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FPJ’s Citizenship
- Citizenship is a treasured right conferred on
those whom the state believes are deserving
of the privilege.
- “precious heritage, as well as an inestimable
- ISSUE: The issue of citizenship is brought up to
challenge the qualifications of a presidential
candidate to hold the highest office of the
- Is Fernando Poe, Jr., a natural-born
Filipino or is he not?
- FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of
an alien mother.
- petitioner’s contention: first, Allan F. Poe
contracted a prior marriage to a certain
Paulita Gomez before his marriage to
Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no
such prior marriage had existed, Allan F.
Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year
after the birth of respondent.
- On 23 January 2004, the COMELEC
dismissed SPA No. 04-003 for lack of
- Decisions
disqualification cases may be reviewed
by the Supreme Court per Rule 64
- Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the
1987 Constitution - The provision is an
innovation of the 1987 Constitution.
- ordinarily, ”contest" in reference to a postelection scenario.
- Election contests consist of either an
election protest or a quo warranto
- Rules of the Presidential Electoral
Tribunal : The rules categorically speak
of the jurisdiction of the tribunal over
contests relating to the election, returns
and qualifications of the "President" or
"Vice-President", of the Philippines, and
not of "candidates" for President or VicePresident.
- It is fair to conclude that the jurisdiction of
the Supreme Court, defined by Section
4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution,

would not include cases directly brought
before it, questioning the qualifications
of a candidate for the presidency or
vice-presidency before the elections are
- History of Citizenship
F Aristotle:man
administration of justice and in holding of
an office
F The concept grew to include one who would
both govern and be governed, for which
qualifications like autonomy, judgment and
loyalty could be expected
F ideal setting, a citizen was active in public life
and fundamentally willing to submit his
private interests to the general interest of
F 18th century: Civil citizenship: established
rights for individual freedom
F 19th century: political citizenship: right to
participate in exercise of political power
F 20th century: social citizenship: right of a
citizen into economic well-being and social
F SPANISH-PRESENT: no such terms and Phil
citizens during spanish regime
F spanish laws: Novisima Recopilacion,
whether the law was extended to the
Philippines remained to be the subject of
differing views among experts
F The Spanish Constitution of 1876 was never
extended to the Philippine Islands because
of the express mandate of its Article 89
F It was only the Civil Code of Spain, made
effective in this jurisdiction on 18
December 1889, which came out with the
first categorical enumeration of who were
Spanish citizens. F TREATY OF PARIS:Upon the ratification of
the treaty, and pending legislation by the
United States Congress on the subject, the
native inhabitants of the Philippines
ceased to be Spanish subjects. Although
they did not become American citizens,
they, however, also ceased to be "aliens"
under American laws and were thus issued

