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Gonzales vs, COMELEC

I. No. The issue is a justiciable question. It must be noted that the power to amend as well as the power to propose amendments to
the Constitution is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress. Such powers are not constitutionally granted
to Congress. On the contrary, such powers are inherent to the people as repository of sovereignty in a republican state. That being,
when Congress makes amendments or proposes amendments, it is not actually doing so as Congress; but rather, it is sitting as
a constituent assembly. Such act is not a legislative act. Since it is not a legislative act, it is reviewable by the Supreme Court. The
Supreme Court has the final say whether or not such act of the constituent assembly is within constitutional limitations.
II. Yes. There is no prohibition to the effect that a plebiscite must only be held on a special election. SC held that there is nothing in
this provision of the [1935] Constitution to indicate that the election therein referred to is a special, not a general election. The
circumstance that the previous amendment to the Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in special elections
merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining. It does not negate its authority to
submit proposed amendments for ratification in general elections.
Note: **Justice Sanchez and Justice JBL Reyes dissented. Plebiscite should be scheduled on a special date so as to facilitate Fair
submission, intelligent consent or rejection. They should be able to compare the original proposition with the amended


HRET is a non-political body

The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution underscores the
exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the
members of the House of Representatives (Robles vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647, February 5,
1990). The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-
political body in a sea of politicians. What this Court had earlier said about the Electoral Commission applies as well to the electoral
tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Electoral tribunals are independent and impartial

The purpose of the constitutional convention creating the Electoral Commission was to provide an independent and impartial
tribunal for the determination of contests to legislative office, devoid of partisan consideration, and to transfer to that tribunal all
the powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members.
The power granted to the electoral Commission to judge contests relating to the election and qualification of members of the
National Assembly is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained in the legislature.

Electoral tribunals as sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses

The Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House were created by the Constitution as special tribunals to be the sole judge of all
contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses, and, as such, are independent bodies
which must be permitted to select their own employees, and to supervise and control them, without any legislative interference.
(Suanes vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate, 81 Phil. 818.)

To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction to hear and decide
congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the Courts.

The Electoral Commission is a body separate from and independent of the legislature and though not a power in the tripartite
scheme of government, it is to all intents and purposes, when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent organ; while
composed of a majority of members of the legislature it is a body separate from and independent of the legislature.
xxx xxx xxx

The Electoral Commission, a constitutional organ created for the specific purpose of determining contests relating to election
returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly may not be interfered with by the judiciary when and while acting
within the limits of its authority, but the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission for the purpose of
determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the commission as sole judge of all contests relating to
the election and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139.)
Can the House of Representatives compel the HRET not to promulgate its decision?
The independence of the House Electoral Tribunal so zealously guarded by the framers of our Constitution, would, however, by a
myth and its proceedings a farce if the House of Representatives, or the majority party therein, may shuffle and manipulate the
political (as distinguished from the judicial) component of the electoral tribunal, to serve the interests of the party in power.

Removal of HRET member for disloyalty to a party impairs HRET constitutional prerogative

The resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal for disloyalty to
the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista Party's candidate, Bondoc, is a clear impairment of the constitutional
prerogative of the House Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of the election contest between Pineda and Bondoc.

To sanction such interference by the House of Representatives in the work of the House Electoral Tribunal would reduce the tribunal
to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of the party in power (LDP) which the three justices of the Supreme Court and the lone NP
member would be powerless to stop. A minority party candidate may as well abandon all hope at the threshold of the tribunal.

Is disloyalty to a party a valid cause for termination of membership in the HRET?

As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must discharge their functions with complete detachment,
impartiality, and independence even independence from the political party to which they belong. Hence, "disloyalty to party" and
"breach of party discipline," are not valid grounds for the expulsion of a member of the tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura
from the HRET for having cast a conscience vote" in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and appreciation
of the ballots and the recount of the votes by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an
injustice, and a violation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and void.

HRET members enjoy security of tenure

Another reason for the nullity of the expulsion resolution of the House of Representatives is that it violates Congressman Camasura's
right to security of tenure. Members of the HRET as "sole judge" of congressional election contests, are entitled to security of tenure
just as members of the judiciary enjoy security of tenure under our Constitution (Sec. 2, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution). Therefore,
membership in the House Electoral Tribunal may not be terminated except for a just cause, such as, the expiration of the member's
congressional term of office, his death, permanent disability, resignation from the political party he represents in the tribunal,
formal affiliation with another political party, or removal for other valid cause. A member may not be expelled by the House of
Representatives for "party disloyalty" short of proof that he has formally affiliated with another political group. As the records of this
case fail to show that Congressman Camasura has become a registered member of another political party, his expulsion from the
LDP and from the HRET was not for a valid cause, hence, it violated his right to security of tenure.


Angara vs. electoral commission
That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is the power and
duty to see that no one branch or agency of the government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of all authority.
That the Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional creation with specific powers and functions to execute and perform,
closer for purposes of classification to the legislative than to any of the other two departments of the government.
That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the
National Assembly.
Mirasol vs. CA

Jurisprudence has laid down the following requisites for the exercise of this power: First, there must be before the Court an actual
case calling for the exercise of judicial review. Second, the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. Third, the person
challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge. Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been raised
at the earliest opportunity, and lastly, the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.


Under this doctrine, if a law or contract violates any norm of the Constitution, that law or contract, whether
promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private
purposes, is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental,
paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. (Manila Prince
Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, Feb. 3 , 1997)

Justice Isagani A. Cruz eloquently expound the essence of this great doctrine in this wise:
The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all
persons, including the highest officials of the land , must defer. No act shall be valid, however nobly
intentioned, if it conflicts with the Constitution. The Constitution must ever remain supreme. All must bow to
the mandate of this law. Expediency must not be allowed to sap its strength nor greed for power debase its
rectitude. Right or wrong, the Constitution must be upheld as long as it has not been changed by the sovereign
people lest its disregard result in the usurpation of the majesty of the law by the pretenders to illegitimate

Magallona vs. ermita
In March 2009, Republic Act 9522, an act defining the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines was enacted the law is also known
as the Baselines Law. This law was meant to comply with the terms of the third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS III), ratified by the Philippines in February 1984.
Professor Merlin Magallona et al questioned the validity of RA 9522 as they contend, among others, that the law decreased the
national territory of the Philippines hence the law is unconstitutional. Some of their particular arguments are as follows:
a. the law abandoned the demarcation set by the Treaty of Paris and other ancillary treaties this also resulted to the exclusion of
our claim over Sabah;
b. the law, as well as UNCLOS itself, describes the Philippine waters as archipelagic waters which, in international law, opens our
waters landward of the baselines to maritime passage by all vessels (innocent passage) and aircrafts (overflight), undermining
Philippine sovereignty and national security, contravening the countrys nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine resources, in
violation of relevant constitutional provisions;
c. the classification of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), as well as the Scarborough Shoal (bajo de masinloc), as a regime of islands
pursuant to UNCLOS results in the loss of a large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen.
ISSUE: Whether or not the contentions of Magallona et al are tenable.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court emphasized that RA 9522, or UNCLOS, itself is not a means to acquire, or lose, territory. The treaty
and the baseline law has nothing to do with the acquisition, enlargement, or diminution of the Philippine territory. What controls
when it comes to acquisition or loss of territory is the international law principle on occupation, accretion, cession and prescription
and NOT the execution of multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treatys
terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves.
The law did not decrease the demarcation of our territory. In fact it increased it. Under the old law amended by RA 9522 (RA 3046),
we adhered with the rectangular lines enclosing the Philippines. The area that it covered was 440,994 square nautical miles (sq. na.
mi.). But under 9522, and with the inclusion of the exclusive economic zone, the extent of our maritime was increased to 586,210 sq.
na. mi. (See image below for comparison)
If any, the baselines law is a notice to the international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within
which States parties exercise treaty-based rights.

Anent their particular contentions:

a. The law did not abandon the Sabah claim. This is evident on the provision of Section 2 of RA 9522:
Section 2. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago as provided in this Act is without prejudice
to the delineation of the baselines of the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the
Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty.
b. UNCLOS may term our waters as archipelagic waters and that we may term it as our internal waters, but the bottom line is
that our country exercises sovereignty over these waters and UNCLOS itself recognizes that. However, due to our observance of
international law, we allow the exercise of others of their right of innocent passage. No modern State can validly invoke its
sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with customary international law without risking
retaliatory measures from the international community.
c. The classification of the KIG (or the Spratlys), as well as the Scarborough Shoal, as a regime of islands did not diminish our
maritime area. Under UNCLOS and under the baselines law, since they are regimes of islands, they generate their own maritime
zones in short, they are not to be enclosed within the baselines of the main archipelago (which is the Philippine Island group). This
is because if we do that, then we will be enclosing a larger area which would already depart from the provisions of UNCLOS that
the demarcation should follow the natural contour of the archipelago.
Nevertheless, we still continue to lay claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal through effective occupation.
Under UNCLOS and the baselines law, we have three levels of maritime zones where we exercise treaty-based rights:
a. territorial waters 12 nautical miles from the baselines; where we exercise sovereignty
b. contiguous zone 24 nautical miles from the baselines; jurisdiction where we can enforce customs, fiscal, immigration, and
sanitation laws (CFIS).
c. exclusive economic zone 200 nautical miles from the baselines; where we have the right to exploit the living and non-living
resources in the exclusive economic zone
Note: a fourth zone may be added which is the continental shelf this is covered by Article 77 of the UNCLOS.


