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Bar Matter. No.

914, October 1, 1999 (Constitutional Law – Citizenship)
FACTS: Petitioner, who resided in the Philippines since his birth during the 1935 Constitution, is a legitimate son o a
Filipina married to a Chinese citi!en" Subse#uentl$, petitioner elected Philippine citi!enship 1% $ears ater he reached
the age o ma&orit$" 'S( recommends the rela)ation o the standing rule on the construction o the phrase *reasonable
period+ and the allowance o the petitioner to elect Philippine citi!enship due to circumstances li,e petitioner ha-ing
li-ed in the Philippines all his lie and his consistent belie that he is a Filipino"
.SS/0: 1hether or not a legitimate child under the 1935 Constitution o a Filipino mother and an alien ather -alidl$
elect Philippine citi!enship 1% $ears ater he has reached the age o ma&orit$"
2034: 5o, despite the special circumstances, Petitioner ailed to -alidl$ elect Philippine citi!enship" The span o 1%
$ears that lapsed rom the time he reached the age o ma&orit$ until he 6nall$ e)pressed his intention to elect
Philippine citi!enship is clearl$ wa$ be$ond the contemplation o the re#uirement *upon reaching the age o ma&orit$"+
.n addition, there was no reason wh$ he dela$ed his election o Philippine citi!enship"
Valles v. COMELEC
Facts: Petitioner #uestions the #uali6cation o pri-ate respondent 7osalind 8basco 3ope! to run or go-ernor o 4a-ao
'riental on citi!enship grounds" 7espondent was born in 193% in Australia to a Filipino ather and an Australian mother"
.n 1999, she applied or an Alien Certi6cate o 7egistration :AC7; and .mmigrant Certi6cate o 7esidence :.C7; and was
issued an Australian passport"
.ssue: 1'5 respondent is a Filipino< and i she is, 1'5 she renounced her citi!enship b$ appl$ing or AC7 and .C7 and
being issued an Australian passport"
7uling: 7espondent is a Filipino" .n 193%, the controlling laws o the Philippines were the Philippine =ill o >ul$ 1, 19?@
and the Philippine Autonom$ Act o August @9, 191A :>ones 3aw;" /nder both organic acts, all inhabitants o the
Philippines who were Spanish sub&ects on April 11, 1999 and resided therein, including their children, are considered
Philippine citi!ens" 7espondentBs ather was thereore a Filipino, and conse#uentl$, her"
7espondent did not lose her citi!enship" 7enunciation o citi!enship must be e)press" Appl$ing or AC7, .C7, and
Australian passport are not enough to renounce citi!enship" The$ are merel$ acts o assertion o her Australian
citi!enship beore she eCecti-el$ renounced the same"
4ual citi!enship as a dis#uali6cation reers to citi!ens with dual allegiance" The act that she has dual citi!enship does
not automaticall$ dis#uali$ her rom running or public oDce" Filing a certi6cate o candidac$ suDces to renounce
oreign citi!enship because in the certi6cate, the candidate declares himsel to be a Filipino citi!en and that he will
support the Philippine Constitution" Such declaration operates as an eCecti-e renunciation o oreign citi!enship"
Mercado v. Manzano
Facts: 0du Ean!ano ran or the position o -ice ma$or in 1999 and got the most number o -otes" 2is coFcandidate
6led a petition to dis#uali$ Ean!ano on the ground that he is a dual citi!en :/S and P2;" Petition was dismissed" There
is no doubt that Ean!ano is a dual citi!en upon birth being born to both Filipino parents in Caliornia" Court held that
the dis#uali6cation o dual citi!ens contemplates dual allegiance and b$ merel$ registering as a -oter, 6ling CoC and
electing in the said certi6cate Philippine citi!enship, Ean!ano has eCecti-el$ renounced his /S citi!enship"
F Petitioner 0rnesto Eercado and respondent 0duardo Ean!ano were candidates or -iceFma$or in Ea,ati Cit$ in the
Ea$ 11, 1999
