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Ramon Labo, Jr.

vs COMELEC [211 SCRA 297;GR
105111, July 3, 1992]
Posted by Pius Morados on November 6, 2011
(Municipal Corporation, Disqualification, 2nd Highest
Number of Votes)
Facts: For the second time around, believing that he is
a Filipino ctizen, Ramon Labo, Jr filed his COC for
mayor of Baguio City on March 23, 1992 for the May
11, 1992 elections. Petitioner Roberto Ortega on other
hand, also filed his COC for the same office on March
25, 1992.
On March 26, 1992, petitioner Ortega filed a
disqualification proceeding against Labo before the
COMELEC on the ground that Labo is not a Filipino
citizen.
On May 9, 1992, respondent Comelec issued the
assailed resolution denying Labo’s COC.
On May 10, 1992, respondent Comelec issued an
Order which reads: Acting on the “Urgent ExParte Motion for Clarification”, filed by respondent
(Labo) on May 9, 1992, the Commission resolves that
the decision promulgated on May 9, 1992 disqualifying
respondent Ramon L. Labo, Jr., shall become final and
executory only after five (5) days from promulgation
pursuant to Rule 18, Section 13, Paragraph (b) of the
Comelec Rules of Procedure.
Accordingly, respondent (Labo) may still continue to be
voted upon as candidate for City Mayor of Baguio City
on May 11, 1992 subject to the final outcome of this
case in the event the issue is elevated to the Supreme
Court either on appeal or certiorari.
On May 13, 1992, respondent Comelec resolved, motu
proprio to suspend the proclamation of Labo in the
event he wins in the elections for the City Mayor of
Baguio.
On May 15, 1992, petitioner Labo filed the instant
petition for review with prayer, among others, for the
issuance of a temporary restraining order to set aside
the May 9, 1992 resolution of respondent Comelec; to
render judgment declaring him as a Filipino citizen; and
to direct respondent Comelec to proceed with his
proclamation in the event he wins in the contested
elections.

Petitioner Ortega argues that respondent Comelec
committed grave abuse of discretion when it refused to
implement its May 9, 1992 resolution notwithstanding
the fact that said resolution disqualifying Labo has
already become final and executory.
Petitioner Ortega submits that since this Court did not
issue a temporary restraining order as regards the May
9, 1992 resolution of respondent Comelec cancelling
Labo’s certificate of candidacy, said resolution has
already become final and executory. Ortega further
posits the view that as a result of such finality, the
candidate receiving the next highest number of votes
should be declared Mayor of Baguio City.
Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election Code provides:
Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of
candidacy —
(e) The decision, order, or ruling of the Commission
shall, after five (5) days from receipt of a copy thereof
by the parties, be final and executory unless stayed by
the Supreme Court.
Issue:
1. WON Petitioner Labo who had the highest
number of votes is qualified to assume as
Mayor of Baguio City.
2. WON disqualification of petitioner Labo entitles
the candidate (Ortega) receiving the next
highest number of votes to be proclaimed as
the winning candidate for mayor of Baguio City.
Held:
First Issue:
No. At the time petitioner Labo filed his petition on May
15, 1992, the May 9, 1992 resolution of respondent
Comelec cancelling his (Labo’s) certificate of candidacy
had already become final and executory a day earlier,
or on May 14, 1992, said resolution having been
received by petitioner Labo on the same day it was
promulgated, i.e., May 9, 1992 and in the interim no
restraining order was issued by this Court.
The resolution cancelling Labo’s certificate of
candidacy on the ground that he is not a Filipino citizen
having acquired finality on May 14, 1992 constrains the
SC to rule against his proclamation as Mayor of Baguio
City.

