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December 22, 1992.] PADILLA, J p: FACTS: Petitioner Loong filed his certificate of candidacy on 15 January 1990 (the last day for filing the same), the election for officials of the Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region being on 17 February 1990; but private respondent Ututalum filed the petition (SPA 90-006) to disqualify candidate Loong only on 5 March 1990, or forty-nine (49) days from the date Loong's certificate of candidacy was filed (i.e. 15 January 1990), and sixteen (16) days after the election itself. Petitioner Loong contends that SPA No. 90-006 was filed out of time because it was filed beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. On the other hand, private respondent Ututalum alleges that SPA No. 90-006, though filed only on 5 March 1990, was filed when no proclamation of winner had as yet been made and that the petition is deemed filed on time as Section 3, Rule 25 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure states that the petition to disqualify a candidate on grounds of ineligibility "shall be filed any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation." On the part of respondent Commission, it held in its assailed resolution that the petition in SPA No. 90-006 was timely filed, applying Sections 6 and 7 of Republic Act No. 6646, and Section 2, Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure which states that the petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy must be filed within five (5) days following the last day for the filing of a certificate of candidacy, both read in the light of the Frivaldo ruling of this Court. ISSUE: Whether or not SPA No. 90-006 (a petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of petitioner Loong) was filed within the period prescribed by law. HELD: No. Sections 3 and 4 of Rep. Act No. 6734 (entitled, "An act providing for an organic act for the autonomous region in Muslin Mindanao") requires that the age of a person running for the office of Vice Governor for the autonomous region shall be at least thirty-five (35) years on the day of the election. Private respondent Ututalum alleges that petitioner Loong falls short of this age requirement, hence, on 5 March 1990, he filed a petition to disqualify the petitioner. Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that the certificate of candidacy of the person filing it shall state, among others, the date of birth of said
is merely a procedural rule issued by respondent Commission which. Thus. and even if he had already been proclaimed elected to the office and in fact had long been discharging the duties of said office. We are aware that in Frivaldo vs. Section 78 of the same Code states that in case a person filing a certificate of candidacy has committed false representation. Rule 25 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure refers to Disqualification of Candidates. SPA No. whereas. the ground for which disqualification is sought in the present case is misrepresentation as to the required age of the candidate. Thus. 6646 is mention made of the period within which these disqualification cases may be filed. But we disagree with respondent Commission that the Frivaldo ruling applies to the case at bar in all its connotations and implications. Nowhere in Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. Rule 25 which allows the filing of the petition at any time after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. has no legislative powers. as provided under Section 253 of the Code. No. although a constitutional body. clearly does not fall under the grounds of disqualification as provided for in Rule 25 but is expressly covered by Rule 23 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure governing petitions to cancel certificate of candidacy. it can not supersede Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code which is a legislative enactment. and Section 1 of said rule provides that any candidate who commits any act declared by law to be a ground for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. the election laws do not leave him completely helpless as he has another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of the election. already discussed. even beyond the period prescribed by law. and Section 253 on petitions for quo warranto. Act. a petition to cancel the certificate of the aforesaid person may be filed within twenty-five (25) days from the time the certificate was filed. Clearly. For one. this Court held that a petition to disqualify an elective official. . if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file the petition within the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code for whatever reasons.person. on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen. 90-006 was filed beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. such as Section 78. This is an overriding and fundamental desideratum matched perhaps only by disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. Comelec. Moreover. The petition filed by private respondent Ututalum with the respondent Comelec to disqualify petitioner Loong on the ground that the latter made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age. This is because there are provisions in the Code which supply the periods within which a petition relating to disqualification of candidates must be filed. may be filed at anytime. in Frivaldo the ground for disqualification was lack of Philippine citizenship. Section 3.
. SPA No. It follows that the dismissal of said petition for disqualification is warranted. it was premature. no proclamation of election results had as yet been made. hence. 90-006 as a petition for quo warranto (Section 253 of the Code) for when it was filed with the respondent Commission. In sum.The Court held that the disqualification petition was correctly treated by the Commission on Elections as a petition to cancel a defective certificate of candidacy but the petition was filed out of time and could not anymore be entertained. Further it would appear that we can not treat SPA No. 90-006 was filed by private respondent Ututalum beyond the 25-day period (from the filing by petitioner Loong of the questioned certificate of candidacy prescribed by Section 78 of the Code.