the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou. Pangasinan. F Controversy arose on to the status of children born in the Philippines from 11 April 1899 to 01 July 1902. Weight was given to the view. Poe and Bessie Kelley. . showed that he was born on 17 May 1915 to an Español father. the father of Allan F. jus soli. . Poe. Poe. that the common law principle of jus sol F The term "citizens of the Philippine Islands" appeared for the first time in the Philippine Bill of 1902. Pangasinan. an American citizen. 3. Poe was Lorenzo Poe. F The father of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16 September. the first Civil Governor General in the Philippines when he initially made mention of it in his slogan. married to Bessie Kelly. likewise failed to show that Lorenzo Pou was at any other place .Only two.FACTS: F The parents of FPJ were Allan F. . Poe. F four modes of acquiring citizenship 1. F It could thus be assumed that Lorenzo Pou was born sometime in the year 1870 when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. the first comprehensive legislation of the Congress of the United States on the Philippines F The word "Filipino" was used by William H. 1940. F Being public documents. married to Marta Reyes. articulated in jurisprudential writing at the time. would disclose that he was born on 20 August 1939 to Allan F. F The death certificate of Lorenzo Pou would indicate that he died on 11 September 1954.(identified him to be a Filipino. and 84 years old at the time of his death) . Taft. could qualify a person to being a “natural-born” citizen of the Philippines. Allan F.paternal grandfather:Lorenzo Pou. jus soli and jus sanguinis. naturalization. Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. except for subsection (3) thereof that aimed to correct the irregular situation generated by the questionable proviso in the 1935 Constitution. F FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939. also commonly referred to as the Philippine Organic Act of 1902. F Allan F. and F At the time of his death on 11 September 1954. res judicata F jus sanguines . the marriage certificate of Allan F. twenty-four years old. F Jus soli did not last long with the adoption of 1935 conti F Jus Sanguines or blood relationship is the primary basis of citizenship by birth F documentary evidence: .” F The 1987 Constitution generally adopted the provisions of the 1973 Constitution. 2. however.The birth certificate of FPJ. twenty-one years old and married. and a mestiza Español mother. a Filipino.passports describing them to be citizens of the Philippines entitled to the protection of the United States. Petitioner would argue that Lorenzo Pou was not in the Philippines during the crucial period of from 1898 to 1902 considering that there was no existing record about such fact in the Records Management and Archives Office. and the birth certificate of FPJ. Lorenzo Pou." 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.CITIZENSHIP PROPER F "natural-born citizens. a resident of San Carlos. in San Carlos. "The Philippines for the Filipinos. during which period no citizenship law was extant in the Philippines.The certificate of birth of the father of FPJ. Marta Reyes. constitute prima facie proof of their contents. Poe and Bessie Kelly. F Petitioner. at the age of 84 years.

F Acknowledgment was either judicial (compulsory) or voluntary. If the pronouncement of the Court on jus sanguinis was on the lis mota. the fundamental law prevailing on the day. F Authentic writing: include a public instrument (one duly acknowledged before a notary public or other competent official) or a private writing admitted by the father to be his F Section 39. F It would be extremely doubtful if the Records Management and Archives Office would have had complete records of all residents of the Philippines from 1898 to 1902. F voluntary acknowledgment could only be had in a record of birth. It was not the fault of the child that his parents had illicit liaison. of the Rules of Court provides “Act or Declaration about pedigree. F In order that the birth certificate could then be utilized to prove voluntary acknowledgment of filiation or paternity. can never be more explicit than it is. then the distinction transgresses the equal protection clause and must be reprobated . or a public document. month and year of birth of respondent FPJ. the certificate was required to be signed or sworn to by the father. Why deprive the child of the fullness of political rights for no fault of his own? To disqualify an illegitimate child from holding an important public office is to punish him for the indiscretion of his parents.The fact of the matter – perhaps the most significant consideration – is that the 1935 Constitution. F Civil Code of Spain. a will. Providing neither conditions nor distinctions. it should be sound to conclude. But if the pronouncement was irrelevant to the lis mota. The failure of such requirement rendered the same useless as being an authoritative document of recognition. or at least to presume. In his death certificate. the pronouncement would be a decision constituting doctrine under the rule of stare decisis. acknowledgment was required to establish filiation or paternity.Bernas . Rule 130.BERNAS: We must analyze these cases and ask what the lis mota was in each of them. F In the absence of any evidence to the contrary. that the place of residence of a person at the time of his death was also his residence before death. F Judicial or compulsory acknowledgment was possible only if done during the lifetime of the putative parent. Lorenzo would have been born .during the same period.What is the relevance of legitimacy or illegitimacy to elective public service? What possible state interest can there be for disqualifying an illegitimate child from becoming a public officer.HELD: F Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old. . F Pareja vs. and those issued by competent public officials by reason of their office. And if there is neither justice nor rationality in the distinction. which was in force in the Philippines from 08 December 1889 up until the day prior to 30 August 1950 when the Civil Code of the Philippines took effect. the Constitution states that among the citizens of the Philippines are “those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines. (sister of Bessie Kelley Poe) testified that Alla F Poe recognised his own paternal relationship w FPJ . the pronouncement would not be a decision but a mere obiter dictum which did not establish doctrine. Pareja: document as proof of voluntary acknowledgment:executed by private individuals which must be authenticated by notaries. . I therefore invite the Court to look closely into these cases.” There utterly is no cogent justification to prescribe conditions or distinctions where there clearly are none provided. There is neither justice nor rationality in that.