F Ean!ano got the most number o -otes but his proclamation was suspended in -iew o the pending petition or
dis#uali6cation 6led b$ a certain 0rnesto Eamaril who alleged that pri-ate respondent was not a citi!en o the P2 but
o the /S
F 'n Ea$ G 1999, C'E030C Second 4i-ision ordered the cancellation o the CoC o the respondent on the ground that
he is a dual citi!en and, under Section %?:d; o the 3ocal (o-ernment Code, persons with dual citi!enship are
dis#uali6ed rom running or an$ electi-e position
F Ean!ano was born to his Filipino parents in San Francisco Caliornia on September 1%, 1955 and is considered an
American citi!en under /S laws
F 31August: C'E030C en banc re-ersed decision o the Second 4i-ision and declared Ean!ano #uali6ed to run or -iceF
ma$or stating that Ean!ano is also a Filipino citi!en b$ operation o the 1935 constitution and he has eCecti-el$
renounced his /S citi!enship when he registered himsel as a -oter and -oted in the elections o 199@, 1995 and 1999
F .n -iew o this, Ean!ano was proclaimed as -iceFma$or o Ea,ati
F 0rnesto Eercado who ran,ed ne)t to Ean!ano in the elections 6led this petition

1hether petitioner Eercado has personalit$ to bring this suit
1hether respondent Ean!ano possesses dual citi!enship and, i so, whether he is dis#uali6ed rom being a candidate
or -ice ma$or o Ea,ati Cit$

7uling: Petition 4.SE.SS04"

1" 80S
F Failure o C'E030C en banc to address the petitionerBs Eotion to .nter-ene &usti6es petitioner to 6le this case
@" 4/A3 C.T.I05S2.P JS 4/A3 A330(.A5C0
F 4/A3 C.T.I05S2.P: arises when, as a result o the concurrent application o the diCerent laws o two or more states, a
person is simultaneousl$ considered a national b$ the said states
F 4/A3 A330(.A5C0: person owes, b$ some positi-e act, lo$alt$ to two or more states< result o an indi-idualBs own
F Section 5 Art % o the Constitution concerns naturali!ed citi!ens who maintain their allegiance to their countr$ o
F 4is#uali6cation based on *dual citi!enship+ contemplates dual allegiance
F For candidates with dual citi!enship, it would be suDce i the$ elect Philippine citi!enship upon 6ling their CoC to
terminate their status as persons with dual citi!enship
So v. Republc
FACTS: 'n Februar$ @9, @??@, petitioner 0dison So 6led beore the 7TC a Petition or 5aturali!ation under
Commonwealth Act :C"A"; 5o" %G3, otherwise ,nown as the 7e-ised 5aturali!ation 3aw, as amended" 2e alleged the
ollowing in his petition"
2e was born on Februar$ 1G, 199@, in Eanila< he is a Chinese citi!en who has li-ed in 5o" 5@9 3a-e!ares St", =inondo,
Eanila, since birth< as an emplo$ee, he deri-es an a-erage annual income o around P1??,???"?? with ree board and
lodging and other bene6ts< he is single, able to spea, and write 0nglish, Chinese and Tagalog< he is e)empt rom the
6ling o 4eclaration o .ntention to become a citi!en o the Philippines pursuant to Section A o Commonwealth Act
:C"A"; 5o" %G3, as amended, because he was born in the Philippines, and studied in a school recogni!ed b$ the
(o-ernment where Philippine histor$, go-ernment and culture are taught< he is a person o good moral character< he
belie-es in the principles underl$ing the Philippine constitution< he has conducted himsel in a proper and
irreproachable manner during the entire period o his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted
go-ernment as well as with the communit$ in which he is li-ing< he has mingled sociall$ with the Filipinos and has
e-inced a sincere desire to learn and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals o the Filipino people< he has all the
#uali6cations pro-ided under Section @ and none o the dis#uali6cations under Section % o C"A" 5o" %G3, as amended<
he is not opposed to organi!ed go-ernment or aDliated with an$ association or group o persons who uphold and
