CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.

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Bengson III vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal [May 7, 2001] Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari Facts:  Constitutional requirement for members of the House of Representatives: “no person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural born citizen.” Teodoro Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in Tarlac on April 27, 1960. On November 5, 1985 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines. He took an oath of allegiance to the US and as a consequence he lost his Filipino Citizenship because under the Commonwealth Act no. 63 a Filipino may lose his citizenship by rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country. Any doubts as to his citizenship was settled by his naturalization as a US citizen on June 5, 1990. May 17, 1994 he reacquired his citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630. He was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in 1998 and his opponent was Bengson. Bengson is claiming that Cruz was not qualified to be a member of the House of Representatives. The HRET ruled in favour of Cruz and as such Bengson filed this case. has (1) not left the Philippines; (2) has dedicated himself to a lawful calling or profession; (3) has not been convicted of any offense or violation of Government promulgated rules; or (4) committed any act prejudicial to the interest of the nation or contrary to any Government announced policies. Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may reacquire it by naturalization, repatriation or by direct act of Congress. o Naturalization – mode for acquisition and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. o Repatriation – available for those who have lost their citizenship due to desertion of the armed forces, service in the armed forces of the allied forces in WWII, service in the armed forces of the US at any other time, marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien, and political and economic necessity. Process: taking an oath of allegiance to the RP and registering it in the Local Civil Registrar of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided. Repatriation would result in the recovery of the original nationality. He will be restored to his former status as a natural-born citizen. Cruz recovered his original status as a natural-born citizen because of his repatriation. 1987 Constitution only provides for 2 classes of citizens: o Natural born o Naturalized 1987 Constitution does not provide a separate category for persons who after losing Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquires it because they are either natural born or naturalized depending on the reason for the loss of their citizenship and the mode prescribed by the applicable law for reacquisition. Cruz was not required by law to go through naturalization proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce a natural-born Filipino. Republic vs. Liao [October 20, 1992] Appeal from the order of COFI of Manila Facts:  William Li Yao, a Chinese national, filed for a petition for naturalization on June 3, 1949. In the decision of the court it was held that he possesses all the qualifications necessary to become a naturalized Filipino but the decision shall not become executory until after 2 years from its promulgation when the court is satisfied that during the intervening period, the applicant has (1) not left the Philippines; (2) has dedicated himself to a lawful calling or profession; (3) has not been convicted of any offense or violation of Government promulgated rules; or (4) committed any act

  

Issue: WON Cruz, a natural born Filipino who became an American citizen, can still be considered a natural-born Filipino upon his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. Held: Yes Ratio:  1987 Constitution enumerate who are Filipino citizens: o Citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this constitution o Whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines o Those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority o Those who are naturalized in accordance with the law Two ways of acquiring Filipino citizenship o By birth – natural born citizens o Naturalization – Naturalized citizens (those who become Filipino citizens through naturalization, generally under the Commonwealth Act no. 473. To be naturalized, an applicant has to prove that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications) o Additional notes for naturalization: The decision granting Philippine citizenship becomes executory only after 2 years from its promulgation when the court is satisfied that during the intervening period, the applicant

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.doc
prejudicial to the interest of the nation or contrary to any Government announced policies. November 20, 1952 – prayed for the execution of the decision of the court and the court allowed him to take his oath of allegiance as Filipino. January 5, 1968 – Solicitor General filed a motion to cancel the certificate of naturalization of Yao on the ground that it was fraudulently and illegally obtained. Lower court cancelled his certificate of naturalization on the basis that he evaded payment of taxes due to the government by underdeclaration of his income. Yao filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied. Jaunuary 7, 1972 - filed a notice of appeal to the SC. After both parties filed their briefs Li Yao died but the case is not moot because its disposition would have grave implications for the wife and children of Li Yao G.R. No. 161634: ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ, petitioner, vs. RONALD ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.), respondent G.R. No. 161824: VICTORINO X. FORNIER, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RONALD ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.), respondents [all cases were decided on March 3, 2004] SUBSTANTIVE FACTS:  May 17, 1915 – Allan Poe, FPJ’s dad, born to Español father, Lorenzo, and Español mother, Marta Reyes.  July 5, 1936 – alleged marriage of Allan Poe & Paulita Gomez  Aug. 20, 1939 – FPJ was born  Sept. 16, 1940 – marriage of Bessie Kelley, 21 and American citizen and Allan Poe, 25 & Filipino.  Sept. 11, 1954 – Lorenzo Poe/Pou, grandfather of and earliest established direct ascendant of FPJ, died at 84. PROCEDURAL FACTS:  Dec. 31, 2003 – FPJ filed certificate of candidacy for position of President of the RP under Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino Party where he declared that he was born on Aug. 20, 1939 in Manila & is a natural-born citizen of the RP  Jan. 9, 2004 – Fornier initiated a petition w/the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ claiming that his parents were both foreigners, mom Bessie Kelley Poe was an American and dad Allan F. Poe was Spanish being the son of a Spanish subj. Even if his dad were Filipino, Fornier claims that FPJ would still be an American 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 was still subsisting when he married Bessie Kelley and even if such marriage were not bigamous, Kelley & Poe were only married one year after FPJ was born. He presented documentary evidence such as copies of FPJ and Allan Poe’s birth certificates, an affidavit by Gomez re filing a case for bigamy & concubinage against Allan Poe, & certification that the National Archives had no info re residence of Lorenzo Poe and birth of Allan Poe.  FPJ presented 22 documentary evidence such as certification that no info re birth of Allan Poe in the registry of births in Pangasinan, certification that no info available re Poe & Gomez’ marriage, FPJ’s birth certificate, Certificate of Titles & Tax Declarations in the name of Lorenzo Poe & his death certificate, and marriage certificate of Bessie Kelley & Allan Poe.  Jan. 23, 2004 – COMELEC dismissed the case for lack of merit. Fornier filed MFR, denied.  Feb. 10, 2004 – Fornier brought the case to the SC by virtue of Rule 64, Revised Rules of Court praying for a TRO, writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin finality/execution of COMELEC resolutions. His petition was consolidated w/ Tecson & Velez’ cases. Both Tecson & Velez assail the COMELEC’s jurisdiction claiming that under Art. VII, Sec. 4,

  

Issue: WON the cancellation of the certificate of naturalization of Li Yao made by the government through the office of the Solicitor General is valid. Held: Yes Ratio:  Based on section 18(a) of Com. Act no. 473 known as the Revised Naturalization Act, which provides that a naturalization certificate may be cancelled if it is shown that said naturalization certificate was obtained fraudulently or illegally. A naturalization proceeding is not a judicial adversary proceeding, the decision rendered therein, not constituting res judicata as to any matter that would support a judgement cancelling a certificate of naturalization on the ground of illegal or fraudulent procurement thereof. Lim Eng Yu vs. Republic – concealment of applicant’s income to evade payment of lawful taxes shows that his moral character is not irreproachable, thus disqualifying him for naturalization. Even if the Li Yao paid his tax liability via the tax amnesty program its legal effect would merely remove any civil, criminal or administrative liability on the part of the taxpayer, only insofar as his tax case is concerned. Tax amnesty does not have the effect of obliterating his lack of good moral character and irreproachable conduct which are grounds for denaturalization. Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced in favour of the government and against the applicant. When the applicant failed to meet the qualifications required for naturalization, the latter is not entitled to Filipino citizens.

