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G.R. No. 161434: MARIA JEANETTE TECSON & FELIX DESIDERIO, JR.

, ISSUES & RATIO:


petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RONALD 1. WON the SC has jurisdiction over these cases.
ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.) and a. With regards to Fornier’s case, the SC has jurisdiction. Under Sec. 52 of the
VICTORINO X. FORNIER, respondents Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC shall have exclusive charge of the
G.R. No. 161634: ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ, petitioner, vs. RONALD ALLAN enforcement & administration of all laws related to elections to ensure its free,
KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.), respondent orderly & honest implementation. Art. 69 of the Code states that any
G.R. No. 161824: VICTORINO X. FORNIER, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON interested party can file a verified petition to deny/cancel a nuisance
ELECTIONS and RONALD ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. candidate’s certificate of candidacy. Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65 of the
FERNANDO POE, JR.), respondents Revised Rules of Civil Procedure and Sec. 7, Art. IX of the 1987 Consti state
[all cases were decided on March 3, 2004] that any decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC, including on
disqualification cases may be reviewed by and brought to the SC on certiorari
SUBSTANTIVE FACTS: w/in 30 days from receipt of copy. Sec. 1, Art. VIII of the Consti also vests the
 May 17, 1915 – Allan Poe, FPJ’s dad, born to Español father, Lorenzo, and judiciary w/the power to determine WON there has been grave abuse of
Español mother, Marta Reyes. discretion amounting to lack/excess of jurisdiction on part of any government
 July 5, 1936 – alleged marriage of Allan Poe & Paulita Gomez branch/instrumentality.
 Aug. 20, 1939 – FPJ was born b. With regards to Velez & Tecson’s case, the SC has no jurisdiction. Art. VII,
 Sept. 16, 1940 – marriage of Bessie Kelley, 21 and American citizen and Allan Sec. 4, Par. 7 of the Consti states that the SC en banc shall be the sole judge
Poe, 25 & Filipino. of all contests relating to election, returns & qualifications of President or VP &
 Sept. 11, 1954 – Lorenzo Poe/Pou, grandfather of and earliest established direct may promulgate rules for the purpose. This provision contemplates that the
ascendant of FPJ, died at 84. SC will sit as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) w/c will handle contests
PROCEDURAL FACTS: in a post-election scenario. Rules of the PET promulgated by the SC supports
 Dec. 31, 2003 – FPJ filed certificate of candidacy for position of President of the this by stating that a contest is initiated by filing a protest or petition quo
RP under Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino Party where he declared that he warranto against the President or the VP (Rule 13) and that only registered
was born on Aug. 20, 1939 in Manila & is a natural-born citizen of the RP candidate for Pres or VP who received 2nd or 3rd highest no. of votes may
 Jan. 9, 2004 – Fornier initiated a petition w/the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ contest the election of the Pres or VP (Rule 14). This does not include cases
claiming that his parents were both foreigners, mom Bessie Kelley Poe was an directly brought before the SC questioning the qualifications of Pres or VP
American and dad Allan F. Poe was Spanish being the son of a Spanish subj. candidates. Both cases are dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
Even if his dad were Filipino, Fornier claims that FPJ would still be an American 2. WON FPJ is a natural born Filipino.
citizen since as an illegitimate child, he should follow his mother’s citizenship. He
claims that FPJ’s illegitimate because Allan Poe’s marriage to Paulita Gomez a. The decision traced the history of the concept of citizenship. It was traced to
was still subsisting when he married Bessie Kelley and even if such marriage Aristotle in 384 – 322 B.C. It’s meaning evolved from a man who shared in
were not bigamous, Kelley & Poe were only married one year after FPJ was the administration of justice & in the holding of office to one who would both
born. He presented documentary evidence such as copies of FPJ and Allan govern & be governed. It later on included rights, entitlements, obligations &
Poe’s birth certificates, an affidavit by Gomez re filing a case for bigamy & participation in the public life. It also evolved from civil (rights) to political
concubinage against Allan Poe, & certification that the National Archives had no (participation in exercise of political power) to social (economic & social
info re residence of Lorenzo Poe and birth of Allan Poe. security). Currently, we are geared towards internationalization of citizenship.