Posted by kaye lee on 9:43 PM

G.R. No. 183591 October 14 2008

Province of North Cotabato vs Government of the Republic of the Philippines

On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled
to sign a Memorandum of Agreement of the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP - MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia.
Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, the petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish
them the complete and official copies of the MA-AD and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD and the holding of public
consultation thereon. They also pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. The Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from
signing the same.

1. Whether or not the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication;
2. Whether or not there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of public concern (Art 3 Sec. 7) under a state
policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA 7160
(Local Government Code of 1991)
3. Whether or not the signing of the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be binding itself
a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political subdivision
not recognized by law;
b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA;
c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No.
particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,

1. Yes, the petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of the respondents to consult the local government units or communities
affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under EO No. 3. Moreover, the respondents exceeded their
authority by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any alleged violation of the Constitution by any branch
of government is a proper matter for judicial review.
As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance, the Court
grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal
stance adopted in David v. Macapagal- Arroyo.
In Pimentel, Jr. v. Aguirre, this Court held:
x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to have ripened
into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act . Indeed, even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is
enough to awaken judicial duty.x x x x
By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our constitutional scheme is a coequal of Congress, is seriously alleged to
have infringed the Constitution and the laws x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.
That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness.

2. Yes. The Court finds that there is a grave violation of the Constitution involved in the matters of public concern (Sec 7 Art III) under
a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA
7160 (Local Government Code of 1991).
(Sec 7 ArtIII) The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while Sec 28 recognizes the duty of
officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. The complete and effective exercise of the right to information
necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature, subject only to reasonable
safeguards or limitations as may be provided by law.
The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern involving public interest in the highest order. In declaring that
the right to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract, jurisprudence finds no
distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.
E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a principal forum for
consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek
relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace partners and concerned sectors of society.

a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political subdivision
not recognized by law;

Yes. The provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated
state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it.
The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution.

No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an associative relationship with the
national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or
regional government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The Constitution, however, does not
contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims
to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence.

The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the Constitution. It is not merely an expanded
version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the
ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a
permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of Philippine territory, the spirit animating it
which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of association runs counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Republic.

The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and the BJE being itself contrary to the present
Constitution, it is not surprising that many of the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE are in
conflict with the Constitution and the laws. The BJE is more of a state than an autonomous region. But even assuming that it is
covered by the term autonomous region in the constitutional provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it.

b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA:
The MOA-AD provides that any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into
force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework, implying an
amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. This stipulation, in effect, guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of
the Constitution .

It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to preserve and defend the Constitution.
Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to recommend proposed
amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes and submits to the proper procedure for
constitutional amendments and revision, her mere recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional act.

The suspensive clause in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-discussed standards.

Given the limited nature of the Presidents authority to propose constitutional amendments, she cannot guarantee to any third
party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place, nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. The most she could do is
submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people, in whom constituent powers are vested.

c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No.
particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,
This strand begins with the statement that it is the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify
themselves and be accepted as Bangsamoros. It defines Bangsamoro people as the natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao
and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization, and their descendants
whether mixed or of full blood, including their spouses.

Thus, the concept of Bangsamoro, as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD, includes not only Moros as traditionally understood
even by Muslims, but all indigenous peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of choice of
indigenous peoples shall be respected. What this freedom of choice consists in has not been specifically defined. The MOA-AD
proceeds to refer to the Bangsamoro homeland, the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by virtue
of their prior rights of occupation. Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that ancestral domain does not form part of the public

Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and
delineation of ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the
Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. Notably, the statute does not grant the Executive Department or any
government agency the power to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise.

Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all national offices to conduct consultations beforeany
project or program critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group
of people residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally
vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or
displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment.

In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent
consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by which the
MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious,
oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the
duty enjoined.

The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept
underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the
concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence.

Lee vs. Director of Lands
Sometime in March 1936, Carmen, Francisco, Jr., Ramon, Lourdes, Mercedes, Concepcion, Mariano, Jose, Loreto, Manuel, Rizal, and
Jimmy, alll surnamed Dinglasan sold to Lee Liong, A Chinese citizen, a parcel of land with an approximate area of 1,631 square
meters, designed as lot 398 and covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 3389, situated at the corner of Roxas Avenue and Pavia
Street, Roxas City. However, in 1948, the former owners filed with the Court of First Instance, Capiz an action against the heirs of Lee
Liong for annulment of sale and recovery of land.4 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.
Plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court and ruled thus: pari delicto (in sales of real estate to aliens incapable of holding title thereto
by virtue of provision of the Constitution, both the vendor and vendee are deemed to have committed the constitutional violation and
thus the courts will not afford protection to either party). On July 1, 1968, the same former owners (Dinglasans) filed with the Court
of First Instance and action for recovery of the same parcel of land. On Sept. 23, 1968, the heirs of Lee Liong file with the trial. Both
cases were elevated to the Supreme Court but were dismissed holding the suit barred by res judicata. On Sept. 7, 1993, Elizabeth
Manuel-Lee and Pacita Yu Lee filed with the RTC, Roxas City a petition for reconstitution of title of Lot No. 398 of Capiz. They were
the widows of the heirs of Lee Liong, the owner of the lot. Both widows received a parcel of land through succession from their
deceased husbands. RTC ordered the reconstitution of the lost and destroyed certificate of said title of lot. On Jan. 25, 1995, OSG
filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of judgment of reconstitution alleging that petitioners were not the proper
parties in the reconstitution of title, since 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. CA decided, declaring the judgment of reconstitution to be void. Hence this


1. Whether Lot No. 398 is entitled to the widows of the heirs of Lee Liong despite the fact that he acquired said lot inPari Delicto.


The sale of the land in question was consummated sometime in March 1936, during the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. Under
the 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. "In
sales of real estate to aliens incapable of holding title thereto by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution both the vendor and the
vendee are deemed to have committed the constitutional violation and being thus in pari delicto the courts will not afford
protection to either party." The proper party to assail the sale is the Solicitor General. This was what was done in this case when the
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 against the State. In this case, subsequent
circumstances militate against escheat proceedings because the land is now in the hands of Filipinos. The original vendee, Lee Liong,
has since died and the land has been inherited by his heirs and subsequently their heirs, petitioners herein. Petitioners are Filipino
citizens, a fact the Solicitor General does not dispute. 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. "If land is invalidly
transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the original transaction is
considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Thus, the subsequent transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos
may no longer be impugned on the basis of the invalidity of the initial transfer. 34 The objective of the constitutional provision to
keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved. Supreme Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals


Tecson vs. Commission on Elections [GR 151434, 3 March 2004]

Tecson vs. Commission on Elections
[GR 151434, 3 March 2004]

Facts: On 31 December 2003, Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed his certificate of candidacy for the
position of President of the Republic of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Party, in the 2004
national elections. In his certificate of candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, stated his
name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20 August 1939 and his place of birth to be Manila.
Victorino X. Fornier, (GR 161824) initiated, on 9 January 2004, a petition (SPA 04-003) before the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier,
his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being
the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, Fornier asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have
transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Fornier based the allegation of the
illegitimate birth of FPJ on two assertions: (1) Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage
to Bessie Kelley and, (2) even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of
FPJ. On 23 January 2004, the COMELEC dismissed SPA 04-003 for lack of merit. 3 days later, or on 26 January 2004, Fornier filed his
motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied on 6 February 2004 by the COMELEC en banc. On 10 February 2004, Fornier
assailed the decision of the COMELEC before the Supreme Court conformably with Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, of the Revised
Rules of Civil Procedure. The petition likewise prayed for a temporary restraining order, a writ of preliminary injunction or any other
resolution that would stay the finality and/or execution of the COMELEC resolutions. The other petitions, later consolidated with GR
161824, would include GR 161434 and GR 161634, both challenging the jurisdiction of the COMELEC and asserting that, under
Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, only the Supreme Court had original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve
the basic issue on the case.

Issue: Whether FPJ was a natural born citizen, so as to be allowed to run for the offcie of the President of the Philippines.

Held: Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses that "No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a
resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election." The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to
include "those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine
citizenship." Herein, the date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be 20 August 1939 during the regime of the 1935
Constitution. Through its history, four modes of acquiring citizenship - naturalization, jus soli, res judicata and jus sanguinis had
been in vogue. Only two, i.e., jus soli and jus sanguinis, could qualify a person to being a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Jus
soli, per Roa vs. Collector of Customs (1912), did not last long. With the adoption of the 1935 Constitution and the reversal of Roa in
Tan Chong vs. Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship would now become the primary basis of citizenship by
birth. Considering the reservations made by the parties on the veracity of some of the entries on the birth certificate of FPJ and the
marriage certificate of his parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn with some degree of certainty from the documents
would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939; (3) Allan F.
Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4) The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At
the time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. The marriage certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie
Kelley, the birth certificate of FPJ, and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are documents of public record in the custody of a public
officer. The documents have been submitted in evidence by both contending parties during the proceedings before the COMELEC.
But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence
on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code.
Fornier has utterly failed to substantiate his case before the Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to
present their position and evidence, and to prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in
Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC, must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful. The petitions were dismissed.