Sec. 39 of the LGC provides that an elective local
official must be a citizen of the Philippines.
Undoubtedly, petitioner Labo, not being a Filipino
citizen, lacks the fundamental qualification for the
contested office. Philippine citizenship is an
indispensable requirement for holding an elective
office. The fact that he was elected by the majority of
the electorate is of no moment.
Second Issue:
No. The disqualification of petitioner Labo does not
necessarily entitle petitioner Ortega as the candidate
with the next highest number of votes to proclamation
as the Mayor of Baguio City.
While Ortega may have garnered the second highest
number of votes for the office of city mayor, the fact
remains that he was not the choice of the sovereign
will. Petitioner Labo was overwhelmingly voted by the
electorate for the office of mayor in the belief that he
was then qualified to serve the people of Baguio City
and his subsequent disqualification does not make
respondent Ortega the mayor-elect.
Petitioner Ortega lost in the election. He was
repudiated by the electorate. He was obviously not the
choice of the people of Baguio City.
Thus, while respondent Ortega (GR No. 105111)
originally filed a disqualification case with the Comelec
(docketed as SPA-92-029) seeking to deny due course
to petitioner’s (Labo’s) candidacy, the same did not
deter the people of Baguio City from voting for
petitioner Labo, who, by then, was allowed by the
respondent Comelec to be voted upon, the resolution
for his disqualification having yet to attain the degree of
finality (Sec. 78. Omnibus Election Code).
The rule, therefore, is: 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.

Note: It’s useless to file for disqualification when the
decision comes out after the election.
Frivaldo vs COMELEC
Posted by kaye lee on 10:58 PM

G.R. No. 87193, 23 June 1989 [Naturalization;
Reacquisition]

FACTS:
Juan G. Frivaldo was proclaimed governor of the
province of Sorsogon and assumed office in due time.
The League of Municipalities filed with the COMELEC
a petition for the annulment of Frivaldo on the ground
that he was not a Filipino citizen, having been
naturalized in the United States.
Frivaldo admitted the allegations but pleaded the
special and affirmative defenses that he was
naturalized as American citizen only to protect himself
against President Marcos during the Martial Law era.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Frivaldo is a Filipino citizen.

RULING:
No. Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code
provides that a qualified voter must be, among other
qualifications, a citizen of the Philippines, this being an
indispensable requirement for suffrage under Article V,
Section 1, of the Constitution.

He claims that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship
by virtue of valid repatriation. He claims that by actively
participating in the local elections, he automatically
forfeited American citizenship under the laws of the
United States of America. The Court stated that that the
alleged forfeiture was between him and the US. If he
really wanted to drop his American citizenship, he could
do so in accordance with CA No. 63 as amended by CA
No. 473 and PD 725. Philippine citizenship may be
reacquired by direct act of Congress, by naturalization,
or by repatriation.
174 SCRA 245 – Law on Public Officers – Citizenship
of a Public Officer
In 1988, Juan Frivaldo won as governor of Sorsogon.
Salvador Estuye, President of the League of
Municipalities of Sorsogon, filed with the COMELEC a
petition for annulment of Frivaldo’s election and
proclamation because apparently, Frivaldo, in 1983,
was naturalized as an American. In his defense,