a (supplemental) petition praying for his proclamation as the duly-elected Governor of Sorsogon.R. he took his oath of allegiance as a citizen of the Philippines after "his petition for repatriation under P. . June 28. .D.JUAN G. On May 11. vs. 1995 elections. and that his Certificate of Candidacy be cancelled. 1995.] PANGANIBAN. The Motion for Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo remained unacted upon until after the May 8. we are convinced that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the presumption of legality in the repatriation of Frivaldo have not been successfully rebutted by Lee. petitioner. filed a petition with the Comelec docketed as SPA No. 1995. FRIVALDO. 95-028. nevertheless it could only be effective as at 2:00 p. The Second Division of the Comelec granted the petition. Frivaldo prayed for the annulment of the June 30. 1995. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon in the May 8. No. 1995 elections. 1995 at 5:30 o'clock in the evening. 1995 . 725 which he filed with the Special Committee on Naturalization in September 1994 had been granted". when "the said order (dated June 21. 1995 proclamation of Lee and for his own proclamation. J p: FACTS: Juan G. his candidacy continued and he was voted for during the elections held on said date. HELD: Yes. So." Accordingly. Lee. 1995) (of the Comelec) . of June 30. the Comelec en banc affirmed the aforementioned Resolution of the Second Division. at 8:30 in the evening of June 30. LEE. another candidate. The Comelec en banc directed "the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sorsogon to reconvene for the purpose of proclaiming candidate Raul Lee as the winning gubernatorial candidate in the province of Sorsogon on June 29. On the basis of the parties' submissions. . 95-028 praying that Frivaldo "be disqualified from seeking or holding any public office or position by reason of not yet being a citizen of the Philippines". . and RAUL R.m. Lee filed in said SPA No. As such. there was no more legal impediment to the proclamation (of Frivaldo) as governor . Raul R. 1996. 1995 whereas . . was released and received by Frivaldo on June 30. Frivaldo won the position of Governor of Sorsogon. respondents. [G. Lee contends that assuming the assailed repatriation to be valid. He alleged that on June 30. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Lee was proclaimed governor of Sorsogon. at 2:00 in the afternoon. 120295." ISSUE: Whether or not Frivaldo can be proclaimed as the Governor of Sorsogon. .
So too. In short. then the issue of when an aspirant for public office should be a citizen was NOT resolved at all by the Court. i.the citizenship qualification prescribed by the Local Government Code "must exist on the date of his election. And..e. apart from requiring the official to be a citizen. no person owing allegiance to another nation. not of candidates. as Lee insists? Literally. Since the Court held his naturalization to be invalid. unlike that for residence (which must consist of at least one year's residency immediately preceding the day of election) and age (at least twenty three years of age on election day). shall govern our people and our country or a unit of territory thereof. . Why then should such qualification be required at the time of election or at the time of the filing of the certificates of candidacies. But perhaps the more difficult objection was the one raised during the oral argument to the effect that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at the time the candidate (or for that matter the elected official) registered as a voter. 31 and the purpose of the citizenship qualification is none other than to ensure that no alien. to hold such office and to discharge the functions and responsibilities thereof as of said date. this was a mere obiter as the only issue in said case was whether Frivaldo's naturalization was valid or not — and NOT the effective date thereof. 1995 — the very day the term of office of governor (and other elective officials) began — he was therefore already qualified to be proclaimed. on June 30. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective public office." Obviously. an official begins to govern or to discharge his functions only upon his proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to begin. 104654 which held that "both the Local Government Code and the Constitution require that only Philippine citizens can run and be elected to Public office. life and meaning to our law on qualifications consistent with the purpose for which such law was enacted. even from a literal (as distinguished from liberal) construction. It will be noted that the law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship. however. that he be a "registered voter".R. that aim or purpose would not be thwarted but instead achieved by construing the citizenship qualification as applying to the time of proclamation of the elected official and at the start of his term.e. also specifies as another item of qualification. After all. This is the liberal interpretation that should give spirit." citing our decision in G.. at that time.e. persons owing allegiance to another nation. 1995. at the time he is proclaimed and at the start of his term — in this case. Which question we shall now directly rule on. Section 39.. If the purpose of the citizenship requirement is to ensure that our people and country do not end up being governed by aliens. Since Frivaldo re-assumed his citizenship on June 30. as in the case of age and residence — should thus be possessed when the "elective [or elected] official" begins to govern. such qualifications — unless otherwise expressly conditioned. Now. he was already qualified to govern his native Sorsogon. i. i. it should be noted that Section 39 of the Local Government Code speaks of "Qualifications" of "ELECTIVE OFFICIALS". if not when the certificate of candidacy is filed.