G.R. No. 161434: MARIA JEANETTE TECSON & FELIX DESIDERIO, JR., petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RONALD ALLAN KELLY POE (a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR.) and VICTORINO X. FORNIER, respondents

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.doc
Par. 7 of the 1987 Consti, only SC has exclusive & original jurisdiction to resolve the case. ISSUES & RATIO: 1. WON the SC has jurisdiction over these cases. a. With regards to Fornier’s case, the SC has jurisdiction. Under Sec. 52 of the Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement & administration of all laws related to elections to ensure its free, orderly & honest implementation. Art. 69 of the Code states that any interested party can file a verified petition to deny/cancel a nuisance candidate’s certificate of candidacy. Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure and Sec. 7, Art. IX of the 1987 Consti state that any decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC, including on disqualification cases may be reviewed by and brought to the SC on certiorari w/in 30 days from receipt of copy. Sec. 1, Art. VIII of the Consti also vests the judiciary w/the power to determine WON there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack/excess of jurisdiction on part of any government branch/instrumentality. b. With regards to Velez & Tecson’s case, the SC has no jurisdiction. Art. VII, Sec. 4, Par. 7 of the Consti states that the SC en banc shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to election, returns & qualifications of President or VP & may promulgate rules for the purpose. This provision contemplates that the SC will sit as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) w/c will handle contests in a post-election scenario. Rules of the PET promulgated by the SC supports this by stating that a contest is initiated by filing a protest or petition quo warranto against the President or the VP (Rule 13) and that only registered candidate for Pres or VP who received 2 nd or 3rd highest no. of votes may contest the election of the Pres or VP (Rule 14). This does not include cases directly brought before the SC questioning the qualifications of Pres or VP candidates. Both cases are dismissed for want of jurisdiction. 2. WON FPJ is a natural born Filipino. a. The decision traced the history of the concept of citizenship. It was traced to Aristotle in 384 – 322 B.C. It’s meaning evolved from a man who shared in the administration of justice & in the holding of office to one who would both govern & be governed. It later on included rights, entitlements, obligations & participation in the public life. It also evolved from civil (rights) to political (participation in exercise of political power) to social (economic & social security). Currently, we are geared towards internationalization of citizenship. b. It then traced the history of laws on citizenship in the country. Spaniards had laws on citizenship, however, only 3 of these laws were extended to the RP. Spanish CC enumerated Spanish citizens as persons born in Spanish territory, children of Spanish father/mother, naturalized foreigners & domiciled inhabitants of any town of the monarchy. Treaty of Paris provided that the civil & political status of the inhabitants of the territories ceded to the US will be determined by the US Congress. Inhabitants were given the choice to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain or renounce it & adopt the nationality of the territory where they reside. Filipinos then did not become US citizens but were afforded US protection. The Philippine Bill of 1902/Philippine Organic Act of 1902 defined citizens of the PI as those Spanish subjects on Apr. 11, 1899 and any Philippine inhabitant who 1) is 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 July 1, 1902 when no citizenship law was in force, the principle of jus soli/principle of territoriality was applied. March 23, 1912 amendment to the Philippine Bill of 1902 authorized the Philippine Legislature to come up with rules that will govern natives who were not covered by the Bill’s provisions. Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916/Jones Law restated the Philippine Bill’s provisions along with the amendments thereto. It also defined a native-born inhabitant as a citizen of the Phil. as of Apr. 11, 1899 if he/she was: 1) a subject of Spain on Apr. 11, 1899, 2) a Philippine resident on said date & 3) since that date, not a citizen of some other country. 1935 Consti removed doubts as to whether the jus soli principle would still apply. It adopted jus sanguinis/blood relationship as basis of Filipino citizenship. Sec. 1, Art. III defined citizens as: 1) citizens of PI at time of adoption of Consti, 2) those born in the PI of foreign parents elected to public office in the PI, 3) those whose fathers are citizens of the PI, 4) those whose mothers are PI citizens & they choose to elect Phil. citizenship upon reaching age of majority. It also provided that Filipinas lose their citizenship & acquire that of their foreign husbands w/c incapacitated them from transmitting their Filipino citizenship to their legitimate children. Illegitimate children were required to elect Filipino citizenship upon reaching age of majority. 1973 Consti, Sec. 1, Art. III defined citizens as : 1) Phil. citizens at the time of the adoption of the Consti, 2) those whose fathers/mothers are Phil. citizens, 3) those who elect Phil. citizenship pursuant to 1935 Consti, 4) those naturalized in accordance w/law. Filipinas who marry aliens still retain their citizenship unless they renounce such. 1987 Consti, Sec. 1, Art. IV defined citizens as: 1) Phil. citizens at the time of the adoption of the Consti, 2) those whose fathers/mothers are Phil. citizens, 3) those born before Jan. 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, and 4) naturalized in accordance w/law. Sec. 2, Art. VII of the 1987 Consti states that no person may be elected Pres. Unless he is a natural-born Phil. citizen. Natural born is defined as those citizens of the Phil. from birth w/o having to perform any act to acquire/perfect their Phil. citizenship. Marriage certificate of Kelley & Poe and FPJ’s birth certificate are admissible evidence being public documents. Lorenzo Poe was born sometime in 1870 while RP was under Spain. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it will be assumed that his place of residence was his place of residence at the time of his death, which was in San Carlos, Pangasinan. Thus, it will also be assumed that he benefited in the en masse Filipinization under Phil Bill of 1902. Presumption would be that he passed on his Filipino citizenship to his son & later on to his grandson.

c.

d.

e.

f. g.