 FPJ presented 22 documentary evidence such as certification that no info re birth b. It then traced the history of laws on citizenship in the country. Spaniards had
of Allan Poe in the registry of births in Pangasinan, certification that no info laws on citizenship, however, only 3 of these laws were extended to the RP.
available re Poe & Gomez’ marriage, FPJ’s birth certificate, Certificate of Titles & Spanish CC enumerated Spanish citizens as persons born in Spanish
Tax Declarations in the name of Lorenzo Poe & his death certificate, and territory, children of Spanish father/mother, naturalized foreigners & domiciled
marriage certificate of Bessie Kelley & Allan Poe. inhabitants of any town of the monarchy. Treaty of Paris provided that the
 Jan. 23, 2004 – COMELEC dismissed the case for lack of merit. Fornier filed civil & political status of the inhabitants of the territories ceded to the US will
MFR, denied. be determined by the US Congress. Inhabitants were given the choice to
 Feb. 10, 2004 – Fornier brought the case to the SC by virtue of Rule 64, Revised preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain or renounce it & adopt the
Rules of Court praying for a TRO, writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin nationality of the territory where they reside. Filipinos then did not become US
finality/execution of COMELEC resolutions. His petition was consolidated w/ citizens but were afforded US protection. The Philippine Bill of
Tecson & Velez’ cases. Both Tecson & Velez assail the COMELEC’s jurisdiction 1902/Philippine Organic Act of 1902 defined citizens of the PI as those
claiming that under Art. VII, Sec. 4, Par. 7 of the 1987 Consti, only SC has Spanish subjects on Apr. 11, 1899 and any Philippine inhabitant who 1) is
exclusive & original jurisdiction to resolve the case. native-born, 2) is a native of Peninsular Spain, 3) obtained Spanish papers on
or before April 11, 1891, excluding those who chose to preserve their
allegiance to the Spanish crown. For children born between April 11, 1899 to can be proven by open & continuous possession of status as legitimate or
July 1, 1902 when no citizenship law was in force, the principle of jus other means allowed by Rules of Court & special laws. Action may be brought
soli/principle of territoriality was applied. March 23, 1912 amendment to the by child during his/her lifetime. Same provisions apply to establish illegitimate
Philippine Bill of 1902 authorized the Philippine Legislature to come up with filiation. FC provisions should be applied retroactively. Currently, we can see
rules that will govern natives who were not covered by the Bill’s provisions. the attempt to differentiate citizenship in political law from civil status provided
Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916/Jones Law restated the Philippine Bill’s in civil law. Little, if any, evidence show that civil status would also affect one’s
provisions along with the amendments thereto. It also defined a native-born political rights. Civil law governs the family & property relations. Citizenship in
inhabitant as a citizen of the Phil. as of Apr. 11, 1899 if he/she was: 1) a civil law are limited to applicability of RP laws on family rights, status,
subject of Spain on Apr. 11, 1899, 2) a Philippine resident on said date & 3) condition, legal capacity and succession. It is biased against illegitimacy,
since that date, not a citizen of some other country. perhap due to monarchial set-up of Spain then. Such discrimination should
c. 1935 Consti removed doubts as to whether the jus soli principle would still remain in civil law & should not encroach upon the domain of political law.
