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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 120295 June 28, 1996

JUAN G. FRIVALDO, petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and RAUL R. LEE, respondents.

G.R. No. 123755 June 28, 1996

RAUL R. LEE, petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JUAN G. FRIVALDO, respondents.

PANGANIBAN, J.:p

The ultimate question posed before this Court in these twin cases is: Who should be declared the
rightful governor of Sorsogon -

(i) Juan G. Frivaldo, who unquestionably obtained the highest number of votes in three successive
elections but who was twice declared by this Court to be disqualified to hold such office due to his
alien citizenship, and who now claims to have re-assumed his lost Philippine citizenship thru
repatriation;

(ii) Raul R. Lee, who was the second placer in the canvass, but who claims that the votes cast in
favor of Frivaldo should be considered void; that the electorate should be deemed to have
intentionally thrown away their ballots; and that legally, he secured the most number of valid votes;
or

(iii) The incumbent Vice-Governor, Oscar G. Deri, who obviously was not voted directly to the
position of governor, but who according to prevailing jurisprudence should take over the said post
inasmuch as, by the ineligibility of Frivaldo, a "permanent vacancy in the contested office has
occurred"?

In ruling for Frivaldo, the Court lays down new doctrines on repatriation, clarifies/reiterates/amplifies
existing jurisprudence on citizenship and elections, and upholds the superiority of substantial justice
over pure legalisms.

G.R. No. 123755

This is a special civil action under Rules 65 and 58 of the Rules of Court for certiorari and
preliminary injunction to review and annul a Resolution of the respondent Commission on Elections

(Comelec), First Division, 1 promulgated on December 19, 1995 2 and another Resolution of the
Comelec en banc promulgated February 23, 1996 3 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

The Facts

On March 20, 1995, private respondent Juan G. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the
office of Governor of Sorsogon in the May 8, 1995 elections. On March 23, 1995, petitioner Raul R.
Lee, another candidate, filed a petition 4 with the Comelec docketed as SPA No. 95-028 praying that
Frivaldo "be disqualified from seeking or holding any public office or position by reason of not yet being a
citizen of the Philippines", and that his Certificate of Candidacy be canceled. On May 1, 1995, the Second
Division of the Comelec promulgated a Resolution 5granting the petition with the following disposition 6:

WHEREFORE, this Division resolves to GRANT the petition and declares that
respondent is DISQUALIFIED to run for the Office of Governor of Sorsogon on the
ground that he is NOT a citizen of the Philippines. Accordingly, respondent's
certificate of candidacy is canceled.

The Motion for Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo remained unacted upon until after the May 8, 1995
elections. So, his candidacy continued and he was voted for during the elections held on said date.
On May 11, 1995, the Comelec en banc 7 affirmed the aforementioned Resolution of the Second
Division.

The Provincial Board of Canvassers completed the canvass of the election returns and a Certificate
of Votes 8dated May 27, 1995 was issued showing the following votes obtained by the candidates for the
position of Governor of Sorsogon:

Antonio H. Escudero, Jr. 51,060

Juan G. Frivaldo 73,440

Raul R. Lee 53,304

Isagani P. Ocampo 1,925

On June 9, 1995, Lee filed in said SPA No. 95-028, a (supplemental) petition 9 praying for his
proclamation as the duly-elected Governor of Sorsogon.

In an order 10 dated June 21, 1995, but promulgated according to the petition "only on June 29, 1995," the
Comelec en banc directed "the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sorsogon to reconvene for the purpose
of proclaiming candidate Raul Lee as the winning gubernatorial candidate in the province of Sorsogon on
June 29, 1995 . . ." Accordingly, at 8:30 in the evening of June 30, 1995, Lee was proclaimed governor of
Sorsogon.

On July 6, 1995, Frivaldo filed with the Comelec a new petition, 11 docketed as SPC No. 95-317,
praying for the annulment of the June 30, 1995 proclamation of Lee and for his own proclamation. He
alleged that on June 30, 1995, at 2:00 in the afternoon, he took his oath of allegiance as a citizen of the
Philippines after "his petition for repatriation under P.D. 725 which he filed with the Special Committee on
Naturalization in September 1994 had been granted". As such, when "the said order (dated June 21,
1995) (of the Comelec) . . . was released and received by Frivaldo on June 30, 1995 at 5:30 o'clock in the
evening, there was no more legal impediment to the proclamation (of Frivaldo) as governor . . ." In the
alternative, he averred that pursuant to the two cases of Labo vs. Comelec, 12 the Vice-Governor - not Lee
- should occupy said position of governor.

On December 19, 1995, the Comelec First Division promulgated the herein assailed
Resolution 13 holding that Lee, "not having garnered the highest number of votes," was not legally entitled
to be proclaimed as duly-elected 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 Sorsogon"; thus:

PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Commission (First Division), therefore RESOLVES
to GRANT the Petition.

Consistent with the decisions of the Supreme Court, the proclamation of Raul R. Lee
as Governor of Sorsogon is hereby ordered annulled, being contrary to law, he not
having garnered the highest number of votes to warrant his proclamation.

Upon the finality of the annulment of the proclamation of Raul R. Lee, the Provincial
Board of Canvassers is directed to immediately reconvene and, on the basis of the
completed canvass, proclaim petitioner Juan G. Frivaldo as the duly elected
Governor of Sorsogon having garnered the highest number of votes, and he having
reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30, 1995 under the
provisions of Presidential Decree No. 725 and, thus, qualified to hold the office of
Governor of Sorsogon.

Conformably with Section 260 of the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881), the
Clerk of the Commission is directed to notify His Excellency the President of the
Philippines, and the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of
Sorsogon of this resolution immediately upon the due implementation thereof.

On December 26, 1995, Lee filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the Comelec en
banc in its Resolution 14 promulgated on February 23, 1996. On February 26, 1996, the present petition
was filed. Acting on the prayer for a temporary restraining order, this Court issued on February 27, 1996 a
Resolution which inter alia directed the parties "to maintain the status quo prevailing prior to the filing of
this petition."

The Issues in G.R. No. 123755

Petitioner Lee's "position on the matter at hand may briefly be capsulized in the following
propositions" 15:

First -- The initiatory petition below was so far insufficient in form and substance to
warrant the exercise by the COMELEC of its jurisdiction with the result that, in effect,
the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and deciding said
petition;

Second -- The judicially declared disqualification of respondent was a continuing
condition and rendered him ineligible to run for, to be elected to and to hold the Office
of Governor;

Third -- The alleged repatriation of respondent was neither valid nor is the effect
thereof retroactive as to cure his ineligibility and qualify him to hold the Office of
Governor; and

Fourth -- Correctly read and applied, the Labo Doctrine fully supports the validity of
petitioner's proclamation as duly elected Governor of Sorsogon.

G.R. No. 120295

This is a petition to annul three Resolutions of the respondent Comelec, the first two of which are
also at issue in G.R. No. 123755, as follows:

1. Resolution 16 of the Second Division, promulgated on May 1, 1995, disqualifying
Frivaldo from running for governor of Sorsogon in the May 8, 1995 elections "on the
ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines";

2. Resolution 17 of the Comelec en banc, promulgated on May 11, 1995; and

3. Resolution 18 of the Comelec en banc, promulgated also on May 11, 1995 suspending
the proclamation of, among others, Frivaldo.

The Facts and the Issue

The facts of this case are essentially the same as those in G.R. No. 123755. However, Frivaldo
assails the above-mentioned resolutions on a different ground: that under Section 78 of the Omnibus
Election Code, which is reproduced hereinunder:

Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. -- A
verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy
may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material
representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The
petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the
filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after notice and
hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election. (Emphasis supplied.)

the Comelec had no jurisdiction to issue said Resolutions because they were not rendered
"within the period allowed by law" i.e., "not later than fifteen days before the election."

Otherwise stated, Frivaldo contends that the failure of the Comelec to act on the petition for
disqualification within the period of fifteen days prior to the election as provided by law is a
jurisdictional defect which renders the said Resolutions null and void.

By Resolution on March 12, 1996, the Court consolidated G.R. Nos. 120295 and 123755 since they
are intimately related in their factual environment and are identical in the ultimate question
raised, viz., who should occupy the position of governor of the province of Sorsogon.

On March 19, 1995, the Court heard oral argument from the parties and required them thereafter to
file simultaneously their respective memoranda.

The Consolidated Issues

From the foregoing submissions, the consolidated issues may be restated as follows:

a runner-up in the election. 104654 22 and during the oral argument in this case that he tried to resume his citizenship by direct act of Congress. Qualifications.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. No. valid and legal in light of existing jurisprudence? 5. an election protest or a quo warranto case"? 4. or mayor. Is Frivaldo's "judicially declared" disqualification for lack of Filipino citizenship a continuing bar to his eligibility to run for. 95-317 considering that said petition is not "a pre-proclamation case. city. . "not later than fifteen days before the elections"? The First Issue: Frivaldo's Repatriation The validity and effectivity of Frivaldo's repatriation is the lis mota. Under Philippine law.. from when? 2. but that the bill allowing him to do so "failed to materialize. Was the proclamation of Lee. thus: Sec.1. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. in fine.R. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. Did the respondent Comelec have jurisdiction over the initiatory petition in SPC No. the threshold legal issue in this case. the district where he intends to be elected. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. -. 21 citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress. All the other matters raised are secondary to this. 7160). Was the repatriation of Frivaldo valid and legal? If so.A. The Local Government Code of 1991 19 expressly requires Philippine citizenship as a qualification for elective local officials." In the same case. sangguniang panlungsod. by naturalization or by repatriation. Did the respondent Commission on Elections exceed its jurisdiction in promulgating the assailed Resolutions. viz. 39. or province or. it is therefore incumbent upon him to show that he has reacquired citizenship. including that of provincial governor. municipality. according to him. a registered voter in the barangay. his attempt at naturalization was rejected by this Court because of jurisdictional. be elected to or hold the governorship of Sorsogon? 3. substantial and procedural defects. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. notwithstanding the endorsement of several members of the House of Representatives" due. xxx xxx xxx Inasmuch as Frivaldo had been declared by this Court 20 as a non-citizen. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. may it be given retroactive effect? If so. that he possesses the qualifications prescribed under the said statute (R. Frivaldo told this Court in G. did it seasonably cure his lack of citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the Office of Governor? If not. or sangguniang bayan. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. considering that they were not rendered within the period referred to in Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. to the "maneuvers of his political rivals. all of which prevented Frivaldo from assuming the governorship of Sorsogon.

D. Lee argues that Frivaldo's repatriation is tainted with serious defects. should best leave to the judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution". as counsel for co-respondent Comelec.once created -. he was judicially declared a non-Filipino and thus twice disqualified from holding and discharging his popular mandate. It is obvious that no express repeal was made because then President Aquino in her memorandum -. clearly and unquestionably.D.D. it is a basic rule of statutory construction that repeals by implication are not favored.000 in 1995 over the same opponent Raul Lee.000 votes in the 1988 elections. he comes to us a third time.Despite his lack of Philippine citizenship. 270 dated April 11. Twice. such as is now being proffered to the Court by Lee.based on the copy furnished us by Lee -. and 20. she did not even mention it specifically by its number or text. would visit unmitigated violence not only upon statutory construction but on common sense as well. 725. Jr. In other words. 57. Moreover. she should have unequivocally said so instead of referring the matter to Congress. 26 The memorandum of then President Aquino cannot even be regarded as a legislative enactment. 1987 24 cannot by any stretch of legal hermeneutics be construed as a law sanctioning or authorizing a repeal of P. That he took his oath of allegiance under the provisions of said Decree at 2:00 p. arguing the validity of his cause (in addition to his able private counsel Sixto S.m.D. with no less than the Solicitor General himself. An implied repeal will not be allowed "unless it is convincingly and unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are clearly repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist".to deal with the matter. 725. 1987 to the members of the Special Committee on Naturalization constituted for purposes of Presidential Decree No. No. who was the prime opposing counsel in the previous cases he lost. he garnered the highest number of votes in the elections and since at that time. No. as amended. No. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones 25 and a repeal may be express or implied. it could be treated as an executive policy addressed to the Special Committee to halt the acceptance and processing of applications for repatriation pending whatever "judgment the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution" might make. for not every pronouncement of the Chief Executive even under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution can nor should be regarded as an exercise of her law-making powers. Lee tells us that P. asserting that "then President Corazon Aquino exercising legislative powers under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution. he already reacquired his citizenship. which we shall now discuss in seriatim. with a fresh vote from the people of Sorsogon and a favorable decision from the Commission on Elections to boot.did not categorically and/or impliedly state that P. Frivaldo was overwhelmingly elected governor by the electorate of Sorsogon. If she had intended to repeal such law. 725 had "been effectively repealed". in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion" to leave the matter of repeal to the new Congress. on June 30. 1975. 725 but left it to the first Congress -. in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion.m. 725 was being repealed or was being rendered without any legal effect. Now." 23 This memorandum dated March 27. . Any other interpretation of the said Presidential Memorandum. he now boasts of having successfully passed through the third and last mode of reacquiring citizenship: by repatriation under P. with a margin of 27. In fact.). he insists that he -- not Lee -. adding that in her memorandum dated March 27. President Aquino directed them "to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility as defined under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. On the other hand. this time. The fact is she carefully couched her presidential issuance in terms that clearly indicated the intention of "the present government. 725. Hence. 1995 is not disputed.should have been proclaimed as the duly-elected governor of Sorsogon when the Provincial Board of Canvassers met at 8:30 p. the former President did not repeal P.D. At best. on the said date since. Brillantes. En contrario.000 in 1992. forbade the grant of citizenship by Presidential Decree or Executive Issuances as the same poses a serious and contentious issue of policy which the present government. First.

then the issue of when an aspirant for public office should be a citizen was NOT resolved at all by the Court. This is confirmed by the Solicitor General. we are convinced that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the presumption of legality in the repatriation of Frivaldo have not been successfully rebutted by Lee. No.a naturalization he insists was made necessary only to escape the iron clutches of a dictatorship he abhorred and could not in conscience embrace -. "(a)n elective local official must be: * a citizen of the Philippines. in repatriation the applicant is a former natural-born Filipino who is merely seeking to reacquire his previous citizenship. and. 1995 .m. through a Manifestation 28 filed on April 3.". Third.and NOT the effective date thereof. he filled up and re-submitted the FORM that the Committee required. At any rate. 1994. Which question we shall now directly rule on.R. were granted repatriation argues convincingly and conclusively against the existence of favoritism vehemently posited by Raul Lee. 1995 whereas the citizenship qualification prescribed by the Local Government Code "must exist on the date of his election. failing there. . (and) was approved in just one day or on June 30. P.Second." citing our decision in G. the fact that ten other persons. nor are they tedious and cumbersome. 725 are not difficult to comply with. 725 29 itself requires very little of an applicant. and even the rules and regulations to implement the said decree were left to the Special Committee to promulgate. The mere fact that the proceedings were speeded up is by itself not a ground to conclude that such proceedings were necessarily tainted." Frivaldo counters that he filed his application for repatriation with the Office of the President in Malacañang Palace on August 17. as certified to by the Solicitor General." 27 the Solicitor General explained during the oral argument on March 19. the Special Committee was reactivated only on June 8. Since the Court held his naturalization to be invalid. a list of whom was submitted by him to this Court. On the basis of the parties' submissions. ." asserting that Frivaldo's application therefor was "filed on June 29. On June 29. this was a mere obiter as the only issue in said case was whether Frivaldo's naturalization was valid or not -. any contest on the legality of Frivaldo's repatriation should have been pursued before the Committee itself. after the fall of the dictator and the re-establishment of democratic space. . 39 of the Local Government Code. 104654 30 which held that "both the Local Government Code and the Constitution require that only Philippine citizens can run and be elected to public office. it could not be said that there was "indecent haste" in the processing of his application.and who. Under Sec. pursuant to the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. In fact. he was undoubtedly a natural-born citizen who openly and faithfully served his country and his province prior to his naturalization in the United States -.D. Lee also argues that "serious congenital irregularities flawed the repatriation proceedings. of June 30. However. In the case of Frivaldo. 1996. . Anent Lee's charge that the "sudden reconstitution of the Special Committee on Naturalization was intended solely for the personal interest of respondent. 1995. the requirements of repatriation under P." Obviously. unlike in naturalization where an alien covets a first-timeentry into Philippine political life. if not when the certificate of candidacy is filed. This is not unusual since. when presumably the said Committee started processing his application. Under these circumstances. in the Office of the President.D. wasted no time in returning to his country of birth to offer once more his talent and services to his people. 1995 . Lee further contends that assuming the assailed repatriation to be valid. 1995. . So too. which "prevented a judicious review and evaluation of the merits thereof. 1996 that such allegation is simply baseless as there were many others who applied and were considered for repatriation. nevertheless it could only be effective as at 2:00 p. After all. however.

* a registered voter in the barangay. "candidates for the position of governor . under the law 35 a "voter" must be a citizen of the Philippines. The answer to this problem again lies in discerning the purpose of the requirement. i.. at that time. life and meaning to our law on qualifications consistent with the purpose for which such law was enacted. So therefore. So too. must be at least twenty- three (23) years of age on election day. not of candidates.e. no person owing allegiance to another nation.if he was not a citizen at the time of such registration.the very day 32 the term of office of governor (and other elective officials) began -. i. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective public office. where he intends to be elected. the law states: "a registered voter in . From the above. also specifies as another item of qualification. an official begins to govern or to discharge his functions only upon his proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to begin. as Lee insists? Literally. * able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect.should thus be possessed when the "elective [or elected] official" begins to govern. . Since Frivaldo re-assumed his citizenship on June 30. as in the case of age and residence -. apart from requiring the official to be a citizen. not to reiterate the need for nationality but to require that the official be registered as a voter IN THE AREA OR TERRITORY he seeks to govern. * a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. i. persons owing allegiance to another nation. * In addition. it should be noted that Section 39 of the Local Government Code speaks of "Qualifications" of "ELECTIVE OFFICIALS". If the law intended thecitizenship qualification to be possessed prior to election consistent with the requirement of being a registered voter. But perhaps the more difficult objection was the one raised during the oral argument 34 to the effect that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at the time the candidate (or for that matter the elected official) registered as a voter.e. such qualifications -. The law abhors a redundancy.i. then it would not have made citizenship a SEPARATE qualification. municipality. 1995. After all. even if being a voter presumes being a citizen first. Frivaldo could not have been a voter -. In short.unless otherwise expressly conditioned. 33 if the purpose of the citizenship requirement is to ensure that our people and country do not end up being governed by aliens. that he be a "registered voter". Why then should such qualification be required at the time of election or at the time of the filing of the certificates of candidacies.in this case. Paraphrasing this Court's ruling in Vasquez vs.. And. on June 30. Now. Section 39. Giap and Li Seng Giap & Sons. to hold such office and to discharge the functions and responsibilities thereof as of said date.much less a validly registered one -. that aim or purpose would not be thwarted but instead achieved by construing the citizenship qualification as applying to the time of proclamation of the elected official and at the start of his term.e..he was therefore already qualified to be proclaimed. shall govern our people and our country or a unit of territory thereof. It also stands to reason that the voter requirement was included as another qualification (aside from "citizenship"). It therefore stands to reason that the law intended CITIZENSHIP to be a qualification distinct from being a VOTER. at the time he is proclaimed and at the start of his term -.e. city. 31 and the purpose of the citizenship qualification is none other than to ensure that no alien. 1995 -. . it will be noted that the law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship.. This is the liberal interpretation that should give spirit. . or province . even from a literal (as distinguished from liberal) construction. he was already qualified to govern his native Sorsogon. . unlike that for residence (which must consist of at least one year's residency immediately preceding the day of election) and age (at least twenty three years of age on election day).

presumably including the defeated candidate. Frivaldo was already and indubitably a citizen. According to Tolentino. then he should have been the candidate proclaimed as he unquestionably garnered the highest number of votes in the immediately preceding elections and such oath had already cured his previous "judicially-declared" alienage. Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code 38 gives any voter. abridge superfluities in existing laws.and not anywhere else. By their very nature. he cast his vote in his precinct on May 8. we also hold that the repatriation of Frivaldo RETROACTED to the date of the filing of his application on August 17." It should be emphasized that the Local Government Code requires an elective official to be a registered voter." But there are settled exceptions 40 to this general rule. 41 curative statutes are those which undertake to cure errors and irregularities. but the court dismissed (sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. And since. . Such remedy of Quo Warranto can be availed of "within ten days after proclamation" of the winning candidate. having taken his oath of allegiance earlier in the afternoon of the same day. and his registration as a voter has been sustained as valid by judicial declaration . or province . his eligibility as a voter was questioned.m. . Frivaldo has repeatedly emphasized -. (and) are intended to supply defects. . thereby validating judicial or administrative proceedings. . then he voted again in 1995. 39 of the Local Government Code. 1995). . during the oral argument. the opportunity to question the ELIGIBILITY (or the disloyalty) of a candidate. not necessarily the date of election or date of filing of the certificate of candidacy. or private deeds and contracts which otherwise would not produce their intended consequences by reason of some statutory disability or failure to comply with some technical requirement. They operate on conditions already existing. 1994." 37 It is thus clear that Frivaldo is a registered voter in the province where he intended to be elected. city. he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. It does not require him to vote actually. 1988. Agpalo. at such time. municipality. Hence. 39 "(l)aws shall have no retroactive effect. curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations ." 36 So too. registration -. it is only at such time that the issue of ineligibility may be taken cognizance of by the Commission. This is the only provision of the Code that authorizes a remedy on how to contest before the Comelec an incumbent's ineligibility arising from failure to meet the qualifications enumerated under Sec. and curb certain evils.is the core of this "qualification". where he intends to be elected. Juan G. says that curative statutes are "healing acts . . he was no longer ineligible. . the law's purpose in this second requirement is to ensure that the prospective official is actually registered in the area he seeks to govern -. acts of public officers. Before this Court. and are necessarily retroactive in operation.that he "was and is a registered voter of Sorsogon. It is true that under the Civil Code of the Philippines. In fact. 1995. unless the contrary is provided. such as when the statute is CURATIVE or REMEDIAL in nature or when it CREATES NEW RIGHTS.not the actual voting -. Hence. In fact. In other words. his counsel steadfastly maintained that "Mr. 1992.." . . .the barangay. But to remove all doubts on this important issue. 1995. . . There is yet another reason why the prime issue of citizenship should be reckoned from the date of proclamation. 42 on the other hand. curative statutes are retroactive . Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. at the very moment of Lee's proclamation (8:30 p.and Lee has not disputed -. Hence. . (and) reach back to past events to correct errors or irregularities and to render valid and effective attempted acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the parties intended. . June 30. He has voted in 1987.