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.doc
h. Spanish CC: requires acknowledgment of filiation or paternity by judicial (compulsory done during the lifetime of putative parent) or voluntary (record of birth, will or public document) means. No proof of acknowledgment by Allan Poe was shown whether voluntary or judicial. 1950 CC added additional means of acknowledgment which is legal (acknowledgment of an illegitimate child’s full blood brothers/sisters). FC provides that filiation of legitimate 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 can be proven by open & continuous possession of status as legitimate or other means allowed by Rules of Court & special laws. Action may be brought by child during his/her lifetime. Same provisions apply to establish illegitimate filiation. FC provisions should be applied retroactively. Currently, we can see the attempt to differentiate citizenship in political law from civil status provided in civil law. Little, if any, evidence show that civil status would also affect one’s political rights. Civil law governs the family & property relations. Citizenship in civil law are limited to applicability of RP laws on family rights, status, condition, legal capacity and succession. It is biased against illegitimacy, perhap due to monarchial set-up of Spain then. Such discrimination should remain in civil law & should not encroach upon the domain of political law. Thus, proof of filiation should be independent from civil law purposes. Sec. 39, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provide that a declaration about the pedigree/lineage of a person may be admissible evidence if 1) declarant is dead/unable to testify 2) pedigree of a person must be at issue 3) declarant is a relative of the person who’s pedigree is questioned 4) declaration must be made before the controversy has occurred and 5) relationship of declarant & person who’s pedigree is questioned must be shown by evidence aside from act/declaration. Ruby Kelley Mangahas’ (Bessie Kelley’s sister) declaration might be accepted as proof that Allan Poe recognized his paternal relationship with FPJ. She declared that Allan lived w/ Bessie & their children in one house as one family. (They also mentioned DNA testing, saying that it can be used to prove filiation or paternity. But they didn’t say anything about its connection to the case.) Fornier presented cases w/c according to him were precedents to this case. All cases were debunked by amicus curiae Joaquin Bernas & affirmed by other amici curiae former Justice Mendoza, Prof. Balane & Dean Magallona. Cases did not involve jus sanguinis and illegitimate children. AND THE ONLY IMPORTANT PART: Making distinctions between illegitimate & legitimate children and between the illegitimate children of Filipino fathers and illegitimate children of Filipino mothers violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. To disqualify an illegitimate child from holding an important public office is to punish him/her for the indiscretion of his/her parents. When the law provided that the illegitimate child will take the citizenship of his/her mother, it was done to help the child & not to prejudice/discriminate against him. The 1935 Constitution stated expressly that children whose fathers are Filipino citizens will be considered as citizens of the Philippines without making any distinction as to whether these children should be legitimate or illegitimate. Thus, whether legitimate or illegitimate, FPJ may be considered as a natural-born Filipino citizen. HOLDING: All cases dismissed. Tecson & Velez for lack of jurisdiction and Fornier’s for failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of COMELEC. No proof either of material misrepresentation by FPJ in his certificate of candidacy. DAVIDE, SEPARATE OPINION He concurs with the way the issue on jurisdiction was resolved. On the issue of citizenship, he states that for purposes of citizenship of an illegitimate child of Filipino father & alien mother, proof of paternity/filiation is enough for child to follow father’s citizenship. Fornier admitted Allan Poe’s paternity by only attacking illegitimacy of FPJ and not questioning WON Allan Poe is FPJ’s real father. CARPIO, DISSENTING OPINION On the issue of jurisdiction, Carpio claims that COMELEC has jurisdiction to determine initially qualifications of candidates pursuant to Sec. 2, Art. IX-C of the Consti. Any citizen of voting age or any registered political party, org or coalition of parties may file petition to disqualify a candidate on grounds specified. COMELEC in its decision in the Fornier case failed to state factual basis of its ruling. In effect, it was 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 only have jurisdiction in post-election contests. Waiting for an alien president to be elected would be absurd. It has to be decided before the election. Main point is that the 1935 Consti & Spanish CC were the laws in force when FPJ 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 once thus, his citizenship at birth can only be determined once. It will never change. If the law says that he was not a Filipino citizen at birth then that’s it.) Opinion further claims that illegitimate children enjoy no presumption at birth of blood relation to any father unless father acknowledges the child. Thus, the mother is the only legally known parent of an illegitimate child whose citizenship the child should follow. For a child to follow his father’s citizenship at birth, acknowledgment should be 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 the form of an administrative or judicial approval. Mere admission of paternity is not recognized/valid. Acknowledgment/legitimation is not retroactive to the time of child’s birth. Thus, citizenship only begins at the time of acknowledgment. Besides, legitimation only vests civil & not political rights on the child. President, along with other high public officials should be naturalborn. It is important that they owe their allegiance to the Philippines from birth to assure the country that they would be loyal & faithful. Burden of proof lies with the person who claims to be a Filipino citizen. FPJ has to prove his blood relation to his alleged Filipino father.

i.

j.