apply. It adopted jus sanguinis/blood relationship as basis of Filipino Thus, proof of filiation should be independent from civil law purposes. Sec. 39,
citizenship. Sec. 1, Art. III defined citizens as: 1) citizens of PI at time of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provide that a declaration about the
adoption of Consti, 2) those born in the PI of foreign parents elected to public pedigree/lineage of a person may be admissible evidence if 1) declarant is
office in the PI, 3) those whose fathers are citizens of the PI, 4) those whose dead/unable to testify 2) pedigree of a person must be at issue 3) declarant is
mothers are PI citizens & they choose to elect Phil. citizenship upon reaching a relative of the person who’s pedigree is questioned 4) declaration must be
age of majority. It also provided that Filipinas lose their citizenship & acquire made before the controversy has occurred and 5) relationship of declarant &
that of their foreign husbands w/c incapacitated them from transmitting their person who’s pedigree is questioned must be shown by evidence aside from
Filipino citizenship to their legitimate children. Illegitimate children were act/declaration. Ruby Kelley Mangahas’ (Bessie Kelley’s sister) declaration
required to elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching age of majority. might be accepted as proof that Allan Poe recognized his paternal relationship
d. 1973 Consti, Sec. 1, Art. III defined citizens as : 1) Phil. citizens at the time of with FPJ. She declared that Allan lived w/ Bessie & their children in one house
the adoption of the Consti, 2) those whose fathers/mothers are Phil. citizens, as one family. (They also mentioned DNA testing, saying that it can be used to
3) those who elect Phil. citizenship pursuant to 1935 Consti, 4) those prove filiation or paternity. But they didn’t say anything about its connection to
naturalized in accordance w/law. Filipinas who marry aliens still retain their the case.)
citizenship unless they renounce such. i. Fornier presented cases w/c according to him were precedents to this case.
e. 1987 Consti, Sec. 1, Art. IV defined citizens as: 1) Phil. citizens at the time of All cases were debunked by amicus curiae Joaquin Bernas & affirmed by
the adoption of the Consti, 2) those whose fathers/mothers are Phil. citizens, other amici curiae former Justice Mendoza, Prof. Balane & Dean Magallona.
3) those born before Jan. 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers who elect Philippine Cases did not involve jus sanguinis and illegitimate children.
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, and 4) naturalized in j. AND THE ONLY IMPORTANT PART: Making distinctions between illegitimate
accordance w/law. & legitimate children and between the illegitimate children of Filipino fathers
f. Sec. 2, Art. VII of the 1987 Consti states that no person may be elected Pres. and illegitimate children of Filipino mothers violate the equal protection clause
Unless he is a natural-born Phil. citizen. Natural born is defined as those of the Constitution. To disqualify an illegitimate child from holding an important
citizens of the Phil. from birth w/o having to perform any act to acquire/perfect public office is to punish him/her for the indiscretion of his/her parents. When
their Phil. citizenship. the law provided that the illegitimate child will take the citizenship of his/her
g. Marriage certificate of Kelley & Poe and FPJ’s birth certificate are admissible mother, it was done to help the child & not to prejudice/discriminate against
evidence being public documents. Lorenzo Poe was born sometime in 1870 him. The 1935 Constitution stated expressly that children whose fathers are
while RP was under Spain. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it Filipino citizens will be considered as citizens of the Philippines without
will be assumed that his place of residence was his place of residence at the making any distinction as to whether these children should be legitimate or
time of his death, which was in San Carlos, Pangasinan. Thus, it will also be illegitimate. Thus, whether legitimate or illegitimate, FPJ may be considered
assumed that he benefited in the en masse Filipinization under Phil Bill of as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
1902. Presumption would be that he passed on his Filipino citizenship to his HOLDING: All cases dismissed. Tecson & Velez for lack of jurisdiction and Fornier’s
son & later on to his grandson. for failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of COMELEC. No proof either
h. Spanish CC: requires acknowledgment of filiation or paternity by judicial of material misrepresentation by FPJ in his certificate of candidacy.
