom of the decision of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO, or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy espoused by said international body. Neither will it rule on the propriety of the government's economic policy of reducing/removing tariffs, taxes, subsidies, quantitative restrictions, and other import/trade barriers. Rather, it will only exercise its constitutional duty "to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and its three annexes.
2. WON The WTO Agreement contravenes the Phil. Constitution No. The "flagship" constitutional provisions referred to are Sec 19, Article II, and Secs. 10 and 12, Article XII, of the Constitution, which are worded as follows: Article II DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES Sec. 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.
Article XII NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY
Sec. 10. . . . The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
Sec. 12. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive. Petitioners aver that these sacred constitutional principles are desecrated by the following WTO provisions quoted in their memorandum: a) In the area of investment measures related to trade in goods (TRIMS, for brevity): b) In the area of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS, for brevity): Each Member shall accord to the nationals of other Members treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own nationals with regard to the protection of intellectual property. . . (par. 1 Article 3, Agreement on Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property rights, Vol. 31, Uruguay Round, Legal Instruments, p. 25432 (emphasis supplied) c) In the area of the General Agreement on Trade in Services:
Declaration of Principles Not Self-Executing By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a "declaration of principles and state policies." The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution is called the "basic political creed of the nation" by Dean Vicente Sinco. These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan, Incorporated vs. Morato, the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not "self-executing provisions, the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation." In general, the 1935 provisions were not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They were rather directives addressed to the executive and to the legislature. If the executive and the legislature failed to heed the directives of the article, the available remedy was not judicial but political. The electorate could express their displeasure with the failure of the executive and the legislature through the language of the ballot. (Bernas, Vol. II, p. 2). It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action be a specific, operable legal right, rather than a constitutional or statutory policy, for at least two (2) reasons: 1. That unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given specification in operational terms, defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently and effectively; in other words, there are due process dimensions to this matter.
2. Where a specific violation of law or applicable regulation is not alleged or proved, petitioners can be expected to fall back on the expanded conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution
Economic Nationalism Should Be Read with Other Constitutional Mandates to Attain Balanced Development of Economy
Secs. 10 and 12 of Article XII, should be read and understood in relation to the other sections in said article. The Constitution ordains the ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos "in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony" and in the use of "Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally-produced goods"; (2) by mandating the State to "adopt measures that help make them competitive; and (3) by requiring the State to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos." In similar language, the Constitution takes into account the realities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of "a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality ad reciprocity"; and speaks of industries "which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets" as well as of the protection of "Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices." It is true that in the recent case of Manila Prince Hotel vs. Government Service Insurance System, et al., this Court held that "Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rule for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable." However, as the constitutional provision itself states, it is enforceable only in regard to "the grants of rights, privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony" and not to every aspect of trade and commerce. It refers to exceptions rather than the rule. The Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign investments, goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and investments into the country, it does not prohibit them either. In fact, it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair.