Frivaldo said that he was forced to be naturalized
because the then President Marcos was after him; but
that participating in the Philippine elections, he has
effectively lost his American citizenship pursuant to
American laws. He also assailed the petition as he
claimed that it is in the nature of a quo warranto which
is already filed out of time, the same not being filed ten
days after his proclamation.
ISSUE: Whether or not Frivaldo can validly serve as a
governor.
HELD: No. He has not regained Filipino citizenship. As
far as Philippine law is concerned, he is not a Filipino.
He lost his citizenship when he declared allegiance to
the United States. Even if he did lose his US
citizenship, that did not restore his being a Filipino
because he did not undergo naturalization or
repatriation proceedings. Neither did his participation in
the 1988 elections restore his Philippine citizenship. At
best, he is a stateless person. He cannot serve as
governor when he owes allegiance to a foreign state.
The fact that he was elected by the people of Sorsogon
does not excuse this patent violation of the salutary
rule limiting public office and employment only to the
citizens of this country. The qualifications prescribed for
elective office cannot be erased by the electorate
alone. The will of the people as expressed through the
ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if
they mistakenly believed, as in this case, that the
candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires
strict application when the deficiency is lack of
citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic
of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this
country only, abjuring and renouncing all fealty and
fidelity to any other state.
BENGSON VS. HRET AND CRUZ
March 28, 2013 ~ vbdiaz
BENGSON vs. HRET and CRUZ
G.R. No. 142840
May 7, 2001
FACTS: The citizenship of respondent Cruz is at issue
in this case, in view of the constitutional requirement
that “no person shall be a Member of the House of
Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen.”
Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He
was born in Tarlac in 1960 of Filipino parents. In 1985,
however, Cruz enlisted in the US Marine Corps and
without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines,
took an oath of allegiance to the USA. As a
Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under
CA No. 63 [(An Act Providing for the Ways in Which
Philippine Citizenship May Be Lost or Reacquired
(1936)] section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his
citizenship by, among other, “rendering service to or

accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign
country.”
Whatever doubt that remained regarding his loss of
Philippine citizenship was erased by his naturalization
as a U.S. citizen in 1990, in connection with his service
in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship
through repatriation under RA 2630 [(An Act Providing
for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons
Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or
Accepting Commission In, the Armed Forces of the
United States (1960)]. He ran for and was elected as
the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in
the 1998 elections. He won over petitioner Bengson
who was then running for reelection.
Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto
Ad Cautelam with respondent HRET claiming that Cruz
was not qualified to become a member of the HOR
since he is not a natural-born citizen as required under
Article VI, section 6 of the Constitution.
HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for
quo warranto and declaring Cruz the duly elected
Representative in the said election.
ISSUE: WON Cruz, a natural-born Filipino who became
an American citizen, can still be considered a naturalborn Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship.
HELD: petition dismissed
YES
Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may
however reacquire the same in the manner provided by
law. C.A. No. 63 enumerates the 3 modes by which
Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former
citizen:
1. by naturalization,
2. by repatriation, and
3. by direct act of Congress.
**
Repatriation may be had under various statutes by
those who lost their citizenship due to:
1. desertion of the armed forces;
2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in
World War II;
3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at
any other time,
4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and
5. political economic necessity
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. On the other hand, if he

was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his
Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former
status as a natural-born Filipino.
R.A. No. 2630 provides:
Sec 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine
citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting
commission in, the Armed Forces of the United States,
or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United
States, acquired United States citizenship, may
reacquire Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and
registering the same with Local Civil Registry in the
place where he resides or last resided in the
Philippines. The said oath of allegiance shall contain a
renunciation of any other citizenship.
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, 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.
BENGSON VS. HRET
G.R. No. 142840, May 7 2001
FACTS:
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 1935 Constitution.
However, respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States
Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic
of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the
United States. As a consequence, he lost his Filipino
citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63,
section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship
by, among other, "rendering service to or accepting
commission in the armed forces of a foreign country."

Cruz was not qualified to become a member of the
House of Representatives since he is not a naturalborn citizen as required under Article VI, section 6 of
the Constitution.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Cruz can still be considered
a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship.
HELD:
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. On the other hand, if he
was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his
Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former
status as a natural-born Filipino.
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 as provided under
Section 1 of 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.
Therefore, Cruz has all the qualifications to be elected
as a member of the House of Representatives. The
HRET did not commit any grave abuse of discretion,
thus the petition was dismissed.
Mercado v. Manzano Case Digest [G.R. No. 135083.
May 26, 1999]
FACTS:

Respondent Cruz then reacquired his Philippine
citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No.
2630 entitled as “An Act Providing For Reacquisition of
Philippine Citizenship By Persons Who Lost Such
Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or Accepting
Commission in, the Armed Forces of the United
States.” He ran for and was elected as the
Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in
the May 11, 1998 elections. He won by a convincing
margin of 26,671 votes over petitioner Antonio
Bengson III, who was then running for reelection.

