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G.R. No. L-12471 April 13, 1959 should be contended with the consequence of his act.

should be contended with the consequence of his act. But, that was not
ROSARIO L. DE BRAGANZA, ET AL., petitioners, the case. Perhaps defendants in their desire to acquire much needed
vs. money, they readily and willingly signed the promissory note, without
FERNANDO F. DE VILLA ABRILLE, respondent. disclosing the legal impediment with respect to Guillermo and Rodolfo.
When minor, like in the instant case, pretended to be of legal age, in fact
they were not, they will not later on be permitted to excuse themselves
Oscar M. Herrera for petitioners.
from the fulfillment of the obligation contracted by them or to have it
R. P. Sarandi and F. Valdez Anama for respondents.
annulled. (Mercado, et al. vs. Espiritu, 37 Phil., 215.) [Emphasis Ours.]

BENGZON, J.:
We cannot agree to above conclusion. From the minors' failure to disclose their
minority in the same promissory note they signed, it does not follow as a legal
Rosario L. de Braganza and her sons Rodolfo and Guillermo petition for review of the proposition, that they will not be permitted thereafter to assert it. They had no
Court of Appeal's decision whereby they were required solidarily to pay Fernando F. juridical duty to disclose their inability. In fact, according to Corpuz Juris Secundum,
de Villa Abrille the sum of P10,000 plus 2 % interest from October 30, 1944. 43 p. 206;

The above petitioners, it appears, received from Villa Abrille, as a loan, on October . . . . Some authorities consider that a false representation as to age
30, 1944 P70,000 in Japanese war notes and in consideration thereof, promised in including a contract as part of the contract and accordingly hold that it
writing (Exhibit A) to pay him P10,000 "in legal currency of the P. I. two years after cannot be the basis of an action in tort. Other authorities hold that such
the cessation of the present hostilities or as soon as International Exchange has been misrepresentation may be the basis of such an action, on the theory that
established in the Philippines", plus 2 % per annum. such misrepresentation is not a part of, and does not grow out of, the
contract, or that the enforcement of liability for such misrepresentation as
Because payment had not been made, Villa Abrille sued them in March 1949. tort does not constitute an indirect of enforcing liability on the contract. In
order to hold infant liable, however, the fraud must be actual and not
In their answer before the Manila court of first Instance, defendants claimed to have constructure. It has been held that his mere silence when making a contract
received P40,000 only — instead of P70,000 as plaintiff asserted. They also averred as to age does not constitute a fraud which can be made the basis of an
that Guillermo and Rodolfo were minors when they signed the promissory note action of decit. (Emphasis Ours.)
Exhibit A. After hearing the parties and their evidence, said court rendered judgment,
which the appellate court affirmed, in the terms above described. The fraud of which an infant may be held liable to one who contracts with
him in the belief that he is of full age must be actual not constructive, and
There can be no question about the responsibility of Mrs. Rosario L. Braganza mere failure of the infant to disclose his age is not sufficient. (27 American
because the minority of her consigners note release her from liability; since it is a Jurisprudence, p. 819.)
personal defense of the minors. However, such defense will benefit her to the extent
of the shares for which such minors may be responsible, (Art. 1148, Civil Code). It is The Mecado case1 cited in the decision under review is different because the
not denied that at the time of signing Exhibit A, Guillermo and Rodolfo Braganza document signed therein by the minor specifically stated he was of age; here Exhibit
were minors-16 and 18 respectively. However, the Court of Appeals found them A contained no such statement. In other words, in the Mercado case, the minor was
liable pursuant to the following reasoning: guilty of active misrepresentation; whereas in this case, if the minors were guilty at
all, which we doubt it is of passive (or constructive) misrepresentation. Indeed, there
. . . . These two appellants did not make it appears in the promissory note is a growing sentiment in favor of limiting the scope of the application of the
that they were not yet of legal age. If they were really to their creditor, they Mercado ruling, what with the consideration that the very minority which
should have appraised him on their incapacity, and if the former, in spite incapacitated from contracting should likewise exempt them from the results of
of the information relative to their age, parted with his money, then he misrepresentation.

1
We hold, on this point, that being minors, Rodolfo and Guillermo Braganza could not total amount of P1,166.67 plus 6% interest beginning March 7, 1949, when the
be legally bound by their signatures in Exhibit A. complaint was filed. No costs in this instance.

It is argued, nevertheless, by respondent that inasmuch as this defense was Paras, C.J., Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion
interposed only in 1951, and inasmuch as Rodolfo reached the age of majority in and Endencia, JJ., concur.
1947, it was too late to invoke it because more than 4 years had elapsed after he had
become emancipated upon reaching the age of majority. The provisions of Article
1301 of the Civil Code are quoted to the effect that "an action to annul a contract by
reason of majority must be filed within 4 years" after the minor has reached majority
age. The parties do not specify the exact date of Rodolfo's birth. It is undenied,
however, that in October 1944, he was 18 years old. On the basis of such datum, it
should be held that in October 1947, he was 21 years old, and in October 1951, he
was 25 years old. So that when this defense was interposed in June 1951, four years
had not yet completely elapsed from October 1947.

Furthermore, there is reason to doubt the pertinency of the 4-years period fixed by
Article 1301 of the Civil Code where minority is set up only as a defense to an action,
without the minors asking for any positive relief from the contract. For one thing,
they have not filed in this case an action for annulment.2 They merely interposed an
excuse from liability.

Upon the other hand, these minors may not be entirely absolved from monetary
responsibility. In accordance with the provisions of Civil Code, even if their written
contact is unenforceable because of non-age, they shall make restitution to the
extent that they have profited by the money they received. (Art. 1340) There is
testimony that the funds delivered to them by Villa Abrille were used for their
support during the Japanese occupation. Such being the case, it is but fair to hold
that they had profited to the extent of the value of such money, which value has
been authoritatively established in the so-called Ballantine Schedule: in October
1944, P40.00 Japanese notes were equivalent to P1 of current Philippine money.

Wherefore, as the share of these minors was 2/3 of P70,000 of P46,666.66, they
should now return P1,166.67.3Their promise to pay P10,000 in Philippine currency,
(Exhibit A) can not be enforced, as already stated, since they were minors incapable
of binding themselves. Their liability, to repeat, is presently declared without regard
of said Exhibit A, but solely in pursuance of Article 1304 of the Civil Code.

Accordingly, the appealed decision should be modified in the sense that Rosario
Braganza shall pay 1/3 of P10,000 i.e., P3,333.334 plus 2% interest from October
1944; and Rodolfo and Guillermo Braganza shall pay jointly5 to the same creditor the

2
G.R. No. 173822 October 13, 2010 CONTRARY TO LAW. 3
SALVADOR ATIZADO and SALVADOR MONREAL, Petitioners,
vs. After the petitioners and Danilo pleaded not guilty to the information on November
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent. 7, 1994,4 the trial ensued.

DECISION The witnesses for the State were Simeona Mirandilla (Mirandilla), Major Saadra Gani
(Major Gani), Dr. Wilhelmo Abrantes (Dr. Abrantes), Lawrence Llona (Lawrence), and
BERSAMIN, J.: Herminia Llona (Herminia).

On May 4, 2000, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 52, Sorsogon, convicted the Mirandilla narrated that on April 18, 1994 she and the late Rogelio Llona (Llona), her
petitioners of murder.1 On December 13, 2005, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed common-law husband, had attended the fiesta of Barangay Bonga in Castilla,
their conviction in C.A.-G.R. CR-HC No. 01450, but modified the awarded damages.2 Sorsogon; that at about 8 pm of that date, they had gone to the house of Manuel
Desder (Desder) in the same barangay; that as they and Jose Jesalva (Jesalva), a
barangay kagawad of the place, were seated in the sala of Desder’s house, she heard
The petitioners contest the CA’s affirmance of their conviction in this appeal via
"thundering steps" as if people were running and then two successive gunshots; that
petition for review on certiorari.
she then saw Atizado pointing a gun at the prostrate body of Llona; that seeing
Atizado about to shoot Llona again, she shouted: Stop, that’s enough!; that while
We affirm their conviction, but we reduce the penalty imposed on Salvador Monreal aiding Llona, she heard three clicking sounds, and, turning towards the direction of
because the RTC and the CA did not duly appreciate his minority at the time of the the clicking sounds, saw Monreal point his gun at her while he was moving
commission of the crime. We order his immediate release from prison because he backwards and simultaneously adjusting the cylinder of his gun; that the petitioners
already served his sentence, as hereby modified. Also, we add to the damages to then fled the scene of the shooting; that she rushed to the house of barangay captain
which the heirs of the victim were entitled in order to accord with the prevailing law Juanito Lagonsing (Lagonsing) to report the shooting; and that she and Lagonsing
and jurisprudence. brought Llona to a hospital where Llona was pronounced dead.5

Antecedents Major Gani testified that the petitioners and Danilo were arrested on May 18,
1994,6 based on the warrant of arrest issued by Judge Teodisio R. Dino, Jr. of the
On June 20, 1994, the Office of the Sorsogon Provincial Prosecutor formally charged Municipal Trial Court in Castilla, Sorsogon.
the petitioners and a certain Danilo Atizado (Danilo) with murder through the
following information, to wit: Dr. Abrantes confirmed that Llona died due to two gunshot wounds in the back that
penetrated his spinal column, liver, and abdomen.7
That on or about the 18th day of April 1994, at Barangay Bogña, Municipality of
Castilla, Province of Sorsogon, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Lawrence and Herminia stated that the Llona family spent ₱30,000.00 for the funeral
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually expenses of Llona.8
helping one another, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with
treachery and evident premeditation, and without any justifiable cause or motive,
Denying the accusation, the petitioners interposed alibi. The witnesses for the
with intent to kill, armed with handguns, attack, assault and shot one Rogelio Llona
Defense were Monreal, Roger Villafe (Villafe), Merlinda Lolos, Joseph Lorenzana
y Llave, a Sangguniang Bayan member of Castilla, Sorsogon, thereby inflicting upon
(Lorenzana), Jesalva, and Lagonsing.
him mortal and serious wounds which directly caused his instantaneous death, to
the damage and prejudice of his legal heirs.
The Defense showed that at the time of the commission of the crime, Atizado had
been in his family residence in Barangay Tomalaytay, Castilla,

3
Sorsogon, because he had been sick of influenza, while Monreal and Danilo had been After the CA denied their motion for reconsideration,12 the petitioners now appeal.
in the house of a certain Ariel also in Barangay Tomalaytay, Castilla, Sorsogon
drinking gin; that the petitioners and Danilo had not been recognized to be at the Issue
crime scene during the shooting of Llona; and that the petitioners had been
implicated only because of their being employed by their uncle Lorenzana, the
The petitioners submit that the RTC and the CA erred in finding them guilty of murder
alleged mastermind in the killing of Llona.
beyond reasonable doubt based on the eyewitness testimony of Mirandilla despite
her not being a credible witness; that some circumstances rendered Mirandilla’s
As stated, on May 4, 2000, the RTC convicted the petitioners but acquitted testimony unreliable, namely: (a) she had failed to identify them as the assailants of
Danilo, viz: Llona, because she had not actually witnessed them shooting at Llona; (b) she had
merely assumed that they had been the assailants from the fact that they had
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds accused Salvador Atizado and worked for Lorenzana, the supposed mastermind; (c) the autopsy report stated that
Salvador Monreal guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder, defined Llona had been shot from a distance, not at close range, contrary to Mirandilla’s
and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, with the qualifying claim; (d) Mirandilla’s testimony was contrary to human experience; and (e)
circumstance of treachery, the Court hereby sentences each of the accused to an Mirandilla’s account was inconsistent with that of Jesalva’s.
imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the heirs of Rogelio Llona the sum
of Fifty Thousand (₱50,000.00) Pesos, Philippines currency, in solidum, as civil Ruling
indemnity, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; to reimburse the
heirs of the victim the amount of ₱30,000.00 as actual expenses and to pay the cost.
The conviction of the petitioners is affirmed, subject to modifications in the penalty
imposed on Monreal and in the amounts and kinds of damages as civil liability.
Accused Danilo Atizado on reasonable doubt is hereby acquitted of the crime
charged and he being a detention prisoner, his immediate release from the provincial
I.
jail is hereby ordered, unless he is charged of other lawful cause or causes.
Factual findings of the RTC and CAare accorded respect

Accused Salvador Atizado and Salvador Monreal being detained, shall be credited in
The RTC and CA’s conclusions were based on Mirandilla’s positive identification of
full in the service of their sentence.
the petitioners as the malefactors and on her description of the acts of each of them
made during her court testimony on March 6, 1995,13viz:
SO ORDERED.9
q Who were you saying ‘we sat together’?
The Court referred the petitioners’ direct appeal to the CA pursuant to People v.
Mateo.10
a Kdg. Llona, Mr. Jose Jesalva and I was letting my 5 years old child to sleep.

On December 13, 2005, the CA affirmed the conviction, disposing:


q Can you demonstrate or described before this Honorable Court the size
of the sala and the house you wherein (sic)?
WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction is AFFIRMED. Accused-appellants Salvador
Atizado and Salvador Monreal are hereby ordered to suffer the imprisonment
a The size of the sale (sic) is about 3 x 3 meters.
of Reclusion Perpetua. Likewise, they are ordered to pay the heirs of Rogelio Llona
the amount of: (a) ₱50,000.00 as civil indemnity; (b) ₱30,000.00 as actual damages;
and (c) ₱50,000.00 as moral damages. q Now, please show to this Honorable Court the relative position, the
sitting arrangement of yours, Kgd. Llona and Kgd. Jesalva.
SO ORDERED.11

4
a I was sitting on a long bench then my child was on my lap, then Kdg. Llona q Simultaneously with these two (2) successive shots can you see the origin
was infront of me, I was at the right side of Kdg. Llona or who was responsible for the shots?

q How about Kdg. Jesalva? a Upon hearing the shots, I turned my head and saw Salvador Atizado.

a This Kgd. Jesalva was facing Kgd. Llona and Kgd. Llona was facing the door q Who is this Salvador Atizado?
in otherwords, the door was at his back.
a He was the one who shot Kgd. Llona.
q Was the door open?
q Can you be able to identify him?
a Yes, sir.
a (Witness identifying the person, and when asked of his name answered
q Was the door immediately found… Rather was this the main door of the Salvador Atizado.)
house?
q So when you heard the shots, who was actually shot?
a That was the main door leading to the porch of the house.
a Kgd. Llona, because after looking at the (3) persons I saw Kgd. Llona
q And from the porch is the main stairs already? sliding downward.

a Yes, sir. q Then after that what happened?

q Now, what were you doing there after dinner as you said you have a Then I stood immediately and I told the persons responsible ‘stop that’s
finished assisting the persons in Bongga about the program, ... after that, enough’, and I gave assistance to Kgd. Llona.
what were you doing then?
q Then after that what happened?
a I was letting my child to sleep and Kgd. Llona was fanning my child.
a My intention was to let Kgd. Llona push-up but I heard three (3) clicks of
q How about Kgd. Jesalva? the trigger of the gun.

a His head was stopping (sic) because of his drunkenness. q Then what did you do when you heard that?

q Can you tell this Honorable Court, while you were on that situation, if a After which I turned my head suddenly then I saw this Salvador Monreal
there was any incident that happened? but at that time I do not know his name.

a There was a sudden thundering steps as if they were running and there q Then what did you see of him?
were successive shots.
a I saw this Salvador Monreal stepping backward and he was adjusting the
cylinder of the gun.

5
q Now, when you saw and heard Atizado three (3) clicks of the gun, can Our own review persuades us to concur with the RTC and the CA. Indeed, Mirandilla’s
you see where the gun was pointed at? positive identification of the petitioners as the killers, and her declarations on what
each of the petitioners did when they mounted their sudden deadly assault against
a It was pointed towards me. Llona left no doubt whatsoever that they had conspired to kill and had done so with
treachery.
q So, there were three (3) shots that did not actually fired towards you?
It is a basic rule of appellate adjudication in this jurisdiction that the trial judge’s
evaluation of the credibility of a witness and of the witness’ testimony is accorded
a Yes, sir.
the highest respect because the trial judge’s unique opportunity to observe directly
the demeanor of the witness enables him to determine whether the witness is telling
q So when you said that you saw this man Monreal, can you still recognize the truth or not.14 Such evaluation, when affirmed by the CA, is binding on the Court
this man? unless facts or circumstances of weight have been overlooked, misapprehended, or
misinterpreted that, if considered, would materially affect the disposition of the
a Yes, sir. case.15 We thus apply the rule, considering that the petitioners have not called
attention to and proved any overlooked, misapprehended, or misinterpreted
q Could you be able to point at him, if he is in Court? circumstance. Fortifying the application of the rule is that Mirandilla’s positive
declarations on the identities of the assailants prevailed over the petitioners’ denials
and alibi.16
a Yes, sir.
Under the law, a conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement
q Kindly please go down and tap his shoulder? concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.17 Yet, the State did
not have to prove the petitioners’ previous agreement to commit the
a (witness going down and proceeded to the first bench and tap the murder,18 because their conspiracy was deduced from the mode and manner in
shoulder of the person, the person tapped by the witness answered to the which they had perpetrated their criminal act. 19 They had acted in concert in
name Salvador Monreal.) assaulting Llona, with their individual acts manifesting a community of purpose and
design to achieve their evil end. As it is, all the conspirators in a crime are liable as
q You said, when you stood up and face with him while he was adjusting co-principals.20 Thus, they cannot now successfully assail their conviction as co-
his revolver and he was moving backward, did you see other persons as his principals in murder.
companion, if any?
Murder is defined and punished by Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
a At the first time when I turned my head back, I saw this Atizado he was amended by Republic Act No. 7659, which provides:
already on the process of leaving the place.
Article 248. Murder. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article
q Who is the first name of this Atizado? 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion
perpetua to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:
a Danilo Atizado
1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of
armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or
q And did they actually leave the place at that moment?
persons to insure or afford impunity.

a Salvador Monreal was the one left.

6
2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise. II.
Modification of the Penalty on Monreal and of the Civil Damages
3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of
a vessel, derailment or assault upon a railroad, fall of an airship, or by Under Article 248 of the RPC, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty for
means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving murder is reclusion perpetuato death. There being no modifying circumstances, the
great waste and ruin. CA correctly imposed the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua on Atizado, which was
conformable with Article 63 (2) of the RPC.26 But reclusion perpetua was not the
4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding correct penalty for Monreal due to his being a minor over 15 but under 18 years of
paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, age. The RTC and the CA did not appreciate Monreal’s minority at the time of the
epidemic or other public calamity. commission of the murder probably because his birth certificate was not presented
at the trial.
5. With evident premeditation.
Yet, it cannot be doubted that Monreal was a minor below 18 years of age when the
crime was committed on April 18, 1994. Firstly, his counter-affidavit executed on
6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of
June 30 1994 stated that he was 17 years of age.27 Secondly, the police blotter
the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.
recording his arrest mentioned that he was 17 years old at the time of his arrest on
May 18, 1994.28Thirdly, Villafe’s affidavit dated June 29, 1994 averred that Monreal
There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person, was a minor on the date of the incident.29Fourthly, as RTC’s minutes of hearing dated
employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly March 9, 1999 showed,30 Monreal was 22 years old when he testified on direct
and specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense examination on March 9, 1999,31 which meant that he was not over 18 years of age
which offended party might make.21 For treachery to be attendant, the means, when he committed the crime. And, fifthly, Mirandilla described Monreal as a
method, or form of execution must be deliberated upon or consciously adopted by teenager and young looking at the time of the incident.32
the offenders.22 Moreover, treachery must be present and seen by the witness right
at the inception of the attack.23
The foregoing showing of Monreal’s minority was legally sufficient, for it conformed
with the norms subsequently set under Section 7 of Republic Act No. 9344, also
The CA held that Mirandilla’s testimonial narrative "sufficiently established that known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006,33 viz:
treachery attended the attack o[n] the victim" because Atizado’s shooting the victim
at the latter’s back had been intended to ensure the execution of the crime; and that
Section 7. Determination of Age. - The child in conflict with the law shall enjoy the
Atizado and Monreal’s conspiracy to kill the victim was proved by their presence at
presumption of minority. He/She shall enjoy all the rights of a child in conflict with
the scene of the crime each armed with a handgun that they had fired except that
the law until he/she is proven to be eighteen (18) years old or older. The age of a
Monreal’s handgun did not fire.24
child may be determined from the child’s birth certificate, baptismal certificate or
any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents, age may be
We concur with the CA on the attendance of treachery. The petitioners mounted based on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other persons,
their deadly assault with suddenness and without the victim being aware of its the physical appearance of the child and other relevant evidence. In case of doubt
imminence. Neither an altercation between the victim and the assailants had as to the age of the child, it shall be resolved in his/her favor.
preceded the assault, nor had the victim provoked the assault in the slightest. The
assailants had designed their assault to be swift and unexpected, in order to deprive
Any person contesting the age of the child in conflict with the law prior to the filing
their victim of the opportunity to defend himself.25 Such manner constituted a
of the information in any appropriate court may file a case in a summary proceeding
deliberate adoption of a method of attack that ensured their unhampered execution
for the determination of age before the Family Court which shall decide the case
of the crime.
within twenty-four (24) hours from receipt of the appropriate pleadings of all
interested parties.

7
If a case has been filed against the child in conflict with the law and is pending in the Both petitioners were adjudged solidarily liable to pay damages to the surviving heirs
appropriate court, the person shall file a motion to determine the age of the child in of Llona.1avvp++il Their solidary civil liability arising from the commission of the
the same court where the case is pending. Pending hearing on the said motion, crime stands,36 despite the reduction of Monreal’s penalty. But we must reform the
proceedings on the main case shall be suspended. awards of damages in order to conform to prevailing jurisprudence. The CA granted
only ₱50,000.00 as civil indemnity, ₱30,000.00 as actual damages, and ₱50,000.00
In all proceedings, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and other as moral damages. We hold that the amounts for death indemnity and moral
government officials concerned shall exert all efforts at determining the age of the damages should each be raised to ₱75,000.00 to accord with prevailing case
child in conflict with the law. law;37 and that exemplary damages of ₱30,000.00 due to the attendance of
treachery should be further awarded,38 to accord with the pronouncement in People
v. Catubig,39 to wit:
Pursuant to Article 68 (2) of the RPC,34 when the offender is over 15 and under 18
years of age, the penalty next lower than that prescribed by law is imposed. Based
on Article 61 (2) of the RPC, reclusion temporal is the penalty next lower The commission of an offense has two-pronged effect, one on the public as it
than reclusion perpetua to death. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and breaches the social order and other upon the private victim as it causes personal
Article 64 of the RPC, therefore, the range of the penalty of imprisonment imposable sufferings, each of which, is addressed by, respectively, the prescription of heavier
on Monreal was prision mayor in any of its periods, as the minimum period, punishment for the accused and by an award of additional damages to the victim.
to reclusion temporal in its medium period, as the maximum period. Accordingly, his The increase of the penalty or a shift to a graver felony underscores the exacerbation
proper indeterminate penalty is from six years and one day of prision mayor, as the of the offense by the attendance of aggravating circumstances, whether ordinary or
minimum period, to 14 years, eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal, as qualifying, in its commission. Unlike the criminal liability which is basically a State
the maximum period. concern, the award of damages, however is likewise, if not primarily, intended for
the offended party who suffers thereby. It would make little sense for an award of
exemplary damages to be due the private offended party when the aggravating
Monreal has been detained for over 16 years, that is, from the time of his arrest on
circumstance is ordinary but to be withheld when it is qualifying. Withal, the ordinary
May 18, 1994 until the present. Given that the entire period of Monreal’s detention
or qualifying nature of an aggravating circumstance is a distinction that should only
should be credited in the service of his sentence, pursuant to Section 41 of Republic
be of consequence to the criminal, rather than to the civil liability of the offender. In
Act No. 9344,35 the revision of the penalty now warrants his immediate release from
fine, relative to the civil aspect of the case, an aggravating circumstance, whether
the penitentiary.
ordinary or qualifying, should entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary
damages within the unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the Civil Code.
In this regard, the benefits in favor of children in conflict with the law as granted
under Republic Act No. 9344, which aims to promote the welfare of minor offenders
The award of actual damages of ₱30,000.00 is upheld for being supported by the
through programs and services, such as delinquency prevention, intervention,
record.
diversion, rehabilitation and re-integration, geared towards their development, are
retroactively applied to Monreal as a convict serving his sentence. Its Section 68
expressly so provides: WHEREFORE, the Court affirms the decision dated December 13, 2005 promulgated
in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 01450, subject to the following modifications:
Section 68. Children Who Have Been Convicted and are Serving Sentences. – Persons
who have been convicted and are serving sentence at the time of the effectivity of (a) Salvador Monreal is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty from
this Act, and who were below the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of the six years and one day of prision mayor, as the minimum period, to 14 years,
commission of the offense for which they were convicted and are serving sentence, eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal, as the maximum period;
shall likewise benefit from the retroactive application of this Act. They shall be
entitled to appropriate dispositions provided under this Act and their sentences shall (b) The Court orders the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa City to
be adjusted accordingly. They shall be immediately released if they are so qualified immediately release Salvador Monreal due to his having fully served the
under this Act or other applicable laws.

8
penalty imposed on him, unless he is being held for other lawful causes;
and

(c) The Court directs the petitioners to pay jointly and solidarily to the heirs
of Roger L. Llona ₱75,000.00 as death indemnity, ₱75,000.00 as moral
damages, ₱30,000.00 as exemplary damages, and ₱30,000.00 as actual
damages.

Let a copy of this decision be furnished for immediate implementation to the


Director of the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa City by personal service. The
Director of Bureau of Corrections shall report to this Court the action he has taken
on this decision within five days from service.

SO ORDERED.

9
G.R. Nos. L-9471 and L-9472 March 13, 1914 people " he looked like a madman; crazy because he would cut everybody at random
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, without paying any attention to who it was."
vs.
EVARISTO VAQUILAR, defendant-appellant. Alejandra Vaquilar, the appellant's sister, testified that her brother had headache
and stomach trouble about five days prior to the commission of the crimes; that "he
William J. Rohde for appellant. looked very sad at the time, but I saw him run downstairs and then he pursued me;"
Acting Attorney-General Harvey for appellee. and that "he must have been crazy because he cut me."

TRENT, J.: Estanislao Canaria, who was a prisoner confined in the same jail with the appellant,
testified that he had observed the appellant about five months and that sometimes
"his head is not all right;" that "oftentimes since he came to the jail when he is sent
The appellant, Evaristo Vaquilar, was charged in two separate informations with
for something he goes back he does without saying anything, even if he comes back
parricide, in one for the killing of his wife and in the other for the killing of his
he does not say anything at all;" that when the appellant returns from work he does
daughter. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to indemnify the heirs, to the
not say a word; and that about every other night he, the appellant, cries aloud,
accessory penalties, and to the payment of the costs in each case. From this
saying, "What kind of people are you to me, what are you doing to me, you are
judgment he appealed. The two cases have been submitted to this court together.
beasts."

The appellant in these two cases was proven to have killed his wife and daughter in
The health officer who examined the two deceased and the other wounded parties
the manner charged and to have wounded other persons with a bolo. The
found that the appellant's wife had five mortal wounds on the head, besides several
commission of these crimes is not denied. The defendant did not testify but several
other wounds on her hands; and that the daughter's skull was split "through and
witnesses were introduced in his behalf, testifying that the defendant appeared to
through from one side to the other." The witness stated that he made a slight
them to be insane at and subsequent to the commission of the crimes. they also
examination of the defendant in the jail and that he did not notice whether
testified that he had been complaining of pains in his head and stomach prior to the
defendant in the jail and that he did not notice whether defendant was suffering
killing.
from any mental derangement or not.

Our attention has been directed to the following testimony: Martin Agustin, witness
There is vast different between an insane person and one who has worked himself
for the prosecution, testified that he heard the appellant, his uncle, making a noise,
up into such a frenzy of anger that he fails to use reason or good judgment in what
and that he refused into the house and saw the appellant kill his wife and daughter;
he does. Persons who get into a quarrel of fight seldom, if ever, act naturally during
that he was cut by the appellant; that there "were seven, including the small boys
the fight. An extremely angry man, often, if not always, acts like a madman. The fact
and girls who were cut by him;" that he did not know of any disagreement between
that a person acts crazy is not conclusive that he is insane. The popular meaning of
the appellant and the two deceased; that on the morning before she was killed that
the word "crazy" is not synonymous with the legal terms "insane," "non compos
the appellant had 'felt pains in his head and stomach." The witness further stated
mentis," "unsound mind," "idiot," or "lunatic." In this case as before indicated, one
that the appellant's "eyes were very big and red and his sight penetrating" at the
witness testified that "according to my own eyes as he looked at me he was crazy
time he was killing his wife and daughter, and that "according to my own eyes as he
because if he was not crazy he would not have killed his family." That witness'
looked at me he was crazy because if he was not crazy he would not have killed his
conception of the word "crazy" evidently is the doing of some act by a person which
family — his wife and child."
an ordinarily rational person would not think of doing. Another witness testified that
"he looked like a madman; crazy, because he would cut everybody at random
Diego Agustin, a witness for the defense, testified that he helped Martin Agustin without paying any attention to who it was." It is not at all unnatural for a murderer,
capture the appellant; that the appellant "himself used to say before that time he caught in the act of killing his wife and child, to fly into a passion and strike
had felt pains in the head and the stomach;" that at the moment he was cutting those promiscuously at those who attempt to capture him. The appellant's sister said "he
must have been crazy because he cut me." This is another illustration of the popular

10
conception of the word "crazy," it being thus used to describe a person or an act Although there have been decisions to the contrary, it is now well settled
unnatural or out of the ordinary. that mere mental depravity, or moral insanity, so called, which results, not
from any disease of mind, but from a perverted condition of the moral
The conduct of the appellant after he was confined in jail as described by his fellow system, where the person is mentally sense, does not exempt one from
prisoner is not inconsistent with the actions of a sane person. The reflection and responsibility for crimes committed under its influence. Care must be
remorse which would follow the commission of such deeds as those committed by taken to distinguish between mere moral insanity or mental depravity and
the appellant might be sufficient to cause the person to cry out, "What kind of people irresistable impulse resulting from disease of the mind.
are you to me; what are you doing to me; you are beast," and yet such conduct could
not be sufficient to show that the person was insane at the time the deeds were In the case of United States vs. Carmona (18 Phil. Rep., 62), the defendant was
committed. convicted of the crime of lesiones graves. The defendant's counsel, without raising
any question as to the actual commission of the alleged acts, or the allegation that
In People vs. Mortimer (48 Mich., 37; 11 N. W., 776), the defendant was indicated for the accused committed them, confined himself to the statement, in behalf of his
an assault with intent to murder. The defense attempted to prove "a mental client, that on the night of the crime the defendant was sick with fever and out of his
condition which would involved no guilt." The supreme court on appeal in this mind and that in one of his paroxysms he committed the said acts, wounding his wife
decision distinguished between passion and insanity as follows: and the other members of her family, without any motives whatever. In the decision
in that case this court stated:
But passion and insanity are very different things, and whatever
indulgence the law may extend to persons under provocation, it does not In the absence of proof that the defendant had lost his reason or became
treat them as freed from criminal responsibility. Those who have not lost demented a few moments prior to or during the perpetration of the crime,
control of their reason by mental unsoundness are bound to control their it is presumed that he was in a normal condition of mind. It is improper to
tempers and restrain their persons, and are liable to the law if they do not. conclude that he acted unconsciously, in order to relieve him from
Where persons allow their anger to lead them so far as to make them responsibility on the ground of exceptional mental condition, unless his
reckless, the fact that they have become at last too infuriated to keep them insanity and absence of will are proven.
from mischief is merely the result of not applying restraint in season. There
would be no safety for society if people could with impunity lash Regarding the burden of proof in cases where insanity is pleaded in defense of
themselves into fury, and then to desperate acts of violence. That criminal actions, we quote as follows from State vs. Bunny (24 S. C., 439; 58 Am. Rep.,
condition which springs from undisciplined and unbridled passion is clearly 262, 265):
within legal as well as moral censure and punishment. (People vs. Finley,
38 Mich., 482; Welch vs. Ware, 32 Mich., 77.) But as the usual condition of men is that of sanity, there is a presumption
that the accused is sane, which certainly in the first instance affords proof
In People vs. Foy (138 N. Y., 664), the court sad: "The court very properly continued of the fact. (State vs. Coleman, 20 S. C., 454.) If the killing and nothing more
with an explanation to the jury that 'the heat of passion and feeling produced by appears, this presumption, without other proof upon the point of sanity, is
motives of anger, hatred, or revenge, is not insanity. The law holds the doer of the sufficiently to support a conviction and as the State must prove every
act, under such conditions, responsible for the crime, because a large share of element of the crime charged "beyond a reasonable doubt," it follows that
homicides committed are occasioned by just such motives as these.' " this presumption affords such proof. This presumption however may be
overthrow. It may be shown on the part of the accused that the criminal
The Encyclopedia of Law and Procedure (vol. 12, p. 170), cites many cases on the intent did not exist at the time the act was committed. This being
subject of anger and emotional insanity and sums up those decisions in the following exceptional is a defense, and like other defenses must be made out by the
concise statement: party claiming the benefit of it. "The positive existence of that degree and
kind of insanity that shall work a dispensation to the prisoner in the case

11
of established homicide is a fact to be proved as it s affirmed by him."
(State vs. Stark, 1 Strob., 506.)

What then is necessary to make out this defense? It surely cannot be


sufficient merely to allege insanity to put his sanity "in issue." That is
merely a pleading, a denial, and ineffectual without proof. In order to make
not such defense, as it seems to us, sufficient proof must be shown to
overcome in the first place the presumption of sanity and then any other
proof that may be offered.

In the case of State vs. Stickley (41 Iowa, 232), the court said (syllabus):

One who, possession of a sound mind, commits a criminal act under the
impulse of passion or revenge, which way temporarily dethrone reason
and for the moment control the will, cannot nevertheless be shield from
the consequences of the act by the plea of insanity. Insanity will only
excuse the commission of a criminal act, when it is made affirmatively to
appear that the person committing it was insane, and that the offense was
the direct consequences of his insanity.

The appellant's conduct, as appears from the record, being consistent with the acts
of an enlarged criminal, and it not having been satisfactorily, shown that he was of
unsound mind at the time he committed the crimes, and the facts charged in each
information having been proven, and the penalty imposed being in accordance with
the law, the judgments appealed from are affirmed, with costs against the appellant.

Arellano, C.J., Carson and Araullo, JJ., concur.


Moreland, J., concurs in the result.

