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#7 LATASA V. COMELECG.R. No.

154829December 10, 2003


FACTS
Arsenio Latasa was the mayor of the Municipality of Digos, Davao del Sur in1992, 1995 and 1998.In
September 2000, a plebiscite wasconducted to convert the municipality to City of Digos. This marked the
end of the term of Latasa as mayor of the municipality.However, the charter of the new city provides that
Latasa will stay in position in a hold-over capacity until the next election.In 2001 elections, Latasa again
filed a COC to run as mayor. He argues that although he has already served three consecutive term in
municipal mayor, this is his first bidas a city mayor.His opponent in the election Romeo Sunga filed a
disqualification case against Latasain the Comelec on the ground of violation of the three-term rule.
Comelec granted the petition. Latasa filed a MR that was not acted upon until the day of election
andhence, he won and proclaimed as the mayor.
ISSUE:
WON Latasa can still run as mayor of Digos City after serving three terms as mayor of municipality of
Digos.
HELD:
The new city acquired a new corporateexistence separate and distinct from that of the municipality. This
does not mean,however, that for the purpose of applyingthe subject Constitutional provision, theoffice of
the municipal mayor would now beconstrued as a different local governmentpost as that of the office of
the city mayor.As stated earlier, the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Digos is the same as that of
themunicipality. Consequently, the inhabitantsof the municipality are the same as those inthe city. These
inhabitants are the samegroup of voters who elected petitioner Latasa to be their municipal mayor for
three consecutive terms. These are also the same inhabitants over whom he held power and authority as
their chief executive for nine years.The Court believes that Latasa did involuntarily relinquish his office
as municipal mayor since the said office has been deemed abolished due to the conversion. However, the
very instant he vacated his office as municipal mayor, he also assumed office as city mayor unlike in
Lonzanida case, where petitioner for even just a short period of time, stepped down from office. In this
case, there was no interruption in the holding of office and hence, the three consecutive term is
completed. Since Latasa was proclaimed but later on disqualified, the second placer Sunga, cannot
assume the position but the vice mayor
#13 COQUILLA V. COMELECG.R. No. 151914July 31, 2002
FACTS:
Petitioner Teodulo Coquilla is a Filipino citizen who was naturalized as an American Citizen after joining
the US Navy. He then applied for repatriation and onNov.2000, his application was approved and he took
his oath as a citizen of the Philippines.On Feb.2001, he filed his COC to run as a mayor of Oras, Eastern
Samar where he stated that he has been residing in the place for two years. Another candidate Neil
Alvarez filed a petition for cancellation of the COC of Coquilla but the Comelec failed to resolve the issue
so the petitioner later on was declared the winner. Alvarez argues that Coquilla has not complied with
the residency requirement for the position of mayor.
ISSUE:
WON Coquilla complied with the residency requirement.
HELD:
Although Coquilla was born and grew-up in Oras, Eastern Samar, he is deemed to have lost his residence
together with his citizenship when he was naturalized as American citizen. He is only deemed to have
acquired his citizenship and residence until his re-acquisition of his Philippine citizenship when he took
oath on Nov.2000.As such, when he filed his COC, he is considered as resident of the place for a few
months and not two years as he stated therein. Hence, his disqualification is valid on the ground
of misrepresentation.Coquilla cannot invoke the ruling in Bengzon v. HRET that upon repatriation, he is
deemed to have reacquired his original status. This is because the issue here is his false statement in his
COC.
#2 RIVERA III V. COMELECG.R. No. 167591May 9, 2007
FACTS:
A petition for cancelation of the Certificate of Candidacy of Marino Morales as mayoralty candidate in
Mabalacat,Pampanga for the May 2004 mayoralty was filed on the ground the he already served three
consecutive terms in the office he seeks to run.Morales argues that this is not so because although he
really served in 1995-1998 (1st term) and 2004-2007 (3rd term), he was merely a caretaker or de facto
mayor in1998-2001(2nd term) because his election was declared void by the RTC due to an election
protest.Comelec ruled that Morales already served his third term and after an MR was filed,declared it
final and executory on May 14,2004.