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.doc
Citizenship cannot be stipulated. Alleged admission of Fornier of Allan Poe’s paternity is not binding on the State. No proof that Lorenzo Poe was naturalized as a Phil. citizen & no proof either that Allan Poe was also a Filipino citizen. Anyway, their citizenships are immaterial. The Convention on the Rights of the Child does not govern FPJ. It only applies to stateless persons and guarantees them w/right to acquire a nationality. When FPJ was born, he was an American citizen thus he was not stateless. Besides, his citizenship at birth cannot be changed by any treaty or legislation. This was signed half a century after he was born. Precedent: Ching Leng vs. Galang states that an illegitimate child of a Filipino father & an alien mother follows the citizenship of the mother, even if the father acknowledges or legally adopts the illegitimate child. According to the Court, the children referred to in the Consti only pertain to legitimate children and not those created by legal fiction. Adoption, though it grants the child the rights & duties of a 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 Constis. Carpio believes that this doctrine is passé and should be abandoned. No need to distinguish between legitimate & illegitimate to uphold equal protection clause of Consti. BUT abandoning such doctrine does not mean that an illegitimate child of Filipino father & alien mother automatically becomes a Philippine citizen at birth. Again, at birth means he acquires such at the time of his/her birth & nothing should be done to acquire or perfect it after birth. FPJ is not natural-born since there’s no proof that his father acknowledged him. Natural-born means that he has been a Phil citizen from birth w/o having to perform 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 they’re premature there being no election contest involved. G.R. No. 104654: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, versus HON. ROSALIO DE LA ROSA, PRESIDING JUDGE OF RTC MANILA BRANCH 28 and JUAN FRIVALDO, respondents G.R. No. 105715: RAUL LEE, petitioner versus COMELEC and JUAN FRIVALDO, respondents G.R. No. 105735: RAUL LEE, petitioner versus COMELEC and JUAN FRIVALDO, respondents [ALL CASES WERE DECIDED ON JUNE 6, 1994] G.R. No. 104654: {petition for Certiorari to annul RTC decision re-admitting Fornier as Filipino citizen under Revised Naturalization Law & nullify his oath of allegiance}  Sept. 20, 1991 – Frivaldo filed a petition for naturalization Oct. 7, 1991 – de la Rosa set petition for hearing on March 16, 1992 & directed publication of such order in the OG & newspaper of general circulation for 3 consecutive weeks, last of w/c should at least 6 mos. Before hearing date. Order should also be posted in the Office of the Clerk of Court.  Jan. 14, 1992 – Frivaldo filed a “Motion to Set Hearing Ahead of Schedule”. He claims that he intended to run for public office and deadline for filing candidacy will be on March 15 or day before the hearing. He requested that it be moved to Jan. 24.  Jan. 24, 1992 – motion granted. Hearing set to Feb. 21, 1992. No publication of order.  Feb. 21, 1992 – hearing took place. Frivaldo, as sole witness presented documentary evidence such as affidavit of publication order issued by newspaper publishers, certificate of naturalization issued by US and certification that his record of birth was not on file.  Feb. 27, 1992 – de la Rosa granted petition & re-admitted Frivaldo as RP citizen by naturalization, granting him rights & privileges of natural-born RP citizens. He also took his oath of allegiance before the Judge.  March 16, 1992 – Quiterio Hermo filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene & to Admit MFR”. He claimed that proceedings were tainted w/jurisdictional defects and prayed for new trial that will conform w/ requirements of Naturalization Law.  March 18, 1992 – Sol Gen received copy of decision & appealed directly to SC  Frivaldo claims that naturalization is the only available remedy. Repatriation is only for army deserters/Filipinas who lost citizenship by reason of marriage to foreigners. Request to Congress for sponsorship of a bill allowing him to reacquire his citizenship failed too. He claims that Sol Gen didn’t object to the re-scheduled hearing w/o publication. Besides, he says that public was well-informed of his petition due to publicity given by media. He further claims that 2-year waiting period before taking the oath of allegiance only serves purpose of granting public the opportunity to investigate applicant’s background or oppose such. It can be dispensed w/ because he is well-known being a freedom fighter & former Sorsogon governor for 6 terms. ISSUE: WON Frivaldo has already reacquired his citizenship. HELD: No. Petition granted. He’s not a Filipino citizen. He’s disqualified from holding office, requested to vacate office & surrender such to Vice-Gov. RATIO: 1. He should comply w/all requirements of the Revised Naturalization Law. He can’t choose requirements to follow. It’s immaterial that he was a former Filipino citizen. 2. Proceedings were null & void for failure to comply w/publication & posting requirements. Publication should take place once a week for 3 consecutive weeks in the OG & newspaper of general circulation. Only after this has been complied w/ will the court acquire jurisdiction. 3. Several allegations were absent such as proof of his good moral character, continuous residence in the RP for the last 10 years, ability to speak & write English & any of the principal dialects, continuous residence in the RP from date of filing petition until admission to Phil citizenship & filing of declaration of intention or justification if excused from doing so.

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I - 4689763.doc
4. No affidavit of 2 credible persons attesting to his good moral character & no copy of certificate of arrival to the petition. 5. Irregularities: heard case ahead of scheduled hearing w/o publication of such order, heard w/in 6 mos from last publication of petition, allowed to take oath of allegiance before finality of judgment (which comes 30 days after Sol Gen receives his copy of the decision & w/o opposition) and took oath w/o observing the 2-year waiting period. Waiting period seeks to observe if applicant has left country, dedicated himself continuously to any lawful calling/profession, not convicted of any offense/violation of gov’t promulgated rules and committed acts prejudicial to the interest of country or against gov’t policies. G.R. No. 105715: {petition for Certiorari, Mandamus w/injunction w/prayer for TRO to annul COMELEC resolution w/c dismissed petition seeking to annul proclamation of Frivaldo as Governor-Elect of Sorsogon}  Lee – official gubernatorial candidate of LDP in Sorsogon whereas Frivaldo was LakasNUCD’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.  Lee appealed to SC claiming that COMELEC acted w/grave abuse of discretion and that inclusion of Frivaldo’s name in the list of registered voters in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon was invalid because Frivaldo was then an American citizen. He further claims that readmission of Frivaldo as RP citizen was not yet conclusive since case was still on appeal. He prays for the annulment of Frivaldo’s proclamation, deletion of Frivaldo’s name in the list of gubernatorial candidates, proclamation of gov-elect based on remaining votes after Frivaldo’s been excluded, issuance of TRO to enjoin Frivaldo from taking oath & assuming office & issuance of writ of mandamus to compel COMELEC to resolve disqualification case. ISSUES & RATIO: 1. WON petition was filed out of prescribed period. No. This is a petition quo warranto questioning Frivaldo’s title & seeking to prevent him from holding office due to alienage is not covered by 10-day period for appeal. Qualifications for public office are continuing throughout his tenure & once an official loses these qualifications, he may be removed from office. 2. WON Lee can be proclaimed winner in the event that Frivaldo is disqualified. No. Labo Jr. vs. COMELEC states that when candidate who obtained highest number of votes is disqualified to hold office to w/c he was elected, candidate who garnered 2nd highest number of votes is not entitled to be declared winner. Vice-governor should assume office since he’s next in line. HOLDING: No. Petition granted. He’s not a Filipino citizen. He’s disqualified from holding office, requested to vacate office & surrender such to Vice-Gov. G.R. No. 105735: {petition for mandamus w/ prayer for TRO}  Petition for cancellation of Frivaldo’s certificate of candidacy and deletion of his name in the list of registered voters on the following grounds: he is an American citizen, his readmission as Filipino citizen is null & void due to infirmities, oath of allegiance failed to comply w/ 2-year waiting period provided for in RA No. 530, hearing was held less than 4 mos. After last date of publication, violating rule that it should be heard at least 6 mos. After last date of publication.  May 13, 1992 – Raul Lee intervened urging COMELEC to decide pursuant to Sec. 78 of Omnibus Election Code w/c provides that issues on cancellation of certificates of candidacy should be decided at least 15 days before election. COMELEC admits that Frivaldo has not yet reacquired citizenship but issue of disqualification is not among grounds allowed in pre-proclamation controversy. Petition was also filed out of time. COMELEC is excused from deciding w/in period provided by law for reasons beyond its control (Sec. 5, Rule 25, COMELEC Rules on Procedure) HOLDING: Moot and academic. Discussed in the 2 other cases. LEE v. REPUBLIC 366 SCRA 526 Nature: Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals Facts:  March 1936 – Carmen, Francisco, Jr., Ramon, Lourdes, Mercedes, Concepcion, Mariano, Jose, Loreto, Manuel, Rizal, and Jimmy Dinglasan sold to Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, lot 398, Capiz Cadastre, covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 3389, at the corner of Roxas Ave. and Pavia Street, Roxas City.  1948, the former owners filed with the Capiz, CFI an action against the heirs of Lee Liong for annulment of sale and recovery of land. The plaintiffs assailed the validity of the sale because of the constitutional prohibition against aliens acquiring ownership of private agriculture land, including residential, commercial or industrial land. Denied in the CFI and CA, plaintiffs appealed to the SC.

