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Frivaldo vs Comelec

On March, 20, 1995 private respondent Juan G. Frivaldo filed his Certificare if
Candidacy for the office of Govern ore of Sorsogon in the May 8, 1995 elections. On
March 23, petitioner Raul R Lee, another candidate, filed a petition in the Comelec
praying that Frivaldo be disqualified from seeking or holding public office or position
because he is not a citizen of the Philippines and that his Certificate of Candidacy be
cancelled. The petition was granted by the Second Division of Comelec.The Motion for
Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo remained unacted upon until after May 8, 1995
elections. So his candidacy continued and was voted for during the elections. On May 11,
Comelec affirmed the resolution if the Second Division.
On May 27, 1995, the completed canvass of the election returns showed that Frivaldo
garnered the highest votes while Lee ranked second. Lee filed a petition praying for his
proclamation as the Governor of Sorsogon.
In an order dated June 21, 1995, but promulgated according to the petition "only on June
29, 1995," the Comelec directed the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sorsogon to
reconvene for the purpose of proclaiming candidate Raul Lee as the winning candidate on
June 29,1995. Accordingly, at 8:30 in the evening of June 30,1995, Lee was proclaimed
governor of Sorsogon.
Frivaldo filed with the Comelec a new petition praying for the annulment of Lees
proclamation. He alleged that on June 30, 1996 at 2pm, he took of allegiance as a citizen
of the Philippines after his petition for repatriation under P.D 725 in which he filed with
the Special Committee on Naturalization in Sepetember 1994 had been granted. As such,
the when the said order (dated June 21) was released and received by Frivaldo on June 30
at 5:30pm, there was no more legal impediment to his proclamation as Governor. In the
alternative, he averred that the Vice Governor, not Lee, should occupy the position of
On December 19, 1995, the Comelec First Division promulgated that Lee, not having
garnered the highest number of votes, was not legally entitled to be proclaimed as dulyelected governor and that Frivaldo, having garnered the highest number of votes, and
having reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30, 1995 under the
provisions of Presidential Decree No. 725 is qualified to hold the office of governor of
WON Frivaldo is a Filipino citizen
Frivaldo's repatriation by virtueof P.D. No. 725 is valid and effective, making him a
Filipino citizen. P.D No. 725 is regarded to be in full force and effect up to the present,

not having been suspended or repealed expressly nor impliedly at any time, and to have
been properly granted.
Frivaldos unique situation seek the role of law as a brick in the ultimate development of
social edifice. He he sought American citizenship only to escape clutches of the
dictatorship and took out at the first opportunity to return to his land. The people of
Sorosogon overwhelmingly voted for him three times. He took an oath of allegiance to
the Republic every time he files his certificate of candidacy and during his failed
naturalization bid. He demonstrated tenacity and sheer determination to reassume
nationality of birth despite several legal setbacks. His intention and burning desie to remembrace his native Philippines even at the age of 81 proves love and loyalty to the contry.
He there fore deserves every liberal interpretation of the law that can be applied in his