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ARTICLE V SUFFRAGE Section 1.

Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage. Section 9. RA 8189 WHO MAY REGISTER All citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law who are at least eighteen (18) years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one (1) year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the election, may register as a voter. Any person who temporarily resides in another city, municipality or country solely by reason of his occupation, profession, employment in private or public service, educational activities, work in the military or naval reservations within the Philippines, service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Police Forces, or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law, shall not be deemed to have lost his original residence. Any person, who, on the day of registration may not have reached the required age or period of residence but, who, on the day of the election shall possess such qualifications, may register as a voter.

RECKONING POINT At least six (6) months immediately preceding the election,

QUALIFICATIONS FOR SUFFRAGE AND FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE; RESIDENCE AND DOMICILE, CONSTRUED It is doctrinally settled that the term residence, as used in the law prescribing the qualifications for suffrage and for elective office, means the same thing as domicile, which imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, whenever absent for business, pleasure, or some other reasons, one intends to return. Domicile is a question of intention and circumstances. In the consideration of circumstances, three rules must be borne in mind, namely: (1) that a man must have a residence or domicile somewhere; (2) when once established it remains until a new one is acquired; and (3) a man can have but one residence or domicile at a time. A persons domicile once established is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established. To successfully effect a change of domicile one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of
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abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. In other words, there must basically be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. As a general rule, the principal elements of domicile, physical presence in the locality involved and intention to adopt it as a domicile, must concur in order to establish a new domicile. No change of domicile will result if either of these elements is absent. Intention to acquire a domicile without actual residence in the locality does not result in acquisition of domicile, nor does the fact of physical presence without intention. Exercising the right of election franchise is a deliberate public assertion of the fact of residence, and is said to have decided preponderance in a doubtful case upon the place the elector claims as, or believes to be, his residence. The fact that a party continuously voted in a particular locality is a strong factor in assisting to determine the status of his domicile.

ACQUIRING A NEW DOMICILE BY CHOICE In Romualdez v. RTC, Br. 7, Tacloban City, the Court held that "domicile" and "residence" are synonymous. The term "residence", as used in the election law, imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. "Domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. In that case, petitioner Philip G. Romualdez established his residence during the early 1980's in Barangay Malbog, Tolosa, Leyte. It was held that the sudden departure from the country of petitioner, because of the EDSA People's Power Revolution of 1986, to go into selfexile in the United States until favorable conditions had been established, was not voluntary so as to constitute an abandonment of residence. The Court explained that in order to acquire a new domicile by choice, there must concur : (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality (2) an intention to remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. Ultimately, the Court recapitulates in Papandayan, Jr. that it is the fact of residence that is the decisive factor in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the residency qualification requirement.

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