12
G.R. No. L-54135 November 21, 1991 accused cautioned the complainant not to report the matter
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, to her mother or to anybody in the house, otherwise he would
vs. kill her. LexLib
POLICARPIO RAFANAN, JR., defendant-appellant. Because of fear, the complainant did not immediately report
the matter and did not leave the house of the accused that
same evening. In fact, she slept in the house of the accused
FELICIANO, J p:
that evening and the following morning she scrubbed the floor
and did her daily routine work in the house. She only left the
Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. appeals from a decision of the then Court of First Instance of
house in the evening of March 17, 1976.
Pangasinan convicting him of the crime of rape and sentencing him to reclusion
perpetua, to indemnify complainant Estelita Ronaya in the amount of P10,000.00 by Somehow, in the evening of March 17, 1976, the family of the
way of moral damages, and to pay the costs. accused learned what happened the night before in the store
between Policarpio and Estelita and a quarrel ensued among
The facts were summarized by the trial court in the following manner:
them prompting Estelita Ronaya to go back to her house.
"The prosecution's evidence shows that on February 27, 1976, When Estelita's mother confronted her and asked her why she
complainant Estelita Ronaya who was then only fourteen went home that evening, the complainant could not answer
years old was hired as a househelper by the mother of the but cried and cried. It was only the following morning on
accused, Ines Rafanan alias 'Baket Ines' with a salary of P30.00 March 18, 1976 that the complainant told her mother that she
a month. was raped by the accused. Upon knowing what happened to
her daughter, the mother Alejandra Ronaya, immediately
The accused Policarpio Rafanan and his family lived with his accompanied her to the house of Patrolman Bernardo Mairina
mother in the same house at Barangay San Nicolas, Villasis, of the Villasis Police Force who lives in Barrio San Nicolas,
Pangasinan. Policarpio was then married and had two Villasis, Pangasinan. Patrolman Mairina is a cousin of the
children. father of the complainant. He advised them to proceed to the
municipal building while he went to fetch the accused. The
On March 16, 1976, in the evening, after
accused was later brought to the police headquarter with the
dinner, Estelita Ronaya was sent by the mother of the accused
bolo, Exhibit 'E', which the accused allegedly used in
to help in their store which was located in front of their house
threatening the complainant. 1
about six (6) meters away. Attending to the store at the time
was the accused. At 11:00 o'clock in the evening, the accused
called the complainant to help him close the door of the store
and as the latter complied and went near him, he suddenly At arraignment, appellant entered a plea of not guilty. The case then proceeded to
pulled the complainant inside the store and said, 'Come, let us trial and in due course of time, the trial court, as already noted, convicted the
have sexual intercourse,' to which Estelita replied, 'I do not appellant.
like,' and struggled to free herself and cried. The accused held
The instant appeal is anchored on the following:
a bolo measuring 1-1/2 feet including the handle which he
pointed to the throat of the complainant threatening her with "Assignment of Errors
said bolo should she resist. Then, he forced her to lie down on
a bamboo bed, removed her pants and after unfastening the 1. The lower court erred in basing its decision of conviction of
zipper of his own pants, went on top of the complainant and appellant solely on the testimony of the complainant and her
succeeded having carnal knowledge of her inspite of her mother.
resistance and struggle. After the sexual intercourse, the

13
2. The lower court erred in considering the hearsay evidence A I struggled and cried.
for the prosecution, 'Exhibits B and C'.
Q What did the accused do after that?
3. The lower court erred in not believing the testimony of the
expert witnesses, as to the mental condition of the accused- A He got a knife and pointed it at my throat so I was frightened
appellant at the time of the alleged commission of the crime and he could do what he wanted to do. He was able
of rape. LLphil to do what he wanted to do.

4. The lower court erred in convicting appellant who at the Q This 'kutsilyo' you were referring to or knife, how big is that
time of the alleged rape was suffering from insanity." 2 knife? Will you please demonstrate, if any?

Appellant first assails the credibility of complainant as well as of her mother whose A This length, sir. (Which parties agreed to be about one and
testimonies he contends are contradictory. It is claimed by appellant that the one-half [1-1/2] feet long.).
testimony of complainant on direct examination that she immediately went home xxx xxx xxx
after the rape incident, is at variance with her testimony on cross examination to the
effect that she had stayed in the house of appellant until the following day. Fiscal Guillermo:
Complainant, in saying that she left the house of appellant by herself, is also alleged
to have contradicted her mother who stated that she (the mother) went to the store Q Now, you said that the accused was able to have sexual
in the evening of 17 March 1979 and brought Estelita home. intercourse with you after he placed the bolo or that
knife [at] your throat. Now, will you please tell the
The apparently inconsistent statements made by complainant were clarified by her court what did the accused do immediately after
on cross examination. In any case, the inconsistencies related to minor and placing that bolo at your throat and before having
inconsequential details which do not touch upon the manner in which the crime had sexual intercourse with you?
been committed and therefore did not in any way impair the credibility of the
complainant. 3 A He had sexual intercourse with me.

The commission of the crime was not seriously disputed by appellant. The testimony Q What was your wearing apparel that evening?
of complainant in this respect is clear and convincing:
A I was wearing pants, sir.
"Fiscal Guillermo:
Q Aside from the pants, do you have any underwear?
Q Now, we go back to that time when according to you the
A Yes, sir, I have a panty.
accused pulled you from the door and brought you
inside the store after you helped him closed the Q Now, before the accused have sexual intercourse with you
store. Now, after the accused pulled you from the what, if any, did he do with respect to your pants
door and brought you inside the store what and your panty?
happened then?
A He removed them, sir. LexLib
A 'You come and we will have sexual intercourse,' he said.
Q Now, while he was removing your pants and your panty
Q And what did you say? what, if any, did you do?
A 'I do not like,' I said. A I continued to struggle so that he could not remove my pants
but he was stronger that's why he succeeded.
Q And what did you do, if any, when you said you do not like
to have sexual intercourse with him?

14
Q Now, after he had removed your panty and your pants or Considering the condition of the witness, your honor, with
pantsuit what else happened? tears, may we just be allowed to ask a leading
question which is a follow-up question?
A He went on top of me, sir.
Witness:
Q At the time what was the accused wearing by way of
apparel? A He inserted his private part inside my vagina.

A He was wearing pants. Fiscal Guillermo:

Q When you said he went on top of you after he has removed Q Now, when he inserted his private part inside your vagina
your pantsuit and your panty, was he still wearing what did you feel, if any?
his pants?
A I felt something that came out from his inside.
A He unbuttoned his pants and unfastened the zipper of his
pants. Q Now, how long, if you remember, did the accused have his
penis inside your vagina?
Q And after he unbuttoned and unfastened his pants what did
you see which he opened? A Around five minutes maybe, sir.

A I saw his penis. Q After that what happened then?

Q Now, you said that after the accused has unzipped his pants A He removed it.
and brought out his penis which you saw, he went Q After the accused has removed his penis from your vagina
on top of you. When he was already on top of you what else happened?
what did you do, if any?
A No more, sir, he sat down.
A I struggled.
Q What, if any, did he tell you?
Q Now, you said that you struggled. What happened then
when you struggled against the accused when he A There was, sir. He told me not to report the matter to my
was on top of you? mother and to anybody in their house.

A Since he was stronger, he succeeded doing what he wanted Q What else did he tell you?
to get.
A He told me that if I told anyone what happened, he will kill
xxx xxx xxx me.
COURT: Q After that where did you go?
Alright, what do you mean by he was able to succeed in getting A I went home already, sir." 4
what he wanted to get?
The principal submission of appellant is that he was suffering from a metal aberration
Fiscal Guillermo: LLjur characterized as schizophrenia when he inflicted his violent intentions upon Estelita.
At the urging of his counsel, the trial court suspended the trial and ordered appellant
confined at the National Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong for observation and

15
treatment. In the meantime, the case was archived. Appellant was admitted into the "At present he is still seclusive, undertalkative and retarded in
hospital on 29 December 1976 and stayed there until 26 June 1978. his responses. There is dullness of his affect and he appeared
preoccupied. He is observed to mumble alone by himself and
During his confinement, the hospital prepared four (4) clinical reports on the mental would show periods of being irritable saying — 'oki naman'
and physical condition of the appellant, all signed by Dr. Simplicio N. Masikip and Dr. with nobody in particular. He claim he does not know whether
Arturo E. Nerit, physician-in-charge and chief, Forensic Psychiatry Service, or not he was placed in jail and does not know if he has a case
respectively. in court. Said he does not remember having committed any
In the first report dated 27 January 1977, the following observations concerning wrong act"
appellant's mental condition were set forth: and the following conclusions:
"On admission he was sluggish in movements, indifferent to "In view of the foregoing examinations and observations
interview, would just look up whenever questioned but Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. y Gambawa is at present time still
refused to answer. psychotic or insane, manifested by periods of irritability
On subsequent examinations and observations he was cursing nobody in particular, seclusive, underactive,
carelessly attired, with disheveled hair, would stare vacuously undertalkative, retarded in his responses, dullness of his
through the window, or look at people around him. He was affect, mumbles alone by himself, preoccupied and lack of
indifferent and when questioned, he would just smile insight.
inappropriately. He refused to verbalize, even when He is not yet in a condition to stand court trial. He needs
persuaded, and was emotionally dull and mentally further hospitalization and treatment." 6
inaccessible. He is generally seclusive, at times would pace the
floor, seemingly in deep thought. Later on when questioned In the third report, dated 5 October 1977, appellant was described as having become
his frequent answers are 'Aywan ko, hindi ko alam.' His affect "better behaved, responsive" and "neat in person," and "adequate in his emotional
is dull, he claimed to hear strange voices 'parang ibon, tinig ng tone, in touch with his surroundings and . . . free from hallucinatory experiences."
ibon,' but cannot elaborate. He is disoriented to 3 spheres and During the preceding period, appellant had been allowed to leave the hospital
has no idea why he was brought here." cdrep temporarily; he stayed with a relative in Manila while coming periodically to the
hospital for check-ups. During this period, he was said to have been helpful in the
The report then concluded: doing of household chores, conversed and associated freely with other members of
"In view of the foregoing examinations and observations, the household and slept well, although, occasionally, appellant smiled while alone.
Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. y Gambawa is found suffering from a Appellant complained that at times he heard voices of small children, talking in a
mental disorder called schizophrenia, manifested by language he could not understand. The report concluded by saying that while
carelessness in grooming, sluggishness in movements, staring appellant had improved in his mental condition, he was not yet in a position to stand
vacuously, indifferen[ce], smiling inappropriately, refusal to trial since he needed further treatment, medication and check-ups. 7
verbalize, emotional dullness, mental inaccessibility,
seclusiveness, preoccupation, disorientation, and perceptual
aberrations of hearing strange sounds. He is psychotic or In the last report dated 26 June 1978, appellant was described as behaved, helpful
insane, hence cannot stand court trial. He needs further in household chores and no longer talking while alone. He was said to be "fairly
hospitalization and treatment." 5 groomed" and "oriented" and as denying having hallucinations. The report
concluded that he was in a "much improved condition" and "in a mental condition
The second report, dated 21 June 1977, contained the following description of to stand court trial." 8
appellant's mental condition:

16
Trial of the case thus resumed. The defense first presented Dr. Arturo Nerit who freedom of will, became mere abnormality of his mental
suggested that appellant was sick one or two years before his admission into the faculties does not exclude imputability. (Decision of the
hospital, in effect implying that appellant was already suffering from schizophrenia Supreme Court of Spain of April 20, 1911; 86 Jur. Crim. 94, 97.)
when he raped complainant. 9 The defense next presented Dr. Raquel Jovellano, a
psychiatrist engaged in private practice, who testified that she had examined and The Supreme Court of Spain likewise held that deaf-muteness
treated the appellant. cannot be [equated with] imbecility or insanity.

Appellant's plea of insanity rests on Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code which The allegation of insanity or imbecility must be clearly proved.
provides: Without positive evidence that the defendant had
previously lost his reason or was demented, a few moments
"ARTICLE 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal prior to or during the perpetration of the crime, it will
liability. — The following are exempt from criminal be presumed that he was in a normal condition. Acts penalized
liability: Cdpr by law are always reputed to be voluntary, and it is improper
to conclude that a person acted unconsciously, in order to
1. An imbecile or an insane person, unless the latter has acted relieve him from liability, on the basis of his mental condition,
during a lucid interval. unless his insanity and absence of will are proved." (Emphasis
Where the imbecile or an insane person has committed an act supplied.)
which the law defines as a felony (delito), the court shall order The standards set out in Formigones were commonly adopted in subsequent
his confinement in one of the hospitals or asylums established cases. 11 A linguistic or grammatical analysis of those standards suggests
for persons thus afflicted, which he shall not be permitted to that Formigones established two (2) distinguishable tests (a) the test of cognition —
leave without first obtaining the permission of the same court. "complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the [criminal] act," and (b) the
xxx xxx xxx" test of volition — "or that there be a total deprivation of freedom of the will." But
our caselaw shows common reliance on the test of cognition, rather than on a test
Although the Court has ruled many times in the past on the insanity defense, it was relating to "freedom of the will;" examination of our caselaw has failed to turn up
only in People vs. Formigones 10 that the Court elaborated on the required any case where this Court has exempted an accused on the soleground that he was
standards of legal insanity, quoting extensively from the Commentaries of Judge totally deprived of "freedom of the will," i.e., without an accompanying "complete
Guillermo Guevara on the Revised Penal Code, thus: deprivation of intelligence." This is perhaps to be expected since a person's volition
naturally reaches out only towards that which is presented as desirable by his
"The Supreme Court of Spain held that in order that this intelligence, whether that intelligence be diseased or healthy. In any case, where the
exempting circumstance may be taken into account, it is accused failed to show complete impairment or loss of intelligence, the Court has
necessary that there be a complete deprivation of intelligence recognized at most a mitigating, not an exempting, circumstance in accord with
in committing the act, that is, that the accused be deprived of Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code: "Such illness of the offender as would
reason; that there be no responsibility for his own acts; that diminish the exercise of the will-power of the offender without however depriving
he acts without the least discernment; (Decision of the him of the consciousness of his acts." 12
Supreme Court of Spain of November 21, 1891; 47 Jur. Crim.
413.) that there be a complete absence of the power to Schizophrenia pleaded by appellant has been described as a chronic mental disorder
discern, (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 29, characterized by inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and often
1916; 96 Jur. Crim. 239) or that there be a total deprivation of accompanied by hallucinations and delusions. Formerly called dementia praecox, it
freedom of the will. (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain is said to be the most common form of psychosis and usually develops between the
of April 9, 1872; 6 Jur. Crim. 239) For this reason, it was held ages 15 and 30. 13 A standard textbook in psychiatry describes some of the
that the imbecility or insanity at the time of the commission of symptoms of schizophrenia in the following manner:
the act should absolutely deprive a person of intelligence or

17
"Eugen Bleuler later described three general primary they may be quite disturbed by hearing every word they are
symptoms of schizophrenia: a disturbance of association, a reading clearly spoken to them.
disturbance of affect, and a disturbance of activity. Bleuler
also stressed the dereistic attitude of the schizophrenic — that Visual hallucinations occur less frequently than auditory
is, his detachment from reality and his consequent autism and hallucinations in schizophrenic patients, but they are not rare.
the ambivalence that expresses itself in his uncertain Patients suffering from organic or affective psychoses
affectivity and initiative. Thus, Bleuler's system of experience visual hallucinations primarily at night or during
schizophrenia is often referred to as the four A's: association, limited periods of the day, but schizophrenic patients
affect, autism, and ambivalence. cdll hallucinate as much during the day as they do during the night,
sometimes almost continuously. They get relief only in sleep.
xxx xxx xxx When visual hallucinations occur in schizophrenia, they are
usually seen nearby, clearly defined, in color, life size, in three
Kurt Schneider described a number of first-rank symptoms of dimensions, and moving. Visual hallucinations almost never
schizophrenia that he considered in no way specific for the occur by themselves but always in combination with
disease but of great pragmatic value in making a diagnosis. hallucinations in one of the other sensory modalities.
Schneider's first-rank symptoms include the hearing of one's
thoughts spoken aloud, auditory hallucinations that comment xxx xxx xxx
on the patient's behavior, somatic hallucinations, the
experience of having one's thought controlled, the spreading Cognitive Disorders
of one's thoughts to others, delusions, and the experience of Delusions. By definition, delusions are false ideas that cannot
having one's actions controlled or influenced from the be corrected by reasoning, and that are idiosyncratic for the
outside. patient — that is, not part of his cultural environment. They
Schizophrenia, Schneider pointed out, also can be diagnosed are among the common symptoms of schizophrenia.
exclusively on the basis of second-rank symptoms, along with Most frequent are delusions of persecution, which are the key
an otherwise typical clinical appearances. Second-rank symptom in the paranoid type of schizophrenia. The
symptoms include other forms of hallucination, perplexity, conviction of being controlled by some unseen mysterious
depressive and euphoric disorders of affect, and emotional power that exercises its influence from a distance is almost
blunting. pathognomonic for schizophrenia. It occurs in most, if not all,
Perceptual Disorders schizophrenics at one time or another, and for many it is a
daily experience. The modern schizophrenic whose delusions
Various perceptual disorders occur in schizophrenia . . . have kept up with the scientific times may be preoccupied
with atomic power, X-rays, or spaceships that take control
Hallucinations. Sensory experiences or perceptions without over his mind and body. Also typical for many schizophrenics
corresponding external stimuli are common symptoms of are delusional fantasies about the destruction of the
schizophrenia. Most common are auditory hallucinations, or world." 14
the hearing of voices. Most characteristically, two or more
voices talk about the patient, discussing him in the third In previous cases where schizophrenia was interposed as an exempting
person. Frequently, the voices address the patient, comment circumstance, 15 it has mostly been rejected by the Court. In each of these cases, the
on what he is doing and what is going on around him, or are evidence presented tended to show that if there was impairment of the mental
threatening or obscene and very disturbing to the patient. faculties, such impairment was not so complete as to deprive the accused of
Many schizophrenic patients experience the hearing of their intelligence or the consciousness of his acts.
own thoughts. When they are reading silently, for example,

18
The facts of the instant case exhibit much the same situation. Dr. Jovellano declared of an insane and a normal individual, a normal
as follows:. individual will use the power of reasoning and
consciousness within the standard of society while
"(Fiscal Guillermo:) an insane causes (sic) already devoid of the fact that
Q Now, this condition of the accused schizophrenic as you he could no longer withstand himself in the ordinary
found him, would you say doctor that he was environment, yet his acts are within the bound of
completely devoid of any consciousness of whatever insanity or psychosis. cdphil
he did in connection with the incident in this case? Q Now, Doctor, of course this person suffering that
A He is not completely devoid of consciousness. ailment which you said the accused here is
suffering is capable of planning the commission of a
Q Would you say doctor, therefore, that he was conscious of rape?
threatening the victim at the time of the commission
of the alleged rape? A Yes, they are also capable.

Q He is capable of laying in wait in order to assault?

A Yes, he was conscious. A Yes.

Q And he was conscious of forcing the victim to lie down? Q And would you say that condition that ability of a person to
plan a rape and to perform all the acts preparatory
A Yes. to the actual intercourse could be done by an insane
person?
Q And he was also conscious of removing the panty of the
victim at the time? A Yes, it could be done.

A Yes. Q Now, you are talking of insanity in its broadest sense, is it


not?
Q And he was also conscious and knows that the victim has a
vagina upon which he will place his penis? A Yes, sir.

A Yeah. Q Now, is this insane person also capable of knowing what is


right and what is wrong?
Q And he was conscious enough to be competent and have an
erection? A Well, there is no weakness on that part of the individual.
They may know what is wrong but yet there is no
A Yes. inhibition on the individual.
Q Would you say that those acts of a person no matter Q Yes, but actually, they are mentally equipped with
whether he is schizophrenic which you said, it deals knowledge that an act they are going to commit is
(sic) some kind of intelligence and consciousness of wrong?
some acts that is committed?
A Yeah, they are equipped but the difference is, there is what
A Yes, it involves the consciousness because the consciousness we call they lost the inhibition. The reasoning is weak
there in relation to the act is what we call primitive and yet they understand but the volition is [not]
acts of any individual. The difference only in the act

19
there, the drive is [not] there. 16 (Emphasis WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, except that the
supplied) amount of moral damages is increased to P30,000.00. Costs against appellant.

The above testimony, in substance, negates complete destruction of intelligence at ||| (People v. Rafanan, Jr., G.R. No. 54135, [November 21, 1991], 281 PHIL 66-85)
the time of commission of the act charged which, in the current state of our caselaw,
is critical if the defense of insanity is to be sustained. The fact that appellant Rafanan
threatened complainant Estelita with death should she reveal she had been sexually
assaulted by him, indicates, to the mind of the Court, that Rafanan was aware of the
reprehensible moral quality of that assault. The defense sought to suggest, through
Dr. Jovellano's last two (2) answers above, that a person suffering from schizophrenia
sustains not only impairment of the mental faculties but also deprivation of the
power of self-control. We do not believe that Dr. Jovellano's testimony, by itself,
sufficiently demonstrated the truth of that proposition. In any case, as already
pointed out, it is complete loss of intelligence which must be shown if the exempting
circumstance of insanity is to be found.

The law presumes every man to be sane. A person accused of a crime has the burden
of proving his affirmative allegation of insanity. 17 Here, appellant failed to present
clear and convincing evidence regarding his state of mind immediately before and
during the sexual assault on Estelita. It has been held that inquiry into the mental
state of the accused should relate to the period immediately before or at the very
moment the act is committed. 18 Appellant rested his case on the testimonies of the
two (2) physicians (Dr. Jovellano and Dr. Nerit) which, however, did not purport to
characterize his mental condition during that critical period of time. They did not
specifically relate to circumstances occurring on or immediately before the day of
the rape. Their testimonies consisted of broad statements based on general
behavioral patterns of people afflicted with schizophrenia. Curiously, while it was Dr.
Masikip who had actually observed and examined appellant during his confinement
at the National Mental Hospital, the defense chose to present Dr. Nerit.

Accordingly, we must reject the insanity defense of appellant Rafanan.

In People vs. Puno (supra), the Court ruled that schizophrenic reaction, although not
exempting 'because it does not completely deprive the offender of the
consciousness of his acts, may be considered as a mitigating circumstance
under Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., as an illness which diminishes the
exercise of the offender's will-power without, however, depriving him of the
consciousness of his acts. Appellant should have been credited with this mitigating
circumstance, although it would not have affected the penalty imposable upon him
under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code: "in all cases in which the law prescribes
a single indivisible penalty (reclusion perpetua in this case), it shall be applied by the
courts regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have
attended the commission of the deed."

20
G.R. No. L-5921 July 25, 1911 (2) that she was appointed his guardian by the same court; (3) that, on October 11,
THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF NEW YORK, plaintiff-appellee, following, she was authorized by the court, as guardian, to institute the proper legal
vs. proceedings for the annulment of several bonds given by her husband while in a state
JUAN CODINA ARENAS AND OTHERS, defendants; of insanity, among them that concerned in the present cause, issued in behalf of The
VICENTE SIXTO VILLANUEVA, appellant. Standard Oil Company of New York; (4) that she, the guardian, was not aware of the
proceedings had against her husband and was only by chance informed thereof; (5)
Chicote and Miranda for appellant. that when Vicente S. Villanueva gave the bond, the subject of this suit, he was
W.A. Kincaid and Thos. L. Hartigan for appellee. already permanently insane, was in that state when summoned and still continued
so, for which reason he neither appeared nor defended himself in the said litigation;
and, in conclusion, she petitioned the court to relieve the said defendant Villanueva
ARELLANO, C.J.:
from compliance with the aforestated judgment rendered against him in the suit
before mentioned, and to reopen the trial for the introduction of evidence in behalf
On December 15, 1908, Juan Codina Arenas and Francisco Lara del Pino, as principals,
of the said defendant with respect to his capacity at the time of the execution of the
and Alipio Locso, Vicente Sixto Villanueva and the Chinaman, Siy Ho, as sureties,
bond in question, which evidence could not be presented in due season on account
assumed the obligation to pay, jointly and severally, to the corporation, The Standard
of the then existing incapacity of the defendant.
Oil Company of New York, the sum of P3,305. 76, at three months from date, with
interest at P1 per month.
The court granted the petition and the trial was reopened for the introduction of
evidence, after due consideration of which, when taken, the court decided that when
On April 5, 1909, The Standard Oil Company of New York sued the said five debtors
Vicente Villanueva, on the 15th of December, 1908, executed the bond in question,
for payment of the P3,305.76, together with the interest thereon at the rate of 1 per
he understood perfectly well the nature and consequences of the act performed by
cent per month from the 15th of December, 1908, and the costs.
him and that the consent that was given by him for the purpose was entirely
voluntary and, consequently, valid and efficacious. As a result of such findings the
The defendants were summoned, the record showing that summons was served on
court ruled that the petition for an indefinite stay of execution of the judgment
Vicente Sixto Villanueva on April 17, 1909.
rendered in the case be denied and that the said execution be carried out.

On May 12, 1909, Vicente Sixto Villanueva and Siy Ho were declared to be in default
After the filing of an exception to the above ruling, a new hearing was requested
and were so notified, the latter on the 14th and the former on the 15th of May, 1909.
"with reference to the defendant Vicente S. Villanueva" and, upon its denial, a bill of
exceptions was presented in support of the appeal submitted to this court and which
On August 28, 1909, the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila sentenced all is based on a single assignment of error as follows:
the defendants to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiff company the sum of
P3,305.76, together with the interest thereon at 1 per cent per month from
Because the lower court found that the monomania of great wealth,
December 15, 1908, until complete payment should have been made of the
suffered by the defendant Villanueva, does not imply incapacity to execute
principal, and to pay the costs.
a bond such as the one herein concerned.

While the judgment was in the course of execution, Elisa Torres de Villanueva, the
Certainly the trial court founded its judgment on the basis of the medico-legal
wife of Vicente Sixto Villanueva, appeared and alleged: (1) That on July 24, 1909, the
doctrine which supports the conclusion that such monomania of wealth does not
latter was declared to be insane by the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila;

21
necessarily imply the result that the defendant Villanueva was not a person capable taking a mere illusion for a reality is not necessarily a positive proof of insanity or
of executing a contract of bond like the one here in question. incapacity to bind himself in a contract. Specifically, in reference to this case, the
following facts were brought out in the testimony given by the physicians, Don
This court has not found the proof of the error attributed to the judgment of the Rudesino Cuervo and Don Gervasio de Ocampo, witnesses for the defendant, the
lower court. It would have been necessary to show that such monomania was first of whom had visited him some eight times during the years 1902 and 1903, and
habitual and constituted a veritable mental perturbation in the patient; that the the latter, only once, in 1908.
bond executed by the defendant Villanueva was the result of such monomania, and
not the effect of any other cause, that is, that there was not, nor could there have Dr. Cuervo:
been any other cause for the contract than an ostentation of wealth and this purely
an effect of monomania of wealth; and that the monomania existed on the date Q. But if you should present to him a document which in no wise
when the bond in question was executed. concerns his houses and if you should direct him to read it, do you believe
that he would understand the contents of the document?
With regard to the first point: "All alienists and those writers who have treated of
this branch of medical science distinguish numerous degrees of insanity and A. As to understanding it, it is possible that he might, in this I see nothing
imbecility, some of them, as Casper, going so far into a wealth of classification and particularly remarkable; but afterwards, to decide upon the question
details as to admit the existence of 60 to 80 distinct states, an enumeration of which involved, it might be that he could not do that; it depends upon what the
is unnecessary. Hence, the confusion and the doubt in the minds of the majority of question was.
the authors of treatises on the subject in determining the limits of sane judgment
and the point of beginning of this incapacity, there being some who consider as a Dr. Ocampo:
sufficient cause for such incapacity, not only insanity and imbecility, but even those
other chronic diseases or complaints that momentarily perturb or cloud the Q. Do you say that he is intelligent with respect to things other than
intelligence, as mere monomania, somnambulism, epilepsy, drunkenness, those concerning greatness?
suggestion, anger, and the divers passional states which more or less violently
deprive the human will of necessary liberty." (Manresa, Commentaries on the Civil
A. Yes, he reasons in matters which do not refer to the question of
Code, Vol. V, p. 342.) In our present knowledge of the state of mental alienation such
greatness and wealth.
certainly has not yet been reached as to warrant the conclusion, in a judicial decision,
that he who suffers the monomania of wealth, believing himself to be very wealthy
Q. He can take a written paper and read it and understand it, can he
when he is not, is really insane and it is to be presumed, in the absence of a judicial
not?
declaration, that he acts under the influence of a perturbed mind, or that his mind is
deranged when he executes an onerous contract .The bond, as aforesaid, was
executed by Vicente S. Villanueva on December 15, 1908, and his incapacity, for the A. Read it, yes, he can read it and understand it, it is probable that he
purpose of providing a guardian for him, was not declared until July 24, 1909. can, I have made no trial.

The trial court, although it conceded as a fact that the defendant had for several Q. Is he not a man of considerable intelligence, only with the exception
of this monomania of greatness and wealth?
years suffered from such monomania, decided, however, guided by the medico-legal
doctrine above cited, that a person's believing himself to be what he is not or his
A. Of not much intelligence, an ordinary intelligence.

22
Q. He knows how to read and write, does he not? contrary be not proved, that is, that at the moment of his acting he was incapable,
crazy, insane, or out his mind: which, in the opinion of this court, has not been proved
A. Yes, sir I believe that he does. in this case.

Mr. F.B. Ingersoll, a witness for the plaintiff, testified that as a notary he had With regard to the second point, it is very obvious that in every contract there must
prepared the instrument of bond and received the statements of the signers; that he be a consideration to substantiate the obligation, so much so that, even though it
explained to Mr. Villanueva its contents and when the witness asked the latter should not be expressed in the contract, it is presumed that it exists and that it is
whether he wished to sign it he replied that he was willing and did in fact do so; that lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (Civil Code, art. 1277.) In the contract
the defendant's mental condition appeared to the witness to be normal and regular of bond the consideration, general, is no other, as in all contract of pure beneficence,
and that he observed nothing to indicate the contrary; and that the defendant was than the liberality of the benefactor. (Id, 1274.) Out of the ordinary, a bond may be
quiet and composed and spoke in an ordinary way without giving cause fir any given for some other consideration, according to the agreement and the free
suspicion that there was anything abnormal. stipulation of the parties and may be, as in onerous and remuneratory contracts,
something remunerative stipulated as an equivalent, on the part of the beneficiary
Honorable Judge Araullo testified as a witness for the plaintiff that while trying in the of the bond.
Court of First Instance, over which he presided, the case concerning the estate of the
Chinaman Go-Cho-Co, and Mr. Villanueva having been proposed as a surety therein, It is not clear as to the reason why Villanueva gave the bond in favor of the two
the witness asked him some questions about his property, in order to ascertain members of the firm of Arenas & Co., Francisco Lara, and Juan Arenas. Lara testified
whether he was solvent and would be adequate surety, and that Villanueva testified that he had never had dealings with Villanueva; from which it is inferred that the
the same as many, others had done, and witness did not notice any particular latter could hardly have been moved to favor the former by the benefit of an
disorder or perturbation of his mental faculties; that he answered the questions assumed obligation to pay him some three thousand pesos, with monthly interest
concerning the property that he held, stated its value, specified the place where it .But he added that Arenas & Co. obtained an agent to look for sureties for them, to
was situated, his answers being precisely relevant to the matter treated; that he whom Arenas paid a certain sum of money. The witness did not know, however,
therefore approved the bond; and that all this took place between July and whether Arenas gave the money for the signature of the bond or simply in order that
September, 1908. This witness having been asked, on cross-examination, whether the agent might find sureties. The fact is that the sureties came with the agent and
Mr. Villanueva, subsequent to the date mentioned, had again been surety in any signed the bond.
other case, and whether it appeared strange to witness that Mr. Villanueva should
engage in giving bonds and whether for that reason he rejected this new bond, The appellant presented, as proof that Villanueva concealed from his family his
replied that it was in that same case relative to the estate of the Chinaman Go-Cho- dealings with Arenas, a note by the latter addressed to his friend, Mr. Villanueva, on
Co that he endeavored to investigate, as he customarily did, with regard to whether the 13th of May, 1909, that is, two days before Villanueva was declared to be in
Mr. Villanueva had given any other previous bond, and the discovered that he had in default, inviting him to a conference "for the purpose of treating of a matter of great
fact previously given bond in a criminal case, but that, as it had already been importance of much interest to Villanueva, between 5 and 6 of that same day, in the
cancelled, he had no objection to accepting the one offered by Mr. Villanueva in the garden and on the benches which are in front of the Delmonico Hotel, on Calle
said Go-Cho-Co case. Palacio, corner of Calle Victoria, and if rained, in the bar on the corner." It can not be
affirmed with certainty (the trial court considers it probable) that Villanueva engaged
Capacity to act must be supposed to attach to a person who has not previously been in the business of giving bonds for a certain consideration or remuneration; but
declared incapable, and such capacity is presumed to continue so long as the neither can it be sustained that there was no other cause for the giving of the bond

23
in question than the mental disorder that dominated the intellect of the person and the payment of the land tax, all this being done by her, and she also it was who
obligated, to the extent of his believing himself so oversupplied with money as to be attended to the subsistence of the family and to all their needs. Finally, and with
able to risk it in behalf of any person whatever. There is no proof that the said bond direct reference to the point under discussion, she was asked:
was merely the product of an insensate ostentation of wealth, nor that, if Villanueva
boasted of wealth in giving several bonds, among them that herein concerned, he Q. It is not true that, up to the date of his signing this bond, he used to
was influenced only by the monomania of boasting of being wealthy, when he was go out of the house and was on the streets nearly every day? to which she
not. replied:

Neither is there any proof whatever with respect to the third point, that is, that, A. He went where he pleased, he does this even now. He goes to the
granting that he was a monomaniac, he was dominated by that malady when he markets, and buys provisions and other things. In fact I don't know where
executed the bond now under discussion. In the interpretative jurisprudence on this he goes go.
kind of incapacity, to wit, lunacy or insanity, it is a rule of constant application that is
not enough that there be more or less probability that a person was in a state Q. From his actions toward others, did he show any indication of not
of dementia at a given time, if there is not direct proof that, at the date of the being sane when he was on the street, according to your opinion?
performance of the act which it is endeavored to invalidate for want of capacity on
the part of the executor, the latter was insane or demented, in other words, that he A. Half of Manila knows him and are informed of this fact and it is very
could not, in the performance of that act, give his conscious, free, voluntary, strange that this should have occurred. If you need witnesses to prove it,
deliberate and intentional consent. The witness who as physicians testified as to there are many people who can testify in regard to this particular.
extravagancies observed in Villanueva's conduct, referred, two of them, to a time
prior to 1903, and another of them to the year 1908, but none to December 15, 1908,
The only incorrectness mentioned by this lady is that her husband, when he went to
the date of the execution of the bond sought to be invalidated. the testimony of one
the market, would return to the house with his pockets full of tomatoes and onions,
of these witnesses shows that when Villanueva's wife endeavored, in 1908, to have
and when she was asked by the judge whether he was a man of frugal habits, she
her husband confined in the Hospicio de San Jose and cared for therein, objection
replied that, as far as she knew, he had never squandered any large sum of money;
was made by the director of the institution who advised her that if he entered in that
that he had never been engaged in business; that he supported himself on what she
way and lodged in the ward for old men, as soon as he shouted and disturbed them
gave him; and that if he had something to count on for his living, it was the product
in their sleep he would have to be locked up in the insane ward; to which Villanueva's
of his lands.
wife replied "that her husband was not exactly insane enough to be placed among
the insane." This same lady, testifying as a witness in this case, stated: that no
Such is a summary of the facts relating to the debated incapacity of the appellant,
restrictions had ever been placed upon her husband's liberty to go wherever he
and it is very evident that it can not be concluded therefrom that, on December 15,
wished and do what he liked; that her husband had property of his own and was not
1908, when Villanueva subscribed the obligation now contested, he did not possess
deprived of its management; that he went out every morning without her knowing
the necessary capacity to give efficient consent with respect to the bond which he
where he went; that she did not know whether he had engaged in the business of
freely executed.
signing bonds, and that, with reference to the one now concerned, she had learned
Therefore, the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with the costs of this instance
of it only by finding to note, before mentioned, wherein Arenas invited him to a
against the appellant. So ordered.
rendezvous on the benches in front of the Delmonico Hotel; that she had not
endeavored legally to deprive him of the management of his own real estate which
Torres, Johnson, Carson, and Moreland, JJ., concur.
had been inherited by him, although he did not attend to the collection of the rents