On June 27, 1956, the SC ruled the sale is null and void and can not give title to the vendee but since vendor had also violated constitutional prohibition, he is barred from recovering the title which he had voluntarily conveyed for a consideration due to pari delicto. On July 1, 1968 – the same former owners filed with the Capiz CFI an action for recovery of the same parcel of land on the ground that sale to Lee Liong was null and void for being violative of the Constitution. On September 23, 1968 – heirs of Lee Liong filed with the trial court a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of res judicata but was denied. They elevated the case to the SC

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which, on April 22, 1977, annulled the orders of the trial court and directed it to dismiss the case, holding that the suit was barred by res judicata.  On September 7, 1993, Elizabeth Manuel-Lee and Pacita Yu Lee filed with the Roxas City RTC a petition for reconstitution of title of Lot No. 398 of the Capiz Cadastre, formerly covered by Original Certificate of title No. 3389 of the Register of Deeds of Roxas City. Petitioners alleged that they were the windows of the deceased Lee Bing Hoo and Lee Bun Ting, who were the heirs of Lee Liong. Lee Liong died intestate in February 1944.  On June 30, 1947, Lee Liong's widow, Ang Chia, and his two sons, Lee Bun Ting and Lee Bing Ho, executed an extra judicial settlement of the state of Lee Liong, adjudicating to themselves the subject parcel of land. Petitioner Elizabeth Lee acquired her share in lot No. 398 through an extra-judicial settlement and donation executed in her favor by her deceased husband Lee Bong Hoo. Petitioner Pacita Yu Lee acquired her share in the same lot by succession from her deceased husband Lee Bun Ting, as evidenced by a deed of extra-judicial settlement.  On December 9, 1948, the Register of Deeds, Capiz Salvador Villaluz, issued a certification that a transfer certificate of title over the property was issued in the name of Lee Liong. However, the records of the Register of Deeds, Roxas City were burned during the war. Thus, as heretofore stated, on September 7, 1968, petitioners filed a petition for reconstitution of title.  On June 10, 1994, the Regional Trial Court, Roxas City, Branch 17, ordered the reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title in the name of Lee Liong on the basis of an approved plan and technical description.  On August 18, 1994, the Clerk of Court, Roxas City, RTC, Br. 17 issued an Entry of Judgement.  On January 25, 1995, the Solicitor General filed with the CA a petition for annulment of judgment in Reconstitution Case No. 1928, alleging that the Roxas City RTC had no jurisdiction over the case because the petitioners were not the proper parties in the reconstitution of title, since their predecessor-in-interest Lee Liong did not acquire title to the lot because he was a Chinese citizen and was constitutionally not qualified to own the subject land.  On April 30, 1996, the CA promulgated its decision declaring the judgment of reconstitution void.  On May 24, 1996, Elizabeth Manuel-Lee and Pacita Yu Lee filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the decision which was denied on February 18, 1997, hence this petition Issue: WON the heirs of Lee Liong has the qualification to own land in the Philippines. Held: Yes. Decision of the CA REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Order of reconstitution of title in Reconstitution Case No. R-1928, RTC, Roxas City set aside. Ratio   Sale of the land – consummated March 1936 1935 Constitution – aliens could not acquire private agricultural lands, save in cases of hereditary succession. Thus, Lee Liong, a chinese citizen, was disqualified to acquire the land in question. The fact that the Court did not annul the sale of the land to an alien did not validate the transaction, for it was still contrary to the constitutional proscription against aliens acquiring lands of the public or private domain. However, the proper party to assail the illegality of the transaction was not the parties to the transaction due to pari delicto. The proper party to assail the sale is the Solicitor General as was done when Solicitor General initiated an action for annulment of judgment of reconstitution of title. While it took the Republic more than sixty years to assert itself, it is not barred from initiating such action. Prescription never lies against the State. The Solicitor General may initiate an action for reversion or escheat of the land to the State, subject to other defenses, as hereafter set forth. In this case, subsequent circumstances militate against escheat proceedings because the land is now in the hands of Filipinos—Lee Liong’s heirs who are Filipino citizens, a fact the Solicitor General does not dispute. They are qualified to own land. The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the public or private domain was intended to protect lands from falling in the hands of non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no more public policy violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos qualified to acquire and own such land. The subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos may no longer be impugned on the basis of the invalidity of the initial transfer. However, because reconstitution of the original certificate of title must be based on an owner's duplicate, secondary evidence thereof, or other valid sources of the title be reconstituted and because in this case, reconstitution was based on the plan and technical description approved by the Land Registration Authority, the order of reconstitution void for lack of factual support. Any change in the ownership of the property must be the subject of a separate suit. Thus, although petitioners are in possession of the land, a separate proceedings is necessary to thresh out the issue of ownership of the land. CO v. HRET 199 SCRA 692 Nature: Petitions for certiorari to review the decision of the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives Facts:  The HRET declared that respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar for voting purposes. The sole issue before us is

