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Article V – Suffrage
Title Macalintal v. COMELEC GR No. 157013 10 July 2003 Austria-Martinez, J. Facts Romulo Macalintal assails the constitutionality of RA 9189, entitled “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.” The provision assailed is Section 5, which allows the registration of voters who are immigrants or permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intention to return to the Philippines. Issue/s W/N Section 5 of RA 9189 violates the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution. Ruling NO. Contrary to petitioner’s claim that Section 5 circumvents the Constitution, Congress enacted the law prescribing a system of overseas absentee voting in compliance with the constitutional mandate. Such mandate expressly requires that Congress provide a system of absentee voting that necessarily presupposes that the “qualified citizen of the Philippines abroad” is not physically present in the country. The qualified Filipino abroad who executed his affidavit is deemed to have retained his domicile in the Philippines. He is presumed to not have lost his domicile by his physical absence from this country. As to the eventuality that the Filipino abroad would renege on his undertaking to return to the Philippines, the penalty of perpetual disenfranchisement provided for by Section 5(d) would suffice to serve as deterrence to noncompliance with his/her undertaking under the affidavit. It means Filipinos who are not disqualified under Section 5 of the said law. Obiter: Contrary to the claim of the petitioner, the execution of the affidavit itself is not the enabling or enfranchising act. It is not only proof of the intention of the immigrant or permanent resident to go back and resume residency in the Philippines, but more significantly, it serves as an explicit expression that he had not in fact abandoned his domicile of origin. The affidavit is required of immigrants and permanent residents abroad because by their status in their host countries, they are presumed to have relinquished their Doctrine/s Section 1, Article V of the Constitution specifically provides that suffrage may be exercised by (1) all citizens of the Philippines; (2) not otherwise disqualified by law; (3) at least eighteen years of age; and (4) who are residents in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. The right of absentee and disabled voters to cast their ballots at an election is purely statutory; absentee voting was unknown to, and not recognized at, the common law. Statutes on absentee voting are regarded as conferring a privilege and not a right, or an absolute right. Domicile includes the twin elements of “the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place” and animus manendi, or the intention of returning there permanently. Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a person in a given area, community, or country. The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. If a person’s intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. A person can only have a single domicile, unless, for various reasons, he successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile
What does “qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad” as it appears in RA 9189 mean?
Election Law Case Digest Matrix 1 – Stef Macapagal
intent to return to this country; thus, without the affidavit, the presumption of abandonment of Philippine domicile shall remain. The strategic location of Section 2 indicates that the Constitutional Commission provided for an exception to the actual residency requirement of Section 1 with respect to qualified Filipinos abroad. Akbayan-Youth v. COMELEC GR Nos. 147066 & 147179 26 March 2001 Buena, J. Petitioners, representing the youth sector, seek to direct the COMELEC to conduct a special registration before the 14 May 2001 General Elections of new voters ages 18 to 21. According to them, around 4M youth failed to register on or before the 27 December 2000 deadline set by COMELEC under RA 8189, or the “Voters’ Registration Act of 1996.” Sen. Raul Roco had previously requested the COMELEC to hold a 2-day special registration for the youth, which the COMELEC declined for lack of time to accomplish all pre-election activities. Aggrived by the denial, the petitioners came to Court to compel COMELEC to let them register and to invalidate RA 8189. W/N RA 8189 is unconstitutional insofar as it effectively causes the disenfranchisement of those who were not able to register. NO. The right of suffrage is not at all absolute. The exercise of the right is subject to existing substantive and procedural requirements embodied in our Constitution, statute books, and other repositories of law. As to the substantive aspect, Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution provides for it. As to the procedural limitation, the right of a citizen to vote is necessarily conditioned upon certain procedural requirements he must undergo: among others, the process of registration. Proceeding from the significance of registration as a necessary requisite to the right to vote, the State undoubtedly, in the exercise of its inherent police power, may then enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of voters’ registration for the ultimate purpose of conducting honest, orderly, and peaceful election.
of choice. Ordinarily, an absentee is not a resident and vice versa; a person cannot be at the same time, both a resident and an absentee. However, under our election laws and the countless pronouncements of the Court pertaining to elections, an absentee remains attached to his residence in the Philippines as residence is considered synonymous with domicile. In a representative democracy such as ours, the right of suffrage, although accorded a prime niche in the hierarchy of rights embodied in the fundamental law, ought to be exercised within the proper bounds and framework of the Constitution and must properly yield to pertinent laws skillfully enacted by the Legislature. The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right of suffrage. Registration cannot and should not be denigrated to the lowly stature of a mere statutory requirement.
Article VI – Legislative Department
Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC GR No. 119976 18 September 1995 Kapunan, J. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. In her residence information, she wrote down “seven months.” When Cirilo Montejo, the incumbent representative, challenged her W/N Marcos can be considered as a resident, for election purposes, of the First District of Leyte for a period of one year at the time of the elections. YES. It stands to reason that Marcos merely committed an honest mistake in jotting the word “seven” in the space provided for the residency qualification requirement. The juxtaposition of entries in Item 7 and Item 8—the first requiring actual residence and the second requiring domicile—coupled with the In election cases, the term “residence” has always been considered as synonymous with “domicile” which imports not only the intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence
Election Law Case Digest Matrix 1 – Stef Macapagal
candidacy for not being able to meet the one-year residency requirement, Marcos filed an Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy, changing the entry “seven months” to “since childhood.” COMELEC did not accept the Amended Certificate, which prompted her to file a case with COMELEC. COMELEC then passed a Resolution denying Marcos’ petition, stating that the facts point to Marcos not being able to satisfy the residency requirement. COMELEC stated that when Marcos chose to stay in Ilocos and later on in Metro Manila, coupled with her intention to stay there by registering as a voter there and expressly declaring that she is a resident of that place, she is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban City, where she spent her childhood and school days, as her place of domicile. Marcos’ MR was also denied. On the day before the elections, the COMELEC issued a Resolution declaring her not qualified to run for the position of Member of the House of Representatives. Several days after, it issued another Resolution allowing Marcos’ proclamation should the results of the canvas show that she obtained the highest number of votes in the constituency. On the same day, the COMELEC reversed its own Resolution.