teach doctrines opposing all organi!ed go-ernments< he is not deending or teaching the necessit$ or propriet$ o
-iolence, personal assault or assassination or the success or predominance o menKs ideas< he is not a pol$gamist or a
belie-er in the practice o pol$gam$< he has not been con-icted o an$ crime in-ol-ing moral turpitude he is not
suCering rom an$ incurable contagious diseases or rom mental alienation< the nation o which he is a citi!en is not at
war with the Philippines< it is his intention in good aith to become a citi!en o the Philippines and to renounce
absolutel$ and ore-er all allegiance and 6delit$ to an$ oreign prince, potentate, state or so-ereignt$, and particularl$
to China< and he will reside continuousl$ in the Philippines rom the time o the 6ling o the petition up to the time o
his admission as citi!en o the Philippines" The petition was doc,eted as 5aturali!ation Case 5o" ?@F1?@99%"
.SS/0: 1hether or not petition or naturali!ation be grantedL
2034: 405.04, Thus, petitioner ailed to show ull and complete compliance with the re#uirements o naturali!ation
law" For this reason, we aDrm the decision o the CA den$ing the petition or naturali!ation without pre&udice" .t must
be stressed that admission to citi!enship is one o the highest pri-ileges that the 7epublic o the Philippines can coner
upon an alien" .t is a pri-ilege that should not be conerred e)cept upon persons ull$ #uali6ed or it, and upon strict
compliance with the law"
R! 9""# $!u%ust "9, "&&'(
!N !C) M!*+N, )-E C+)+.ENS-+/ O0 /-+L+//+NE C+)+.ENS 1-O !C23+RE 0ORE+,N C+)+.ENS-+/
/ERM!NEN), !MEN4+N, 0OR )-E /3R/OSE COMMON1E!L)- !C) NO. 5', !S !MEN4E4, !N4 0OR O)-ER
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
S0CT.'5 1" Short Title" M This Act shall be ,nown as the NCiti!enship 7etention and 7eFac#uisition Act o @??3"N
S0C" @" Declaration of Policy. M .t is hereb$ declared the polic$ o the State that all Philippine citi!ens who become
citi!ens o another countr$ shall be deemed not to ha-e lost their Philippine citi!enship under the conditions o this
S0C" 3" Retention of Philippine Citienship. M An$ pro-ision o law to the contrar$ notwithstanding, naturalFborn
citi!ens o the Philippines who ha-e lost their Philippine citi!enship b$ reason o their naturali!ation as citi!ens o a
oreign countr$ are hereb$ deemed to ha-e reFac#uired Philippine citi!enship upon ta,ing the ollowing oath o
allegiance to the 7epublic: N. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, solemnl$ swear :or aDrm; that . will support and deend the
Constitution o the 7epublic o the Philippines and obe$ the laws and legal orders promulgated b$ the dul$ constituted
authorities o the Philippines, and . hereb$ declare that . recogni!e and accept the supreme authorit$ o the Philippines
and will maintain true aith and allegiance thereto< and that . impose this obligation upon m$sel -oluntaril$ without
mental reser-ation or purpose o e-asion"N 5aturalFborn citi!ens o the Philippines who, ater the eCecti-it$ o this Act,
become citi!ens o a oreign countr$ shall retain their Philippine citi!enship upon ta,ing the aoresaid oath"
S0C" %" Derivative Citienship. M The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen :19;
$ears o age, o those who reFac#uire Philippine citi!enship upon eCecti-it$ o this Act shall be deemed citi!ens o the
S0C" 5" Civil and Political Rights and !iabilities. M Those who retain or reFac#uire Philippine citi!enship under this Act
shall en&o$ ull ci-il and political rights and be sub&ect to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under e)isting laws
o the Philippines and the ollowing conditions:
1" Those intending to e)ercise their right o suCrage must meet the re#uirements under Section 1, Article J o the