Valles vs. COMELEC

on 6:00 AM in Case Digests, Political Law, Private International Law
G.R. No. 137000, Aug. 9, 2000

Principle of jus sanguinis

How Philippine citizenship is acquired
Effect of filing certificate of candidacy: express renunciation of other citizenship


Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. In 1949, at the age of
fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she later married a Filipino and has since then participated in
the electoral process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor but Valles filed a
petition for her disqualification as candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.

Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino


The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of
the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship
on the basis of place of birth.

Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born a year before the 1935 Constitution took into effect and at that time, what served as the
Constitution of the Philippines were the principal organic acts by which the United States governed the country. These were the
Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of Aug. 29, 1916, also known as the Jones Law.

Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April 11, 1899 and resided therein including
their children are deemed to be Philippine citizens. Private respondents father, Telesforo Ybasco, was born on Jan. 5, 1879 in Daet,
Camarines Norte.... Thus, under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law, Telesforo Ybasco was deemed to be a Philippine
citizen. By virtue of the same laws, which were the laws in force at the time of her birth, Telesforos daughter, herein private
respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is likewise a citizen of the Philippines.

The signing into law of the 1935 Philippine Constitution has established the principle of jus sanguinis as basis for the acquisition of
Philippine citizenship, xxx

So also, the principle of jus sanguinis, which confers citizenship by virtue of blood relationship, was subsequently retained under the
1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, the herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a
Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her Philippine citizenship. If Australia follows
the principle of jus soli, then at most, private respondent can also claim Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual

In Re: Vicente Ching

Legal Profession Admission to the Bar Citizenship Requirement
In 1998, Vicente Ching finished his law degree at the Saint Louis University in Baguio City. He eventually passed the bar but he was
advised that he needs to show proof that he is a Filipino citizen before he be allowed to take his oath. Apparently, Chings father was
a Chinese citizen but his mother was a Filipino citizen. His parents were married before he was born in 1963. Under the 1935
Constitution, a legitimate child, whose one parent is a foreigner, acquires the foreign citizenship of the foreign parent. Ching
maintained that he has always considered himself as a Filipino; that he is a certified public accountant a profession reserved for
Filipinos; that he even served as a councilor in a municipality in La Union.
The Solicitor-General commented on the case by saying that as a legitimate child of a Chinese and a Filipino, Ching should have
elected Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; that under prevailing jurisprudence, upon reaching the age of
majority is construed as within 7 years after reaching the age of majority (in his case 21 years old because he was born in 1964
while the 1935 Constitution was in place).
Ching did elect Filipino citizenship but he only did so when he was preparing for the bar in 1998 or 14 years after reaching the age of
majority. Nevertheless, the Solicitor-General recommended that the rule be relaxed due to the special circumstance of Ching.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ching should be allowed to take the lawyers oath.
HELD: No. Unfortunately, he belatedly elected Filipino citizenship. The Supreme Court cannot agree with the recommendation of the
Solicitor-General. Fourteen years had lapsed and its way beyond the allowable 7 year period. The Supreme Court even noted that
the period is originally 3 years but it was extended to 7 years. (It seems it cant be extended any further). Chings special
circumstances cant be considered. It is not enough that he considered all his life that he is a Filipino; that he is a professional and a
public officer (was) serving this country. The rules for citizenship are in place. Further, Ching didnt give any explanation why he
belatedly chose to elect Filipino citizenship (but I guess its simply because he never thought hes Chinese not until he applied to take
the bar). The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is
required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the nearest
civil registry. Chings unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over.


G.R. No. 142840
May 7, 2001
FACTS: The citizenship of respondent Cruz is at issue in this case, in view of the constitutional requirement that no person shall be a
Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen.
Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in Tarlac in 1960 of Filipino parents. In 1985, however, Cruz enlisted
in the US Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the USA. As a
Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under CA No. 63 [(An Act Providing for the Ways in Which Philippine Citizenship May
Be Lost or Reacquired (1936)] section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, rendering service to or
accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country.
Whatever doubt that remained regarding his loss of Philippine citizenship was erased by his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1990,
in connection with his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 1994, Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under RA 2630 [(An Act Providing for Reacquisition of
Philippine Citizenship by Persons Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or Accepting Commission In, the Armed Forces
of the United States (1960)]. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the 2nd District of Pangasinan in the 1998
elections. He won over petitioner Bengson who was then running for reelection.
Subsequently, petitioner filed a case for Quo Warranto Ad Cautelam with respondent HRET claiming that Cruz was not qualified to
become a member of the HOR since he is not a natural-born citizen as required under Article VI, section 6 of the Constitution.
HRET rendered its decision dismissing the petition for quo warranto and declaring Cruz the duly elected Representative in the said
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: petition dismissed
Filipino citizens who have lost their citizenship may however reacquire the same in the manner provided by law. C.A. No. 63
enumerates the 3 modes by which Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by a former citizen:
1. by naturalization,
2. by repatriation, and
3. by direct act of Congress.
Repatriation may be had under various statutes by those who lost their citizenship due to:
1. desertion of the armed forces;
2. services in the armed forces of the allied forces in World War II;
3. service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time,
4. marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien; and
5. political economic necessity
Repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be
restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he
lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.
R.A. No. 2630 provides:
Sec 1. Any person who had lost his Philippine citizenship by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the Armed Forces of
the United States, or after separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, acquired United States citizenship, may reacquire
Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registering the same with Local Civil
Registry in the place where he resides or last resided in the Philippines. The said oath of allegiance shall contain a renunciation of
any other citizenship.
Having thus taken the required oath of allegiance to the Republic and having registered the same in the Civil Registry of
Magantarem, Pangasinan in accordance with the aforecited provision, Cruz is deemed to have recovered his original status as a
natural-born citizen, a status which he acquired at birth as the son of a Filipino father. It bears stressing that the act of repatriation
allows him to recover, or return to, his original status before he lost his Philippine citizenship.
Furthermore, election can be both formal and informal. In In Re Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]) it was held that the exercise of the
right of suffrage when one comes of age constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. The rule in the Mallare case
was applied whereby Jose Ongs exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises were considered positive
acts of electing Philippine citizenship. Entering a profession open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a
qualification, voting during election, running for public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature are themselves formal
manifestations of choice. These, according to the court, cannot be less binding than the filing of a sworn statement or formal

CO vs. HRETFacts:
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 congressional election for the second district of NorthernSamar was
held. Among the candidates who vied for the position of representative in the second legislativedistrict are the
petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr. RespondentOng was proclaimed the duly elected
representative of the second district of Northern Samar. The petitioners filed election protests on the grounds that Jose Ong, Jr.
is not a natural born citizen of thePhilippines and not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar.
Whether or not Jose Ong, Jr. is a citizen of the Philippines.
Yes. In the year 1895, the private respondents grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the Philippines fromChina and
established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar. The father of the private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in
China in 1905 but was brought by Ong Te to Samar in the year 1915, he filed withthe court an application for naturalization and was
declared a Filipino citizen.In 1984, the private respondent married a Filipina named Desiree Lim. For the elections of 1984 and1986,
Jose Ong, Jr. registered himself as a voter of Laoang, Samar, and voted there during those elections.Under the 1973 Constitution,
those born of Filipino fathers and those born of Filipino mothers with analien father were placed on equal footing. They were both
considered as natural born citizens. Besides, privater e s p o n d e n t d i d m o r e t h a n m e r e l y e x e r c i s e h i s
r i g h t o f s u f f r a g e . H e h a s e s t a b l i s h e d h i s l i f e h e r e i n t h e Philippines.


2. When respondent was born on August 8, 1959, the governing charter was the 1935 Constitution, which declares as citizens of the
Philippines those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.
Sec. 1, Art. IV of the 1935 Constitution reads:

Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.

Under Article IV, Section 1(4) of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien
father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. Being
a legitimate child, respondents citizenship followed that of her father who is Chinese, unless upon reaching the age of majority, she
elects Philippine citizenship. For respondent to be considered a Filipino citizen, she must have validly elected Philippine citizenship
upon reaching the age of majority.

Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 625, enacted pursuant to Section 1(4), Article IV of the 1935 Constitution, prescribes the procedure
that should be followed in order to make a valid election of Philippine citizenship, to wit:

Section 1. The option to elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with subsection (4), [S]ection 1, Article IV, of the Constitution shall
be expressed in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths,
and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance
to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines.

Based on the foregoing, the statutory formalities of electing Philippine citizenship are: (1) a statement of election under oath; (2) an
oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the Philippines; and (3) registration of the statement of election and of the
oath with the nearest civil registry.

Furthermore, no election of Philippine citizenship shall be accepted for registration under C.A. No. 625 unless the party exercising
the right of election has complied with the requirements of the Alien Registration Act of 1950. In other words, he should first be
required to register as an alien. Pertinently, the person electing Philippine citizenship is required to file a petition with the
Commission of Immigration and Deportation (now Bureau of Immigration) for the cancellation of his alien certificate of registration
based on his aforesaid election of Philippine citizenship and said Office will initially decide, based on the evidence presented the
validity or invalidity of said election. Afterwards, the same is elevated to the Ministry (now Department) of Justice for final
determination and review.