(compulsory done during the lifetime of putative parent) or voluntary (record of
birth, will or public document) means. No proof of acknowledgment by Allan DAVIDE, SEPARATE OPINION
Poe was shown whether voluntary or judicial. 1950 CC added additional He concurs with the way the issue on jurisdiction was resolved. On the issue of
means of acknowledgment which is legal (acknowledgment of an illegitimate citizenship, he states that for purposes of citizenship of an illegitimate child of Filipino
child’s full blood brothers/sisters). FC provides that filiation of legitimate father & alien mother, proof of paternity/filiation is enough for child to follow father’s
children is established by a record of birth or pub document or private
handwritten instrument signed by parent concerned. In the absence of such, it
citizenship. Fornier admitted Allan Poe’s paternity by only attacking illegitimacy of FPJ created by legal fiction. Adoption, though it grants the child the rights & duties of a
and not questioning WON Allan Poe is FPJ’s real father. legitimate child, does not include acquisition of the nationality of the adopter. This
doctrine was in force in Oct. 1958 & such has not been changed in the 1973 & 1987
CARPIO, DISSENTING OPINION Constis. Carpio believes that this doctrine is passé and should be abandoned. No
On the issue of jurisdiction, Carpio claims that COMELEC has jurisdiction to need to distinguish between legitimate & illegitimate to uphold equal protection clause
determine initially qualifications of candidates pursuant to Sec. 2, Art. IX-C of the of Consti. BUT abandoning such doctrine does not mean that an illegitimate child of
Consti. Any citizen of voting age or any registered political party, org or coalition of Filipino father & alien mother automatically becomes a Philippine citizen at birth.
parties may file petition to disqualify a candidate on grounds specified. COMELEC in Again, at birth means he acquires such at the time of his/her birth & nothing should be
its decision in the Fornier case failed to state factual basis of its ruling. In effect, it was done to acquire or perfect it after birth.
allowing a candidate for President to run w/o first ascertaining WON he’s a natural-
born Philippine citizen. It acted w/grave abuse of discretion. SC can’t claim that it will FPJ is not natural-born since there’s no proof that his father acknowledged him.
only have jurisdiction in post-election contests. Waiting for an alien president to be Natural-born means that he has been a Phil citizen from birth w/o having to perform
elected would be absurd. It has to be decided before the election. any act to acquire/perfect his citizenship. Poe does not meet this requirement.
Fornier’s petition should be granted but Tecson & Velez’ should be dismissed since
Main point is that the 1935 Consti & Spanish CC were the laws in force when FPJ they’re premature there being no election contest involved.
was born. Thus these laws should govern his citizenship at birth. Subsequent
legislation cannot change his citizenship at birth. (This only means that he’s only born G.R. No. 104654: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, versus HON.
once thus, his citizenship at birth can only be determined once. It will never change. If ROSALIO DE LA ROSA, PRESIDING JUDGE OF RTC MANILA
the law says that he was not a Filipino citizen at birth then that’s it.) BRANCH 28 and JUAN FRIVALDO, respondents
G.R. No. 105715: RAUL LEE, petitioner versus COMELEC and JUAN FRIVALDO,
Opinion further claims that illegitimate children enjoy no presumption at birth of blood respondents
relation to any father unless father acknowledges the child. Thus, the mother is the G.R. No. 105735: RAUL LEE, petitioner versus COMELEC and JUAN FRIVALDO,
only legally known parent of an illegitimate child whose citizenship the child should respondents
follow. For a child to follow his father’s citizenship at birth, acknowledgment should be [ALL CASES WERE DECIDED ON JUNE 6, 1994]
made at birth. If acknowledgment comes after birth, then, child would still be
disqualified from being a Philippine citizen at birth. Acknowledgment should come in G.R. No. 104654: {petition for Certiorari to annul RTC decision re-admitting
the form of an administrative or judicial approval. Mere admission of paternity is not Fornier as Filipino citizen under Revised Naturalization Law & nullify his oath of
recognized/valid. Acknowledgment/legitimation is not retroactive to the time of child’s allegiance}
birth. Thus, citizenship only begins at the time of acknowledgment. Besides,  Sept. 20, 1991 – Frivaldo filed a petition for naturalization
legitimation only vests civil & not political rights on the child. President, along with  Oct. 7, 1991 – de la Rosa set petition for hearing on March 16, 1992 & directed
other high public officials should be natural-born. It is important that they owe their publication of such order in the OG & newspaper of general circulation for 3
allegiance to the Philippines from birth to assure the country that they would be loyal consecutive weeks, last of w/c should at least 6 mos. Before hearing date. Order
& faithful. Burden of proof lies with the person who claims to be a Filipino citizen. FPJ should also be posted in the Office of the Clerk of Court.