Constitution, 7epublic Act 5o" 919, otherwise ,nown as NThe '-erseas Absentee Joting Act o @??3N and other e)isting
@" Those see,ing electi-e public oDce in the Philippines shall meet the #uali6cations or holding such public oDce as
re#uired b$ the Constitution and e)isting laws and, at the time o the 6ling o the certi6cate o candidac$, ma,e a
personal and sworn renunciation o an$ and all oreign citi!enship beore an$ public oDcer authori!ed to administer an
3" Those appointed to an$ public oDce shall subscribe and swear to an oath o allegiance to the 7epublic o the
Philippines and its dul$ constituted authorities prior to their assumption o oDce: Provided" That the$ renounce their
oath o allegiance to the countr$ where the$ too, that oath<
%" Those intending to practice their proession in the Philippines shall appl$ with the proper authorit$ or a license or
permit to engage in such practice< and
5" That right to -ote or be elected or appointed to an$ public oDce in the Philippines cannot be e)ercised b$, or
e)tended to, those who:
a" are candidates or or are occup$ing an$ public oDce in the countr$ o which the$ are naturali!ed citi!ens< andHor
b" are in acti-e ser-ice as commissioned or nonFcommissioned oDcers in the armed orces o the countr$ which the$
are naturali!ed citi!ens"
S0C" A" Separability Clause. M . an$ section or pro-ision o this Act is held unconstitutional or in-alid, an$ other
section or pro-ision not aCected thereb$ shall remain -alid and eCecti-e"
S0C" G" Repealing Clause" M All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with the pro-isions o this Act
are hereb$ repealed or modi6ed accordingl$"
S0C" 9" 0Cecti-it$ Clause" M This Act shall ta,e eCect ater 6teen :15; da$s ollowing its publication in the
'Dcial (a!ette or two :@; newspapers o general circulation"
Ben%zon v. -OR
Political !a# $ %&atural Born' Re(uirement $ Re(uirements to be a Congressman
0acts6 =engson and Cru! were ri-als in the 1999 elections in the @
4istrict o Pangasinan" The$ were running or
Congress" Cru! won b$ a signi6cant margin o-er the incumbent =engson" =engson then 6led a Puo 1arranto
proceeding in the 270T alleging that Cru! is not a natural born citi!en, as de6ned b$ law< hence he should be
dis#uali6ed rom holding oDce" The 270T subse#uentl$ declared and aDrmed Cru! as the winner" =engson 6led a
motion or reconsideration alleging that Cru! was indeed born a Filipino and he is de6ned under the 1935 Constitution
as a natural born citi!en" Cru! howe-er lost his citi!enship when he enlisted in the /S Arm$ in 1995" 2e also swore
allegiance to the /S without consent rom the Philippines" Cru!, on the other hand, argued that he regained his Filipino
Citi!enship b$ -irtue o 7A @A3? which pro-ides that *An$ person who had lost his Philippine citi!enship b$ rendering
ser-ice to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces o the /nited States, or ater separation rom the Armed
Forces o the /nited States, ac#uired /nited States citi!enship, ma$ reac#uire Philippine citi!enship b$ ta,ing an oath
o allegiance to the 7epublic o the PhilippinesQ+" =engson insists that Article .J, Section @ o the Constitution
e)pressl$ states that naturalFborn citi!ens are those who are citi!ens rom birth without ha-ing to perorm an$ act to
ac#uire or perect such citi!enship"
+SS3E6 1hether or not Cru! is a naturalFborn citi!en"
-EL46 PetitionerBs contention that respondent Cru! is no longer a naturalFborn citi!en since he had to perorm an act
to regain his citi!enship is untenable" As correctl$ e)plained b$ the 270T in its decision, the term *naturalFborn
citi!en+ was 6rst de6ned in Article ..., Section % o the 19G3 Constitution as ollows:
Sec. ). * natural+born citien is one #ho is a citien of the Philippines from birth #ithout having to perform any act to
ac(uire or perfect his Philippine citienship.