ISSUE:
WON Morales had already served his 3consecutive terms and if so, who shouldtake his position.
HELD:
For the three-term limit for elective local government officials to apply, two conditions or requisites must
concur, to wit:(1) that the official concerned has been elected for three (3) consecutive terms in the same
local government post, and (2)that he has fully served three (3)consecutive terms. Here, Morales was
elected for the term July1, 1998 to June 30, 2001. He assumed the position. He served as mayor until June

30,2001. He was mayor for the entire period notwithstanding the Decision of the RTC in the electoral
protest case filed by petitioner Dee ousting him (respondent) as mayor. Such circumstance does not
constitute an interruption in serving the full term. Whether as "caretaker" or "de facto" officer,he
exercises the powers and enjoys the prerequisites of the office which enables him "to stay on
indefinitely". With regard to the person who will replace Morales, it is a rule that the ineligibility of a
candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest
number of votes to be declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected
to the office. Since his disqualification became final and executory after the elections, the candidate
having the second highest number of votes cannot assume the position. Hence, it is the petitioner, the
elected Vice Mayor Anthony Dee who should be declared as the mayor
#8 Aldovino VS COMELEC
FACTS:
Lucena City councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo was elected to the said office for three consecutive terms: 19982001, 2001-2004, and 2004-2007. In September 2005, during his third term of office, the Sandiganbayan
issued an order of 90-day preventive suspension against him in relation to a criminal case. The said
suspension order was subsequently lifted by the Court, and Asilo resumed the performance of the
functions of his office.
Asilo then filed his certificate of candidacy for the same position in 2007. His disqualification was sought
by herein petitioners on the ground that he had been elected and had served for three consecutive
terms, in violation of the three-term Constitutional limit.
ISSUE:
WON the suspensive condition interrupts the three-term limitation rule of COMELEC?
RULING:
NO. The preventive suspension of public officials does not interrupt their term for purposes of the threeterm limit rule under the Constitution and the Local Government Code (RA 7160).
The candidacy of Lucena City Councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo for a fourth term in the 2007 elections was in
contravention of the three-term limit rule of Art. X, sec. 8 of the Constitution since his 2004-2007 term
was not interrupted by the preventive suspension imposed on him, the SC granted the petition of Simon
B. Aldovino, Danilo B. Faller, and Ferdinand N. Talabong seeking Asilos disqualification.
Preventive suspension, by its nature, does not involve an effective interruption of service within a term
and should therefore not be a reason to avoid the three-term limitation, held the Court. It noted that
preventive suspension can pose as a threat more potent than the voluntary renunciation that the
Constitution itself disallows to evade the three-term limit as it is easier to undertake and merely requires
an easily fabricated administrative charge that can be dismissed soon after a preventive suspension has
been imposed.
#9 Tecson vs. Commission on Elections
[GR 151434, 3 March 2004]
Facts: On 31 December 2003, Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed his
certificate of candidacy for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines under the
Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Party, in the 2004 national elections. In his certificate of
candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, stated his name to be
"Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20 August 1939 and his place of birth to be
Manila. Victorino X. Fornier, (GR 161824) initiated, on 9 January 2004, a petition (SPA 04-003) before the
Commission on Elections (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, Fornier 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. Fornier based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of FPJ on two
assertions: (1) Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to
Bessie Kelley and, (2) even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a
year after the birth of FPJ. On 23 January 2004, the COMELEC dismissed SPA 04-003 for lack of merit. 3
days later, or on 26 January 2004, Fornier filed his motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied on
6 February 2004 by the COMELEC en banc. On 10 February 2004, Fornier assailed the decision of the
COMELEC before the Supreme Court conformably with Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, of the Revised
Rules of Civil Procedure. The petition likewise prayed for a temporary restraining order, a writ of
preliminary injunction or any other resolution that would stay the finality and/or execution of the
COMELEC resolutions. The other petitions, later consolidated with GR 161824, would include GR 161434
and GR 161634, both challenging the jurisdiction of the COMELEC and asserting that, under Article VII,
Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, only the Supreme Court had original and exclusive
jurisdiction to resolve the basic issue on the case.