725 immediately shows that it creates a new right. 725 they could now re-acquire their Philippine citizenship under the simplified procedure of repatriation. i. And inasmuch as it has been held that citizenship is a political and civil right equally as important as the freedom of speech.D. and prescinding from the wording of the preamble. 725. Thus. as well as to those in the future. (DBP vs. . because prior to the promulgation of P. No.A. 63 wherein married Filipino women are allowed to repatriate only upon the death of their husbands. On the other hand. 96 SCRA 342). 119) and curb certain evils (Santos vs.A.D. which do not create new or take away vested rights. No. No. Presidential Decree No. then it will be so applied although the statute does not in terms so direct. unless to do so would impair some vested right or violate some constitutional guaranty. In light of the foregoing. Duata. In this case. ordinarily do not come within the legal meaning of a retrospective law. "(A) retrospective operation is given to a statute or amendment where the intent that it should so operate clearly appears from a consideration of the act as a whole. it is unarguable that the legislative intent was precisely to give the statute retroactive operation. 14 SCRA 1041). in its preamble. as amended) avail of repatriation until "after the death of their husbands or the termination of their marital status" and who could neither be benefitted by the 1973 Constitution's new provision allowing "a Filipino woman who marries an alien to retain her Philippine citizenship . which right did not exist prior to P. specifically C. . curative statutes are retroactive. thereby filling certain voids in our laws." Thus.D.D. nor within the general rule against the retrospective operation of statutes. 725 must be given the fullest effect possible.On the other hand. P. but with the advent of P. which did not specify any restrictions on or delimit or qualify the right of repatriation granted therein.. Securities and Exchange Commission. and also provides for a new remedy. 63. 96 Phil. The Solicitor General 44 argues: By their very nature. 725 was enacted to cure the defect in the existing naturalization law. 725 expressly recognizes the plight of "many Filipino women (who) had lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens" and who could not. but only operate in furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of such rights. remedial or procedural laws." 45 It is obvious to the Court that the statute was meant to "reach back" to those persons. P. P.e. liberty of abode. abridge superfluities in existing laws (Del Castillo vs. or from the terms thereof. "(I)t has been said that a remedial statute must be so construed as to make it effect the evident purpose for which it was enacted." 46 This is all the more true of P.D. 725 provided a remedy for the aforementioned legal aberrations and thus its provisions are considered essentially remedial and curative. 725 such former Filipinos would have had to undergo the tedious and cumbersome process of naturalization. since they are intended to supply defects. 63 for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship by naturalization. so that if the reason of the statute extends to past transactions. events and transactions not otherwise covered by prevailing law and jurisprudence. those statutes relating to remedies or modes of procedure. and natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship by naturalization and other causes faced the difficulty of undergoing the rigid procedures of C." because "such provision of the new Constitution does not apply to Filipino women who had married aliens before said constitution took effect.D.A. CA. 725 granted a new right to these women -. 43 A reading of P. said statute also provided a new remedyand a new right in favor of other "natural born Filipinos who (had) lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to re-acquire Philippine citizenship". 725.D. . therefore the legislative intent to give retrospective operation to P. under the existing law (C.D.D.the right to re-acquire Filipino citizenship even during their marital coverture. the right against unreasonable searches and seizures and other guarantees enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

nevertheless.i. 1995) or date of filing his certificate of candidacy (March 20..as of August 17. disturbance of any vested right or breach of some constitutional guaranty. situations and transactions existing even before the law came into being -. then there is all the more reason to have the law apply in a retroactive or retrospective manner to situations.was. there is nothing in the law that would bar this or would show a contrary intention on the part of the legislative authority.in order to benefit the greatest number of former Filipinos possible thereby enabling them to enjoy and exercise the constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenship. Inasmuch as he is considered as having been repatriated -. his previous registration as a voter is likewise deemed validated as of said date.e. it is not only the law itself (P.D. events and transactions subsequent to the passage of such law.. Under the circumstances.. 1995 can and should be made to take effect as of date of his application. August 17. it was the intent of the legislative authority that the law should apply to past events -. i. Besides. Frivaldo deserves a liberal interpretation of Philippine laws and whatever defects there were in his nationality should now be deemed mooted by his repatriation. on August 17. direct prejudice to the government is possible only where a person's repatriation has the effect of wiping out a liability of his to the government arising in connection with or as a result of his being an alien. Neither has Lee shown that there will result the impairment of any contractual obligation.e. on January 20. 1995) or the date of election (May 8. already twice frustrated. to delay the processing of applications for any substantial length of time. and accruing only during the interregnum between application and approval. As earlier mentioned. should now prevail. as in this case. 725 benefit Frivaldo considering that said law was enacted on June 5. 1994? While it is true that the law was already in effect at the time that Frivaldo became an American citizen. the Special Committee was able to process. 725 were not to be given retroactive effect. 1994.having already renounced his American citizenship -. This being so. it is to be presumed that the law-making body intended right and justice to prevail. or anything unjust or injurious would result from giving retroactivity to his repatriation. and applied for repatriation even later. to the mind of the Court. . his Filipino citizenship restored -. all questions about his possession of the nationality qualification -. 1983. but even the repatriation granted under said law to Frivaldo on June 30. 1975. Being a former Filipino who has served the people repeatedly.D. 1995) would become moot. and there is no showing that damage or prejudice to anyone. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws. 48 The fact that such interregna were relatively insignificant minimizes the likelihood of prejudice to the government as a result of giving retroactivity to repatriation. then the former Filipinos who may be stateless.. 1994.D. there is nothing unjust or iniquitous in treating Frivaldo's repatriation as having become effective as of the date of his application. The reason for this is simply that if. Based on the foregoing. And it is but right and just that the mandate of the people. 1994. Another argument for retroactivity to the date of filing is that it would prevent prejudice to applicants. the repatriation granted to Frivaldo on June 30.whether at the date of proclamation (June 30. That is. act upon and grant applications for repatriation within relatively short spans of time after the same were filed. 1995 is to be deemed to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. and such legislative intention is to be given the fullest effect and expression.e. on August 17.i. and the Special Committee decides not to act. as Frivaldo -.At this point. while Frivaldo lost his Filipino citizenship much later. 47 And as experience will show. This should not be.e. a valid question may be raised: How can the retroactivity of P. 725) which is to be given retroactive effect. i. may be prejudiced for causes outside their control. If P. a situation that is not present in the instant case. any question regarding Frivaldo's status as a registered voter would also be deemed settled.

and holding any public office in the Philippines. 1995 (implemented on June 30. 1995 Resolution 53 of the Comelec Second Division in SPA No. was that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen "having been declared by the Supreme Court in its Order dated March 25.R. was in connection with the 1992 elections." We do not agree. Frivaldo was stateless in the interim -. absent any showing of capriciousness or arbitrariness or abuse. 1995. No. 1995. we quote from the assailed Resolution dated December 19. not a citizen of the Philippines. That he was disqualified for such elections is final and can no longer be changed.long before May 8. In the words of the respondent Commission (Second Division) in its assailed Resolution: 55 The records show that the Honorable Supreme Court had decided that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen and thus disqualified for the purpose of the 1988 and 1992 elections. there is no record of any "final judgment" of the disqualification of Frivaldo as a candidate for the May 8. Lee adds that this Court's two rulings (which Frivaldo now concedes were legally "correct") declaring Frivaldo an alien have also become final and executory way before the 1995 elections. 54 Hence. and these "judicial pronouncements of his political status as an American citizen absolutely and for all time disqualified (him) from running for. 1995.It is not disputed that on January 20. It should be noted that our first ruling in G. Lee." These factual findings that Frivaldo has lost his foreign nationality long before the elections of 1995 have not been effectively rebutted by Lee. there was already a final and executory judgment disqualifying" Frivaldo.when he abandoned and renounced his US citizenship but before he was repatriated to his Filipino citizenship. no restraining order having been issued by this Honorable Court." 50 On this point. In his Comment. 1983 Frivaldo became an American. and in 1995.R. before Lee "was proclaimed as the elected governor on June 30. directing the proclamation of Raul R. 1995). No. 1995. Would the retroactivity of his repatriation not effectively give him dual citizenship. At best. 104654 was in connection with the 1992 elections. 1995 elections. Furthermore. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government. 1995: 51 By the laws of the United States. in 1992. it is basic that such findings of the Commission are conclusive upon this Court. . as there is cogent reason to hold that Frivaldo was really STATELESS at the time he took said oath of allegiance and even before that. 40 of the Local Government Code would disqualify him "from running for any elective local position?" 49 We answer this question in the negative. petitioner Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government when he ran for Governor in 1988. 95-028 as affirmed in toto by Comelec En Banc in its Resolution of May 11. 1995 "became final and executory after five (5) days or on May 17. when he ran for governor in 1988. Frivaldo wrote that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship -." This declaration of the Supreme Court. however. 52 The Second Issue: Is Lack of Citizenship a Continuing Disqualification? Lee contends that the May 1. 87193 disqualifying Frivaldo was rendered in connection with the 1988 elections while that in G. which under Sec. What the Commission said in its Order of June 21. However.

To paraphrase this Court in Labo vs. COMELEC. 95-317 obviously is one. 170 SCRA 513. 171 SCRA 468. decisions declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern a person's future status with finality. 1995 -. his citizenship under any of the modes recognized by law for the purpose. 58 Thus.) This rule. . The Fourth Issue: Was Lee's Proclamation Valid? Frivaldo assails the validity of the Lee proclamation. 95-317 Lee also avers that respondent Comelec had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition in SPC No. however."beyond the 5-day reglementary period. in the exercise of its constitutional prerogatives. Casimiro vs. ." . COMELEC. may entertain. is premised on an assumption that the proclamation is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidate's assumption of office cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to make such declaration of nullity.) The Court however cautioned that such power to annul a proclamation must "be done within ten (10) days following the proclamation. 60 "the fact remains that he (Lee) was not the choice of the sovereign will. Indeed. Rimando. just that. . (citing Aguam vs.COMELEC. Commissioner of Immigration." and in Aquino vs. 95-317 questioning his (Lee's) proclamation only on July 6. provincial . Salvacion vs. COMELEC. 95- 317 because the only "possible types of proceedings that may be entertained by the Comelec are a pre-proclamation case. there is no question that the Comelec correctly acquired jurisdiction over the same. 23 SCRA 883. 187 SCRA 463. a pre- proclamation controversy is no longer viable. Lee reminds us that he was proclaimed on June 30. 56 we held: Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a judicial or administrative case." This argument is not meritorious. 1995 but that Frivaldo filed SPC No. . officials. COMELEC. COMELEC. We uphold him for the following reasons: First. or for that matter lose." Instead of dwelling at length on the various petitions that Comelec. suffice it to say that this Court has invariably recognized the Commission's authority to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations -. Hence. as the occasion demands. . (citing Gallardo vs. 186 SCRA 484." Hence. whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered res judicata." Inasmuch as Frivaldo's petition was filed only six (6) days after Lee's proclamation. according to him.Indeed. COMELEC. This is because a person may subsequently reacquire. . The Third Issue: Comelec's Jurisdiction Over The Petition in SPC No. Frivaldo's "recourse was to file either an election protest or a quo warranto action. . returns and qualifications of all elective . in Lee vs. an election protest or a quo warranto case". 61 Lee is "a second placer. a second placer. Agbayani vs. The Constitution 57 has given the Comelec ample power to "exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections. hence it has to be threshed out again and again. in Mentang vs. Again. 59 we ruled: The petitioner argues that after proclamation and assumption of office.of which SPC No. we are aware of cases holding that pre-proclamation controversies may no longer be entertained by the COMELEC after the winning candidate has been proclaimed.

as follows: The rule would have been different if the electorate fully aware in fact and in law of a candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. petitioner Labo was even allowed by no less than the Comelec itself in its resolution dated May 10. as in fact.R.not Lee -. Lee was. the eligible candidate obtaining the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected. of the Omnibus Election Code which reads as follows: . that the voters intentionally wasted their ballots knowing that. unfortunately for Lee. Lee's proclamation was patently erroneous and should now be corrected. "obviously not the choice of the people" of Sorsogon. is the ruling appropriate in this case because Frivaldo was in 1995 in an identical situation as Labo was in 1992 when the Comelec's cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was not yet final on election day as there was in both cases a pending motion for reconsideration. in spite of their voting for him. Second. If Labo has any relevance at all. therefore. But such holding is qualified by the next paragraph. This is the emphatic teaching of Labo: The rule. In such case. in which case. thus: But this is not the situation obtaining in the instant dispute. much less the electorate as having known of such fact. 1992 to be voted for the office of the city Payor as its resolution dated May 9. It has not been shown." in other words. there has been no sufficient evidence presented to show that the electorate of Sorsogon was "fully aware in fact and in law" of Frivaldo's alleged disqualification as to "bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. 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. it is that the vice-governor -. since in losing the election. On the contrary. to paraphrase Labo again. 120295. 1995 disqualifying him for want of citizenship should be annulled because they were rendered beyond the fifteen (15) day period prescribed by Section 78. he -.should be pro. As we have earlier declared Frivaldo to have seasonably reacquired his citizenship and inasmuch as he obtained the highest number of votes in the 1995 elections.claimed. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office. he was.and not Lee -. would nonetheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. 1992 denying due course to petitioner Labo's certificate of candidacy had not yet become final and subject to the final outcome of this case. 1995 and the confirmatory en banc Resolution of May 11.should be proclaimed. Lee anchors his claim to the governorship on the pronouncement of this Court in the aforesaid Labo 62 case. Frivaldo claims that the assailed Resolution of the Comelec (Second Division) dated May 1. he was ineligible. for which reason Comelec issued an (omnibus) resolution declaring that Frivaldo (like Labo in 1992) and several others can still be voted for in the May 8. Hence. The last-quoted paragraph in Labo. No. 1995 election.In spite of this. Furthermore. The Fifth Issue: Is Section 78 of the Election Code Mandatory? In G. the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes. and none was alleged. that petitioner Labo was notoriously known as an ineligible candidate.

argues that President Aquino's memorandum dated March 27.A.R. Justice Hilario G. 120295." In spite of his disagreement with us on this point. No. (emphasis supplied) Refutation of Mr. we note that just like us.. thus: Sec. 120295 that the Comelec Resolutions promulgated on May 1.R. the Comelec and in effect this Court abetted a "mockery" of our two previous judgments declaring him a non-citizen. The retroactivity of his repatriation. Mr. -. 725. Such retroactivity did not change his disqualifications in 1988 and 1992. teaches that a petition to deny due course under Section 78 must be filed within the 25-day period . One other point.A. affirmed en banc 63 on February 23. as urged by Lee) of P. Philippine citizenship maybe reacquired by . 6. 1995 were invalid because they were issued "not later than fifteen days before the election" as prescribed by Section 78. Justice Davide also believes that Quo Warranto is not the sole remedy to question the ineligibility of a candidate. 1996. We really have no quarrel.D. We do not see such abetting or mockery. Our point is that Frivaldo was in error in his claim in G. legally cured whatever defects there may have been in his registration as a voter for the purpose of the 1995 elections. At any rate. that Section 78 "is merely directory".A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. (Emphasis supplied. 1987 should be viewed as a suspension (not a repeal.D. as discussed earlier. it is obvious that Section 78 is merely directory as Section 6 of R. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided after notice and hearing. which both upheld his election. citing the Comelec's authority under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allowing the denial of a certificate of candidacy on the ground of a false material representation therein as required by Section 74.R. 120295".Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. not later than fifteen days before the election. inquiry or protest and upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor.e. as quoted in the dissent. Loong. the esteemed Mr. we hold that the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion because "Section 6 of R. 78. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. Citing Loong.. 1995. No. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action.D. 725. 1995 and May 11. Sec. No. i. 6646 authorizes the Commission to try and decide petitions for disqualifications even after the elections. 725 were recognized in the first Frivaldo case. Davide.) This claim is now moot and academic inasmuch as these resolutions are deemed superseded by the subsequent ones issued by the Commission (First Division) on December 19. -. In dismissing the petition in G. Jr. The existence and subsistence of P. 63 as amended by CA No. repatriation". he then states his disagreement with our holding that Section 78 is merely directory. "(u)nder CA No. No. Mr. 6646 authorizes the Comelec to try and decide disqualifications even after the elections. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. Effect of Disqualification Case. 473 and P. which were the subjects of such previous rulings. But whether it decrees a suspension or a repeal is a purely academic distinction because the said issuance is not a statute that can amend or abrogate an existing law. . 64 viz. Justice Davide's Dissent In his dissenting opinion. . No. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. He also contends that by allowing Frivaldo to register and to remain as a registered voter. Justice Davide nonetheless votes to "DISMISS G.

e. Justice Davide's thesis that the . we cannot rule on the legal question of who are or who are not Americans. i. The dissenting opinion also submits that Lee who lost by chasmic margins to Frivaldo in all three previous elections. which reacquisition (or repatriation) is deemed for all purposes and intents to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. Third. etc. And we hold that it may be decided even after thefifteen day period mentioned in Section 78. Secondly. during and after the 1995 elections. instead of differentiating par. we rule that a decision promulgated by the Comelec even after the elections is valid but Loong held that a petition filed beyond the 25-day period is out of time. even if there is. He argues that such retroactivity "dilutes" our holding in the first Frivaldo case. (a) from the rest of the paragraphs.. but only in the 1995 elections. it would have specifically stated such detail. But his supervening repatriation has changed his political status -. Justice Davide also disagrees with the Court's holding that. there is no question that Frivaldo was not a Filipino for purposes of determining his qualifications in the 1988 and 1992 elections. There is no inconsistency nor conflict. par. Second. the legislature would have said so. candidates. that the law specifically provides that it is only after taking the oath of allegiance that applicants shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. but by election day at the latest. Here. First. If the qualifications under par. following settled case law. there is absolutely no empirical evidence for such "public" knowledge. That is settled. It is basic in international law that a State determines ONLY those who are its own citizens -. given the unique factual circumstances of Frivaldo. (a) thereof speaks of "elective local official" while par. (b) to (f) refer to "candidates". repatriation may be given retroactive effect. Justice Davide also questions the giving of retroactive effect to Frivaldo's repatriation on the ground.not in 1988 or 1992. The present case however deals with the period during which the Comelec may decide such petition. such finding is binding and final. Mr. not merely at the commencement of the term. In any event. and not elected officials. (b) to (f) far other qualifications of candidates for governor. But the first (and even the second Frivaldo) decision did not directly involve repatriation as a mode of acquiring citizenship. (a) were intended to apply to "candidates" and not elected officials. Section 39.not who are the citizens of other countries. Mr. 65 The issue here is: the Comelec made a finding of fact that Frivaldo was stateless and such finding has not been shown by Lee to be arbitrary or whimsical. the same way it did in pars. mayor. If we may repeat.prescribed therein. We hold however that the provision should be understood thus: that after taking the oath of allegiance the applicant is deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. Since our courts are charged only with the duty of determining who are Philippine nationals. such knowledge can be true post facto only of the last two previous elections. Our learned colleague also disputes our holding that Frivaldo was stateless prior to his repatriation. if Congress had meant that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at election day or prior thereto. We see it differently. Justice Davide submits that Section 39 of the Local Government Code refers to the qualifications of electivelocal officials. and that the citizenship qualification [under par. should be declared winner because "Frivaldo's ineligibility for being an American was publicly known". We do not question what the provision states. our "so too" argument regarding the literal meaning of the word "elective" in reference to Section 39 of the Local Authority Code. saying that "informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship". Thus. even the Comelec and now this Court were/are still deliberating on his nationality before. How then can there be such "public" knowledge? Mr. (a) of that section] must be possessed by candidates. as well as regarding Mr. among others.

very wordings of P.S. Indeed. since his reacquisition of citizenship retroacted to August 17. we have held: .D.D. legal niceties and technicalities cannot stand in the way of the sovereign will. . as well as his unique situation of having been forced to give up his citizenship and political aspiration as his means of escaping a regime he abhorred. it would be far better to err in favor of popular sovereignty than to be right in complex but little understood legalisms. we rule that the citizenship requirement in the Local Government Code is to be possessed by an elective official at the latest as of the time he is proclaimed and at the start of the term of office to which he has been elected. his registration as a voter of Sorsogon is deemed to have been validated as of said date as well. Furthermore. Justice Davide caps his paper with a clarion call: "This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. 1994. In any action involving the possibility of a reversal of the popular electoral choice. We further hold P. In applying election laws.we must all follow the rule of law. during the pendency of which he was stateless. 725 suggest non-retroactivity. and should have been proclaimed instead of Lee. of course. Indeed. The issue is how should the law be interpreted and applied in this case so it can be followed. 66 for in case of doubt. nationality. by reason of the remedial or curative nature of the law granting him a new right to resume his political status and the legislative intent behind it. we emphasize herein our previous rulings recognizing the Comelec's authority and jurisdiction to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations. this Court has repeatedly stressed the importance of giving effect to the sovereign will in order to ensure the survival of our democracy. the letter or the spirit. Thus. in isolation or in the context of social conditions. 67 The law and the courts must accord Frivaldo every possible protection. the naked provision or its ultimate purpose. . not having been suspended or repealed expressly nor impliedly at any time. this Court must exert utmost effort to resolve the issues in a manner that would give effect to the will of the majority. Consistently. political laws must be interpreted to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot. were already taken up rather extensively earlier in this Decision. harshly against or gently in favor of the voters' obvious choice. to inflict a thrice rejected candidate upon the electorate of Sorsogon would constitute unmitigated judicial tyranny and an unacceptable assault upon this Court's conscience. in contemplation of law. 725 to be in full force and effect up to the present. Otherwise stated. The foregoing. Mr. and Frivaldo's repatriation by virtue thereof to have been properly granted and thus valid and effective. the question really boils down to a choice of philosophy and perception of how to interpret and apply laws relating to elections: literal or liberal. are precisely consistent with our holding that lack of the citizenship requirement is not a continuing disability or disqualification to run for and hold public office. for it is merely sound . (L)aws governing election contests must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere technical objections (citations omitted). Moreover. he having given up his U. in deference to the popular will. he possessed the vital requirement of Filipino citizenship as of the start of the term of office of governor." We agree -. his repatriation is to be given retroactive effect as of the date of his application therefor. And once again. This Court has time and again liberally and equitably construed the electoral laws of our country to give fullest effect to the manifest will of our people. defense and refuge. No. legal syllogism or substantial justice. EPILOGUE In sum. so it can rule! At balance. But that is NOT the issue here.

Frivaldo was assured of a life of ease and plenty as a citizen of the most powerful country in the world. The Court could have refused to grant retroactivity to the effects of his repatriation and hold him still ineligible due to his failure to show his citizenship at the time he registered as a voter before the 1995 elections. Hermosisima. he returned to this land. Bellosillo. Such loyalty to and love of country as well as nobility of purpose cannot be lost on this Court of justice and equity. (2) The petition in G. WHEREFORE. In Frivaldo's case. Romero. and sought to serve his people once more. No costs. The people of Sorsogon overwhelmingly voted for him three times.R. it has no merit. Concededly. In this undertaking. Thus. SO ORDERED. nay. The assailed Resolutions of the respondent Commission are AFFIRMED. No. Jr. J. his demonstrated tenacity and sheer determination to re-assume his nationality of birth despite several legal set-backs speak more loudly. JJ. technical and sometimes harsh anachronisms of the law in order to evoke substantial justice in the larger social context consistent with Frivaldo's unique situation approximating venerability in Philippine political life. the indomitable people of Sorsogon most certainly deserve to be governed by a leader of their overwhelming choice. took no part. would ultimately create greater prejudice to the very democratic institutions and juristic traditions that our Constitution and laws so zealously protect and promote. Melo.public policy to cause elective offices to be filled by those who are the choice of the majority. Padilla. it would have been technically easy to find fault with his cause. concur.. Lee has miserably failed. He therefore deserves every liberal interpretation of the law which can be applied in his favor. concurs in the result. single-mindedly insisted on returning to and serving once more his struggling but beloved land of birth. the petitioner must clearly demonstrate that the ineligibility is so patently antagonistic 68 to constitutional and legal principles that overriding such ineligibility and thereby giving effect to the apparent will of the people. 120295 is also DISMISSED for being moot and academic. It proceeds from the spirit's gut consciousness of the dynamic role of law as a brick in the ultimate development of the social edifice. in consideration of the foregoing: (1) The petition in G. But he opted. in spirit. it could have disputed the factual findings of the Comelec that he was stateless at the time of repatriation and thus hold his consequent dual citizenship as a disqualification "from running for any elective local position. and Torres. To successfully challenge a winning candidate's qualifications. of his consuming intention and burning desire to re-embrace his native Philippines even now at the ripe old age of 81 years. At the first opportunity. In any event. Jr. He took an oath of allegiance to this Republic every time he filed his certificate of candidacy and during his failed naturalization bid.. and Mendoza. in fact and in truth than any legal technicality.. . he sought American citizenship only to escape the clutches of the dictatorship.J." But the real essence of justice does not emanate from quibblings over patchwork legal technicality. legalistic. Regalado. At this stage.R. we cannot seriously entertain any doubt about his loyalty and dedication to this country. C. Narvasa.. No. JJ. Mortals of lesser mettle would have given up. the Court struggled against and eschewed the easy. 123755 is hereby DISMISSED. After all. And let it not be overlooked. Vitug and Kapunan. over and above Frivaldo himself. And in the final analysis. Or. Francisco.

our 1987 Constitution is more people- oriented. 6 he adds that a more amplified definition of sovereignty is that of "a final power of final legal adjustment of all legal issues. Upholding the sovereign will of the people which is the be-all and the end-all of republicanism. and respect for people's rights in the performance of their duty. Section 4.S. Thus. the sovereignty of our people is not a kabalistic principle whose dimensions are buried in mysticism. ." The U. Article IV of the U." 5 Citing Barker.: "Legal theory establishes certain essential qualities inherent in the nature of sovereignty.S. 3 Former Dean Vicente Sinco 4 states that an essential quality of sovereignty is legal omnipotence. must at all times be accountable to the people . sovereignty is meant to be supreme. the jus summi imperu." The same principle served as the bedrock of our 1973 and 1935 Constitutions. the absolute right to govern. not derivative. It is the sole judge of what it should do at any given time. the American authorities imposed republicanism as the cornerstone of our 1935 Constitution then being crafted by its Filipino framers.. Supreme Court expressed the same thought in the . viz. . For this reason. Justice Panganiban which is pro-people and pierces the myopia of legalism. The sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution. Article XI also provides that "." Sections 15 and 1 of Article XIII define the role and rights of people's organizations. Separate Opinions PUNO. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. . section 4 of Article II provides as a state policy that the prime duty of the Government is "to serve and protect the people. J. To be sure. . Section 5(2) of Article XVI mandates that "[t]he state shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military. public officers . 2 Borne out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. . It has the power to determine exclusively its legal competence. it appears as thefirst in our declaration of principles and state policies. Its powers are original. concurring: I concur with the path-breaking ponencia of Mr. . The first is legal omnipotence. 1 It is one of the few principles whose truth has been cherished by the Americans as self-evident. ." All these provisions and more are intended to breathe more life to the sovereignty of our people. it rests on a foundation that will endure time and its tempest. They knew that in its broadest sense." Section 1. section 1 of Article II of our fundamental law proclaims that "[t]he Philippines is a democratic and republican State." With understandable fervor. Its metes and bounds are familiar to the framers of our Constitutions. . Thus. Constitution makes it a duty of the Federal government to guarantee to every state a "republican form of government. This means that the sovereign is legally omnipotent and absolute in relation to other legal institutions." And section 2 of Article XVII provides that "amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative .

. The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation. The ponencia of Mr. I do not concede this assumption for as stressed above. the Constitution and our laws provide when the entire electorate or only some of them can elect those who make our laws and those who execute our laws. by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. Justice Davide's fear is based on the assumption that Frivaldo continues to be disqualified and we cannot allow him to sit as governor without transgressing the law. a republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and discharge their position as a public trust and shall. It is not a pure democracy where the people govern themselves directly. I agree that sovereignty is indivisible but it need not always be exercised by the people together. Also. I do not see how we can derogate on the sovereignty of the people by according more weight to the votes of the people of Sorsogon. Rather. and only our municipal electorates vote for our councilors. and only our municipal electorates vote for our mayors. for it is the author and source of law. Hopkins. both here and abroad. Justice Isagani Cruz explains: 8 xxx xxx xxx A republic is a representative government." In our Constitution. Mr. courts have been sharply divided by this mind boggling issue. on this legal issue cannot be denied. it cannot be claimed that said sovereignty has been fragmented. Thus. . according to the Constitution. The other ventures the view that the candidate should satisfy the qualifications at the time he assumes the powers of the office. It is my respectful submission that the issue in the case at bar is not whether the people of Sorsogon should be given the right to defy the law by allowing Frivaldo to sit as their governor. while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government. . Justice Davide that my opinion can bring about ill effects to the State. sovereignty itself remains with the people. By defining and delimiting the classes of voters who can exercise the sovereignty of the people in a given election. "at all times be accountable to the people" they are sworn to serve.landmark case of Yick Wo v. only our city electorates vote for our city councilors. the issue is: whether the will of the voters of Sorsogon clearly choosing Frivaldo as governor ought to be given a decisive value considering theuncertainty of the law on when a candidate ought to satisfy the qualification of citizenship. the people established a representative democracy as distinguished from a pure democracy. 7 where it held that ". at the option of their principal. 9 For this reason. but in our system. of course. The purpose of a republican government it is almost needless to state. Justice Davide. a government run by and for the people. only our provincial electorates vote for the members of our provincial boards. all the time. the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and act on their behalf. I am unaware of any Philippine decision that has squarely resolved this difficult question of law. the entire electorate votes for our President and Vice-President but only our provincial electorates vote for our governors. after which they are replaced or retained. sovereignty itself is. The uncertainty of law and jurisprudence. Justice Davide dissents. One espouses the view that a candidate must possess the qualifications for office at the time of his election. Given this schism. Obviously. 10 there are two (2) principal schools of thought on the matter. Justice Panganiban adhered to the second school of thought while Mr. I emphasize the honest-to-goodness difference in interpreting our law on the matter for this is vital to dispel the fear of Mr. is the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people themselves. In the United States. I appreciate the vigorous dissent of Mr. the entire electorate votes for our senators but only our district electorates vote for our congressmen. only our city electorates vote for our mayors. serving for a limited period only. not subject to law.

and any other related laws.D. I cannot imagine how it will be disastrous for the State if we tilt the balance in the case at bar in favor of the people of Sorsogon.D. In sum. And even our jurisprudence has not settled the issue when a candidate should possess the qualification of citizenship. in 1992. Frivaldo ran as governor of the province of Sorsogon.D. in 1995. We cannot fail by making the people succeed. it must respect the will of the people. In his hypothetical case. 1975. we must not only be legally right but also politically correct. issuances and rules and regulations. an enfranchised citizen is a particle of popular sovereignty and is the ultimate source of established authority. In election cases. The people never waffled in their support for Frivaldo. For law to reign.000. I find myself unable to join him. There is no doubt in my mind that P. 725 is one such "related law" as it involves the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by repatriation and designates the Special . we should strive to align the will of the legislature as expressed in its law with the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their ballots. thus: In view of the foregoing. orders. P. he posted a margin of 20. Frivaldo's name was in the list of candidates allowed by COMELEC to run for governor. 725. JR. Clearly then. they gave him a winning spread of 57. Frivaldo was taking all steps to establish his Filipino citizenship. an offense against the sovereignty of our people. Justice Artemio V.000. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. In cases where the sovereignty of the people is at stake. In my view.." With due respect. 1379. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. Justice Laurel. the analogy is not appropriate. DAVIDE. and P. In the case at bar. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization. P. Presidential Decree No. For three (3) times. dissenting: After deliberating on the re-formulated issues and the conclusions reached by my distinguished colleague. "." 11 The choice of the governed on who shall be their governor merits the highest consideration by all agencies of government. Panganiban. unprecedented in our political history. 270. but not on the ground that President Corazon C. No.D.. No. rebellion is concededly a crime. Justice Davide warns that should the people of Batanes stage a rebellion. For two (2) times. 836 dated December 3. For in the eloquent prose of Mr. I respectfully submit that the sovereign will of our people should be resolutory of the case at bar which is one of its kind." A reading of the last paragraph of the memorandum can lead to no other conclusion. 1379 dated May 17. . I I agree with petitioner Lee that Frivaldo's repatriation was void. In 1988.Mr. No. At that time too. and "any other related laws. and Presidential Decree No. they gave him a winning margin of 27. 1379.000. 270. Mr.D. as amended. it cannot be held with certitude that the people of Sorsogon violated the law by voting for Frivaldo as governor. as amended. we cannot prosecute them "because of the doctrine of people's sovereignty. Since the meaning of the law is arguable then and now. as amended. The people of Sorsogon voted for him as their governor despite his disqualification. 270 dated April 11. he was disqualified on the ground of citizenship. (emphasis supplied) It is self-evident that the underscored clause can only refer to those related to LOI No. 1978. No. No. . the said memorandum only suspended the implementation of the latter decree by divesting the Special Committee on Naturalization of its authority to further act on grants of citizenship under LOI No. as amended. as defined in Letter of Instruction No.D. J. No. 836. Frivaldo is the overwhelming choice of the people of Sorsogon. a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code. 836. 1975. Aquino's 27 March 1987 memorandum "effectively repealed" P. P. orders. issuances and rules and regulations.

the creation of the Special Committee on Naturalization by LOI No. P. LOI No. or mayor." and not an exercise of legislative power. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang . The power of President Aquino to suspend these issuances by virtue of the 27 March 1987 memorandum is beyond question considering that under Section 6. 836. the Committee cannot validly accept Frivaldo's application for repatriation and approve it. Marcos in the exercise of his legislative powers -. since the President had long lost his authority to exercise "legislative power. 39. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. therefore. 270 to receive and act on (i. the district where he intends to be elected. No. then it suffices that citizenship be possessed upon commencement of the term of the office involved.D. The section unquestionably refers to elective -. No. These laws relate to the acquisition (by naturalization) and reacquisition (by repatriation) of Philippine citizenship." while paragraphs (b) to (f) thereof speak of candidates. by Congress. A multo fortiori. complied with the citizenship requirement. -. and that being the case. since Frivaldo "re-assumed" his Philippine citizenship at 2:00 p. the President cannot. under Chapter 1 entitled Qualifications and Election. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. on 30 June 1995 and the term of office of Governor commenced at 12:00 noon of that day.e.D. In the same vein. These adjectives are not synonymous.D." I depart from the view in the ponencia that Section 39 of the Local Government Code of 1991 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be met. therefore.local officials. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. he had. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. while the second refers to a victorious candidate for an elective office. II Even assuming arguendo that Frivaldo's repatriation is valid.Committee on Naturalization created under LOI No. were issued by President Ferdinand E. city. I disagree with the view expressed in the ponencia that the memorandum of 27 March 1987 was merely a declaration of "executive policy.not executive power." Considering that Congress has not seen it fit to do so. Qualifications. and in light of Sections 1(4) and 3. No. Accordingly.. in the exercise of executive power. i. which requires the process of voting by the electorate involved. Article IV of the 1987 Constitution (naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship shall be in accordance with law). and paragraph (a) thereof begins with the phrase "An elective local official. 270. a registered voter in the barangay. or province or. In the first place. No. it did not "cure his lack of citizenship. 725. The first refers to the nature of the office. 725 are clearly legislative acts." such as P. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. municipality.. It reads as follows: Sec. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. as the ponencia seems to suggest. Section 39 actually prescribes the qualifications of elective local officials and not those of anelected local official. lift the cease and desist order nor reactivate/reconstitute/revive the Committee. 1379 and "any other related laws.not elected -. or sangguniang bayan. 270 and the conferment of the power to accept and act on applications under P. sangguniang panlungsod.m. she exercised legislative power until the Congress established therein convened on the fourth Monday of July 1987. the revocation of the cease and desist order and the reactivation or revival of the Committee can be done only by legislative fiat.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. it is indubitable that these subjects are a matter of legislative prerogative. P. approve or disapprove) applications under the said decree. It falls under Title Two entitled ELECTIVE OFFICIALS.D.e.

(emphasis supplied) It is undisputed that this Court twice voided Frivaldo's election as Governor in the 1988 and 1992 elections on the ground that for lack of Philippine citizenship -. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. CITY OR PROVINCE . as Section 1.he was DISQUALIFIED to be elected as such and to serve the position . eighteen years of age or over. the latest being election day itself. panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. or municipalities must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. -. (f) Candidates for the sangguniang kabataan must be at least fifteen (15) years of age but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on election day (emphasis supplied) It is thus obvious that Section 39 refers to no other than the qualifications of candidates for elective local offices and their election. Article V thereof provides: Sec." This simply means that he possesses all the qualifications to exercise the right of suffrage. (d) Candidates for the position of member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. it is not at all true that Section 39 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be possessed.P. component cities. Section 39 is not at all ambiguous nor uncertain that it meant this to be. 881) expressly provides for the qualifications of a voter. MUNICIPALITY. (e) Candidates for the position of punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. . as one basic qualification of an elective local official is that he be "A REGISTERED VOTER IN THE BARANGAY. who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. . . Hence. For another.Every citizen of the Philippines. (c) Candidates for the position of mayor or vice mayor of independent component cities. 1. (emphasis supplied) And Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B. No less than the Constitution makes it the first qualification. Thus: Sec. . 117 Qualifications of a voter. WHERE HE INTENDS TO VOTE. not otherwise disqualified by law. not merely at the commencement of the term. but at an earlier time. The fundamental qualification for the exercise of this sovereign right is the possession of Philippine citizenship. . may be a registered voter.he being a naturalized citizen of the United States of America -. Blg. who are at least eighteen years of age. or that Philippine citizenship must be possessed. in no way may the section be construed to mean that possession of qualifications should be reckoned from the commencement of the term of office of the elected candidate. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. I submit that the requirement must be satisfied.

(Frivaldo vs. Commission on Elections, 174 SCRA 245 [1989]; Republic of the Philippines vs. De la
Rosa, 232 SCRA 785 [1994]). This disqualification inexorably nullified Frivaldo's registration as a
voter and declared it void ab initio. Our judgments therein were self-executory and no further
act, e.g., a COMELEC order to cancel his registration as a voter or the physical destruction of his
voter's certificate, was necessary for the ineffectivity. Thus, he was never considered a registered
voter for the elections of May 1992, and May 1995, as there is no showing that Frivaldo registered
anew as a voter for the latter elections. Even if he did -- in obvious defiance of his decreed
disqualification -- this did not make him a Filipino citizen, hence it was equally void ab initio. That he
filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections and was even allowed to vote therein were of
no moment. Neither act made him a Filipino citizen nor nullified the judgments of this Court. On the
contrary, said acts made a mockery of our judgments. For the Court now to validate Frivaldo's
registration as a voter despite the judgments of disqualification is to modify the said judgments by
making their effectivity and enforceability dependent on a COMELEC order cancelling his
registration as a voter, or on the physical destruction of his certificate of registration as a voter which,
of course, was never our intention. Moreover, to sanction Frivaldo's registration as a voter would be
to sacrifice substance in favor of form (the piece of paper that is the book of voters or list of voters or
voter's ID), and abet the COMELEC's incompetence in failing to cancel Frivaldo's registration and
allowing him to vote.

The second reason in the ponencia as to why the citizenship disqualification should be reckoned not
from the date of the election nor the filing of the certificate of candidacy, but from the date of
proclamation, is that the only available remedy to question the ineligibility (or disloyalty) of a
candidate is a petition for quo warranto which, under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code,
may be filed only within ten days from proclamation and not earlier.

I beg to differ.

Clearly, quo warranto is not the sole remedy available to question a candidate's ineligibility for public
office. Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allows the filing of a petition to deny due course to
or cancel the certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material representation contained
therein, as required by Section 74, is false. Section 74, in turn, requires that the person filing the
certificate of candidacy must state, inter alia, that he is eligible for the office, which means that he
has all the qualifications (including, of course, fulfilling the citizenship requirement) and none of the
disqualifications as provided by law. The petition under Section 78 may be filed at any time not later
than 25 days from the filing of the certificate of candidacy. The section reads in full as follows:

Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. -- A
verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy
may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material
representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The
petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the
filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and
hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.

This remedy was recognized in Loong vs. Commission on Elections (216 SCRA 760, 768
[1992]), where this Court held:

Thus, if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file
the petition within the 25-day period Section 78 of the Code for whatever reasons,
the election laws do not leave him completely helpless as he has another chance to
raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within
ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of the election, as provided under

Section 253 of the Code. Section 1, Rule 21 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure
similarly provides that any voter contesting the election of any regional, provincial or
city official on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines may file a petition for quo warranto with the Electoral Contest
Adjudication Department. The petition may be filed within ten (10) days from the date
the respondent is proclaimed (Section 2).

Likewise, Rule 25 of the Revised COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the filing of a petition for
disqualification on the ground of failure to possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided by
the Constitution or by existing laws, "any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy
but not later than the date of proclamation." Sections 1 and 3 thereof provide:

Rule 25 -- Disqualification of Candidates

Sec. 1. Grounds for Disqualification. Any candidate who does not possess all the
qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or
who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be
disqualified from continuing as a candidate.

xxx xxx xxx

Sec. 3. Period to File Petition. The petition shall be filed any day after the last day for
filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation.

While the validity of this rule insofar as it concerns petitions for disqualification on the ground
of lack of all qualifications may be doubtful, its invalidity is not in issue here.

In this connection, it would seem appropriate to take up the last issue grappled within
the ponencia, viz., is Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code mandatory? The answer is provided
in Loong.

We also do not find merit in the contention of respondent Commission that in the light
of the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. Act No. 6646, a petition to deny due
course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed even beyond the 25-day
period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code, as long as it is filed within a reasonable
time from the discovery of the ineligibility.

Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. Act No. 6646 are here re-quoted:

Sec. 6. Effect of Disqualification case. Any candidate who has been
declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for,
and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a
candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be
disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of
votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with
the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon motion
of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency
thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate
whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong.

Sec. 7. Petition to Deny Due Course To or Cancel a Certificate of
Candidacy. The procedure hereinabove provided shall apply to
petitions to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy as
provided in Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881.

It will be noted that nothing in Sections 6 or 7 modifies or alters the 25- day period
prescribed by Section 78 of the Code for filing the appropriate action to cancel a
certificate of candidacy on account of any false representation made therein. On the
contrary, said Section 7 affirms and reiterates Section 78 of the Code.

We note that Section 6 refers only to the effects of a disqualification case which may
be based on grounds other than that provided under Section 78 of the Code. But
Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 6646 also makes the effects referred to in Section 6
applicable to disqualification cases filed under Section 78 of the Code. Nowhere in
Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. Act No. 6646 is mention made of the period within which
these disqualification cases may be filed. This is because there are provisions in the
Code which supply the periods within which a petition relating to disqualification of
candidates must be filed, such as Section 78, already discussed, and Section 253 on
petitions for quo warranto.

I then disagree with the asseveration in the ponencia that Section 78 is merely directory because
Section 6 of R.A. No. 6646 authorizes the COMELEC to try and decide petitions for disqualification
even after elections. I submit that Section 6 refers to disqualifications under Sections 12 and 68 of
the Omnibus Election Code and consequently modifies Section 72 thereof. As such, the proper court
or the COMELEC are granted the authority to continue hearing the case after the election, and
during the pendency of the case, suspend the proclamation of the victorious candidate, if the
evidence against him is strong. Sections 12, 68, and 72 of the Code provide:

Sec. 12. Disqualifications. Any person who has been declared by competent
authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for
subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been
sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral
turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has
been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.

The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed
upon declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been
removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence,
unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified.

xxx xxx xxx

Sec. 68. Disqualifications. Any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a
party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of, or found by the
Commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence,
induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions; (b)
committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy; (c) spent in his election
campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code; (d) solicited, received or
made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89, 95, 96, 97 and 104; or (e)
violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v, and cc, sub-
paragraph 6, shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or if he has been
elected, from holding the office. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an

immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office
under this Code, unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or
immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement
provided for in the election laws. (Sec. 25, 1971 EC)

Sec. 72. Effects of disqualification cases and priority. The Commission and the
courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act
to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the
election in which the disqualification is sought.

Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not
be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. Nevertheless, if for any
reason, a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be
disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such
election, his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his
proclamation and assumption to office.

III

Still assuming that the repatriation is valid, I am not persuaded by the arguments in support of the
thesis that Frivaldo's repatriation may be given retroactive effect, as such goes against the spirit and
letter of P.D. No. 725. The spirit adheres to the principle that acquisition or re-acquisition of
Philippine citizenship is not a right, but a mere privilege. Before the advent of P.D. No. 725, only the
following could apply for repatriation: (a) Army, Navy, or Air Corps deserters; and (b) a woman who
lost her citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien after the death of her spouse (Section 2[2],
C.A. No. 63). P.D. NO. 725 expanded this to include Filipino women who lost their Philippine
citizenship by marriage to aliens even before the death of their alien husbands, or the termination of
their marital status and to natural-born Filipino citizens who lost their Philippine citizenship but
subsequently desired to reacquire the latter.

Turning now to the letter of the law, P.D. No. 725 expressly provides that repatriation takes effect
only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, thus:

. . . may reacquire Philippine citizenship . . . by applying with the Special Committee
on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. 270, and, if their applications
are approved, taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines, AFTER WHICH THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED
PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. (emphasis and capitalization supplied)

Clearly then, the steps to reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation under the decree
are: (1) filing the application; (2) action by the committee; and (3) taking of the oath of
allegiance if the application is approved. It is only UPON TAKING THE OATH OF
ALLEGIANCE that the applicant is deemed ipso jure to have reacquired Philippine
citizenship. If the decree had intended the oath taking to retroact to the date of the filing of
the application, then it should not have explicitly provided otherwise.

This theory in the ponencia likewise dilutes this Court's pronouncement in the first Frivaldo case that
what reacquisition of Filipino citizenship requires is an act "formally rejecting [the] adopted state and
reaffirming . . . allegiance to the Philippines." That act meant nothing less than taking of the oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. If we now take this revision of doctrine to its logical end,
then it would also mean that if Frivaldo had chosen and reacquired Philippine citizenship by
naturalization or through Congressional action, such would retroact to the filing of the petition for

Statutory Construction. it may not be said to merely remedy or cure a defect considering that one who has lost Philippine citizenship does not have the right to reacquire it. (RUBEN E. 725 be characterized as a curative or remedial statute: Curative or remedial statutes are healing acts. IV . by no stretch of legal hermeneutics may P. No. Again. [1990]. for as the decree itself unequivocally provides. and which constitutes the defect sought to be removed or made harmless. citations omitted). No. this 5th day of June. 3. I disagree." as the ponencia cannot but concede. (Sutherland. Second ed. Nevertheless. §5704 at 74. 725 can be given retroactive effect is its alleged curative or remedial nature. AGPALO. citations omitted). it has also been observed that: The idea is implicit from many of the cases that remedial statutes are statutes relating to procedure and not substantive rights. it may do so by a subsequent one. If we grant for the sake of argument. in reality. it means. Therefore. No. before the enactment of the statute. is something the legislature might have dispensed with by a previous statute. It involves then the substantive. [1943]. 270-271. They make valid that which. however. the acquisition of "a new right. nay primordial.naturalization or the bill granting him Philippine citizenship. To those for whom it is intended. Moreover. in the year of Our Lord. was invalid. Third ed.D. They are intended to enable a person to carry into effect that which they have designed and intended. the Constitution provides that citizenship. then nothing therein supports such theory.D. 725 provides for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship lost through the marriage of a Filipina to an alien and through naturalization in a foreign country of natural-born Filipino citizens. 725 is curative or remedial statute. P. may only be reacquired in the manner provided by law. As earlier stated. They are remedial by curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations. Statutory Construction. Vol. once lost. Curative statutes are intended to supply defects. In the first place. Done in the city of Manila. but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. No. The rule in regard to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted or failed to be done.D. that P. and curb certain evils. it is only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines that the applicant is DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. if the retroactivity is to relate only to the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. right of citizenship. Thus: This Decree shall take effect immediately. abridge superfluities in existing laws.D. nineteen hundred and seventy five. This is a proposition which both the first and second Frivaldo cases soundly rejected. it would be an inexcusable error to give it a retroactive effect since it explicitly provides the date of its effectivity. The other reason adduced in the ponencia in support of the proposition that P.

Section 12). U. and pro- family (Article II. albeit imprecisely. 4. Sections 1. pro-people (Article II. 2. 18.m. 1995 ed. Article XVI. Article XIV. 5. Compiled and Annotated by Haydee B. 9. 3.is untenable. Sections 1. 4(2). 6).. on 30 June 1995.. Article XV). Conflict of Laws Cases. for the sake of argument. 7. when he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Article XII. Article XII. 5. Immigration Exclusion and Deportation and Citizenship of the United States of America. it is based on Frivaldo's unproven. 11. referred to as refugees (JORGE R. 13). informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship. 10. Puno. VI Finally. 15.Frivaldo possessed dual citizenship. (a) as an American citizen. It follows then that on election day and until the hour of the commencement of the term for which he was elected . inter alia. Sections 1. pro-Filipino (Article XII. 6. 13. 2(3). self-serving allegation.Assuming yet again. in accordance with Section 40 (d) of the Local Government Code. V The assertion in the ponencia that Frivaldo may be considered STATELESS on the basis of his claim that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship . 14. 3. under Chapter 1. Sections 1. Section 11). [1948] 341-342). Sections 9. 10. that taking the oath of allegiance retroacted to the date of Frivaldo's application for repatriation. Sections 1. for the following reasons: first. Hence. and third. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Regarding the Status of Stateless Persons (Philippine Treaty Series. pro-poor (Article II. Section 1. For under the laws of the United States of America. Specifically. I find it in order to also express my view on the concurring opinion of Mr. Statelessness may be either de jure. which is the status of individuals possessed of a nationality whose country does not give them protection outside their own country. . 10. 18. 9. 6. Article XIII. Justice Reynato S. loses his nationality by..noon of 30 June 1995 as per Section 43 of the Local Government Code . 21. 11. he was disqualified to run for Governor for yet another reason: possession of dual citizenship. vol." However. second. the same could not be said insofar as it concerned the United States of America. I am absolutely happy to join him in his statement that "[t]he sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution" and that the said Constitution is "more people-oriented. which is the status of individuals stripped of their nationality by their former government without having an opportunity to acquire another. Article XIII. Sections 5(2). Frivaldo remained an American national until he renounced his citizenship and allegiance thereto at 2:00 p. et al. pro-life (Article II. 290). 12. and who are commonly. Materials and Comments.long before May 8. viz. 363).S. Article XI. and (b) as a Filipino citizen through the adoption of the theory that the effects of his taking the oath of allegiance were retrospective. or de facto. COQUIA. 11. simply put. III. Sections 1.. Section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940 of the United States of America provides that a person who is a national of the United States of America. Sections 1. a stateless person is defined as "a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. 16." "borne [as it is] out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. whether by birth or naturalization. it has not been shown that the United States of America ever ceased to consider Frivaldo its national at any time before he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on 30 June 1995. 4. "(b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state" (SIDNEY KANSAS. Third ed. Article XVI." I would even go further by saying that this Constitution is pro-God (Preamble). 16. never did the status of a STATELESS person attach to Frivaldo. Yorac. 15. of which he was a citizen. 1985" . Section 12.

it would necessarily follow that the law. Section 1 of Article II is quite clear on this. Thus. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. the sovereign Filipino people. or judgment must not be enforced. then this Court must yield to that will and must. it rests on a foundation that will endure time and its tempest. thus: Sec.R. this Court would provide the formula for the division and destruction of the State and render the Government ineffective and inutile. Upholding the sovereign will of the people which is the be-all and the end-all of republicanism. And the Preamble makes it clear when it solemnly opens it with a clause "We. implemented. This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. The doctrine of people's sovereignty is founded on the principles of democracy and republicanism and refers exclusively to the sovereignty of the people of the Philippines. More concretely. neither can we convert and treat every fragment as the whole. or any body of land. naval.and which are composed of the vast majority of the people of Batanes -. Separate Opinions PUNO. but even the final and binding decisions of this Court affecting him. or other armed forces.R. or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature. 1. Lee. I vote then to DISMISS G. concurring: I concur with the path-breaking ponencia of Mr.Nevertheless. Indeed. J. if. a vast majority of the voters of Sorsogon had expressed their sovereign will for the former. . the vast majority of the people of Batanes rise publicly and take up arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said Government or its laws. 123755. of any of their powers or prerogatives. simply because Frivaldo had obtained a margin of 20. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.cannot be prosecuted for or be held guilty of rebellion in violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code because of the doctrine of peoples' sovereignty. In such a case. 120295 and GRANT G.000 votes over his closest rival. not just the laws on qualifications of candidates and elective officials and naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. for instance. or the execution of a judgment by the courts. may be disastrous to the Nation. for Frivaldo. That sovereign power of the Filipino people cannot be fragmentized by looking at it as the supreme authority of the people of any of the political subdivisions to determine their own destiny. then those who did so -. this sovereignty is an attribute of the Filipino people as one people. . national policy. No. Justice Panganiban which is pro-people and pierces the myopia of legalism. wholly or partially.. If these are opposed by the overwhelming majority of the people of a certain province. I cannot be with him in carrying out the principle of sovereignty beyond what I perceive to be the reasonable constitutional parameters.a political subdivision -. or even a municipality. To illustrate the evil. therefore." Thus. . allow to be set aside. the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof. the expansion of the doctrine of sovereignty by investing upon the people of a mere political subdivision that which the Constitution places in the entire Filipino people. one body. So it is in this case if we follow the thesis in the concurring opinion. we may consider the enforcement of laws or the pursuit of a national policy by the executive branch of the government.e. i. No.. or executed in the said province or municipality.