It should be stressed that there is no specific statutory or procedural rule which authorizes the direct filing of a petition for
declaration of election of Philippine citizenship before the courts. The special proceeding provided under Section 2, Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court on Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry, merely allows any interested party to file an action for
cancellation or correction of entry in the civil registry, i.e., election, loss and recovery of citizenship, which is not the relief prayed for
by the respondent.

Be that as it may, even if we set aside this procedural infirmity, still the trial courts conclusion that respondent duly elected
Philippine citizenship is erroneous since the records undisputably show that respondent failed to comply with the legal requirements
for a valid election. Specifically, respondent had not executed a sworn statement of her election of Philippine citizenship. The only
documentary evidence submitted by respondent in support of her claim of alleged election was her oath of allegiance, executed 12
years after she reached the age of majority, which was unregistered. As aptly pointed out by the petitioner, even assuming arguendo
that respondents oath of allegiance suffices, its execution was not within a reasonable time after respondent attained the age of
majority and was not registered with the nearest civil registry as required under Section 1 of C.A. No. 625. The phrase reasonable
time has been interpreted to mean that the election should be made generally within three (3) years from reaching the age of
majority. Moreover, there was no satisfactory explanation proffered by respondent for the delay and the failure to register with the
nearest local civil registry.

Based on the foregoing circumstances, respondent clearly failed to comply with the procedural requirements for a valid and
effective election of Philippine citizenship. Respondent cannot assert that the exercise of suffrage and the participation in election
exercises constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship since the law specifically lays down the requirements for
acquisition of citizenship by election. The mere exercise of suffrage, continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines, and other
similar acts showing exercise of Philippine citizenship cannot take the place of election of Philippine citizenship. Hence, respondent
cannot now be allowed to seek the intervention of the court to confer upon her Philippine citizenship when clearly she has failed to
validly elect Philippine citizenship. As we held in Ching, the prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a
tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and,
thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. Having failed to comply with the foregoing requirements, respondents
petition before the trial court must be denied.


G.R. No. 153883. January 13, 2004


Chule Y. Lim filed a petition for correction of entries under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del
Norte. She claimed that she was born on 29 October 1954 in Buru-an, Iligan City. Her birth was registered in Kauswagan, Lanao del
Norte but the Municipal Civil Registrar of Kauswagan transferred her record of birth to Iligan City. the Court finding the petition
sufficient in form and substance ordered the publication of the hearing of the petition.

During the hearing, Lim testifies that:

1. Her surname "Yu" was misspelled as "Yo". She has been using "Yu" in all her school records and in her marriage certificate.She
presented a clearancefrom the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to further show the consistency in her use of the surname
2. She claims that her fathers name in her birth record was written as "Yo Diu To (Co Tian)" when it should have been "Yu Dio To (Co
3. Her nationality was entered as Chinese when it should have been Filipino considering that her father and mother never got
married. Only her deceased father was Chinese, while her mother is Filipina. She claims that her being a registered voter attests to
the fact that she is a Filipino citizen.
4. It was erroneously indicated in her birth certificate that she was a legitimate child when she should have been described as
illegitimate considering that her parents were never married. She also presented a certification attested by officials of the local civil
registries of Iligan City and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte that there is no record of marriage between Placida Anto and Yu Dio To from
1948 to the present.

The RTC granted the petition and directed the civil register of Iligan City to make the following corrections in the birth records of

1. Her family name from "YO" to "YU";

2. Her fathers name from "YO DIU TO (CO TIAN)" to "YU DIOTO (CO TIAN)";
3. Her status from "legitimate" to "illegitimate" by changing "YES" to "NO" in answer to the question "LEGITIMATE?"; and,
4. Her citizenship from "Chinese" to "Filipino".

Petitioner Republic appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial courts decision. Petitioner claims that Lim
never complied with the legal requirement in electing her citizenship. Petitioner also assails the Court of Appeals decision in
allowing respondent to use her fathers surname despite its finding that she is illegitimate.

1. Whether or not Lim complied with the legal requirement in electing her citizenship
2. Whether the CA erred in allowing Lim to to use her fathers surname despite its finding that she is illegitimate.


1. The Republic avers that respondent did not comply with the constitutional requirement of electing Filipino citizenship when she
reached the age of majority. It cites Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, which provides that the citizenship of a
legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of
majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. Likewise, the Republic invokes the provision in Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No.
625, that legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention in a statement to
be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest
civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the
Government of the Philippines.

Plainly, the above constitutional and statutory requirements of electing Filipino citizenship apply only to legitimate children. These
do not apply in the case of respondent who was concededly an illegitimate child, considering that her Chinese father and Filipino
mother were never married. As such, she was not required to comply with said constitutional and statutory requirements to
become a Filipino citizen. By being an illegitimate child of a Filipino mother, respondentautomatically became a Filipino upon
birth. Stated differently, she is a Filipino since birth without having to elect Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of

This notwithstanding, the records show that respondent elected Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of
majority. She registered as a voter in Misamis Oriental when she was 18 years old. The exercise of the right of suffrage and the
participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship.

2. The Republics submission is misleading. The Court of Appeals did not allow respondent to use her fathers surname. What it did
allow was the correction of her fathers misspelled surname which she has been using ever since she can remember. In this regard,
respondent does not need a court pronouncement for her to use her fathers surname.

Firstly, Petitioner-appellee is now 47 years old. To bar her at this time from using her fathers surname which she has used for four
decades without any known objection from anybody, would only sow confusion. Concededly, one of the reasons allowed for
changing ones name or surname is to avoid confusion.

Secondly, under Sec. 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 142, the law regulating the use of aliases, a person is allowed to use a name by
which he has been known since childhood.

Thirdly, the Supreme Court has already addressed the same issue. In Pabellar v. Rep. of the Phils., we held: Section 1 of
Commonwealth Act No. 142, which regulates the use of aliases, allows a person to use a name by which he has been known since
childhood (Lim Hok Albano v. Republic, 104 Phil. 795; People v. Uy Jui Pio, 102 Phil. 679; Republic v. Taada, infra). Even legitimate
children cannot enjoin the illegitimate children of their father from using his surname (De Valencia v. Rodriguez, 84 Phil. 222).

While judicial authority is required for a change of name or surname, there is no such requirement for the continued use of a
surname which a person has already been using since childhood.

The doctrine that disallows such change of name as would give the false impression of family relationship remains valid but only to
the extent that the proposed change of name would in great probability cause prejudice or future mischief to the family whose
surname it is that is involved or to the community in general. In this case, the Republic has not shown that the Yu family in China
would probably be prejudiced or be the object of future mischief. In respondents case, the change in the surname that she has
been using for 40 years would even avoid confusion to her community in general.