has to prove his blood relation to his alleged Filipino father. Citizenship cannot be  Jan. 14, 1992 – Frivaldo filed a “Motion to Set Hearing Ahead of Schedule”. He
stipulated. Alleged admission of Fornier of Allan Poe’s paternity is not binding on the claims that he intended to run for public office and deadline for filing candidacy
State. will be on March 15 or day before the hearing. He requested that it be moved to
Jan. 24.
No proof that Lorenzo Poe was naturalized as a Phil. citizen & no proof either that  Jan. 24, 1992 – motion granted. Hearing set to Feb. 21, 1992. No publication of
Allan Poe was also a Filipino citizen. Anyway, their citizenships are immaterial. order.
 Feb. 21, 1992 – hearing took place. Frivaldo, as sole witness presented
The Convention on the Rights of the Child does not govern FPJ. It only applies to documentary evidence such as affidavit of publication order issued by newspaper
stateless persons and guarantees them w/right to acquire a nationality. When FPJ publishers, certificate of naturalization issued by US and certification that his
was born, he was an American citizen thus he was not stateless. Besides, his record of birth was not on file.
citizenship at birth cannot be changed by any treaty or legislation. This was signed  Feb. 27, 1992 – de la Rosa granted petition & re-admitted Frivaldo as RP citizen
half a century after he was born. by naturalization, granting him rights & privileges of natural-born RP citizens. He
also took his oath of allegiance before the Judge.
Precedent: Ching Leng vs. Galang states that an illegitimate child of a Filipino father  March 16, 1992 – Quiterio Hermo filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene &
& an alien mother follows the citizenship of the mother, even if the father to Admit MFR”. He claimed that proceedings were tainted w/jurisdictional defects
acknowledges or legally adopts the illegitimate child. According to the Court, the and prayed for new trial that will conform w/ requirements of Naturalization Law.
children referred to in the Consti only pertain to legitimate children and not those  March 18, 1992 – Sol Gen received copy of decision & appealed directly to SC
 Frivaldo claims that naturalization is the only available remedy. Repatriation is  Lee appealed to SC claiming that COMELEC acted w/grave abuse of discretion
only for army deserters/Filipinas who lost citizenship by reason of marriage to and that inclusion of Frivaldo’s name in the list of registered voters in Sta.
foreigners. Request to Congress for sponsorship of a bill allowing him to Magdalena, Sorsogon was invalid because Frivaldo was then an American
reacquire his citizenship failed too. He claims that Sol Gen didn’t object to the re- citizen. He further claims that re-admission of Frivaldo as RP citizen was not yet
scheduled hearing w/o publication. Besides, he says that public was well- conclusive since case was still on appeal. He prays for the annulment of
informed of his petition due to publicity given by media. He further claims that 2- Frivaldo’s proclamation, deletion of Frivaldo’s name in the list of gubernatorial
year waiting period before taking the oath of allegiance only serves purpose of candidates, proclamation of gov-elect based on remaining votes after Frivaldo’s
granting public the opportunity to investigate applicant’s background or oppose been excluded, issuance of TRO to enjoin Frivaldo from taking oath & assuming
such. It can be dispensed w/ because he is well-known being a freedom fighter & office & issuance of writ of mandamus to compel COMELEC to resolve
former Sorsogon governor for 6 terms. disqualification case.