a government run by and for the people." 5 Citing Barker. Its metes and bounds are familiar to the framers of our Constitutions. Article XI also provides that "." In our Constitution. "at all times be accountable to the people" they are sworn to serve." And section 2 of Article XVII provides that "amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative . . They knew that in its broadest sense. public officers . . 6 he adds that a more amplified definition of sovereignty is that of "a final power of final legal adjustment of all legal issues. The first is legal omnipotence. serving for a limited period only." All these provisions and more are intended to breathe more life to the sovereignty of our people. not derivative. Hopkins.S. viz. the sovereignty of our people is not a kabalistic principle whose dimensions are buried in mysticism." Sections 15 and 1 of Article XIII define the role and rights of people's organizations. This means that the sovereign is legally omnipotent and absolute in relation to other legal institutions. . . The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation. Section 5(2) of Article XVI mandates that "[t]he state shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military." Section 1. section 4 of Article II provides as a state policy that the prime duty of the Government is "to serve and protect the people.S. and respect for people's rights in the performance of their duty. Obviously. To be sure. a republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and discharge their position as a public trust and shall. . according to the Constitution. . after which they are replaced or retained. the people established a representative democracy as distinguished from a pure democracy. not subject to law. . for it is the author and source of law. of course. . 3 Former Dean Vicente Sinco 4 states that an essential quality of sovereignty is legal omnipotence. . Constitution makes it a duty of the Federal government to guarantee to every state a "republican form of government. at the option of their principal. it appears as thefirst in our declaration of principles and state policies. It is not a pure democracy where the people govern themselves directly. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.The sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution. is the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people themselves. the American authorities imposed republicanism as the cornerstone of our 1935 Constitution then being crafted by its Filipino framers. 7 where it held that ". sovereignty itself is. while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government. Section 4. Thus. but in our system. . 2 Borne out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. our 1987 Constitution is more people- oriented.: "Legal theory establishes certain essential qualities inherent in the nature of sovereignty. by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. Justice Isagani Cruz explains: 8 xxx xxx xxx A republic is a representative government. 1 It is one of the few principles whose truth has been cherished by the Americans as self-evident. For this reason. the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and act on their behalf. Article IV of the U. Its powers are original. It is the sole judge of what it should do at any given time. The purpose of a republican government it is almost needless to state. sovereignty itself remains with the people. the absolute right to govern." With understandable fervor." The U. sovereignty is meant to be supreme. It has the power to determine exclusively its legal competence. must at all times be accountable to the people . . the jus summi imperu. Thus. section 1 of Article II of our fundamental law proclaims that "[t]he Philippines is a democratic and republican State." The same principle served as the bedrock of our 1973 and 1935 Constitutions. Supreme Court expressed the same thought in the landmark case of Yick Wo v.

in 1995. it must respect the will of the people. Given this schism. in 1992. Justice Davide.I appreciate the vigorous dissent of Mr. 9 For this reason. Clearly then. he posted a margin of 20. For two (2) times. I do not concede this assumption for as stressed above. And even our jurisprudence has not settled the issue when a candidate should possess the qualification of citizenship. In sum. and only our municipal electorates vote for our councilors. The ponencia of Mr. The people of Sorsogon voted for him as their governor despite his disqualification. Since the meaning of the law is arguable then and now. he was disqualified on the ground of citizenship.000. The uncertainty of law and jurisprudence. only our provincial electorates vote for the members of our provincial boards. . it cannot be claimed that said sovereignty has been fragmented. ". we cannot prosecute them "because of the doctrine of people's sovereignty. the analogy is not appropriate. rebellion is concededly a crime. Justice Davide dissents. an enfranchised citizen is a particle of popular sovereignty . The other ventures the view that the candidate should satisfy the qualifications at the time he assumes the powers of the office. Frivaldo ran as governor of the province of Sorsogon. they gave him a winning margin of 27. I do not see how we can derogate on the sovereignty of the people by according more weight to the votes of the people of Sorsogon. only our city electorates vote for our city councilors. the issue is: whether the will of the voters of Sorsogon clearly choosing Frivaldo as governor ought to be given a decisive value considering theuncertainty of the law on when a candidate ought to satisfy the qualification of citizenship. In his hypothetical case. In the case at bar. I agree that sovereignty is indivisible but it need not always be exercised by the people together. In election cases. For in the eloquent prose of Mr. Justice Panganiban adhered to the second school of thought while Mr. only our city electorates vote for our mayors. Also. Frivaldo was taking all steps to establish his Filipino citizenship. I emphasize the honest-to-goodness difference in interpreting our law on the matter for this is vital to dispel the fear of Mr. The people never waffled in their support for Frivaldo. I cannot imagine how it will be disastrous for the State if we tilt the balance in the case at bar in favor of the people of Sorsogon. . and only our municipal electorates vote for our mayors. it cannot be held with certitude that the people of Sorsogon violated the law by voting for Frivaldo as governor. both here and abroad. Mr. the Constitution and our laws provide when the entire electorate or only some of them can elect those who make our laws and those who execute our laws. Justice Laurel. unprecedented in our political history. on this legal issue cannot be denied. Frivaldo's name was in the list of candidates allowed by COMELEC to run for governor. Justice Davide that my opinion can bring about ill effects to the State. It is my respectful submission that the issue in the case at bar is not whether the people of Sorsogon should be given the right to defy the law by allowing Frivaldo to sit as their governor. In 1988. Justice Davide warns that should the people of Batanes stage a rebellion. Mr. a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code. Justice Davide's fear is based on the assumption that Frivaldo continues to be disqualified and we cannot allow him to sit as governor without transgressing the law. Frivaldo is the overwhelming choice of the people of Sorsogon. courts have been sharply divided by this mind boggling issue. the entire electorate votes for our President and Vice-President but only our provincial electorates vote for our governors. I am unaware of any Philippine decision that has squarely resolved this difficult question of law. For three (3) times. In the United States. an offense against the sovereignty of our people. we should strive to align the will of the legislature as expressed in its law with the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their ballots.000. By defining and delimiting the classes of voters who can exercise the sovereignty of the people in a given election." With due respect.000. I respectfully submit that the sovereign will of our people should be resolutory of the case at bar which is one of its kind. For law to reign. all the time. At that time too. 10 there are two (2) principal schools of thought on the matter. One espouses the view that a candidate must possess the qualifications for office at the time of his election. Thus. they gave him a winning spread of 57. the entire electorate votes for our senators but only our district electorates vote for our congressmen. Rather.

Aquino's 27 March 1987 memorandum "effectively repealed" P. as amended.D. the President cannot.D. approve or disapprove) applications under the said decree. as amended. the revocation of the cease and desist order and the reactivation or revival of the Committee can be done only by legislative fiat. 725. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. There is no doubt in my mind that P." such as P. issuances and rules and regulations. 725 is one such "related law" as it involves the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by repatriation and designates the Special Committee on Naturalization created under LOI No. Marcos in the exercise of his legislative powers -. In cases where the sovereignty of the people is at stake. the creation of the Special Committee on Naturalization by LOI No. In my view. 270. 1379.. 1379 and "any other related laws. Panganiban. i. P. 270. P.D. 836. orders. since the President had long lost his authority to exercise "legislative power. as amended. lift the cease and desist order nor .. 1978. Presidential Decree No. 1379 dated May 17.and is the ultimate source of established authority.D. we must not only be legally right but also politically correct.D.D.e. (emphasis supplied) It is self-evident that the underscored clause can only refer to those related to LOI No. I disagree with the view expressed in the ponencia that the memorandum of 27 March 1987 was merely a declaration of "executive policy." A reading of the last paragraph of the memorandum can lead to no other conclusion. No.not executive power. 725 are clearly legislative acts. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. 836 dated December 3. 270. she exercised legislative power until the Congress established therein convened on the fourth Monday of July 1987. as amended. and Presidential Decree No. 725. it is indubitable that these subjects are a matter of legislative prerogative. thus: In view of the foregoing." Considering that Congress has not seen it fit to do so..D. 1975. dissenting: After deliberating on the re-formulated issues and the conclusions reached by my distinguished colleague. issuances and rules and regulations. and "any other related laws. In the same vein. DAVIDE. We cannot fail by making the people succeed. J. were issued by President Ferdinand E. 836. No. 270 and the conferment of the power to accept and act on applications under P." 11 The choice of the governed on who shall be their governor merits the highest consideration by all agencies of government.D." and not an exercise of legislative power. P. No. P. No. I find myself unable to join him. the said memorandum only suspended the implementation of the latter decree by divesting the Special Committee on Naturalization of its authority to further act on grants of citizenship under LOI No. orders. The power of President Aquino to suspend these issuances by virtue of the 27 March 1987 memorandum is beyond question considering that under Section 6. and P. 836.D. 270 to receive and act on (i. Mr. 1379. I I agree with petitioner Lee that Frivaldo's repatriation was void. Article IV of the 1987 Constitution (naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship shall be in accordance with law). P. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization.e. Justice Artemio V. Accordingly. No. No..D. JR. and any other related laws. LOI No. but not on the ground that President Corazon C. No. as defined in Letter of Instruction No. by Congress. No. These laws relate to the acquisition (by naturalization) and reacquisition (by repatriation) of Philippine citizenship. No. 270 dated April 11. 1975. No. in the exercise of executive power. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. and in light of Sections 1(4) and 3.

It reads as follows: Sec. -. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. under Chapter 1 entitled Qualifications and Election. The section unquestionably refers to elective -. or province or. or mayor. or sangguniang bayan. In the first place. (e) Candidates for the position of punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. complied with the citizenship requirement. the district where he intends to be elected. Qualifications. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. he had. 39. it did not "cure his lack of citizenship. the Committee cannot validly accept Frivaldo's application for repatriation and approve it." I depart from the view in the ponencia that Section 39 of the Local Government Code of 1991 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be met." while paragraphs (b) to (f) thereof speak of candidates.reactivate/reconstitute/revive the Committee. The first refers to the nature of the office. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. on 30 June 1995 and the term of office of Governor commenced at 12:00 noon of that day. or municipalities must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. A multo fortiori. municipality.m. therefore. since Frivaldo "re-assumed" his Philippine citizenship at 2:00 p. while the second refers to a victorious candidate for an elective office. It falls under Title Two entitled ELECTIVE OFFICIALS. which requires the process of voting by the electorate involved.not elected -. Section 39 actually prescribes the qualifications of elective local officials and not those of anelected local official. component cities. and that being the case. therefore. then it suffices that citizenship be possessed upon commencement of the term of the office involved. sangguniang panlungsod. and paragraph (a) thereof begins with the phrase "An elective local official. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. as the ponencia seems to suggest. (f) Candidates for the sangguniang kabataan must be at least fifteen (15) years of age but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on election day (emphasis supplied) It is thus obvious that Section 39 refers to no other than the qualifications of candidates for elective local offices and their election.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. in no way may the section be construed to . II Even assuming arguendo that Frivaldo's repatriation is valid. Hence. (c) Candidates for the position of mayor or vice mayor of independent component cities. These adjectives are not synonymous. (d) Candidates for the position of member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. city.local officials. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. a registered voter in the barangay.

. No less than the Constitution makes it the first qualification. a COMELEC order to cancel his registration as a voter or the physical destruction of his voter's certificate. . 174 SCRA 245 [1989]. Blg. to sanction Frivaldo's registration as a voter would be to sacrifice substance in favor of form (the piece of paper that is the book of voters or list of voters or voter's ID). Moreover. The fundamental qualification for the exercise of this sovereign right is the possession of Philippine citizenship. eighteen years of age or over. he was never considered a registered voter for the elections of May 1992. 232 SCRA 785 [1994]). Section 39 is not at all ambiguous nor uncertain that it meant this to be. was never our intention. Republic of the Philippines vs. 881) expressly provides for the qualifications of a voter. said acts made a mockery of our judgments. On the contrary.this did not make him a Filipino citizen. . WHERE HE INTENDS TO VOTE.in obvious defiance of his decreed disqualification -. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law.g. or that Philippine citizenship must be possessed. 1.P. and abet the COMELEC's incompetence in failing to cancel Frivaldo's registration and allowing him to vote. or on the physical destruction of his certificate of registration as a voter which.he being a naturalized citizen of the United States of America -.Every citizen of the Philippines. -. the latest being election day itself. was necessary for the ineffectivity. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. hence it was equally void ab initio. For another. Our judgments therein were self-executory and no further act. as there is no showing that Frivaldo registered anew as a voter for the latter elections. as one basic qualification of an elective local official is that he be "A REGISTERED VOTER IN THE BARANGAY. Commission on Elections. De la Rosa. CITY OR PROVINCE . (emphasis supplied) And Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B. . Article V thereof provides: Sec. (emphasis supplied) It is undisputed that this Court twice voided Frivaldo's election as Governor in the 1988 and 1992 elections on the ground that for lack of Philippine citizenship -. and May 1995. mean that possession of qualifications should be reckoned from the commencement of the term of office of the elected candidate. For the Court now to validate Frivaldo's registration as a voter despite the judgments of disqualification is to modify the said judgments by making their effectivity and enforceability dependent on a COMELEC order cancelling his registration as a voter.. but at an earlier time. may be a registered voter. it is not at all true that Section 39 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be possessed. not merely at the commencement of the term. Neither act made him a Filipino citizen nor nullified the judgments of this Court. as Section 1. 117 Qualifications of a voter. Thus. . Thus: Sec. of course. I submit that the requirement must be satisfied." This simply means that he possesses all the qualifications to exercise the right of suffrage. who are at least eighteen years of age. Even if he did -. MUNICIPALITY. who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. This disqualification inexorably nullified Frivaldo's registration as a voter and declared it void ab initio. not otherwise disqualified by law.he was DISQUALIFIED to be elected as such and to serve the position (Frivaldo vs. e. That he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections and was even allowed to vote therein were of no moment. .

requires that the person filing the certificate of candidacy must state. Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. -. quo warranto is not the sole remedy available to question a candidate's ineligibility for public office. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file the petition within the 25-day period Section 78 of the Code for whatever reasons. Rule 25 of the Revised COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the filing of a petition for disqualification on the ground of failure to possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided by the Constitution or by existing laws. may be filed only within ten days from proclamation and not earlier. I beg to differ. Section 74. fulfilling the citizenship requirement) and none of the disqualifications as provided by law. after due notice and hearing. as required by Section 74. "any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. provincial or city official on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines may file a petition for quo warranto with the Electoral Contest Adjudication Department. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided. which means that he has all the qualifications (including. Commission on Elections (216 SCRA 760. is that the only available remedy to question the ineligibility (or disloyalty) of a candidate is a petition for quo warranto which. as provided under Section 253 of the Code. The petition under Section 78 may be filed at any time not later than 25 days from the filing of the certificate of candidacy. Rule 21 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure similarly provides that any voter contesting the election of any regional. inter alia. of course." Sections 1 and 3 thereof provide: Rule 25 -. The section reads in full as follows: Sec.A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. not later than fifteen days before the election. 1. Grounds for Disqualification. Section 1. that he is eligible for the office. 768 [1992]).The second reason in the ponencia as to why the citizenship disqualification should be reckoned not from the date of the election nor the filing of the certificate of candidacy. but from the date of proclamation. 78. in turn. Likewise. under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code. is false. The petition may be filed within ten (10) days from the date the respondent is proclaimed (Section 2).Disqualification of Candidates Sec. . Clearly. Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allows the filing of a petition to deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material representation contained therein. where this Court held: Thus. This remedy was recognized in Loong vs. the election laws do not leave him completely helpless as he has another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of the election.

6646 is mention made of the period within which these disqualification cases may be filed. 6646 are here re-quoted: Sec. Act No. While the validity of this rule insofar as it concerns petitions for disqualification on the ground of lack of all qualifications may be doubtful. a petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed even beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. This is because there are provisions in the Code which supply the periods within which a petition relating to disqualification of candidates must be filed. Effect of Disqualification case. But Section 7 of Rep. already discussed. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. 881. We also do not find merit in the contention of respondent Commission that in the light of the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. inquiry or protest and. as long as it is filed within a reasonable time from the discovery of the ineligibility. Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. such as Section 78. In this connection. said Section 7 affirms and reiterates Section 78 of the Code. xxx xxx xxx Sec. It will be noted that nothing in Sections 6 or 7 modifies or alters the 25. 6646 also makes the effects referred to in Section 6 applicable to disqualification cases filed under Section 78 of the Code. its invalidity is not in issue here. Act No. Nowhere in Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. viz. Act No. The procedure hereinabove provided shall apply to petitions to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy as provided in Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Blg. On the contrary. Period to File Petition. Sec. it would seem appropriate to take up the last issue grappled within the ponencia.. The petition shall be filed any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. and Section 253 on petitions for quo warranto. 7. We note that Section 6 refers only to the effects of a disqualification case which may be based on grounds other than that provided under Section 78 of the Code. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. . 3. Petition to Deny Due Course To or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. 6. is Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code mandatory? The answer is provided in Loong. 6646.day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code for filing the appropriate action to cancel a certificate of candidacy on account of any false representation made therein. Act No. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor.

I submit that Section 6 refers to disqualifications under Sections 12 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code and consequently modifies Section 72 thereof. 25. insurrection. rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude. The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence. 97 and 104. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. 1971 EC) Sec. Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent. or found by the Commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence. received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89. Disqualifications. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty. Disqualifications. Effects of disqualification cases and priority. or if he has been elected. 6646 authorizes the COMELEC to try and decide petitions for disqualification even after elections.I then disagree with the asseveration in the ponencia that Section 78 is merely directory because Section 6 of R. 96. (Sec. or (e) violated any of Sections 80. and cc. (c) spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code. 68. suspend the proclamation of the victorious candidate. and 72 of the Code provide: Sec. the proper court or the COMELEC are granted the authority to continue hearing the case after the election. shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. The Commission and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the election in which the disqualification is sought. a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. 86 and 261. (b) committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy. induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions. sub- paragraph 6. 12. 85. from holding the office. Nevertheless. his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office. Sections 12. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. As such. if for any reason. and during the pendency of the case. v. 95. in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of. paragraphs d. 72. if the evidence against him is strong. e. 83. xxx xxx xxx Sec. No. or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion. unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified. k. III . Any candidate who.A. unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. (d) solicited. 68. shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office.

then it would also mean that if Frivaldo had chosen and reacquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization or through Congressional action. I am not persuaded by the arguments in support of the thesis that Frivaldo's repatriation may be given retroactive effect. Turning now to the letter of the law. P.D. may reacquire Philippine citizenship . taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. P. allegiance to the Philippines. . 270. They are remedial by curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations. In the first place.D. as such goes against the spirit and letter of P. the steps to reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation under the decree are: (1) filing the application. Before the advent of P." That act meant nothing less than taking of the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. and (b) a woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien after the death of her spouse (Section 2[2]. If the decree had intended the oath taking to retroact to the date of the filing of the application. 725 expressly provides that repatriation takes effect only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. . NO.D. (2) action by the committee. 725. or Air Corps deserters.A. 725 expanded this to include Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens even before the death of their alien husbands. but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action.Still assuming that the repatriation is valid. .D. . No. Curative statutes are intended to supply defects. and (3) taking of the oath of allegiance if the application is approved. I disagree. No. Again. The other reason adduced in the ponencia in support of the proposition that P. . . Navy. No. by no stretch of legal hermeneutics may P.D. if their applications are approved. It is only UPON TAKING THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE that the applicant is deemed ipso jure to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. If we now take this revision of doctrine to its logical end. . 725 can be given retroactive effect is its alleged curative or remedial nature. The spirit adheres to the principle that acquisition or re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship is not a right. This is a proposition which both the first and second Frivaldo cases soundly rejected. This theory in the ponencia likewise dilutes this Court's pronouncement in the first Frivaldo case that what reacquisition of Filipino citizenship requires is an act "formally rejecting [the] adopted state and reaffirming . and curb certain evils.D. (emphasis and capitalization supplied) Clearly then. The rule in regard to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted or failed to be done. is something the legislature might have dispensed with by a previous statute. 725. 725 be characterized as a curative or remedial statute: Curative or remedial statutes are healing acts. and. abridge superfluities in existing laws. C. only the following could apply for repatriation: (a) Army. No. it may do so by a subsequent one. They are intended to enable a person to carry into effect that which they have designed and intended. thus: . then it should not have explicitly provided otherwise. but a mere privilege. 63). No. AFTER WHICH THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. No. or the termination of their marital status and to natural-born Filipino citizens who lost their Philippine citizenship but subsequently desired to reacquire the latter. and which constitutes the defect sought to be removed or made harmless. such would retroact to the filing of the petition for naturalization or the bill granting him Philippine citizenship.

(Sutherland. for as the decree itself unequivocally provides. that P. it means. Third ed.S. Second ed. [1990]. (RUBEN E. whether by birth or naturalization. the acquisition of "a new right. this 5th day of June." as the ponencia cannot but concede. on 30 June 1995. Vol. Hence.D. Statutory Construction. in accordance with Section 40 (d) of the Local Government Code. Done in the city of Manila. 3. it has also been observed that: The idea is implicit from many of the cases that remedial statutes are statutes relating to procedure and not substantive rights.Frivaldo possessed dual citizenship.noon of 30 June 1995 as per Section 43 of the Local Government Code . AGPALO. 270-271. right of citizenship. No. To those for whom it is intended. it is only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines that the applicant is DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. Third ed. V . §5704 at 74. that taking the oath of allegiance retroacted to the date of Frivaldo's application for repatriation. If we grant for the sake of argument. citations omitted). was invalid. They make valid that which. of which he was a citizen. the same could not be said insofar as it concerned the United States of America. Immigration Exclusion and Deportation and Citizenship of the United States of America. Thus: This Decree shall take effect immediately. it would be an inexcusable error to give it a retroactive effect since it explicitly provides the date of its effectivity. As earlier stated. IV Assuming yet again. when he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. P. Frivaldo remained an American national until he renounced his citizenship and allegiance thereto at 2:00 p. inter alia. in the year of Our Lord. 725 provides for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship lost through the marriage of a Filipina to an alien and through naturalization in a foreign country of natural-born Filipino citizens. in reality. then nothing therein supports such theory..m. It involves then the substantive. may only be reacquired in the manner provided by law. viz. 725 is curative or remedial statute. Therefore. once lost. nay primordial. nineteen hundred and seventy five. he was disqualified to run for Governor for yet another reason: possession of dual citizenship. Nevertheless. [1943]. citations omitted). it may not be said to merely remedy or cure a defect considering that one who has lost Philippine citizenship does not have the right to reacquire it. U. No. Moreover. (a) as an American citizen. For under the laws of the United States of America. Section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940 of the United States of America provides that a person who is a national of the United States of America. It follows then that on election day and until the hour of the commencement of the term for which he was elected . "(b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state" (SIDNEY KANSAS. and (b) as a Filipino citizen through the adoption of the theory that the effects of his taking the oath of allegiance were retrospective. however. the Constitution provides that citizenship..D. Statutory Construction. if the retroactivity is to relate only to the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. [1948] 341-342). before the enactment of the statute. loses his nationality by. for the sake of argument.

simply put. 21. it is based on Frivaldo's unproven. Sections 9. 2(3). In such a case. Sections 1.. I cannot be with him in carrying out the principle of sovereignty beyond what I perceive to be the reasonable constitutional parameters. 11. 16. 6. we may consider the enforcement of laws or the pursuit of a national policy by the executive branch of the government. Article XII. Article XI. I find it in order to also express my view on the concurring opinion of Mr. 10. for the following reasons: first. et al. 10. Section 11). referred to as refugees (JORGE R. Article XVI. self-serving allegation. thus: Sec." "borne [as it is] out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution." Thus. Sections 1. Article XV). To illustrate the evil. Sections 1. Sections 1. pro-poor (Article II. Materials and Comments. 4. or the execution of a judgment by the courts. neither can we convert and treat every fragment as the whole. 1995 ed. 14. I am absolutely happy to join him in his statement that "[t]he sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution" and that the said Constitution is "more people-oriented. Puno. Compiled and Annotated by Haydee B. Article XIII. Yorac. never did the status of a STATELESS person attach to Frivaldo. COQUIA. Sections 5(2). 1. 6. And the Preamble makes it clear when it solemnly opens it with a clause "We. 3. national policy. 15. 9. Sections 1. 6). The doctrine of people's sovereignty is founded on the principles of democracy and republicanism and refers exclusively to the sovereignty of the people of the Philippines. or judgment must not be . the sovereign Filipino people.long before May 8. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. and who are commonly. 5. 13). pro-people (Article II. one body. a stateless person is defined as "a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law." I would even go further by saying that this Constitution is pro-God (Preamble). Specifically. Statelessness may be either de jure. Article XII. which is the status of individuals possessed of a nationality whose country does not give them protection outside their own country. 18. . 4. 11. If these are opposed by the overwhelming majority of the people of a certain province. second. pro-Filipino (Article XII. 2. 18. vol." However. Section 1 of Article II is quite clear on this. it would necessarily follow that the law. . 363). Sections 1. albeit imprecisely. this sovereignty is an attribute of the Filipino people as one people. That sovereign power of the Filipino people cannot be fragmentized by looking at it as the supreme authority of the people of any of the political subdivisions to determine their own destiny. or even a municipality. 11. Article XIV. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. or de facto. and pro- family (Article II. this Court would provide the formula for the division and destruction of the State and render the Government ineffective and inutile. which is the status of individuals stripped of their nationality by their former government without having an opportunity to acquire another. Article XIII. 1985" . and third. 4(2). Justice Reynato S. Section 1. 3. under Chapter 1. it has not been shown that the United States of America ever ceased to consider Frivaldo its national at any time before he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on 30 June 1995. Section 12). 5.The assertion in the ponencia that Frivaldo may be considered STATELESS on the basis of his claim that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship . VI Finally. pro-life (Article II. 290). III.. Section 12. 12. 16. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Regarding the Status of Stateless Persons (Philippine Treaty Series. Nevertheless.is untenable. 10. Conflict of Laws Cases. 7. 15. Article XVI. 13. 9. informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship. Sections 1.