Petitioner Ernesto Mercado and Eduardo Manzano
were both candidates for Vice-Mayor of Makati in the
May 11, 1998 elections.

Petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad
Cautelam with respondent House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET) claiming that respondent

From the facts presented, it appears that Manzano is
both a Filipino and a US citizen.

Based on the results of the election, Manzano garnered
the highest number of votes. However, his
proclamation was suspended due to the pending
petition for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mercado on
the ground that he was not a citizen of the Philippines
but of the United States.

The Commission on Elections declared Manzano
disqualified as candidate for said elective position.
However, in a subsequent resolution of the COMELEC
en banc, the disqualification of the respondent was
reversed. Respondent was held to have renounced his
US citizenship when he attained the age of majority
and registered himself as a voter in the elections of
1992, 1995 and 1998.
Manzano was eventually proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor
of Makati City on August 31, 1998.
Thus the present petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not a dual citizen is disqualified to hold
public elective office in the philippines.

RULING:
The court ruled that the phrase "dual citizenship" in
R.A. 7160 Sec. 40 (d) and R.A. 7854 Sec. 20 must be
understood as referring to dual allegiance. Dual
citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former
arises when, as a result of the application of the
different laws of two or more states, a person is
simultaneously considered a national by the said
states. Dual allegiance on the other hand, refers to a
situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by
some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While
dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is a
result of an individual's volition. Article IV Sec. 5 of the
Constitution provides "Dual allegiance of citizens is
inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with
by law."
Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do
not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with
dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to
strict process with respect to the termination of their
status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should
suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of
candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate
their status as persons with dual citizenship
considering that their condition is the unavoidable
consequence of conflicting laws of different states.
By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at
the same time forswear allegiance to the other country
of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate

their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the
point of view of the foreign state and of its laws, such
an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign
citizenship. That is of no moment.
When a person applying for citizenship by
naturalization takes an oath that he renounces his
loyalty to any other country or government and
solemnly declares that he owes his allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines, the condition imposed by
law is satisfied and complied with. The determination
whether such renunciation is valid or fully complies with
the provisions of our Naturalization Law lies within the
province and is an exclusive prerogative of our courts.
The latter should apply the law duly enacted by the
legislative department of the Republic. No foreign law
may or should interfere with its operation and
application.
The court ruled that the filing of certificate of candidacy
of respondent sufficed to renounce his American
citizenship, effectively removing any disqualification he
might have as a dual citizen. By declaring in his
certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that
he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another
country; that he will defend and support the
Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and
allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental
reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws
of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his
American citizenship and anything which he may have
said before as a dual citizen.
On the other hand, private respondent’s oath of
allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the
fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood,
received his education, practiced his profession as an
artist, and taken part in past elections in this country,
leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.
His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will
fulfill his undertaking made under oath. Should he
betray that trust, there are enough sanctions for
declaring the loss of his Philippine citizenship through
expatriation in appropriate proceedings. In Yu v.
Defensor-Santiago, the court sustained the denial of
entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that,
after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen, he applied
for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and
declared in commercial documents executed abroad
that he was a Portuguese national. A similar sanction
can be taken against any one who, in electing
Philippine citizenship, renounces his foreign nationality,
but subsequently does some act constituting