24
G.R. No. 176947 February 19, 2009 36 in the Philippines and 25 in the Constituency where I seek to be elected;
GAUDENCIO M. CORDORA, Petitioner,
vs. 3. No. 12 – I am ELIGIBLE for the office I seek to be elected.3 (Boldface and
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and GUSTAVO S. TAMBUNTING, Respondents. capitalization in the original)

DECISION Cordora stated that Tambunting was not eligible to run for local public office because
Tambunting lacked the required citizenship and residency requirements.
CARPIO, J.:
To disprove Tambunting’s claim of being a natural-born Filipino citizen, Cordora
The Case presented a certification from the Bureau of Immigration which stated that, in two
instances, Tambunting claimed that he is an American: upon arrival in the Philippines
This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus, with prayer for the issuance of a on 16 December 2000 and upon departure from the Philippines on 17 June 2001.
temporary restraining order under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. According to Cordora, these travel dates confirmed that Tambunting acquired
American citizenship through naturalization in Honolulu, Hawaii on 2 December
2000. Cordora concluded:
In EO Case No. 05-17, Gaudencio M. Cordora (Cordora) accused Gustavo S.
Tambunting (Tambunting) of an election offense for violating Section 74 in relation
to Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. The Commission on Elections’ That Councilor Gustavo S. Tambunting contrary to the provision of Sec 74 (OEC): [sic]
(COMELEC) En Banc dismissed Cordora’s complaint in a Resolution1 dated 18 August Re: CONTENTS OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY: which requires the declarant/affiant
2006. The present petition seeks to reverse the 18 August 2006 Resolution as well as to state, among others, under oath, that he is a Filipino (No. 6), No.
the Resolution2 dated 20 February 2007 of the COMELEC En Banc which denied 9- residence requirement which he lost when [he was] naturalized as an American
Cordora’s motion for reconsideration. Citizen on December 2, 2000 at [sic] Honolulu, Hawaii, knowingly and
willfully affirmed and reiterated that he possesses the above basic
requirements under No. 12 – that he is indeed eligible for the office to which he
The Facts
seeks to be elected, when in truth and in fact, the contrary is indubitably established
by his own statements before the Philippine Bureau of Immigration x x
In his complaint affidavit filed before the COMELEC Law Department, Cordora
x.4 (Emphases in the original)
asserted that Tambunting made false assertions in the following items:

Tambunting, on the other hand, maintained that he did not make any
That Annex A [Tambunting’s Certificate of Candidacy for the 2001 elections] and
misrepresentation in his certificates of candidacy. To refute Cordora’s claim that
Annex B [Tambunting’s Certificate of Candidacy for the 2004 elections] state, among
Tambunting is not a natural-born Filipino, Tambunting presented a copy of his birth
others, as follows, particularly Nos. 6, 9 and 12 thereof:
certificate which showed that he was born of a Filipino mother and an American
father. Tambunting further denied that he was naturalized as an American citizen.
1. No. 6 – I am a Natural Born/Filipino Citizen
The certificate of citizenship conferred by the US government after Tambunting’s
father petitioned him through INS Form I-130 (Petition for Relative) merely
2. No. 9 – No. of years of Residence before May 14, 2001. confirmed Tambunting’s citizenship which he acquired at birth. Tambunting’s
possession of an American passport did not mean that Tambunting is not a Filipino

25
citizen. Tambunting also took an oath of allegiance on 18 November 2003 pursuant Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento (Commissioner Sarmiento) wrote a separate
to Republic Act No. 9225 (R.A. No. 9225), or the Citizenship Retention and opinion which concurred with the findings of the En Banc Resolution. Commissioner
Reacquisition Act of 2003. Sarmiento pointed out that Tambunting could be considered a dual citizen.
Moreover, Tambunting effectively renounced his American citizenship when he filed
Tambunting further stated that he has resided in the Philippines since birth. his certificates of candidacy in 2001 and 2004 and ran for public office.
Tambunting has imbibed the Filipino culture, has spoken the Filipino language, and
has been educated in Filipino schools. Tambunting maintained that proof of his Cordora filed a motion for reconsideration which raised the same grounds and the
loyalty and devotion to the Philippines was shown by his service as councilor of same arguments in his complaint. In its Resolution promulgated on 20 February
Parañaque. 2007, the COMELEC En Banc dismissed Cordora’s motion for reconsideration for lack
of merit.
To refute Cordora’s claim that the number of years of residency stated in
Tambunting’s certificates of candidacy is false because Tambunting lost his residency The Issue
because of his naturalization as an American citizen, Tambunting contended that the
residency requirement is not the same as citizenship. Cordora submits that the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it declared that there is no sufficient evidence
The Ruling of the COMELEC Law Department to support probable cause that may warrant the prosecution of Tambunting for an
election offense.
The COMELEC Law Department recommended the dismissal of Cordora’s complaint
against Tambunting because Cordora failed to substantiate his charges against Cordora’s petition is not an action to disqualify Tambunting because of Tambunting’s
Tambunting. Cordora’s reliance on the certification of the Bureau of Immigration failure to meet citizenship and residency requirements. Neither is the present
that Tambunting traveled on an American passport is not sufficient to prove that petition an action to declare Tambunting a non-Filipino and a non-resident. The
Tambunting is an American citizen. present petition seeks to prosecute Tambunting for knowingly making untruthful
statements in his certificates of candidacy.
The Ruling of the COMELEC En Banc
The Ruling of the Court
The COMELEC En Banc affirmed the findings and the resolution of the COMELEC Law
Department. The COMELEC En Banc was convinced that Cordora failed to support The petition has no merit. We affirm the ruling of the COMELEC En Banc.
his accusation against Tambunting by sufficient and convincing evidence.
Whether there is Probable Cause to Hold Tambunting for Trial for Having
The dispositive portion of the COMELEC En Banc’s Resolution reads as follows: Committed an Election Offense

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant complaint is hereby DISMISSED for There was no grave abuse of discretion in the COMELEC En Banc’s ruling that there
insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause. is no sufficient and convincing evidence to support a finding of probable cause to
hold Tambunting for trial for violation of Section 74 in relation to Section 262 of the
SO ORDERED.5 Omnibus Election Code.

26
Probable cause constitutes those facts and circumstances which would lead a We agree with Commissioner Sarmiento’s observation that Tambunting possesses
reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been dual citizenship. Because of the circumstances of his birth, it was no longer necessary
committed. Determining probable cause is an intellectual activity premised on the for Tambunting to undergo the naturalization process to acquire American
prior physical presentation or submission of documentary or testimonial proofs citizenship. The process involved in INS Form I-130 only served to confirm the
either confirming, negating or qualifying the allegations in the complaint.6 American citizenship which Tambunting acquired at birth. The certification from the
Bureau of Immigration which Cordora presented contained two trips where
Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code reads as follows: Tambunting claimed that he is an American. However, the same certification showed
nine other trips where Tambunting claimed that he is Filipino. Clearly, Tambunting
Contents of certificate of candidacy. — The certificate of candidacy shall state that possessed dual citizenship prior to the filing of his certificate of candidacy before the
the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and that 2001 elections. The fact that Tambunting had dual citizenship did not disqualify him
he is eligible for said office; x x x the political party to which he belongs; civil status; from running for public office.7
his date of birth; residence; his post office address for all election purposes; his
profession or occupation; that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Requirements for dual citizens from birth who desire to run for public office
Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that he will obey the
laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities; that We deem it necessary to reiterate our previous ruling in Mercado v. Manzano,
he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation wherein we ruled that dual citizenship is not a ground for disqualification from
imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose running for any elective local position.
of evasion; and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the
best of his knowledge. To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises
when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more
The person filing a certificate of candidacy shall also affix his latest photograph, states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For
passport size; a statement in duplicate containing his bio-data and program of instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a
government not exceeding one hundred words, if he so desires. state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows
the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on
Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, on the other hand, provides that violation his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the
of Section 74, among other sections in the Code, shall constitute an election offense. citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes
of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship:
Tambunting’s Dual Citizenship
(1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries
Tambunting does not deny that he is born of a Filipino mother and an American which follow the principle of jus soli;
father. Neither does he deny that he underwent the process involved in INS Form I-
130 (Petition for Relative) because of his father’s citizenship. Tambunting claims that (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by
because of his parents’ differing citizenships, he is both Filipino and American by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country;
birth. Cordora, on the other hand, insists that Tambunting is a naturalized American
citizen.

27
(3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former SENATOR ENRILE. Mr. President, I would like to ask clarification of line 41, page 17:
are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to "Any person with dual citizenship" is disqualified to run for any elective local
have renounced Philippine citizenship. position. Under the present Constitution, Mr. President, someone whose mother is
a citizen of the Philippines but his father is a foreigner is a natural-born citizen of the
There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without Republic. There is no requirement that such a natural-born citizen, upon reaching
performing any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly the age of majority, must elect or give up Philippine citizenship.
possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship.
On the assumption that this person would carry two passports, one belonging to the
Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person country of his or her father and one belonging to the Republic of the Philippines, may
simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual such a situation disqualify the person to run for a local government position?
citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition.
SENATOR PIMENTEL. To my mind, Mr. President, it only means that at the moment
[I]n including §5 in Article IV on citizenship, the concern of the Constitutional when he would want to run for public office, he has to repudiate one of his
Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who citizenships.
maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization.
Hence, the phrase "dual citizenship" in R.A. No. 7160, §40(d) and in R.A. No. 7854, SENATOR ENRILE. Suppose he carries only a Philippine passport but the country of
§20 must be understood as referring to "dual allegiance." Consequently, persons origin or the country of the father claims that person, nevertheless, as a citizen,? No
with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with one can renounce. There are such countries in the world.1avvphi1
dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to
the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should SENATOR PIMENTEL. Well, the very fact that he is running for public office would, in
suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine effect, be an election for him of his desire to be considered a Filipino citizen.
citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering
that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different SENATOR ENRILE. But, precisely, Mr. President, the Constitution does not require an
states. As Joaquin G. Bernas, one of the most perceptive members of the election. Under the Constitution, a person whose mother is a citizen of the
Constitutional Commission, pointed out: "[D]ual citizenship is just a reality imposed Philippines is, at birth, a citizen without any overt act to claim the citizenship.
on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. We
recognize a child of a Filipino mother. But whether or not she is considered a citizen SENATOR PIMENTEL. Yes. What we are saying, Mr. President, is: Under the
of another country is something completely beyond our control." Gentleman’s example, if he does not renounce his other citizenship, then he is
opening himself to question. So, if he is really interested to run, the first thing he
By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear should do is to say in the Certificate of Candidacy that: "I am a Filipino citizen, and I
allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate have only one citizenship."
their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state
and of its laws, such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign SENATOR ENRILE. But we are talking from the viewpoint of Philippine law, Mr.
citizenship. That is of no moment as the following discussion on §40(d) between President. He will always have one citizenship, and that is the citizenship invested
Senators Enrile and Pimentel clearly shows: upon him or her in the Constitution of the Republic.

28
SENATOR PIMENTEL. That is true, Mr. President. But if he exercises acts that will In Sections 2 and 3 of R.A. No. 9225, the framers were not concerned with dual
prove that he also acknowledges other citizenships, then he will probably fall under citizenship per se, but with the status of naturalized citizens who maintain their
this disqualification.8 (Emphasis supplied) allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization.12 Section 5(3)
of R.A. No. 9225 states that naturalized citizens who reacquire Filipino citizenship
We have to consider the present case in consonance with our rulings in Mercado v. and desire to run for elective public office in the Philippines shall "meet the
Manzano,9 Valles v. COMELEC,10 and AASJS v. qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and
11
Datumanong. Mercado and Valles involve similar operative facts as the present existing laws and, at the time of filing the certificate of candidacy, make a personal
case. Manzano and Valles, like Tambunting, possessed dual citizenship by the and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer
circumstances of their birth. Manzano was born to Filipino parents in the United authorized to administer an oath" aside from the oath of allegiance prescribed in
States which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Valles was born to an Australian mother Section 3 of R.A. No. 9225. The twin requirements of swearing to an Oath of
and a Filipino father in Australia. Our rulings in Manzano and Valles stated that dual Allegiance and executing a Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship served as the bases
citizenship is different from dual allegiance both by cause and, for those desiring to for our recent rulings in Jacot v. Dal and COMELEC,13 Velasco v.
run for public office, by effect. Dual citizenship is involuntary and arises when, as a COMELEC,14 and Japzon v. COMELEC,15 all of which involve natural-born Filipinos
result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a who later became naturalized citizens of another country and thereafter ran for
person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Thus, like any other elective office in the Philippines. In the present case, Tambunting, a natural-born
natural-born Filipino, it is enough for a person with dual citizenship who seeks public Filipino, did not subsequently become a naturalized citizen of another country.
office to file his certificate of candidacy and swear to the oath of allegiance contained Hence, the twin requirements in R.A. No. 9225 do not apply to him.
therein. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, is brought about by the individual’s
active participation in the naturalization process. AASJS states that, under R.A. No. Tambunting’s residency
9225, a Filipino who becomes a naturalized citizen of another country is allowed to Cordora concluded that Tambunting failed to meet the residency requirement
retain his Filipino citizenship by swearing to the supreme authority of the Republic because of Tambunting’s naturalization as an American. Cordora’s reasoning fails
because Tambunting is not a naturalized American. Moreover, residency, for the
of the Philippines. The act of taking an oath of allegiance is an implicit renunciation
purpose of election laws, includes the twin elements of the fact of residing in a fixed
of a naturalized citizen’s foreign citizenship. place and the intention to return there permanently,16 and is not dependent upon
citizenship.
R.A. No. 9225, or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, was
enacted years after the promulgation of Manzano and Valles. The oath found in In view of the above, we hold that Cordora failed to establish that Tambunting
Section 3 of R.A. No. 9225 reads as follows: indeed willfully made false entries in his certificates of candidacy. On the contrary,
Tambunting sufficiently proved his innocence of the charge filed against him.
Tambunting is eligible for the office which he sought to be elected and fulfilled the
I __________ , solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the
citizenship and residency requirements prescribed by law.
Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders
promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition. We AFFIRM the Resolutions of the
declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will
Commission on Elections En Banc dated 18 August 2006 and 20 February 2007 in EO
maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I impose this obligation upon
Case No. 05-17.
myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

SO ORDERED.

29
G.R. No. 207264 June 25, 2013 During the course of the proceedings, on 8 February 2013, respondent filed a
REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES, Petitioner, "Manifestation with Motion to Admit Newly Discovered Evidence and Amended List
vs. of Exhibits" 11consisting of, among others: (1) a copy of an article published on the
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH SOCORRO B. TAN, Respondents. internet on 8 January 2013 entitled "Seeking and Finding the Truth about Regina O.
Reyes" with an Affidavit of Identification and Authenticity of Document executed by
its author Eliseo J. Obligacion, which provides a database record of the Bureau of
RESOLUTION
Immigration indicating that petitioner is an American citizen and a holder of a U.S.
PEREZ, J.: passport; (2) a Certification of Travel Records of petitioner, issued by Simeon
Sanchez, Acting Chief, Verification and Certification Unit of the Bureau of
Before the Court is a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Immigration which indicates that petitioner used a U.S. Passport in her various
Order and/or Preliminary Injunction and/or Status Quo Ante Order dated 7 June travels abroad.
2013 filed by petitioner Regina Ongsiako Reyes, assailing the Resolutions dated 27
March 2013 and 14 May 2013 issued by public respondent Commission on Elections On 27 March 2013, the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution 12 cancelling
(COMELEC) in SPA No. 13-053. The assailed Resolutions ordered the cancellation of petitioner's COC, to wit:
the Certificate of Candidacy of petitioner for the position of Representative of the
WHEREFORE,in view of the foregoing, the instant Petition
lone district of Marinduque.
is GRANTED.Accordingly, the Certificate of Candidacy of
On 31 October 2012, respondent Joseph Socorro Tan, a registered voter and resident respondent REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES is
of the Municipality of Torrijos, Marinduque, filed before the COMELEC an Amended hereby CANCELLED.EHaCTA
Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of
The COMELEC First Division found that, contrary to the declarations that she made
petitioner on the ground that it contained material misrepresentations, specifically:
in her COC, petitioner is not a citizen of the Philippines because of her failure to
(1) that she is single when she is married to Congressman Herminaldo I. Mandanas
comply with the requirements of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or the Citizenship
of Batangas; 1 (2) that she is a resident of Brgy. Lupac, Boac, Marinduque when she
Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, namely: (1) to take an oath of allegiance
is a resident of Bauan, Batangas which is the residence of her husband, and at the
to the Republic of the Philippines; and (2) to make a personal and sworn renunciation
same time, when she is also a resident of 135 J.P. Rizal, Brgy. Milagrosa, Quezon City
of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an
as admitted in the Directory of Congressional Spouses of the House of
oath. In addition, the COMELEC First Division ruled that she did not have the one-
Representatives; 2 (3) that her date of birth is 3 July 1964 when other documents
year residency requirement under Section 6, Article VI of the 1987
show that her birthdate is either 8 July 1959 or 3 July 1960; 3 (4) that she is not a
Constitution. 13 Thus, she is ineligible to run for the position of Representative for
permanent resident of another country when she is a permanent resident or an
the lone district of Marinduque.
immigrant 4 of the United States of America; 5 and (5) that she is a Filipino citizen
when she is, in fact, an American citizen. 6 TaSEHC Not agreeing with the Resolution of the COMELEC First Division, petitioner filed a
Motion for Reconsideration 14 on 8 April 2013 claiming that she is a natural-born
In her Answer, petitioner countered that, while she is publicly known to be the wife
Filipino citizen and that she has not lost such status by simply obtaining and using an
of Congressman Herminaldo I. Mandanas (Congressman Mandanas),there is no valid
American passport. Additionally, petitioner surmised that the COMELEC First Division
and binding marriage between them. According to petitioner, although her marriage
relied on the fact of her marriage to an American citizen in concluding that she is a
with Congressman Mandanas was solemnized in a religious rite, it did not comply
naturalized American citizen. Petitioner averred, however, that such marriage only
with certain formal requirements prescribed by the Family Code, rendering it void ab
resulted into dual citizenship, thus there is no need for her to fulfill the twin
initio. 7 Consequently, petitioner argues that as she is not duty-bound to live with
requirements under R.A. No. 9225. Still, petitioner attached an Affidavit of
Congressman Mandanas, then his residence cannot be attributed to her. 8 As to her
Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship sworn to before a Notary Public on 24
date of birth, the Certificate of Live Birth issued by the National Statistics Office
September 2012. As to her alleged lack of the one-year residency requirement
shows that it was on 3 July 1964. 9 Lastly, petitioner notes that the allegation that
prescribed by the Constitution, she averred that, as she never became a naturalized
she is a permanent resident and/or a citizen of the United States of America is not
citizen, she never lost her domicile of origin, which is Boac, Marinduque.
supported by evidence. 10

30
On 14 May 2013, the COMELEC En Banc, promulgated a Resolution 15 denying excess of jurisdiction when, by enforcing the provisions
petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit. of Republic Act No. 9225, it imposed additional
qualifications to the qualifications of a Member of the
Four days thereafter or on 18 May 2013, petitioner was proclaimed winner of the 13 House of Representatives as enumerated in Section 6 of
May 2013 Elections. Article VI of the1987 Constitution of the Philippines.
On 5 June 2013, the COMELEC En Banc issued a Certificate of Finality 16 declaring The petition must fail.
the 14 May 2013 Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc final and executory,
considering that more than twenty-one (21) days have elapsed from the date of At the outset, it is observed that the issue of jurisdiction of respondent COMELEC vis-
promulgation with no order issued by this Court restraining its execution. 17 a-vis that of House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) appears to be a non-
issue. Petitioner is taking an inconsistent, if not confusing, stance for while she seeks
On same day, petitioner took her oath of office 18 before Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr., remedy before this Court, she is asserting that it is the HRET which has jurisdiction
Speaker of the House of Representatives. over her. Thus, she posits that the issue on her eligibility and qualifications to be a
Petitioner has yet to assume office, the term of which officially starts at noon of 30 Member of the House of Representatives is best discussed in another tribunal of
June 2013. competent jurisdiction. It appears then that petitioner's recourse to this Court was
made only in an attempt to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing its final and
In the present Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order executory judgment in SPA No. 13-053.
and/or Preliminary Injunction and/or Status Quo Ante Order, petitioner raises the
following issues: 19 Nevertheless, we pay due regard to the petition, and consider each of the issues
raised by petitioner. The need to do so, and at once, was highlighted during the
31) Whether or not Respondent Comelec is without discussion En Banc on 25 June 2013 where and when it was emphasized that the
jurisdiction over Petitioner who is a duly proclaimed winner term of office of the Members of the House of Representatives begins on the
and who has already taken her oath of office for the thirtieth day of June next following their election.
position of Member of the House of Representatives for the
lone congressional district of Marinduque. aEIADT According to petitioner, the COMELEC was ousted of its jurisdiction when she was
duly proclaimed 20 because pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the 1987
32) Whether or not Respondent Comelec committed grave Constitution, the HRET has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the "sole judge of all
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications" of the Members of the
jurisdiction when it took cognizance of Respondent Tan's House of Representatives.
alleged "newly-discovered evidence" without the same
having been testified on and offered and admitted in Contrary to petitioner's claim, however, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction for the
evidence which became the basis for its Resolution of the following reasons:
case without giving the petitioner the opportunity to First, the HRET does not acquire jurisdiction over the issue of petitioner's
question and present controverting evidence, in violation of qualifications, as well as over the assailed COMELEC Resolutions, unless a petition is
Petitioner's right to due process of law. duly filed with said tribunal. Petitioner has not averred that she has filed such
33) Whether or not Respondent Comelec committed grave action. HcTIDC
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of Second, the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after the candidate is considered a
jurisdiction when it declared that Petitioner is not a Filipino Member of the House of Representatives, as stated in Section 17, Article VI of
citizen and did not meet the residency requirement for the the 1987 Constitution:
position of Member of the House of Representatives.
Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall
34) Whether or not Respondent Commission on Elections each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or

31
of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications, as well as questions regarding the conduct of
qualifications of their respective Members.... election and contested returns — were transferred to the
HRET as the constitutional body created to pass upon the
As held in Marcos v. COMELEC, 21 the HRET does not have jurisdiction over a same. (Emphasis supplied.)
candidate who is not a member of the House of Representatives, to wit:
From the foregoing, it is then clear that to be considered a Member of the House of
As to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal's Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the following requisites: (1) a valid
supposed assumption of jurisdiction over the issue of proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office.
petitioner's qualifications after the May 8, 1995 elections,
suffice it to say that HRET's jurisdiction as the sole judge of all Indeed, in some cases, this Court has made the pronouncement that once a
contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of proclamation has been made, COMELEC's jurisdiction is already lost and, thus, its
members of Congress begins only after a candidate has jurisdiction over contests relating to elections, returns, and qualifications ends, and
become a member of the House of Representatives. the HRET's own jurisdiction begins. However, it must be noted that in these cases,
Petitioner not being a member of the House of the doctrinal pronouncement was made in the context of a proclaimed candidate
Representatives, it is obvious that the HRET at this point who had not only taken an oath of office, but who had also assumed office. DIETcC
has nojurisdiction over the question.(Emphasis supplied.)
For instance, in the case of Dimaporo v. COMELEC, 27 the Court upheld the
The next inquiry, then, is when is a candidate considered a Member of the House of jurisdiction of the HRET against that of the COMELEC only after the candidate had
Representatives? been proclaimed, taken his oath of office before the Speaker of the House, and
assumed the duties of a Congressman on 26 September 2007, or after the start of
In Vinzons-Chato v. COMELEC, 22 citing Aggabao v. COMELEC 23 and Guerrero v. his term on 30 June 2007, to wit:
COMELEC, 24 the Court ruled that:
On October 8, 2007, private respondent Belmonte filed his
The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate comment in which he brought to Our attention that on
has been proclaimed, taken his oath,and assumed office as a September 26, 2007, even before the issuance of the status
Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELEC's quo ante order of the Court, he had already
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, been proclaimed by the PBOC as the duly elected Member of
returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own the House of Representatives of the First Congressional
jurisdiction begins. (Emphasis supplied.) TaSEHD District of Lanao del Norte. On that very same day, he
This pronouncement was reiterated in the case of Limkaichong v. had taken his oath before Speaker of the House Jose de
COMELEC, 25 wherein the Court, referring to the jurisdiction of the COMELEC vis-a- Venecia, Jr. and assumed his duties accordingly.
vis the HRET, held that: In light of this development, jurisdiction over this case has
The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate already been transferred to the House of Representatives
has been proclaimed, taken his oath,and assumed office as a Electoral Tribunal (HRET).(Emphasis supplied.)
Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELEC's Apparently, the earlier cases were decided after the questioned candidate had
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, already assumed office, and hence, was already considered a Member of the House
returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own of Representatives, unlike in the present case.
jurisdiction begins. (Emphasis supplied.)
Here, the petitioner cannot be considered a Member of the House of
This was again affirmed in Gonzalez v. COMELEC, 26 to wit: Representatives because, primarily, she has not yet assumed office. To repeat what
After proclamation, taking of oath and assumption of has earlier been said, the term of office of a Member of the House of Representatives
office by Gonzalez, jurisdiction over the matter of his

32
begins only "at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their five (5) days from their promulgation unless restrained by the
election." 28 Thus, until such time, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction. Supreme Court.

In her attempt to comply with the second requirement, petitioner attached a To prevent the assailed Resolution dated 14 May 2013 from becoming final and
purported Oath of Office taken before Hon. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on 5 June 2013. executory, petitioner should have availed herself of Section 1, Rule 37 29 of
However, this is not the oath of office which confers membership to the House of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure or Rule 64 30 of the Rules of Court by filing a
Representatives. petition before this Court within the 5-day period, but she failed to do so. She would
file the present last hour petition on 10 June 2013. Hence, on 5 June 2013,
Section 6, Rule II (Membership) of the Rules of the House of respondent COMELEC rightly issued a Certificate of Finality.
Representatives provides:
As to the issue of whether petitioner failed to prove her Filipino citizenship, as well
Section 6. Oath or Affirmation of Members. — Members shall as her one-year residency in Marinduque, suffice it to say that the COMELEC
take their oath or affirmation either collectively or committed nograve abuse of discretion in finding her ineligible for the position of
individually before the Speaker in open session. Member of the House of Representatives.
Consequently, before there is a valid or official taking of the oath it must be made Petitioner alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it took
(1) before the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and (2) in open session. cognizance of "newly-discovered evidence" without the same having been testified
Here, although she made the oath before Speaker Belmonte, there is no indication on and offered and admitted in evidence. She assails the admission of the blog article
that it was made during plenary or in open session and, thus, it remains unclear of Eli Obligacion as hearsay and the photocopy of the Certification from the Bureau
whether the required oath of office was indeed complied with. of Immigration. She likewise contends that there was a violation of her right to due
More importantly, we cannot disregard a fact basic in this controversy — that before process of law because she was not given the opportunity to question and present
the proclamation of petitioner on 18 May 2013, the COMELEC En Banc had already controverting evidence.
finally disposed of the issue of petitioner's lack of Filipino citizenship and residency Her contentions are incorrect.
via its Resolution dated 14 May 2013. After 14 May 2013, there was, before the
COMELEC, no longer any pending case on petitioner's qualifications to run for the It must be emphasized that the COMELEC is not bound to strictly adhere to the
position of Member of the House of Representative. We will inexcusably disregard technical rules of procedure in the presentation of evidence. Under Section 2 of Rule
this fact if we accept the argument of the petitioner that the COMELEC was ousted I, the COMELEC Rules of Procedure "shall be liberally construed in order . . . to
of jurisdiction when she was proclaimed, which was four days after the COMELEC En achieve just, expeditious and inexpensive determination and disposition of every
Banc decision. The Board of Canvasser which proclaimed petitioner cannot by such action and proceeding brought before the Commission." In view of the fact that the
act be allowed to render nugatory a decision of the COMELEC En Banc which proceedings in a petition to deny due course or to cancel certificate of candidacy are
affirmed a decision of the COMELEC First Division. summary in nature, then the "newly discovered evidence" was properly admitted by
respondent COMELEC.
Indeed, the assailed Resolution of the COMELEC First Division which was
promulgated on 27 March 2013, and the assailed Resolution of the COMELEC En Furthermore, there was no denial of due process in the case at bar as petitioner was
Banc which was promulgated on 14 May 2013, became final and executory on 19 given every opportunity to argue her case before the COMELEC. From 10 October
May 2013 based on Section 3, Rule 37 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which 2012 when Tan's petition was filed up to 27 March 2013 when the First Division
provides: SECIcT rendered its resolution, petitioner had a period of five (5) months to adduce
evidence. Unfortunately, she did not avail herself of the opportunity given her.
Section 3. Decisions Final after five days. — Decisions in pre-
proclamation cases and petitions to deny due course to or Also, in administrative proceedings, procedural due process only requires that the
cancel certificates of candidacy, to declare nuisance candidate party be given the opportunity or right to be heard. As held in the case of Sahali v.
or to disqualify a candidate, and to postpone or suspend COMELEC:31 IDTHcA
elections shall become final and executory after the lapse of

33
The petitioners should be reminded that due process does not establish that she had availed of the privileges of RA 9225 by
necessarily mean or require a hearing, but simply an becoming a dual Filipino-American citizen, and thereafter,
opportunity or right to be heard. One may be heard, not solely made a valid sworn renunciation of her American citizenship,
by verbal presentation but also, and perhaps many times more she remains to be an American citizen and is, therefore,
creditably and predictable than oral argument, through ineligible to run for and hold any elective public office in the
pleadings. In administrative proceedings moreover, Philippines." 32 (Emphasis supplied.) cAHIaE
technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly
applied; administrative process cannot be fully equated with Let us look into the events that led to this petition: In moving for the cancellation of
due process in its strict judicial sense. Indeed, deprivation of petitioner's COC, respondent submitted records of the Bureau of Immigration
due process cannot be successfully invoked where a party showing that petitioner is a holder of a US passport, and that her status is that of a
was given the chance to be heard on his motion for "balikbayan." At this point, the burden of proof shifted to petitioner, imposing upon
reconsideration.(Emphasis supplied) her the duty to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has not lost the
same, or that she has re-acquired such status in accordance with the provisions
As to the ruling that petitioner is ineligible to run for office on the ground of of R.A. No. 9225. Aside from the bare allegation that she is a natural-born citizen,
citizenship, the COMELEC First Division, discoursed as follows: however, petitioner submitted no proof to support such contention. Neither did she
submit any proof as to the inapplicability ofR.A. No. 9225 to her.
"... for respondent to reacquire her Filipino citizenship and
become eligible for public office,the law requires that she must Notably, in her Motion for Reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc, petitioner
have accomplished the following acts: (1) take the oath of admitted that she is a holder of a US passport, but she averred that she is only a dual
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Filipino-American citizen, thus the requirements of R.A. No. 9225 do not apply to
Consul-General of the Philippine Consulate in the USA; and (2) her. 33 Still, attached to the said motion is an Affidavit of Renunciation of Foreign
make a personal and sworn renunciation of her American Citizenship dated 24 September 2012. 34 Petitioner explains that she attached said
citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer Affidavit "if only to show her desire and zeal to serve the people and to comply with
an oath. rules, even as a superfluity." 35 We cannot, however, subscribe to petitioner's
explanation. If petitioner executed said Affidavit "if only to comply with the rules,"
In the case at bar, there is no showing that respondent then it is an admission that R.A.No. 9225 applies to her. Petitioner cannot claim that
complied with the aforesaid requirements. Early on in the she executed it to address the observations by the COMELEC as the assailed
proceeding, respondent hammered on petitioner's lack of Resolutions were promulgated only in 2013, while the Affidavit was executed in
proof regarding her American citizenship, contending that it is September 2012. HDTcEI
petitioner's burden to present a case. She, however,
specifically denied that she has become either a permanent Moreover, in the present petition, petitioner added a footnote to her oath of office
resident or naturalized citizen of the USA. as Provincial Administrator, to this effect: "This does not mean that Petitioner did
not, prior to her taking her oath of office as Provincial Administrator, take her oath
Due to petitioner's submission of newly-discovered evidence of allegiance for purposes of re-acquisition of natural-born Filipino status, which she
thru a Manifestation dated February 7, 2013, however, reserves to present in the proper proceeding. The reference to the taking of oath of
establishing the fact that respondent is a holder of an office is in order to make reference to what is already part of the records and
American passport which she continues to use until June 30, evidence in the present case and to avoid injecting into the records evidence on
2012,petitioner was able to substantiate his allegations. The matters of fact that was not previously passed upon by Respondent
burden now shifts to respondent to present substantial COMELEC." 36 This statement raises a lot of questions — Did petitioner execute an
evidence to prove otherwise. This, the respondent utterly oath of allegiance for re-acquisition of natural-born Filipino status? If she did, why
failed to do, leading to the conclusion inevitable that did she not present it at the earliest opportunity before the COMELEC? And is this an
respondent falsely misrepresented in her COC that she is a admission that she has indeed lost her natural-born Filipino status?
natural-born Filipino citizen. Unless and until she can

34
To cover-up her apparent lack of an oath of allegiance as required by R.A. No. 9225, as she remains to be an American citizen. No amount of her
petitioner contends that, since she took her oath of allegiance in connection with her stay in the said locality can substitute the fact that she has
appointment as Provincial Administrator of Marinduque, she is deemed to have not abandoned her domicile of choice in the
reacquired her status as a natural-born Filipino citizen. USA." 37 (Emphasis supplied.) ESAHca

This contention is misplaced. For one, this issue is being presented for the first time All in all, considering that the petition for denial and cancellation of the COC is
before this Court, as it was never raised before the COMELEC. For another, said oath summary in nature, the COMELEC is given much discretion in the evaluation and
of allegiance cannot be considered compliance with Sec. 3 of R.A. No. 9225 as certain admission of evidence pursuant to its principal objective of determining of whether
requirements have to be met as prescribed by Memorandum Circular No. AFF-04-01, or not the COC should be cancelled. We held in Mastura v. COMELEC: 38
otherwise known as the Rules Governing Philippine Citizenship under R.A. No.
9225 and Memorandum Circular No. AFF-05-002 (Revised Rules) and Administrative The rule that factual findings of administrative bodies will not
Order No. 91, Series of 2004 issued by the Bureau of Immigration. Thus, petitioner's be disturbed by courts of justice except when there is
oath of office as Provincial Administrator cannot be considered as the oath of absolutely no evidence or no substantial evidence in support
allegiance in compliance withR.A. No. 9225. of such findings should be applied with greater force when it
concerns the COMELEC, as the framers of
These circumstances, taken together, show that a doubt was clearly cast on the Constitution intended to place the COMELEC — created
petitioner's citizenship. Petitioner, however, failed to clear such doubt. and explicitly made independent by the Constitution itself —
on a level higher than statutory administrative organs. The
As to the issue of residency, proceeding from the finding that petitioner has lost her COMELEC has broad powers to ascertain the true results of the
natural-born status, we quote with approval the ruling of the COMELEC First Division election by means available to it. For the attainment of that
that petitioner cannot be considered a resident of Marinduque: end, it is not strictly bound by the rules of evidence.
"Thus, a Filipino citizen who becomes naturalized elsewhere Time and again, We emphasize that the "grave abuse of discretion" which warrants
effectively abandons his domicile of origin. Upon re- this Court's exercise of certiorari jurisdiction has a well-defined meaning. Guidance
acquisition of Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225, he is found inBeluso v. Commission on Elections 39 where the Court held:
must still show that he chose to establish his domicile in the
Philippines through positive acts, and the period of his ...A petition for certiorari will prosper only if grave abuse of
residency shall be counted from the time he made it his discretion is alleged and proved to exist. "Grave abuse of
domicile of choice. discretion," under Rule 65, has a specific meaning. It is the
arbitrary or despotic exercise of power due to passion,
In this case, there is no showing whatsoever that [petitioner] prejudice or personal hostility; or the whimsical, arbitrary, or
had already re-acquired her Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA capricious exercise of power that amounts to an evasion or
9225 so as to conclude that she has regained her domicile in refusal to perform a positive duty enjoined by law or to act at
the Philippines. There being no proof that [petitioner] had all in contemplation of law. For an act to be struck down as
renounced her American citizenship, it follows that she has having been done with grave abuse of discretion, the abuse
not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA. of discretion must be patent and gross.(Emphasis
The only proof presented by [petitioner] to show that she has supplied.) SDIaCT
met the one-year residency requirement of the law and never Here, this Court finds that petitioner failed to adequately and substantially show that
abandoned her domicile of origin in Boac, Marinduque is her grave abuse of discretion exists.
claim that she served as Provincial Administrator of the
province from January 18, 2011 to July 13, 2011. But such fact Lastly, anent the proposition of petitioner that the act of the COMELEC in enforcing
alone is not sufficient to prove her one-year residency. For, the provisions of R.A. No. 9225, insofar as it adds to the qualifications of Members
[petitioner] has never regained her domicile in Marinduque

35
of the House of Representatives other than those enumerated in the Constitution, is
unconstitutional, We find the same meritless.