. No. and Frivaldo was "declared not a citizen of the Philippines" and ordered to vacate his office. 1989). the Supreme Court in G. 3 Signed by Chairman Bernardo P. the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof. Thus. Comms. 159-171. naval. Regalado E. 4 Rollo. of any of their powers or prerogatives. Frivaldo vs. overturned this grant. Julio F. respondent. Lee. De la Rosa. petitioner." On February 28. the Regional Trial Court of Manila granted the petition for naturalization of Frivaldo. ponente. Frivaldo." Rollo.R. declared Frivaldo "not a citizen of the Philippines and therefore DISQUALIFIED from serving as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. the Comelec disqualified Frivaldo in SPA No. then this Court must yield to that will and must. No.a political subdivision -. 1 Composed of Pres. therefore. 46-49.enforced. 5 Rollo. On the basis of this latter Supreme Court ruling. pp.R. pp. I vote then to DISMISS G. Raul R. rollo. Comm. 2 In SPC No. the Commission has reserved to Comm. entitled Juan G.cannot be prosecuted for or be held guilty of rebellion in violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code because of the doctrine of peoples' sovereignty. 123755. implemented. 1994). Remedios A. Manolo B. In G. No. but even the final and binding decisions of this Court affecting him. CoFootnotesmm. 110-129. and Comm. Commission on Elections. a vast majority of the voters of Sorsogon had expressed their sovereign will for the former. Manolo B. The Second Division was composed of Pres. for instance. Pardo. Gorospe and Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores. 87193. by reason of such naturalization. Salazar- Fernando. Lee. simply because Frivaldo had obtained a margin of 20. Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores. the expansion of the doctrine of sovereignty by investing upon the people of a mere political subdivision that which the Constitution places in the entire Filipino people. not just the laws on qualifications of candidates and elective officials and naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.R. Remedios A. wholly or partially. if. or executed in the said province or municipality. Republic of the Philippines vs. This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. 95-028. However. 120295 and GRANT G. No. et al. pp. . and Comm. or any body of land. the vast majority of the people of Batanes rise publicly and take up arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said Government or its laws. Maambong. 232 SCRA 785 (June 6. or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature. Desamito the right to submit a dissenting opinion. or other armed forces. concurring. pp.R. allow to be set aside.. Comm. the Supreme Court. 50-55. Indeed.and which are composed of the vast majority of the people of Batanes -. vs. 95-317. dissenting. then those who did so -. Regalado E.e. Gorospe ("on official business"). However. Maambong. 104654.000 votes over his closest rival. Desamito.R. 1983. Desamito was on official travel at the time of the deliberation and resolution of this case. Salazar- Fernando. So it is in this case if we follow the thesis in the concurring opinion. Claravall. Graduacion A. i. 174 SCRA 245 (June 23. 1992. for Frivaldo. Chairman Pardo certified that "Commissioner Julio F. concurring.ponente. 6 Frivaldo was naturalized as an American citizen on January 20. Comm. More concretely. may be disastrous to the Nation.

17 Rollo. 20 See footnote no. observed that "(i)f he (Frivaldo) really wanted to disavow his American citizenship and reacquire Philippine citizenship. 24 The full text of said memorandum reads as follows: MEMORANDUM TO : The Solicitor General The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs The Director-General . pp. Remedios A. This is signed also by the Chairman and the six other Comelec Commissioners. pp. namely. 16 Rollo. No. Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress. p." 11 Rollo. rollo. No. 18-21. supra. 254. 159-170. 61-67. 86-87. 1989). Regalado E. 19 Republic Act No. 63 as amended by C. 23 Petition. 5. No. 18 Rollo. pp. 9 Rollo. pp. this Court in G.A. This is the forerunner of the present case. petitioner should have done so in accordance with the laws of our country. 88-97.7 Signed by Chairman Bernardo P. This is the same resolution referred to in footnote no. Salazar-Fernando. rollo. by naturalization. 12 211 SCRA 297 (July 3. and thus Lee was held as having garnered the "highest number of votes. 110-128. 21 In debunking Frivaldo's claim of citizenship. Reyes-Claravall. pp. 16-17. 794. Manolo B. The Comelec considered the votes cast for Frivaldo as "stray votes". Pardo and the six incumbent commissioners. 725. 27. pp. pp. p. 60. 1992) and 176 SCRA 1 (August 1. pp. Desamito and Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores. petition. 7. pp." 22 Supra. p.D. 56-57. 13 Rollo. 10-15. pp. pp. 10 Rollo. This is the same resolution referred to in footnote no. 473 and P.A. 14 Rollo. 14-15. 8 Rollo. or by repatriation. Maambong.R. 6. Graduacion A. supra. Julio F. p. p. 16-17. 7160. Gorospe. Under C. 87193. 29. 15 Rollo.

as defined in Letter of Instructions No. 28 The aforesaid Manifestation reads as follows: MANIFESTATION The Solicitor General. Nelly Dessalla Ty 902 4. Winthrop Santos Liwag 905 7. Juan Gallanosa Frivaldo R-000900 2. In view of the foregoing. in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion. 28. hereby manifests that the following persons have been repatriated by virtue of Presidential Decree No. and the derivative administrative authority thereof. vs. 26 Cf.National Intelligence Coordinating Agency The previous administration's practice of granting citizenship by Presidential Decree or any other executive issuance. 270 dated April 11. 836 dated December 3. et al. No.R. and Presidential Decree No. (Sgd. Joselito Holganza Ruiz 907 . issuances and rules and regulations. Ma. 725. March 27. Aquino Manila.) Corazon C. 25 Art. 1975. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. 7. p. 1379 dated May 17. Buyco 906 8. et al. 1995: 1. Samuel M. 117577 (December 1. Manuel Reyes Sanchez 901 3. 27 Petition. Roberto Salas Benedicto 904 6. should best leave to the judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization. as Chairman of the Special Committee on Naturalization. orders. p. since June 8. as amended. and any other related laws. Presidential Decree No. Ty.. 30. as amended. Civil Code of the Philippines. Trampe. 1995). 1978. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. Terry Herrera and Antonio Ching 903 5. 1975. G. 1987. poses a serious and contentious issue of policy which the present government. rollo.

there are many Filipino women who had lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens. 270. The Commission on Immigration and Deportation shall thereupon cancel their certificate of registration. 909 11. WHEREAS. Jr. 725 PROVIDING FOR REPATRIATION OF FILIPINO WOMEN WHO HAD LOST THEIR PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE TO ALIENS AND OF NATURAL BORN FILIPINOS. Felicilda Otilla Sacnanas-Chua 910 29 The text of P. I. and (3) natural born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship through repatriation by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instructions No. MARCOS. . 211 SCRA 297 (July 3. Juan Leonardo Collas.A. Now. Done in the City of Manila. 31 Cf. 63. WHEREAS. nineteen hundred and seventy-five. WHEREAS. while the new Constitution allows a Filipino woman who marries an alien to retain her Philippine citizenship unless by her act or omission. in the year of Our Lord. as amended) allows the repatriation of Filipino women who lost their citizenship by reason of their marriage to aliens only after the death of their husbands or the termination of their marital status. THEREFORE. No. 1992).D. vs. do hereby decree and order that: (1) Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens. and WHEREAS. 30 See footnote no. 725 is reproduced below: PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. This Decree shall take effect immediately. such provision of the new Constitution does not apply to Filipino women who had married aliens before said constitution took effect. if their applications are approved. the existing law (C. she is deemed under the law to have renounced her Philippine citizenship. FERDINAND E. by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution. 6. Labo.9. after which they shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. this 5th day of June. Jr. Comelec. Samuel Villanueva 908 10. there are natural born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to re-acquire Philippine citizenship. President of the Philippines. and. The aforesaid Special Committee is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and prescribe the appropriate forms and the required fees for the effective implementation of this Decree. supra. taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: But the fact that he voted does not make him a citizen. Your Honor. Mr. 1992 or such date as may be provided for by law. BRILLANTES: That is true. 33 96 Phil.it says that for purposes of residence it must be reckoned . 1992. The fact is. at the time that he assumes the office he must have the continuing qualification as a citizen. . Your Honor. 1988. 1996: JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Mr. he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. . . then he voted again in 1995. BRILLANTES: Yes. in fact. Your Honor. it is required that he must be a citizen at the time of proclamation and not only that. 43. But when we go over all the provisions of law under current laws. He has voted in 1987. there is no qualification requirement insofar as citizenship is concern(ed) as to when. BRILLANTES: Yes. 447. Counsel. so he voted.P. Your Honor. 1995. . his eligibility as a voter was questioned but the Court dismissed (sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. as to when you should be a citizen of the Philippines and we say that if there is no provision under any existing law which requires that you have to be a citizen of the Philippines on the date of the filing or on the date of election then it has to be equitably interpreted to mean that if you are already qualified at the time that the office is supposed to be assumed then you should be allowed to assume the office." Sec. for purposes of age. 53 . 34 The following are excerpts from the transcript of stenographic notes of the oral argument held on March 19. Local Government Code.32 The term of office of all local elective officials elected after the effectivity of this Code shall be three (3) years. ATTY. from the time of the date of the election. the matter of his eligibility to vote as being a registered voter was likewise questioned before the judiciary. he was declared not a citizen by this Court twice. it is your position then that the candidate should be a citizen at the time of proclamation? ATTY. There was a ruling by the Municipal Court. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Should that not be reckoned from the time of filing of certificate of candidacy or at least the day of the election? ATTY. Your Honor. 453 (1955). JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Is it not also true that under the Local Autonomy Code the candidate should also be a registered voter and to be a registered voter one must be a citizen? ATTY. Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. starting from noon of June 30. . from the time of the filing of the certificate. . there are positions taken that it should be reckoned from the date of certificate of candidacy as in the case of qualification for Batasang Pambansa before under B. BRILLANTES: Yes. In fact. there was a ruling by the Regional Trial Court and he was sustained as a valid voter. we admit that he has been twice declared not citizen and we admit the ruling of the Supreme Court is correct but the fact is. Your Honor.

I. 23 states: Exceptions to Rule. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: I am also asking you that under the Local Autonomy Code the candidate for governor or for other local positions should be a voter and to be a voter one must be a citizen? ATTY. (4) in case of laws interpreting others. -. 2. par. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: And is it your contention that under the law. but the fact of voting is not an issue here because he was allowed to vote and he did in fact vote and in fact. (Art. 881. particularly the Local Autonomy Code. and Nilo vs. the law does not specify when citizenship should be possessed by the candidate. Borromeo. and (5) in case of laws creating new rights. 1988).) 35 Section 117. regional. (TSN. 39 Art. 40 Tolentino. p. 253. respectively. Batas Pambansa Blg. Sec. Your Honor. Petition for quo warranto. BRILLANTES: That is right. See also Gallardo vs. 189. BP 697. New Civil Code. 33. Sec. 37 See footnote no. as amended. Your Honor. within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. Sec. -. 161 SCRA 500 (May 25. XIV. Vol. 4. (2) in case of remedial statutes. rollo. 1990 ed. XVIII. otherwise known as "The Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines". 1978 EC). 1996. p. 189. .Statutes can be given retroactive effect in the following cases: (1) when the law itself so expressly provides. (3) in case of curative statutes. 1984). 36 Comment. BRILLANTES: That is right. 259. he was a registered voter. or city officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the Commission within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: I raised this question in connection with your contention that citizenship should be determined as of the time of proclamation and not as of the time of the election or at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. XVIII. Any voter contesting the election of any municipal or barangay officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the regional trial court or metropolitan or municipal trial court. 60. 1978 EC). Court of Appeals. 128 SCRA 519 (April 2.. one of which is Filipino citizenship.Any voter contesting the election of any member of the Congress. provincial. is that not correct? ATTY. provides for the various qualifications of voters. (Art. ATTY. par. 38 Section 253 reads as follows: Sec. March 19. 11. Art. Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines. p. Your Honor. 2. BRILLANTES: That is true. there is no express provision.

21. 351. 121. 57 Art. p. p. Commissioner of Immigration. 44 Memorandum. 40. p. October 4. Sagales. 58 SPC No. 259. 46 73 Am Jur 2d. this Division resolves to GRANT the petition and declares that respondent is DISQUALIFIED to run for the office of Provincial Governor of Sorsogon on the ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines. Sec. 490.. 9. p. emphasis supplied. p. Arao vs. Commission on Elections.The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position: xxx xxx xxx (d) Those with dual citizenship. 228 SCRA 596 (December 17. pp. 42 Agpalo. 489. the longest interval between date of filing of an application for repatriation and its approval was three months and ten days. 43 73 Am Jur 2d. rollo. 10. excluding the case of Frivaldo. Commission on Elections. Navarro vs. 208. 47 Art. 270-271. 48 Based on the "Corrected Compliance" dated May 16.. p. 53 The dispositive portion of said Resolution reads: WHEREFORE. cited in Castro vs. 1971). Civil Code of the Philippines. 11. p. Sec. the swiftest action was a same-day approval. Sec. 2. 95-317 is entitled "Annulment of Proclamation" and contains the following prayer: . p. 19. rollo. 45 73 Am Jur 2d. 210 SCRA 290 (June 23. 56 42 SCRA 561. rollo. p. 354. p." 50 p. 1993). p. it appears that. Disqualifications. 7. 1996 filed by the Solicitor General. 488. p. 54 Petition. 49 Sec. 1990 ed. Sec. 51 Resolution. L-21289. IX. 12.41 Id. 1992). 55 Resolution promulgated on December 19. Statutory Construction. citing Moy Ya Lim Yao vs. 116. 25. 52 Cf. Accordingly respondent's certificate of candidacy is cancelled. rollo. 354. 1995. 94 Phil. 210 (1953). -. 1971. 565 (December 20.

which specified that the age qualification must be possessed on the day of the elections. he was still not disqualified from occupying the local elective post of governor. this Court held inAznar vs. 1992. 67 Benito vs. 2 Section 24(a) of the Tydings-McDuffie Law which authorized the Filipino people to draft a Constitution in 1934 required that the "constitution formulated and drafted shall be republican in form. (Electoral Case No. May 25.R. and unless there exist provisions to the contrary. On the other hand. PUNO. 1995. 61 G. it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that after due notice and hearing an Oder (sic) /Resolution/Decision be issued as follows: a) Annulling/setting aside the 30 June 1995 proclamation of respondent as the duly election (sic). Senate Electoral Tribunal [SET]). and not on the day of the proclamation of the winners by the board of canvassers. Sec. 64 174 SCRA 245. despite his not being of the required age on the day of the election. p. September 18.. 1994). provides that those with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position. Sec. since such certificate did not preclude his being "still a Filipino. 1966 ed. 239. 442 (August 17. 3). at p. 120265. the election of the late Senator Benigno S. J. 65 Salonga and Yap. Jr. But the point is that to the extent possible. 9. 674 (February 4. and effectively overturns the ruling in Aznar. 1990) that even if Emilio "Lito" Osmeña held an Alien Certificate of Registration as an American citizen. 312." . in 1990." The holding in Aquino was subsequently nullified by the adoption of the 1987 Constitution (Art. 309 (July 3. xxx xxx xxx 59 229 SCRA 666. 1959). Comelec (185 SCRA 703.. b) Ordering the proclamation of the petitioner as duly elected governor of Sorsogon. the laws have always been interpreted to give fullest effect to the political will. See footnote no. 6.WHEREFORE. Aquino. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) which took effect on January 1. 62 Supra. Aquino. 66 In Espinosa vs. 1992). 235 SCRA 436. Governor of Sorsogon for being contrary to law. concurring: 1 The 1987 Constitution added the word "democratic" in the statement of the principle. VI. Much later. 60 211 SCRA 297. 254 (June 23. No. 68 This antagonism was clearly present in the two earlier cases involving Frivaldo. 1994). although he celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday before his proclamation. Commission on Elections. Public International Law. 40 of Republic Act No. was upheld. 63 See footnotes 2 and 3.

Principles and Concepts. vs. [1991 ed.: . petitioner. Philippine Political Law. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G." Roa v..R. cit. 1999 ERNESTO S. 199. Southern Kan. 67 CSJ 926.). 16 Phil. 33 F. 23-24.. ed. Vol. 23 Phil. 900. p. 366. 315. Collector of Customs. No. MERCADO. 7. Co. 340 [1912]. pp.P. later President of U. 49. 10 3 AM JUR 2d 889-890. 7 118 US 356. 15 Phil. Bull. EDUARDO BARRIOS MANZANO and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Severino v. 27 [1910]. 39 A. p. R. 6 Barker. 63 AM JUR 2d 653.. . General. Principles of Social and Political Theory. 69 Phil. .This Court has observed that even before the Tydings-McDuffie Law. and Delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 8 Cruz. J. respondents. 906. 22. US v. MENDOZA. extended the powers of a republican form of government modeled after that of the United States to the Philippines. Philippine Political Law. Gov. 11 Moya v. the Philippine Bill and the Jones Law have ". 68 citing Cherokee Nation v. 5 Since. 383 [1910]. op. 135083 May 26. p. 4 Dean of the UP College of Law.]. 3 Words and Phrases. p. del Fierro.. 1954. 9 Sinco.. 59 (1952 ed.

He was born in the United States. 1998. 1998 elections. dated May 7. But notwithstanding his registration as an American citizen. Daza III 54. Daza III. the respondent admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of Immigration under Alien Certificate of Registration No. 1998. B-31632 and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother. Manzano 103. 1955.894 Gabriel V. Mercado and private respondent Eduardo B. In his answer to the petition filed on April 27. persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective position. The question presented is whether under our laws. The other one was Gabriel V. 1998 elections. Mercado 100. under §40(d) of the Local Government Code. and is considered in American citizen under US Laws. it would appear that respondent Manzano is born a Filipino and a US citizen.Petitioner Ernesto S. Is he eligible for the office he seeks to be elected? Under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code. . those holding dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position. In other words. In its resolution. he holds dual citizenship. 2 the Second Division of the COMELEC granted the petition of Mamaril and ordered the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of private respondent on the ground that he is a dual citizen and. The COMELEC's Second Division said: What is presented before the Commission is a petition for disqualification of Eduardo Barrios Manzano as candidate for the office of Vice-Mayor of Makati City in the May 11. he did not lose his Filipino citizenship. Manzano were candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11. The results of the election were as follows: Eduardo B. The petition is based on the ground that the respondent is an American citizen based on the record of the Bureau of Immigration and misrepresented himself as a natural-born Filipino citizen.853 Ernesto S. San Francisco.275 1 The proclamation of private respondent was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification filed by a certain Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that private respondent was not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. the Commission hereby declares the respondent Eduardo Barrios Manzano DISQUALIFIED as candidate for Vice-Mayor of Makati City. Judging from the foregoing facts. September 14. WHEREFORE. California. he is disqualified from the position for which he filed his certificate of candidacy.

Voting 4 to 1. on August 31. In applying election laws. which effectively renounced his US citizenship under American law. the board of canvassers tabulated the votes cast for vice mayor of Makati City but suspended the proclamation of the winner. citizenship.894) votes. did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship.959) votes. 1998 elections. 1995 and 1998. Frivaldo vs. adopted on May 7. 1998.A. Gabriel Daza III obtained third place with fifty four thousand two hundred seventy five (54. 1998 elections. as he did not renounce Philippine citizenship and did not take an oath of allegiance to the United States. 4 Petitioner's motion was opposed by private respondent.853) votes over his closest rival. 1998. his parents brought him to the Philippines using an American passport as travel document.275) votes. Commission on Elections. garnering one hundred three thousand eight hundred fifty three (103. pursuant to Omnibus Resolution No. At the age of six (6). the resolution of the Second Division. Instead. and voted in the elections of 1992. 1998. petitioner sought to intervene in the case for disqualification. however. or a margin of two thousand nine hundred fifty nine (2. 257 SCRA 727). California. Mercado. Accordingly.On May 8. 3044. dated May 10. of the COMELEC.S. he registered himself as a voter. He was issued an alien certificate of registration. It is an undisputed fact that when respondent attained the age of majority. it would be far better to err in favor of the popular choice than be embroiled in complex legal issues involving private international law which may well be settled before the highest court (Cf. with one commissioner abstaining. Ernesto S. 3 The motion remained pending even until after the election held on May 11. 1998. as his father and mother were Filipinos at the time of his birth. he no longer had U. the COMELEC en banc reversed the ruling of its Second Division and declared private respondent qualified to run for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11. The motion was not resolved. He was also a natural born Filipino citizen by operation of the 1935 Philippine Constitution. He acquired US citizenship by operation of the United States Constitution and laws under the principle ofjus soli. respondent Eduardo Barrios Manzano was born in San Francisco. Respondent Manzano obtained the highest number of votes among the candidates for vice-mayor of Makati City. Under Philippine law. who obtained one hundred thousand eight hundred ninety four (100. On May 19. 5The pertinent portions of the resolution of the COMELEC en banc read: As aforesaid. His parents also registered him as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.S. private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration. the COMELEC en banc rendered its resolution. . 1998. 1998. At the time of the May 11. was not yet final. U. This.

citizenship when he (merely) registered himself as a voter and voted in the elections of 1992. 1998. We declare respondent Eduardo Luis Barrios Manzano to be QUALIFIED as a candidate for the position of vice-mayor of Makati City in the May 11. Petitioner contends that — [T]he COMELEC en banc ERRED in holding that: A. I. Pursuant to the resolution of the COMELEC en banc.S. PETITIONER'S RIGHT TO BRING THIS SUIT Private respondent cites the following provisions of Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure of the COMELEC in support of his claim that petitioner has no right to intervene and. 1998. adopted on May 7. B. the Commission en banc hereby REVERSES the resolution of the Second Division. and. 1998 elections.S. We first consider the threshold procedural issue raised by private respondent Manzano — whether petitioner Mercado his personality to bring this suit considering that he was not an original party in the case for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mamaril nor was petitioner's motion for leave to intervene granted. on the evening of August 31. proclaimed private respondent as vice mayor of the City of Makati. He renounced his U. He renounced his U. This is a petition for certiorari seeking to set aside the aforesaid resolution of the COMELEC en banc and to declare private respondent disqualified to hold the office of vice mayor of Makati City. elections. petitioner may not be declared the winner even assuming that Manzano is disqualified to run for and hold the elective office of Vice-Mayor of the City of Makati. to reconvene and proclaim the respondent Eduardo Luis Barrios Manzano as the winning candidate for vice-mayor of Makati City. C. therefore. Manzano was no longer a U. At the time of the May 11. cannot bring this suit to set aside the ruling denying his motion for intervention: . citizen when he: 1. the Commission directs the Makati City Board of Canvassers. WHEREFORE. Manzano is qualified to run for and or hold the elective office of Vice-Mayor of the City of Makati. the resolution of the Second Division adopted on 7 May 1998 was not yet final so that.S. ordering the cancellation of the respondent's certificate of candidacy. 1995 and 1998. effectively. 2. the board of canvassers. ACCORDINGLY. upon proper notice to the parties. 1998. Under Philippine law. citizenship when he attained the age of majority when he was already 37 years old.