where opposing counsel have been given opportunity to demolish the opposite party’s case. Married Agripina Lao. there can be no other logical conclusion but to educe that Ong Te qualified as a Filipino citizen under the provisions of section 4 of the Philippine Bill of 1902. in the absence of any other evidence.sometime in the year 1870. that legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention “in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou). obtain a certificate of residence from the then Spanish colonial administration.CITIZENSHIP .” F Plainly. having been . F The exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. 625. unless. F But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.A priori. she is a Filipino since birth without having to elect Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of majority. would thereby extend to his son. and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and considered. (Those without such papers. .ONG TE: Grand father of Jose Ong. his place of residence upon his death in 1954. she was not required to comply with said constitutional and statutory requirements to become a Filipino citizen. NBF. if acquired. 1987 but also to those who. F These do not apply in the case of respondent who was concededly an illegitimate child. and that San Carlos. By being an illegitimate child of a Filipino mother. Paragraph 3 above as applying not only to those who elect Philippine citizenship after February 2. who may have acquired domicile in any town in the Monarchy) . F PETITIONER: respondent did not comply with the constitutional requirement of electing Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of majority. considering that her Chinese father and Filipino mother were never married. the child elected Philippine citizenship. The 1935 Constitution. Article IV. the above constitutional and statutory requirements of electing Filipino citizenship apply only to legitimate children. Poe. Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution. in relation to Section 74. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the F F Philippines. CO VS HRET F When may the Court inquire into acts of the Electoral Tribunals under our constitutional grants of power? F in the exercise of this Court's so-called extraordinary jurisdiction F upon a determination that the Tribunal's decision or resolution was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction. Pangasinan. such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the “en masse Filipinization” that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. which provides that the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father. father of respondent FPJ. F will constitute a denial of due process. respondent automatically became a Filipino upon birth. F very clear unmitigated ERROR. manifestly constituting such GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION that there has to be a remedy for such abuse. and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry.The Court interprets Section 1. Granted naturalisation and declared FILIPINO CITIZEN by CFI . could have well been his place of residence before death. F Stated differently. of the Omnibus Election REPUBLIC VS LIM F An appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly developed. Allan F. . Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No.JOSE ONG CHUAN: Father. F As such. upon reaching the age of majority. during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light. 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. when the Philippines was under Spanish rule.

’he term . He was already a citizen.X: It observed that "when protestee was only nine years of age.and values. For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up. 1987 is to give a narrow interpretation resulting in an inequitable situation. . .there is no doubt in this case about Mr. running for public office. 1973) .PROBLEM:The purpose of that provision is to remedy an inequitable situation. those born of Filipino mothers but alien fathers would have to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.respondent traces his natural born citizenship through his mother. his father. Jose Ong Chuan became a naturalized Filipino.The filing of a sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still have to elect citizenship. They should know him better than any member of this Court will ever know him . Entering a profession open only to Filipinos. The reason is obvious. . . . . .significantly reveals the intent of the framers. . there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be less binding. elected citizenship before that date.There is nothing in the records to show that he does not embrace Philippine customs . . . voting during election time. Concededly.The framers of the Constitution adhered to the earlier definition given to the word "residence" which regarded it as having the same meaning as domicile. \\orencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]). they become Filipino citizens but not natural-born Filipino citizens. serving in public office where citizenship is a qualification. those born of Filipino fathers but alien mothers were natural-born Filipinos. . The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. Between 1935 and 1973 when we were under the 1935 Constitution. and if they do elect. .In Re: Floorencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]). However. it was the law itself that had already elected Philippine citizenship for protestee by declaring him as such. To make the provision prospective from February 3. the Court held that the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. and other categorical acts of similar nature are themselves formal manifestations of choice for these persons.Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization Act squarely applies its benefit to him for he was then a minor residing in this country. the Court held that the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship.The citizenship of the father is relevant only to determine whether or not the respondent "chose" to be a Filipino when he came of age. we apply the In Re Mallare rule. Not only was his mother a natural born citizen but his father had been naturalized when the respondent was only nine (9) years old. . Ong's parentage.born of Filipino mothers. The mass of voters of Northern Samar are fully aware of Mr. Ong's being a Filipino when he turned twenty-one (21).The domicile of a natural person is the place of his habitual residence. (before or after jan 17.To expect the respondent to have formally or in writing elected citizenship when he came of age is to ask for the unnatural and unnecessary.The provision in Paragraph 3 was intended to correct an unfair position which discriminates against Filipino women.For those in the peculiar situation of the respondent who cannot be expected to have elected citizenship as they were already citizens. nothing to indicate any tinge of alienness. no acts to show that this country is not his natural homeland. It must also be retroactive. not through the citizenship of his father. He has established his life here in the Philippines.