WTO Recognizes Need toProtect Weak Economies WTO decides by consensus whenever possible, otherwise, decisions of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council shall be taken by the majority of the votes cast, except in cases of interpretation of the Agreement or waiver of the obligation of a member which would require three fourths vote. Amendments would require two thirds vote in general. Amendments to MFN provisions and the Amendments provision will require assent of all members. Any member may withdraw from the Agreement upon the expiration of six months from the date of notice of withdrawals. Hence, poor countries can protect their common interests more effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one negotiations with developed countries. Within the WTO, developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda more decisively than outside the Organization. This is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. Thus, the basic principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize the need of developing countries like the Philippines to "share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development." These basic principles are found in the preamble of the WTO Agreement. (see case for preamble of WTO)
Specific WTO Provisions Protect Developing Countries So too, the Solicitor General points out that pursuant to and consistent with the foregoing basic principles, the WTO Agreement grants developing countries a more lenient treatment, giving their domestic industries some protection from the rush of foreign competition. Thus, with respect to tariffs in general, preferential treatment is given to developing countries in terms of the amount of tariff reduction and the period within which the reduction is to be spread out. Specifically, GATT requires an average tariff reduction
rate of 36% for developed countries to be effected within a period of six (6) years while developing countries — including the Philippines — are required to effect an average tariff reduction of only 24% within ten (10) years. In respect to domestic subsidy, GATT requires developed countries to reduce domestic support to agricultural products by 20% over six (6) years, as compared to only 13% for developing countries to be effected within ten (10) years. In regard to export subsidy for agricultural products, GATT requires developed countries to reduce their budgetary outlays for export subsidy by 36% and export volumes receiving export subsidy by 21% within a period of six (6) years. For developing countries, however, the reduction rate is only two-thirds of that prescribed for developed countries and a longer period of ten (10) years within which to effect such reduction. Moreover, GATT itself has provided built-in protection from unfair foreign competition and trade practices including anti-dumping measures, countervailing measures and safeguards against import surges. Where local businesses are jeopardized by unfair foreign competition, the Philippines can avail of these measures. There is hardly therefore any basis for the statement that under the WTO, local industries and enterprises will all be wiped out and that Filipinos will be deprived of control of the economy. Quite the contrary, the weaker situations of developing nations like the Philippines have been taken into account; thus, there would be no basis to say that in joining the WTO, the respondents have gravely abused their discretion.
Constitution Does Not Rule Out Foreign Competition Furthermore, the constitutional policy of a "self-reliant and independent national economy" does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It contemplates neither "economic seclusion" nor "mendicancy in the international community." As explained by Constitutional Commissioner Bernardo Villegas, sponsor of this constitutional policy: Economic self-reliance is a primary objective of a developing country that is keenly aware of overdependence on external assistance for even its most basic needs. It does not mean autarky or economic seclusion; rather, it means avoiding mendicancy in the international community. The WTO reliance on "most favored nation," "national treatment," and "trade without discrimination" cannot be struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members. Aside from envisioning a trade policy based on "equality and reciprocity," the fundamental law encourages industries that are "competitive in both domestic and foreign markets," thereby demonstrating a clear policy against a sheltered domestic trade environment, but one in favor of the gradual development of robust industries that can compete with the best in the foreign markets. Indeed, Filipino managers and Filipino enterprises have shown capability and tenacity to compete internationally. And given a free trade environment, Filipino entrepreneurs and managers in Hongkong have demonstrated the Filipino capacity to grow and to prosper against the best offered under a policy of laissez faire.
Constitution Favors Consumers, Not Industries or Enterprises The Constitution has not really shown any unbalanced bias in favor of any business or enterprise, nor does it contain any specific pronouncement that Filipino companies should be pampered with a total proscription of foreign competition. On the other hand, respondents claim that WTO/GATT aims to make available to the Filipino consumer the best goods and services obtainable anywhere in the world at the most reasonable prices. Consequently, the question boils down to whether WTO/GATT will favor the general welfare of the public at large.
Constitution Designed to Meet Future Events and Contingencies No doubt, the WTO Agreement was not yet in existence when the Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1987. That does not mean however that the Charter is necessarily flawed in the sense that its framers might not have anticipated the advent of a borderless world of business.
It is not difficult to answer this question. Constitutions are designed to meet not only the vagaries of contemporary events. They should be interpreted to cover even future and unknown circumstances. It is to the credit of its drafters that a Constitution can withstand the assaults of bigots and infidels but at the same time bend with the refreshing winds of change necessitated by unfolding events. As one eminent political law writer and respected jurist explains:
3. WON the WTO Agreement restricts or limits the Legislative Power of Congress No. The WTO Agreement provides that "(e)ach Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements." Petitioners maintain that this undertaking "unduly limits, restricts and impairs Philippine sovereignty, specifically the legislative power which under Sec. 2, Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is vested in the Congress of the Philippines. More specifically, petitioners claim that said WTO proviso derogates from the power to tax, which is lodged in the Congress. And while the Constitution allows Congress to authorize the President to fix tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts, such authority is subject to "specified limits and . . . such limitations and restrictions" as Congress may provide, as in fact it did under Sec. 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code.