circumstances surrounding Marcos’ registration as a voter in Tolosa obviously led her to writing down an unintended entry for which she could be disqualified. This honest mistake should not, however, be allowed to negate the fact of residence in the First District if such fact were established by means more convincing than a mere entry on a piece of paper. Although Marcos held various residences for different purposes during the last four decades, none of these purposes unequivocally point to an intention to abandon her domicile of origin in Tacloban, Leyte. When she married former President Marcos, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium. Her well-publicized ties to her domicile of origin are part of the history and lore of the quarter century of Marcos power in our country. Either they were entirely ignored by the COMELEC’s Resolutions, or the majority of the COMELEC did not know what the rest of the country always knew: the fact of Marcos’ domicile in Tacloban, Leyte. W/N the COMELEC properly exercised its jurisdiction in disqualifying Marcos outside the period mandated by the Omnibus Election Code for disqualification cases under Article 78 of the said Code. YES. A statute requiring rendition of judgment within a specified time is generally construed to be merely directory. In any event, with the enactment of Sections 6 and 7 of RA 6646 in relation to Section 78 of BP 881, it is evident that COMELEC does not lose jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending disqualification case even after the elections. NO. HRET’s jurisdiction as the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of members of Congress begins only after a candidate has become a member of the House of Representatives.
to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. How one acquires a new domicile by choice: There must concur (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality; (2) intention to remain there; and (3) intention to abandon the old domicile. Domicile includes the twin elements of “the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place” and animus manendi, or the intention of returning there permanently. Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a person in a given area, community, or country. The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. If a person’s intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the constitution’s residency qualification requirement. An individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained residences in different places. (1) A minor always follows the domicile of his parents. Domicile, once acquired, is retained until a new one is gained. (2) Domicile of origin
W/N the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal assumed exclusive jurisdiction over the question of Marcos’ qualifications after the elections.
Election Law Case Digest Matrix 1 – Stef Macapagal
Question: So for the purposes of voting, residence = residence and not domicile? But for the purposes of running for a seat in government, residence = domicile? E pano yung gubernatorial seat ni Imelda before?
Aquino v. COMELEC GR No. 120265 18 September 1995 Kapunan, J.
On 20 March 1995, Agapito Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative for the new Second Legislative District of Makati City. In item number 8, he listed that he had lived in Makati for 10 months immediately preceding the election. Move Makati, a political party, and Mateo Bedon of the LAKAS-NUCDUMDP of Makati filed a petition to disqualify Aquino on the ground that he lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for Congressman which, under Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, should be for a period not less than 1 year immediately preceding the 8 May 1995 elections. The day after the petition was filed, Aquino amended his certificate of candidacy, stating that he had resided in the constituency where he sought to be elected for 1 year and 13 months. The COMELEC, after due hearing, dismissed the petition against Aquino and ruled him eligible to run for public office. On 7 May 1995, Move Makati and Bedon filed an MR. The
W/N the COMELEC has jurisdiction to determine and adjudge the disqualification issue involving Congressional candidates after the elections.
YES. The electoral tribunal assumes jurisdiction over all contests relative to the election, returns, and qualifications of candidates for either the Senate or the House only when the latter become members of either the Senate or the House of Representatives. A candidate who has not been proclaimed and who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the House of Representatives. Moreover, Section 6 of RA 6646 vests the COMELEC with the power to hear and decide questions relating to qualifications of candidates even after the elections. NO. In order that one could qualify as a candidate for Representative, he must prove that he has established not just residence but domicile of choice. From data furnished by Aquino himself to the COMELEC at various times during his political career, what stands consistently clear and unassailable is that his domicile of origin of record up to the time of filing of his most recent certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections was Concepcion, Tarlac. His alleged connection with the Second District
is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: (a) an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; (b) a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and (c) acts which correspond with the purpose. In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin should be deemed to continue. (3) One cannot have two legal residences at the same time. To effect an abandonment requires the voluntary act of relinquishing a person’s former domicile with an intent to supplant the former domicile with one of his own choosing (domicilium voluntarium). Obtaining the highest number of votes in an election does not automatically vest the position in the winning candidate. The place “where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home,” where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, is that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes of election law. Domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must prove an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. In the absence of clear and positive proof, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue. Whether or not the candidate whom the majority voted for can or cannot be installed, under no circumstances
W/N Aquino is qualified as a candidate.
Election Law Case Digest Matrix 1 – Stef Macapagal
following day, the elections were held with Aquino garnering the highest number of votes. Move Makati and Bedon then moved to suspend the proclamation of Aquino, which the COMELEC acceded to. On 2 June 1995, the COMELEC declared Aquino ineligible and disqualified to run for public office, for lack of the constitutional qualification of residence. W/N the second-placer in the elections should be declared as the substitute winner in case the firstplacer is deemed ineligible.
of Makati is an alleged lease agreement of condominium unit in the area, which does not engender the kind of permanency required to prove abandonment of one’s original domicile. The facts indicate that the sole purpose of Aquino in transferring his physical residence is not to acquire new residence or domicile but only to qualify as a candidate for Representative of the Second District of Makati City. NO. The ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office.
can a minority or defeated candidate be deemed elected to the office.