Nowhere is it required by the Constitution that the candidate should also own property in order to be qualified to run. s. In other words. the Supreme Court in the case of De los Reyes v.. 1953). 86 and 97.In conclusion. CHING. the OSG recommends the relaxation of the standing rule on the construction of the phrase “reasonable period" and the allowance of Ching to elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with C.To require the private respondent to own property in order to be eligible to run for Congress would be tantamount to a property qualification.The absence of a person from said permanent residence. 51 citing Op. Said period may be extended under certain circumstances. 27. 1955. However. dated 20 April 1999. No. The oath-taking of the successful Bar examinees was scheduled on 5 May 1999. being the "legitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so. if ever he does. . the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine citizenship and. supra at p. unless upon reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship”. stating that Ching.he OSG filed its comment on 8 July 1999.once established is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established . 70. citizenship. On the contrary. as when a (sic) person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino (ibid. Sec. s. . Nos. 3. the private respondent stayed in Manila for the purpose of finishing his studies and later to practice his profession. voting and residence requirements. one intends to return. because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship. 1940).Even assuming that the private respondent does not own any property in Samar.Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father validly elect Philippine citizenship fourteen (14) years after he has reached the age of majority? . . the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was one of the successful Bar examinees. no matter how long. of Justice No. It is enough that he should live in the municipality or in a rented house or in that of a friend or relative.. However. 1940. 46. 893 [1935]) held that it is not required that a person should have a house in order to establish his residence and domicile. The Constitution only requires that the candidate meet the age. 355 and 422. citing Op. Feb. it continues to be the domicile of that person.As previously stated. the periodical journeys made to his home province reveal that he always had the animus reverted RE: APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE PHILIPPINE BAR VICENTE D. domicile is characterized by animus revertendi. Pursuant to the resolution of this Court. . notwithstanding. he was not allowed to take his oath.On 5 April 1999. it would already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence."domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure. APPLICANT . 12. Solidum (61 Phil. he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship. s. Samar. But in . There was no intention to abandon the residence in Laoang.The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of Justice to be three (3) years (VELAYO.A. 625 prior to taking his oath as a member of the Philippine Bar. due to the peculiar circumstances surrounding Ching's case. .

Cuenco.C.Definitely.shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. and .” .It should be noted.The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines. . that the 1973 and 1987 Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine citizenship should not be understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the acquisition of citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution. by any reasonable yardstick.” . file the same with the nearest civil registry.e. in this case. his continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines and his being a certified public accountant.The age of majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. .It should be stated. No.HELD: The span Of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority. however. . No. the allowable period within which to exercise the privilege. . enthusiasm and promptitude. . .A. Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship this case: ching was 14 yrs over after he had reached the age of majority.A. as a result.dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution.the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship (In re: Florencio Mallare) . All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and thereafter. . Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over. As such.before any officer authorized to administer oaths. 625 :prescribes the procedure that should be followed in order to made a valid election of Philippine citizenship. i. it was held that an election done after over seven (7) years was not made within a reasonable time. Sadly. cabling vs fernandez issue: Should children born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father. . in this connection. Ching's election was clearly beyond.An election of Philippine citizenship presupposes that the person electing is an alien. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. . this golden privilege slipped away from his grasp.a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned . who executed an affidavit of election of .Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when convenient. . cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays down the requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election. he should avail of the right with fervor. a registered voter and a former elected public official.1935 Constitution and C. that the special circumstances invoked by Ching. 625 did not prescribe a time period within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made.Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. the so-called special circumstances cannot constitute what Ching erroneously labels as informal election of citizenship. ..