Sovereignty Limited by International Law and Treaties While sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level, it is however subject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines, expressly or impliedly, as a member of the family of nations. Unquestionably, the Constitution did not envision a hermit-type isolation of the country from the rest of the world. In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the Constitution "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity, with all nations." By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international law, which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda — international agreements must be performed in good faith. "A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties . . . A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken." By their inherent nature, treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. By their voluntary act, nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact.
The sovereignty of a state therefore cannot in fact and in reality be considered absolute. Certain restrictions enter into the picture: (1) limitations imposed by the very nature of membership in the family of nations and (2) limitations imposed by treaty stipulations.
UN Charter and Other Treaties Limit Sovereignty When the Philippines joined the United Nations as one of its 51 charter members, it consented to restrict its sovereign rights under the "concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation." Under Article 2 of the UN Charter, "(a)ll members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action."
Apart from the UN Treaty, the Philippines has entered into many other international pacts — both bilateral and multilateral — that involve limitations on Philippine sovereignty. These are enumerated by the Solicitor General in his Compliance dated October 24, 1996 (see case for list of bilateral treaties) In such treaties, the Philippines has effectively agreed to limit the exercise of its sovereign powers of taxation, eminent domain and police power. The underlying consideration in this partial surrender of sovereignty is the reciprocal commitment of the other contracting states in granting the same privilege and immunities to the Philippines, its officials and its citizens. The same reciprocity characterizes the Philippine commitments under WTO-GATT. The point is that, as shown by the foregoing treaties, a portion of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution, based on the rationale that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of . . . cooperation and amity with all nations."
4. WON WTO Agreement impairs Judicial Power No. Petitioners aver that paragraph 1, Article 34 of the General Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) intrudes on the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedures. (See case for scope and meaning of Article 34, Process Patents and Burden of Proof, TRIPS) There exists a similar burden of proof required in the current patent law. The foregoing should really present no problem in changing the rules of evidence as the present law on the subject, Republic Act No. 165, as amended, otherwise known as the Patent Law, provides a similar presumption in cases of infringement of patented design or utility model. By and large, the arguments adduced in connection with our disposition of the third issue — derogation of legislative power — will apply to this fourth issue also. Suffice it to say that the reciprocity clause more than justifies such intrusion, if any actually exists. Besides, Article 34 does not contain an unreasonable burden, consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. So too, since the Philippine is a signatory to most international conventions on patents, trademarks and copyrights, the adjustment in legislation and rules of procedure will not be substantial.
5. WON Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and Not in Other Documents Contained in the Final Act are binding Yes. Petitioners allege that the Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and its annexes — but not in the other documents referred to in the Final Act, namely the Ministerial Declaration and Decisions and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services — is defective and insufficient and thus constitutes abuse of discretion. They contend that the second letter of the President to the Senate which enumerated what constitutes the Final Act should have been the subject of concurrence of the Senate. The assailed Senate Resolution No. 97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories, namely, concurrence of the Senate in the WTO Agreement. The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were deemed adopted without need for ratification. They were approved by the ministers by virtue of Article XXV: 1 of GATT which provides that representatives of the members can meet "to give effect to those provisions of this Agreement which invoke joint action, and generally with a view to facilitating the operation and furthering the objectives of this Agreement."
The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services also approved in Marrakesh does not apply to the Philippines. It applies only to those 27 Members which "have indicated in their respective schedules of commitments on standstill, elimination of monopoly, expansion of operation of existing financial service suppliers, temporary entry of personnel, free transfer and processing of information, and national treatment with respect to access to payment, clearing systems and refinancing available in the normal course of business.” (Note: Justice Panganiban ends with an epilogue that acts as a summary. It is about 2 pages in length.)
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