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whether or not, in making that determination, the HRET acted with grave abuse of discretion. On May 11, 1987, the congressional election for the second district of Northern Samar was held where petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr where among the candidates for the position of representative in the 2nd legislative district of Northern Samar. Ong was proclaimed the duly elected representative. The petitioners filed election protests against the private respondent on the grounds that Ong is not a natural born citizen of the Philippines and is not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar. November 6, 1989 – the HRET found for the private respondent November 12, 1989 – Petitioners filed for a motion for reconsideration. February 22, 1989, HRET denied motion, hence, these petitions for certiorari.  In the case at bar, the Court finds no improvident use of power, no denial of due process on the part of the HRET which will necessitate the exercise of the power of judicial review by the Supreme Court. WON Jose Ong Jr. is a Filipino Citizen 1895, the private respondent's grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the Philippines from China and established his residence in Laoang, Samar on land which he bought from the fruits of hard work. As a resident of Laoang, Ong Te was able to obtain a certificate of residence from the then Spanish colonial administration. In 1905, Jose Ong Chuan, private respondent’s father, was born in China and brought by Ong Te to Samar in 1915. In 1932, Jose Ong Chuan married a natural born-Filipino, Agripina Lao. They had 8 children, one of whom is the private respondent, born in 1948. Jose Ong Chuan never emigrated from this country had put up a hardware store and shared and survived the vicissitudes of life in Samar. Eventually they expanded and setup in Binondo, Manila. February 15, 1954 – Jose Ong Chuan filed with the CFI Samar an application for naturalization On April 28, 1955, the CFI of Samar, after trial, declared Jose Ong Chuan a Filipino citizen. Decision was declared final and executory on May 15, 1957, and Jose Ong Chuan took his Oath of Allegiance; correspondingly, and a certificate of naturalization was issued to him. At that time, private respondent was a minor of 9 years After elementary Ong Jr. went to Manila in order to acquire his secondary and college education. He graduated from college, and thereafter took and passed the CPA Board Examinations. He looked for work in Manila and found a job in the Central Bank of the Philippines as an examiner. Later, he worked in the hardware business of his family in Manila but frequently went home to Laoang, Samar, where he grew up and spent his childhood days. Twice during those years, their house was gutted by fire but it was both times reconstructed. In 1971, his elder brother, Emil, was elected as a delegate to the 1971 Con-Con. His status as a natural born citizen was challenged. Parenthetically, the Convention which in drafting the Constitution removed the unequal treatment given to derived citizenship on the basis of the mother's citizenship formally and solemnly declared Emil Ong, as a natural born Filipino. The Con-Con had to be aware of the meaning of natural born citizenship since it was precisely amending the article on this subject. In 1984, the private respondent married a Filipina named Desiree Lim. 1984 and 1986 elections of 1984 and 1986 – he registered himself as voter of Laoang, Samar, and correspondingly, voted there during those elections.

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Issues: 1. When may the SC inquire into the acts of the HRET under its constitutional grants of power?    Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 17: the HRET and SET shall be the sole judges of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete. The use of the word sole emphasizes the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of these Tribunals. Lazatin v. HRET: “so long as the Constitution grants the HRET the power to be the sole judge of all contests relating to election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives, any final action taken by the HRET on a matter within its jurisdiction shall, as a rule, not be reviewed by this Court…the power granted to the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete and excludes the exercise of any authority on the part of this Court that would in any wise restrict it or curtail it or even affect the same." Robles v. HRET, Morrero v. Bocar and under the Constitution (Article VIII, Section 1): Judgments of the Tribunal are beyond judicial interference except in the exercise of this Court's so-called extraordinary jurisdiction upon a clear showing of a decision was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, or upon a denial of due process, or a demonstration of a very clear unmitigated error, manifestly constituting such grave abuse of discretion that there has to be a remedy for such abuse. Yet, in the exercise thereof, the Court is to merely check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the Constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view. The test remains the same-manifest grave abuse of discretion.

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 In 1987, he decided to run in the elections for representative in the 2nd district of Northern Samar where he was overwhelmingly voted by the people of Northern Samar as their representative in Congress. Constitution, Art IV Sec. 1: The following are citizens of the Philippines: 1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 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. Section 2. Natural-born Citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph 3 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens. The Court interprets Section 1(3) as applying not only to those who elect Philippine citizenship after February 2, 1987 but also to those who, having been born of Filipino mothers, elected citizenship before that date. The provision in Paragraph 3 was intended to correct an unfair position which discriminates against Filipino women as shown in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission where Mr. Rodrigo stated: The purpose of that provision is to remedy an inequitable situation. Between 1935 and 1973 when we were under the 1935 Constitution, those born of Filipino fathers but alien mothers were natural-born Filipinos. However, those born of Filipino mothers but alien fathers would have to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and if they do elect, they become Filipino citizens but not natural-born Filipino citizens. To make the provision prospective from February 3, 1987 is to give a narrow interpretation resulting in an inequitable situation. It must also be retroactive. There is no dispute that the respondent's mother was a natural born Filipina at the time of her marriage. Crucial to this case is the issue of whether or not the respondent elected or chose to be a Filipino citizen. Election becomes material because Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution accords natural born status to children born of Filipino mothers before January 17, 1973, if they elect citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. To expect the respondent to have formally or in writing elected citizenship when he came of age is to ask for the unnatural and unnecessary because he was already a citizen. Not only was his mother a natural born citizen but his father had been naturalized when the respondent was only nine (9) years old. He could not have divined when he came of age that in 1973 and 1987 the Constitution would be amended to require him to have filed a sworn statement in 1969 electing citizenship inspite of his already having been a citizen since 1957. In the case of In Re: Florencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]), the Court held that the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. Jose Ong Jr. did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in the Philippines. The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still have to elect citizenship. For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up, there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be less binding. Entering a profession open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a qualification, voting during election time, running for public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature are themselves formal manifestations of choice for these persons The petitioners question the citizenship of the father through a collateral approach. This can not be done. In our jurisdiction, an attack on a person's citizenship may only be done through a direct action for its nullity. To ask the Court to declare the grant of Philippine citizenship to Jose Ong Chuan as null and void would run against the principle of due process. Jose Ong Chuan has already been laid to rest. How can he be given a fair opportunity to defend himself. Moreover, the respondent traces his natural born citizenship through his mother, not through the citizenship of his father. The citizenship of the father is relevant only to determine WON the respondent "chose" to be a Filipino when he came of age. At that time and up to the present, both mother and father were Filipinos. Respondent Ong could not have elected any other citizenship unless he first formally renounced Philippine citizenship in favor of a foreign nationality. Unlike other persons faced with a problem of election, there was no foreign nationality of his father which he could possibly have chosen. Another reason why HRET did not commit manifest grave abuse of discretion: same issue of natural-born citizenship already been decided by the Con-Con of 1971 and by the Batasang Pambansa convened by authority of the Constitution drafted by that Convention. Emil Ong, full blood brother of the respondent, was declared and accepted as a natural born citizen by both bodies by virtue of Phil. Bill of 1902 where inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on the 11th day of April 1899 and then residing in said islands and their children born subsequent thereto were conferred the status of a Filipino citizen. And under Article 17 of the Civil Code of Spain, those without such papers, who may have acquired domicile in any town in the Monarchy were considered Spanish subjects. Ong Te falls within such provision. If Ong Te became a Spanish subject by virtue of having established his domicile in a town under the Monarchy of Spain, necessarily, Ong Te was also an inhabitant of the Philippines for an inhabitant has been defined as one who has actual fixed residence in a place; one who has a domicile in a place. Thus, Ong Te qualified as a Filipino citizen under the provisions of section 4 of the Philippine Bill of 1902. The petitioners allege that the document presented is not in compliance with the best the evidence rule. The petitioners allege that the private respondent failed to present the original of the documentary evidence, testimonial evidence and of the transcript of the proceedings of the body which the aforesaid resolution of the 1971 Constitutional Convention was predicated. But it was since the execution of the document and the