The COMELEC did not impose additional qualifications on candidates for the House
of Representatives who have acquired foreign citizenship. It merely applied the
qualifications prescribed by Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution that the
candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and must have one-year
residency prior to the date of elections. Such being the case, the COMELEC did not
err when it inquired into the compliance by petitioner of Sections 3 and 5 of R.A. No.
9225 to determine if she reacquired her status as a natural-born Filipino citizen. It
simply applied the constitutional provision and nothing more.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is DISMISSED, finding no grave


abuse of discretion on the part of the Commission on Elections. The 14 May 2013
Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc affirming the 27 March 2013 Resolution of the
COMELEC First Division is upheld.

SO ORDERED.

36
G.R. No. 199113 Meanwhile, petitioner re-acquired his Filipino citizenship under the provisions of
RENATO M. DAVID, Petitioner, Republic Act No. 9225,4 (R.A. 9225) as evidenced by Identification Certificate No.
vs. 266-10-075 issued by the Consulate General of the Philippines (Toronto) on October
EDITHA A. AGBAY and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. 11, 2007.

DECISION In his defense, petitioner averred that at the time he filed his application, he had
intended to re-acquire Philippine citizenship and that he had been assured by a
VILLARAMA, JR., J.: CENRO officer that he could declare himself as a Filipino. He further alleged that he
bought the property from the Agbays who misrepresented to him that the subject
property was titled land and they have the right and authority to convey the same.
This is a petition for review under Rule 45 seeking to reverse the Order1 dated
The dispute had in fact led to the institution of civil and criminal suits between him
October 8, 2011 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro,
and private respondent’s family.
which denied the petition for certiorari filed by Renato(petitioner)M. David.
Petitioner assailed the Order2 dated March 22, 2011 of the Municipal Trial Court
(MTC) of Socorro, Oriental Mindoro denying his motion for redetermination of On January 8, 2008,6 the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor issued its
probable cause. Resolution7 finding probable cause to indict petitioner for violation of Article 172 of
the RPC and recommending the filing of the corresponding information in court.
Petitioner challenged the said resolution in a petition for review he filed before the
The factual antecedents:
Department of Justice (DOJ).

In 1974, petitioner migrated to Canada where he became a Canadian citizen by


On June 3, 2008, the CENRO issued an order rejecting petitioner’s MLA. It ruled that
naturalization. Upon their retirement, petitioner and his wife returned to the
petitioner’s subsequent re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship did not cure the
Philippines. Sometime in 2000, they purchased a 600-square meter lot along the
defect in his MLA which was void ab initio.8
beach in Tambong, Gloria, Oriental Mindoro where they constructed a residential
house. However, in the year 2004, they came to know that the portion where they
built their house is public land and part of the salvage zone. In the meantime, on July 26, 2010, the petition for review filed by petitioner was
denied by the DOJ which held that the presence of the elements of the crime of
falsification of public document suffices to warrant indictment of the petitioner
On April 12, 2007, petitioner filed a Miscellaneous Lease Application3 (MLA) over the
notwithstanding the absence of any proof that he gained or intended to injure a third
subject land with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at
person in committing the act of falsification.9 Consequently, an information for
the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Socorro. In
Falsification of Public Document was filed before the MTC (Criminal Case No. 2012)
the said application, petitioner indicated that he is a Filipino citizen.
and a warrant of arrest was issued against the petitioner.

Private respondent Editha A. Agbay opposed the application on the ground that
On February 11, 2011, after the filing of the Information and before his arrest,
petitioner, a Canadian citizen, is disqualified to own land. She also filed a criminal
petitioner filed an Urgent Motion for Re-Determination of Probable Cause10 in the
complaint for falsification of public documents under Article 172 of the Revised Penal
MTC. Interpreting the provisions of the law relied upon by petitioner, the said court
Code (RPC) (I.S. No. 08-6463) against the petitioner.
denied the motion, holding that R.A. 9225 makes a distinction between those who
became foreign citizens during its effectivity, and those who lost their Philippine

37
citizenship before its enactment when the governing law was Commonwealth Act On October 8, 2011, the RTC issued the assailed Order denying the petition for
No. 6311 (CA 63). Since the crime for which petitioner was charged was alleged and certiorari after finding no grave abuse of discretion committed by the lower court,
admitted to have been committed on April 12, 2007 before he had re- acquired his thus:
Philippine citizenship, the MTC concluded that petitioner was at that time still a
Canadian citizen. Thus, the MTC ordered: ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DENIED. At any rate petitioner is not left
without any remedy or recourse because he can proceed to trial where he can make
WHEREFORE, for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused, and for lack of use of his claim to be a Filipino citizen as his defense to be adjudicated in a full blown
merit, the motion is DENIED. trial, and in case of conviction, to appeal such conviction.

SO ORDERED.12 SO ORDERED.17

In his motion for reconsideration,13 petitioner questioned the foregoing order Petitioner is now before us arguing that –
denying him relief on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and insisted that the issue
raised is purely legal. He argued that since his application had yet to receive final A. By supporting the prosecution of the petitioner for falsification, the
evaluation and action by the DENR Region IV-B office in Manila, it is academic to ask lower court has disregarded the undisputed fact that petitioner is a
the citizenship of the applicant (petitioner) who had re-acquired Philippine natural-born Filipino citizen, and that by re-acquiring the same status
citizenship six months after he applied for lease of public land. The MTC denied the under R.A. No. 9225 he was by legal fiction "deemed not to have lost" it at
motion for reconsideration.14 the time of his naturalization in Canada and through the time when he was
said to have falsely claimed Philippine citizenship.
Dissatisfied, petitioner elevated the case to the RTC via a petition15 for certiorari
under Rule 65, alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the MTC. He asserted B. By compelling petitioner to first return from his legal residence in
that first, jurisdiction over the person of an accused cannot be a pre-condition for Canada and to surrender or allow himself to be arrested under a warrant
the re-determination of probable cause by the court that issues a warrant of arrest; for his alleged false claim to Philippine citizenship, the lower court has pre-
and second, the March 22, 2011 Order disregarded the legal fiction that once a empted the right of petitioner through his wife and counsel to question
natural-born Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in another country re- the validity of the said warrant of arrest against him before the same is
acquires his citizenship under R.A. 9225, his Filipino citizenship is thus deemed not implemented, which is tantamount to a denial of due process.18
to have been lost on account of said naturalization.
In his Comment, the Solicitor General contends that petitioner’s argument regarding
In his Comment and Opposition,16 the prosecutor emphasized that the act of the retroactivity of R.A. 9225 is without merit.1âwphi1 It is contended that this
falsification was already consummated as petitioner has not yet re-acquired his Court’s rulings in Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections19 and Altarejos v. Commission
Philippine citizenship, and his subsequent oath to re-acquire Philippine citizenship on Elections20 on the retroactivity of one’s re- acquisition of Philippine citizenship to
will only affect his citizenship status and not his criminal act which was long the date of filing his application therefor cannot be applied to the case of herein
consummated prior to said oath of allegiance. petitioner. Even assuming for the sake of argument that such doctrine applies in the
present situation, it will still not work for petitioner’s cause for the simple reason
that he had not alleged, much less proved, that he had already applied for
reacquisition of Philippine citizenship before he made the declaration in the Public

38
Land Application that he is a Filipino. Moreover, it is stressed that in falsification of "I ______________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and
public document, it is not necessary that the idea of gain or intent to injure a third defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and
person be present. As to petitioner’s defense of good faith, such remains to be a legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and
defense which may be properly raised and proved in a full- blown trial. I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines
and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I impose this obligation
On the issue of jurisdiction over the person of accused (petitioner), the Solicitor upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion."
General opines that in seeking an affirmative relief from the MTC when he filed his
Urgent Motion for Re-determination of Probable Cause, petitioner is deemed to Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become
have submitted his person to the said court’s jurisdiction by his voluntary citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
appearance. Nonetheless, the RTC correctly ruled that the lower court committed aforesaid oath. (Emphasis supplied)
no grave abuse of discretion in denying the petitioner’s motion after a judicious,
thorough and personal evaluation of the parties’ arguments contained in their While Section 2 declares the general policy that Filipinos who have become citizens
respective pleadings, and the evidence submitted before the court. of another country shall be deemed "not to have lost their Philippine citizenship,"
such is qualified by the phrase "under the conditions of this Act." Section 3 lays down
In sum, the Court is asked to resolve whether (1) petitioner may be indicted for such conditions for two categories of natural-born Filipinos referred to in the first
falsification for representing himself as a Filipino in his Public Land Application and second paragraphs. Under the first paragraph are those natural-born Filipinos
despite his subsequent re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship under the provisions who have lost their citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country who shall re-
of R.A. 9225; and (2) the MTC properly denied petitioner’s motion for re- acquire their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic
determination of probable cause on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the Philippines. The second paragraph covers those natural-born Filipinos who
of the accused (petitioner). became foreign citizens after R.A. 9225 took effect, who shall retain their Philippine
citizenship upon taking the same oath. The taking of oath of allegiance is required
R.A. 9225, otherwise known as the "Citizenship Retention and Re- acquisition Act of for both categories of natural-born Filipino citizens who became citizens of a foreign
2003," was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on August 29, country, but the terminology used is different, "re-acquired" for the first group, and
2003. Sections 2 and 3 of said law read: "retain" for the second group.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy.–It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all The law thus makes a distinction between those natural-born Filipinos who became
Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to foreign citizens before and after the effectivity of R.A. 9225. Although the heading of
have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act. Section 3 is "Retention of Philippine Citizenship", the authors of the law intentionally
employed the terms "re-acquire" and "retain" to describe the legal effect of taking
SEC. 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship.–Any provision of law to the contrary the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. This is also evident from the
notwithstanding, natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their title of the law using both re-acquisition and retention.
Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country
are hereby deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the In fine, for those who were naturalized in a foreign country, they shall be deemed to
following oath of allegiance to the Republic: have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship which was lost pursuant to CA 63, under
which naturalization in a foreign country is one of the ways by which Philippine
citizenship may be lost. As its title declares, R.A. 9225 amends CA 63 by doing away

39
with the provision in the old law which takes away Philippine citizenship from REP. JAVIER. Well, you have two kinds of natural-born citizens here. Natural-born
natural-born Filipinos who become naturalized citizens of other countries and citizens who acquired foreign citizenship after the effectivity of this act are
allowing dual citizenship,21 and also provides for the procedure for re-acquiring and considered to have retained their citizenship. But natural-born citizens who lost their
retaining Philippine citizenship. In the case of those who became foreign citizens Filipino citizenship before the effectivity of this act are considered to have
after R.A. 9225 took effect, they shall retain Philippine citizenship despite having reacquired. May I know the distinction? Do you mean to say that natural-born
acquired foreign citizenship provided they took the oath of allegiance under the new citizens who became, let’s say, American citizens after the effectivity of this act are
law. considered natural-born?

Petitioner insists we should not distinguish between re-acquisition and retention in Now in the second paragraph are the natural-born citizens who lost their citizenship
R.A. 9225. He asserts that in criminal cases, that interpretation of the law which before the effectivity of this act are no longer natural born citizens because they have
favors the accused is preferred because it is consistent with the constitutional just reacquired their citizenship. I just want to know this distinction, Mr. Chairman.
presumption of innocence, and in this case it becomes more relevant when a
seemingly difficult question of law is expected to have been understood by the THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). The title of the Senate version is precisely retention
accused, who is a non-lawyer, at the time of the commission of the alleged offense. and reacquisition. The reacquisition will apply to those who lost their Philippine
He further cites the letter-reply dated January 31, 201122 of the Bureau of citizenship by virtue of Commonwealth Act 63.Upon the effectivity -- assuming that
Immigration (BI) to his query, stating that his status as a natural-born Filipino will be we can agree on this, upon the effectivity of this new measure amending
governed by Section 2 of R.A. 9225. Commonwealth Act 63, the Filipinos who lost their citizenship is deemed to have
reacquired their Philippine citizenship upon the effectivity of the act.
These contentions have no merit.
The second aspect is the retention of Philippine citizenship applying to future
That the law distinguishes between re-acquisition and retention of Philippine instances. So that’s the distinction.
citizenship was made clear in the discussion of the Bicameral Conference Committee
on the Disagreeing Provisions of House Bill No. 4720 and Senate Bill No. 2130 held REP. JAVIER. Well, I’m just asking this question because we are here making
on August 18, 2003, where Senator Franklin Drilon was responding to the query of distinctions between natural-born citizens. Because this is very important for certain
Representative Exequiel Javier: government positions, ‘no, because natural-born citizens are only qualified for a
specific…
REP. JAVIER. I have some questions in Section 3. Here, under Section 3 of the Senate
version, "Any provision of law on the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). That is correct.
of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, shall… and so forth, ano, shall
retain their Philippine citizenship. REP. JAVIER. ...positions under the Constitution and under the law.

Now in the second paragraph, natural-born citizens who have lost their citizenship THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). Yes. We can get to that later on. It’s one of the
by reason of their naturalization after the effectivity of this Act are deemed to have provisions, yes. But just for purposes of the explanation, Congressman Javier, that is
reacquired… our conceptualization. Reacquired for those who previously lost [Filipino
citizenship] by virtue of Commonwealth Act 63, and retention for those in the
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. DRILON). Prior to the effectivity. future. (Emphasis supplied)

40
Considering that petitioner was naturalized as a Canadian citizen prior to the (2)that he committed any of the acts of falsification enumerated in Article
effectivity of R.A. 9225, he belongs to the first category of natural- born Filipinos 171 of the RPC; and
under the first paragraph of Section 3 who lost Philippine citizenship by
naturalization in a foreign country. As the new law allows dual citizenship, he was (3)that the falsification was committed in a public, official or commercial
able to re-acquire his Philippine citizenship by taking the required oath of allegiance. document.26

For the purpose of determining the citizenship of petitioner at the time of filing his Petitioner made the untruthful statement in the MLA, a public document, that he is
MLA, it is not necessary to discuss the rulings in Frivaldo and Altarejos on the a Filipino citizen at the time of the filing of said application, when in fact he was then
retroactivity of such reacquisition because R.A. 9225 itself treats those of his still a Canadian citizen. Under CA 63, the governing law at the time he was
category as having already lost Philippine citizenship, in contradistinction to those naturalized as Canadian citizen, naturalization in a foreign country was among those
natural-born Filipinos who became foreign citizens after R.A. 9225 came into force. ways by which a natural-born citizen loses his Philippine citizenship. While he re-
In other words, Section 2 declaring the policy that considers Filipinos who became acquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9225 six months later, the falsification was
foreign citizens as not to have lost their Philippine citizenship, should be read already a consummated act, the said law having no retroactive effect insofar as his
together with Section 3, the second paragraph of which clarifies that such policy dual citizenship status is concerned. The MTC therefore did not err in finding
governs all cases after the new law’s effectivity. probable cause for falsification of public document under Article 172, paragraph 1.

As to the letter-reply of BI, it simply quoted Section 2 of R.A. 9225 without any The MTC further cited lack of jurisdiction over the person of petitioner accused as
reference to Section 3 on the particular application of reacquisition and retention to ground for denying petitioner’s motion for re- determination of probable cause, as
Filipinos who became foreign citizens before and after the effectivity of R.A. 9225. the motion was filed prior to his arrest. However, custody of the law is not required
for the adjudication of reliefs other than an application for bail.27 In Miranda v.
Petitioner’s plea to adopt the interpretation most favorable to the accused is Tuliao,28 which involved a motion to quash warrant of arrest, this Court discussed
likewise misplaced. Courts adopt an interpretation more favorable to the accused the distinction between custody of the law and jurisdiction over the person, and held
following the time-honored principle that penal statutes are construed strictly that jurisdiction over the person of the accused is deemed waived when he files any
against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.23 R.A. 9225, however, is not a pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except in cases when he invokes the special
penal law. jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his person. Thus:

Falsification of documents under paragraph 1, Article 17224 in relation to Article In arguing, on the other hand, that jurisdiction over their person was already
17125 of the RPC refers to falsification by a private individual, or a public officer or acquired by their filing of the above Urgent Motion, petitioners invoke our
employee who did not take advantage of his official position, of public, private, or pronouncement, through Justice Florenz D. Regalado, in Santiago v. Vasquez:
commercial documents. The elements of falsification of documents under paragraph
1, Article 172 of the RPC are: The voluntary appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires jurisdiction
over his person, is accomplished either by his pleading to the merits (such as by filing
(1)that the offender is a private individual or a public officer or employee a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction
who did not take advantage of his official position; thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the matter
of bail, since the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as

41
a rule the same cannot be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired the law. However, if a person invoking the special jurisdiction of the court applies for
by the judicial authorities either by his arrest or voluntary surrender. bail, he must first submit himself to the custody of the law.29 (Emphasis supplied)

Our pronouncement in Santiago shows a distinction between custody of the law and Considering that petitioner sought affirmative relief in filing his motion for re-
jurisdiction over the person. Custody of the law is required before the court can act determination of probable cause, the MTC clearly erred in stating that it lacked
upon the application for bail, but is not required for the adjudication of other reliefs jurisdiction over his person. Notwithstanding such erroneous ground stated in the
sought by the defendant where the mere application therefor constitutes a waiver MTC's order, the RTC correctly ruled that no grave abuse of discretion was
of the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person of the accused. Custody of the committed by the MTC in denying the said motion for lack of merit.
law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender, while jurisdiction over
the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance. One WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Order dated October 8, 2011 of the
can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro in Civil Case No. SCA-07-11
court over his person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant files a (Criminal Case No. 2012) is hereby AFFIRMED and UPHELD.
motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can be
subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the custody With costs against the petitioner.
of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has commenced.
Being in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the person, who is thereby SO ORDERED.
deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to become obedient to the will of
the law. Custody of the law is literally custody over the body of the accused. It
includes, but is not limited to, detention.

xxxx

While we stand by our above pronouncement in Pico insofar as it concerns bail, we


clarify that, as a general rule, one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have
submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. As we held in the aforecited case of
Santiago, seeking an affirmative relief in court, whether in civil or criminal
proceedings, constitutes voluntary appearance.

xxxx

To recapitulate what we have discussed so far, in criminal cases, jurisdiction over


the person of the accused is deemed waived by the accused when he files any
pleading seeking an affirmative relief, except in cases when he invokes the special
jurisdiction of the court by impugning such jurisdiction over his person.Therefore,
in narrow cases involving special appearances, an accused can invoke the processes
of the court even though there is neither jurisdiction over the person nor custody of

42
G.R. No. 158907 February 12, 2007 fellow respondent Purugganan to cancel the petitioner's shares in the books of
EDUARDO B. OLAGUER, Petitioner, the corporation and to transfer them to respondent Locsin's name. 7
vs. As part of his scheme to defraud the petitioner, respondent Locsin
EMILIO PURUGGANAN, JR. AND RAUL LOCSIN, Respondents. sent Rebecca Fernando, an employee of Businessday, to Camp Crame where
the petitioner was detained, to pretend to borrow Certificate of Stock No. 100
for the purpose of using it as additional collateral for Businessday's then
DECISION
outstanding loan with the National Investment and Development Corporation.
When Fernando returned the borrowed stock certificate, the word "cancelled"
CHICO-NAZARIO, J p: was already written therein. When the petitioner became upset, Fernando
explained that this was merely a mistake committed by respondent Locsin's
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari, under Rule 45 of the Rules secretary. 8
of Court, assailing the Decision, 1 dated 30 June 2003, promulgated by the
Court of Appeals, affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, dated 26 During the trial, petitioner also agreed to stipulate that from 1980 to
July 1995, dismissing the petitioner's suit. 1982, Businessday made regular deposits, each amounting to P10,000.00, to
the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company accounts of Manuel and Genaro
The parties presented conflicting accounts of the facts. Pantig, petitioner's in-laws. The deposits were made on every 15th and 30th of
EDUARDO B. OLAGUER'S VERSION the month. 9 Petitioner alleged that these funds consisted of his monthly salary,
which Businessday agreed to continue paying after his arrest for the financial
Petitioner Eduardo B. Olaguer alleges that he was the owner of 60,000 support of his family. 10 After receiving a total of P600,000.00, the payments
shares of stock of Businessday Corporation (Businessday) with a total par value stopped. Thereafter, respondent Locsin and Fernando went to ask petitioner to
of P600,000.00, with Certificates of Stock No. 005, No. 028, No. 034, No. 070, endorse and deliver the rest of his stock certificates to respondent Locsin, but
and No. 100. 2 At the time he was employed with the corporation as Executive petitioner refused. 11
Vice-President of Businessday, and President of Businessday Information
Systems and Services and of Businessday Marketing Corporation, petitioner, On 16 January 1986, petitioner was finally released from detention.
together with respondent Raul Locsin (Locsin) and Enrique Joaquin (Joaquin), He then discovered that he was no longer registered as stockholder of
was active in the political opposition against the Marcos Businessday in its corporate books. He also learned that Purugganan, as the
dictatorship. 3 Anticipating the possibility that petitioner would be arrested and Corporate Secretary of Businessday, had already recorded the transfer of shares
detained by the Marcos military, Locsin, Joaquin, and Hector Hofileña had an in favor of respondent Locsin, while petitioner was detained. When petitioner
unwritten agreement that, in the event that petitioner was arrested, they would demanded that respondents restore to him full ownership of his shares of stock,
support the petitioner's family by the continued payment of his they refused to do so. On 29 July 1986, petitioner filed a Complaint before the
salary. 4 Petitioner also executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA), on 26 May trial court against respondents Purugganan and Locsin to declare as illegal the
1979, appointing as his attorneys-in-fact Locsin, Joaquin and Hofileña for the sale of the shares of stock, to restore to the petitioner full ownership of the
purpose of selling or transferring petitioner's shares of stock with Businessday. shares, and payment of damages. 12
During the trial, petitioner testified that he agreed to execute the SPA in order RESPONDENT RAUL LOCSIN'S VERSION
to cancel his shares of stock, even before they are sold, for the purpose of
concealing that he was a stockholder of Businessday, in the event of a military In his version of the facts, respondent Locsin contended that
crackdown against the opposition. 5 The parties acknowledged the SPA before petitioner approached him and requested him to sell, and, if necessary, buy
respondent Emilio Purugganan, Jr., who was then the Corporate Secretary of petitioner's shares of stock in Businessday, to assure support for petitioner's
Businessday, and at the same time, a notary public for Quezon City. 6 family in the event that something should happen to him, particularly if he was
jailed, exiled or forced to go underground. 13 At the time petitioner was
On 24 December 1979, petitioner was arrested by the Marcos military employed with Businessday, respondent Locsin was unaware that petitioner
by virtue of an Arrest, Search and Seizure Order and detained for allegedly was part of a group, Light-a-Fire Movement, which actively sought the
committing arson. During the petitioner's detention, respondent Locsin ordered

43
overthrow of the Marcos government through an armed struggle. 14 He denied refused to credit the petitioner's allegation that the money his wife received
that he made any arrangements to continue paying the petitioner's salary in the constituted his salary from Businessday since the amount he received as his
event of the latter's imprisonment. 15 salary, P24,000.00 per month, did not correspond to the amount he received
during his detention, P20,000.00 per month (deposits of P10,000.00 on every
When petitioner was detained, respondent Locsin tried to sell
15th and 30th of each month in the accounts of the petitioner's in-laws). On the
petitioner's shares, but nobody wanted to buy them. Petitioner's reputation as
other hand, the total amount received, P600,000.00, corresponds to the
an oppositionist resulted in the poor financial condition of Businessday and
aggregate par value of petitioner's shares in Businessday. Moreover, the
discouraged any buyers for the shares of stock. 16 In view of petitioner's
financial condition of Businessday prevented it from granting any form of
previous instructions, respondent Locsin decided to buy the shares himself.
financial assistance in favor of the petitioner, who was placed in an indefinite
Although the capital deficiency suffered by Businessday caused the book value
leave of absence, and, therefore, not entitled to any salary. 23
of the shares to plummet below par value, respondent Locsin, nevertheless,
bought the shares at par value. 17 However, he had to borrow from The Court of Appeals also ruled that although the manner of the
Businessday the funds he used in purchasing the shares from petitioner, and cancellation of the petitioner's certificates of stock and the subsequent issuance
had to pay the petitioner in installments of P10,000.00 every 15th and 30th of of the new certificate of stock in favor of respondent Locsin was irregular, this
each month. 18 irregularity will not relieve petitioner of the consequences of a consummated
sale. 24
The trial court in its Decision, dated 26 July 1995, dismissed the
Complaint filed by the petitioner. It ruled that the sale of shares between Finally, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the trial court
petitioner and respondent Locsin was valid. The trial court concluded that disallowing respondent Locsin's claims for moral and exemplary damages due
petitioner had intended to sell the shares of stock to anyone, including to lack of supporting evidence. 25
respondent Locsin, in order to provide for the needs of his family should he be
Hence, the present petition, where the following issues were raised:
jailed or forced to go underground; and that the SPA drafted by the petitioner
empowered respondent Locsin, and two other agents, to sell the shares for such I.
price and under such terms and conditions that the agents may deem proper. It
further found that petitioner consented to have respondent Locsin buy the THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THERE WAS A
shares himself. It also ruled that petitioner, through his wife, received from PERFECTED CONTRACT OF SALE BETWEEN PETITIONER AND
respondent Locsin the amount of P600,000.00 as payment for the shares of MR. LOCSIN OVER THE SHARES;
stock. 19 The dispositive part of the trial court's Decision reads:
II.
WHEREFORE, for failure of the [herein petitioner] to
prove by preponderance of evidence, his causes of action and THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT PETITIONER
of the facts alleged in his complaint, the instant suit is hereby CONSENTED TO THE ALLEGED SALE OF THE SHARES TO MR.
ordered DISMISSED, without pronouncement as to LOCSIN;
costs. ETIDaH III.
[Herein respondents'] counterclaims, however, are THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE
hereby DISMISSED, likewise, for dearth of substantial AMOUNTS RECEIVED BY PETITIONER'S IN LAWS WERE NOT
evidentiary support. 20 PETITIONER'S SALARY FROM THE CORPORATION BUT
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the trial INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS FOR THE SHARES;
court that there was a perfected contract of sale. 21 It further ruled that IV.
granting that there was noperfected contract of sale, petitioner, nevertheless,
ratified the sale to respondent Locsin by his receipt of the purchase price, and
his failure to raise any protest over the said sale. 22 The Court of Appeals

44
THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT MR. LOCSIN latter arise from his acts or from property relations, such as
WAS THE PARTY TO THE ALLEGED SALE OF THE SHARES AND easements.
NOT THE CORPORATION; AND
Petitioner, thus, claims that his arrest and subsequent detention are
V. not among the instances covered by the terms "absence or incapacity," as
provided under the SPA he executed in favor of respondent Locsin.
THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE ALLEGED
SALE OF THE SHARES WAS VALID ALTHOUGH THE Petitioner's arguments are unpersuasive. It is a general rule that a
CANCELLATION OF THE SHARES WAS IRREGULAR. 26 power of attorney must be strictly construed; the instrument will be held to
grant only those powers that are specified, and the agent may neither go
The petition is without merit. beyond nor deviate from the power of attorney. However, the rule is not
The first issue that the petitioner raised is that there was no valid sale absolute and should not be applied to the extent of destroying the very purpose
since respondent Locsin exceeded his authority under the SPA 27 issued in his, of the power. If the language will permit, the construction that should be
Joaquin and Hofileña's favor. He alleged that the authority of the afore-named adopted is that which will carry out instead of defeat the purpose of the
agents to sell the shares of stock was limited to the following conditions: (1) in appointment. Clauses in a power of attorney that are repugnant to each other
the event of the petitioner's absence and incapacity; and (2) for the limited should be reconciled so as to give effect to the instrument in accordance with
purpose of applying the proceeds of the sale to the satisfaction of petitioner's its general intent or predominant purpose. Furthermore, the instrument should
subsisting obligations with the companies adverted to in the SPA. 28 always be deemed to give such powers as essential or usual in effectuating the
express powers. 31
Petitioner sought to impose a strict construction of the SPA by limiting
the definition of the word "absence" to a condition wherein "a person In the present case, limiting the definitions of "absence" to that
disappears from his domicile, his whereabouts being unknown, without leaving provided under Article 381 of the Civil Code and of "incapacity" under Article 38
an agent to administer his property," 29 citing Article 381 of the Civil Code, the of the same Code negates the effect of the power of attorney by creating
entire provision hereunder quoted: absurd, if not impossible, legal situations. Article 381 provides the necessarily
stringent standards that would justify the appointment of a representative by a
ART 381. When a person disappears from his judge. Among the standards the said article enumerates is that no agent has
domicile, his whereabouts being unknown, and without been appointed to administer the property. In the present case, petitioner
leaving an agent to administer his property, the judge, at the himself had already authorized agents to do specific acts of administration and
instance of an interested party, a relative, or a friend, may thus, no longer necessitated the appointment of one by the court. Likewise,
appoint a person to represent him in all that may be limiting the construction of "incapacity" to "minority, insanity, imbecility, the
necessary. DEcITS state of being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil interdiction," as provided under
Article 38, would render the SPA ineffective. Article 1919(3) of the Civil Code
This same rule shall be observed when under similar
provides that the death, civil interdiction, insanity or insolvency of the principal
circumstances the power conferred by the absentee has or of the agent extinguishes the agency. It would be equally incongruous, if not
expired.
outright impossible, for the petitioner to require himself to qualify as a minor,
Petitioner also puts forward that the word "incapacity" would be an imbecile, a deaf-mute, or a prodigal before the SPA becomes operative. In
limited to mean "minority, insanity, imbecility, the state of being deaf-mute, such cases, not only would he be prevented from appointing an agent, he
prodigality and civil interdiction." 30 He cites Article 38 of the Civil Code, in himself would be unable to administer his property.
support of this definition, which is hereunder quoted: On the other hand, defining the terms "absence" and "incapacity" by
ART. 38. Minority, insanity or imbecility, the state of their everyday usage makes for a reasonable construction, that is, "the state of
being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil interdiction are mere not being present" and the "inability to act," given the context that the SPA
restrictions on capacity to act, and do not exempt the authorizes the agents to attend stockholders' meetings and vote in behalf of
incapacitated person, from certain obligations, as when the petitioner, to sell the shares of stock, and other related acts. This construction

