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FRIVALDO v.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
FACTS:
- Juan G. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon in the
May 1995 elections.
- Raul Lee, another candidate, filed a petition with the Comelec docketed as SPA No. 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 his certificate of candidacy be cancelled. The petition of
Raul Lee was granted HOWEVER, since the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo regarding the
cancellation of his candidacy remained unacted until the day of the election. So Frivaldos candidacy
continued and he was voted for during the elections with 73,440 votes leading from the second placer,
Lee which only has 53, 304 votes.
- On June 9, 1995, Lee filed in a said SPA No. 95-028, a petition praying for HIS PROCLAMATION
as the duly-elected Governor of Sorsogon.
-On June 29, 1995, 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. Accordingly, on the evening of June 30, 1995, Lee was
proclaimed governor of Sorsogon.
- On July 6, 1995, Frivaldo filed with the Comelec a new petition, praying for the annulment of
the June 30, 1995 proclamation of Lee and for his own proclamation. He alleged that on June 30, 1995,
at 2:00 in the afternoon, HE TOOK HIS OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AS A CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES after
his petition for repatriation under P.D. 725 (which he filed with the Special Committee on
Naturalization in September 1994) had been GRANTED.
- As such, there was no longer legal impediment to the proclamation of Frivaldo on June 30,
1995 as the governor. In the alternative he averred that pursuant to the two cases of Labo v Comelec,
the Vice Governor- not Raul Lee- should occupy said position of governor if Frivaldo isnt qualified.
- On Dec. 19, 1995, the Comelec First Division promulgated the herein assailed resolution
holding that Lee, not having garnered the highest number of votes, was not LEGALLY ENTITLED TO BE
PROCLAIMED as duly-elected governor and that Frivaldo, having unquestionably garnered the
highest number of votes, AND HAVING ACQUIRED HIS CITIZENSHIP BY REPATRIATION on June 30 (the
exact date of proclamation) under PD NO. 725 is QUALIFIED TO HOLD THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR.
-However, on Dec. 26, 1995, Lee filed a motion for reconsideration which was later on DENIED
BY COMELEC en banc in its resolution. And on Feb. 26, 1996, a Resolution which inter alia directed the
parties to maintain the status quo prevailing prior to the filing of the petition.
- On the events abovementioned, THIS petition is a petition to annul three resolutions of the
respondent COMELEC:
1. Resolution of the 2
nd
Division, disqualifying Frivaldo form running for governor of sorsogon on
the May 1995 Elections.
2. Resolution of the comelec en banc, promulgated on May 11, 1995 and;
3. Resolution of the comelec en banc, promulgate on Mat 11, 1995 also, suspending the
proclamation of, among others, Frivaldo.

ISSUES:
1. REPATRIATION OF FRIVALDO- whether or not the repatriation of Frivaldo is valid and legal. (If
so, did it reasonably cure his lack of citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold Office of
Governor?
2. Whether or not Frivaldo is qualified to be elected and to be proclaimed as the Governor of
Sorsogon?

DECISION and RATIO:
1. FIRST ISSUE: Frivaldos Repatriation- The validity and effectivity of repatriation is the
threshold of all the legal issue in this case. The LG Code of 1991 expressly requires Philippine citizenship
as a qualification for elective local officials, including the Provincial Governor. Lee argues that Frivaldos
repatriation is tainted with serious defects for the following reasons: 1. PD No. 725 had been effectively
repealed by a memorandum presented by Pres. Aquino during her transitional government thus making
the repatriation process invalid. 2. Theres a serious congenital irregularities as regard to the
repatriation of Frivaldo due to its fast and hasty grant by the Solicitor General. And 3. Repatriation
lacked merits and proper process since it was given just a day after it was filed.
COURTs RESPONSE: Frivaldo, despite his lack of citizenship, was overwhelmingly elected
governor by the electorate of Sorsogon and his repatriation was deemed valid.
Why? P.D. 725, a statute granting repatriation was not repealed MERELY BY A MEMORANDUM
given by Pres. Aquino nor she directly stated that the P.D. be repealed. No express repeal was made and
in fact, the decision was left by the Congress to settle the matter. Second, the alleged irregularities are
baseless since Frivaldo filed application for repatriation long before the proclamation. It was only
confirmed at June 30, which incidentally was the day of proclamation. In line with this, Frivaldos
repatriation was retroacted to the date of his application on august 17, 1994.

2. SECOND: Frivaldos candidacy, election and proclamation- The law does not specify any
particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship unlike that for residence and age.
From the above, it will be noted that the LG Code speaks of QUALIFICATIONS of ELECTIVE OFFICIALS not
merely of CANDIDATES. Both from the Liberal and Literal interpretation of the Law Frivaldo was a
eligible candidate, a landslide winner in the election, and an eligible official for proclamation since hes
already a Filipino citizen at the exact day of the Proclamation (hours before, June 30, 1995). Moreover,
LG Code requires an elective official to be a registered voter BUT it does not require him to vote actually.

SO THE COURT ORDERED THE PETITION BE GRANTED.