a Filipina. Jr. they spent their whole lives. be considered foreign nationals subject to deportation as undocumented aliens for failure to obtain alien certificates of registration? whether or not the omission negates their rights to Filipino citizenship as children of a Filipino mother. Jr. . they do not speak nor understand the Chinese language. and other similar acts showing exercise of Philippine citizenship can take the place of election of citizenship. and Dolores Sillona Cabiling. facts:Balgamelo Cabiling Ma (Balgamelo). Arceli Ma (Arceli). failed to have the necessary documents registered in the civil registry as required under Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No.. a Taiwanese.(3) registration of the statement of election and of the oath with the nearest civil registry.They were all raised in the Philippines and have resided in this country for almost sixty (60) years. although a valid requirement under Commonwealth Act No. have not set foot in Taiwan. Jr. they claimed Philippine citizenship in accordance with Section 1(4).(2) an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the Philippines. 625. -We are not prepared to state that the mere exercise of suffrage. petitioners. Balgamelo and Valeriano were all born under aegis of the 1935 Philippine Constitution in the years 1948. the registration of the documents of election beyond the frame should be allowed if in the meanwhile positive acts of citizenship have publicly. Court of Appeals) -[i]ts purpose is to give notice thereof to all persons (and it) operates as a notice of the deed. Nicolas Ma (Nicolas). Felix Cabiling Ma.The statutory formalities of electing Philippine citizenship are: . continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines. Petitioners complied with the first and second requirements upon reaching the age of majority. they secured from the Bureau of Immigration their Alien Certificates of Registration (ACRs). they have not even traveled abroad. 625 -The instant case presents a different factual setting. (Felix.PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION: FOR NOTIFICATION -it pertains to the entry made in the registry which records solemnly and permanently the right of ownership and other real rights.). as in petitioners' case. respectively. Article IV. . contract.” -registration "neither adds to its validity nor converts an invalid instrument into a valid one between the parties. and erase the years lived and spent as Filipinos. It was only the registration of the documents of election with the civil registry that was belatedly done.(Pascua v. 1951. consistently. -What we now say is that where. -registration is the confirmation of election as such election -It is not the registration of the act of election.” -It lays emphasis on the validity of an unregistered document.Philippine citizenship and took their oath of allegiance to the government upon reaching the age of majority. Valeriano Cabiling Ma (Valeriano). and . being elected public official. the right to elect Philippine citizenship has not been lost and they should be allowed to complete the statutory requirements for such election.(1) a statement of election under oath. and 1957. Lechi Ann Ma (Lechi Ann). that will confer . the election of citizenship has in fact been done and documented within the constitutional and statutory timeframe. and do not know any relative of their father. however. of the 1935 Constitution. and continuously been done. or instrument to others. During their age of minority. studied and received their primary and secondary education in the country. and they have already raised their respective families in the Philippines. and Isidro Ma (Isidro) are the children of Felix (Yao Kong) Ma. . Immediately upon reaching the age of twenty-one. Records reveal that petitioners Felix. -HELD: We rule that under the facts peculiar to the petitioners. Having taken their oath of allegiance as Philippine citizens. but who failed to immediately file the documents of election with the nearest civil registry.

the 1987 Constitution now classifies them as naturalborn citizens upon election of Philippine citizenship. -It is only a means of confirming the fact that citizenship has been claimed. -while the 1935 Constitution requires thatChildren of Filipino mothers elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching their age of majority. -Better than the relaxation of the requirement. upon the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution. YU VS DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO .Philippine citizenship on the petitioners. they automatically become Filipinos and need not elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.