1995.. Frivaldo could not have been a voter — much less a validly registered one — if he was not a citizen at the time of such registration. city. the law's purpose in this second requirement is to ensure that the prospective official is actually registered in the area he seeks to govern — and not anywhere else. He has voted in 1987. It therefore stands to reason that the law intended CITIZENSHIP to be a qualification distinct from being a VOTER. Hence. his eligibility as a voter was questioned. . at the very moment of Lee's proclamation (8:30 p. . In other words. And since.fastly maintained that "Mr. If the law intended the citizenship qualification to be possessed prior to election consistent with the requirement of being a registered voter. In fact. and his registration as a voter has been sustained as valid by judicial declaration . There is yet another reason why the prime issue of citizenship should be reckoned from the date of proclamation. presumably including the defeated candidate.e. Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code gives any voter. registration — not the actual voting — is the core of this "qualification". In fact. Frivaldo has repeatedly emphasized — and Lee has not disputed — that he "was and is a registered voter of Sorsogon. municipality. Hence. Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. This is the only provision of the Code that authorizes a remedy on how to contest before the Comelec an incumbent's ineligibility arising from failure to meet the qualifications enumerated under Sec.m. then it would not have made citizenship a SEPARATE qualification. he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. 1992. . not to reiterate the need for nationality but to require that the official be registered as a voter IN THE AREA OR TERRITORY he seeks to govern. Frivaldo was already . he cast his vote in his precinct on May 8. It does not require him to vote actually. Such remedy of Quo Warranto can be availed of "within ten days after proclamation" of the winning candidate. It is thus clear that Frivaldo is a registered voter in the province where he intended to be elected. The law abhors a redundancy. Before this Court. i. It also stands to reason that the voter requirement was included as another qualification (aside from "citizenship"). The answer to this problem again lies in discerning the purpose of the requirement. 1988. it is only at such time that the issue of ineligibility may be taken cognizance of by the Commission. 1995. the law states: "a registered voter in the barangay. So therefore. or province . 1995). the opportunity to question the ELIGIBILITY (or the disloyalty) of a candidate.under the law 35 a "voter" must be a citizen of the Philippines." It should be emphasized that the Local Government Code requires an elective official to be a registered voter. but the court dismissed (sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. Juan G. where he intends to be elected.. 39 of the Local Government Code. ." So too. even if being a voter presumes being a citizen first. during the oral argument. then he voted again in 1995. not necessarily the date of election or date of filing of the certificate of candidacy. June 30. his counsel stead.
we also hold that the repatriation of Frivaldo RETROACTED to the date of the filing of his application on August 17. having taken his oath of allegiance earlier in the afternoon of the same day. he was no longer ineligible. at such time. But to remove all doubts on this important issue. 1994. Hence. then he should have been the candidate proclaimed as he unquestionably garnered the highest number of votes in the immediately preceding elections and such oath had already cured his previous "judiciallydeclared" alienage. .and indubitably a citizen.
DOUGLAS R. 1990. However. HELD: Yes. Villaber countered mainly that his conviction has not become final and executory because the affirmed Decision was not remanded to the trial court for promulgation in his presence. November 15. vs. CAGAS. Blg. On February 2. We reiterate here our ruling in Dela Torre that the determination of whether a crime involves moral turpitude is a question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstances surrounding the violation of the statute. Commission On Elections (COMELEC). 22 involves moral turpitude. 2001 elections. Cagas were rival candidates for a congressional seat in the First District of Davao del Sur during the May 14. The check that bounced was in the sum of P100. in its Resolution. 22 and was sentenced to suffer one (1) year imprisonment. 2001. respondents. 1993. a consolidated petition to disqualify Villaber and to cancel the latter's certificate of candidacy. No. VILLABER. Blg.PABLO C. Cagas alleged in the said consolidated petition that on March 2. J p: FACTS: Both petitioner Villaber and respondent Douglas R. this Court dismissed the petition. 148326.P.P. under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.00. On March 4. the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC Decision. 2001. petitioner does not assail the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime. Villaber was convicted for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. Cagas also asserted that Villaber made a false material representation in his certificate of candidacy that he is "Eligible for the office I seek to be elected" — which false statement is a ground to deny due course or cancel the said certificate pursuant to Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. Villaber filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Court of Appeals Decision. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP.000. the COMELEC applied Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.R. our Resolution became final and executory. The COMELEC believes it is. In effect. Furthermore. In disqualifying petitioner Villaber from being a candidate for Congressman. Undaunted. [G. Cagas further alleged that this crime involves moral turpitude. hence. even if the judgment of conviction was already final and executory. he is disqualified to run for any public office. In his answer to the disqualification suit. On appeal. 22 does not involve moral turpitude. he admits all the elements of .] SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. Cagas filed with the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor. Davao del Sur. In the case at bar. ISSUE: Whether or not violation of B. it cannot be the basis for his disqualification since violation of B. petitioner.
The presence of the second element manifests moral turpitude. Fe Tuanda we held that a conviction for violation of B. Yap. paraphrasing Black's definition. as we held in the landmark case of Lozano vs. At any rate. ordered the bank to stop payment. and 3." Thus. as we did in Dela Torre which involves the crime of fencing punishable by a special law. a drawer who issues an unfunded check deliberately reneges on his private duties he owes his fellow men or society in a manner contrary to accepted and customary rule of right and duty.The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in. or credit with. or it would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer. " The effects of the issuance of a worthless check.P. "transcends the private interests of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches the interests of the community at large. honesty or good morals. Atty. . the question of whether or not the crime involves moral turpitude can be resolved by analyzing its elements alone. without any valid reason. through Justice Pedro L. 2.The accused makes. draws or issues any check to apply to account or for value. Martinez. 22 "imports deceit" and "certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of a person. In People vs. The mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or holder. the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment.the crime for which he was convicted.The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit.P. The elements of the offense of B. but also an injury to the public" since the circulation of valueless commercial papers "can very well pollute the channels of trade and commerce. injure the banking system and eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public interest. . justice. . 22 are: 1. Blg. .