In the present case. be permitted by the Commission.A. in its discretion to intervene in such action or proceeding. or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected by such action or proceeding. on the basis of which petitioner came out only second to private respondent. 3. may during the pendency . and petitioner's purpose was precisely to have private respondent disqualified "from running for [an] elective local position" under §40(d) of R. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election." The flaw in this argument is it assumes that. — In allowing or disallowing a motion for intervention. Nor is petitioner's interest in the matter in litigation any less because he filed a motion for intervention only on May 20. at the time petitioner filed a "Motion for Leave to File Intervention" on May 20. Certainly. or protest and. COMELEC. shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be fully protected in a separate action or proceeding. and the question is whether one who placed second to the disqualified candidate may be declared the winner. or an interest against both. No. When proper and when may be permitted to intervene. at the time petitioner sought to intervene in the proceedings before the COMELEC. the Commission or the Division. The fact. is that there had been no proclamation at that time. xxx xxx xxx Sec. If Ernesto Mamaril (who originally instituted the disqualification proceedings). before or during the trial of an action or proceeding. 1998. inquiry. No. a registered voter of Makati City. 6646. — Any person allowed to initiate an action or proceeding may. there had been no proclamation of the winner. in the exercise of its discretion. petitioner had. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of action. That petitioner had a right to intervene at that stage of the proceedings for the disqualification against private respondent is clear from §6 of R. 1998. however. and still has. 1. 7160. 6 reiterated in several cases. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. there had already been a proclamation of the results of the election for the vice mayoralty contest for Makati City. otherwise known as the Electoral Reform Law of 1987. which provides: Any candidate who his been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. was competent to bring the action. so was petitioner since the latter was a rival candidate for vice mayor of Makati City. after private respondent had been shown to have garnered the highest number of votes among the candidates for vice mayor. an interest in ousting private respondent from the race at the time he sought to intervene. 7 only applies to cases in which the election of the respondent is contested. Sec. if he has legal interest in the matter in litigation. Private respondent argues that petitioner has neither legal interest in the matter in litigation nor an interest to protect because he is "a defeated candidate for the vice-mayoralty post of Makati City [who] cannot be proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City if the private respondent be ultimately disqualified by final and executory judgment. Discretion of Commission. The rule in Labo v. or in the success of either of the parties. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted.A.

thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of guilt is strong. if so. whether he is disqualified from being a candidate for vice mayor of Makati City. who sides with him in this case. the present petition properly deals not only with the denial of petitioner's motion for intervention but also with the substantive issues respecting private respondent's alleged disqualification on the ground of dual citizenship. 8 Invoking the maxim dura lex sed lex. whether private respondent Manzano possesses dual citizenship and. Congress has "command[ed] in explicit terms the ineligibility of persons possessing dual allegiance to hold local elective office. unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter's country the former are considered citizens. contends that through §40(d) of the Local Government Code. (d) Those with dual citizenship.A. 7160). This brings us to the next question. . intervention may be allowed in proceedings for disqualification even after election if there has yet been no final judgment rendered. which declares as "disqualified from running for any elective local position: . 9 For instance. Under this provision. namely. justifying petitioner in filing the instant petition for certiorari. as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states. As the COMELEC en banc instead decided the merits of the case. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli. ." To begin with. . II.ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part. DUAL CITIZENSHIP AS A GROUND FOR DISQUALIFICATION The disqualification of private respondent Manzano is being sought under §40 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. petitioner. as well as the Solicitor General. (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their father's' country such children are citizens of that country. a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Such a person." This provision is incorporated in the Charter of the City of Makati. such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. The former arises when. is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. IV) of our Constitution. dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. No. The failure of the COMELEC en banc to resolve petitioner's motion for intervention was tantamount to a denial of the motion.

and this is already happening. sponsor might recall. I have circulated a memorandum to the Bernas Committee according to which a dual allegiance — and I reiterate a dual allegiance — is larger and more threatening than that of mere double citizenship which is seldom intentional and. dual allegiance is the result of an individual's volition. It can mean a tragic capital outflow when we have to endure a capital famine which also means economic stagnation. And until recently. and especially Commissioner Concepcion who has always been worried about minority claims on our natural resources. I do not question double citizenship at all. At that time. owned by Filipino-Chinese — it is of common knowledge in Manila. worsening unemployment and social unrest. but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship. §5 of the Constitution provides: "Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law. There is a Peking ticket. by their acts. perhaps. we all know what happens in the triennial elections of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce which consists of about 600 chapters all over the country. Not widely known is the fact chat the Filipino-Chinese community is represented in the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China in Taiwan. When I speak of double allegiance. Singapore. therefore. I speak of this unsettled kind of allegiance of Filipinos. I want to draw attention to the fact that dual allegiance is not dual citizenship.There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may. the Filipino-Chinese were also represented in that Overseas Council. That is often a function of the accident of mixed marriages or of birth on foreign soil. without performing any act. And so. With respect to dual allegiance. they have the Associated Legislative Council for overseas Chinese wherein all of Southeast Asia including some European and Latin countries were represented. in Mainland China in the People's Republic of China. either to Peking or Taiwan. loyalty to two or more states. . who were concerned about the lack of guarantees of thorough assimilation. refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes. What we would like the Committee to consider is to take constitutional cognizance of the problem of dual allegiance. on the other hand." This provision was included in the 1987 Constitution at the instance of Commissioner Blas F. For example. China or Malaysia. which was dissolved after several years because of diplomatic friction. . I also took close note of the concern expressed by some Commissioners yesterday. never insidious. While dual citizenship is involuntary. as well as a Taipei ticket. of citizens who are already Filipinos but who. including Commissioner Villacorta. Dull allegiance can actually siphon scarce national capital to Taiwan. Article IV. may be said to be bound by a second allegiance. be also a citizen of another state. Ople who explained its necessity as follows: 10 . Some of the great commercial places in downtown Taipei are Filipino-owned. by some positive act. . Dual allegiance.

persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. in effect. thus: 11 . Bernas. But whether she is considered a citizen of another country is something completely beyond our control. In the course of those debates. Unlike those with dual allegiance. 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. let us say. the real impact on the security of this country. therefore. 7160. §20 must be understood as referring to "dual allegiance. In another session of the Commission. and back of this. I appreciate what the Committee said that this could be left to the determination of a future legislature. a good number of these naturalized Filipinos still routinely go to Taipei every October 10. 7854. for candidates with dual citizenship. arising from. A significant number of Commissioners expressed their concern about dual citizenship in the sense that it implies a double allegiance under a double sovereignty which some of us who spoke then in a freewheeling debate thought would be repugnant to the sovereignty which pervades the Constitution and to citizenship itself which implies a uniqueness and which elsewhere in the Constitution is defined in terms of rights and obligations exclusive to that citizenship including. be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status. As Joaquin G.A. And so. the obligation to rise to the defense of the State when it is threatened. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother. potentially great numbers of double citizens professing double allegiance. it should suffice if. ." Consequently. the concern for national security. or regulate double citizenship? Clearly. of course. No. is. Ople spoke on the problem of these citizens with dual allegiance. I think some noted the fact that as a result of the wave of naturalizations since the decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China was made in 1975. I have detected a genuine and deep concern about double citizenship. upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy. who must. in the article on Citizenship which will read as follows: DUAL ALLEGIANCE IS INIMICAL TO CITIZENSHIP AND SHALL BE DEALT WITH ACCORDING TO LAW." 12 . one of the most perceptive members of the Constitutional Commission. of course. And so. . in including §5 in Article IV on citizenship.A. pointed out: "[D]ual citizenship is just a reality imposed on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. Hence. probably Section 5. the phrase "dual citizenship" in R. with its attendant risk of double allegiance which is repugnant to our sovereignty and national security. §40(d) and in R. will the Committee entertain a proposed amendment at the proper time that will prohibit. and it is asserted that some of them do renew their oath of allegiance to a foreign government maybe just to enter into the spirit of the occasion when the anniversary of the Sun Yat-Sen Republic is commemorated. No. the concern of the Constitutional Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Commissioner Bernas. But considering the scale of the problem. this is exactly what we ask — that the Committee kindly consider incorporating a new section.

one belonging to the country of his or her father and one belonging to the Republic of the Philippines. Under the Constitution. So. 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. Mr. such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. Suppose he carries only a Philippine passport but the country of origin or the country of the father claims that person. he has to repudiate one of his citizenships. That is of no moment as the following discussion on §40(d) between Senators Enrile and Pimentel clearly shows: 13 SENATOR ENRILE.By electing Philippine citizenship. a person whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines is. be an election for him of his desire to be considered as a Filipino citizen. in effect. . It may be that. as a citizen? No one can renounce. at birth. Well. must elect or give up Philippine citizenship. precisely. Yes. President. it only means that at the moment when he would want to run for public office. SENATOR PIMENTEL. the Constitution does not require an election. That is true. and I have only one citizenship. then he will probably fall under this disqualification. To my mind." SENATOR ENRILE. There is no requirement that such a natural born citizen. Mr. He will always have one citizenship. Under the present Constitution. nevertheless. Mr. There are such countries in the world. SENATOR PIMENTEL. SENATOR ENRILE. President. What we are saying. President. I would like to ask clarification of line 41. Mr. from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws. Mr. But we are talking from the viewpoint of Philippine law. then he is opening himself to question. But. may such a situation disqualify the person to run for a local government position? SENATOR PIMENTEL. But if he exercises acts that will prove that he also acknowledges other citizenships. President. President. a citizen without any overt act to claim the citizenship. is: Under the Gentleman's example. someone whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines but his father is a foreigner is a natural-born citizen of the Republic. the very fact that he is running for public office would. President. and that is the citizenship invested upon him or her in the Constitution of the Republic. SENATOR ENRILE. Mr. President. the first thing he should do is to say in the Certificate of Candidacy that: "I am a Filipino citizen. if he is really interested to run. page 17: "Any person with dual citizenship" is disqualified to run for any elective local position. SENATOR PIMENTEL. Mr. if he does not renounce his other citizenship. upon reaching the age of majority. On the assumption that this person would carry two passports.

the COMELEC must have in mind §349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. Congress to regulate foreign relations. It would be a brazen encroachment upon the sovereign will and power of the people of this Republic." so that now he is solely a Philippine national. However. 1955. (e) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or participating in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty over foreign territory. Petitioner challenges this ruling. the condition imposed by law is satisfied and compiled with. citizenship under American law." To be sure this provision was declared unconstitutional by the U. state. private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship. while the United States follows the doctrine of jus soli.S. III. his loyalty to any other country or government and solemnly declares that he owes his allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. by participating in Philippine elections in 1992. he was a national both of the Philippines and of the United States. 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. it was ineffective as it should have been made when he reached the age of majority. California on September 4. contained the following statements made under oath: 6. If the requirement of the Chinese Law of Nationality were to be read into our Naturalization Law. However. In holding that by voting in Philippine elections private respondent renounced his American citizenship. In Parado v. and 1998. shall lose his nationality by: . Supreme Court in Afroyim v. we would be applying not what our legislative department has deemed it wise to require. That. PETITIONER'S ELECTION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP The record shows that private respondent was born in San Francisco.This is similar to the requirement that an applicant for naturalization must renounce "all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince. whether by birth or naturalization.S. at birth at least. Private respondent's certificate of candidacy. in any event. but what a foreign government has thought or intended to exact. Rusk 16 as beyond the power given to the U. by filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post. filed on March 27. Since the Philippines adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. of Filipino parents. It must be resisted by all means and at all cost. The latter should apply the law duly enacted by the legislative department of the Republic. which provided that "A person who is a national of the United States. I AM A FILIPINO CITIZEN (STATE IF "NATURAL-BORN" OR "NATURALIZED") NATURAL-BORN . 1995. 15 it was held: [W]hen a person applying for citizenship by naturalization takes an oath that he renounce. . the COMELEC en banc held that. No foreign law may or should interfere with its operation and application. or sovereignty" 14 of which at the time he is a subject or citizen before he can be issued a certificate of naturalization as a citizen of the Philippines. private respondent "effectively renounced his U. potentate. as the alleged renunciation was made when private respondent was already 37 years old. . He argues that merely taking part in Philippine elections is not sufficient evidence of renunciation and that. 1998.S. Republic. the parties agree that. is absurd. of course.

LEGAL ORDERS AND DECREES PROMULGATED BY THE DULY CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government when he ran for Governor in 1988. Frivaldo was stateless in the interim — when he abandoned and renounced his US citizenship but before he was repatriated to his Filipino citizenship. PROVINCE OF NCR. and in 1995. THAT I WILL OBEY THE LAWS. OR IMMIGRANT TO. it is basic that such findings of the Commission are conclusive upon this Court. 12. BARANGAY SAN LORENZO. I AM NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF. Frivaldo wrote that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship — long before May 8. AND THAT I IMPOSE THIS OBLIGATION UPON MYSELF VOLUNTARILY. 40 of the Local Government Code would disqualify him "from running for any elective local position?" We answer this question in the negative. CITY/MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. I AM A REGISTERED VOTER OF PRECINCT NO. . At best. Would the retroactivity of his repatriation not effectively give him dual citizenship. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government. we quote from the assailed Resolution dated December 19. In his Comment. Thus. COMELEC it was held: 17 It is not disputed that on January 20. as there is cogent reason to hold that Frivaldo was really STATELESS at the time he took said oath of allegiance and even before that. I AM ELIGIBLE FOR THE OFFICE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED. absent any showing of capriciousness or arbitrariness or abuse. WITHOUT MENTAL RESERVATION OR PURPOSE OF EVASION. These factual findings that Frivaldo has lost his foreign nationality long before the elections of 1995 have not been effectively rebutted by Lee. 1983 Frivaldo became an American. effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. Furthermore. in Frivaldo v. I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE FACTS STATED HEREIN ARE TRUE AND CORRECT OF MY OWN PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. when he ran for governor in 1988. A FOREIGN COUNTRY. in 1992. 1995: By the laws of the United States." On this point. I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES AND WILL MAINTAIN TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE THERETO. xxx xxx xxx 10. 1995. 747-A. 11. which under Sec. The filing of such certificate of candidacy sufficed to renounce his American citizenship.

practiced his profession as an artist. . leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship. Until the filing of his certificate of candidacy on March 21. 1998. much is made of the fact that private respondent admitted that he is registered as an American citizen in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and that he holds an American passport which he used in his last travel to the United States on April 22. received his education. 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. 1âwphi1. His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfill his undertaking made under oath. no merit in petitioner's contention that the oath of allegiance contained in private respondent's certificate of candidacy is insufficient to constitute renunciation that. possessed as he is. What this Court said in Aznar v.COMELEC 18 applies mutatis mundatis to private respondent in the case at bar: ." it stands to reason that there can be no such loss of Philippine citizenship when there is no renunciation. and taken part in past elections in this country. there is even no implied renunciation of said citizenship. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who. truth to tell. there are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. WHEREFORE. he had dual citizenship. there is no express renunciation here of Philippine citizenship. he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad that he was a Portuguese national.There is. Indeed. to be effective. when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood. either "express" or "implied. Finally. There is no merit in this. such renunciation should have been made upon private respondent reaching the age of majority since no law requires the election of Philippine citizenship to be made upon majority age. 19 we sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that. [T]he Certification that he is an American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino. the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit. . Defensor-Santiago. 1997. private respondent's oath of allegiance to the Philippines. When We consider that the renunciation needed to lose Philippine citizenship must be "express. as far as the laws of this country are concerned. . in electing Philippine citizenship. but subsequently does some act constituting renunciation of his Philippine citizenship. of both nationalities or citizenships. . Considering the fact that admittedly Osmeña was both a Filipino and an American. by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen. Should he betray that trust. the mere fact that he has a Certificate staring he is an American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino. that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country. private respondent has." To recapitulate. The acts attributed to him can be considered simply as the assertion of his American nationality before the termination of his American citizenship. . therefore. after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen. On the other hand. In Yu v. . renounces his foreign nationality.nêt SO ORDERED.

C.: In this Petition 1 dated July 6. Moreno (Moreno) assails the Resolution 2 of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc dated June 1. Moreno filed an answer averring that the petition states no cause of action because he was already granted probation. After due proceedings. Moreno also argued that under Sec.R. 1998. Urbano M.J.. Allegedly. 168550 August 10. Mutia. The case was forwarded to the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Samar for preliminary hearing. Petitioner. CHICO-NAZARIO. 4 the imposition of the sentence of imprisonment. The following are the undisputed facts: Norma L. The order of the trial court dated December 18. affirming the Resolution 3 of the Comelec First Division dated November 15. . 2005. No. 2002 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. disqualified him from running for the elective office of Punong Barangay of Barangay Cabugao. following the case of Baclayon v.Davide. MEJES. in turn. Branch 28 of Catbalogan. was thereby suspended. Mejes (Mejes) filed a petition to disqualify Moreno from running for Punong Barangay on the ground that the latter was convicted by final judgment of the crime of Arbitrary Detention and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of Four (4) Months and One (1) Day to Two (2) Years and Four (4) Months by the Regional Trial Court. 16 of the Probation Law of 1976 (Probation Law). Respondents. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and NORMA L. J. 2006 URBANO M. Daram. 2005. Samar on August 27. DECISION TINGA. 2000 allegedly terminated his probation and restored to him all the civil rights he lost as a result of his conviction. Samar in the July 15.. the final discharge of the probation shall operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to fully discharge his liability for any fine imposed. as well as the accessory penalties. Romer Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 2002 elections. including the right to vote and be voted for in the July 15. the Investigating Officer recommended that Moreno be disqualified from running for Punong Barangay. MORENO. 2002 which. vs. Jr.

Moreno filed a Reply to Comment 8 dated March 27. 5 Since Moreno was released from probation on December 20. Comelec involves a conviction for violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. 2000. 40(a) of the Local Government Code. The resolution of the present controversy depends on the application of the phrase "within two (2) years after serving sentence" found in Sec. Comelec 7 definitively settled a similar controversy by ruling that conviction for an offense involving moral turpitude stands even if the candidate was granted probation. Moreno argues that the disqualification under the Local Government Code applies only to those who have served their sentence and not to probationers because the latter do not serve the adjudged sentence. 40(a) of the Local Government Code provides that those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment. Mutia cited by Moreno and the Probation Law because it is a much later enactment and a special law setting forth the qualifications and disqualifications of elective local officials. applied for probation nearly four (4) years after his conviction and only after appealing his conviction. reiterating his arguments and pointing out material differences between his case and Dela Torre v. within two (2) years after serving sentence. According to Moreno. the Office of the Solicitor General argues that this Court in Dela Torre v. the disqualification under Sec. Further. According to the Comelec en banc. On motion for reconsideration filed with the Comelecen banc. Disqualifications.The Comelec First Division adopted this recommendation. Sec. The grant of probation to Moreno merely suspended the execution of his sentence but did not affect his disqualification from running for an elective local office. In contrast. In this petition. 40(a) of the Local Government Code. Moreno alleges that he applied for and was granted probation within the period specified therefor. 40(a) of the Local Government Code does not apply to him. He never served a day of his sentence as a result. 40. even assuming that he is disqualified. the Comelec en banc held that the provisions of the Local Government Code take precedence over the case of Baclayon v. 2005 on behalf of the Comelec. an offense involving moral turpitude covered by the first part of Sec. which reads: Sec. 2006. the petitioner in that case. The disqualification under Sec. such that he could not have been eligible for probation under the law. Further. his subsequent election as Punong Barangay allegedly constitutes an implied pardon of his previous misconduct. Dela Torre v. The Probation Law should allegedly be read as an exception to the Local Government Code because it is a special law which applies only to probationers. Dela Torre. Hence. – The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position: . In its Comment 6 dated November 18. disqualification shall commence on this date and end two (2) years thence. are disqualified from running for any elective local position. Comelec which allegedly warrant a conclusion favorable to him. the Resolution of the First Division was affirmed. 40(a) of the Local Government Code subsists and remains totally unaffected notwithstanding the grant of probation.

did not at once apply for probation. Dela Torre v. 40(a) of the Local Government Code. the crucial issue being whether Moreno’s sentence was in fact served. within two (2) years after serving sentence. [Emphasis supplied. however.) in the provision means that the phrase modifies both parts of Sec. In this sense. the phrase "within two (2) years after serving sentence" should have been interpreted and understood to apply both to those who have been sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude and to those who have been sentenced by final judgment for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment. Comelec is not squarely applicable. however.] . is his alleged disqualification from running for a local elective office within two (2) years from his discharge from probation after having been convicted by final judgment for an offense punishable by Four (4) Months and One (1) Day to Two (2) Years and Four (4) Months. affirmed his conviction. although already eligible. The Court’s declaration on the effect of probation on Sec. has spawned a controversy worthy of this Court’s attention because the Comelec. ought to be considered an obiter in view of the fact that Dela Torre was not even entitled to probation because he appealed his conviction to the Regional Trial Court which. involves moral turpitude falling under the first part of the above-quoted provision. The placing of the comma (. in the assailed resolutions. 10 This seemingly clear and unambiguous provision. Our pronouncement therein that the grant of probation does not affect the disqualification under Sec. but did so only after failing in his appeal. . Besides. and which the Comelec used in its assailed resolutions.. 40(a) of the Local Government Code was based primarily on the finding that the crime of fencing of which petitioner was convicted involves moral turpitude. we should add. At any rate. The phrase "service of sentence. means the confinement of a convicted person in a penal facility for the period adjudged by the court.(a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment. is alleged to have broadened the coverage of the law to include even those who did not serve a day of their sentence because they were granted probation.. We should mention at this juncture that there is no need to rule on whether Arbitrary Detention. It has been held that the perfection of an appeal is a relinquishment of the alternative remedy of availing of the Probation Law. 40(a) of the Local Government Code appears innocuous enough at first glance. The question of whether Arbitrary Detention is a crime involving moral turpitude was never raised in the petition for disqualification because the ground relied upon by Mejes. the purpose of which is to prevent speculation or opportunism on the part of an accused who. the crime of which Moreno was convicted by final judgment.. a determination that the crime of Arbitrary Detention involves moral turpitude is not decisive of this case. a circumstance which does not obtain in this case." understood in its general and common sense. 9 Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code.

40(a) of the Local Government Code does not even begin to run. within two (2) years after serving sentence. should not be equated with service of sentence. when Moreno was finally discharged upon the court’s finding that he has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his . should not likewise be disqualified from running for a local elective office because the two (2)-year period of ineligibility under Sec. attendant to the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period 11 imposed upon Moreno were similarly suspended upon the grant of probation. 13 It is regrettable that the Comelec and the OSG have misapprehended the real issue in this case. 12 the probationer does not serve the penalty imposed upon him by the court but is merely required to comply with all the conditions prescribed in the probation order. as well as the accessory penalties of suspension from public office and from the right to follow a profession or calling. The Comelec could have correctly resolved this case by simply applying the law to the letter. quite persuasively. in effect. the period within which a person is under probation cannot be equated with service of the sentence adjudged." Thus. and that of perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage. the accessory penalties of suspension from public office. The fact that the trial court already issued an order finally discharging Moreno fortifies his position. During the period of probation. This is as good a time as any to clarify that those who have not served their sentence by reason of the grant of probation which.Moreno argues. In Baclayon v. 4 of the Probation Law specifically provides that the grant of probation suspends the execution of the sentence. 40(a) of the Local Government Code unequivocally disqualifies only those who have been sentenced by final judgment for an offense punishable by imprisonment of one (1) year or more. 16 of the Probation Law provides that "[t]he final discharge of the probationer shall operate to restore to him all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction and to fully discharge his liability for any fine imposed as to the offense for which probation was granted. Clearly. They focused on the fact that Moreno’s judgment of conviction attained finality upon his application for probation instead of the question of whether his sentence had been served. and that of perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage. Sec. a suspension of the imposition of sentence. Mutia. Sec. that he should not have been disqualified because he did not serve the adjudged sentence having been granted probation and finally discharged by the trial court. It appears then that during the period of probation. we reiterate. the Court declared that an order placing defendant on probation is not a sentence but is rather. We thus deleted from the order granting probation the paragraph which required that petitioner refrain from continuing with her teaching profession. Applying this doctrine to the instant case. Sec. We held that the grant of probation to petitioner suspended the imposition of the principal penalty of imprisonment. the probationer is not even disqualified from running for a public office because the accessory penalty of suspension from public office is put on hold for the duration of the probation. from the right to follow a profession or calling.