Issue: Whether FPJ was a natural born citizen, so as to be allowed to run for the offcie of the President of
the Philippines.
Held: Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses 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." The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to include "those who
are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their
Philippine citizenship." Herein, the date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be 20 August 1939
during the regime of the 1935 Constitution. Through its history, four modes of acquiring citizenship naturalization, jus soli, res judicata and jus sanguinis had been in vogue. Only two, i.e., jus soli and jus
sanguinis, could qualify a person to being a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Jus soli, per Roa vs.
Collector of Customs (1912), did not last long. With the adoption of the 1935 Constitution and the
reversal of Roa in Tan Chong vs. Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship would now
become the primary basis of citizenship by birth. Considering the reservations made by the parties on
the veracity of some of the entries on the birth certificate of FPJ and the marriage certificate of his
parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn with some degree of certainty from the documents
would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20
August 1939; (3) Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4)
The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At the time of his death on 11 September 1954,
Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. The marriage certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley, the birth
certificate of FPJ, and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are documents of public record in the custody
of a public officer. The documents have been submitted in evidence by both contending parties during
the proceedings before the COMELEC. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish
conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would
preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of
the Omnibus Election Code. Fornier has utterly failed to substantiate his case before the Court,
notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to present their position and evidence, and
to prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in RomualdezMarcos vs. COMELEC, must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful. The petitions were
dismissed.
G.R. No. 161434
March 3, 2004
MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON and FELIX B. DESIDERIO, JR. vs.COMELEC, FPJ and VICTORINO X. FORNIER,
G.R. No. 161634
March 3, 2004
ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ vs.FPJ
G. R. No. 161824
March 3, 2004
VICTORINO X. FORNIER, vs. HON. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and FPJ
Facts:
Petitioners sought for respondent Poes disqualification in the presidential elections for having allegedly
misrepresented material facts in his (Poes) certificate of candidacy by claiming that he is a natural
Filipino citizen despite his parents both being foreigners. Comelec dismissed the petition, holding that
Poe was a Filipino Citizen. Petitioners assail the jurisdiction of the Comelec, contending that only the
Supreme Court may resolve the basic issue on the case under Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the
1987 Constitution.
Issue:
Whether or not it is the Supreme Court which had jurisdiction.
Whether or not Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that Poe was a Filipino citizen.
Ruling:
1.) The Supreme Court had no jurisdiction on questions regarding qualification of a candidate for the
presidency or vice-presidency before the elections are held.
"Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal" in connection with Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987
Constitution, refers to contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the "President" or
"Vice-President", of the Philippines which the Supreme Court may take cognizance, and not of
"candidates" for President or Vice-President before the elections.
2.) Comelec committed no grave abuse of discretion in holding Poe as a Filipino Citizen.
The 1935 Constitution on Citizenship, the prevailing fundamental law on respondents birth, provided
that among the citizens of the Philippines are "those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines."
Tracing respondents paternal lineage, his grandfather Lorenzo, as evidenced by the latters death
certificate was identified as a Filipino Citizen. His citizenship was also drawn from the presumption that

having died in 1954 at the age of 84, Lorenzo would have been born in 1980. In the absence of any other
evidence, Lorenzos place of residence upon his death in 1954 was presumed to be the place of residence
prior his death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the
Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. Being so, Lorenzos citizenship would have extended to his son,
Allan---respondents father.
Respondent, having been acknowledged as Allans son to Bessie, though an American citizen, was a
Filipino citizen by virtue of paternal filiation as evidenced by the respondents birth certificate. The 1935
Constitution on citizenship did not make a distinction on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child, thus,
the allegation of bigamous marriage and the allegation that respondent was born only before the
assailed marriage had no bearing on respondents citizenship in view of the established paternal filiation
evidenced by the public documents presented.
But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold
that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy
in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code.
#10 [G.R. No. 142840. May 7, 2001]ANTONIO BENGSON III, petitioner, vs. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL andTEODORO C. CRUZ, respondents.