As de6ned in the same Constitution, naturalFborn citi!ens *are those citi!ens o the Philippines rom birth without
ha-ing to perorm an$ act to ac#uire or perect his Philippine citi!enship. .n respondent Cru!Bs case, he lost his Filipino
citi!enship when he rendered ser-ice in the Armed Forces o the /nited States" 2owe-er, he subse#uentl$ reac#uired
Philippine citi!enship under 7"A" 5o" @A3?" Eoreo-er, repatriation results in the reco-er$ o the original nationalit$" This
means that a naturali!ed Filipino who lost his citi!enship will be restored to his prior status as a naturali!ed Filipino
citi!en" 'n the other hand, i he was originall$ a naturalFborn citi!en beore he lost his Philippine citi!enship, he will be
restored to his ormer status as a naturalFborn Filipino"
Tecson -" C'E030C
Facts: Jictorino R" Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition beore the C'E030C to dis#uali$ FP> and
toden$ due course or to cancel his certi6cate o candidac$ upon the thesis that FP> made
amaterial misrepresentation in his certi6cate o candidac$ b$ claiming to be a naturalFborn
Filipinociti!en when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were oreigners< his mother, =essie
Selle$Poe, was an American, and his ather, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son
o 3oren!o Pou, a Spanish sub&ect" (ranting, petitioner asse-erated, that Allan F" Poe was
a Filipinociti!en, he could not ha-e transmitted his Filipino citi!enship to FP>, the latter being an
illegitimatechild o an alien mother" Petitioner based the allegation o the illegitimate birth o
respondent ontwo assertions F 6rst, Allan F" Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita
(ome! beorehis marriage to =essie Selle$ and, second, e-en i no such prior marriage had
e)isted, Allan F"Poe, married =essie Sell$ onl$ a $ear ater the birth o respondent"
1hether or 5ot FP> is a natural born Filipino citi!en"
.t is necessar$ to ta,e on the matter o whether or not respondent FP> is a naturalFborn citi!en,which, in turn,
depended on whether or not the ather o respondent, Allan F" Poe, would ha-ehimsel been a Filipino citi!en and,
in the aDrmati-e, whether or not the alleged illegitimac$ o respondent pre-ents him rom ta,ing ater the Filipino
citi!enship o his putati-e ather" An$conclusion on the Filipino citi!enship o 3oren!o Pou could onl$ be drawn rom the
presumptionthat ha-ing died in 195% at 9% $ears old, 3oren!o would ha-e been born sometime in the $ear 19G?, when
the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his placeo residence upon his death in 195%,
in the absence o an$ other e-idence, could ha-e well beenhis place o residence beore death, such that 3oren!o Pou
would ha-e bene6ted rom the Nenmasse Filipini!ationN that the Philippine =ill had eCected in 19?@" That citi!enship :o
3oren!oPou;, i ac#uired, would thereb$ e)tend to his son, Allan F" Poe, ather o respondent FP>" The1935 Constitution,
during which regime respondent FP> has seen 6rst light, coners citi!enship toall persons whose athers are Filipino
citi!ens regardless o whether such children are legitimateor illegitimate"=ut while the totalit$ o the e-idence ma$ not
establish conclusi-el$ that respondent FP> is anaturalFborn citi!en o the Philippines, the e-idence on hand still would
preponderate in his a-or enough to hold that he cannot be held guilt$ o ha-ing made a material misrepresentation in
hiscerti6cate o candidac$ in -iolation o Section G9, in relation to Section G%, o the 'mnibus0lection Code"
Ea#uiling -" C'E030C : Sereno, April 1A, @?13;
7espondent Arnado is a natural born Filipino citi!en"
2owe-er, as a conse#uence o his subse#uentnaturali!ation as a citi!en o the /nited States
o America, he lost his Filipino citi!enship" Arnado appliedor repatriation under 7epublic Act :7"A"; 5o" 9@@5beore the
Consulate (eneral o the Philippines in SanFranciso, /SA and too, the 'ath o Allegiance to the7epublic o the
Philippines on 1? >ul$ @??9"