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inability to produce were adequately established, the contents of the questioned documents can be proven by a copy thereof or by the recollection of witnesses. The Constitutional Convention was the sole judge of the qualifications of Emil Ong to be a member of that body. The HRET by explicit mandate of the Constitution, is the sole judge of the qualifications of Jose Ong, Jr. to be a member of Congress. Both bodies deliberated at length on the controversies over which they were sole judges. Decisions were arrived at only after a full presentation of all relevant factors which the parties wished to present. Even assuming that we disagree with their conclusions, we cannot declare their acts as committed with grave abuse of discretion. We have to keep clear the line between error and grave abuse. WON Ong Jr. is a resident of Laoang, Samar The term "residence" has been understood as synonymous with domicile not only under the previous Constitutions but also under the 1987 Constitution. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission reveal that the meaning of residence vis-a-vis the qualifications of a candidate for Congress continues to remain the same as that of domicile. The term "domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, one intends to return. The absence of a person from said permanent residence, no matter how long, notwithstanding, it continues to be the domicile of that person. In other words, domicile is characterized by animus revertendi The domicile of origin of the private respondent, which was the domicile of his parents, is fixed at Laoang, Samar. Contrary to the petitioners' imputation, Jose Ong, Jr. never abandoned said domicile; it remained fixed therein even up to the present. Despite having gutted by fire, the old houses were reconstructed, thus, the petitioners' allegation that since the private respondent owns no property in Laoang, Samar, he cannot, therefore, be a resident of said place is misplaced. Moreover, in De los Reyes v. Solidum it is not required that a person should have a house in order to establish his residence and domicile. It is enough that he should live in the municipality or in a rented house or in that of a friend or relative. To require the private respondent to own property in order to be eligible to run for Congress would be tantamount to a property qualification. Nowhere is it required by the Constitution that the candidate should also own property in order to be qualified to run. It has also been settled that absence from residence to pursue studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter other than in the place where one is elected, does not constitute loss of residence. In order to truly revere this treasure of citizenship, we do not, on the basis of too harsh an interpretation, have to unreasonably deny it to those who qualify to share in its richness. It is time for the antiquated naturalization law to be revised to enable a more positive, affirmative, and meaningful examination of an applicant's suitability to be a Filipino. A more humane, more indubitable and less technical approach to citizenship problems is essential. Judgment: WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby DISMISSED. The questioned decision of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal is AFFIRMED. Respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is declared a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar. COQUILLA v. COMELEC 385 SCRA 607 Nature: Petition for certiorari to set aside the resolution, dated July 19, 2001, of the Second Division of the COMELEC, ordering the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of petitioner Teodulo M. Coquilla for the position of mayor of Oras, Eastern Samar in the May 14, 2001 elections and the order, dated January 30, 2002, of the COMELEC en banc denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.Special Civil Action in the SC. Certiorari Facts:  February 17, 1938 – Coquilla was born of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar. He grew up and resided there until 1965, when he joined the US Navy. He was subsequently naturalized as a U.S. citizen.  1970-1973, petitioner thrice visited the Philippines while on leave from the U.S. Navy. Otherwise, even after his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1985, he remained in the U.S.  October 15, 1998, petitioner came to the Philippines and took out a residence certificate, although he continued making several trips to the U.S. the last of which took place on July 6, 2000 and lasted until August 5, 2000.  Subsequently, petitioner applied for repatriation under R.A. No. 81715 to the Special Committee on Naturalization which was approved Nov. 7, 2000  Nov. 10, 2000 – oath-taking as Filipino citizen; issued Certificate of Repatriation No. 000737 and Bureau of Immigration Identification Certificate No. 115123 three days after  November 21, 2000 - applied for registration as a voter of Butnga, Oras, Eastern Samar. Approved by Election Registration Board on January 12, 2001.  February 27, 2001 – filed certificate of candidacy stating therein that he had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for "two (2) years."  March 5, 2001, Neil M. Alvarez—respondent, incumbent mayor of Oras and reelectionist —sought cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy on the ground that the latter had made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by stating that he had been a resident of Oras for two years when in truth he had resided therein for only about six months since November 10, 2000, when he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines.  COMELEC unable to render judgment on the case before the elections on May 14, 2001 where petitioner won over private respondent’s by 379 votes.  May 17, 2001 - petitioner proclaimed mayor of Oras by the Municipal Board of Canvassers and subsequently took his oath of office.

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 July 19, 2001, the Second Division of the COMELEC granted private respondent’s petition and ordered the cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy on the basis the respondent’s frequent or regular trips to the Philippines and stay in Oras, Eastern Samar after his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1985 cannot be added to his actual residence thereat after November 10, 2000 until May 14, 2001 to cure his deficiency in days, months, and year to allow or render him eligible to run for an elective office in the Philippines. The 1-yr residency requirement of Sec 39(a) of the Local Government Code of 1991 in relation to Secs 65 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code contemplates of the actual residence of a Filipino citizen in the constituency where he seeks to be elected. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the COMELEC en banc on January 30, 2002. Hence this petition. (5)the adverse party was not given notice thereof. Petitioner’s MFR suffers from none of these defects, and COMELEC erred in ruling that petitioner’s MFR was pro forma because the allegations raised therein are a mere "rehash" of his earlier pleadings or did not raise "new matters." Hence, the filing of the motion suspended the running of the 30-day period to file the petition in this case, which, as earlier shown, was done within the reglementary period provided by law. 2. WON COMELEC retained jurisdiction to decide this case notwithstanding the proclamation of petitioner. R.A. No. 6646, Sec 6 & 7: Candidates who are disqualified by final judgment before the election shall not be voted for and the votes cast for them shall not be counted. But those against whom no final judgment of disqualification had been rendered may be voted for and proclaimed, unless, on motion of the complainant, the COMELEC suspends their proclamation because the grounds for their disqualification or cancellation of their certificates of candidacy are strong. Meanwhile, the proceedings for disqualification of candidates or for the cancellation or denial of certificates of candidacy, which have been begun before the elections, should continue even after such elections and proclamation of the winners. In Abella v. COMELEC and Salcedo II v. COMELEC – the SC, in the first case, affirmed and, in the second, reversed the decisions of the COMELEC rendered after the proclamation of candidates, not on the ground that the latter had been divested of jurisdiction upon the candidates’ proclamation but on the merits. WON petitioner had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar at least one (1) year before the elections held on May 14, 2001 as he represented in his certificate of candidacy. No. First, §39(a) of the Local Government Code (R.A No. 7160) provides: An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least 1 year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. “Residence" is to be understood as referring to "domicile" or legal residence—the place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi). A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place where the child’s parents reside and continues until the same is abandoned by acquisition of new domicile (domicile of choice). In the case at bar, petitioner lost his domicile of origin in Oras by becoming a U.S. citizen after enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1965. From then on and until Nov. 10, ‘00, when he