CA decision is affirmed.
Grace Poe vs COMELEC
(Case Digest: GR 221697, GR 221698-700 March 8, 2016)
In her COC for presidency for the May 2016 elections, Grace Poe declared that she is a natural-born citizen and that her residence in
the Philippines up to the day before 9 May 2016 would be 10 years and 11 months counted from 24 May 2005.
May 24, 2005 was the day she came to the Philippines after deciding to stay in the PH for good. Before that however, and even
afterwards, she has been going to and fro between US and Philippines. She was born in 1968, found as newborn infant in Iloilo, and
was legally adopted. She immigrated to the US in 1991 and was naturalized as American citizen in 2001. On July 18, 2006, the BI
granted her petition declaring that she had reacquired her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225. She registered as a voter and
obtained a new Philippine passport. In 2010, before assuming her post as an appointed chairperson of the MTRCB, she
renounced her American citizenship to satisfy the RA 9225 requirement . From then on, she stopped using her American passport.
Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or cancel her candidacy on the ground particularly, among others, that she cannot
be considered a natural-born Filipino citizen since she cannot prove that her biological parents or either of them were Filipinos. The
COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on the ground that she is in want of citizenship and residence requirements, and that she
committed material misrepresentations in her COC.
On certiorari, the SC reversed the ruling and held (9-6 votes) that Poe is qualified as a candidate for Presidency. Three justices,
however, abstained to vote on the natural-born citizenship issue.
Issue 1: W/N the COMELEC has jurisdiction to rule on the issue of qualifications of candidates(Read Dissent)
No. Article IX-C, Sec 2 of the Constitution provides for the powers and functions of the COMELEC, and deciding on the qualifications
or lack thereof of a candidate is not one among them.
In contrast, the Constitution provides that only the SET and HRET tribunals have sole jurisdiction over the election contests, returns,
and qualifications of their respective members, whereas over the President and Vice President, only the SC en banc has sole
jurisdiction. As for the qualifications of candidates for such positions, the Constitution is silent. There is simply no authorized
proceeding in determining the ineligibility of candidates before elections. Such lack of provision cannot be supplied by a mere rule,
and for the COMELEC to assimilate grounds for ineligibility into grounds for disqualification in Rule 25 in its rules of procedures
would be contrary to the intent of the Constitution.
Hence, the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it decided on the qualification issue of Grace as a candidate in the
same case for cancellation of her COC.
Issue 2: W/N Grace Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen (Read Dissent)
Yes, Grace Poe might be and is considerably a natural-born Filipino. For that, she satisfies one of the constitutional requirements
that only natural-born Filipinos may run for presidency.
First, there is a high probability that Grace Poes parents are Filipinos. Her physical features are typical of Filipinos. The fact that she
was abandoned as an infant in a municipality where the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such that there
would be more than 99% chance that a child born in such province is a Filipino is also a circumstantial evidence of her parents
nationality. That probability and the evidence on which it is based are admissible under Rule 128, Section 4 of the Revised Rules on
Evidence. To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, if not the virtually impossible, as the norm.
Second, by votes of 7-5, the SC pronounced that foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. This is based on the finding that
the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Convention show that the framers intended foundlings to be covered by the
enumeration. While the 1935 Constitutions enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no restrictive language which would
definitely exclude foundlings either. Because of silence and ambiguity in the enumeration with respect to foundlings, the SC felt
the need to examine the intent of the framers.
Third, that foundlings are automatically conferred with natural-born citizenship is supported by treaties and the general principles of
international law. Although the Philippines is not a signatory to some of these treaties, it adheres to the customary rule to presume
foundlings as having born of the country in which the foundling is found.
Issue 3: W/N Grace Poe satisfies the 10-year residency requirement
Yes. Grace Poe satisfied the requirements of animus manendi coupled with animus revertendi in acquiring a new domicile.
Grace Poes domicile had been timely changed as of May 24, 2005, and not on July 18, 2006 when her application under RA 9225
was approved by the BI. COMELECs reliance on cases which decree that an aliens stay in the country cannot be counted unless she
acquires a permanent resident visa or reacquires her Filipino citizenship is without merit. Such cases are different from the
circumstances in this case, in which Grace Poe presented an overwhelming evidence of her actual stay and intent to abandon
permanently her domicile in the US. Coupled with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her familys actual
continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear that when Grace Poe returned on May 24, 2005, it was for good.
Issue 4: W/N the Grace Poes candidacy should be denied or cancelled for committing material misrepresentations in her COC
No. The COMELEC cannot cancel her COC on the ground that she misrepresented facts as to her citizenship and residency because
such facts refer to grounds for ineligibility in which the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to decide upon. Only when there is a prior
authority finding that a candidate is suffering from a disqualification provided by law or the Constitution that the COMELEC may
deny due course or cancel her candidacy on ground of false representations regarding her qualifications.
In this case, by authority of the Supreme Court Grace Poe is now pronounced qualified as a candidate for the presidency. Hence,
there cannot be any false representations in her COC regarding her citizenship and residency. ##


Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a non-immigrant on 8 February 1961. In the interrogation
made in connection with her application for a temporary visitor's visa to enter the Philippines, she stated that she was a Chinese
residing at Kowloon, Hongkong, and that she desired to take a pleasure trip to the Philippines to visit her great grand uncle, Lau
Ching Ping. She was permitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961 for a period of one month.

On the date of her arrival, Asher Y. Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau Yuen
Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or
within the period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration or his authorized representative might properly allow.


After repeated extensions, Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962, she
contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated
action of the Commissioner of Immigration to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the
expiration of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction. At the hearing which took place one and a half years after her
arrival, it was admitted that Lau Yuen Yeung could not write and speak either English or Tagalog, except for a few words. She could
not name any Filipino neighbor, with a Filipino name except one, Rosa. She did not know the names of her brothers-in-law, or
sisters-in-law. As a result, the Court of First Instance of Manila denied the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau
Yuen Yeung appealed.


Whether or not Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen.


Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a
Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise, an alien woman
married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his
oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4. Whether the alien
woman requires to undergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an
applicant for naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through a naturalization proceedings,
in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the same

This is plain common sense and there is absolutely no evidence that the Legislature intended to treat them differently. As the laws of
our country, both substantive and procedural, stand today, there is no such procedure (a substitute for naturalization proceeding to
enable the alien wife of a Philippine citizen to have the matter of her own citizenship settled and established so that she may not
have to be called upon to prove it everytime she has to perform an act or enter into a transaction or business or exercise a right
reserved only to Filipinos), but such is no proof that the citizenship is not vested as of the date of marriage or the husband's
acquisition of citizenship, as the case may be, for the truth is that the situation obtains even as to native-born Filipinos. Everytime
the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case. Whatever the corresponding court or
administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be
threshed out again and again as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung, was declared to have become a Filipino citizen from and
by virtue of her marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962.
G.R. No. 86564 August 1, 1989