'n thesame da$ an 'rder o Appro-al o his Citi!enship7etention and 7eFac#uisition was issued in his a-or"
'n 3 April @??9 Arnado again too, his 'ath o Allegianceto the 7epublic and e)ecuted an ADda-it o7enunciation o
his oreign citi!enship, which states:
'n 3? 5o-ember @??9, Arnado 6led his Certi6cate oCandidac$ or Ea$or o Sauswagan, 3anao del 5orte,'n @9 April
@?1?, respondent 3inog C" =alua :=alua;,another ma$oralt$ candidate, 6led a petition to
dis#uali$ Arnado andHor to cancel his certi6cate o candidac$ ormunicipal ma$or o Sauswagan, 3anao del 5orte
inconnection with the 1? Ea$ @?1? local and nationalelections"
7espondent =alua contended that Arnado is not aresident o Sauswagan, 3anao del 5orte and that he is aoreigner,
attaching thereto a certi6cation issued b$ the=ureau o .mmigration dated @3 April @?1? indicating thenationalit$ o
Arnado as N/SAFAmerican"N
To urtherbolster his claim o ArnadoBs /S citi!enship, =aluapresented in his Eemorandum a computerFgeneratedtra-el
dated ?3 4ecember @??9 indicating that Arnado has been using his /S Passport 5o" ?5GG9@G??in entering and
departing the Philippines"
'n 3? April @?1?, the C'E030C :First 4i-ision; issuedan 'rder
re#uiring the respondent to personall$ 6le hisanswer and memorandum within three :3; da$s romreceipt thereo"
Ater Arnado ailed to answer the petition, =alua mo-edto declare him in deault and to present e-idence e)Fparte"
5either motion was acted upon, ha-ing been o-erta,enb$ the @?1? elections where Arnado garnered thehighest
number o -otes and was subse#uentl$proclaimed as the winning candidate or Ea$or oSauswagan, 3anao del 5orte"
.t was onl$ ater his proclamation that Arnado 6led his-eri6ed answer,
T20 7/3.5( 'F T20 C'E030C F.7ST 4.J.S.'5:
.nstead o treating the Petition as an action or thecancellation o a certi6cate o candidac$ based
the C'E030C First 4i-isionconsidered it as one or dis#uali6cation" The First4i-ision disagreed with ArnadoBs claim
that he is aFilipino citi!en"
The Court ruled that ArnadoBs act oconsistentl$ using his /S passport ater renouncing his/S citi!enship on ?3 April
@??9 eCecti-el$ negated his ADda-it o 7enunciation"
Petitioner Casan Eacode Ea#uiling :Ea#uiling;, anothercandidate or ma$or o Sauswagan, and who garneredthe
second highest number o -otes in the @?1?elections, inter-ened in the case and 6led beore theC'E030C 0n =anc a
Eotion or 7econsiderationtogether with an 'pposition to ArnadoBs Amended Eotionor 7econsideration" Ea#uiling
argued that while the First4i-ision correctl$ dis#uali6ed Arnado, the order osuccession under Section %% o the 3ocal
(o-ernmentCode is not applicable in this case" Conse#uentl$, heclaimed that the cancellation o ArnadoBs candidac$
andthe nulli6cation o his proclamation, Ea#uiling, as thelegitimate candidate who obtained the highest number
oUawul -otes, should be proclaimed as the winner"
7/3.5( 'F T20 C'E030C 05 =A5C:
ruled in a-or o arnado
Ea#uiling 6led the instant petition #uestioning thepropriet$ o declaring Arnado #uali6ed to run or publicoDce
despite his continued use o a /S passport, Thereare three #uestions posed b$ the parties beore thisCourt which will
be addressed seriatim as thesubse#uent #uestions hinge on the result o the 6rst".ssues:1" whether or not inter-ention
is allowed in a dis#uali6cation case"@" whether or not the use o a oreign passport ater renouncingoreign citi!enship
amounts to undoing a renunciation earlier made"3" whether or not the rule on succession in the 3ocal
(o-ernmentCode is applicable to this case"
.nter-ention o a ri-al candidate in a dis#uali6cation case is proper when there has not $et been an$
proclamation o thewinner"
The use o oreign passport ater renouncing oneBs oreignciti!enship is a positi-e and -oluntar$ act o representation
as tooneBs nationalit$ and citi!enship< it does not di-est Filipinociti!enship regained b$ repatriation but it recants the
'ath o7enunciation re#uired to #uali$ one to run or an electi-e position"

=etween ?3 April @??9, the date he renounced hisoreign citi!enship, and 3? 5o-ember @??9, the date he6led his