00. some seven (7) years after Baclayon v. those who have been once on probation. those who have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month and one (1) day and/or a fine of not less than P200. it is presumed to have knowledge of our ruling in Baclayon v. his case was deemed terminated and all civil rights lost or suspended as a result of his conviction were restored to him. 16 It is important to note that the disqualification under Sec. That it chose not to include probationers within the purview of the provision is a clear expression of the legislative will not to disqualify probationers. convicted of any offense against the security of the State. 40(a) of the Local Government Code in a way that broadens the scope of the disqualification to include Moreno. In spite of this. 15 Thus. in the face of this seeming dissonance. is to interpret and harmonize the Probation Law and the Local Government Code. 40(a) of the Local Government Code. 17 In construing Sec. it provides that the benefits of probation shall not be extended to those sentenced to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six (6) years. 40(a) of the Local Government Code covers offenses punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment.. 40(a) of the Local Government Code which gives room for judicial interpretation. Interpretare et concordare legis legibus est optimus interpretandi. While the Local Government Code is a later law which sets forth the qualifications and disqualifications of local elective officials. the Probation Law is a special legislation which applies only to probationers. This omission is significant because it offers a glimpse into the legislative intent to treat probationers as a distinct class of offenders not covered by the disqualification. the Probation Law lays out rather stringent standards regarding who are qualified for probation. including the right to run for public office. an act of grace and clemency or immunity conferred by the state. 14 our conclusion will remain the same." i. whether the legislature also meant to disqualify those who have been granted probation. Even assuming that there is an ambiguity in Sec. it should be mentioned that the present Local Government Code was enacted in 1991. which is granted to a deserving defendant who thereby escapes the extreme rigors of the penalty imposed by law for the offense of which he was convicted. will ordinarily not affect the special provisions of such earlier statute. a penalty which also covers probationable offenses. Probation is not a right of an accused but a mere privilege. Mutia was decided. On this score. Further. we agree with Moreno that the Probation Law should be construed as an exception to the Local Government Code. and those who are already serving sentence at the time the substantive provisions of the Probation Law became applicable. For instance.e. It is unfortunate that the deliberations on the Local Government Code afford us no clue as to the intended meaning of the phrase "service of sentence. the provision does not specifically disqualify probationers from running for a local elective office. the Comelec committed an egregious error which we here .probation. The Court’s function. It is a canon of statutory construction that a later statute. Mutia on the effect of probation on the disqualification from holding public office. general in its terms and not expressly repealing a prior special statute. When the legislature approved the enumerated disqualifications under Sec.

petitioner.R.correct. SOCRATES. 2002 elections. 2002. THE PREPARATORY RECALL ASSEMBLY (PRA) of Puerto Princesa City. we note that Moreno was the incumbent Punong Barangay at the time of his conviction of the crime of Arbitrary Detention. No. CARLOS ABALLA. No pronouncement as to costs. respondents. 2005 and the Resolution of its First Division dated November 15. 154683 November 12. Mayor of Puerto Princesa City. MARK DAVID HAGEDORN. This situation calls to mind the poignant words of Mr. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. We rule that Moreno was not disqualified to run for Punong Barangay of Barangay Cabugao. PRA Interim Chairman Punong Bgy. TINGA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 154512 November 12. He claims to have obtained a fresh mandate from the people of Barangay Cabugao. 2002 . ----------------------------- G. as well as all other actions and orders issued pursuant thereto. Justice now Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in Frivaldo v. JR. SO ORDERED. Samar in the July 15. Daram. No. Finally. PRA Chairman and Presiding Officer Punong Bgy. BENJAMIN JARILLA. vs. The Commission on Elections is directed to proceed in accordance with this Decision. Comelec 18 where he said that "it would be far better to err in favor of popular sovereignty than to be right in complex but little understood legalisms. EARL S. DANTE O. BUENVIAJE and PRA Secretary Punong Bgy." WHEREFORE. Samar in the July 15. the petition is GRANTED. 2002 VICTORINO DENNIS M. Daram. 2002 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. The Resolution of the Commission on Elections en banc dated June 1. are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.R. PRA Interim Secretary Punong Bgy.

2002. Socrates filed with the COMELEC a petition. GILO and BIENVENIDO OLLAVE. as interim chair of the PRA. DECISION CARPIO. Palawan. respondents. and EDWARD S. ADOVO. No. J. the PRA passed Resolution No. 2002. president of the Association of Barangay Captains. HAGEDORN. 2002. 2002. 2001.R. On August 14.. Hagedorn. The COMELEC gave due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduled the recall election on September 7. 01-02 ("Recall Resolution" for brevity) which declared its loss of confidence in Socrates and called for his recall. 155083-84 November 12. Nos. On July 16. SR. 5673 prescribing the calendar of activities and periods of certain prohibited acts in connection with the recall election.m. ----------------------------- G. to 12:00 noon. The PRA requested the COMELEC to schedule the recall election for mayor within 30 days from receipt of the Recall Resolution. FLORES P. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 312 out of 528 members of the then incumbent barangay officials of the Puerto Princesa convened themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly ("PRA" for brevity) at the Gymnasium of Barangay San Jose from 9:00 a. the COMELEC en banc promulgated Resolution No. SANDOVAL. The PRA was convened to initiate the recall2 of Victorino Dennis M. vs. to nullify and deny due course to the Recall Resolution.: The Case Before us are consolidated petitions for certiorari1 seeking the reversal of the resolutions issued by the Commission on Elections ("COMELEC" for brevity) in relation to the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa City. docketed as E. 2002 MA. Socrates ("Socrates" for brevity) who assumed office as Puerto Princesa's mayor on June 30. 2002. the COMELEC en banc3 promulgated a resolution dismissing for lack of merit Socrates' petition. vs. The . petitioner. MERCY E. respondent.VICENTE S.M.. The Antecedents On July 2. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. JR. On the same date. petitioners. 02-010 (RC). On August 21. The members of the PRA designated Mark David M.

docketed as SPA No. 154683 . No. No. G. the COMELEC en banc promulgated a resolution denying the motion for reconsideration of Adovo and Gilo. 02-010 (RC) which gave due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduled the recall election on September 7. 2002 to September 24. Hence. 2002." Subsequently. a certain Genaro V. Ma. 02-492. a certain Bienvenido Ollave. to disqualify Hagedorn from running in the recall election and to cancel his certificate of candidacy. the instant consolidated petitions. docketed as SPA No. 2002 in E. 2002. The COMELEC also reset the recall election from September 7. Edward M. 02-492 also seeking to disqualify Hagedorn.COMELEC fixed the campaign period from August 27. 2002. 2002. having been elected and having served as mayor of the city for three (3) consecutive full terms immediately prior to the instant recall election for the same post. The COMELEC declared Hagedorn qualified to run in the recall election. 2002.M. the COMELEC's First Division 4 dismissed for lack of merit SPA Nos. (4) the adoption of the resolution was exercised with grave abuse of authority. The COMELEC affirmed the resolution declaring Hagedorn qualified to run in the recall election. Socrates alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in upholding the Recall Resolution. G. On August 17. On the same date. On August 23. and (5) the PRA proceedings were conducted in a manner that violated his and the public's constitutional right to information. No. On September 23. Manaay filed another petition. Adovo ("Adovo" for brevity) and Merly E. 02-539. In a resolution promulgated on September 20. On August 30. Socrates cites the following circumstances as legal infirmities attending the convening of the PRA and its issuance of the Recall Resolution: (1) not all members of the PRA were notified of the meeting to adopt the resolution. Hagedorn ("Hagedorn" for brevity) filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor in the recall election. The petitions were all anchored on the ground that "Hagedorn is disqualified from running for a fourth consecutive term. Flores F. 2002 or a period of 10 days. 2002. SPA Nos. against Hagedorn alleging substantially the same facts and involving the same issues. Gilo ("Gilo" for brevity) filed a petition before the COMELEC. 2002 to September 5.R. 2002. ("Ollave" for brevity) filed a petition-in-intervention in SPA No. 154512 Petitioner Socrates seeks to nullify the COMELEC en banc resolution dated August 14. Sr. (3) the members of the PRA were themselves seeking a new electoral mandate from their respective constituents. (2) the proof of service of notice was palpably and legally deficient. 02-492 and 02-539. 02-492 and 02-539 were consolidated.R.

seeks to annul COMELEC Resolution No. 2002 insofar as it fixed the recall election on September 7. 2002 within which to campaign. In a resolution dated September 3. the COMELEC reset the recall election to September 24. Jr. the Court en banc enjoined the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. 2002 and that a new date be fixed giving the candidates at least an additional 15 days to campaign. 5673 dated August 21. 155083-84 Petitioners Adovo. 5673 insofar as it fixed the date of the recall election on September 7. 2002. Hagedorn filed motions to lift the order restraining the COMELEC from proclaiming the winning candidate and to allow him to assume office to give effect to the will of the electorate. 2002 and September 23. 2002. 2002.238 votes. He prayed that the COMELEC be enjoined from holding the recall election on September 7.220 votes and 13. 2002.000 bond. The Issues The issues for resolution of the Court are: . The Court directed the COMELEC to give the candidates an additional fifteen 15 days from September 7. 2002. Petitioners argue that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in upholding Hagedorn's qualification to run for mayor in the recall election despite the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against a fourth consecutive term for elective local officials. On September 27. They likewise prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin the proclamation of the winning candidate in the recall election. Socrates filed a motion for leave to file an attached petition for intervention seeking the same reliefs as those sought by Adovo. Nos. On October 1. Gilo and Ollave. G. Gilo and Ollave assail the COMELEC's resolutions dated September 20. 02-492 and 02-539 declaring Hagedorn qualified to run for mayor in the recall election. 2002. the Court granted Socrates' motion for leave to file a petition for intervention. Petitioners were required to post aP20.R. the COMELEC en banc issued Resolution No. Accordingly.Petitioner Vicente S. the Court ordered the COMELEC to desist from proclaiming any winning candidate in the recall election until further orders from the Court. respectively. Rival candidates Socrates and Sandoval obtained 17. on September 9. 2002 in SPA Nos. giving the candidates only a ten- day campaign period. Sandoval. 2002 within which to campaign. In the meantime. Thus. 2002. 2002. Hagedorn garnered the highest number of votes in the recall election with 20. 5708 giving the candidates an additional 15 days from September 7. In a resolution dated September 24.241 votes.

' The Provincial Election Supervisor of Palawan.' The Acting Director IV. First Issue: Validity of the Recall Resolution. in his Indorsement dated 10 July 2002. Proof of Service for each of the said notices were attached to the Petition and marked as Annex "G" of Volumes II and III of the Petition. In G. The proponents likewise utilized the broadcast mass media in the dissemination of the convening of the PRA. found that – "On various dates. regional and national officials. Our Resolution of September 3. 2002 and COMELEC Resolution No. COMELEC city. Atty.' She likewise certified 'that not a single member/signatory of the PRA complained or objected as to the veracity and authenticity of their signatures. Urbano Arlando. Copies of the said notice are in Volumes I and II entitled Notices to PRA. Notices were likewise posted in conspicuous places particularly at the Barangay Hall. however. Region IV. the issue of whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in fixing a campaign period of only 10 days has become moot. xxx The City Election Officer of Puerto Princesa City in her Certification dated 10 July 2002 certified that upon a 'thorough and careful verification of the signatures appearing in PRA Resolution 01-02. whether Hagedorn is qualified to run for mayor in the recall election of Puerto Princesa on September 24. 2002.R. 154683. No. the proponents for the Recall of incumbent City Mayor Victorino Dennis M. Notices of the convening of the Puerto Princesa PRA were also sent to the following: [a list of 25 names of provincial elective officials. No. Photos establishing the same were attached to the Petition and marked as Annex "H". Socrates sent notices of the convening of the PRA to the members thereof pursuant to Section 70 of the Local Government Code. In G. Nos. whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in giving due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduling the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa. In G.R. print and broadcast media practitioners. Likewise.R. x x x the majority of all members of the PRA concerned approved said resolution. Petitioner Socrates argues that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in upholding the Recall Resolution despite the absence of notice to 130 PRA members and the defective service of notice to other PRA members. The COMELEC. all documents submitted are found in order. in his study dated 30 July 2002 submitted the following recommendations: . 1. 154512. stated. PNP officials. in the month of June 2002.155083-84. 2. 'upon proper review. and DILG officials]. 5708 granted an additional 15 days for the campaign period as prayed for by petitioner.

There is no legal basis in Socrates' claim that respondents violated his constitutional right to information on matters of public concern.5 which also dealt with alleged defective service of notice to PRA members. Second Issue: Hagedorn's qualification to run for mayor in the recall election of September 24. Socrates bewails that the manner private respondents conducted the PRA proceedings violated his constitutional right to information on matters of public concern. however. COMELEC. 2002 because a majority of PRA members were seeking a new electoral mandate in the barangay elections scheduled on July 15. admits receiving notice of the PRA meeting and of even sending his representative and counsel who were present during the entire PRA proceedings. . That the PRA was validly constituted and that the majority of all members thereof approved Resolution No. after evaluating the documents filed. or serious inconsistencies in the findings. we rule that the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in upholding the validity of the Recall Resolution and in scheduling the recall election on September 24. however. Socrates. In the absence of patent error. 01-02 calling for the recall of Mayor Victorino Dennis M. In Malonzo v.'This Office. Socrates also claims that the PRA members had no authority to adopt the Recall Resolution on July 2. minutes of the PRA proceedings. 2002. The factual findings of the COMELEC." This Court is bound by the findings of fact of the COMELEC on matters within the competence and expertise of the COMELEC. based on its own assessments and duly supported by gathered evidence. Thus." In the instant case. finds the instant Petition sufficient in form and substance. we do not find any valid reason to hold that the COMELEC's findings of fact are patently erroneous. and authenticated master list of barangay officials in Puerto Princesa. unless the findings are patently erroneous. attendance sheets. more so. in the absence of a substantiated attack on the validity of the same. and the determination of the same is therefore a function of the COMELEC. notices sent to PRA members. Socrates had the right to examine and copy all these public records in the official custody of the COMELEC. They were all de jure sangguniang barangay members with no legal disqualification to participate in the recall assembly under Section 70 of the Local Government Code. are conclusive upon the court. the journal of the PRA assembly. Socrates. 2002. the issue of propriety of the notices sent to the PRA members is factual in nature. This argument deserves scant consideration considering that when the PRA members adopted the Recall Resolution their terms of office had not yet expired. Proponents of the recall election submitted to the COMELEC the Recall Resolution. does not claim that the COMELEC denied him this right. Socrates. we ruled that – "Needless to state. the Court should not disturb the same. 2002.' x x x .

– (a) x x x (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. except barangay officials. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. which states: "Section 8. an elective local official cannot seek immediate reelection for a fourth term. When the framers of the Constitution debated on the term limit of elective local officials."7 . MR." This three-term limit rule is reiterated in Section 43 (b) of RA No. The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the three-term limit rule. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected.The three-term limit rule for elective local officials is found in Section 8. Second. After three consecutive terms. The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service. is no longer covered by the prohibition for two reasons. The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same office following the end of the third consecutive term. like a recall election. Any subsequent election. which provides: "Section 43. 7160. The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms." These constitutional and statutory provisions have two parts. or whether there would be "no immediate reelection" after three terms. a subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate reelection after three consecutive terms. ROMULO:6 We are now ready to discuss the two issues. The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms. Term of Office. The term of office of elective local officials. First. Article X of the Constitution. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service. I where there is no further election after a total of three terms and Alternative No. and these are Alternative No. This is clear from the following deliberations of the Constitutional Commission: "THE PRESIDENT: The Acting Floor Leader is recognized. the question asked was whether there would be no further election after three terms. otherwise known as the Local Government Code. as indicated on the blackboard. which shall be determined by law. 2 where there is no immediate reelection after three successive terms.

The debates in the Constitutional Commission evidently show that the prohibited election referred to by the framers of the Constitution is the immediate reelection after the third term. then Senators should also be prohibited from running in any election within the six-year full term following their two-term limit.10 Clearly. 2 (no immediate reelection after three successive terms). What the Constitution prohibits is a consecutive fourth term. namely: 1) Alternative No. Mr. however. If the prohibition on elective local officials is applied to any election within the three-year full term following the three-term limit. ROMULO Upon resumption of session. We will allow the Senator to rest for a period of time before he can run again? DAVIDE:13 That is correct. A recall election mid-way in the term following the third consecutive term is a subsequent election but not an immediate reelection after the third term. and 2) Alternative No."11 In the debates on the term limit of Senators. 1 (no further reelection after a total of three terms). the following exchange in the Constitutional Convention is instructive: "GASCON:12 I would like to ask a question with regard to the issue after the second term."8 The framers of the Constitution used the same "no immediate reelection" question in voting for the term limits of Senators9 and Representatives of the House. GASCON: And the question that we left behind before . Neither does the Constitution prohibit one barred from seeking immediate reelection to run in any other subsequent election involving the same term of office. The constitutional provision on the term limit of Senators is worded exactly like the term limit of elective local officials. not any other subsequent election. The Constitution.if the Gentleman will remember - was: How long will that period of rest be? Will it be one election which is three years or one term which is six years? . Romulo manifested that the Body would proceed to the consideration of two issues on the term of Representatives and local officials. what the Constitution prohibits is an immediate reelection for a fourth term following three consecutive terms.The Journal of the Constitutional Commission reports the following manifestation on the term of elective local officials: "MANIFESTATION OF MR. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. thus: "No Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. does not prohibit a subsequent reelection for a fourth term as long as the reelection is not immediately after the end of the third consecutive term.

Socrates. who had reached the maximum three-term limit. 2002 to June 30. Hagedorn's three consecutive terms ended on June 30. GASCON: So. That was the Committee's stand. this particular member of the Senate can run. 2001 to September 24. the period of rest would be three years at the least. 2002 which broke the continuity or consecutive character of Hagedorn's service as mayor. After Hagedorn ceased to be mayor on June 30. So. Hagedorn's new recall term from September 24. effectively." 14 (Emphasis supplied) The framers of the Constitution thus clarified that a Senator can run after only three years 15 following his completion of two terms. Hagedorn did not run for mayor in the 2001 elections. In the case of Hagedorn. The framers of the Constitution did not intend "the period of rest" of an elective official who has reached his term limit to be the full extent of the succeeding term. The immediate reelection that the Constitution barred Hagedorn from seeking referred to the regular elections in 2001." The clear intent of the framers of the constitution to bar any attempt to circumvent the three-term limit by a voluntary renunciation of office . The framers expressly acknowledged that the prohibited election refers only to the immediate reelection.018 votes over his closest opponent. Thus.17 the Court had occasion to explain interruption of continuity of service in this manner: "x x x The second sentence of the constitutional provision under scrutiny states. During the same period. it is not really a period of hibernation for six years. 2002 is not an immediate reelection after his third consecutive term which ended on June 30. Under the Constitution and the Local Government Code. but because of a legal prohibition. From June 30. Hagedorn could no longer run for mayor in the 2001 elections. 2001. 2004 is not a seamless continuation of his previous three consecutive terms as mayor. the mayor of Puerto Princesa was Socrates.16 Socrates ran and won as mayor of Puerto Princesa in the 2001 elections. he became a private citizen until the recall election of September 24. whether such election will be on the third or on the sixth year thereafter. Comelec. 2001. 1995 and 1998 elections and served in full his three consecutive terms as mayor of Puerto Princesa. during the six-year period following the two term limit. and not to any subsequent election. Hagedorn did not seek reelection in the 2001 elections. 2002. One cannot stitch together Hagedorn's previous three-terms with his new recall term to make the recall term a fourth consecutive term because factually it is not. from running for a fourth consecutive term as mayor. "Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which he was elected. An involuntary interruption occurred from June 30. This period is clearly an interruption in the continuity of Hagedorn's service as mayor. In Lonzanida v. 2001 until the recall election on September 24. Hagedorn was simply a private citizen. Hagedorn was elected for three consecutive terms in the 1992. 2001. Commissioner Rodrigo expressed the view that during the election following the expiration of the first 12 years. The Constitution and the Local Government Code disqualified Hagedorn. DAVIDE: If the Gentleman will remember. 2002 when he won by 3. his candidacy in the recall election on September 24. not because of his voluntary renunciation.

the recall term of Talaga began only from the date he assumed office after winning the recall election. 2000 when Talaga was out of office interrupted the continuity of his service as mayor. Tagarao.and at the same time respect the people's choice and grant their elected official full service of a term is evident in this provision. petitioned for Talaga's disqualification on the ground that Talaga had already served three consecutive terms as mayor. Adormeo established the rule . 1998 to May 12. had served two consecutive full terms as mayor of Lucena City. the interruption occurred after the first two consecutive terms. Talaga's recall term did not retroact to include the tenure in office of his predecessor. although short of a full term of three years. 2000 to June 30. The Constitution does not require the interruption or hiatus to be a full term of three years. the other candidate for mayor. We held in Adormeo that the period an elective local official is out of office interrupts the continuity of his service and prevents his recall term from being stitched together as a seamless continuation of his previous two consecutive terms. However. then he would have been disqualified to run in the 2001 elections because he would already have served three consecutive terms prior to the 2001 elections. The period of time prior to the recall term." as long as the cause is involuntary. One who wins and serves a recall term does not serve the full term of his predecessor but only the unexpired term. the nearly 15-month period he was out of office. x x x. 2001. In both cases. constitutes an interruption in continuity of service. The clear intent is that interruption "for any length of time. Talaga won and served the unexpired term of Tagarao from May 12. The only difference between Adormeo and the instant case is the time of the interruption. conversely. Clearly. The Court ruled that Talaga was qualified to run in the 2001 elections. when another elective official holds office. In Adormeo. In Adormeo. constituted an interruption in the continuity of his service as mayor. In the instant case. In his third bid for election as mayor in 1998. 2000. the interruption happened after the first three consecutive terms. we likewise hold that the nearly 15 months Hagedorn was out of office interrupted his continuity of service and prevents his recall term from being stitched together as a seamless continuation of his previous three consecutive terms." (Emphasis supplied) In Hagedorn's case. involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service. stating that the period from June 30. in the recall election of May 12. Voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three-term limit. the issue in Adormeo was whether Talaga's recall term was a continuation of his previous two terms so that he was deemed to have already served three consecutive terms as mayor. Jr. there having been a break of almost two years during which time Tagarao was the mayor. In the recent case of Adormeo v. is sufficient to break an elective local official's continuity of service. Thus. Comelec and Talaga. In Adormeo. If Talaga's recall term was made to so retroact. In the instant case. the respondents were seeking election for a fourth term. Raymundo Adormeo. Talaga lost to Bernard G. Talaga's recall term as mayor was not consecutive to his previous two terms because of this interruption. Talaga.18 a unanimous Court reiterated the rule that an interruption consisting of a portion of a term of office breaks the continuity of service of an elective local official. When Talaga ran again for mayor in the 2001 elections. Ramon Y.

retroacting to June 30. considering that the draft constitution contained provisions 'recognizing people's power. Hagedorn's recall term does not retroact to include the tenure in office of Socrates. §8 of the Constitution reveals that the members of the Constitutional Commission were as much concerned with preserving the freedom of choice of the people as they were with preventing the monopolization of political power. In the same manner. is to ignore reality. 2001. because we speak of 'term. Comelec: "Thus. an elective local official who serves a recall term can serve for more than nine consecutive years comprising of the recall . Would that mean that serving the unexpired portion of the term is already considered one term? So. As this Court aptly stated in Borja. the same principle applies to a recall election of local officials. Instead. Worse. despite the fact that he won his recall term only last September 24. they adopted the alternative proposal of Commissioner Christian Monsod that such officials be simply barred from running for the same position in the succeeding election following the expiration of the third consecutive term. 2002 recall election if the recall term is made to retroact to June 30. Indeed. This Court cannot declare as consecutive or successive terms of office which historically and factually are not. he will serve only for the unexpired portion of that particular term plus one more term for the Senator and two more terms for the Members of the Lower House. X. for only then can the recall term constitute a fourth consecutive term. which is actually the correct statement. This is clear from the following discussion in the Constitutional Commission: "SUAREZ:20 For example. to make Hagedorn's recall term retroact to June 30. a consideration of the historical background of Art. a special election is called for a Senator. half a term. 2001. 2002.that the winner in the recall election cannot be charged or credited with the full term of three years for purposes of counting the consecutiveness of an elective official's terms in office. 2001 creates a legal fiction that unduly curtails the freedom of the people to choose their leaders through popular elections. Garcia that after serving three consecutive terms or nine years there should be no further reelection for local and legislative officials. But to consider Hagedorn's recall term as a full term of three years.' and if there is a special election. Otherwise. plus one term would disqualify the Senator concerned from running? Is that the meaning of this provision on disqualification. Madam President? DAVIDE: Yes. This unexpired term is in itself one term for purposes of counting the three-term limit. An official elected in recall election serves the unexpired term of the recalled official. Monsod warned against 'prescreening candidates [from] whom the people will choose' as a result of the proposed absolute disqualification. and the Senator newly elected would have to serve the unexpired portion of the term. Jr."21 Although the discussion referred to special elections for Senators and Representatives of the House. they rejected a proposal put forth by Commissioner Edmundo F. v. The concept of term limits is in derogation of the sovereign will of the people to elect the leaders of their own choosing.'" 19 (Emphasis supplied) A necessary consequence of the interruption of continuity of service is the start of a new term following the interruption. Hagedorn can only be disqualified to run in the September 24. Term limits must be construed strictly to give the fullest possible effect to the sovereign will of the people.

Vitug. J. 2002 is lifted. Hagedorn's recall term from September 24. Puno.. in the result. 2001 to make a fourth consecutive term because factually the recall term is not a fourth consecutive term. 2002 recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa because: 1.... Azcuna. 2002 during which time he was a private citizen. J. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC . Davide. Sandoval-Gutierrez. SO ORDERED. 2002 to June 30. Mendoza. 2002 enjoining the proclamation of the winning candidate for mayor of Puerto Princesa in the recall election of September 24. J. 2001 to September 24.. Sr. see concurring opinion. without to the filing of separate opinion.term plus the regular three full terms. J. J. Davide. Jr. J. 2001. and Callejo. joins the separate opinion of C.. no part . and 4.. on leave. Austria-Martinez. This is the inherent limitation he takes by running and winning in the recall election.J. the petitions in G. No costs.J. C. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court on September 24.prior consultation. 2.. JJ. 154683 and 155083-84 are DISMISSED. Quisumbing.R. Corona.. Bellosillo. Panganiban. 154512. 2004 cannot be made to retroact to June 30. WHEREFORE.. Ynares-Santiago. we hold that Hagedorn is qualified to run in the September 24. concur. Term limits should be construed strictly to give the fullest possible effect to the right of the electorate to choose their leaders. Hagedorn is not running for immediate reelection following his three consecutive terms as mayor which ended on June 30. In summary. Nos. in the result. 3. A local official who serves a recall term should know that the recall term is in itself one term although less than three years. see concurring and dissenting opinion. Carpio-Morales. Hagedorn's continuity of service as mayor was involuntarily interrupted from June 30.