RAMON L. LABO, JR., petitioner,


The petitioner asks this Court to restrain the Commission on Elections from looking into the question of his citizenship as a
qualification for his office as Mayor of Baguio City. The allegation that he is a foreigner, he says, is not the issue. The issue is whether
or not the public respondent has jurisdiction to conduct any inquiry into this matter, considering that the petition for quo warranto
against him was not filed on time.
It is noteworthy that this argument is based on the alleged tardiness not of the petition itself but of the payment of the filing fee,
which the petitioner contends was an indispensable requirement. The fee is, curiously enough, all of P300.00 only. This brings to
mind the popular verse that for want of a horse the kingdom was lost. Still, if it is shown that the petition was indeed filed beyond
the reglementary period, there is no question that this petition must be granted and the challenge abated.
The petitioners position is simple. He was proclaimed mayor-elect of Baguio City on January 20, 1988. The petition for quo warranto
was filed by the private respondent on January 26, 1988, but no filing fee was paid on that date. This fee was finally paid on February
10, 1988, or twenty-one days after his proclamation. As the petition by itself alone was ineffectual without the filing fee, it should be
deemed filed only when the fee was paid. This was done beyond the reglementary period provided for under Section 253 of the
Omnibus Election Code reading as follows:
SEC. 253. Petition for quo warranto. Any voter contesting the election of a Member of the Batasang Pambansa, regional,
provincial, or city officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for
quo warranto with the Commission within ten days after the proclamation of the result of the election.
The petitioner adds that the payment of the filing fee is required under Rule 36, Section 5, of the Procedural Rules of the COMELEC
providing that
Sec. 5. No petition for quo warranto shall be given due course without the payment of a filing fee in the amount of Three Hundred
Pesos (P300.00) and the legal research fee as required by law.
and stresses that there is abundant jurisprudence holding that the payment of the filing fee is essential to the timeliness of the filing
of the petition itself. He cites many rulings of the Court to this effect, specifically Manchester v. Court of Appeals. 1
For his part, the private respondent denies that the filing fee was paid out of time. In fact, he says, it was filed ahead of time. His
point is that when he filed his Petition for Quo Warranto with Prayer for Immediate Annulment of Proclamation and Restraining
Order or Injunction on January 26, 1988, the COMELEC treated it as a pre-proclamation controversy and docketed it as SPC Case
No. 88-288. No docket fee was collected although it was offered. It was only on February 8, 1988, that the COMELEC decided to treat
his petition as solely for quo warranto and re-docketed it as EPC Case No. 88-19, serving him notice on February 10, 1988. He
immediately paid the filing fee on that date.
The private respondent argues further that during the period when the COMELEC regarded his petition as a pre-proclamation
controversy, the time for filing an election protest or quo warranto proceeding was deemed suspended under Section 248 of the
Omnibus Election Code. 2 At any rate, he says, Rule 36, Section 5, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure cited by the petitioner,
became effective only on November 15, 1988, seven days after publication of the said Rules in the Official Gazette pursuant to
Section 4, Rule 44 thereof. 3 These rules could not retroact to January 26, 1988, when he filed his petition with the COMELEC.
In his Reply, the petitioner argues that even if the Omnibus Election Code did not require it, the payment of filing fees was still
necessary under Res. No. 1996 and, before that, Res. No. 1450 of the respondent COMELEC, promulgated on January 12, 1988, and
February 26, 1980, respectively. To this, the private respondent counters that the latter resolution was intended for the local
elections held on January 30, 1980, and did not apply to the 1988 local elections, which were supposed to be governed by the first-
mentioned resolution. However, Res. No. 1996 took effect only on March 3, 1988, following the lapse of seven days alter its
publication as required by RA No. 6646, otherwise known as the Electoral Reform Law of 1987, which became effective on January 5,
1988. Its Section 30 provides in part:
Sec. 30. Effectivity of Regulations and Orders of the Commission. The rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission shall
take effect on the seventh day after their publication in the Official Gazette or in at least (2) daily newspapers of general circulation
in the Philippines.
The Court has considered the arguments of the parties and holds that the petition for quo warranto was filed on time. We agree
with the respondents that the fee was paid during the ten-day period as extended by the pendency of the petition when it was
treated by the COMELEC as a pre-proclamation proceeding which did not require the payment of a filing fee. At that, we reach this
conclusion only on the assumption that the requirement for the payment of the fees in quo warranto proceedings was already
effective. There is no record that Res. No. 1450 was even published; and as for Res. No. 1996, this took effect only on March 3, 1988,
seven days after its publication in the February 25, 1988 issues of the Manila Chronicle and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, or after the
petition was filed.
The petitioner forgets Taada v. Tuvera 4 when he argues that the resolutions became effective immediately upon approval simply
because it was so provided therein. We held in that case that publication was still necessary under the due process clause despite
such effectivity clause.
In any event, what is important is that the filing fee was paid, and whatever delay there may have been is not imputable to the
private respondents fault or neglect. It is true that in the Manchester Case, we required the timely payment of the filing fee as a
precondition for the timeliness of the filing of the case itself. In Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion, 5 however, this Court, taking
into account the special circumstances of that case, declared:
This Court reiterates the rule that the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the prescribed filing fee.
However, the court may allow the payment of the said fee within a reasonable time. In the event of non-compliance therewith, the
case shall be dismissed.
The same idea is expressed in Rule 42, Section 18, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure adopted on June 20, 1988, thus:
Sec. 18. Non-payment of prescribed fees. If the fees above prescribed are not paid, the Commission may refuse to take action
thereon until they are paid and may dismiss the action or the proceeding.
The Court notes that while arguing the technical point that the petition for quo warranto should be dismissed for failure to pay the
filing fee on time, the petitioner would at the same time minimize his alleged lack of citizenship as a futile technicality. It is
regrettable, to say the least, that the requirement of citizenship as a qualification for public office can be so demeaned. What is
worse is that it is regarded as an even less important consideration than the reglementary period the petitioner insists upon.
This matter should normally end here as the sole issue originally raised by the petitioner is the timeliness of the quo warranto
proceedings against him.
However, as his citizenship is the subject of that proceeding, and considering the necessity for an early resolution of that more
important question clearly and urgently affecting the public interest, we shall directly address it now in this same action.
The Court has similarly acted in a notable number of cases, thus:
From the foregoing brief statement of the nature of the instant case, it would appear that our sole function in this proceeding
should be to resolve the single issue of whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the motion for new trial of the GSIS
in question should indeed be deemed pro forma. But going over the extended pleadings of both parties, the Court is immediately
impressed that substantial justice may not be timely achieved, if we should decide this case upon such a technical ground alone. We
have carefully read all the allegations and arguments of the parties, very ably and comprehensively expounded by evidently
knowledgeable and unusually competent counsel, and we feel we can better serve the interests of justice by broadening the scope
of our inquiry, for as the record before us stands, we see that there is enough basis for us to end the basic controversy between the
parties here and now, dispensing, however, with procedural steps which would not anyway affect substantially the merits of their
respective claims. 6
xxx xxx xxx
While it is the fault of the petitioner for appealing to the wrong court and thereby allowing the period for appeal to lapse, the more
correct procedure was for the respondent court to forward the case to the proper court which was the Court of Appeals for
appropriate action. Considering, however, the length of time that this case has been pending, we apply the rule in the case of Del
Castillo v. Jaymalin, (112 SCRA 629) and follow the principle enunciated in Alger Electric, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, (135 SCRA 37)
which states:
. . . it is a cherished rule of procedure for this Court to always strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding leaving no
root or branch to bear the seeds of future litigation. No useful purpose will be served if this case is remanded to the trial court only
to have its decision raised again to the Intermediate Appellate Court and from there to this Court. (p. 43)
Only recently in the case of Beautifont, Inc., et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al. (G.R. No. 50141, January 29,1988), we stated that:
. . . But all those relevant facts are now before this Court. And those facts dictate the rendition of a verdict in the petitioners favor.
There is therefore no point in referring the case back to the Court of Appeals. The facts and the legal propositions involved will not
change, nor should the ultimate judgment. Considerable time has already elapsed and, to serve the ends of justice, it is time that the
controversy is finally laid to rest. (See Sotto v. Samson, 5 SCRA 733; Republic v. Paredes, 108 Phil. 57; Lianga Lumber Co. v. Lianga
Timber Co., Inc., 76 SCRA 197; Erico v. Heirs of Chigas, 98 SCRA 575; Francisco v. City of Davao, 12 SCRA 628; Valencia v. Mabilangan,
105 Phil. 162). Sound practice seeks to accommodate the theory which avoids waste of time, effort and expense, both to the parties
and the government, not to speak of delay in the disposal of the case (of: Fernandez v. Garcia, 92 Phil. 592, 597). A marked
characteristic of our judicial set-up is that where the dictates of justice so demand . . . the Supreme Court should act, and act with
finality. (Li Siu Liat v. Republic, 21 SCRA 1039, 1046, citing Samal v. CA, 99 Phil. 230 and U.S. v. Gimenez, 34 Phil. 74). In this case, the
dictates of justice do demand that this Court act, and act with finality. 7
xxx xxx xxx
Remand of the case to the lower court for further reception of evidence is not necessary where the court is in a position to resolve
the dispute based on the records before it. On many occasions, the Court, in the public interest and the expeditious administration
of justice, has resolved actions on the merits instead of remanding them to the trial court for further proceedings, such as where the
ends of justice would not be subserved by the remand of the case or when public interest demands an early disposition of the case
or where the trial court had already received all the evidence of the parties. 8
This course of action becomes all the more justified in the present case where, to repeat for stress, it is claimed that a foreigner is
holding a public office.
We also note in his Reply, the petitioner says:
In adopting private respondents comment, respondent COMELEC implicitly adopted as its own private respondents repeated
assertion that petitioner is no longer a Filipino citizen. In so doing, has not respondent COMELEC effectively disqualified itself, by
reason of prejudgment, from resolving the petition for quo warranto filed by private respondent still pending before it? 9
This is still another reason why the Court has seen fit to rule directly on the merits of this case.
Going over the record, we find that there are two administrative decisions on the question of the petitioners citizenship. The first
was rendered by the Commission on Elections on May 12, 1982, and found the petitioner to be a citizen of the Philippines. 10 The
second was rendered by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation on September 13, 1988, and held that the petitioner was
not a citizen of the Philippines. 11
The first decision was penned by then COMELEC Chairman Vicente Santiago, Jr., with Commissioners Pabalate, Savellano and
Opinion concurring in full and Commissioner Bacungan concurring in the dismissal of the petition without prejudice to the issue of
the respondents citizenship being raised a new in a proper case. Commissioner Sagadraca reserved his vote, while Commissioner
Felipe was for deferring decision until representations shall have been made with the Australian Embassy for official verification of
the petitioners alleged naturalization as an Australian.
The second decision was unanimously rendered by Chairman Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Commissioners Alano and Geraldez of
the Commission on Immigration and Deportation.
It is important to observe that in the proceeding before the COMELEC, there was no direct proof that the herein petitioner had been
formally naturalized as a citizen of Australia. This conjecture, which was eventually rejected, was merely inferred from the fact that
he had married an Australian citizen, obtained an Australian passport, and registered as an alien with the CID upon his return to this
country in 1980.
On the other hand, the decision of the CID took into account the official statement of the Australian Government dated August 12,
1984, through its Consul in the Philippines, that the petitioner was still an Australian citizen as of that date by reason of his
naturalization in 1976. That statement 12 is reproduced in full as follows:
I, GRAHAM COLIN WEST, Consul of Australia in the Philippines, by virtue of a certificate of appointment signed and sealed by the
Australian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 19 October 1983, and recognized as such by Letter of Patent signed and sealed by
the Philippines Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs on 23 November 1983, do hereby provide the following statement in response to
the Subpoena Testificandum dated 9 April 1984 in regard to the Petition for disqualification against RAMON LABO, JR. Y LOZANO
(SPC No.84-73). and do hereby certify that the statement is true and correct.
A) RAMON LABO, JR. Y LOZANO, date of birth 23 December 1934, was married in the Philippines to an Australian citizen. As the
spouse of an Australian citizen, he was not required to meet normal requirements for the grant of citizenship and was granted
Australian citizenship by Sydney on 28 July 1976.
B) Any person over the age of 16 years who is granted Australian citizenship must take an oath of allegiance or make an affirmation
of allegiance. The wording of the oath of affirmation is: I. . . ., renouncing all other allegiance . . . ., etc. This need not necessarily
have any effect on his former nationality as this would depend on the citizenship laws of his former country.
C) The marriage was declared void in the Australian Federal Court in Sydney on 27 June 1980 on the ground that the marriage had
been bigamous.
D) According to our records LABO is still an Australian citizen.
E) Should he return to Australia, LABO may face court action in respect of Section 50 of Australian Citizenship Act 1948 which relates
to the giving of false or misleading information of a material nature in respect of an application for Australian citizenship. If such a
prosecution was successful, he could be deprived of Australian citizenship under Section 21 of the Act.
F) There are two further ways in which LABO could divest himself of Australian citizenship:
(i) He could make a declaration of Renunciation of Australian citizenship under Section 18 of the Australian Citizenship Act, or
(ii) If he acquired another nationality, (for example, Filipino) by a formal end voluntary act other than marriage, then he would
automatically lose his Australian citizenship under Section 17 of the Act.
APRIL 1984.
This was affirmed later by the letter of February 1, 1988, addressed to the private respondent by the Department of Foreign Affairs
reading as follows: 13
With reference to your letter dated 1 February 1988, I wish to inform you that inquiry made with the Australian Government
through the Embassy of the Philippines in Canberra has elicited the following information:
1) That Mr. Ramon L. Labo, Jr. acquired Australian citizenship on 28 July 1976.
2) That prior to 17 July 1986, a candidate for Australian citizenship had to either swear an oath of allegiance or make an affirmation
of allegiance which carries a renunciation of all other allegiance.
Very truly yours,
For the Secretary of Foreign Affairs:
Assistant Secretary
The decision also noted the oath of allegiance taken by every naturalized Australian reading as follows:
I, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth
the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and
fulfill my duties as an Australian citizen. 14
and the Affirmation of Allegiance, which declares:
I, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to
Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the
Laws of Australia and fulfill my duties as an Australian citizen. 15
The petitioner does not question the authenticity of the above evidence. Neither does he deny that he obtained Australian Passport
No. 754705, which he used in coming back to the Philippines in 1980, when he declared before the immigration authorities that he
was an alien and registered as such under Alien Certificate of Registration No. B-323985. 16 He later asked for the change of his
status from immigrant to a returning former Philippine citizen and was granted Immigrant Certificate of Residence No. 223809. 17 He
also categorically declared that he was a citizen of Australia in a number of sworn statements voluntarily made by him and even
sought to avoid the jurisdiction of the barangay court on the ground that he was a foreigner. 18
The decision of the COMELEC in 1982 quaintly dismisses all these acts as mistakes that did not divest the petitioner of his
citizenship, although, as earlier noted, not all the member joined in this finding. We reject this ruling as totally baseless. The
petitioner is not an unlettered person who was not aware of the consequences of his acts, let alone the fact that he was assisted by
counsel when he performed these acts.
The private respondent questions the motives of the COMELEC at that time and stresses Labos political affiliation with the party in
power then, but we need not go into that now.
There is also the claim that the decision can no longer be reversed because of the doctrine of res judicata, but this too must be
dismissed. This doctrine does not apply to questions of citizenship, as the Court has ruled in several cases. 19 Moreover, it does not
appear that it was properly and seasonably pleaded, in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, having been invoked only when the
petitioner filed his reply 20 to the private respondents comment. Besides, one of the requisites of res judicata, to wit, identity of
parties, is not present in this case.
The petitioners contention that his marriage to an Australian national in 1976 did not automatically divest him of Philippine
citizenship is irrelevant. There is no claim or finding that he automatically ceased to be a Filipino because of that marriage. He
became a citizen of Australia because he was naturalized as such through a formal and positive process, simplified in his case
because he was married to an Australian citizen. As a condition for such naturalization, he formally took the Oath of Allegiance
and/or made the Affirmation of Allegiance, both quoted above. Renouncing all other allegiance, he swore to be faithful and bear
true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia. . . . , and to fulfill his duties as an Australian citizen.
The petitioner now claims that his naturalization in Australia made him at worst only a dual national and did not divest him of his
Philippine citizenship. Such a specious argument cannot stand against the clear provisions of CA No. 63, which enumerates the
modes by which Philippine citizenship may be lost. Among these are: (1) naturalization in a foreign country; (2) express renunciation
of citizenship; and (3) subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a foreign country, all of which are
applicable to the petitioner. It is also worth mentioning in this connection that under Article IV, Section 5, of the present
Constitution, Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.
Even if it be assumed that, as the petitioner asserts, his naturalization in Australia was annulled after it was found that his marriage
to the Australian citizen was bigamous, that circumstance alone did not automatically restore his Philippine citizenship. His
divestiture of Australian citizenship does not concern us here. That is a matter between him and his adopted country. What we must
consider is the fact that he voluntarily and freely rejected Philippine citizenship and willingly and knowingly embraced the citizenship
of a foreign country. The possibility that he may have been subsequently rejected by Australia, as he claims, does not mean that he
has been automatically reinstated as a citizen of the Philippines.
Under CA No. 63 as amended by PD No. 725, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress, by naturalization, or
by repatriation. It does not appear in the record, nor does the petitioner claim, that he has reacquired Philippine citizenship by any
of these methods. He does not point to any judicial decree of naturalization as to any statute directly conferring Philippine
citizenship upon him. Neither has he shown that he has complied with PD No. 725, providing that:
. . . (2) natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship through repatriation by
applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. 270, and, if their applications are
approved, taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, after which they shall be deemed to have
reacquired Philippine citizenship. The Commission on Immigration and Deportation shall thereupon cancel their certificate of
That is why the Commission on Immigration and Deportation rejected his application for the cancellation of his alien certificate of
registration. And that is also the reason we must deny his present claim for recognition as a citizen of the Philippines.
The petitioner is not now, nor was he on the day of the local elections on January 18, 1988, a citizen of the Philippines. In fact, he
was not even a qualified voter under the Constitution itself because of his alienage. 21 He was therefore ineligible as a candidate for
mayor of Baguio City under Section 42 of the Local Government Code providing in material part as follows:
Sec. 42. Qualifications. (1) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-three years of age on
election day, a qualified voter registered as such in the barangay, municipality, city or province where he proposes to be elected, a
resident therein for at least one year at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy, and able to read and write English,
Pilipino, or any other local language or dialect.
The petitioner argues that his alleged lack of citizenship is a futile technicality that should not frustrate the will of the electorate of
Baguio City who elected him by a resonant and thunderous majority. To be accurate, it was not as loud as all that, for his lead over
the second-placer was only about 2,100 votes. In any event, the people of that locality could not have, even unanimously, changed
the requirements of the Local Government Code and the Constitution. The electorate had no power to permit a foreigner owing his
total allegiance to the Queen of Australia, or at least a stateless individual owing no allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, to
preside over them as mayor of their city. Only citizens of the Philippines have that privilege over their countrymen.
The probability that many of those who voted for the petitioner may have done so in the belief that he was qualified only
strengthens the conclusion that the results of the election cannot nullify the qualifications for the office now held by him. These
qualifications are continuing requirements; once any of them is lost during incumbency, title to the office itself is deemed forfeited.
In the case at bar, the citizenship and voting requirements were not subsequently lost but were not possessed at all in the first place
on the day of the election. The petitioner was disqualified from running as mayor and, although elected, is not now qualified to
serve as such.
Finally, there is the question of whether or not the private respondent, who filed the quo warranto petition, can replace the
petitioner as mayor. He cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the election, he
was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City.
The latest ruling of the Court on this issue is Santos v. Commission on Elections, 22 decided in 1985. In that case, the candidate who
placed second was proclaimed elected after the votes for his winning rival, who was disqualified as a turncoat and considered a non-
candidate, were all disregarded as stray. In effect, the second placer won by default. That decision was supported by eight members
of the Court then, 23 with three dissenting 24 and another two reserving their vote. 25 One was on official leave. 26
Re-examining that decision, the Court finds, and so holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier case of Geronimo v.
Ramos, 27 which represents the more logical and democratic rule. That case, which reiterated the doctrine first announced in 1912 in
Topacio vs. Paredes, 28 was supported by ten members of the Court, 29 without any dissent, although one reserved his
vote, 30 another took no part, 31 and two others were on leave. 32 There the Court held:
. . . it would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has
not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the
majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not choose him.
Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in the
election for that office, and it is a fundamental idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared elected and
no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election. (20 Corpus
Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676.)
The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for the office
to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared
the winner of the elective office. The votes cast for a dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may not be valid to vote the winner
into office or maintain him there. However, in the absence of a statute which clearly asserts a contrary political and legislative policy
on the matter, if the votes were cast in the sincere belief that the candidate was alive, qualified, or eligible, they should not be
treated as stray, void or meaningless.
It remains to stress that the citizen of the Philippines must take pride in his status as such and cherish this priceless gift that, out of
more than a hundred other nationalities, God has seen fit to grant him. Having been so endowed, he must not lightly yield this
precious advantage, rejecting it for another land that may offer him material and other attractions that he may not find in his own
country. To be sure, he has the right to renounce the Philippines if he sees fit and transfer his allegiance to a state with more
allurements for him. 33 But having done so, he cannot expect to be welcomed back with open arms once his taste for his adopted
country turns sour or he is himself disowned by it as an undesirable alien.
Philippine citizenship is not a cheap commodity that can be easily recovered after its renunciation. It may be restored only after the
returning renegade makes a formal act of re-dedication to the country he has abjured and he solemnly affirms once again his total
and exclusive loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. This may not be accomplished by election to public office.
WHEREFORE, petitioner Ramon J. Labo, Jr. is hereby declared NOT a citizen of the Philippines and therefore DISQUALIFIED from
continuing to serve as Mayor of Baguio City. He is ordered to VACATE his office and surrender the same to the Vice-Mayor of Baguio
City once this decision becomes final and executory. The temporary restraining order dated January 31, 1989, is LIFTED.