C'C, he used his /S passport our times,actions that run counter to the aDda-it o renunciation hehad earlier
e)ecuted" =$ using his oreign passport, Arnado positi-el$ and -oluntaril$ represented himsel asan American,
ArnadoBs categor$ o dual citi!enship is that b$ whichoreign citi!enship is ac#uired through a positi-e act oappl$ing
or naturali!ation" This is distinct rom thoseconsidered dual citi!ens b$ -irtue o birth, who are notre#uired b$ law to
ta,e the oath o renunciation as themere 6ling o the certi6cate o candidac$ alread$ carrieswith it an implied
renunciation o oreign citi!enship"
4ual citi!ens b$ naturali!ation, on the other hand, arere#uired to ta,e not onl$ the 'ath o Allegiance to the7epublic
o the Philippines but also to personall$renounce oreign citi!enship in order to #uali$ as acandidate or public oDce"
=$ the time he 6led his certi6cate o candidac$ on 3?5o-ember @??9, Arnado was a dual citi!en en&o$ing therights
and pri-ileges o Filipino and American citi!enship"2e was #uali6ed to -ote, but b$ the e)pressdis#uali6cation under
Section %?:d; o the 3ocal(o-ernment Code,
he was not #uali6ed to run or alocal electi-"3" The rule on Succession under 3(C is not applicable"
Ea#uilingis not a secondFplacer as he obtained the highest number o -otesrom among the #uali6ed candidates"

7esol-ing the third issue necessitates re-isiting Topacio-" Paredes
which is the &urisprudential spring o theprinciple that a secondFplacer cannot be proclaimed asthe winner in an
election contest" This doctrine must bereFe)amined and its soundness once again put to thetest to address the e-erF
recurring issue that a secondFplacer who loses to an ineligible candidate cannot beproclaimed as the winner in the
The otenF#uoted phrase in Topacio -" Paredes is thatNthe wreath o -ictor$ cannot be transerred rom anineligible
candidate to an$ other candidate when the sole#uestion is the eligibilit$ o the one recei-ing a pluralit$ othe legall$
cast ballots"N

This phrase is not e-en the ratio decidendi< it is a mereobiter dictum" The Court was comparing Nthe eCect o a
decision that a candidate is not entitled to the oDcebecause o raud or irregularities in the elections ) ) )with that
produced b$ declaring a person ineligible tohold such an oDce"N
A proper reading o the case re-eals that the rulingtherein is that since the Court o First .nstance is
without &urisdiction to tr$ a dis#uali6cation case based on theeligibilit$ o the person who obtained the highest
numbero -otes in the election, its &urisdiction being con6ned Ntodetermine which o the contestants has been
dul$electedN the &udge e)ceeded his &urisdiction when heNdeclared that no one had been legall$ elected presidento
the municipalit$ o .mus at the general election held inthat town on % >une 191@N where Nthe onl$ #uestionraised was
whether or not Topacio was eligible to beelected and to hold the oDce o municipal president"N
The Court did not rule that Topacio was dis#uali6ed andthat Abad as the second placer cannot be proclaimed inhis
stead" An ineligible candidate who recei-es thehighest number o -otes is a wrongul winner" =$ e)presslegal mandate,
he could not e-en ha-e been a candidatein the 6rst place, but b$ -irtue o the lac, o material timeor an$ other
inter-ening circumstances, his ineligibilit$might not ha-e been passed upon prior to election date"Conse#uentl$, he
ma$ ha-e had the opportunit$ to holdhimsel out to the electorate as a legitimate and dul$#uali6ed candidate"
2owe-er, notwithstanding theoutcome o the elections, his ineligibilit$ as a candidateremains unchanged" .neligibilit$
does not onl$ pertain tohis #uali6cations as a candidate but necessaril$ aCectshis right to hold public oDce" The
number o ballots castin his a-or cannot cure the deect o ailure to #uali$with the substanti-e legal re#uirements o
eligibilit$ to runor public oDce"
The will o the people as e)pressed through the ballotcannot cure the -ice o ineligibilit$, especiall$ i the$mista,enl$