45
covers the situation wherein petitioner was arrested and detained. This much to endorse and deliver the certificates of stock, but petitioner refused and even
is admitted by petitioner in his testimony. 32 became upset. 33 In either case, both statements only prove that petitioner
refused to honor his part as seller of the shares, even after receiving payments
Petitioner's contention that the shares may only be sold for the sole
from the buyer. Had the petitioner not known of or given his consent to the
purpose of applying the proceeds of the sale to the satisfaction of petitioner's
sale, he would have given back the payments as soon as Fernando asked him to
subsisting obligations to the company is far-fetched. The construction, which
endorse and deliver the certificates of stock, an incident which unequivocally
will carry out the purpose, is that which should be applied. Petitioner had not
confirmed that the funds he received, through his wife and his in-laws, were
submitted evidence that he was in debt with Businessday at the time he had
intended as payment for his shares of stocks. Instead, petitioner held on to the
executed the SPA. Nor could he have considered incurring any debts since he
proceeds of the sale after it had been made clear to him that respondent Locsin
admitted that, at the time of its execution, he was concerned about his possible
had considered the P600,000.00 as payment for the shares, and asked
arrest, death and disappearance. The language of the SPA clearly
petitioner, through Fernando, to endorse and deliver the stock certificates for
enumerates, as among those acts that the agents were authorized to do, the
cancellation.
act of applying the proceeds of the sale of the shares to any obligations
petitioner might have against the Businessday group of companies. This As regards the third issue, petitioner's allegation that the installment
interpretation is supported by the use of the word "and" in enumerating the payments he was adjudged to have received for the shares were actually
authorized acts, instead of phrases such as "only for," "for the purpose of," "in salaries which Businessday promised to pay him during his detention is
order to" or any similar terms to indicate that the petitioner intended that the unsupported and implausible. Petitioner received P20,000.00 per month
SPA be used only for a limited purpose, that of paying any liabilities with the through his in-laws; this amount does not correspond to his monthly salary at
Businessday group of companies. TIcAaH P24,000.00. 34 Nor does the amount received correspond to the amount which
Businessday was supposed to be obliged to pay petitioner, which was only
Secondly, petitioner argued that the records failed to show that he
P45,000.00 to P60,000.00 per annum. 35 Secondly, the petitioner's wife did not
gave his consent to the sale of the shares to respondent Locsin for the price of
receive funds from respondent Locsin or Businessday for the entire duration of
P600,000.00. This argument is unsustainable. Petitioner received from
petitioner's detention. Instead, when the total amount received by the
respondent Locsin, through his wife and in-laws, the installment payments for
petitioner reached the aggregate amount of his shares at par value —
a total of P600,000.00 from 1980 to 1982, without any protest or complaint. It
P600,000.00 — the payments stopped. Petitioner even testified that when
was only four years after 1982 when petitioner demanded the return of the
respondent Locsin denied knowing the petitioner soon after his arrest, he
shares. The petitioner's claim that he did not instruct respondent Locsin to
believed respondent Locsin's commitment to pay his salaries during his
deposit the money to the bank accounts of his in-laws fails to prove that
detention to be nothing more than lip-service. 36
petitioner did not give his consent to the sale since respondent Locsin was
authorized, under the SPA, to negotiate the terms and conditions of the sale Granting that petitioner was able to prove his allegations, such an act
including the manner of payment. Moreover, had respondent Locsin given the of gratuity, on the part of Businessday in favor of petitioner, would be void. An
proceeds directly to the petitioner, as the latter suggested in this petition, the arrangement whereby petitioner will receive "salaries" for work he will not
proceeds were likely to have been included among petitioner's properties perform, which is not a demandable debt since petitioner was on an extended
which were confiscated by the military. Instead, respondent Locsin deposited leave of absence, constitutes a donation under Article 726 37 of the Civil Code.
the money in the bank accounts of petitioner's in-laws, and consequently, Under Article 748 of the Civil Code, if the value of the personal property
assured that the petitioner's wife received these amounts. Article 1882 of the donated exceeds P5,000.00, the donation and the acceptance shall have to be
Civil Code provides that the limits of an agent's authority shall not be considered made in writing. Otherwise, the donation will be void. In the present case,
exceeded should it have been performed in a manner more advantageous to petitioner admitted in his testimony 38 that such arrangement was not made in
the principal than that specified by him. writing and, hence, is void.
In addition, petitioner made two inconsistent statements when he The fact that some of the deposit slips and communications made to
alleged that (1) respondent Locsin had not asked the petitioner to endorse and petitioner's wife contain the phrase "household expenses" does not disprove
deliver the shares of stock, and (2) when Rebecca Fernando asked the petitioner the sale of the shares. The money was being deposited to the bank accounts of

46
the petitioner's in-laws, and not to the account of the petitioner or his wife, clearly, not absolute. It does not apply where the principal consents to the sale
precisely because some of his property had already been confiscated by the of the property in the hands of the agent or administrator. 41
military. Had they used the phrase "sale of shares," it would have defeated the
In the present case, the parties have conflicting allegations. While
purpose of not using their own bank accounts, which was to conceal from the
respondent Locsin averred that petitioner had permitted him to purchase
military any transaction involving the petitioner's property. CAIHTE
petitioner's shares, petitioner vehemently denies having known of the
Petitioner raised as his fourth issue that granting that there was a sale, transaction. However, records show that petitioner's position is less credible
Businessday, and not respondent Locsin, was the party to the transaction. The than that taken by respondent Locsin given petitioner's contemporaneous and
curious facts that the payments were received on the 15th and 30th of each subsequent acts. 42 In 1980, when Fernando returned a stock certificate she
month and that the payor named in the checks was Businessday, were borrowed from the petitioner, it was marked "cancelled." Although the
adequately explained by respondent Locsin. Respondent Locsin had obtained petitioner alleged that he was furious when he saw the word cancelled, he had
cash advances from the company, paid to him on the 15th and 30th of the not demanded the issuance of a new certificate in his name. Instead of having
month, so that he can pay petitioner for the shares. To support his claim, he been put on his guard, petitioner remained silent over this obvious red flag and
presented Businessday's financial records and the testimony of Leo Atienza, the continued receiving, through his wife, payments which totalled to the aggregate
Company's Accounting Manager. When asked why the term "shares of stock" amount of the shares of stock valued at par. When the payments
was used for the entries, instead of "cash advances," Atienza explained that the stopped, no demand was made by either petitioner or his wife for further
term "shares of stock" was more specific rather than the broader phrase "cash payments.
advances." 39More to the point, had the entries been for "shares of stock," the
From the foregoing, it is clear that petitioner knew of the transaction,
issuance of shares should have been reflected in the stock and transfer books
agreed to the purchase price of P600,000.00 for the shares of stock, and had in
of Businessday, which the petitioner presented as evidence. Instead the stock
fact facilitated the implementation of the terms of the payment by providing
and transfer books reveal that the increase in respondent Locsin's shares was a
respondent Locsin, through petitioner's wife, with the information on the bank
result of the cancellation and transfer of petitioner's shares in favor of
accounts of his in-laws. Petitioner's wife and his son even provided receipts for
respondent Locsin.
the payments that were made to them by respondent Locsin, 43 a practice that
Petitioner alleges that the purported sale between himself and bespeaks of an onerous transaction and not an act of gratuity.
respondent Locsin of the disputed shares of stock is void since it contravenes
Lastly, petitioner claims that the cancellation of the shares and the
Article 1491 of the Civil Code, which provides that:
subsequent transfer thereof were fraudulent, and, therefore, illegal. In the
ART. 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by present case, the shares were transferred in the name of the buyer, respondent
purchase, even at a public or judicial auction, either in person Locsin, without the petitioner delivering to the buyer his certificates of stock.
or through the mediation of another: Section 63 of the Corporation Code provides that:

xxx xxx xxx Sec. 63. Certificate of Stock and Transfer of Shares.
— . . . Shares of stock so issued are personal property and may
(2) Agents, the property whose administration or be transferred by delivery of the certificate or certificates
sale may have been entrusted to them, unless the consent of indorsed by the owner or his attorney-in-fact or other person
the principal has been given; . . . . legally authorized to make the transfer. No transfer, however,
shall be valid, except as between the parties, until the transfer
It is, indeed, a familiar and universally recognized doctrine that a
is recorded in the books of the corporation showing the names
person who undertakes to act as agent for another cannot be permitted to deal
of the parties to the transaction, the date of the transfer,
in the agency matter on his own account and for his own benefit without the
the number of the certificate or certificates and
consent of his principal, freely given, with full knowledge of every detail known
the number of shares transferred. (Emphasis
to the agent which might affect the transaction. 40 The prohibition against
provided.) IaTSED
agents purchasing property in their hands for sale or management is, however,

47
The aforequoted provision furnishes the procedure for the transfer of
shares — the delivery of the endorsed certificates, in order to prevent the
fraudulent transfer of shares of stock. However, this rule cannot be applied in
the present case without causing the injustice sought to be avoided. As had
been amply demonstrated, there was a valid sale of stocks. Petitioner's failure
to deliver the shares to their rightful buyer is a breach of his duty as a seller,
which he cannot use to unjustly profit himself by denying the validity of such
sale. Thus, while the manner of the cancellation of petitioner's certificates of
stock and the issuance of the new certificates in favor of respondent Locsin was
highly irregular, we must, nonetheless, declare the validity of the sale between
the parties. Neither does this irregularity prove that the transfer was fraudulent.
In his testimony, petitioner admitted that they had intended to conceal his
being a stockholder of Businessday. 44 The cancellation of his name from the
stock and transfer book, even before the shares were actually sold, had been
done with his consent. As earlier explained, even the subsequent sale of the
shares in favor of Locsin had been done with his consent.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant Petition is DENIED. This
Court AFFIRMS the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on
30 June 2003, affirming the validity of the sale of the shares of stock in favor of
respondent Locsin. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

48
LEONARDO S. UMALE, [deceased] G.R. No. 181126 In 1996, Amethyst Pearl executed a Deed of Assignment in Liquidation of the subject premises
represented by CLARISSA VICTORIA, JOHN in favor of ASB Realty in consideration of the full redemption of Amethyst Pearls outstanding
LEO, GEORGE LEONARD, KRISTINE, Present: capital stock from ASB Realty.[5] Thus, ASB Realty became the owner of the subject premises
MARGUERITA ISABEL, AND MICHELLE and obtained in its name Transfer Certificate of Title No. PT-105797,[6] which was registered in
ANGELIQUE, ALL SURNAMED UMALE, VELASCO, JR., 1997 with the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City.
Petitioners, Acting Chairperson,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, Sometime in 2003, ASB Realty commenced an action in the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of
BERSAMIN,⃰ Pasig City for unlawful detainer[7] of the subject premises against petitioner Leonardo S. Umale
DEL CASTILLO, and (Umale). ASB Realty alleged that it entered into a lease contract[8] with Umale for the period
- versus - PEREZ, JJ. June 1, 1999-May 31, 2000. Their agreement was for Umale to conduct a pay-parking business
on the property and pay a monthly rent of P60,720.00 to ASB Realty.
ASB REALTY CORPORATION, Promulgated:
Respondent. June 15, 2011 Upon the contracts expiration on May 31, 2000, Umale continued occupying the premises and
paying rentals albeit at an increased monthly rent of P100,000.00. The last rental payment
made by Umale to ASB Realty was for the June 2001 to May 2002 period, as evidenced by the
DECISION Official Receipt No. 56511[9] dated November 19, 2001.

DEL CASTILLO, J.: On June 23, 2003, ASB Realty served on Umale a Notice of Termination of Lease and Demand
to Vacate and Pay.[10] ASB Realty stated that it was terminating the lease effective midnight of
Being placed under corporate rehabilitation and having a receiver appointed to carry out the June 30, 2003; that Umale should vacate the premises, and pay to ASB Realty the rental arrears
rehabilitation plan do not ipso facto deprive a corporation and its corporate officers of the amounting to P1.3 million by July 15, 2003. Umale failed to comply with ASB Realtys demands
power to recover its unlawfully detained property. and continued in possession of the subject premises, even constructing commercial
establishments thereon.
Petitioners filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] assailing the October 15, 2007
Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 91096, as well as its January 2, 2008 Umale admitted occupying the property since 1999 by virtue of a verbal lease contract but
Resolution.[3] The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads: vehemently denied that ASB Realty was his lessor. He was adamant that his lessor was the
original owner, Amethyst Pearl. Since there was no contract between himself and ASB Realty,
WHEREFORE, the Decision dated March 28, 2005 of the trial court is the latter had no cause of action to file the unlawful detainer complaint against him.
affirmed in toto.
SO ORDERED.[4] In asserting his right to remain on the property based on the oral lease contract with Amethyst
Pearl, Umale interposed that the lease period agreed upon was for a long period of time.[11] He
Factual Antecedents then allegedly paid P1.2 million in 1999 as one year advance rentals to Amethyst Pearl.[12]
Umale further claimed that when his oral lease contract with Amethyst Pearl ended in May
This case involves a parcel of land identified as Lot 7, Block 5, Amethyst Street, Ortigas Center, 2000, they both agreed on an oral contract to sell. They agreed that Umale did not have to pay
Pasig City which was originally owned by Amethyst Pearl Corporation (Amethyst Pearl), a rentals until the sale over the subject property had been perfected between them.[13] Despite
company that is, in turn, wholly-owned by respondent ASB Realty Corporation (ASB Realty). such agreement with Amethyst Pearl regarding the waiver of rent payments, Umale

49
maintained that he continued paying the annual rent of P1.2 million. He was thus surprised The RTC held that the MTC erred in dismissing ASB Realtys complaint for lack of cause of
when he received the Notice of Termination of Lease from ASB Realty.[14] action. It found sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that it was indeed ASB Realty that
entered into a lease contract with Umale, hence, the proper party who can assert the
Umale also challenged ASB Realtys personality to recover the subject premises considering that corresponding right to seek Umales ouster from the leased premises for violations of the lease
ASB Realty had been placed under receivership by the Securities and Exchange Commission terms. In addition to the written lease contract, the official receipt evidencing Umales rental
(SEC) and a rehabilitation receiver had been duly appointed. Under Section 14(s), Rule 4 of the payments for the period June 2001 to May 2002 to ASB Realty adequately established that
Administrative Memorandum No. 00-8-10SC, otherwise known as the Interim Rules of Umale was aware that his lessor, the one entitled to receive his rent payments, was ASB Realty,
Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation (Interim Rules), it is the rehabilitation receiver that has not Amethyst Pearl.
the power to take possession, control and custody of the debtors assets. Since ASB Realty
claims that it owns the subject premises, it is its duly-appointed receiver that should sue to ASB Realtys positive assertions, supported as they are by credible evidence, are more
recover possession of the same.[15] compelling than Umales bare negative assertions. The RTC found Umales version of the facts
incredible. It was implausible that a businessman such as Umale would enter into several
ASB Realty replied that it was impossible for Umale to have entered into a Contract of Lease transactions with his alleged lessor a lease contract, payment of lease rentals, acceptance of an
with Amethyst Pearl in 1999 because Amethyst Pearl had been liquidated in 1996. ASB Realty offer to sell from his alleged lessor, and an agreement to waive rentals sans a sliver of evidence.
insisted that, as evidenced by the written lease contract, Umale contracted with ASB Realty,
not with Amethyst Pearl. As further proof thereof, ASB Realty cited the official receipt With the lease contract between Umale and ASB Realty duly established and Umales failure to
evidencing the rent payments made by Umale to ASB Realty. pay the monthly rentals since June 2002 despite due demands from ASB Realty, the latter had
the right to terminate the lease contract and seek his eviction from the leased premises. Thus,
Ruling of the Metropolitan Trial Court when the contract expired on June 30, 2003 (as stated in the Notice of Termination of Lease),
Umale lost his right to remain on the premises and his continued refusal to vacate the same
In its August 20, 2004 Decision,[16] the MTC dismissed ASB Realtys complaint against Umale constituted sufficient cause of action for his ejectment.[21]
without prejudice. It held that ASB Realty had no cause to seek Umales ouster from the subject
property because it was not Umales lessor. The trial court noted an inconsistency in the written With respect to ASB Realtys personality to file the unlawful detainer suit, the RTC ruled that
lease contract that was presented by ASB Realty as basis for its complaint. Its whereas clauses ASB Realty retained all its corporate powers, including the power to sue, despite the
cited ASB Realty, with Eden C. Lin as its representative, as Umales lessor; but its signatory page appointment of a rehabilitation receiver. Citing the Interim Rules, the RTC noted that the
contained Eden C. Lins name under the heading Amethyst Pearl. The MTC then concluded rehabilitation receiver was not granted therein the power to file complaints on behalf of the
from such inconsistency that Amethyst Pearl was the real lessor, who can seek Umales corporation.[22]
ejectment from the subject property.[17]
Moreover, the retention of its corporate powers by the corporation under rehabilitation will
Likewise, the MTC agreed with Umale that only the rehabilitation receiver could file suit to advance the objective of corporate rehabilitation, which is to conserve and administer the
recover ASB Realtys property.[18] Having been placed under receivership, ASB Realty had no assets of the corporation in the hope that it may eventually be able to go from financial distress
more personality to file the complaint for unlawful detainer. to solvency. The suit filed by ASB Realty to recover its property and back rentals from Umale
could only benefit ASB Realty.[23]
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court
The dispositive portion of the RTC Decision reads as follows:
ASB Realty appealed the adverse MTC Decision to the Regional Trial Court (RTC),[19] which then
reversed[20] the MTC ruling.

50
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed decision is hereby
reversed and set aside. Accordingly, judgment is hereby rendered in Ruling of the Court of Appeals
favor of the plaintiff-appellant ordering defendant-appellee and all
persons claiming rights under him: The CA affirmed the RTC Decision in toto.[33]

1) To immediately vacate the subject leased premises located at Lot 7, According to the appellate court, ASB Realty fully discharged its burden to prove the existence
Block 5, Amethyst St., Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City and deliver of a lease contract between ASB Realty and Umale,[34] as well as the grounds for eviction.[35] The
possession thereof to the plaintiff-appellant; veracity of the terms of the lease contract presented by ASB Realty was further bolstered,
instead of demolished, by Umales admission that he paid monthly rents in accordance
2) To pay plaintiff-appellant the sum of P1,300,000.00 representing therewith.[36]
rentals in arrears from June 2002 to June 2003;
The CA found no merit in Umales claim that in light of Article 1687 of the Civil Code the lease
3) To pay plaintiff-appellant the amount of P100,000.00 a month should be extended until the end of the year. The said provision stated that in cases where the
starting from July 2003 and every month thereafter until they finally lease period was not fixed by the parties, the lease period depended on the payment
vacate the subject premises as reasonable compensation for the periods. In the case at bar, the rent payments were made on a monthly basis, not annually;
continued use and occupancy of the same; thus, Umales failure to pay the monthly rent gave ASB Realty the corresponding right to
terminate the lease at the end of the month.[37]
4) To pay plaintiff-appellant the sum of P200,000.00 as and by way of
attorneys fees; and the costs of suit. The CA then upheld ASB Realtys, as well as its corporate officers, personality to recover an
unlawfully withheld corporate property. As expressly stated in Section 14 of Rule 4 of the
SO ORDERED.[24] Interim Rules, the rehabilitation receiver does not take over the functions of the corporate
officers.[38]
Umale filed a Motion for Reconsideration[25] while ASB Realty moved for the issuance of a writ
of execution pursuant to Section 21 of the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure.[26] Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration,[39] which was denied in the

In its July 26, 2005 Order, the RTC denied reconsideration of its Decision and granted ASB assailed January 2, 2008 Resolution.[40]
Realtys Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Execution.[27]
Issues
Umale then filed his appeal[28] with the CA insisting that the parties did not enter into a lease
contract.[29] Assuming that there was a lease, it was at most an implied lease. Hence its period The petitioners raise the following issues for resolution:[41]
depended on the rent payments. Since Umale paid rent annually, ASB Realty had to respect his
lease for the entire year. It cannot terminate the lease at the end of the month, as it did in its 1. Can a corporate officer of ASB Realty (duly authorized by the Board of Directors) file suit to
Notice of Termination of Lease.[30] Lastly, Umale insisted that it was the rehabilitation receiver, recover an unlawfully detained corporate property despite the fact that the corporation had
not ASB Realty, that was the real party-in-interest.[31] already been placed under rehabilitation?

Pending the resolution thereof, Umale died and was substituted by his 2. Whether a contract of lease exists between ASB Realty and Umale; and
widow and legal heirs, per CA Resolution dated August 14, 2006.[32]

51
3. Whether Umale is entitled to avail of the lease periods provided in Article 1687 of the Civil What petitioners argue is that the corporate officer of ASB Realty is incapacitated to file this
Code. suit to recover a corporate property because ASB Realty has a duly-appointed rehabilitation
receiver. Allegedly, this rehabilitation receiver is the only one that can file the instant suit.

Our Ruling Corporations, such as ASB Realty, are juridical entities that exist by operation of law.[53] As a
creature of law, the powers and attributes of a corporation are those set out, expressly or
Petitioners ask for the dismissal of the complaint for unlawful detainer on the ground that it impliedly, in the law. Among the general powers granted by law to a corporation is the power
was not brought by the real party-in-interest.[42] Petitioners maintain that the appointment of to sue in its own name.[54] This power is granted to a duly-organized corporation,
a rehabilitation receiver for ASB Realty deprived its corporate officers of the power to recover unless specifically revoked by another law. The question becomes: Do the laws on corporate
corporate property and transferred such power to the rehabilitation receiver. Section 6, Rule rehabilitation particularly PD 902-A, as amended,[55] and its corresponding rules of procedure
59 of the Rules of Court states that a receiver has the power to bring actions in his own name forfeit the power to sue from the corporate officers and Board of Directors?
and to collect debts due to the corporation.Under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 902-A and the
Interim Rules, the rehabilitation receiver has the power to take custody and control of the Corporate rehabilitation is defined as the restoration of the debtor to a position of successful
assets of the corporation. Since the receiver for ASB Realty did not file the complaint for operation and solvency, if it is shown that its continuance of operation is economically feasible
unlawful detainer, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the subject property.[43] and its creditors can recover by way of the present value of payments projected in the plan
more if the corporation continues as a going concern than if it is immediately liquidated.[56] It
Petitioners cite Villanueva v. Court of Appeals,[44] Yam v. Court of was first introduced in the Philippine legal system through PD 902-A, as amended.[57] The
Appeals,[45] and Abacus Real Estate Development Center, Inc. v. The Manila Banking intention of the law is to effect a feasible and viable rehabilitation by preserving a floundering
Corporation,[46] as authorities for the rule that the appointment of a receiver suspends the business as a going concern, because the assets of a business are often more valuable when so
authority of the corporation and its officers over its property and effects.[47] maintained than they would be when liquidated.[58] This concept of preserving the
corporations business as a going concern while it is undergoing rehabilitation is called debtor-
ASB Realty counters that there is no provision in PD 902-A, the Interim Rules, or in Rule 59 of in-possession or debtor-in-place. This means that the debtor corporation (the corporation
the Rules of Court that divests corporate officers of their power to sue upon the appointment undergoing rehabilitation), through its Board of Directors and corporate officers, remains in
of a rehabilitation receiver.[48] In fact, Section 14 , Rule 4 of the Interim Rules expressly limits the control of its business and properties, subject only to the monitoring of the appointed
receivers power by providing that the rehabilitation receiver does not take over the rehabilitation receiver.[59] The concept of debtor-in-possession, is carried out more particularly
management and control of the corporation but shall closely oversee and monitor the in the SEC Rules, the rule that is relevant to the instant case.[60] It states therein that the interim
operations of the debtor.[49] Further, the SEC Rules of Procedure on Corporate Recovery (SEC rehabilitation receiver of the debtor corporation does not take over the control and
Rules), the rules applicable to the instant case, do not include among the receivers powers the management of the debtor corporation.[61] Likewise, the rehabilitation receiver that will
exclusive right to file suits for the corporation.[50] replace the interim receiver is tasked only to monitor the successful implementation of the
rehabilitation plan.[62] There is nothing in the concept of corporate rehabilitation that
The Court resolves the issue in favor of ASB Realty and its officers. would ipso facto deprive[63] the Board of Directors and corporate officers of a debtor
corporation, such as ASB Realty, of control such that it can no longer enforce its right to recover
There is no denying that ASB Realty, as the owner of the leased premises, is the real party-in- its property from an errant lessee.
interest in the unlawful detainer suit.[51] Real party-in-interest is defined as the party who
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails To be sure, corporate rehabilitation imposes several restrictions on the debtor corporation. The
of the suit.[52] rules enumerate the prohibited corporate actions and transactions[64] (most of which involve
some kind of disposition or encumbrance of the corporations assets) during the pendency of

52
the rehabilitation proceedings but none of which touch on the debtor corporations right to While the Court rules that ASB Realty and its corporate officers retain their power to sue to
sue. The implication therefore is that our concept of rehabilitation does not restrict this recover its property and the back rentals from Umale, the necessity of keeping the receiver
particular power, save for the caveat that all its actions are monitored closely by the receiver, apprised of the proceedings and its results is not lost upon this Court. Tasked to closely monitor
who can seek an annulment of any prohibited or anomalous transaction or agreement entered the assets of ASB Realty, the rehabilitation receiver has to be notified of the developments in
into by the officers of the debtor corporation. the case, so that these assets would be managed in accordance with the approved
rehabilitation plan.
Petitioners insist that the rehabilitation receiver has the power to bring and defend actions in
his own name as this power is provided in Section 6 of Rule 59 of the Rules of Court. Coming to the second issue, petitioners maintain that ASB Realty has no
cause of action against them because it is not their lessor. They insist that Umale entered into
Indeed, PD 902-A, as amended, provides that the receiver shall have the powers enumerated a verbal lease agreement with Amethyst Pearl only. As proof of this verbal agreement,
under Rule 59 of the Rules of Court. But Rule 59 is a rule of general application. It applies to petitioners cite their possession of the premises, and construction of buildings
different kinds of receivers rehabilitation receivers, receivers of entities under management, thereon, sans protest from Amethyst Pearl or ASB Realty.[76]
ordinary receivers, receivers in liquidation and for different kinds of situations. While the SEC
has the discretion[65] to authorize the rehabilitation receiver, as the case may warrant, to Petitioners concede that they may have raised questions of fact but insist nevertheless on their
exercise the powers in Rule 59, the SECs exercise of such discretion cannot simply be review as the appellate courts ruling is allegedly grounded entirely on speculations, surmises,
assumed. There is no allegation whatsoever in this case that the SEC gave ASB Realtys and conjectures and its conclusions regarding the termination of the lease contract are
rehabilitation receiver the exclusive right to sue. manifestly absurd, mistaken, and impossible.[77]
Petitioners cite Villanueva,[66] Yam,[67] and Abacus Real Estate[68] as authorities for their theory
that the corporate officers of a corporation under rehabilitation is incapacitated to Petitioners arguments have no merit. Ineluctably, the errors they raised involve factual
act. In Villanueva,[69] the Court nullified the sale contract entered into by the Philippine findings,[78] the review of which is not within the purview of the Courts functions under Rule 45,
Veterans Bank on the ground that the banks insolvency restricted its capacity to act. Yam,[70] on particularly when there is adequate evidentiary support on record.
the other hand, nullified the compromise agreement that Manphil Investment Corporation
entered into while it was under receivership by the Central Bank. In Abacus Real Estate,[71] it While petitioners assail the authenticity of the written lease contract by pointing out the
was held that Manila Banks president had no authority to execute an option to purchase inconsistency in the name of the lessor in two separate pages, they fail to account for Umales
contract while the bank was under liquidation. actions which are consistent with the terms of the contract the payment of lease rentals to ASB
Realty (instead of his alleged lessor Amethyst Pearl) for a 12-month period. These matters
These jurisprudence are inapplicable to the case at bar because they involve cannot simply be brushed off as sheer happenstance especially when weighed against Umales
banking and financial institutions that are governed by different laws.[72] In the cited cases, the incredible version of the facts that he entered into a verbal lease contract with Amethyst Pearl;
applicable banking law was Section 29[73] of the Central Bank Act.[74] In stark contrast to that the term of the lease is for a very long period of time; that Amethyst Pearl offered to sell
rehabilitation where the corporation retains control and management of its affairs, Section 29 the leased premises and Umale had accepted the offer, with both parties not demanding any
of the Central Bank Act, as amended, expressly forbids the bank or the quasi-bank from doing written documentation of the transaction and without any mention of the purchase price; and
business in the Philippines. that finally, Amethyst Pearl agreed that Umale need not pay rentals until the perfection of the
Moreover, the nullified transactions in the cited cases involve dispositions of assets and claims, sale. The Court is of the same mind as the appellate court that it is simply inconceivable that a
which are prohibited transactions even for corporate rehabilitation[75] because these may be businessman, such as petitioners predecessor-in-interest, would enter into commercial
prejudicial to creditors and contrary to the rehabilitation plan. The instant case, however, transactions with and pay substantial rentals to a corporation nary a single documentation.
involves the recovery of assets and collection of receivables, for which there is no prohibition Petitioners then try to turn the table on ASB Realty with their third argument. They say that
in PD 902-A. under Article 1687 of the New Civil Code, the period for rent payments determines the lease

53
period. Judging by the official receipt presented by ASB Realty, which covers the 12-month
period from June 2001 to May 2002, the lease period should be annual because of the annual
rent payments.[79] Petitioners then conclude that ASB Realty violated Article 1687 of the New
Civil Code when it terminated the lease on June 30, 2003, at the beginning of the new
period. They then implore the Court to extend the lease to the end of the annual period,
meaning until May 2004, in accordance with the annual rent payments.[80]

In arguing for an extension of lease under Article 1687, petitioners lost sight of the restriction
provided in Article 1675 of the Civil Code. It states that a lessee that commits any of the grounds
for ejectment cited in Article 1673, including non-payment of lease rentals and devoting the
leased premises to uses other than those stipulated, cannot avail of the periods established in
Article 1687.[81]

Moreover, the extension in Article 1687 is granted only as a matter of equity. The law simply
recognizes that there are instances when it would be unfair to abruptly end the lease contract
causing the eviction of the lessee. It is only for these clearly unjust situations that Article 1687
grants the court the discretion to
extend the lease.[82]

The particular circumstances of the instant case however, do not inspire granting equitable
relief. Petitioners have not paid, much less offered to pay, the rent for 14 months and even had
the temerity to disregard the pay-and-vacate notice served on them. An extension will only
benefit the wrongdoer and punish the long-suffering property owner.[83]

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The October 15, 2007 Decision and January 2, 2008
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 91096 are hereby AFFIRMED. ASB Realty
Corporation is ordered to FURNISH a copy of the Decision on its incumbent Rehabilitation
Receiver and to INFORM the Court of its compliance therewith within 10 days.

SO ORDERED.

54
G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995 On March 29, 1995, petitioner filed an Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy,
IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS, petitioner, changing the entry "seven" months to "since childhood" in item no. 8 of the
vs. amended certificate.8 On the same day, the Provincial Election Supervisor of Leyte
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and CIRILO ROY MONTEJO, respondents. informed petitioner that:

KAPUNAN, J.: [T]his office cannot receive or accept the aforementioned


Certificate of Candidacy on the ground that it is filed out of time,
A constitutional provision should be construed as to give it effective operation and the deadline for the filing of the same having already lapsed on
suppress the mischief at which it is aimed.1 The 1987 Constitution mandates that an March 20, 1995. The Corrected/Amended Certificate of
aspirant for election to the House of Representatives be "a registered voter in the Candidacy should have been filed on or before the March 20,
district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less 1995 deadline.9
than one year immediately preceding the election."2 The mischief which this
provision — reproduced verbatim from the 1973 Constitution — seeks to prevent is Consequently, petitioner filed the Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy with
the possibility of a "stranger or newcomer unacquainted with the conditions and the COMELEC's Head Office in Intramuros, Manila on
needs of a community and not identified with the latter, from an elective office to March 31, 1995. Her Answer to private respondent's petition in SPA No. 95-009 was
serve that community."3 likewise filed with the head office on the same day. In said Answer, petitioner
averred that the entry of the word "seven" in her original Certificate of Candidacy
Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the was the result of an "honest misinterpretation" 10 which she sought to rectify by
position of Representative of the First District of Leyte with the Provincial Election adding the words "since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected Certificate of
Supervisor on March 8, 1995, providing the following information in item no. 8:4 Candidacy and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or
residence. 11 Impugning respondent's motive in filing the petition seeking her
disqualification, she noted that:
RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED
IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ELECTION: __________ Years
and seven Months. When respondent (petitioner herein) announced that she was
intending to register as a voter in Tacloban City and run for
Congress in the First District of Leyte, petitioner immediately
On March 23, 1995, private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent
opposed her intended registration by writing a letter stating that
Representative of the First District of Leyte and a candidate for the same position,
"she is not a resident of said city but of Barangay Olot, Tolosa,
filed a "Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification" 5 with the Commission on
Leyte. After respondent had registered as a voter in Tolosa
Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for
following completion of her six month actual residence therein,
residency. In his petition, private respondent contended that Mrs. Marcos lacked the
petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC to transfer the town
Constitution's one year residency requirement for candidates for the House of
of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District and
Representatives on the evidence of declarations made by her in Voter Registration
pursued such a move up to the Supreme Court, his purpose being
Record 94-No. 33497726 and in her Certificate of Candidacy. He prayed that "an
to remove respondent as petitioner's opponent in the
order be issued declaring (petitioner) disqualified and canceling the certificate of
congressional election in the First District. He also filed a bill,
candidacy."7
along with other Leyte Congressmen, seeking the creation of

55
another legislative district to remove the town of Tolosa out of Along this point, it is interesting to note that prior to her
the First District, to achieve his purpose. However, such bill did registration in Tolosa, respondent announced that she would be
not pass the Senate. Having failed on such moves, petitioner now registering in Tacloban City so that she can be a candidate for the
filed the instant petition for the same objective, as it is obvious District. However, this intention was rebuffed when petitioner
that he is afraid to submit along with respondent for the wrote the Election Officer of Tacloban not to allow respondent
judgment and verdict of the electorate of the First District of since she is a resident of Tolosa and not Tacloban. She never
Leyte in an honest, orderly, peaceful, free and clean elections on disputed this claim and instead implicitly acceded to it by
May 8, 1995. 12 registering in Tolosa.