Coquilla vs. COMELEC
Posted on October 3, 2012
G.R. No. 151914; 385 SCRA 607
September 17, 2002
Petitioner Coquilla was born of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar, where he grew up and resided.
In 1965, he joined the US Navy and subsequently naturalized as a US citizen.
On October 15, 1998, petitioner came to the Philippines and took out a residence certificate, albeit continued making several trips to
the US.
On November 10, 2000, he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines subsequently after his application for repatriation was
On November 21, 2000, he applied for registration as a voter of Butunga, Oras, Eastern Samar.
On February 27, 2001, he filed his COC stating therein that he has been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for 2 years.
On March 5, 2001, respondent incumbent mayor of Oras who was running for re-election, sought the cancellation of petitioners
COC on the ground that the latter had resided in Oras for only about 6 months since when he took his oath as a citizen of the
On May 14, 2001, petitioner garnered the highest number of votes and was subsequently proclaimed mayor of Oras.
WON petitioner satisfied the residency requirement for the position of mayor.
No. Par. 39, Chapter 1, Title 2 of the Local Government Code (RA 7160) provides that an elective official must be a resident
therein (barangay, municipality, city or province) for at least 1 year immediately preceeding the day of the election
The term residence is to be understood not in its common acceptation as referring to dwelling or habitation, but rather to
domicile or legal residence, that is, 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 childs parents reside and continues until the same is abandoned
by acquisition of a new domicile (domicile of choice).
In the case at bar, petitioner lost his domicile of origin in Oras by becoming a US citizen after enlisting in the US Navy in 1965. From
then on and until November 10, 2000, when he reacquired Philippine citizenship, he was an alien.