Issues: 1. WON the 30-day period for appealing the resolution of the COMELEC was suspended by the filing of a motion for reconsideration by petitioner.  Private respondent contention: petition should be dismissed cause his motion for reconsideration was denied for being pro forma and did not suspend the running of the 30-day period for filing this petition, pursuant to Rule 19, §4 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, so and since the resolution was received on July 28, 2001 and the petition in this case was filed on February 11, 2002, the same should be considered as having been filed late and should be dismissed.  Petitioner’s MFR and petition for certiorari were filed within the prescribed periods. 5day period for filing MFR under Rule 19, §2 should be counted from receipt of decision, resolution, order, or ruling of COMELEC. In this case, petitioner received a copy of COMELEC’s Second Division July 19, ‘01 resolution on July 28, 2001. 5 days later, on Aug. 2, ‘01, he filed his MFR. On Feb. 6, ‘02, he received a copy of the order, dated Jan. 30, ‘02, of the COMELEC en banc denying his MFR. 5 days later, on Feb 11, 02, he filed this petition for certiorari.  Contention that petitioner’s MFR did not suspend the running of the period for filing this petition because the motion was pro forma and, thus, petition should’ve been filed on or before Aug 27, 01 is not correct. It was actually filed, however, only on February 11, 2002. The MFR was not pro forma and its filing did suspend the period for filing the petition for certiorari in this case. The mere reiteration in a motion for reconsideration of the issues raised by the parties and passed upon by the court does not make a motion pro forma; otherwise, the movant’s remedy would not be a reconsideration of the decision but a new trial or some other remedy.  In the cases where MFR was held to be pro forma, the motion was so held because (1)it was a second motion for reconsideration, or (2)it did not comply with the rule that the motion must specify the findings and conclusions alleged to be contrary to law or not supported by the evidence,or (3)it failed to substantiate the alleged errors, or (4)it merely alleged that the decision in question was contrary to law, or

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reacquired Philippine citizenship, petitioner was an alien without any right to reside in the Philippines save as our immigration laws may have allowed him to stay as a visitor or as a resident alien. If immigration to the United States by virtue of a "greencard," which entitles one to reside permanently in that country, constitutes abandonment of domicile in the Philippines (Caasi v. CA), much more does naturalization in a foreign country result in an abandonment of domicile in the Philippines, as was the case with the petitioner. Petitioner was repatriated not under R.A. No. 2630, which applies to the repatriation of those who lost their Philippine citizenship by accepting commission in the Armed Forces of the US, but under R.A. No. 8171, which provides for the repatriation of, among others, natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship on account of political or economic necessity. In any event, the fact is that, by having been naturalized abroad, he lost his Philippine citizenship and with it his residence in the Philippines and had not reacquired it until November 10, 00 Second, petitioner did not reestablished residence in this country in 1998 when he came back to prepare for the mayoralty elections of Oras by securing a Community Tax Certificate in that year and by "constantly declaring" to his townmates of his intention to seek repatriation and run for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections. The status of being an alien and a non-resident can be waived either separately, when one acquires the status of a resident alien before acquiring Philippine citizenship, or at the same time when one acquires Philippine citizenship. As an alien, an individual may obtain an immigrant visa under §13 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1948 and an Immigrant Certificate of Residence (ICR) and thus waive his status as a non-resident. On the other hand, he may acquire Philippine citizenship by naturalization under C.A. No. 473, as amended, or, if he is a former Philippine national, he may reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation or by an act of Congress, in which case he waives not only his status as an alien but also his status as a non-resident alien. In the case at bar, the only evidence of petitioner’s status when he entered the country on Oct and Dec ’98, Oct ‘99, and June ‘00 is the statement "Philippine Immigration [–] Balikbayan" in his 1998-2008 U.S. passport. As for his entry on Aug 5, ‘00, the stamp bore the added inscription "good for one year stay." Under §2 of R.A. No. 6768 (An Act Instituting a Balikbayan Program), the term balikbayan includes a former Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines and, if so, he is entitled, among others, to a "visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year" (§3(c)). It would appear then that when petitioner entered the country on the dates in question, he did so as a visa-free balikbayan visitor whose stay as such was valid for 1-yr only. Hence, petitioner can only be held to have waived his status as an alien and as a nonresident only on Nov 10, ‘00 upon taking his oath as a citizen of the Philippines under R.A. No. 8171. He lacked the requisite residency to qualify him for the mayorship of Oras Petitioner cannot invoke the ruling in the cases Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections and Bengson as residency was not an issue in these. Third, petitioner’s contends that his registration as a voter of Butnga, Oras, Eastern Samar in January 2001 is conclusive of his residency as a candidate because §117 of the Omnibus Election Code requires that a voter must have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. But, registration as a voter does not bar the filing of a subsequent case questioning a candidate’s lack of residency (Nuval v. Guray). Fourth, petitioner was not denied due process because the COMELEC failed to act on his motion to be allowed to present evidence. Under §5(d), in relation to §7, of R.A. No. 6646 (Electoral Reforms Law of 1987), proceedings for denial or cancellation of a certificate of candidacy are summary in nature. The holding of a formal hearing is thus not de rigeur. In any event, petitioner cannot claim denial of the right to be heard since he filed a Verified Answer, a Memorandum and a Manifestation, all dated March 19, 2001, before the COMELEC in which he submitted documents relied by him in this petition, which, contrary to petitioner’s claim, are complete and intact in the records. 4. WON COMELEC was justified in ordering the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy since the statement in petitioner’s certificate of candidacy that he had been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for "two years" at the time he filed such certificate is not true. Yes. Petitioner made a false representation of a material fact in his certificate of candidacy, thus rendering such certificate liable to cancellation. Sec 78 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that 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. In the case at bar, what is involved is a false statement concerning a candidate’s qualification for an office for which he filed the certificate of candidacy. This is a misrepresentation of a material fact justifying the cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy. The cancellation of petitioner’s certificate of candidacy in this case is thus fully justified.

Judgment: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the resolution of the Second Division of the Commission on Elections, dated July 19, 2001, and the order, dated January 30, 2002 of the Commission on Elections en banc are AFFIRMED.

PASCUAL, SOLIDON, SOLIVAS, VELASQUEZ

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