renunciation of his Philippine citizenship.
The petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of
merit.
Election Law Case: Romualdez-Marcos vs
COMELEC 248 SCRA 300
Romualdez-Marcos vs COMELEC 248 SCRA 300
Facts:
March 8, 1995 – Marcos filed her Certificate of
Candidacy for the position of Representative of the
First District of Leyte with the Provincial Election
Supervisor.
March 23, 1995 – Montejo, incumbent of and candidate
for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation
and disqualification with the COMELEC, alleging that
Marcos did not meet the residency requirement.
March 29, 1995 – Marcos filed an Amended/Corrected
Certificate of Candidacy in the COMELEC‘s head office
in Intramuros claiming that her error in the first
certificate was the result of an ―honest
misrepresentation‖ and that she has always
―maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or
residence.
April 24, 1995 – COMELEC Second Division by a vote
of 2-1 came up with a Resolution that found Montejo‘s
petition for disqualification meritorious, Marcos‘
corrected certificate of candidacy void, and her original
certificate cancelled.
May 7, 1995 – COMELEC en banc denied Marcos‘
Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution drafted on
April 24.
May 11, 1995 – COMELEC issued another Resolution
allowing Marcos‘ proclamation to the office should the
results of the canvass show that she obtained the
highest number of votes. However, this was reversed
and instead directed that the proclamation would be
suspended even if she did win.
May 25, 1995 – In a supplemental petitition, Marcos
declared that she was the winner of the said
Congressional election.
Issues/ Held/Ratio:
(1)
WON plaintiff had established legal residency required
to be a voter, and thus candidate, of the first district of
Leyte.
Yes. It is the fact if residence, not a statement in a

certificate of candidacy which out to be decisive in
determining whether or not an individual has satisfied
the constitution‘s residency qualification requirement
(as intended by the framer‘s of the constitution)2. The
confusion of the ―honest mistake‖ made when filed
her Certificate of Candidacy can be attributed to the
fact that the entry for residence is immediately followed
by the entry for the number of years and months in the
residence where the candidate seeks to hold office
immediately after the elections. This honest mistake
should not be allowed to negate the fact of residence in
the First District. The instances (i.e. when Marcos lived
in Manila and Ilocos after marrying her husband) used
by the COMELEC to disqualify Marcos were only actual
residences incurred during their marriage; and as such,
she was required to change residences and apply for
voter‘s registration in these cited locations. When she
got married to the late dictator, it cannot be argued that
she lost her domicile of origin by operation of law
stated in Article 110 of the CC3 and further
contemplated in Article 1094 of the same code. It is the
husband‘s right to transfer residences to wherever he
might see fit to raise a family. Thus, the relocation does
not mean or intend to lose the wife‘s domicile of origin.
After the death of her husband, her choice of domicle
was Tacloban, Leyte as expressed when she wrote the
PCGG chairman seeking permission to rehabilitate
their ancestral house in Tacloban and their farm in Olot,
Leyte.
(2)
WON COMELEC the proper jurisdiction in disqualifying
the plaintiff under Article 78 of the Omnibus Election
Code had already lapsed, thereby transmitting
jurisdiction to the House of Representatives.
Yes. The mischief in petitioner‘s contention lies in the
fact that our courts and other quasi-judicial bodies
would then refuse to render judgments merely on the
ground of having failed to reach a decision within a
given or prescribed period. In any event, Sections 6
2 As discussed during the deliberations of the 1987
Constitution by Mr. Nolledo and Mr. Davide, and Mrs.
Rosario and Mr. De Los Reyes in the RECORD OF
THE 1987 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVETION July 22,
1986.
3 The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But
the court may exempt the wife from living with the
husband if he should live abroad unless in the service
of the Republic.
4 The husband and wife are obligated to live together,
observe mutual respect and fidelity, and render mutual
help and support.
and 7 of R.A. 6646 in relation to Sec. 78 of B.P. 881, it
is evident that the respondent Commission does not

lose jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending
disqualification case under Sec. 78 of B.P. 881 even
after the elections.
(3)
WON the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
(HRET) had jurisdiction over the question of the
petitioner‘s qualifications after the elections.
No. The HRET‘s jurisdiction of all contests relating to
the elections, returns, and qualifications of members of
Congress begins only after a candidate has become a
member of the House of Representatives.

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.

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. Paul’s 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

HELD:

Residence is used synonymously with domicile for
election purposes. The court are in favor of a
conclusion supporting petitoner’s 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 Imelda’s 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 husband’s
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
brother’s 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.