ISSUE: WON Frivaldo has already reacquired his citizenship. ISSUES & RATIO:
HELD: No. Petition granted. He’s not a Filipino citizen. He’s disqualified from holding 1. WON petition was filed out of prescribed period.
office, requested to vacate office & surrender such to Vice-Gov. No. This is a petition quo warranto questioning Frivaldo’s title & seeking to
RATIO: prevent him from holding office due to alienage is not covered by 10-day period
1. He should comply w/all requirements of the Revised Naturalization Law. He can’t for appeal. Qualifications for public office are continuing throughout his tenure &
choose requirements to follow. It’s immaterial that he was a former Filipino once an official loses these qualifications, he may be removed from office.
citizen. 2. WON Lee can be proclaimed winner in the event that Frivaldo is
2. Proceedings were null & void for failure to comply w/publication & posting disqualified.
requirements. Publication should take place once a week for 3 consecutive No. Labo Jr. vs. COMELEC states that when candidate who obtained highest
weeks in the OG & newspaper of general circulation. Only after this has been number of votes is disqualified to hold office to w/c he was elected, candidate
complied w/ will the court acquire jurisdiction. who garnered 2nd highest number of votes is not entitled to be declared winner.
3. Several allegations were absent such as proof of his good moral character, Vice-governor should assume office since he’s next in line.
continuous residence in the RP for the last 10 years, ability to speak & write HOLDING: No. Petition granted. He’s not a Filipino citizen. He’s disqualified from
English & any of the principal dialects, continuous residence in the RP from date holding office, requested to vacate office & surrender such to Vice-Gov.
of filing petition until admission to Phil citizenship & filing of declaration of G.R. No. 105735: {petition for mandamus w/ prayer for TRO}
intention or justification if excused from doing so.  Petition for cancellation of Frivaldo’s certificate of candidacy and deletion of his
4. No affidavit of 2 credible persons attesting to his good moral character & no copy name in the list of registered voters on the following grounds: he is an American
of certificate of arrival to the petition. citizen, his re-admission as Filipino citizen is null & void due to infirmities, oath of
5. Irregularities: heard case ahead of scheduled hearing w/o publication of such allegiance failed to comply w/ 2-year waiting period provided for in RA No. 530,
order, heard w/in 6 mos from last publication of petition, allowed to take oath of hearing was held less than 4 mos. After last date of publication, violating rule that
allegiance before finality of judgment (which comes 30 days after Sol Gen it should be heard at least 6 mos. After last date of publication.
receives his copy of the decision & w/o opposition) and took oath w/o observing  May 13, 1992 – Raul Lee intervened urging COMELEC to decide pursuant to
the 2-year waiting period. Waiting period seeks to observe if applicant has left Sec. 78 of Omnibus Election Code w/c provides that issues on cancellation of
country, dedicated himself continuously to any lawful calling/profession, not certificates of candidacy should be decided at least 15 days before election.
convicted of any offense/violation of gov’t promulgated rules and committed acts COMELEC admits that Frivaldo has not yet reacquired citizenship but issue of
prejudicial to the interest of country or against gov’t policies. disqualification is not among grounds allowed in pre-proclamation controversy.
G.R. No. 105715: {petition for Certiorari, Mandamus w/injunction w/prayer for Petition was also filed out of time. COMELEC is excused from deciding w/in
TRO to annul COMELEC resolution w/c dismissed petition seeking to annul period provided by law for reasons beyond its control (Sec. 5, Rule 25,
proclamation of Frivaldo as Governor-Elect of Sorsogon} COMELEC Rules on Procedure)
 Lee – official gubernatorial candidate of LDP in Sorsogon whereas Frivaldo was HOLDING: Moot and academic. Discussed in the 2 other cases.
Lakas-NUCD’s candidate
 May 22, 1992 – Frivaldo was proclaimed winner
 June 1, 1992 – Lee filed petition w/COMELEC to annul Frivaldo’s proclamation
claiming that proceedings & composition of Provincial Board of Canvassers were
not in accordance w/ law and that Frivaldo was an alien whose citizenship was
being questioned & that Frivaldo was not a duly registered voter. He prayed that
votes in favor of Frivaldo be considered stray votes & he be proclaimed winner.
 June 10, 1992 – COMELEC dismissed petition for being filed out of time. Appeal
on composition/proceedings of board of canvassers should be filed w/in 3 days.