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SUBJECT:  TOPIC:  Date Made:  Digest Maker: 

Consti 1  Citizenship  3 September 2018  Bea, Mutch 


CASE NAME: Tecson v. Commission on Elections G.R. No. 161434 
PONENTE: Vitug, J.  Case Date: March 3, 2004 
Case Summary: 
 
 
Rule of Law/Doctrine: honestly idk man probably jus sanguini??? but u probably 
already knew that 
 
 
Detailed Facts: 
 
- Respondent  Ronald  Allan  Kelly  Poe,  more  well  known  as  Fernando  Poe  Jr,  filed 
his  certificate  of  candidacy  for  President  of  the  Philippines  on  Dec.  31,  2003, 
running  under  the  Koalisyon  ng  Nagkakaisang  Pilipino.  He  completed  the 
requirements, including his declared citizenship as a natural-born Filipino. 
 
- Victorino  Fornier petitioned to disqualify and cancel certificate of candidacy of 
FPJ  on  the  ground  of  his  not  being  a  natural  born  Filipino  citizen,  since  his 
mother  Bessie  Kelley  Poe  was American, and his father Allan Poe was a Spanish 
citizen.  Fornier  also  alleged  that  FPJ  was  an  illegitimate  child,  as  Allan  and 
Bessie  married  a  year  after  FPJ  was  born,  and  Allan  was  said  to  have  been 
married previously to Paulita Gomez.  
 
- Petitioner presented: 
FPJ  birth  certificate, Allan Poe birth certificate, affidavit from Paulita stating that 
she had filed for bigamy and concubinage 
 
- Respondent presented (22): 
National  Archives  certification  no info on Allan Poe birth, no info on marriage of 
Allan  Poe  and  Paulita  Gomez,  marriage  contract  of  Allan  Poe  and  Bessie 
Kelley, certification of birth records from 1900-1946 destroyed during WWII 
 
- COMELEC  dismissed  petition  for  lack  of  merit.  Fornier  filed  motion  for 
reconsideration,  COMELEC  denied.  Petitioner  filed  for  TRO  and  writ  of 
preliminary injunction to delay the execution.  
 
(​Case  was  then  compounded  with  Tecson  v.  Comelec  and  Velez  v.  FPJ,  all  of  a 
similar nature) 
Issue: 
WON the court has jurisdiction. ​YES 
WON FPJ is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. ​YES 
WON FPJ materially misrepresented himself as a Filipino citizen in his cerificate for 
candidacy. ​NO 
Holding: 
 
(May considerable amount of discussion about the history of citizenship in the text, 
what I will put here is just a brief summary.) 
● 18th century - civil citizenship provided rights to life, liberty, and property 
● 19th century - political citizenship provided rights to participate in exercise of 
political power 
● Spanish period - Filipinos were recorded as Spanish subjects, or indios 
● 1889 - passing of the Civil Code of Spain 
● 1898 - Spain ceded the Philippines to the USA through the treaty of Paris, no 
longer Spanish subjects, but not American citizens either 
● Philippine Organic Act of 1902  
". . . that all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands continuing to 
reside therein, who were Spanish subjects on the 11th day of April, 
1891, and then resided in said Islands, and their children born 
subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be citizens of 
the Philippine Islands…” 
● Jones Law - reiterated the same 
● 1935 Constitution - jus sanguinis adopted 
● 1973 Constitution 
● 1987 Constitution 
 
On FPJ’s citizenship 
● From the documents, the court draws five conclusions 
○ The parents of FPJ are Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley 
○ FPJ was born August 20 1939 
○ Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married on September 16, 1940 
○ The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe 
○ At the time of his death on September 11, 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 
years old 
● Death certificate of Lorenzo Poe, Marriage Certificate of Poe and Kelley, and 
FPJ’s birth certificate are prima facie evidence of their own contents 
● No evidence to the contrary to the fact that Lorenzo Poe resided in the 
Philippines during the “en masse Filipinization”. Thus, he was a Filipino, which he 
passed down to Allan F. Poe. 
● Petitioners contend that FPJ was an illegitimate child because: 
○ Allan F. Poe was married to a Paulita Gomez, thus making his marriage 
with Kelley bigamous 
■ Court ruled this as doubtful at best. 
○ FPJ was born before Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley was married 
● Illegitimacy of a child is obiter dicta in the face of legitimacy to run for public 
office. 
● The 1935 Constitution, which was in effect at the time of FPJ’s birth, stated that: 
○ The following are citizens of the Philippines — 
"(1)Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the 
adoption of this Constitution 
"(2)Those born in the Philippines Islands of foreign parents who, before the 
adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office in the 
Philippine Islands. 
"​(3)Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines​. 
"(4)Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon 
reaching the age of 
majority, elect Philippine citizenship. 
"(5)Those who are naturalized in accordance with law." 
● Thus, regardless of the illegitimacy of FPJ’s birth, he was still considered a 
Filipino. 
● There was no conclusive evidence that FPJ willfully, materially, and deliberately 
misrepresented himself as Filipino. 
 
Ruling: 
Court resolves to DISMISS the petitions. 
 
Relevant Provisions 
Art. IV Sec. 1of the 1987 Consti. 
 
The following are citizens of the Philippines: 
"(1)Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this 
Constitution. 
"(2)Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines. 
"(3)Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine 
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and 
"(4)Those who are naturalized in accordance with law." 
 
Art. VII, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Consti. 
 
"No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the 
Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on 
the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years 
immediately preceding such election." 
 
Omnibus Election Code Section 78. 
 
Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. — A 
verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of 
candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any 
material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is 
false