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Lopez

GR.  No.  
182701  
vs.
Villanueva
By Richard Troy A. Colmenares
USA College of Law
2/6/15 8:20:33 PM

Nature  of  the  Case  
A  petition  for  certiorari  under  Rule  65,  in  relation  to  Rule  64  of  the  Rules  on  
Civil   Procedure   assailing   the   (1)   Resolution[1]  and    (2)   Omnibus   Order[2]  of  
the   Commission   on   Elections   (COMELEC),   Second   Division,   disqualifying  
petitioner  from  running  as  Barangay  Chairman.  
 
Facts  
Petitioner  Lopez  emerged  as  Barangay  Chairman  during  the  2007  Barangay  
election.   Respondent   Villanueva   sought   Lopez’s   disqualification,   alleging   he  
is   an   American   citizen,   while   Lopez   countered   that   he   is   a   dual   citizen  
(Filipino   and   American)   who   returned   and   resided   to   the   same   Barangay,  
and   therefore   qualified.   After   Lopez’s   proclamation   as   Chairman,   COMELEC  
thereafter,   in   this   assailed   Resolution   declared   Lopez   to   be   disqualified   for  
failure  to  regain  his  citizenship  after  not  having  made  his  personal  and  sworn  
renunciation   of   any   and   all   foreign   citizenship.   Lopez’s   MR   was   denied.   Thus,  
this   petition   for   certiorari   alleging   grave   abuse   of   discretion   on   the   part   of  
COMELEC.  
 
Issue  
Does   the   filing   of   one’s   certificate   of   candidacy   operate   as   an   effective  
renunciation  of  foreign  citizenship?  
 
Held  
No.  The  petitioner  relied  on  the  case  of  Valles  vs.  COMELEC,  the  facts  of  which  make  
the   same   inapplicable   to   the   present   case,   i.e.   that   Valles   was   born   in   a   country  
which   adopts   the   principle   of   jus   soli,   while   Lopez   was   born   a   Filipino   who  
deliberately   sought   American   citizenship   and   later   on   re-­‐acquired   his   Filipino  
citizenship   making   him   a   dual   citizen.   Furthermore,   the   Valles   ruling   has   been  
overturned  by  the  passing  of  RA     9225  (The  Dual  Citizenship  Law)  which   provides  
that   Those   seeking   elective   public   office   in   the  Philippines   shall   xxx   make   a  
personal   and   sworn   renunciation   of   any   and   all   foreign   citizenship   before   any  
public   officer   authorized   to   administer   an   oath.   No   evidence   (affidavit)   was  
presented  to  show  compliance  to  this  rule.  This  defect  cannot  cure  the  defect  of  his  
candidacy,  notwithstanding  that  he  won,  took  his  oath  and  started  to  discharge  his  
elective  function,  nor  does  it  validate  the  election  of  a  disqualified  candidate.