JR. Marquez Jr. respondents. 92-28). declared that: . 1996 EDUARDO T.:p Petitioner Eduardo T. Marquez revealed that Rodriguez left the United States where a charge.. vs. Marquez challenged the COMELEC dismissal of EPC No. He also filed an "Urgent Motion to Admit Additional Argument in Support of the Motion for Reconsideration" to which was attached a certification from the Commission on Immigration showing that . This definition truly finds support from jurisprudence (. That task was to devolve on the COMELEC upon remand of the case to it. filed on November 12.R. page 538 of the SCRA and hereinafter referred to as theMARQUEZ Decision. Jr. vs.A.R. the Court in "Marquez. MARQUEZ. Rodriguez sought a reconsideration thereof. for brevity) were protagonists for the gubernatorial post of Quezon Province in the May 1992 elections. BIENVENIDO O. . grand theft and attempted grand theft of personal property. Rodriguez is therefore a "fugitive from justice" which is a ground for his disqualification/ineligibility under Section 40(e) of the Local Government Code (R. 92-28) in a resolution of February 2. and likewise denied a reconsideration thereof. The crux of said petition is whether Rodriguez. RODRIGUEZ. The COMELEC dismissed Marquez' quo warranto petition (EPC No. petitioner. . 1993. In resolving that Marquez petition (112889).G. No. Rodriguez and private respondent Bienvenido O. 92-28 before this Court via petition for certiorari. No. docketed as G. J. Marquez challenged Rodriguez' victory via petition for quo warranto before the COMELEC (EPC No. "fugitive from justice" includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who. 1985. . 112889. is a "fugitive from justice" as contemplated by Section 40 (e) of the Local Government Code based on the alleged pendency of a criminal charge against him (as previously mentioned). after being charged. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. COMELEC"' promulgated on April 18. and it may be so conceded as expressing the general and ordinary connotation of the term. with the directive to proceed therewith with dispatch conformably with the MARQUEZ Decision. 1 Whether or not Rodriguez is a "fugitive from justice" under the definition thus given was not passed upon by the Court. .). flee to avoid prosecution. . Rodriguez won and was proclaimed duly-elected governor. so argued Marquez. is pending against the latter before the Los Angeles Municipal Court for fraudulent insurance claims. 7160). 120099 July 24. 1995. (Rodriguez and Marquez. FRANCISCO. now appearing in Volume 243.

1995 when Rodriguez' petition forcertiorari (112889) — from where the April 18. Rodriguez and Marquez renewed their rivalry for the same position of governor. the parties. the COMELEC considered Rodriguez as having waived his right to disprove the authenticity of Marquez' aforementioned documentary evidence.. found Rodriguez to be one. Marquez challenged Rodriguez' candidacy via petition for disqualification before the COMELEC." This petition for disqualification (SPA No. an authenticated copy of the felony complaint which the COMELEC allowed to be presented ex-parte after Rodriguez walked-out of the hearing of the case on April 26. 1995 election. 92-28 and SPA No. the COMELEC.S. With the walk-out. In justifying a joint resolution of these two (2) cases. facts and issue involved are identical in both cases 3. Going now into the meat of that Consolidated Resolution. EPC No. 1995 MARQUEZ Decision sprung — was still then pending before the Court. This time. Such finding was essentially based on Marquez' documentary evidence consisting of 1. 95-089) was filed by Marquez on April 11. allegedly having kept in mind theMARQUEZ Decision definition of "fugitive from justice". the COMELEC promulgated a Consolidated Resolution for EPC No. 1995 warrant of arrest issued by the Los Angeles municipal court against Rodriguez. 1995 following the COMELEC's denial of Rodriguez' motion for postponement.A. 92-28 (quo warranto case) and SPA NO. On May 7. and 2. an authenticated copy of the November 12. In the May 8. 95-089 are inherently related cases 2.Rodriguez left the US on June 25. 1985 — roughly five (5) months prior to the institution of the criminal complaint filed against him before the Los Angeles court. The COMELEC thus made the following analysis: The authenticated documents submitted by petitioner (Marquez) to show the pendency of a criminal complaint against the respondent (Rodriguez) in the Municipal Court of Los Angeles. and the fact that there is an outstanding warrant against him amply proves petitioner's contention that the . the same evidence is to be utilized in both cases in determining the common issue of whether Rodriguez is a "fugitive from justice" 4. The Court however denied a reconsideration of the MARQUEZ Decision. based principally on the same allegation that Rodriguez is a "fugitive from justice. 1995 and after the promulgation of the MARQUEZ Decision. on consultation with the Commission En Banc. California. 95-089 (disqualification case). the Commissioners unanimously agreed that a consolidated resolution of the two (2) cases is not procedurally flawed. the COMELEC explained that: 1. U.

On the contrary. 1995. his certificate of candidacy for the May 8. This allegation in the Answer. he is hereby ordered disqualified or ineligible from assuming and performing the functions of Governor of Quezon Province. the COMELEC. one must be aware of the filing of the criminal complaint. Rodriguez again emerge as the victorious candidate in the May 8. The Provincial Board of Canvassers nonetheless proclaimed Rodriguez on May 12. respondent implicitly contends that he cannot be deemed a fugitive from justice. 1995. may reach him is predicated on a clear desire to avoid and evade the warrant. and his disappearance in the place where the long arm of the law. 2 And proceeding therefrom. thru the warrant of arrest. To Proclaim Marquez And To Cite The Provincial Board of Canvassers in Contempt" before the COMELEC (in EPC No. was not even fortified with any attached document to show when he left the United States and when he returned to this country. Marquez filed urgent motions to suspend Rodriguez' proclamation which the COMELEC granted on May 11. No. 1995 elections is hereby set aside. No. 1995 elections. respondent was already in the Philippines and he did not know of the filing of the same nor was he aware that he was being proceeded against criminally. in the dispositive portion. On May 22. however. . Acting on Marquez' omnibus motion. nullified Rodriguez' proclamation and ordered certain members of the Quezon Province Provincial Board of Canvassers to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for disobeying the poll body's May 11. he is hereby disqualified from running for Governor for Quezon Province in the May 8. At any rate. the fact of arrest of respondent's wife on November 6. the COMELEC. considering that respondent has been proven to be fugitive from justice. 1995. thru this defense. 1995 Resolution suspending Rodriguez' proclamation thus gave rise to the filing of the instant petition forcertiorari (G. 1995. On May 10 and 11. respondent is a fugitive from justice. the COMELEC deferred action until after this Court has resolved the instant petition (G. 92-28 and SPA No. 95-089). 1995. The Commission cannot look with favor on respondent's defense that long before the felony complaint was allegedly filed. 1985 in the United States by the Fraud Bureau investigators in an apartment paid for respondent in that country can hardly rebut whatever presumption of knowledge there is against the respondent. 1995. 95-089 and the May 11.R. 92-28 and SPA No. facts upon which the conclusion of absence of knowledge about the criminal complaint may be derived. Lastly. 120099) on May 16. 1995 Resolution suspending Rodriguez' proclamation. Marquez filed an "Omnibus Motion To Annul The Proclamation of Rodriguez. The COMELEC Consolidated Resolution in EPC No.R. Further. 1995 election for the position of governor. Respondent is ordered to immediately vacate said office. in its Resolution of June 23. In a sense. But with respect to Marquez' motion for his proclamation. because to be so. 120099). declared: WHEREFORE.

Rule 33.Rodriguez filed a motion to admit supplemental petition to include the aforesaid COMELEC June 23. filed an "Urgent Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Or Preliminary Injunction" which sought to retain and enjoin Rodriguez "from exercising the powers. Another similar urgent motion was later on filed by Rodriguez which the Court also denied. functions and prerogatives of Governor of Quezon . The provisions of Sections 3 to 10. 1995 Resolution. on December 26. Such intent to evade is absent in Rodriguez' case because evidence has established that Rodriguez arrived in the Philippines (June 25. 1995 Resolution. Rodriguez' "Urgent Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order And/Or For Reconsideration" was denied by the Court in an August 15. of the Rules of Court may be applied in the reception of the evidence. The Chairman of the COMELEC shall have the proceedings completed and the corresponding report submitted to this Court within thirty (30) days from notice hereof. 1995. 120099) on July 13. 1995 issued a temporary restraining order. respectively). Sr. 1995 Resolutions (Consolidated Resolution and Order to suspend Rodriguez' proclamation. The COMELEC complied therewith by filing before the Court. . 1985). In a Resolution dated October 24. 1995. declared that Rodriguez is NOT a "fugitive from justice" as defined in the main opinion in the MARQUEZ Decision. the Court . we quote the COMELEC's observations in full: . As directed by the Court. No. a report entitled "'EVIDENCE OF THE PARTIES and COMMISSION'S EVALUATION" wherein the COMELEC. if he so desires. . . thus making a 180-degree turnaround from its finding in the Consolidated Resolution. or that which can tend to establish petitioner's contention that he does not fall within the legal concept of a "fugitive from justice. RESOLVED to DIRECT the Chairman of the Commission on Elections ("COMELEC") to designate a Commissioner or a ranking official of the COMELEC to RECEIVE AND EVALUATE such legally admissible evidence as herein petitioner Eduardo Rodriguez may be minded to present by way of refuting the evidence heretofore submitted by private respondent Bienvenido Marquez. after calibrating the parties' evidence.R." Private respondent Marquez may likewise. . apart from the May 7 and May 11." Acting favorably thereon. 1995. . In arriving at this new conclusion. the COMELEC opined that intent to evade is a material element of the MARQUEZ Decision definition. on August 3. oral arguments were had in relation to the instant petition (G.. 1995. So as not to miss anything. Marquez. introduce additional and admissible evidence in support of his own position. The poll body expressed what it describes as its "persistent discomfort" on whether it read and applied correctly the MARQUEZ Decision definition of "fugitive from justice". the Court in a Resolution dated August 8. But the COMELEC report did not end there. 1985) long before the criminal charge was instituted in the Los Angeles Court (November 12.

244 SC 344. Tobin v. . flees from jurisdiction of the court where crime was committed or departs from his usual place of abode and conceals himself within the district. . 399 by F. . 671. and it may be so conceded as expressing the general and ordinary connotation of the term. Pflanz. 5th Ed. the term was defined as: a person who. King v. (our emphasis) In Hughes v. after being charged. having committed within a state a crime. to be subjected to criminal process. (emphasis ours) From the above rulings. is found within the territory of another state. it can be gleaned that the objective facts sufficient to constitute flight from justice are: (a) a person committed a "crime" or has been charged for the commission thereof.B. Noe.. Specifically. . has left its jurisdiction and is found within the territory of another when it is sought to subject him to the criminal process of the former state. leaves the jurisdiction of the court where said crime was committed or his usual place of abode. Sixth Edition. 103. Noe. Moreno's Philippine Law Dictionary. flee to avoid prosecution. Black's Law Dictionary begins the definition of the term by referring to a "fugitive from justice" as: (A) person. Hughes v. Casaus 275 Pacific Reporter 2d p. having committed a crime. 138 Federal Reporter 980. 137 SE 2d 102. Moreno. having committed or been charged with a crime in one state. Pflanz. the definition continues and conceptualizes a "fugitive from justice" as: . of a crime in one jurisdiction and is absent for any reason from that jurisdiction. . and (b) thereafter. . or being accused. . . ." It proceeded to state that: This definition truly finds support from jurisprudence (Philippine Law Dictionary Third Edition. But in the majority of the cases cited. The main opinion's definition of a "fugitive from justice" "include not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but also those who. considers the term as an: expression which refers to one having committed. p. when sought for. a person who. the definition of the term "fugitive from justice" contemplates other instances not explicitly mentioned in the main opinion. one who flees to avoid punishment . . p. Black's Law Dictionary. who. Then. 792). citing King v.

R. Reilly(116 US 80) the United States Supreme Court held: .R. 436). From the foregoing discussions. In fact. NO. it is not necessary that the party should have left the state or the judicial district where the crime is alleged to have been committed. THE MERE FACT THAT THERE ARE PENDING CHARGES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THAT PETITIONER RODRIGUEZ IS IN THE PHILIPPINES MAKE PETITIONER A "FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE". . IT APPEARS THAT GIVEN THE AUTHORITIES CITED IN G.R." Other rulings of the United States Supreme Court further amplify the view that intent and purpose for departure is inconsequential to the inquiry. the spirited legal fray between the parties in this case focused on each camp's attempt to construe the Court's definition so as to fit or to exclude petitioner within the definition of a "fugitive from justice". Justice Davide's separate opinion in G. No. the Court further ruled in unmistakeable language: The simple fact that they (person who have committed crime within a state) are not within the state to answer its criminal process when required renders them. . 112889.Filing of charges prior to flight is not always an antecedent requirement to label one a "fugitive from justice". . Richter (37 Minn. No. Attention is directed at the use of the word "crime" which is not employed to connote guilt or conviction for the commission thereof. In King v. or for the purpose of avoiding an anticipated prosecution. or is to be expanded as to include other situations alluded to by the foreign jurisprudence cited by the Court. US (144 F. fugitives from justice. 2nd 729). THEREFORE. 112889 elucidates that the disqualification for being a fugitive does not involve the issue of the presumption of innocence. Considering. in legal intendment. are more unequivocal in their pronouncements. the reason for disqualification being that a person "was not brought within the jurisdiction of the court because he had successfully evaded arrest. the determination of whether or not Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice hinges on whether or not Rodriguez' evidence shall be measured against the two instances mentioned in the main opinion. he has left and is found in another jurisdiction (emphasis supplied) Citing State v. which are persuasive in our jurisdiction. having committed a crime within a state or district. after an indictment found. Mere commission of a "crime" without charges having been filed for the same and flight subsequent thereto sufficiently meet the definition. the equally valid yet different interpretations resulting from the Supreme Court decision in G. citing Roberts v. therefore. but that. The texts. he has successfully evaded service of sentence because he had jumped bail or escaped. The disqualification then is based on his flight from justice. or if he was brought within the jurisdiction of the court and was tried and convicted.

as there was in fact no complaint and arrest warrant — much less conviction — to speak of yet at such time. are shrouded with utmost secrecy to afford law enforcers the advantage of surprise and effect the arrest of those who would be charged. the Court gives due credit to the COMELEC in having made the same analysis in its ". It was clearly impossible for Rodriguez to have known about such felony complaint and arrest warrant at the time he left the US. as we have directed the COMELEC on two (2) occasions (in the MARQUEZ Decision and in the Court's October 24. And obviously. by almost five (5) months. or of a promulgated judgment of conviction. includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise who. To reiterate. after being charged. 1995 Resolution). no matter how extensive or prolonged. 4 preceded the filing of the felony complaint in the Los Angeles Court on November 12. is just nowhere to be found in the circumstances of Rodriguez. as per certifications issued by the Bureau of Immigrations dated April 27 3 and June 26 of 1995. other observations consistent with such analysis made by the poll body that are equally formidable so as to merit their adoption as part of this decision. every effort to sabotage the . Otherwise. Unfortunately. flee to avoid prosecution. . there can only be an intent to evade prosecution or punishment when there is knowledge by the fleeing subject of an already instituted indictment. The definition thus indicates that the intent to evade is the compelling factor that animates one's flight from a particular jurisdiction. The instant petition dwells on that nagging issue of whether Rodriguez is a "fugitive from justice". This was done by offering for admission a voluminous copy of an investigation report (Exhibits I to I-17 and J to J-87 inclusive) on the alleged crimes committed which led to the filing of the charges against petitioner. a "fugitive from justice": . in fact. 1985. And having been forewarned. . What prosecution or punishment then was Rodriguez deliberately running away from with his departure from the US? The very essence of being a "fugitive from justice" under the MARQUEZ Decision definition. . . It was offered for the sole purpose of establishing the fact that it was impossible for petitioner not to have known of said investigation due to its magnitude. With that. 112889. to wit: It is acknowledged that there was an attempt by private respondent to show Rodriguez' intent to evade the law. the determination of which. the indiscreet conduct of the investigation would be nothing short of a well-publicized announcement to the perpetrators of the imminent filing of charges against them. There are. must conform to how such term has been defined by the Court in the MARQUEZ Decision. There is no dispute that his arrival in the Philippines from the US on June 25. 1985 and of the issuance on even date of the arrest warrant by the same foreign court. Rodriguez' case just cannot fit in this concept. such conclusion misleads because investigations of this nature. the Commission deems it most conformable to said decision to evaluate the evidence in light of the varied constructions open to it and to respectfully submit the final determination of the case to the Honorable Supreme Court as the final interpreter of the law. COMMISSION'S EVALUATION".

But if private respondent's attempt to show Rodriguez' intent to evade the law at the time he left the United States has any legal consequence at all.investigation may be resorted to by its intended objects. And being a figure in these developments. The same suggests nothing more than the sequence of events which transpired. and learns subsequently of charges filed against him while in the relative peace and service of his own country. in good faith. When. petitioner Rodriguez began serving his home province as OIC-Board Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Quezon in 1986. is more apparent when applied in petitioner's case. While the law. not long after petitioner's arrival in the country. the position entails absolute dedication of one's time to the demands of the office. the evidence of petitioner Rodriguez sufficiently proves that his compulsion to return to the Philippines was due to his desire to join and participate vigorously in the political campaigns against former President Ferdinand E. it will be nothing more than proof that even private respondent accepts that intent to evade the law is a material element in the definition of a fugitive. The severity of the law construed in the manner as to require of a person that he subject himself to the jurisdiction of another state while already in his country or else be disqualified from office. a person leaves the territory of a state not his own. That petitioner has already left said country when the latter sought to subject him to . petitioner's plight is altogether a different situation. The EDSA Revolution led to the ouster of former Pres. Having established petitioner's lack of knowledge of the charges to be filed against him at the time he left the United States. homeward bound. Marcos and precipitated changes in the political climate. A subjective fact as that of petitioner's purpose cannot be inferred from the objective data at hand in the absence of further proof to substantiate such claim. Then. the upheaval wrought by the political forces and the avalanche of events which occurred resulted in one of the more colorful events in the Philippine history. Altogether. he was elected Governor in 1988 and continues to be involved in politics in the same capacity as re-elected Governor in 1992 and the disputed re-election in 1995. intensive and extensive activity of varied political campaigns — first against the Marcos government. the fact that he does not subject himself to the jurisdiction of the former state does not qualify him outright as a fugitive from justice. as interpreted by the Supreme Court. The circumstantial fact that it was seventeen (17) days after Rodriguez' departure that charges against him were filed cannot overturn the presumption of good faith in his favor. does not countenance flight from justice in the instance that a person flees the jurisdiction of another state after charges against him or a warrant for his arrest was issued or even in view of the imminent filing and issuance of the same. it becomes immaterial under such construction to determine the exact time when he was made aware thereof. And serving the people of Quezon province as such. then for the governorship. In fact. For indeed. The criminal process of the United States extends only within its territorial jurisdiction. Marcos. these landmark dates hem in for petitioner a period of relentless.

He could not have gone back to the United States in the middle of his term nor could he have traveled intermittently thereto without jeopardizing the interest of the public he serves. 992. to wit: "Law of the case" has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former appeal. 999. and under his circumstances.. Not justifiable reason existed to curtail or fetter petitioner's exercise of his right to leave the United State and return home. a person who is aware of the imminent filing of charges against him or of the same already filed in connection with acts he committed in the jurisdiction of a particular state. is under an obligation not to flee said place of commission. as in petitioner's case. that one becomes a "fugitive from justice" by the mere fact that he leaves the jurisdiction where a charge is pending against him. regardless of whether or not the charge has already been filed at the time of his flight. The various definitions of that doctrine have been laid down in People v. petitioner had every right to depart therefrom at the precise time that he did and to return to the Philippines. that petitioner Rodriguez came to know of the charges only later. sustaining the contrary proposition would be to unduly burden and punish petitioner for exercising a right as he cannot be faulted for the circumstances that brought him within Philippine territory at the time he was sought to be placed under arrest and to answer for charges filed against him. However. As he was a public officer appointed and elected immediately after his return to the country. its criminal process is hardly petitioner's fault. Hence. 103 Phil.e. The require that of petitioner would be to put him in a paradoxical quandary where he is compelled to violate the very functions of his office. is there a law that requires petitioner to travel to the United States and subject himself to the monetary burden and tedious process of defending himself before the country's courts? It must be noted that moral uprightness is not a standard too far-reaching as to demand of political candidate the performance of duties and obligations that are supererogatory in nature. Granting. In the absence of an intent to evade the laws of the United States.Pinuila. it means that whatever is once irrevocably established as the . Marquez and the COMELEC (in its "COMMISSION'S EVALUATION" as earlier quoted) seem to urge the Court to re-define "fugitive from justice". His subsequent knowledge while in the Philippines and non-submission to the jurisdiction of the former country does not operate to label petitioner automatically a fugitive from justice. petitioner Rodriguez had every reason to devote utmost priority to the service of his office.S. his departure from the United States may not place him under a similar obligation. However. Clearly. More specifically. They espouse the broader concept of the term and culled from foreign authorities (mainly of U. Suffice it to say that the "law of the case" doctrine forbids the Court to craft an expanded re- definition of"fugitive from justice" (which is at variance with the MARQUEZ Decision) and proceed therefrom in resolving the instant petition. vintage) cited in the MARQUEZ Decision itself. as the evidence warrants. i. We do not dispute that an alleged "fugitive from justice" must perform acts in order not to be so categorized.

or issues adjudicated on the prior appeal are the law of the case on all subsequent appeals and will not be considered or readjudicated therein. so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the court. 92-28 (the Marquez' quo warranto petition before the COMELEC). (5 C. as the presumption is that all the facts in the case bearing on the point decided have received due consideration whether all or none of them are mentioned in the opinion. Therefore. 1276-77). 330) It may be stated as a rule of general application that. To summarize. it will refuse to examine question other than those arising subsequently to such determination and remand. Besides. its action will not be questioned on a second appeal.S. The instant petition is also an appeal from EPC No.S. whether correct on a general principles or not. the remedy of the party deeming himself aggrieved being to seek a rehearing. the same parties (Rodriguez and Marquez) and issue (whether or not Rodriguez is a "fugitive from justice") are involved in the MARQUEZ Decision and the instant petition. And we specifically refer to the concept of "fugitive from justice" as defined in the main opinion in the MARQUEZ Decision which highlights the significance of an intent to evade but which Marquez and the COMELEC.J. questions. The MARQUEZ Decision was an appeal from EPC No. where the evidence on a second or succeeding appeal is substantially the same as that on the first or preceding appeal. 95-089 (Marquez' petition for the disqualification of Rodriguez). (5 C. (21 C. with their proposed expanded definition.J. controlling legal rule of decision between the same parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case. or other than the propriety of the compliance with its mandate.J. 1267) In accordance with the general rule stated in Section 1821. to wit: . all matters. points. Questions necessarily involved in the decision on a former appeal will be regarded as the law of the case on a subsequent appeal.S. what was irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule in the MARQUEZ Decision must govern the instant petition. the court has remanded the cause for further action below. (5 C. after a definite determination. and if the court below has proceeded in substantial conformity to the directions of the appellate court.S.J. although the questions are not expressly treated in the opinion of the court. should be understood according to the definition given in the MARQUEZ Decision. 92-28 although the COMELEC resolved the latter jointly with SPA No. 1286-87). As a general rule a decision on a prior appeal of the same case is held to be the law of the casewhether that decision is right or wrong. to re-define "fugitive from justice" would only foment instability in our jurisprudence when hardly has the ink dried in the MARQUEZ Decision. seem to trivialize. To elaborate. the term "fugitive from justice" as a ground for the disqualification or ineligibility of a person seeking to run for any elective local petition under Section 40(e) of the Local Government Code. where.

(Emphasis ours. Puno. after being charged. Kapunan. May 11. Melo. 1995 (Consolidated Resolution). Hermosisima. Rodriguez cannot be denied the Quezon Province gubernatorial post. Jr. the instant petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed Resolutions of the COMELEC dated May 7. and Panganib . A "fugitive from justice" includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who.) Intent to evade on the part of a candidate must therefore be established by proof that there has already been a conviction or at least. 1995 (Resolution suspending Rodriguez' proclamation) and June 23. SO ORDERED. at the time of flight. a charge has already been filed. WHEREFORE. 1995 (Resolution nullifying Rodriguez' proclamation and ordering the Quezon Province Provincial Board and Canvassers to explain why they should not be cited in contempt) are SET ASIDE. in view of the foregoing. flee to avoid prosecution. Romero. Not being a "fugitive from justice" under this definition.