On April 24, 1995, the Second Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), This incident belies respondent's claim of "honest
by a vote of 2 to 1, 13 came up with a Resolution 1) finding private respondent's misinterpretation or honest mistake." Besides, the Certificate of
Petition for Disqualification in SPA 95-009 meritorious; 2) striking off petitioner's Candidacy only asks for RESIDENCE. Since on the basis of her
Corrected/Amended Certificate of Candidacy of March 31, 1995; and 3) canceling Answer, she was quite aware of "residence of origin" which she
her original Certificate of Candidacy. 14 Dealing with two primary issues, namely, the interprets to be Tacloban City, it is curious why she did not cite
validity of amending the original Certificate of Candidacy after the lapse of the Tacloban City in her Certificate of Candidacy. Her explanation
deadline for filing certificates of candidacy, and petitioner's compliance with the one that she thought what was asked was her actual and physical
year residency requirement, the Second Division held: presence in Tolosa is not easy to believe because there is none
in the question that insinuates about Tolosa. In fact, item no. 8
Respondent raised the affirmative defense in her Answer that in the Certificate of Candidacy speaks clearly of "Residency in the
the printed word "Seven" (months) was a result of an "honest CONSTITUENCY where I seek to be elected immediately
misinterpretation or honest mistake" on her part and, therefore, preceding the election." Thus, the explanation of respondent
an amendment should subsequently be allowed. She averred fails to be persuasive.
that she thought that what was asked was her "actual and
physical" presence in Tolosa and not residence of origin or From the foregoing, respondent's defense of an honest mistake
domicile in the First Legislative District, to which she could have or misinterpretation, therefore, is devoid of merit.
responded "since childhood." In an accompanying affidavit, she
stated that her domicile is Tacloban City, a component of the To further buttress respondent's contention that an amendment
First District, to which she always intended to return whenever may be made, she cited the case of Alialy v. COMELEC (2 SCRA
absent and which she has never abandoned. Furthermore, in her 957). The reliance of respondent on the case of Alialy is
memorandum, she tried to discredit petitioner's theory of misplaced. The case only applies to the "inconsequential
disqualification by alleging that she has been a resident of the deviations which cannot affect the result of the election, or
First Legislative District of Leyte since childhood, although she deviations from provisions intended primarily to secure timely
only became a resident of the Municipality of Tolosa for seven and orderly conduct of elections." The Supreme Court in that
months. She asserts that she has always been a resident of case considered the amendment only as a matter of form. But in
Tacloban City, a component of the First District, before coming the instant case, the amendment cannot be considered as a
to the Municipality of Tolosa. matter of form or an inconsequential deviation. The change in

56
the number of years of residence in the place where respondent xxx xxx xxx
seeks to be elected is a substantial matter which determines her
qualification as a candidacy, specially those intended to Anent the second issue, and based on the foregoing discussion,
suppress, accurate material representation in the original it is clear that respondent has not complied with the one year
certificate which adversely affects the filer. To admit the residency requirement of the Constitution.
amended certificate is to condone the evils brought by the
shifting minds of manipulating candidate, of the detriment of the In election cases, the term "residence" has always been
integrity of the election. considered as synonymous with "domicile" which imports not
only the intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal
Moreover, to allow respondent to change the seven (7) month presence in-that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such
period of her residency in order to prolong it by claiming it was intention. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to
"since childhood" is to allow an untruthfulness to be committed which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons,
before this Commission. The arithmetical accuracy of the 7 one intends to return. (Perfecto Faypon vs. Eliseo Quirino, 96 Phil
months residency the respondent indicated in her certificate of 294; Romualdez vs. RTC-Tacloban, 226 SCRA 408). In
candidacy can be gleaned from her entry in her Voter's respondent's case, when she returned to the Philippines in 1991,
Registration Record accomplished on January 28, 1995 which the residence she chose was not Tacloban but San Juan, Metro
reflects that she is a resident of Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte for 6 Manila. Thus, her animus revertendi is pointed to Metro Manila
months at the time of the said registration (Annex A, Petition). and not Tacloban.
Said accuracy is further buttressed by her letter to the election
officer of San Juan, Metro Manila, dated August 24, 1994, This Division is aware that her claim that she has been a resident
requesting for the cancellation of her registration in the of the First District since childhood is nothing more than to give
Permanent List of Voters thereat so that she can be re-registered her a color of qualification where she is otherwise
or transferred to Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. The dates of these constitutionally disqualified. It cannot hold ground in the face of
three (3) different documents show the respondent's consistent the facts admitted by the respondent in her affidavit. Except for
conviction that she has transferred her residence to Olot, Tolosa, the time that she studied and worked for some years after
Leyte from Metro Manila only for such limited period of time, graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in Manila. In
starting in the last week of August 1994 which on March 8, 1995 1959, after her husband was elected Senator, she lived and
will only sum up to 7 months. The Commission, therefore, cannot resided in San Juan, Metro Manila where she was a registered
be persuaded to believe in the respondent's contention that it voter. In 1965, she lived in San Miguel, Manila where she was
was an error. again a registered voter. In 1978, she served as member of the
Batasang Pambansa as the representative of the City of Manila
xxx xxx xxx and later on served as the Governor of Metro Manila. She could
not have served these positions if she had not been a resident of
Based on these reasons the Amended/Corrected Certificate of the City of Manila. Furthermore, when she filed her certificate of
Candidacy cannot be admitted by this Commission. candidacy for the office of the President in 1992, she claimed to
be a resident of San Juan, Metro Manila. As a matter of fact on

57
August 24, 1994, respondent wrote a letter with the election in Tacloban. Worse, what was evident was that prior to her
officer of San Juan, Metro Manila requesting for the cancellation residence in Tolosa, she had been a resident of Manila.
of her registration in the permanent list of voters that she may
be re-registered or transferred to Barangay Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. It is evident from these circumstances that she was not a
These facts manifest that she could not have been a resident of resident of the First District of Leyte "since childhood."
Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her
certificate of candidacy because she became a resident of many To further support the assertion that she could have not been a
places, including Metro Manila. This debunks her claim that prior resident of the First District of Leyte for more than one year,
to her residence in Tolosa, Leyte, she was a resident of the First petitioner correctly pointed out that on January 28, 1995
Legislative District of Leyte since childhood. respondent registered as a voter at precinct No. 18-A of Olot,
Tolosa, Leyte. In doing so, she placed in her Voter Registration
In this case, respondent's conduct reveals her lack of intention Record that she resided in the municipality of Tolosa for a period
to make Tacloban her domicile. She registered as a voter in of six months. This may be inconsequential as argued by the
different places and on several occasions declared that she was respondent since it refers only to her residence in Tolosa, Leyte.
a resident of Manila. Although she spent her school days in But her failure to prove that she was a resident of the First
Tacloban, she is considered to have abandoned such place when District of Leyte prior to her residence in Tolosa leaves nothing
she chose to stay and reside in other different places. In the case but a convincing proof that she had been a resident of the district
of Romualdez vs. RTC (226 SCRA 408) the Court explained how for six months only. 15
one acquires a new domicile by choice. There must concur: (1)
residence or bodily presence in the new locality; (2) intention to In a Resolution promulgated a day before the May 8, 1995 elections, the
remain there; and (3) intention to abandon the old domicile. In COMELEC en banc denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration 16 of the April 24,
other words there must basically be animus 1995 Resolution declaring her not qualified to run for the position of Member of the
manendi with animus non revertendi. When respondent chose House of Representatives for the First Legislative District of Leyte. 17 The Resolution
to stay in Ilocos and later on in Manila, coupled with her tersely stated:
intention to stay there by registering as a voter there and
expressly declaring that she is a resident of that place, she is After deliberating on the Motion for Reconsideration, the
deemed to have abandoned Tacloban City, where she spent her Commission RESOLVED to DENY it, no new substantial matters
childhood and school days, as her place of domicile. having been raised therein to warrant re-examination of the
resolution granting the petition for disqualification. 18
Pure intention to reside in that place is not sufficient, there must
likewise be conduct indicative of such intention. Respondent's On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC issued a Resolution allowing petitioner's
statements to the effect that she has always intended to return proclamation should the results of the canvass show that she obtained the highest
to Tacloban, without the accompanying conduct to prove that number of votes in the congressional elections in the First District of Leyte. On the
intention, is not conclusive of her choice of residence. same day, however, the COMELEC reversed itself and issued a second Resolution
Respondent has not presented any evidence to show that her directing that the proclamation of petitioner be suspended in the event that she
conduct, one year prior the election, showed intention to reside obtains the highest number of votes. 19

58
In a Supplemental Petition dated 25 May 1995, petitioner averred that she was the I. Petitioner's qualification
overwhelming winner of the elections for the congressional seat in the First District
of Leyte held May 8, 1995 based on the canvass completed by the Provincial Board A perusal of the Resolution of the COMELEC's Second Division reveals a startling
of Canvassers on May 14, 1995. Petitioner alleged that the canvass showed that she confusion in the application of settled concepts of "Domicile" and "Residence" in
obtained a total of 70,471 votes compared to the 36,833 votes received by election law. While the COMELEC seems to be in agreement with the general
Respondent Montejo. A copy of said Certificate of Canvass was annexed to the proposition that for the purposes of election law, residence is synonymous with
Supplemental Petition. domicile, the Resolution reveals a tendency to substitute or mistake the concept of
domicile for actual residence, a conception not intended for the purpose of
On account of the Resolutions disqualifying petitioner from running for the determining a candidate's qualifications for election to the House of Representatives
congressional seat of the First District of Leyte and the public respondent's as required by the 1987 Constitution. As it were, residence, for the purpose of
Resolution suspending her proclamation, petitioner comes to this court for relief. meeting the qualification for an elective position, has a settled meaning in our
jurisdiction.
Petitioner raises several issues in her Original and Supplemental Petitions. The
principal issues may be classified into two general areas: Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and the
fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their place of
I. The issue of Petitioner's qualifications habitual residence." In Ong vs. Republic 20 this court took the concept of domicile to
mean an individual's "permanent home", "a place to which, whenever absent for
Whether or not petitioner was a resident, for election purposes, business or for pleasure, one intends to return, and depends on facts and
of the First District of Leyte for a period of one year at the time circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent." 21Based on the foregoing,
of the May 9, 1995 elections. 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.
II. The Jurisdictional Issue
Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual
a) Prior to the elections 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
Whether or not the COMELEC properly exercised its jurisdiction
taken up his abode ends. One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure,
in disqualifying petitioner outside the period mandated by the
business, or health. If a person's intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his
Omnibus Election Code for disqualification cases under Article 78
intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. 22 It is thus,
of the said Code.
quite perfectly normal for an individual to have different residences in various places.
However, a person can only have a single domicile, unless, for various reasons, he
b) After the Elections
successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of choice.
In Uytengsu vs. Republic, 23 we laid this distinction quite clearly:
Whether or not the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
assumed exclusive jurisdiction over the question of petitioner's
There is a difference between domicile and residence.
qualifications after the May 8, 1995 elections.
"Residence" is used to indicate a place of abode, whether

59
permanent or temporary; "domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence in the place not less than one year immediately
residence to which, when absent, one has the intention of preceding the day of the elections. So my question is: What is the
returning. A man may have a residence in one place and a Committee's concept of residence of a candidate for the
domicile in another. Residence is not domicile, but domicile is legislature? Is it actual residence or is it the concept of domicile
residence coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited or constructive residence?
time. A man can have but one domicile for the same purpose at
any time, but he may have numerous places of residence. His Mr. Davide: Madame President, insofar as the regular members
place of residence is generally his place of domicile, but it is not of the National Assembly are concerned, the proposed section
by any means necessarily so since no length of residence without merely provides, among others, "and a resident thereof", that is,
intention of remaining will constitute domicile. in the district for a period of not less than one year preceding the
day of the election. This was in effect lifted from the 1973
For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by the Constitution, the interpretation given to it was domicile. 29
peculiar criteria of political laws. As these concepts have evolved in our election law,
what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact that residence for election xxx xxx xxx
purposes is used synonymously with domicile.
Mrs. Rosario Braid: The next question is on Section 7, page 2. I
In Nuval vs. Guray, 24 the Court held that "the term residence. . . is synonymous with think Commissioner Nolledo has raised the same point that
domicile which imports not only intention to reside in a fixed place, but also personal "resident" has been interpreted at times as a matter of intention
presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention." 25 Larena rather than actual residence.
vs. Teves 26 reiterated the same doctrine in a case involving the qualifications of the
respondent therein to the post of Municipal President of Dumaguete, Negros Mr. De los Reyes: Domicile.
Oriental. Faypon vs. Quirino, 27 held that the absence from residence to pursue
studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter other than in the place Ms. Rosario Braid: Yes, So, would the gentleman consider at the
where one is elected does not constitute loss of residence. 28 So settled is the proper time to go back to actual residence rather than mere
concept (of domicile) in our election law that in these and other election law cases, intention to reside?
this Court has stated that the mere absence of an individual from his permanent
residence without the intention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of
Mr. De los Reyes: But we might encounter some difficulty
domicile.
especially considering that a provision in the Constitution in the
Article on Suffrage says that Filipinos living abroad may vote as
The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the residence qualification for certain enacted by law. So, we have to stick to the original concept that
elective positions have placed beyond doubt the principle that when the it should be by domicile and not physical residence. 30
Constitution speaks of "residence" in election law, it actually means only "domicile"
to wit:
In Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, 31 this Court concluded
that the framers of the 1987 Constitution obviously adhered to the definition given
Mr. Nolledo: With respect to Section 5, I remember that in the to the term residence in election law, regarding it as having the same meaning as
1971 Constitutional Convention, there was an attempt to require domicile. 32

60
In the light of the principles just discussed, has petitioner Imelda Romualdez Marcos 8. RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I SEEK TO
satisfied the residency requirement mandated by Article VI, Sec. 6 of the 1987 BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE
Constitution? Of what significance is the questioned entry in petitioner's Certificate ELECTION:_________ Years and Seven Months.
of Candidacy stating her residence in the First Legislative District of Leyte as seven
(7) months? Having been forced by private respondent to register in her place of actual residence
in Leyte instead of petitioner's claimed domicile, it appears that petitioner had jotted
It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which ought down her period of stay in her legal residence or domicile. The juxtaposition of
to be decisive in determining whether or not and individual has satisfied the entries in Item 7 and Item 8 — the first requiring actual residence and the second
constitution's residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes requiring domicile — coupled with the circumstances surrounding petitioner's
material only when there is or appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, registration as a voter in Tolosa obviously led to her writing down an unintended
misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It entry for which she could be disqualified. This honest mistake should not, however,
would be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to deliberately and knowingly make a be allowed to negate the fact of residence in the First District if such fact were
statement in a certificate of candidacy which would lead to his or her disqualification. established by means more convincing than a mere entry on a piece of paper.

It stands to reason therefore, that petitioner merely committed an honest mistake We now proceed to the matter of petitioner's domicile.
in jotting the word "seven" in the space provided for the residency qualification
requirement. The circumstances leading to her filing the questioned entry obviously In support of its asseveration that petitioner's domicile could not possibly be in the
resulted in the subsequent confusion which prompted petitioner to write down the First District of Leyte, the Second Division of the COMELEC, in its assailed Resolution
period of her actual stay in Tolosa, Leyte instead of her period of residence in the of April 24,1995 maintains that "except for the time when (petitioner) studied and
First district, which was "since childhood" in the space provided. These worked for some years after graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in
circumstances and events are amply detailed in the COMELEC's Second Division's Manila." The Resolution additionally cites certain facts as indicative of the fact that
questioned resolution, albeit with a different interpretation. For instance, when petitioner's domicile ought to be any place where she lived in the last few decades
herein petitioner announced that she would be registering in Tacloban City to make except Tacloban, Leyte. First, according to the Resolution, petitioner, in 1959,
her eligible to run in the First District, private respondent Montejo opposed the resided in San Juan, Metro Manila where she was also registered voter. Then, in
same, claiming that petitioner was a resident of Tolosa, not Tacloban City. Petitioner 1965, following the election of her husband to the Philippine presidency, she lived in
then registered in her place of actual residence in the First District, which is Tolosa, San Miguel, Manila where she as a voter. In 1978 and thereafter, she served as a
Leyte, a fact which she subsequently noted down in her Certificate of Candidacy. A member of the Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila. "She could not,
close look at said certificate would reveal the possible source of the confusion: the have served these positions if she had not been a resident of Metro Manila," the
entry for residence (Item No. 7) is followed immediately by the entry for residence COMELEC stressed. Here is where the confusion lies.
in the constituency where a candidate seeks election thus:
We have stated, many times in the past, that an individual does not lose his domicile
7. RESIDENCE (complete Address): Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte even if he has lived and maintained residences in different places. Residence, it bears
repeating, implies a factual relationship to a given place for various purposes. The
POST OFFICE ADDRESS FOR ELECTION PURPOSES: Brgy. Olot, absence from legal residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do
Tolosa, Leyte other things of a temporary or semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of
residence. Thus, the assertion by the COMELEC that "she could not have been a

61
resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of attachment to the place of one's birth must be overcome by
candidacy because she became a resident of many places" flies in the face of settled positive proof of abandonment for another.
jurisprudence in which this Court carefully made distinctions between (actual)
residence and domicile for election law purposes. In Larena vs. Teves, 33 supra, we From the foregoing, it can be concluded that in its above-cited statements
stressed: supporting its proposition that petitioner was ineligible to run for the position of
Representative of the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC was obviously referring to
[T]his court is of the opinion and so holds that a person who has petitioner's various places of (actual) residence, not her domicile. In doing so, it not
his own house wherein he lives with his family in a municipality only ignored settled jurisprudence on residence in election law and the deliberations
without having ever had the intention of abandoning it, and of the constitutional commission but also the provisions of the Omnibus Election
without having lived either alone or with his family in another Code (B.P. 881). 35
municipality, has his residence in the former municipality,
notwithstanding his having registered as an elector in the other What is undeniable, however, are the following set of facts which establish the fact
municipality in question and having been a candidate for various of petitioner's domicile, which we lift verbatim from the COMELEC's Second
insular and provincial positions, stating every time that he is a Division's assailed Resolution: 36
resident of the latter municipality.
In or about 1938 when respondent was a little over 8 years old,
More significantly, in Faypon vs. Quirino, 34 We explained that: she established her domicile in Tacloban, Leyte (Tacloban City).
She studied in the Holy Infant Academy in Tacloban from 1938
A citizen may leave the place of his birth to look for "greener to 1949 when she graduated from high school. She pursued her
pastures," as the saying goes, to improve his lot, and that, of college studies in St. Paul's College, now Divine Word University
course includes study in other places, practice of his avocation, in Tacloban, where she earned her degree in Education.
or engaging in business. When an election is to be held, the Thereafter, she taught in the Leyte Chinese School, still in
citizen who left his birthplace to improve his lot may desire to Tacloban City. In 1952 she went to Manila to work with her
return to his native town to cast his ballot but for professional or cousin, the late speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez in his office in the
business reasons, or for any other reason, he may not absent House of Representatives. In 1954, she married ex-President
himself from his professional or business activities; so there he Ferdinand E. Marcos when he was still a congressman of Ilocos
registers himself as voter as he has the qualifications to be one Norte and registered there as a voter. When her husband was
and is not willing to give up or lose the opportunity to choose the elected Senator of the Republic in 1959, she and her husband
officials who are to run the government especially in national lived together in San Juan, Rizal where she registered as a voter.
elections. Despite such registration, the animus revertendi to his In 1965, when her husband was elected President of the Republic
home, to his domicile or residence of origin has not forsaken him. of the Philippines, she lived with him in Malacanang Palace and
This may be the explanation why the registration of a voter in a registered as a voter in San Miguel, Manila.
place other than his residence of origin has not been deemed
sufficient to constitute abandonment or loss of such residence. [I]n February 1986 (she claimed that) she and her family were
It finds justification in the natural desire and longing of every abducted and kidnapped to Honolulu, Hawaii. In November
person to return to his place of birth. This strong feeling of 1991, she came home to Manila. In 1992, respondent ran for

62
election as President of the Philippines and filed her Certificate Second, domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of
of Candidacy wherein she indicated that she is a resident and domicile, one must demonstrate: 37
registered voter of San Juan, Metro Manila.
1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;
Applying the principles discussed to the facts found by COMELEC, what is inescapable
is that petitioner held various residences for different purposes during the last four 2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of
decades. None of these purposes unequivocally point to an intention to abandon her residence and establishing a new one; and
domicile of origin in Tacloban, Leyte. Moreover, while petitioner was born in Manila,
as a minor she naturally followed the domicile of her parents. She grew up in 3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.
Tacloban, reached her adulthood there and eventually established residence in
different parts of the country for various reasons. Even during her husband's In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of
presidency, at the height of the Marcos Regime's powers, petitioner kept her close origin should be deemed to continue. Only with evidence showing concurrence of all
ties to her domicile of origin by establishing residences in Tacloban, celebrating her three requirements can the presumption of continuity or residence be rebutted, for
birthdays and other important personal milestones in her home province, instituting a change of residence requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one
well-publicized projects for the benefit of her province and hometown, and cannot have two legal residences at the same time. 38 In the case at bench, the
establishing a political power base where her siblings and close relatives held evidence adduced by private respondent plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness
positions of power either through the ballot or by appointment, always with either required to convince this court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of
her influence or consent. These well-publicized ties to her domicile of origin are part a domicile of choice indeed occurred. To effect an abandonment requires the
of the history and lore of the quarter century of Marcos power in our country. Either voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former domicile with an intent to supplant
they were entirely ignored in the COMELEC'S Resolutions, or the majority of the the former domicile with one of her own choosing (domicilium voluntarium).
COMELEC did not know what the rest of the country always knew: the fact of
petitioner's domicile in Tacloban, Leyte.
In this connection, it cannot be correctly argued that petitioner lost her domicile of
origin by operation of law as a result of her marriage to the late President Ferdinand
Private respondent in his Comment, contends that Tacloban was not petitioner's E. Marcos in 1952. For there is a clearly established distinction between the Civil
domicile of origin because she did not live there until she was eight years old. He Code concepts of "domicile" and "residence." 39 The presumption that the wife
avers that after leaving the place in 1952, she "abandoned her residency (sic) therein automatically gains the husband's domicile by operation of law upon marriage
for many years and . . . (could not) re-establish her domicile in said place by merely cannot be inferred from the use of the term "residence" in Article 110 of the Civil
expressing her intention to live there again." We do not agree. Code because the Civil Code is one area where the two concepts are well delineated.
Dr. Arturo Tolentino, writing on this specific area explains:
First, minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile, once acquired is retained
until a new one is gained, it follows that in spite of the fact of petitioner's being born In the Civil Code, there is an obvious difference between
in Manila, Tacloban, Leyte was her domicile of origin by operation of law. This domicile and residence. Both terms imply relations between a
domicile was not established only when her father brought his family back to Leyte person and a place; but in residence, the relation is one of fact
contrary to private respondent's averments. while in domicile it is legal or juridical, independent of the
necessity of physical presence. 40

63
Article 110 of the Civil Code provides: could, for the sake of family unity, be reconciled only by allowing the husband to fix
a single place of actual residence.
Art. 110. — The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But
the court may exempt the wife from living with the husband if Very significantly, Article 110 of the Civil Code is found under Title V under the
he should live abroad unless in the service of the Republic. heading: RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE. Immediately
preceding Article 110 is Article 109 which obliges the husband and wife to live
A survey of jurisprudence relating to Article 110 or to the concepts of domicile or together, thus:
residence as they affect the female spouse upon marriage yields nothing which
would suggest that the female spouse automatically loses her domicile of origin in Art. 109. — The husband and wife are obligated to live together,
favor of the husband's choice of residence upon marriage. observe mutual respect and fidelity and render mutual help and
support.
Article 110 is a virtual restatement of Article 58 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889
which states: The duty to live together can only be fulfilled if the husband and wife are physically
together. This takes into account the situations where the couple has many
La mujer esta obligada a seguir a su marido donde quiera que fije residences (as in the case of the petitioner). If the husband has to stay in or transfer
su residencia. Los Tribunales, sin embargo, podran con justa to any one of their residences, the wife should necessarily be with him in order that
causa eximirla de esta obligacion cuando el marido transende su they may "live together." Hence, it is illogical to conclude that Art. 110 refers to
residencia a ultramar o' a pais extranjero. "domicile" and not to "residence." Otherwise, we shall be faced with a situation
where the wife is left in the domicile while the husband, for professional or other
Note the use of the phrase "donde quiera su fije de residencia" in the aforequoted reasons, stays in one of their (various) residences. As Dr. Tolentino further explains:
article, which means wherever (the husband) wishes to establish residence. This part
of the article clearly contemplates only actual residence because it refers to a Residence and Domicile — Whether the word "residence" as
positive act of fixing a family home or residence. Moreover, this interpretation is used with reference to particular matters is synonymous with
further strengthened by the phrase "cuando el marido translade su residencia" in the "domicile" is a question of some difficulty, and the ultimate
same provision which means, "when the husband shall transfer his residence," decision must be made from a consideration of the purpose and
referring to another positive act of relocating the family to another home or place of intent with which the word is used. Sometimes they are used
actual residence. The article obviously cannot be understood to refer to domicile synonymously, at other times they are distinguished from one
which is a fixed, another.
fairly-permanent concept when it plainly connotes the possibility of transferring
from one place to another not only once, but as often as the husband may deem fit xxx xxx xxx
to move his family, a circumstance more consistent with the concept of actual
residence. Residence in the civil law is a material fact, referring to the
physical presence of a person in a place. A person can have two
The right of the husband to fix the actual residence is in harmony with the intention or more residences, such as a country residence and a city
of the law to strengthen and unify the family, recognizing the fact that the husband residence. Residence is acquired by living in place; on the other
and the wife bring into the marriage different domiciles (of origin). This difference hand, domicile can exist without actually living in the place. The

64
important thing for domicile is that, once residence has been instance of either husband or wife; and if the facts were found
established in one place, there be an intention to stay there to warrant it, that court would make a mandatory decree,
permanently, even if residence is also established in some other enforceable by process of contempt in case of disobedience,
place. 41 requiring the delinquent party to live with the other and render
conjugal rights. Yet this practice was sometimes criticized even
In fact, even the matter of a common residence between the husband and the wife by the judges who felt bound to enforce such orders, and
during the marriage is not an iron-clad principle; In cases applying the Civil Code on in Weldon v. Weldon (9 P.D. 52), decided in 1883, Sir James
the question of a common matrimonial residence, our jurisprudence has recognized Hannen, President in the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty
certain situations 42 where the spouses could not be compelled to live with each Division of the High Court of Justice, expressed his regret that the
other such that the wife is either allowed to maintain a residence different from that English law on the subject was not the same as that which
of her husband or, for obviously practical reasons, revert to her original domicile prevailed in Scotland, where a decree of adherence, equivalent
(apart from being allowed to opt for a new one). In De la Vina vs.Villareal 43 this Court to the decree for the restitution of conjugal rights in England,
held that "[a] married woman may acquire a residence or domicile separate from could be obtained by the injured spouse, but could not be
that of her husband during the existence of the marriage where the husband has enforced by imprisonment. Accordingly, in obedience to the
given cause for divorce." 44 Note that the Court allowed the wife either to obtain new growing sentiment against the practice, the Matrimonial Causes
residence or to choose a new domicile in such an event. In instances where the wife Act (1884) abolished the remedy of imprisonment; though a
actually opts, .under the Civil Code, to live separately from her husband either by decree for the restitution of conjugal rights can still be procured,
taking new residence or reverting to her domicile of origin, the Court has held that and in case of disobedience may serve in appropriate cases as
the wife could not be compelled to live with her husband on pain of contempt. the basis of an order for the periodical payment of a stipend in
In Arroyo vs. Vasques de Arroyo 45 the Court held that: the character of alimony.

Upon examination of the authorities, we are convinced that it is In the voluminous jurisprudence of the United States, only one
not within the province of the courts of this country to attempt court, so far as we can discover, has ever attempted to make a
to compel one of the spouses to cohabit with, and render preemptory order requiring one of the spouses to live with the
conjugal rights to, the other. Of course where the property rights other; and that was in a case where a wife was ordered to follow
of one of the pair are invaded, an action for restitution of such and live with her husband, who had changed his domicile to the
rights can be maintained. But we are disinclined to sanction the City of New Orleans. The decision referred to (Bahn v. Darby, 36
doctrine that an order, enforcible (sic) by process of contempt, La. Ann., 70) was based on a provision of the Civil Code of
may be entered to compel the restitution of the purely personal Louisiana similar to article 56 of the Spanish Civil Code. It was
right of consortium. At best such an order can be effective for no decided many years ago, and the doctrine evidently has not been
other purpose than to compel the spouses to live under the same fruitful even in the State of Louisiana. In other states of the
roof; and he experience of those countries where the courts of American Union the idea of enforcing cohabitation by process of
justice have assumed to compel the cohabitation of married contempt is rejected. (21 Cyc., 1148).
people shows that the policy of the practice is extremely
questionable. Thus in England, formerly the Ecclesiastical Court In a decision of January 2, 1909, the Supreme Court of Spain
entertained suits for the restitution of conjugal rights at the appears to have affirmed an order of the Audiencia Territorial de

65
Valladolid requiring a wife to return to the marital domicile, and "actual residence." The inescapable conclusion derived from this unambiguous civil
in the alternative, upon her failure to do so, to make a particular law delineation therefore, is that when petitioner married the former President in
disposition of certain money and effects then in her possession 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not
and to deliver to her husband, as administrator of the ganancial a domicilium necessarium.
property, all income, rents, and interest which might accrue to
her from the property which she had brought to the marriage. Even assuming for the sake of argument that petitioner gained a new "domicile"
(113 Jur. Civ., pp. 1, 11) But it does not appear that this order for after her marriage and only acquired a right to choose a new one after her husband
the return of the wife to the marital domicile was sanctioned by died, petitioner's acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she
any other penalty than the consequences that would be visited not only impliedly but expressly chose her domicile of origin (assuming this was lost
upon her in respect to the use and control of her property; and by operation of law) as her domicile. This "choice" was unequivocally expressed in
it does not appear that her disobedience to that order would her letters to the Chairman of the PCGG when petitioner sought the PCGG's
necessarily have been followed by imprisonment for contempt. permission to "rehabilitate (our) ancestral house in Tacloban and Farm in Olot, Leyte.
. . to make them livable for the Marcos family to have a home in our
Parenthetically when Petitioner was married to then Congressman Marcos, in 1954, homeland." 47 Furthermore, petitioner obtained her residence certificate in 1992 in
petitioner was obliged — by virtue of Article 110 of the Civil Code — to follow her Tacloban, Leyte, while living in her brother's house, an act which supports the
husband's actual place of residence fixed by him. The problem here is that at that domiciliary intention clearly manifested in her letters to the PCGG Chairman. She
time, Mr. Marcos had several places of residence, among which were San Juan, Rizal could not have gone straight to her home in San Juan, as it was in a state of disrepair,
and Batac, Ilocos Norte. There is no showing which of these places Mr. Marcos did having been previously looted by vandals. Her "homes" and "residences" following
fix as his family's residence. But assuming that Mr. Marcos had fixed any of these her arrival in various parts of Metro Manila merely qualified as temporary or "actual
places as the conjugal residence, what petitioner gained upon marriage was actual residences," not domicile. Moreover, and proceeding from our discussion pointing
residence. She did not lose her domicile of origin. out specific situations where the female spouse either reverts to her domicile of
origin or chooses a new one during the subsistence of the marriage, it would be
On the other hand, the common law concept of "matrimonial domicile" appears to highly illogical for us to assume that she cannot regain her original domicile upon the
have been incorporated, as a result of our jurisprudential experiences after the death of her husband absent a positive act of selecting a new one where situations
drafting of the Civil Code of 1950, into the New Family Code. To underscore the exist within the subsistence of the marriage itself where the wife gains a domicile
difference between the intentions of the Civil Code and the Family Code drafters, the different from her husband.
term residence has been supplanted by the term domicile in an entirely new
provision (Art. 69) distinctly different in meaning and spirit from that found in Article In the light of all the principles relating to residence and domicile enunciated by this
110. The provision recognizes revolutionary changes in the concept of women's court up to this point, we are persuaded that the facts established by the parties
rights in the intervening years by making the choice of domicile a product of mutual weigh heavily in favor of a conclusion supporting petitioner's claim of legal residence
agreement between the spouses. 46 or domicile in the First District of Leyte.

Without as much belaboring the point, the term residence may mean one thing in II. The jurisdictional issue
civil law (or under the Civil Code) and quite another thing in political law. What stands
clear is that insofar as the Civil Code is concerned-affecting the rights and obligations Petitioner alleges that the jurisdiction of the COMELEC had already lapsed
of husband and wife — the term residence should only be interpreted to mean considering that the assailed resolutions were rendered on April 24, 1995, fourteen

66
(14) days before the election in violation of Section 78 of the Omnibus Election In any event, with the enactment of Sections 6 and 7 of R.A. 6646 in relation to
Code. 48 Moreover, petitioner contends that it is the House of Representatives Section 78 of B.P. 881, 52 it is evident that the respondent Commission does not lose
Electoral Tribunal and not the COMELEC which has jurisdiction over the election of jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending disqualification case under Section 78 of
members of the House of Representatives in accordance with Article VI Sec. 17 of B.P. 881 even after the elections.
the Constitution. This is untenable.
As to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal's supposed assumption of
It is a settled doctrine that a statute requiring rendition of judgment within a jurisdiction over the issue of petitioner's qualifications after the May 8, 1995
specified time is generally construed to be merely directory, 49 "so that non- elections, suffice it to say that HRET's jurisdiction as the sole judge of all contests
compliance with them does not invalidate the judgment on the theory that if the relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of members of Congress begins
statute had intended such result it would have clearly indicated it." 50 The difference only after a candidate has become a member of the House of
between a mandatory and a directory provision is often made on grounds of Representatives. 53 Petitioner not being a member of the House of Representatives,
necessity. Adopting the same view held by several American authorities, this court it is obvious that the HRET at this point has no jurisdiction over the question.
in Marcelino vs. Cruz held that: 51
It would be an abdication of many of the ideals enshrined in the 1987 Constitution
The difference between a mandatory and directory provision is for us to either to ignore or deliberately make distinctions in law solely on the basis
often determined on grounds of expediency, the reason being of the personality of a petitioner in a case. Obviously a distinction was made on such
that less injury results to the general public by disregarding than a ground here. Surely, many established principles of law, even of election laws were
enforcing the letter of the law. flouted for the sake perpetuating power during the pre-EDSA regime. We renege on
these sacred ideals, including the meaning and spirit of EDSA ourselves bending
In Trapp v. Mc Cormick, a case calling for the interpretation of a established principles of principles of law to deny an individual what he or she justly
statute containing a limitation of thirty (30) days within which a deserves in law. Moreover, in doing so, we condemn ourselves to repeat the
decree may be entered without the consent of counsel, it was mistakes of the past.
held that "the statutory provisions which may be thus departed
from with impunity, without affecting the validity of statutory WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence
proceedings, are usually those which relate to the mode or time qualifications to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of
of doing that which is essential to effect the aim and purpose of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and
the Legislature or some incident of the essential act." Thus, in May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to
said case, the statute under examination was construed merely order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected
to be directory. Representative of the First District of Leyte.

The mischief in petitioner's contending that the COMELEC should have abstained SO ORDERED.
from rendering a decision after the period stated in the Omnibus Election Code
because it lacked jurisdiction, lies in the fact that our courts and other quasi-judicial
bodies would then refuse to render judgments merely on the ground of having failed
to reach a decision within a given or prescribed period.

