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CASE DIGEST:

Romualdez-Marcos vs COMELEC
TITLE: Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC
CITATION: 248 SCRA 300
FACTS:
Imelda, a little over 8 years old, in or about 1938, established her domicile in Tacloban,
Leyte where she studied and graduated high school in the Holy Infant Academy from
1938 to 1949. She then pursued her college degree, education, in St. Pauls College
now Divine Word University also in Tacloban. Subsequently, she taught in Leyte
Chinese School still in Tacloban. She went to manila during 1952 to work with her
cousin, the late speaker Daniel Romualdez in his office in the House of
Representatives. In 1954, she married late President Ferdinand Marcos when he was
still a Congressman of Ilocos Norte and was registered there as a voter. When Pres.
Marcos was elected as Senator in 1959, they lived together in San Juan, Rizal where
she registered as a voter. In 1965, when Marcos won presidency, they lived in
Malacanang Palace and registered as a voter in San Miguel Manila. She served as
member of the Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila during 1978.
Imelda Romualdez-Marcos was running for the position of Representative of the First
District of Leyte for the 1995 Elections. Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent
Representative of the First District of Leyte and also a candidate for the same position,
filed a Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification"with the Commission on Elections
alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. The
petitioner, in an honest misrepresentation, wrote seven months under residency, which
she sought to rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected
Certificate of Candidacy filed on March 29, 1995 and that "she has always maintained
Tacloban City as her domicile or residence. She arrived at the seven months residency
due to the fact that she became a resident of the Municipality of Tolosa in said months.
ISSUE: Whether petitioner has satisfied the 1year residency requirement to be eligible
in running as representative of the First District of Leyte.
HELD:
Residence is used synonymously with domicile for election purposes. The court are in
favor of a conclusion supporting petitoners claim of legal residence or domicile in the
First District of Leyte despite her own declaration of 7 months residency in the district
for the following reasons:
1. A minor follows domicile of her parents. Tacloban became Imeldas domicile of
origin by operation of law when her father brought them to Leyte;

2. Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a
bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one,
and acts which correspond with the purpose. In the absence and concurrence of all
these, domicile of origin should be deemed to continue.
3. A wife does not automatically gain the husbands domicile because the term
residence in Civil Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law. When Imelda
married late President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely
gained a new home and not domicilium necessarium.
4. Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired right
to choose a new one only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon returning
to the country clearly indicated that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her
domicile of choice. To add, petitioner even obtained her residence certificate in 1992 in
Tacloban, Leyte while living in her brothers house, an act, which supports the
domiciliary intention clearly manifested. She even kept close ties by establishing
residences in Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important milestones.
WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence
qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of
Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and
May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to
order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected
Representative of the First District of Leyte.