FACTS:
The citizenship of respondent Teodoro C. Cruz is at issue in this case, in view of theconstitutional
requirement that "no person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unlesshe is a naturalborn citizen."Respondent Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San
Clemente,Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then applicable was the
1935Constitution.On November 5, 1985, however, respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine
Corpsand, without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the
UnitedStates. As a consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63,
Section1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenshipby, among others, "rendering service to or
acceptingcommission in the armed forces of a foreign country."On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz
reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630.
[3]
He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the Second Districtof Pangasinan in the May 11,
1998 elections. Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) claiming that respondent Cruz was not qualified to
become a member of the House of Representatives since he is not a natural-born citizen as required
under Article VI, Section 6 of the Constitution.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became an American citizen, canstill be
considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.
HELD:
YES. 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. 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. As respondent Cruz was not required by law
to go through naturalization proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce a naturalborn Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary qualifications to be elected as member of the
House of Representatives.The petition is hereby DISMISSED.
#14 Penera, Rosalinda A. vs. COMELEC and Edgar T. Andanar
Supreme Court En Banc
G.R. No. 181613 November 25, 2009
FACTS:
Petitioner and private respondents were candidates for mayor of the Municipality of Sta.Monica,
Surigao del Norte in the last May 2007 elections. The former filed her certificate of candidacy on the day
before the prescribed campaign period. When she went to the COMELEC Office for filing she was
accompanied by her partymates. Thereafter, they had a motorcade which was consist of two trucks and
ten motorcycles running around the municipality convincing the residents to vote for her and the other
candidates of their political party.
Due to this, private respondent filed a petition against her alleging premature campaigning as
provided in the Omnibus Election Code Section 80 which says: Election or partisan political activity

outside campaign period.--- It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or
for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity
except during the campaign period. She argued that she is not guilty since she was not yet a candidate
at that time and the campaign period has not yet started when the motorcade was conducted.
While the petition was pending in the COMELEC, she was voted as mayor and took her office
thereafter. The COMELEC Second Division decided in favor of the complainant and found her guilty of
premature campaigning. Likewise, when she appealed in the COMELEC En Banc, the previous decision
was affirmed.
Subsequently, she filed with the Supreme Court which decided against her. It held that the
conduct of the motorcade is a form of election campaign or partisan political activity, falling under
Section 79(b)(2) of the Omnibus Election Code which says: [h]olding political caucuses, conferences,
meetings, rallies, parades, or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or
undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate[.] Furthermore, it was held that
she should vacate the position. Now, she comes for a motion for reconsideration using the same
arguments.
ISSUE: Is petitioner guilty of premature campaigning?
RULING:
No, she is not.
Any act is lawful unless expressly declared unlawful by law. It is enough that Congress stated that
any unlawful act or omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the
campaign period. So, it is lawful if done before the start of the campaign period. This plain language of
the law need not be construed further.
Moreover, on the day of the motorcade, she was not yet a candidate for. As what was decided in
the Lanot Case which says that prior to the campaign period, even if the candidate has filed his/her
certificate of candidacy, he/she is not yet considered as a candidate for purposes other than the printing
of ballots. Hence, she cannot be guilty of premature campaigning for in the first place there is no
candidate to talk about. What she did was an exercise of her freedom of expression.
JUDGMENT:
WHEREFORE, we GRANT petitioner Rosalinda A. Peneras Motion for Reconsideration. We SET
ASIDE the Decision of this Court in G.R. No. 181613 promulgated on 11 September 2009, as well as the
Resolutions dated 24 July 2007 and 30 January 2008 of the COMELEC Second Division and the COMELEC
En Banc, respectively, in SPA No. 07-224. Rosalinda A. Penera shall continue as Mayor of Sta. Monica,
Surigao del Norte.
DISSENTING OPINIONS:
Chico-Nazario, J:
It is obvious that the motorcade was planned to gain more votes from their constituents. Even if
she was not yet a candidate at that time, she can he held guilty of premature campaigning as an ordinary
citizen committing the prohibited act.
Abad, J:
But the fact that Penera was not yet a candidate before she actually handed in her certificate of
candidacy to the designated COMELEC official does not exempt her from the prohibition against engaging
in premature election campaign. Section 80 which imposes the ban ensnares any person, even a noncandidate