67
G.R. No. 221697 When petitioner was five (5) years old, celebrity spouses Ronald Allan Kelley Poe
MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES, Petitioners, (a.k.a. Fenando Poe, Jr.) and Jesusa Sonora Poe (a.k.a. Susan Roces) filed a petition
vs. for her adoption with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Juan City. On 13 May
COMELEC AND ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO Respondents. 1974, the trial court granted their petition and ordered that petitioner's name be
x-----------------------x changed from "Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar" to "Mary Grace Natividad
G.R. No. 221698-700 Sonora Poe." Although necessary notations were made by OCR-Iloilo on petitioner's
MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES, Petitioners, foundling certificate reflecting the court decreed adoption,2 the petitioner's
vs. adoptive mother discovered only sometime in the second half of 2005 that the
COMELEC, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS AND AMADO D. lawyer who handled petitioner's adoption failed to secure from the OCR-Iloilo a new
VALDEZ Respondents. Certificate of Live Birth indicating petitioner's new name and the name of her
adoptive parents. 3 Without delay, petitioner's mother executed an affidavit
DECISION attesting to the lawyer's omission which she submitted to the OCR-Iloilo. On 4 May
2006, OCR-Iloilo issued a new Certificate of Live Birth in the name of Mary Grace
Natividad Sonora Poe.4
PEREZ, J.:

Having reached the age of eighteen (18) years in 1986, petitioner registered as a
Before the Court are two consolidated petitions under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65
voter with the local COMELEC Office in San Juan City. On 13 December 1986, she
of the Rules of Court with extremely urgent application for an ex parte issuance of
received her COMELEC Voter's Identification Card for Precinct No. 196 in Greenhills,
temporary restraining order/status quo ante order and/or writ of preliminary
San Juan, Metro Manila.5
injunction assailing the following: (1) 1 December 2015 Resolution of the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division; (2) 23 December 2015
Resolution of the COMELEC En Banc, in SPA No. 15-001 (DC); (3) 11 December 2015 On 4 April 1988, petitioner applied for and was issued Philippine Passport No.
Resolution of the COMELEC First Division; and ( 4) 23 December 2015 Resolution of F9272876 by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Subsequently, on 5 April 1993
the COMELEC En Banc, in SPA No. 15-002 (DC), SPA No. 15-007 (DC) and SPA No. 15- and 19 May 1998, she renewed her Philippine passport and respectively secured
139 (DC) for having been issued without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion Philippine Passport Nos. L881511 and DD156616.7
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Initially, the petitioner enrolled and pursued a degree in Development Studies at the
The Facts University of the Philippines8 but she opted to continue her studies abroad and left
for the United States of America (U.S.) in 1988. Petitioner graduated in 1991 from
Boston College in Chestnuts Hill, Massachusetts where she earned her Bachelor of
Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares (petitioner) was found abandoned as a
Arts degree in Political Studies.9
newborn infant in the Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo by a certain Edgardo Militar
(Edgardo) on 3 September 1968. Parental care and custody over petitioner was
passed on by Edgardo to his relatives, Emiliano Militar (Emiliano) and his wife. Three On 27 July 1991, petitioner married Teodoro Misael Daniel V. Llamanzares
days after, 6 September 1968, Emiliano reported and registered petitioner as a (Llamanzares), a citizen of both the Philippines and the U.S., at Sanctuario de San
foundling with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City (OCR-Iloilo). In her Jose Parish in San Juan City. 10 Desirous of being with her husband who was then
Foundling Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth, the petitioner was given the name based in the U.S., the couple flew back to the U.S. two days after the wedding
"Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar." 1 ceremony or on 29 July 1991. 11

68
While in the U.S., the petitioner gave birth to her eldest child Brian Daniel (Brian) on The petitioner and her children briefly stayed at her mother's place until she and her
16 April 1992.12 Her two daughters Hanna MacKenzie (Hanna) and Jesusa Anika husband purchased a condominium unit with a parking slot at One Wilson Place
(Anika) were both born in the Philippines on 10 July 1998 and 5 June 2004, Condominium in San Juan City in the second half of 2005.27 The corresponding
respectively. 13 Condominium Certificates of Title covering the unit and parking slot were issued by
the Register of Deeds of San Juan City to petitioner and her husband on 20 February
On 18 October 2001, petitioner became a naturalized American citizen. 14 She 2006.28 Meanwhile, her children of school age began attending Philippine private
obtained U.S. Passport No. 017037793 on 19 December 2001. 15 schools.

On 8 April 2004, the petitioner came back to the Philippines together with Hanna to On 14 February 2006, the petitioner made a quick trip to the U.S. to supervise the
support her father's candidacy for President in the May 2004 elections. It was during disposal of some of the family's remaining household belongings.29 She travelled
this time that she gave birth to her youngest daughter Anika. She returned to the back to the Philippines on 11 March 2006.30
U.S. with her two daughters on 8 July 2004. 16
In late March 2006, petitioner's husband officially informed the U.S. Postal Service
After a few months, specifically on 13 December 2004, petitioner rushed back to the of the family's change and abandonment of their address in the U.S.31 The family
Philippines upon learning of her father's deteriorating medical condition. 17 Her home was eventually sold on 27 April 2006.32 Petitioner's husband resigned from his
father slipped into a coma and eventually expired. The petitioner stayed in the job in the U.S. in April 2006, arrived in the country on 4 May 2006 and started
country until 3 February 2005 to take care of her father's funeral arrangements as working for a major Philippine company in July 2006.33
well as to assist in the settlement of his estate.18
In early 2006, petitioner and her husband acquired a 509-square meter lot in
According to the petitioner, the untimely demise of her father was a severe blow to Corinthian Hills, Quezon City where they built their family home34 and to this day, is
her entire family. In her earnest desire to be with her grieving mother, the petitioner where the couple and their children have been residing.35 A Transfer Certificate of
and her husband decided to move and reside permanently in the Philippines Title covering said property was issued in the couple's name by the Register of Deeds
sometime in the first quarter of 2005.19 The couple began preparing for their of Quezon City on 1June 2006.
resettlement including notification of their children's schools that they will be
transferring to Philippine schools for the next semester;20coordination with property On 7 July 2006, petitioner took her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the
movers for the relocation of their household goods, furniture and cars from the U.S. Philippines pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and
to the Philippines;21 and inquiry with Philippine authorities as to the proper Re-acquisition Act of 2003.36 Under the same Act, she filed with the Bureau of
procedure to be followed in bringing their pet dog into the country. 22 As early as Immigration (BI) a sworn petition to reacquire Philippine citizenship together with
2004, the petitioner already quit her job in the U.S.23 petitions for derivative citizenship on behalf of her three minor children on 10 July
2006.37 As can be gathered from its 18 July 2006 Order, the BI acted favorably on
Finally, petitioner came home to the Philippines on 24 May 200524 and without petitioner's petitions and declared that she is deemed to have reacquired her
delay, secured a Tax Identification Number from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Her Philippine citizenship while her children are considered as citizens of the
three (3) children immediately followed25 while her husband was forced to stay in Philippines.38 Consequently, the BI issued Identification Certificates (ICs) in
the U.S. to complete pending projects as well as to arrange the sale of their family petitioner's name and in the names of her three (3) children. 39
home there.26

69
Again, petitioner registered as a voter of Barangay Santa Lucia, San Juan City on 31 On 15 October 2015, petitioner filed her COC for the Presidency for the May 2016
August 2006.40 She also secured from the DFA a new Philippine Passport bearing the Elections. 56 In her COC, the petitioner declared that she is a natural-born citizen and
No. XX4731999.41 This passport was renewed on 18 March 2014 and she was issued that her residence in the Philippines up to the day before 9 May 2016 would be ten
Philippine Passport No. EC0588861 by the DFA.42 (10) years and eleven (11) months counted from 24 May 2005.57 The petitioner
attached to her COC an "Affidavit Affirming Renunciation of U.S.A. Citizenship"
On 6 October 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed petitioner as subscribed and sworn to before a notary public in Quezon City on 14 October 2015. 58
Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
(MTRCB).43 Before assuming her post, petitioner executed an "Affidavit of Petitioner's filing of her COC for President in the upcoming elections triggered the
Renunciation of Allegiance to the United States of America and Renunciation of filing of several COMELEC cases against her which were the subject of these
American Citizenship" before a notary public in Pasig City on 20 October 2010, 44 in consolidated cases.
satisfaction of the legal requisites stated in Section 5 of R.A. No. 9225. 45 The
following day, 21 October 2010 petitioner submitted the said affidavit to the BI46 and Origin of Petition for Certiorari in G.R. No. 221697
took her oath of office as Chairperson of the MTRCB. 47 From then on, petitioner
stopped using her American passport.48 A day after petitioner filed her COC for President, Estrella Elamparo (Elamparo) filed
a petition to deny due course or cancel said COC which was docketed as SPA No. 15-
On 12 July 2011, the petitioner executed before the Vice Consul of the U.S. Embassy 001 (DC) and raffled to the COMELEC Second Division.59She is convinced that the
in Manila an "Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the United COMELEC has jurisdiction over her petition.60 Essentially, Elamparo's contention is
States."49 On that day, she accomplished a sworn questionnaire before the U.S. Vice that petitioner committed material misrepresentation when she stated in her COC
Consul wherein she stated that she had taken her oath as MTRCB Chairperson on 21 that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and that she is a resident of the Philippines
October 2010 with the intent, among others, of relinquishing her American for at least ten (10) years and eleven (11) months up to the day before the 9 May
citizenship.50 In the same questionnaire, the petitioner stated that she had resided 2016 Elections.61
outside of the U.S., specifically in the Philippines, from 3 September 1968 to 29 July
1991 and from May 2005 to present.51 On the issue of citizenship, Elamparo argued that petitioner cannot be considered as
a natural-born Filipino on account of the fact that she was a foundling. 62 Elamparo
On 9 December 2011, the U.S. Vice Consul issued to petitioner a "Certificate of Loss claimed that international law does not confer natural-born status and Filipino
of Nationality of the United States" effective 21 October 2010.52 citizenship on foundlings.63 Following this line of reasoning, petitioner is not qualified
to apply for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 for she is not a
On 2 October 2012, the petitioner filed with the COMELEC her Certificate of natural-born Filipino citizen to begin with.64Even assuming arguendo that petitioner
Candidacy (COC) for Senator for the 2013 Elections wherein she answered "6 years was a natural-born Filipino, she is deemed to have lost that status when she became
and 6 months" to the question "Period of residence in the Philippines before May a naturalized American citizen.65 According to Elamparo, natural-born citizenship
13, 2013."53 Petitioner obtained the highest number of votes and was proclaimed must be continuous from birth.66
Senator on 16 May 2013. 54
On the matter of petitioner's residency, Elamparo pointed out that petitioner was
On 19 December 2013, petitioner obtained Philippine Diplomatic Passport No. bound by the sworn declaration she made in her 2012 COC for Senator wherein she
DE0004530. 55 indicated that she had resided in the country for only six ( 6) years and six ( 6) months
as of May 2013 Elections. Elamparo likewise insisted that assuming arguendo that

70
petitioner is qualified to regain her natural-born status under R.A. No. 9225, she still e. the burden was on Elamparo in proving that she did not
fell short of the ten-year residency requirement of the Constitution as her residence possess natural-born status;
could only be counted at the earliest from July 2006, when she reacquired Philippine
citizenship under the said Act. Also on the assumption that petitioner is qualified to f. residence is a matter of evidence and that she reestablished
reacquire lost Philippine Citizenship, Elamparo is of the belief that she failed to her domicile in the Philippines as early as May 24, 2005;
reestablish her domicile in the Philippines.67
g. she could reestablish residence even before she reacquired
Petitioner seasonably filed her Answer wherein she countered that: natural-born citizenship under R.A. No. 9225;

(1) the COMELEC did not have jurisdiction over Elamparo's petition as it h. statement regarding the period of residence in her 2012 COC
was actually a petition for quo warranto which could only be filed if Grace for Senator was an honest mistake, not binding and should give
Poe wins in the Presidential elections, and that the Department of Justice way to evidence on her true date of reacquisition of domicile;
(DOJ) has primary jurisdiction to revoke the BI's July 18, 2006 Order;
i. Elamparo's petition is merely an action to usurp the sovereign
(2) the petition failed to state a cause of action because it did not contain right of the Filipino people to decide a purely political question,
allegations which, if hypothetically admitted, would make false the that is, should she serve as the country's next leader.68
statement in her COC that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen nor was
there any allegation that there was a willful or deliberate intent to After the parties submitted their respective Memoranda, the petition was deemed
misrepresent on her part; submitted for resolution.

(3) she did not make any material misrepresentation in the COC regarding On 1 December 2015, the COMELEC Second Division promulgated a Resolution
her citizenship and residency qualifications for: finding that petitioner's COC, filed for the purpose of running for the President of the
Republic of the Philippines in the 9 May 2016 National and Local Elections, contained
a. the 1934 Constitutional Convention deliberations show that material representations which are false. The fallo of the aforesaid Resolution reads:
foundlings were considered citizens;
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, the instant Petition to Deny
b. foundlings are presumed under international law to have been Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly,
born of citizens of the place where they are found; the Certificate of Candidacy for President of the Republic of the Philippines in the
May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections filed by respondent Mary Grace Natividad
c. she reacquired her natural-born Philippine citizenship under Sonora Poe Llamanzares is hereby CANCELLED.69
the provisions of R.A. No. 9225;
Motion for Reconsideration of the 1 December 2015 Resolution was filed by
d. she executed a sworn renunciation of her American citizenship petitioner which the COMELEC En Banc resolved in its 23 December 2015 Resolution
prior to the filing of her COC for President in the May 9, 2016 by denying the same.70
Elections and that the same is in full force and effect and has not
been withdrawn or recanted; Origin of Petition for Certiorari in G.R. Nos. 221698-700

71
This case stemmed from three (3) separate petitions filed by Francisco S. Tatad In support of his petition to deny due course or cancel the COC of petitioner,
(Tatad), Antonio P. Contreras (Contreras) and Amado D. Valdez (Valdez) against docketed as SPA No. 15-139 (DC), Valdez alleged that her repatriation under R.A. No.
petitioner before the COMELEC which were consolidated and raffled to its First 9225 did not bestow upon her the status of a natural-born citizen.83 He advanced the
Division. view that former natural-born citizens who are repatriated under the said Act
reacquires only their Philippine citizenship and will not revert to their original status
In his petition to disqualify petitioner under Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of as natural-born citizens.84
Procedure,71 docketed as SPA No. 15-002 (DC), Tatad alleged that petitioner lacks
the requisite residency and citizenship to qualify her for the Presidency.72 He further argued that petitioner's own admission in her COC for Senator that she
had only been a resident of the Philippines for at least six (6) years and six (6) months
Tatad theorized that since the Philippines adheres to the principle of jus prior to the 13 May 2013 Elections operates against her. Valdez rejected petitioner's
sanguinis, persons of unknown parentage, particularly foundlings, cannot be claim that she could have validly reestablished her domicile in the Philippines prior
considered natural-born Filipino citizens since blood relationship is determinative of to her reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. In effect, his position was that
natural-born status.73 Tatad invoked the rule of statutory construction that what is petitioner did not meet the ten (10) year residency requirement for President.
not included is excluded. He averred that the fact that foundlings were not expressly
included in the categories of citizens in the 193 5 Constitution is indicative of the Unlike the previous COMELEC cases filed against petitioner, Contreras'
framers' intent to exclude them.74 Therefore, the burden lies on petitioner to prove petition,85 docketed as SPA No. 15-007 (DC), limited the attack to the residency issue.
that she is a natural-born citizen.75 He claimed that petitioner's 2015 COC for President should be cancelled on the
ground that she did not possess the ten-year period of residency required for said
Neither can petitioner seek refuge under international conventions or treaties to candidacy and that she made false entry in her COC when she stated that she is a
support her claim that foundlings have a nationality.76 According to Tatad, legal resident of the Philippines for ten (10) years and eleven (11) months by 9 May
international conventions and treaties are not self-executory and that local 2016.86 Contreras contended that the reckoning period for computing petitioner's
legislations are necessary in order to give effect to treaty obligations assumed by the residency in the Philippines should be from 18 July 2006, the date when her petition
Philippines.77 He also stressed that there is no standard state practice that to reacquire Philippine citizenship was approved by the BI.87 He asserted that
automatically confers natural-born status to foundlings.78 petitioner's physical presence in the country before 18 July 2006 could not be valid
evidence of reacquisition of her Philippine domicile since she was then living here as
Similar to Elamparo's argument, Tatad claimed that petitioner cannot avail of the an American citizen and as such, she was governed by the Philippine immigration
option to reacquire Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 because it only applies laws.88
to former natural-born citizens and petitioner was not as she was a foundling.79
In her defense, petitioner raised the following arguments:
Referring to petitioner's COC for Senator, Tatad concluded that she did not comply
with the ten (10) year residency requirement.80 Tatad opined that petitioner First, Tatad's petition should be dismissed outright for failure to state a cause of
acquired her domicile in Quezon City only from the time she renounced her action. His petition did not invoke grounds proper for a disqualification case as
American citizenship which was sometime in 2010 or 2011.81 Additionally, Tatad enumerated under Sections 12 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. 89 Instead,
questioned petitioner's lack of intention to abandon her U.S. domicile as evinced by Tatad completely relied on the alleged lack of residency and natural-born status of
the fact that her husband stayed thereat and her frequent trips to the U.S.82 petitioner which are not among the recognized grounds for the disqualification of a
candidate to an elective office.90

72
Second, the petitions filed against her are basically petitions for quo warranto as In a Resolution103 promulgated on 11 December 2015, the COMELEC First Division
they focus on establishing her ineligibility for the Presidency.91 A petition for quo ruled that petitioner is not a natural-born citizen, that she failed to complete the ten
warranto falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (10) year residency requirement, and that she committed material
(PET) and not the COMELEC.92 misrepresentation in her COC when she declared therein that she has been a
resident of the Philippines for a period of ten (10) years and eleven (11) months as
Third, the burden to prove that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen is on the of the day of the elections on 9 May 2016. The COMELEC First Division concluded
respondents.93 Otherwise stated, she has a presumption in her favor that she is a that she is not qualified for the elective position of President of the Republic of the
natural-born citizen of this country. Philippines. The dispositive portion of said Resolution reads:

Fourth, customary international law dictates that foundlings are entitled to a WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it
nationality and are presumed to be citizens of the country where they are hereby RESOLVES, to GRANT the Petitions and cancel the Certificate of Candidacy
found.94 Consequently, the petitioner is considered as a natural-born citizen of the of MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA POE-LLAMANZARES for the elective position
Philippines.95 of President of the Republic of the Philippines in connection with the 9 May 2016
Synchronized Local and National Elections.
Fifth, she claimed that as a natural-born citizen, she has every right to be repatriated
under R.A. No. 9225 or the right to reacquire her natural-born status.96 Moreover, Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration seeking a reversal of the COMELEC First
the official acts of the Philippine Government enjoy the presumption of regularity, Division's Resolution. On 23 December 2015, the COMELEC En Banc issued a
to wit: the issuance of the 18 July 2006 Order of the BI declaring her as natural-born Resolution denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
citizen, her appointment as MTRCB Chair and the issuance of the decree of adoption
of San Juan RTC.97 She believed that all these acts reinforced her position that she is Alarmed by the adverse rulings of the COMELEC, petitioner instituted the present
a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.98 petitions for certiorari with urgent prayer for the issuance of an ex parte temporary
restraining order/status quo ante order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. On 28
Sixth, she maintained that as early as the first quarter of 2005, she started December 2015, temporary restraining orders were issued by the Court enjoining
reestablishing her domicile of choice in the Philippines as demonstrated by her the COMELEC and its representatives from implementing the assailed COMELEC
children's resettlement and schooling in the country, purchase of a condominium Resolutions until further orders from the Court. The Court also ordered the
unit in San Juan City and the construction of their family home in Corinthian Hills.99 consolidation of the two petitions filed by petitioner in its Resolution of 12 January
2016. Thereafter, oral arguments were held in these cases.
Seventh, she insisted that she could legally reestablish her domicile of choice in the
Philippines even before she renounced her American citizenship as long as the three The Court GRANTS the petition of Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares and to
determinants for a change of domicile are complied with.100She reasoned out that ANNUL and SET ASIDE the:
there was no requirement that renunciation of foreign citizenship is a prerequisite
for the acquisition of a new domicile of choice.101 1. Resolution dated 1 December 2015 rendered through its Second
Division, in SPA No. 15-001 (DC), entitled Estrella C. Elamparo, petitioner,
Eighth, she reiterated that the period appearing in the residency portion of her COC vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares.
for Senator was a mistake made in good faith.102

73
2. Resolution dated 11 December 2015, rendered through its First Division, (2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests
in the consolidated cases SPA No. 15-002 (DC) entitled Francisco S. Tatad, relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective
petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction
respondent; SPA No. 15-007 (DC) entitled Antonio P. Contreras, petitioner, over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by
vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent; and SPA trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay
No. 15-139 (DC) entitled Amado D. Valdez, petitioner, v. Mary Grace officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent.
Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election
3. Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the Commission En Banc, contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall
upholding the 1 December 2015 Resolution of the Second Division. be final, executory, and not appealable.

4. Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the Commission En Banc, (3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions
upholding the 11 December 2015 Resolution of the First Division. affecting elections, including determination of the number and
location of polling places, appointment of election officials and
The procedure and the conclusions from which the questioned Resolutions inspectors, and registration of voters.
emanated are tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction. The petitioner is a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE for President in the 9 May (4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law
2016 National Elections. enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government,
including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive
The issue before the COMELEC is whether or not the COC of petitioner should be purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible
denied due course or cancelled "on the exclusive ground" that she made in the elections.
certificate a false material representation. The exclusivity of the ground should
hedge in the discretion of the COMELEC and restrain it from going into the issue of (5) Register, after sufficient publication, political parties,
the qualifications of the candidate for the position, if, as in this case, such issue is yet organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other
undecided or undetermined by the proper authority. The COMELEC cannot itself, in requirements, must present their platform or program of
the same cancellation case, decide the qualification or lack thereof of the candidate. government; and accredit citizens' arms of the Commission on
Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not be
We rely, first of all, on the Constitution of our Republic, particularly its provisions in registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through
Article IX, C, Section 2: violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to
this Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign
Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and government shall likewise be refused registration.
functions:
Financial contributions from foreign governments and their
(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or
conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and candidates related to elections constitute interference in
recall. national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional

74
ground for the cancellation of their registration with the organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein.
Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
prescribed by law.
or of the last paragraph of Article VII, Section 4 which provides that:
(6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative,
petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests
and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-
laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose.
offenses, and malpractices.
The tribunals which have jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of the
(7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize President, the Vice-President, Senators and the Members of the House of
election spending, including limitation of places where Representatives was made clear by the Constitution. There is no such provision for
propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and candidates for these positions.
penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and
nuisance candidacies. Can the COMELEC be such judge?

(8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or The opinion of Justice Vicente V. Mendoza in Romualdez-Marcos v. Commission on
employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other Elections,104 which was affirmatively cited in the En Banc decision in Fermin v.
disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience COMELEC105 is our guide. The citation in Fermin reads:
to its directive, order, or decision.
Apparently realizing the lack of an authorized proceeding for declaring the
(9) Submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive ineligibility of candidates, the COMELEC amended its rules on February 15, 1993 so
report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, as to provide in Rule 25 § 1, the following:
referendum, or recall.
Grounds for disqualification. - Any candidate who does not
Not any one of the enumerated powers approximate the exactitude of the provisions possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by
of Article VI, Section 17 of the same basic law stating that: the Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act
declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be
The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral disqualified from continuing as a candidate.
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each The lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be
Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom supplied by a mere rule. Such an act is equivalent to the creation of a cause of action
shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief which is a substantive matter which the COMELEC, in the exercise of its rule-making
Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House power under Art. IX, A, §6 of the Constitution, cannot do it. It is noteworthy that the
of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis Constitution withholds from the COMELEC even the power to decide cases involving
of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or

75
the right to vote, which essentially involves an inquiry into qualifications based acts for which his disqualification is being sought. That is why it is provided that if
on age, residence and citizenship of voters. [Art. IX, C, §2(3)] the grounds for disqualification are established, a candidate will not be voted for; if
he has been voted for, the votes in his favor will not be counted; and if for some
The assimilation in Rule 25 of the COMELEC rules of grounds for ineligibility into reason he has been voted for and he has won, either he will not be proclaimed or his
grounds for disqualification is contrary to the evident intention of the law. For not proclamation will be set aside.
only in their grounds but also in their consequences are proceedings for
"disqualification" different from those for a declaration of "ineligibility." Second is the fact that the determination of a candidates' eligibility, e.g., his
"Disqualification" proceedings, as already stated, are based on grounds specified in citizenship or, as in this case, his domicile, may take a long time to make, extending
§ 12 and §68 of the Omnibus Election Code and in §40 of the Local Government Code beyond the beginning of the term of the office. This is amply demonstrated in the
and are for the purpose of barring an individual from becoming a candidate or from companion case (G.R. No. 120265, Agapito A. Aquino v. COMELEC) where the
continuing as a candidate for public office. In a word, their purpose is to eliminate a determination of Aquino's residence was still pending in the COMELEC even after the
candidate from the race either from the start or during its progress. "Ineligibility," on elections of May 8, 1995. This is contrary to the summary character proceedings
the other hand, refers to the lack of the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution relating to certificates of candidacy. That is why the law makes the receipt of
or the statutes for holding public office and the purpose of the proceedings for certificates of candidacy a ministerial duty of the COMELEC and its officers. The law
declaration of ineligibility is to remove the incumbent from office. is satisfied if candidates state in their certificates of candidacy that they are eligible
for the position which they seek to fill, leaving the determination of their
Consequently, that an individual possesses the qualifications for a public office does qualifications to be made after the election and only in the event they are elected.
not imply that he is not disqualified from becoming a candidate or continuing as a Only in cases involving charges of false representations made in certificates of
candidate for a public office and vice versa. We have this sort of dichotomy in our candidacy is the COMELEC given jurisdiction.
Naturalization Law. (C.A. No. 473) That an alien has the qualifications prescribed in
§2 of the Law does not imply that he does not suffer from any of [the] Third is the policy underlying the prohibition against pre-proclamation cases in
disqualifications provided in §4. elections for President, Vice President, Senators and members of the House of
Representatives. (R.A. No. 7166, § 15) The purpose is to preserve the prerogatives of
Before we get derailed by the distinction as to grounds and the consequences of the the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and the other Tribunals as "sole
respective proceedings, the importance of the opinion is in its statement that "the judges" under the Constitution of the election, returns and qualifications of
lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be members of Congress of the President and Vice President, as the case may be.106
supplied by a mere rule". Justice Mendoza lectured in Romualdez-Marcos that:
To be sure, the authoritativeness of the Romualdez pronouncements as reiterated
Three reasons may be cited to explain the absence of an authorized proceeding for in Fermin, led to the amendment through COMELEC Resolution No. 9523, on 25
determining before election the qualifications of a candidate. September 2012 of its Rule 25. This, the 15 February1993 version of Rule 25, which
states that:
First is the fact that unless a candidate wins and is proclaimed elected, there is no
necessity for determining his eligibility for the office. In contrast, whether an Grounds for disqualification. -Any candidate who does not possess all the
individual should be disqualified as a candidate for acts constituting election qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or
offenses (e.g., vote buying, over spending, commission of prohibited acts) is a who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be
prejudicial question which should be determined lest he wins because of the very disqualified from continuing as a candidate.107

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was in the 2012 rendition, drastically changed to: The need for a predicate finding or final pronouncement in a proceeding under Rule
23 that deals with, as in this case, alleged false representations regarding the
Grounds. - Any candidate who, in action or protest in which he is a party, is declared candidate's citizenship and residence, forced the COMELEC to rule essentially that
by final decision of a competent court, guilty of, or found by the Commission to be since foundlings108 are not mentioned in the enumeration of citizens under the 1935
suffering from any disqualification provided by law or the Constitution. Constitution,109 they then cannot be citizens. As the COMELEC stated in oral
arguments, when petitioner admitted that she is a foundling, she said it all. This
A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate invoking grounds for a Petition to Deny to or borders on bigotry. Oddly, in an effort at tolerance, the COMELEC, after saying that
Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy or Petition to Declare a Candidate as a Nuisance it cannot rule that herein petitioner possesses blood relationship with a Filipino
Candidate, or a combination thereof, shall be summarily dismissed. citizen when "it is certain that such relationship is indemonstrable," proceeded to
say that "she now has the burden to present evidence to prove her natural filiation
Clearly, the amendment done in 2012 is an acceptance of the reality of absence of with a Filipino parent."
an authorized proceeding for determining before election the qualifications of
candidate. Such that, as presently required, to disqualify a candidate there must be The fact is that petitioner's blood relationship with a Filipino citizen is
a declaration by a final judgment of a competent court that the candidate sought to DEMONSTRABLE.
be disqualified "is guilty of or found by the Commission to be suffering from any
disqualification provided by law or the Constitution." At the outset, it must be noted that presumptions regarding paternity is neither
unknown nor unaccepted in Philippine Law. The Family Code of the Philippines has
Insofar as the qualification of a candidate is concerned, Rule 25 and Rule 23 are a whole chapter on Paternity and Filiation.110 That said, there is more than sufficient
flipsides of one to the other. Both do not allow, are not authorizations, are not evider1ce that petitioner has Filipino parents and is therefore a natural-born Filipino.
vestment of jurisdiction, for the COMELEC to determine the qualification of a Parenthetically, the burden of proof was on private respondents to show that
candidate. The facts of qualification must beforehand be established in a prior petitioner is not a Filipino citizen. The private respondents should have shown that
proceeding before an authority properly vested with jurisdiction. The prior both of petitioner's parents were aliens. Her admission that she is a foundling did
determination of qualification may be by statute, by executive order or by a not shift the burden to her because such status did not exclude the possibility that
judgment of a competent court or tribunal. her parents were Filipinos, especially as in this case where there is a high probability,
if not certainty, that her parents are Filipinos.
If a candidate cannot be disqualified without a prior finding that he or she is suffering
from a disqualification "provided by law or the Constitution," neither can the The factual issue is not who the parents of petitioner are, as their identities are
certificate of candidacy be cancelled or denied due course on grounds of false unknown, but whether such parents are Filipinos. Under Section 4, Rule 128:
representations regarding his or her qualifications, without a prior authoritative
finding that he or she is not qualified, such prior authority being the necessary Sect. 4. Relevancy, collateral matters - Evidence must have such a relation to the fact
measure by which the falsity of the representation can be found. The only exception in issue as to induce belief in its existence or no-existence. Evidence on collateral
that can be conceded are self-evident facts of unquestioned or unquestionable matters shall not be allowed, except when it tends in any reasonable degree to
veracity and judicial confessions. Such are, anyway, bases equivalent to prior establish the probability of improbability of the fact in issue.
decisions against which the falsity of representation can be determined.
The Solicitor General offered official statistics from the Philippine Statistics Authority
(PSA)111 that from 1965 to 1975, the total number of foreigners born in the

77
Philippines was 15,986 while the total number of Filipinos born in the country was 50% chance of being a Filipino and a 50% chance of being a foreigner. We need to
10,558,278. The statistical probability that any child born in the Philippines in that frame our questions properly. What are the chances that the parents of anyone born
decade is natural-born Filipino was 99.83%. For her part, petitioner presented in the Philippines would be foreigners? Almost zero. What are the chances that the
census statistics for Iloilo Province for 1960 and 1970, also from the PSA. In 1960, parents of anyone born in the Philippines would be Filipinos? 99.9%.
there were 962,532 Filipinos and 4,734 foreigners in the province; 99.62% of the
population were Filipinos. In 1970, the figures were 1,162,669 Filipinos and 5,304 According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, from 2010 to 2014, on a yearly
foreigners, or 99.55%. Also presented were figures for the child producing ages (15- average, there were 1,766,046 children born in the Philippines to Filipino parents, as
49). In 1960, there were 230,528 female Filipinos as against 730 female foreigners opposed to 1,301 children in the Philippines of foreign parents. Thus, for that sample
or 99.68%. In the same year, there were 210,349 Filipino males and 886 male aliens, period, the ratio of non-Filipino children to natural born Filipino children is 1:1357.
or 99.58%. In 1970, there were 270,299 Filipino females versus 1, 190 female aliens, This means that the statistical probability that any child born in the Philippines would
or 99.56%. That same year, there were 245,740 Filipino males as against only 1,165 be a natural born Filipino is 99.93%.
male aliens or 99.53%. COMELEC did not dispute these figures. Notably,
Commissioner Arthur Lim admitted, during the oral arguments, that at the time From 1965 to 1975, the total number of foreigners born in the Philippines is 15,986
petitioner was found in 1968, the majority of the population in Iloilo was Filipino.112 while the total number of Filipinos born in the Philippines is 15,558,278. For this
period, the ratio of non-Filipino children is 1:661. This means that the statistical
Other circumstantial evidence of the nationality of petitioner's parents are the fact probability that any child born in the Philippines on that decade would be a natural
that she was abandoned as an infant in a Roman Catholic Church in Iloilo born Filipino is 99.83%.
City.1âwphi1 She also has typical Filipino features: height, flat nasal bridge, straight
black hair, almond shaped eyes and an oval face. We can invite statisticians and social anthropologists to crunch the numbers for us,
but I am confident that the statistical probability that a child born in the Philippines
There is a disputable presumption that things have happened according to the would be a natural born Filipino will not be affected by whether or not the parents
ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life. 113 All of the foregoing are known. If at all, the likelihood that a foundling would have a Filipino parent might
evidence, that a person with typical Filipino features is abandoned in Catholic Church even be higher than 99.9%. Filipinos abandon their children out of poverty or
in a municipality where the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos perhaps, shame. We do not imagine foreigners abandoning their children here in the
such that there would be more than a 99% chance that a child born in the province Philippines thinking those infants would have better economic opportunities or
would be a Filipino, would indicate more than ample probability if not statistical believing that this country is a tropical paradise suitable for raising abandoned
certainty, that petitioner's parents are Filipinos. That probability and the evidence children. I certainly doubt whether a foreign couple has ever considered their child
on which it is based are admissible under Rule 128, Section 4 of the Revised Rules on excess baggage that is best left behind.
Evidence.
To deny full Filipino citizenship to all foundlings and render them stateless just
To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, if not the virtually impossible, as the because there may be a theoretical chance that one among the thousands of these
norm. In the words of the Solicitor General: foundlings might be the child of not just one, but two, foreigners is downright
discriminatory, irrational, and unjust. It just doesn't make any sense. Given the
Second. It is contrary to common sense because foreigners do not come to the statistical certainty - 99.9% - that any child born in the Philippines would be a natural
Philippines so they can get pregnant and leave their newborn babies behind. We do born citizen, a decision denying foundlings such status is effectively a denial of their
not face a situation where the probability is such that every foundling would have a birthright. There is no reason why this Honorable Court should use an improbable

78
hypothetical to sacrifice the fundamental political rights of an entire class of human Sr. Rafols:
beings. Your Honor, constitutional interpretation and the use of common sense are To all kinds of illegitimate children. It also includes natural children of unknown
not separate disciplines. parentage, natural or illegitimate children of unknown parents.

As a matter of law, foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. While the 1935 Sr. Montinola:
Constitution's enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no restrictive language For clarification. The gentleman said "of unknown parents." Current codes consider
which would definitely exclude foundlings either. Because of silence and ambiguity them Filipino, that is, I refer to the Spanish Code wherein all children of unknown
in the enumeration with respect to foundlings, there is a need to examine the intent parentage born in Spanish territory are considered Spaniards, because the
of the framers. In Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,114 this Court held presumption is that a child of unknown parentage is the son of a Spaniard. This
that: may be applied in the Philippines in that a child of unknown parentage born in the
Philippines is deemed to be Filipino, and there is no need ...
The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental
principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of Sr. Rafols:
the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. The There is a need, because we are relating the conditions that are [required] to be
primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter Filipino.
assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in
the adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the Sr. Montinola:
people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation But that is the interpretation of the law, therefore, there is no [more] need for
offered by the framers.115 amendment.