G.R. No. 132244, September 14, 1999


Petitioner Gerardo Angat was a natural born citizen of the Philippines until he lost his citizenship by naturalization in the United
States of America. On 11 March 1996, he filed before the RTC of Marikina City, Branch 272, a petition to regain his Status as a citizen
of the Philippines under Commonwealth Act No. 63, Republic Act No. 965 and Republic Act No. 2630. The case was thereafter set for
initial hearing.

On 13 June 1996, petitioner sought to be allowed to take his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to R.A.
8171. The motion was initially denied by the trial judge but after a motion for reconsideration, it was granted. The petitioner was
ordered to take his oath of allegiance pursuant to R.A. 8171. After taking his oath of allegiance, the trial court issued an order
repatriating petitioner and declaring him as citizen of the Philippines pursuant to Republic Act No. 8171. The Bureau of Immigration
was ordered to cancel his alien certificate of registration and issue the certificate of identification as Filipino citizen.
On 19 March 1997, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion (virtually a motion for reconsideration)
asserting that the petition itself should have been dismissed by the court a quo for lack of jurisdiction because the proper forum for
it was the Special Committee on Naturalization consistently with Administrative Order No. 285 ("AO 285"), dated 22 August 1996,
issued by President Fidel V. Ramos. AO 285 had tasked the Special Committee on Naturalization to be the implementing agency of
R.A 8171. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the petition.

Petitioner appealed contending that the RTC seriously erred in dismissing the petition by giving retroactive effect to Administrative
Order No. 285, absent a provision on Retroactive Application.


WON Court erred in dismissing the petition by giving retroactive effect to AO 285, absent a provision on Retroactive Application


No. Under Section 1 of Presidential Decree ("P.D.") No. 725, 8 dated 05 June 1975, amending Commonwealth Act No.
63, an application for repatriation could be filed by Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens, as well
as by natural born Filipinos who lost their Philippine citizenship, with the Special Committee on Naturalization. The committee,
chaired by the Solicitor General with the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the NationalIntelligence Coordinating
Agency as the other members, was created pursuant to Letter of Instruction ("LOI") No. 270, dated 11 April 1975, as amended by LOI
No. 283 and LOI No. 491 issued, respectively, on 04 June 1975 and on 29 December 1976. Although the agency was deactivated by
virtue of President Corazon C. Aquino's Memorandum of 27 March 1987, it was not however, abrogated. In Frivaldo vs. Commission
on Elections, 9 the Court observed that the aforedatedmemorandum of President Aquino had merely directed the Special
Committee on Naturalization "to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings . . . under Letter of Instruction ("LOI")
270." 10 The Court elaborated:

This memorandum dated March 27, 1987 cannot by any stretch of legal hermeneutics be construed as a law sanctioning or
authorizing a repeal of P.D. No. 725. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and a repeal may be express or implied. It is
obvious that no express repeal was made because then President Aquino in her memorandum-based on the copy furnished us by
Lee-did not categorically and/or impliedly state that P.D. 725 was being repealed or was being rendered without any legal effect. In
fact, she did not even mention it specifically by its number or text. On the other hand, it is a basic rule of statutory construction that
repeals by implication are not favored. An implied repeal will not be allowed "unless it is convincingly and unambiguously
demonstrated that the two laws are clear repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist."

Indeed, the Committee was reactivated on 08 June 1995; hence, when petitioner filed his petition on 11 March 1996, the Special
Committee on Naturalizationconstituted pursuant to LOI No. 270 under P.D. No. 725 was in place. Administrative Order 285,
promulgated on 22 August 1996 relative to R.A. No. 8171, in effect, was merely then a confirmatory issuance.

The Office of the Solicitor General was right in maintaining that Angat's petition should have been filed with the Committee,
aforesaid, and not with the RTC which had no jurisdiction thereover. The court's order of 04 October 1996 was thereby null and void,
and it did not acquire finality nor could be a source of right on the part of petitioner.

It should also be noteworthy that the was one for repatriation, and it was thusincorrect for petitioner to initially invoke Republic Act
No. 965 and R.A. No. 2630 since these laws could only apply to persons who had lost their citizenship by rendering service to, or
accepting commission in, the armed forces of an allied foreign country or the armed forces of the United States of America, a factual
matter not alleged in the petition, Parenthetically, under these statutes, the person desiring to re-acquire Philippine citizenship
would not even be required to file a petition in court, and all that he had to do was to take an oath of allegiance to theRepublic of
the Philippines and to register that fact with the civil registry in the place of his residence or where he had last resided in the

Mercado v. Manzano Case Digest [G.R. No. 135083. May 26, 1999]

Petitioner Ernesto Mercado and Eduardo Manzano were both candidates for Vice-Mayor of Makati in the May 11, 1998 elections.
Based on the results of the election, Manzano garnered the highest number of votes. However, his proclamation was suspended due
to the pending petition for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mercado on the ground that he was not a citizen of the Philippines but of
the United States.

From the facts presented, it appears that Manzano is both a Filipino and a US citizen.

The Commission on Elections declared Manzano disqualified as candidate for said elective position.

However, in a subsequent resolution of the COMELEC en banc, the disqualification of the respondent was reversed. Respondent was
held to have renounced his US citizenship when he attained the age of majority and registered himself as a voter in the elections of
1992, 1995 and 1998.

Manzano was eventually proclaimed as the Vice-Mayor of Makati City on August 31, 1998.

Thus the present petition.


Whether or not a dual citizen is disqualified to hold public elective office in the philippines.


The court ruled that the phrase "dual citizenship" in R.A. 7160 Sec. 40 (d) and R.A. 7854 Sec. 20 must be understood as referring to
dual allegiance. Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the application of the
different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Dual allegiance on the
other hand, refers to a situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While
dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is a result of an individual's volition. Article IV Sec. 5 of the Constitution provides "Dual
allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law."

Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must,
therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should
suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with
dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states.

By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also
citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws,
such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. That is of no moment.

When a person applying for citizenship by naturalization takes an oath that he renounces his loyalty to any other country or
government and solemnly declares that he owes his allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, the condition imposed by law is
satisfied and complied with. The determination whether such renunciation is valid or fully complies with the provisions of our
Naturalization Law lies within the province and is an exclusive prerogative of our courts. The latter should apply the law duly
enacted by the legislative department of the Republic. No foreign law may or should interfere with its operation and application.

The court ruled that the filing of certificate of candidacy of respondent sufficed to renounce his American citizenship, effectively
removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen;
that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support the Constitution of the
Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far
as the laws of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said
before as a dual citizen.

On the other hand, private respondents oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the fact that he has spent his
youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country,
leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.

His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfill his undertaking made under oath. Should he betray that trust, there
are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. In Yu v.
Defensor-Santiago, the court sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that, after taking his oath as
a naturalized citizen, he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad
that he was a Portuguese national. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who, in electing Philippine citizenship, renounces
his foreign nationality, but subsequently does some act constituting renunciation of his Philippine citizenship.

The petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of merit.


Dual citizenship
Petitioner herein prays for the prohibition to stop the respondent from implementing RA 9225 (An Act Making the Citizenship of
Philippine Citizens Who Acquire Foreign Citizenship Permanent, Amending for the Purpose Commonwealth Act No. 63, As Amended,
and for Other Purposes. Petitioner avers the constitutionality of RA 9225, specifically its Section 3 and 3:

Section 2: Declaration of Policy: It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine Citizens who become citizens of
another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the condition of this Act.

Section 3: Retention of Philippine Citizenship: Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens of the
Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby
deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic.

Whether sections 2 and 3 of RA 9225, together allow dual allegiance and not dual citizenship.

During the deliberation of the Congress, it was clarified that the purpose of these contended sections is to recognize and accept the
supreme authority of the Philippines and his loyalty to the Republic.

Further, Rep. Locsin averred that doing what section 2 and 3 say, the problem of dual citizenship is transferred from the Philippines
to the foreign country because the latest oath that will be taken by the former Filipino is one of the allegiance to the Philippines and
to the United States, as the case may be. And by swearing to the supreme authority of the Republic, the person implicitly renounces
his foreign citizenship.

Further it was held that the bill recognizes the Philippine citizenship but says nothing about the other citizenship.

Wherefore the petition is denied.