belie-ed, as in this case, that the candidatewas #uali6ed" 'b-iousl$, this rule re#uires strictapplication when the
de6cienc$ is lac, o citi!enship" . aperson see,s to ser-e in the 7epublic o the Philippines,he must owe his total
lo$alt$ to this countr$ onl$, ab&uringand renouncing all ealt$ and 6delit$ to an$ other state"
:0mphasis supplied;
.t is imperati-e to saeguard the e)pression o theso-ereign -oice through the ballot b$ ensuring that itse)ercise
respects the rule o law" To allow the so-ereign-oice spo,en through the ballot to trump constitutionaland statutor$
pro-isions on #uali6cations anddis#uali6cations o candidates is not democrac$ orrepublicanism" .t is electoral anarch$"
1hen set rules aredisregarded and onl$ the electorateBs -oice spo,enthrough the ballot is made to matter in the end,
itprecisel$ ser-es as an open in-itation or electoralanarch$ to set in"

1ith ArnadoBs dis#uali6cation, Ea#uiling then becomesthe winner in the election as he obtained the highestnumber o
-otes rom among the #uali6ed candidates"
1e ha-e ruled in the recent cases o Aratea -"C'E030C
and >alos&os -" C'E030C
that a -oidC'C cannot produce an$ legal eCect"
Thus, the -otes cast in a-or o the ineligible candidateare not considered at all in determining the winner o
0-en when the -otes or the ineligible candidate aredisregarded, the will o the electorate is still respected,and e-en
more so" The -otes cast in a-or o an ineligiblecandidate do not constitute the sole and total e)pressiono the
so-ereign -oice" The -otes cast in a-or o eligibleand legitimate candidates orm part o that -oice andmust also be
There is no need to appl$ the rule cited in 3abo -"C'E030C
that when the -oters are well aware withinthe realm o notoriet$ o a candidateBs dis#uali6cationand still cast their
-otes in a-or said candidate, then theeligible candidate obtaining the ne)t higher number o-otes ma$ be deemed
elected" That rule is also a mereobiter that urther complicated the rules aCecting#uali6ed candidates who placed
second to ineligibleones"
The electorateBs awareness o the candidateBsdis#uali6cation is not a prere#uisite or thedis#uali6cation to attach to
the candidate" The -er$e)istence o a dis#uali$ing circumstance ma,es thecandidate ineligible" Snowledge b$ the
electorate o acandidateBs dis#uali6cation is not necessar$ beore a#uali6ed candidate who placed second to a
dis#uali6edone can be proclaimed as the winner" The secondFplacerin the -ote count is actuall$ the 6rstFplacer among
the#uali6ed candidates"
That the dis#uali6ed candidate has alread$ beenproclaimed and has assumed oDce is o no moment"The subse#uent
dis#uali6cation based on a substanti-eground that e)isted prior to the 6ling o the certi6cate ocandidac$ -oids not
onl$ the C'C but also theproclamation"
The dis#uali$ing circumstance surrounding ArnadoBscandidac$ in-ol-es his citi!enship" .t does not in-ol-e
thecommission o election oCenses as pro-ided or in the6rst sentence o Section A9 o the 'mnibus 0lectionCode, the
eCect o which is to dis#uali$ the indi-idualrom continuing as a candidate, or i he has alread$ beenelected, rom
holding the oDce"
The dis#uali$ing circumstance aCecting Arnado is hisciti!enship" 1ith Arnado being barred rom e-enbecoming a
candidate, his certi6cate o candidac$ is thusrendered -oid rom the beginning" .t could not ha-eproduced an$ other
legal eCect e)cept that Arnadorendered it impossible to eCect his dis#uali6cation priorto the elections because he 6led
his answer to thepetition when the elections were conducted alread$ andhe was alread$ proclaimed the winner"
ArnadoKs dis#uali6cation, although made long ater theelections, reaches bac, to the 6ling o the certi6cate
ocandidac$" Arnado is declared to be not a candidate atall in the Ea$ @?1 ? elections"
Arnado being a nonFcandidate, the -otes cast in his a-orshould not ha-e been counted" This lea-es Ea#uiling asthe
#uali6ed candidate who obtained the highest numbero -otes" Thereore, the rule on succession under the 3ocal
(o-ernment Code will not appl$"