As pointed out by petitioner as well as the Solicitor General, the deliberations of the Sr. Rafols:
1934 Constitutional Convention show that the framers intended foundlings to be The amendment should read thus:
covered by the enumeration. The following exchange is recorded: "Natural or illegitimate of a foreign father and a Filipino mother recognized by one,
or the children of unknown parentage."
Sr. Rafols: For an amendment. I propose that after subsection 2, the following is
inserted: "The natural children of a foreign father and a Filipino mother not Sr. Briones:
recognized by the father. The amendment [should] mean children born in the Philippines of unknown
parentage.
xxxx
Sr. Rafols:
President: The son of a Filipina to a Foreigner, although this [person] does not recognize the
[We] would like to request a clarification from the proponent of the amendment. child, is not unknown.
The gentleman refers to natural children or to any kind of illegitimate children?
President:
Does the gentleman accept the amendment or not?

79
Sr. Rafols: nationality of the place where they were found, thereby making
I do not accept the amendment because the amendment would exclude the unnecessary the inclusion in the Constitution of the proposed amendment.
children of a Filipina with a foreigner who does not recognize the child. Their
parentage is not unknown and I think those of overseas Filipino mother and father This explanation was likewise the position of the Solicitor General during the 16
[whom the latter] does not recognize, should also be considered as Filipinos. February 2016 Oral Arguments:

President: We all know that the Rafols proposal was rejected. But note that what was declined
The question in order is the amendment to the amendment from the Gentleman was the proposal for a textual and explicit recognition of foundlings as Filipinos. And
from Cebu, Mr. Briones. so, the way to explain the constitutional silence is by saying that it was the view of
Montinola and Roxas which prevailed that there is no more need to expressly declare
Sr. Busion: foundlings as Filipinos.
Mr. President, don't you think it would be better to leave this matter in the hands
of the Legislature? Obviously, it doesn't matter whether Montinola's or Roxas' views were legally
correct. Framers of a constitution can constitutionalize rules based on assumptions
Sr. Roxas: that are imperfect or even wrong. They can even overturn existing rules. This is basic.
Mr. President, my humble opinion is that these cases are few and far in between, What matters here is that Montinola and Roxas were able to convince their
that the constitution need [not] refer to them. By international law the principle colleagues in the convention that there is no more need to expressly declare
that children or people born in a country of unknown parents are citizens in this foundlings as Filipinos because they are already impliedly so recognized.
nation is recognized, and it is not necessary to include a provision on the subject
exhaustively.116 In other words, the constitutional silence is fully explained in terms of linguistic
efficiency and the avoidance of redundancy. The policy is clear: it is to recognize
Though the Rafols amendment was not carried out, it was not because there was foundlings, as a class, as Filipinos under Art. IV, Section 1 (3) of the 1935 Constitution.
any objection to the notion that persons of "unknown parentage" are not citizens This inclusive policy is carried over into the 1973 and 1987 Constitution. It is
but only because their number was not enough to merit specific mention. Such was appropriate to invoke a famous scholar as he was paraphrased by Chief Justice
the account,117 cited by petitioner, of delegate and constitution law author Jose Fernando: the constitution is not silently silent, it is silently vocal. 118
Aruego who said:
The Solicitor General makes the further point that the framers "worked to create a
During the debates on this provision, Delegate Rafols presented an just and humane society," that "they were reasonable patriots and that it would be
amendment to include as Filipino citizens the illegitimate children with a unfair to impute upon them a discriminatory intent against foundlings." He exhorts
foreign father of a mother who was a citizen of the Philippines, and also that, given the grave implications of the argument that foundlings are not natural-
foundlings; but this amendment was defeated primarily because the born Filipinos, the Court must search the records of the 1935, 1973 and 1987
Convention believed that the cases, being too few to warrant the inclusion Constitutions "for an express intention to deny foundlings the status of Filipinos. The
of a provision in the Constitution to apply to them, should be governed by burden is on those who wish to use the constitution to discriminate against
statutory legislation. Moreover, it was believed that the rules of foundlings to show that the constitution really intended to take this path to the dark
international law were already clear to the effect that illegitimate children side and inflict this across the board marginalization."
followed the citizenship of the mother, and that foundlings followed the

80
We find no such intent or language permitting discrimination against foundlings. On entitled "An Act Establishing the Rules and Policies on the Adoption of Filipino
the contrary, all three Constitutions guarantee the basic right to equal protection of Children and For Other Purposes" (otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act
the laws. All exhort the State to render social justice. Of special consideration are of 1998) and this Court's A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC or the "Rule on Adoption," all expressly
several provisions in the present charter: Article II, Section 11 which provides that refer to "Filipino children" and include foundlings as among Filipino children who
the "State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for may be adopted.
human rights," Article XIII, Section 1 which mandates Congress to "give highest
priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the It has been argued that the process to determine that the child is a foundling leading
people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities x x x" to the issuance of a foundling certificate under these laws and the issuance of said
and Article XV, Section 3 which requires the State to defend the "right of children to certificate are acts to acquire or perfect Philippine citizenship which make the
assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms foundling a naturalized Filipino at best. This is erroneous. Under Article IV, Section 2
of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their "Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth
development." Certainly, these provisions contradict an intent to discriminate without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship."
against foundlings on account of their unfortunate status. In the first place, "having to perform an act" means that the act must be personally
done by the citizen. In this instance, the determination of foundling status is done
Domestic laws on adoption also support the principle that foundlings are Filipinos. not by the child but by the authorities.121 Secondly, the object of the process is the
These laws do not provide that adoption confers citizenship upon the adoptee. determination of the whereabouts of the parents, not the citizenship of the child.
Rather, the adoptee must be a Filipino in the first place to be adopted. The most Lastly, the process is certainly not analogous to naturalization proceedings to acquire
basic of such laws is Article 15 of the Civil Code which provides that "[l]aws relating Philippine citizenship, or the election of such citizenship by one born of an alien
to family rights, duties, status, conditions, legal capacity of persons are binding on father and a Filipino mother under the 1935 Constitution, which is an act to perfect
citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad." Adoption deals with status, it.
and a Philippine adoption court will have jurisdiction only if the adoptee is a Filipino.
In Ellis and Ellis v. Republic,119 a child left by an unidentified mother was sought to be In this instance, such issue is moot because there is no dispute that petitioner is a
adopted by aliens. This Court said: foundling, as evidenced by a Foundling Certificate issued in her favor.122 The Decree
of Adoption issued on 13 May 1974, which approved petitioner's adoption by Jesusa
In this connection, it should be noted that this is a proceedings in rem, which no Sonora Poe and Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, expressly refers to Emiliano and his wife,
court may entertain unless it has jurisdiction, not only over the subject matter of the Rosario Militar, as her "foundling parents," hence effectively affirming petitioner's
case and over the parties, but also over the res, which is the personal status of Baby status as a foundling.123
Rose as well as that of petitioners herein. Our Civil Code (Art. 15) adheres to the
theory that jurisdiction over the status of a natural person is determined by the Foundlings are likewise citizens under international law. Under the 1987
latter's nationality. Pursuant to this theory, we have jurisdiction over the status of Constitution, an international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law
Baby Rose, she being a citizen of the Philippines, but not over the status of the either by transformation or incorporation. The transformation method requires that
petitioners, who are foreigners.120 (Underlining supplied) an international law be transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional
mechanism such as local legislation.124 On the other hand, generally accepted
Recent legislation is more direct. R.A. No. 8043 entitled "An Act Establishing the Rules principles of international law, by virtue of the incorporation clause of the
to Govern the Inter-Country Adoption of Filipino Children and For Other Purposes" Constitution, form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive from treaty
(otherwise known as the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995"), R.A. No. 8552, obligations. Generally accepted principles of international law include international

81
custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law, and general principles of 2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with
law recognized by civilized nations.125 International customary rules are accepted as their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments
binding as a result from the combination of two elements: the established, in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States; and a psychological
element known as the opinionjuris sive necessitates (opinion as to law or necessity). In 1986, the country also ratified the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and
Implicit in the latter element is a belief that the practice in question is rendered Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 24 thereof provide for the right of every child "to
obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it.126 "General principles of law acquire a nationality:"
recognized by civilized nations" are principles "established by a process of reasoning"
or judicial logic, based on principles which are "basic to legal systems Article 24
generally,"127 such as "general principles of equity, i.e., the general principles of
fairness and justice," and the "general principle against discrimination" which is 1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language,
embodied in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right, to such measures of
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention Against and the State.
Discrimination in Education, the Convention (No. 111) Concerning Discrimination in
Respect of Employment and Occupation."128 These are the same core principles
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
which underlie the Philippine Constitution itself, as embodied in the due process and
equal protection clauses of the Bill of Rights.129
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR") has been interpreted by this Court
The common thread of the UDHR, UNCRC and ICCPR is to obligate the Philippines to
as part of the generally accepted principles of international law and binding on the
grant nationality from birth and ensure that no child is stateless. This grant of
State.130 Article 15 thereof states:
nationality must be at the time of birth, and it cannot be accomplished by the
application of our present naturalization laws, Commonwealth Act No. 473, as
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
amended, and R.A. No. 9139, both of which require the applicant to be at least
eighteen (18) years old.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right
to change his nationality.
The principles found in two conventions, while yet unratified by the Philippines, are
generally accepted principles of international law. The first is Article 14 of the 1930
The Philippines has also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws
(UNCRC). Article 7 of the UNCRC imposes the following obligations on our country: under which a foundling is presumed to have the "nationality of the country of birth,"
to wit:
Article 7

1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from
birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to
know and be cared for by his or her parents.

82
Article 14 Another case where the number of ratifying countries was not determinative
is Mijares v. Ranada, 134 where only four countries had "either ratified or acceded
A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of to"135 the 1966 "Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign
birth. If the child's parentage is established, its nationality shall be determined by the Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters" when the case was decided in 2005. The
rules applicable in cases where the parentage is known. Court also pointed out that that nine member countries of the European Common
Market had acceded to the Judgments Convention. The Court also cited U.S. laws
A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the and jurisprudence on recognition of foreign judgments. In all, only the practices of
territory of the State in which it was found. (Underlining supplied) fourteen countries were considered and yet, there was pronouncement that
recognition of foreign judgments was widespread practice.
The second is the principle that a foundling is presumed born of citizens of the
country where he is found, contained in Article 2 of the 1961 United Nations Our approach in Razon and Mijares effectively takes into account the fact that
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness: "generally accepted principles of international law" are based not only on
international custom, but also on "general principles of law recognized by civilized
Article 2 nations," as the phrase is understood in Article 38.1 paragraph (c) of the ICJ Statute.
Justice, fairness, equity and the policy against discrimination, which are fundamental
principles underlying the Bill of Rights and which are "basic to legal systems
A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof
generally,"136 support the notion that the right against enforced disappearances and
to the contrary, be considered to have been born within the territory of parents
the recognition of foreign judgments, were correctly considered as "generally
possessing the nationality of that State.
accepted principles of international law" under the incorporation clause.

That the Philippines is not a party to the 1930 Hague Convention nor to the 1961
Petitioner's evidence137 shows that at least sixty countries in Asia, North and South
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness does not mean that their principles
America, and Europe have passed legislation recognizing foundlings as its citizen.
are not binding. While the Philippines is not a party to the 1930 Hague Convention,
Forty-two (42) of those countries follow the jus sanguinis regime. Of the sixty, only
it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 15(1)
thirty-three (33) are parties to the 1961 Convention on Statelessness; twenty-six (26)
ofwhich131effectively affirms Article 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention. Article 2 of
are not signatories to the Convention. Also, the Chief Justice, at the 2 February 2016
the 1961 "United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness" merely
Oral Arguments pointed out that in 166 out of 189 countries surveyed (or 87.83%),
"gives effect" to Article 15(1) of the UDHR.132 In Razon v. Tagitis, 133 this Court noted
foundlings are recognized as citizens. These circumstances, including the practice
that the Philippines had not signed or ratified the "International Convention for the
of jus sanguinis countries, show that it is a generally accepted principle of
Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance." Yet, we ruled that the
international law to presume foundlings as having been born of nationals of the
proscription against enforced disappearances in the said convention was
country in which the foundling is found.
nonetheless binding as a "generally accepted principle of international law." Razon
v. Tagitis is likewise notable for declaring the ban as a generally accepted principle
of international law although the convention had been ratified by only sixteen states Current legislation reveals the adherence of the Philippines to this generally
and had not even come into force and which needed the ratification of a minimum accepted principle of international law. In particular, R.A. No. 8552, R.A. No. 8042
of twenty states. Additionally, as petitioner points out, the Court was content with and this Court's Rules on Adoption, expressly refer to "Filipino children." In all of
the practice of international and regional state organs, regional state practice in Latin them, foundlings are among the Filipino children who could be adopted. Likewise, it
America, and State Practice in the United States. has been pointed that the DFA issues passports to foundlings. Passports are by law,

83
issued only to citizens. This shows that even the executive department, acting Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means
through the DFA, considers foundlings as Philippine citizens. that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status
as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born
Adopting these legal principles from the 1930 Hague Convention and the 1961 citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former
Convention on Statelessness is rational and reasonable and consistent with the jus status as a natural-born Filipino.
sanguinis regime in our Constitution. The presumption of natural-born citizenship of
foundlings stems from the presumption that their parents are nationals of the R.A. No. 9225 is a repatriation statute and has been described as such in several
Philippines. As the empirical data provided by the PSA show, that presumption is at cases. They include Sobejana-Condon v. COMELEC141 where we described it as an
more than 99% and is a virtual certainty. "abbreviated repatriation process that restores one's Filipino citizenship x x x." Also
included is Parreno v. Commission on Audit,142 which cited Tabasa v. Court of
In sum, all of the international law conventions and instruments on the matter of Appeals,143where we said that "[t]he repatriation of the former Filipino will allow him
nationality of foundlings were designed to address the plight of a defenseless class to recover his natural-born citizenship. Parreno v. Commission on Audit144 is
which suffers from a misfortune not of their own making. We cannot be restrictive categorical that "if petitioner reacquires his Filipino citizenship (under R.A. No. 9225),
as to their application if we are a country which calls itself civilized and a member of he will ... recover his natural-born citizenship."
the community of nations. The Solicitor General's warning in his opening statement
is relevant: The COMELEC construed the phrase "from birth" in the definition of natural citizens
as implying "that natural-born citizenship must begin at birth and remain
.... the total effect of those documents is to signify to this Honorable Court that those uninterrupted and continuous from birth." R.A. No. 9225 was obviously passed in
treaties and conventions were drafted because the world community is concerned line with Congress' sole prerogative to determine how citizenship may be lost or
that the situation of foundlings renders them legally invisible. It would be tragically reacquired. Congress saw it fit to decree that natural-born citizenship may be
ironic if this Honorable Court ended up using the international instruments which reacquired even if it had been once lost. It is not for the COMELEC to disagree with
seek to protect and uplift foundlings a tool to deny them political status or to accord the Congress' determination.
them second-class citizenship.138
More importantly, COMELEC's position that natural-born status must be continuous
The COMELEC also ruled139
that petitioner's repatriation in July 2006 under the was already rejected in Bengson III v. HRET145 where the phrase "from birth" was
provisions of R.A. No. 9225 did not result in the reacquisition of natural-born clarified to mean at the time of birth: "A person who at the time of his birth, is a
citizenship. The COMELEC reasoned that since the applicant must perform an act, citizen of a particular country, is a natural-born citizen thereof." Neither is
what is reacquired is not "natural-born" citizenship but only plain "Philippine "repatriation" an act to "acquire or perfect" one's citizenship. In Bengson III v.
citizenship." HRET, this Court pointed out that there are only two types of citizens under the 1987
Constitution: natural-born citizen and naturalized, and that there is no third category
The COMELEC's rule arrogantly disregards consistent jurisprudence on the matter of for repatriated citizens:
repatriation statutes in general and of R.A. No. 9225 in particular.
It is apparent from the enumeration of who are citizens under the present
In the seminal case of Bengson Ill v. HRET, 140 repatriation was explained as follows: Constitution that there are only two classes of citizens: (1) those who are natural-
born and (2) those who are naturalized in accordance with law. A citizen who is not
a naturalized Filipino, ie., did not have to undergo the process of naturalization to

84
obtain Philippine citizenship, necessarily is a natural-born Filipino. Noteworthy is the other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept
absence in said enumeration of a separate category for persons who, after losing strictly confidential."151 The law therefore allows petitioner to state that her
Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The reason therefor is clear: as to adoptive parents were her birth parents as that was what would be stated in her
such persons, they would either be natural-born or naturalized depending on the birth certificate anyway. And given the policy of strict confidentiality of adoption
reasons for the loss of their citizenship and the mode prescribed by the applicable records, petitioner was not obligated to disclose that she was an adoptee.
law for the reacquisition thereof. As respondent Cruz was not required by law to go
through naturalization proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is Clearly, to avoid a direct ruling on the qualifications of petitioner, which it cannot
perforce a natural-born Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary make in the same case for cancellation of COC, it resorted to opinionatedness which
qualifications to be elected as member of the House of Representatives.146 is, moreover, erroneous. The whole process undertaken by COMELEC is wrapped in
grave abuse of discretion.
The COMELEC cannot reverse a judicial precedent. That is reserved to this Court. And
while we may always revisit a doctrine, a new rule reversing standing doctrine cannot On Residence
be retroactively applied. In Morales v. Court of Appeals and Jejomar Erwin S. Binay,
Jr.,147 where we decreed reversed the condonation doctrine, we cautioned that it The tainted process was repeated in disposing of the issue of whether or not
"should be prospective in application for the reason that judicial decisions applying petitioner committed false material representation when she stated in her COC that
or interpreting the laws of the Constitution, until reversed, shall form part of the she has before and until 9 May 2016 been a resident of the Philippines for ten (10)
legal system of the Philippines." This Court also said that "while the future may years and eleven (11) months.
ultimately uncover a doctrine's error, it should be, as a general rule, recognized as
good law prior to its abandonment. Consequently, the people's reliance thereupon Petitioner's claim that she will have been a resident for ten (10) years and eleven
should be respected."148 (11) months on the day before the 2016 elections, is true.

Lastly, it was repeatedly pointed out during the oral arguments that petitioner The Constitution requires presidential candidates to have ten (10) years' residence
committed a falsehood when she put in the spaces for "born to" in her application in the Philippines before the day of the elections. Since the forthcoming elections
for repatriation under R.A. No. 9225 the names of her adoptive parents, and this will be held on 9 May 2016, petitioner must have been a resident of the Philippines
misled the BI to presume that she was a natural-born Filipino. It has been contended prior to 9 May 2016 for ten (10) years. In answer to the requested information of
that the data required were the names of her biological parents which are precisely "Period of Residence in the Philippines up to the day before May 09, 2016," she put
unknown. in "10 years 11 months" which according to her pleadings in these cases corresponds
to a beginning date of 25 May 2005 when she returned for good from the U.S.
This position disregards one important fact - petitioner was legally adopted. One of
the effects of adoption is "to sever all legal ties between the biological parents and When petitioner immigrated to the U.S. in 1991, she lost her original domicile, which
the adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the is the Philippines. There are three requisites to acquire a new domicile: 1. Residence
adoptee."149 Under R.A. No. 8552, petitioner was also entitled to an amended birth or bodily presence in a new locality; 2. an intention to remain there; and 3. an
certificate "attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the child of the adopter(s)" and intention to abandon the old domicile.152 To successfully effect a change of domicile,
which certificate "shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue."150 That one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona
law also requires that "[a]ll records, books, and papers relating to the adoption cases fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new
in the files of the court, the Department [of Social Welfare and Development], or any one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. In other words, there must

85
basically be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to petitioner on the basis of the position that the earliest date that petitioner could
remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the have started residence in the Philippines was in July 2006 when her application under
change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for R.A. No. 9225 was approved by the BI. In this regard, COMELEC relied on Coquilla v.
the new domicile must be actual.153 COMELEC,155 Japzon v. COMELEC156 and Caballero v. COMELEC. 157 During the oral
arguments, the private respondents also added Reyes v. COMELEC.158 Respondents
Petitioner presented voluminous evidence showing that she and her family contend that these cases decree that the stay of an alien former Filipino cannot be
abandoned their U.S. domicile and relocated to the Philippines for good. These counted until he/she obtains a permanent resident visa or reacquires Philippine
evidence include petitioner's former U.S. passport showing her arrival on 24 May citizenship, a visa-free entry under a balikbayan stamp being insufficient. Since
2005 and her return to the Philippines every time she travelled abroad; e-mail petitioner was still an American (without any resident visa) until her reacquisition of
correspondences starting in March 2005 to September 2006 with a freight company citizenship under R.A. No. 9225, her stay from 24 May 2005 to 7 July 2006 cannot be
to arrange for the shipment of their household items weighing about 28,000 pounds counted.
to the Philippines; e-mail with the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry inquiring how
to ship their dog to the Philippines; school records of her children showing But as the petitioner pointed out, the facts in these four cases are very different from
enrollment in Philippine schools starting June 2005 and for succeeding years; tax her situation. In Coquilla v. COMELEC,159 the only evidence presented was a
identification card for petitioner issued on July 2005; titles for condominium and community tax certificate secured by the candidate and his declaration that he
parking slot issued in February 2006 and their corresponding tax declarations issued would be running in the elections. Japzon v. COMELEC160 did not involve a candidate
in April 2006; receipts dated 23 February 2005 from the Salvation Army in the U.S. who wanted to count residence prior to his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.
acknowledging donation of items from petitioner's family; March 2006 e-mail to the With the Court decreeing that residence is distinct from citizenship, the issue there
U.S. Postal Service confirming request for change of address; final statement from was whether the candidate's acts after reacquisition sufficed to establish residence.
the First American Title Insurance Company showing sale of their U.S. home on 27 In Caballero v. COMELEC, 161 the candidate admitted that his place of work was
April 2006; 12 July 2011 filled-up questionnaire submitted to the U.S. Embassy where abroad and that he only visited during his frequent vacations. In Reyes v.
petitioner indicated that she had been a Philippine resident since May 2005; affidavit COMELEC,162 the candidate was found to be an American citizen who had not even
from Jesusa Sonora Poe (attesting to the return of petitioner on 24 May 2005 and reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 or had renounced her U.S.
that she and her family stayed with affiant until the condominium was purchased); citizenship. She was disqualified on the citizenship issue. On residence, the only
and Affidavit from petitioner's husband (confirming that the spouses jointly decided proof she offered was a seven-month stint as provincial officer. The COMELEC,
to relocate to the Philippines in 2005 and that he stayed behind in the U.S. only to quoted with approval by this Court, said that "such fact alone is not sufficient to
finish some work and to sell the family home). prove her one-year residency."

The foregoing evidence were undisputed and the facts were even listed by the It is obvious that because of the sparse evidence on residence in the four cases cited
COMELEC, particularly in its Resolution in the Tatad, Contreras and Valdez cases. by the respondents, the Court had no choice but to hold that residence could be
counted only from acquisition of a permanent resident visa or from reacquisition of
However, the COMELEC refused to consider that petitioner's domicile had been Philippine citizenship. In contrast, the evidence of petitioner is overwhelming and
timely changed as of 24 May 2005. At the oral arguments, COMELEC Commissioner taken together leads to no other conclusion that she decided to permanently
Arthur Lim conceded the presence of the first two requisites, namely, physical abandon her U.S. residence (selling the house, taking the children from U.S. schools,
presence and animus manendi, but maintained there was no animus non- getting quotes from the freight company, notifying the U.S. Post Office of the
revertendi.154 The COMELEC disregarded the import of all the evidence presented by abandonment of their address in the U.S., donating excess items to the Salvation

86
Army, her husband resigning from U.S. employment right after selling the U.S. house) different. Surely, the issue of residence has been decided particularly on the facts-
and permanently relocate to the Philippines and actually re-established her of-the case basis.
residence here on 24 May 2005 (securing T.I.N, enrolling her children in Philippine
schools, buying property here, constructing a residence here, returning to the To avoid the logical conclusion pointed out by the evidence of residence of
Philippines after all trips abroad, her husband getting employed here). Indeed, petitioner, the COMELEC ruled that petitioner's claim of residence of ten (10) years
coupled with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her and eleven (11) months by 9 May 2016 in her 2015 COC was false because she put
family's actual continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear that when six ( 6) years and six ( 6) months as "period of residence before May 13, 2013" in her
petitioner returned on 24 May 2005 it was for good. 2012 COC for Senator. Thus, according to the COMELEC, she started being a
Philippine resident only in November 2006. In doing so, the COMELEC automatically
In this connection, the COMELEC also took it against petitioner that she had entered assumed as true the statement in the 2012 COC and the 2015 COC as false.
the Philippines visa-free as a balikbayan. A closer look at R.A. No. 6768 as amended,
otherwise known as the "An Act Instituting a Balikbayan Program," shows that there As explained by petitioner in her verified pleadings, she misunderstood the date
is no overriding intent to treat balikbayans as temporary visitors who must leave required in the 2013 COC as the period of residence as of the day she submitted that
after one year. Included in the law is a former Filipino who has been naturalized COC in 2012. She said that she reckoned residency from April-May 2006 which was
abroad and "comes or returns to the Philippines." 163 The law institutes the period when the U.S. house was sold and her husband returned to the
a balikbayan program "providing the opportunity to avail of the necessary training Philippines. In that regard, she was advised by her lawyers in 2015 that residence
to enable the balikbayan to become economically self-reliant members of society could be counted from 25 May 2005.
upon their return to the country"164in line with the government's "reintegration
program."165 Obviously, balikbayans are not ordinary transients. Petitioner's explanation that she misunderstood the query in 2012 (period of
residence before 13 May 2013) as inquiring about residence as of the time she
Given the law's express policy to facilitate the return of a balikbayan and help him submitted the COC, is bolstered by the change which the COMELEC itself introduced
reintegrate into society, it would be an unduly harsh conclusion to say in absolute in the 2015 COC which is now "period of residence in the Philippines up to the day
terms that the balikbayan must leave after one year. That visa-free period is before May 09, 2016." The COMELEC would not have revised the query if it did not
obviously granted him to allow him to re-establish his life and reintegrate himself acknowledge that the first version was vague.
into the community before he attends to the necessary formal and legal
requirements of repatriation. And that is exactly what petitioner did - she That petitioner could have reckoned residence from a date earlier than the sale of
reestablished life here by enrolling her children and buying property while awaiting her U.S. house and the return of her husband is plausible given the evidence that she
the return of her husband and then applying for repatriation shortly thereafter. had returned a year before. Such evidence, to repeat, would include her passport
and the school records of her children.
No case similar to petitioner's, where the former Filipino's evidence of change in
domicile is extensive and overwhelming, has as yet been decided by the Court. It was grave abuse of discretion for the COMELEC to treat the 2012 COC as a binding
Petitioner's evidence of residence is unprecedented. There is no judicial precedent and conclusive admission against petitioner. It could be given in evidence against
that comes close to the facts of residence of petitioner. There is no indication her, yes, but it was by no means conclusive. There is precedent after all where a
in Coquilla v. COMELEC,166 and the other cases cited by the respondents that the candidate's mistake as to period of residence made in a COC was overcome by
Court intended to have its rulings there apply to a situation where the facts are evidence. In Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC,167 the candidate mistakenly put seven
(7) months as her period of residence where the required period was a minimum of

87
one year. We said that "[i]t is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of Therefore, when petitioner accomplished her COC for President on 15 October 2015,
candidacy which ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has she could not be said to have been attempting to hide her erroneous statement in her
satisfied the constitutions residency qualification requirement." The COMELEC ought 2012 COC for Senator which was expressly mentioned in her Verified Answer.
to have looked at the evidence presented and see if petitioner was telling the truth
that she was in the Philippines from 24 May 2005. Had the COMELEC done its duty, The facts now, if not stretched to distortion, do not show or even hint at an intention
it would have seen that the 2012 COC and the 2015 COC both correctly stated to hide the 2012 statement and have it covered by the 2015 representation.
the pertinent period of residency. Petitioner, moreover, has on her side this Court's pronouncement that:

The COMELEC, by its own admission, disregarded the evidence that petitioner Concededly, a candidate's disqualification to run for public office does not
actually and physically returned here on 24 May 2005 not because it was false, but necessarily constitute material misrepresentation which is the sole ground for
only because COMELEC took the position that domicile could be established only denying due course to, and for the cancellation of, a COC. Further, as already
from petitioner's repatriation under R.A. No. 9225 in July 2006. However, it does not discussed, the candidate's misrepresentation in his COC must not only refer to a
take away the fact that in reality, petitioner had returned from the U.S. and was here material fact (eligibility and qualifications for elective office), but should evince a
to stay permanently, on 24 May 2005. When she claimed to have been a resident for deliberate intent to mislead, misinform or hide a fact which would otherwise render
ten (10) years and eleven (11) months, she could do so in good faith. a candidate ineligible. It must be made with an intention to deceive the electorate
as to one's qualifications to run for public office.168
For another, it could not be said that petitioner was attempting to hide anything. As
already stated, a petition for quo warranto had been filed against her with the SET In sum, the COMELEC, with the same posture of infallibilism, virtually ignored a good
as early as August 2015. The event from which the COMELEC pegged the number of evidenced dates all of which can evince animus manendi to the
commencement of residence, petitioner's repatriation in July 2006 under R.A. No. Philippines and animus non revertedi to the United States of America. The veracity
9225, was an established fact to repeat, for purposes of her senatorial candidacy. of the events of coming and staying home was as much as dismissed as
inconsequential, the focus having been fixed at the petitioner's "sworn declaration
Notably, on the statement of residence of six (6) years and six (6) months in the 2012 in her COC for Senator" which the COMELEC said "amounts to a declaration and
COC, petitioner recounted that this was first brought up in the media on 2 June 2015 therefore an admission that her residence in the Philippines only commence
by Rep. Tobias Tiangco of the United Nationalist Alliance. Petitioner appears to have sometime in November 2006"; such that "based on this declaration, [petitioner] fails
answered the issue immediately, also in the press. Respondents have not disputed to meet the residency requirement for President." This conclusion, as already shown,
petitioner's evidence on this point. From that time therefore when Rep. Tiangco ignores the standing jurisprudence that it is the fact of residence, not the statement
discussed it in the media, the stated period of residence in the 2012 COC and the of the person that determines residence for purposes of compliance with the
circumstances that surrounded the statement were already matters of public record constitutional requirement of residency for election as President. It ignores the easily
and were not hidden. researched matter that cases on questions of residency have been decided favorably
for the candidate on the basis of facts of residence far less in number, weight and
Petitioner likewise proved that the 2012 COC was also brought up in the SET petition substance than that presented by petitioner.169 It ignores, above all else, what we
for quo warranto. Her Verified Answer, which was filed on 1 September 2015, consider as a primary reason why petitioner cannot be bound by her declaration in
admitted that she made a mistake in the 2012 COC when she put in six ( 6) years and her COC for Senator which declaration was not even considered by the SET as an
six ( 6) months as she misunderstood the question and could have truthfully issue against her eligibility for Senator. When petitioner made the declaration in her
indicated a longer period. Her answer in the SET case was a matter of public record. COC for Senator that she has been a resident for a period of six (6) years and six (6)

88
months counted up to the 13 May 2013 Elections, she naturally had as reference the The family home in the US was sole on 27 April 2006.
residency requirements for election as Senator which was satisfied by her declared
years of residence. It was uncontested during the oral arguments before us that at In April 2006, [petitioner's] husband resigned from his work in the US. He returned
the time the declaration for Senator was made, petitioner did not have as yet any to the Philippines on 4 May 2006 and began working for a Philippine company in July
intention to vie for the Presidency in 2016 and that the general public was never 2006.
made aware by petitioner, by word or action, that she would run for President in
2016. Presidential candidacy has a length-of-residence different from that of a In early 2006, [petitioner] and her husband acquired a vacant lot in Corinthian Hills,
senatorial candidacy. There are facts of residence other than that which was where they eventually built their family home.170
mentioned in the COC for Senator. Such other facts of residence have never been
proven to be false, and these, to repeat include: In light of all these, it was arbitrary for the COMELEC to satisfy its intention to let the
case fall under the exclusive ground of false representation, to consider no other
[Petitioner] returned to the Philippines on 24 May 2005. (petitioner's] husband date than that mentioned by petitioner in her COC for Senator.
however stayed in the USA to finish pending projects and arrange the sale of their
family home. All put together, in the matter of the citizenship and residence of petitioner for her
candidacy as President of the Republic, the questioned Resolutions of the COMELEC
Meanwhile [petitioner] and her children lived with her mother in San Juan City. in Division and En Banc are, one and all, deadly diseased with grave abuse of
[Petitioner] enrolled Brian in Beacon School in Taguig City in 2005 and Hanna in discretion from root to fruits.
Assumption College in Makati City in 2005. Anika was enrolled in Learning
Connection in San Juan in 2007, when she was already old enough to go to school. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Resolutions, to wit:

In the second half of 2005, [petitioner] and her husband acquired Unit 7F of One 1. dated 1 December 2015 rendered through the COMELEC Second Division, in SPA
Wilson Place Condominium in San Juan. [Petitioner] and her family lived in Unit 7F No. 15-001 (DC), entitled Estrella C. Elamparo, petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad
until the construction of their family home in Corinthian Hills was completed. Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent, stating that:

Sometime in the second half of 2005, [petitioner's] mother discovered that her [T]he Certificate of Candidacy for President of the Republic of the Philippines in the
former lawyer who handled [petitioner's] adoption in 1974 failed to secure from the May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections filed by respondent Mary Grace Natividad
Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo a new Certificate of Live Birth indicating Sonora Poe-Llamanzares is hereby GRANTED.
[petitioner's] new name and stating that her parents are "Ronald Allan K. Poe" and
"Jesusa L. Sonora."
2. dated 11 December 2015, rendered through the COMELEC First Division, in the
consolidated cases SPA No. 15-002 (DC) entitled Francisco S. Tatad, petitioner, vs.
In February 2006, [petitioner] travelled briefly to the US in order to supervise the Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent; SPA No. 15-007 (DC)
disposal of some of the family's remaining household entitled Antonio P. Contreras, petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-
belongings.1a\^/phi1 [Petitioner] returned to the Philippines on 11 March 2006. Llamanzares, respondent; and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) entitled Amado D. Valdez,
petitioner, v. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent; stating
In late March 2006, [petitioner's] husband informed the United States Postal Service that:
of the family's abandonment of their address in the US.

89
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby
RESOLVES, to GRANT the petitions and cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of MARY
GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA POE-LLAMANZARES for the elective position of
President of the Republic of the Philippines in connection with the 9 May 2016
Synchronized Local and National Elections.

3. dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC En Banc, upholding the 1 December


2015 Resolution of the Second Division stating that:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby


RESOLVES, to DENY the Verified Motion for Reconsideration of SENATOR MARY
GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA POE-LLAMANZARES. The Resolution dated 11 December
2015 of the Commission First Division is AFFIRMED.

4. dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC En Banc, upholding the 11 December


2015 Resolution of the First Division.

are hereby ANNULED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA
POE-LLAMANZARES is DECLARED QUALIFIED to be a candidate for President in the
National and Local Elections of 9 May 2016.

SO ORDERED.

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