Friday, March 18, 2016

Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC - J. Velasco, concurring

Focused on the substantive aspect of the decision 

  1. Residency 
-yes, residence of the Philippines since May 2005 

  1. To establish residence: establish domicile 
    1. Elements of domicile 
      1. Actual residence 
      2. Intent to stay - animus manendi 
      3. Intent not to go back/abandon previous domicile - animus non revertendi 
    2. Here, established by incremental process of transferring from one country to another the intent to stay and intent not to go back - contested since actual presence here in the Philippines from May 2005 NOT CONTESTED 
      1. Cites:  
        1. Mitra v. COMELEC;  
        2. Sabili v. COMELEC 
    3. On July 2006 Repatriation as starting point for counting residence  
      1. This was held in the cases of: 
        1. Coquilla v. COMELEC - only presented CTC + verbal declarations of running for office 
        2. Caballero v. COMELEC - admitted that he only stayed 9 months in Batanes, no proof presented of residency or intent to reside in the Batanes 
        3. Japzon v. COMELEC - no evidence, all evidence re: events AFTER repatriation 
      2. Court explained that considering no other evidence presented, it is constrained to rule that their intent to stay here in the Philippines should be counted from the date when they were repatriated under RA 9225 
      3. But here: Poe presented several evidence of the process of her transfer of domicile from May 2005 onwards 
      4. Jalosjos case should apply: Court held that even before his repatriation under RA 9225, he has been a resident of Zamboanga due to the fact that he stayed with his brother there 
      5. On buying house in 2008 (note that Poe was repatriated 2006): does not negate animus non revertandi: does not require complete and absolute severance of all physical links with old domicile 

  1. Citizenship 
    1. Burden of proof on private respondents to establish that Poe is not a natural-born citizen 
      1. Rule 131, Section 1: he who claims shall present evidence to prove truth of his claim 
      2. It would be unfair to the foundling if burden of proof shifts to foundling  
    2. Intent of 1935 constitution framers to include under natural-born foundlings in the Philippines 
      1. Sr. Rafols wanted to expressly include them 
      2. Roxas Sr., however, deemed it not necessary because; 
        1. Only few cases of foundlings 
        2. Spanish law, which they applied suppletorily, recognizes that foundlings are citizens of the place where they were found. Everyone agreed that this should likewise be the case in the Philippines 

Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC - J. Perez Main Opinion

HELD: procedure and conclusions are tainted with GADALEJ 

WON POE's COC should be cancelled on the exclusive ground that she made in the certificate a false material representation 
  • COMELEC cannot decide on the qualification or lack thereof of a candidate IF such issue is not yet decided or determined by the proper authority 

  1. WON there is lack or jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when the COMELEC ruled on the citizenship and residency qualifications of POE?  

Other issues (on qualification of POE as a President, which, as mentioned in the opinion (citing Romualdez v. COMELEC), are properly cognizable after Poe is elected as the President and not in this opinion) 
  1. WON POE is a natural-born citizen  
  2. WON POE is a resident of the Philippines for 10 years before the day of May 9, 2016 elections? 


HELD: COMELEC Has no jurisdiction to decide the qualification or lack thereof of the candidate in a cancellation of COC case 

  1. Constitution itself confers the power to rule on the qualifications of Presidents to the SC En Banc, not COMELEC 

Article IX, C, Section 2: does not confer upon COMELEC power to be sole judge of qualifications of Presidential candidates 
SECTION 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: 

(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall. 

(2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. 

Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable. 

(3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters. 

(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. 

(5) Register, after sufficient publication, political parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other requirements, must present their platform or program of government; and accredit citizens’ arms of the Commission on Elections. Religious denominations and sects shall not be registered. Those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign government shall likewise be refused registration. 
Financial contributions from foreign governments and their agencies to political parties, organizations, coalitions, or candidates related to elections constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of their registration with the Commission, in addition to other penalties that may be prescribed by law. 

(6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and malpractices. 

(7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidacies. 

(8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision. 

(9) Submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall. 

CfArticle VI, Section 17 (Congress): Electoral tribunals sole judge of ALL CONTESTS relating to election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. 

CfArticle VII, Section 4 (Judiciary): SC En Banc shall be the sole judge of ALL CONTESTS relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose. 

*should note that there is no provision for proceedings to declare the ineligibility of candidates for Congress, Senate, VP and President, just question qualifications of these incumbent officials (post-proclamation contests) 

  1. Jurisprudence already declared that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to rule on the ineligibility of candidates 
-Romualdez-Marcos v. Commission on Elections (318 Phil. 329 ( 1995)), as affirmed in Fermin v. COMELEC (595 Phil. 449 (2008)):' 
F: COMELEC amended its Rules to provide proceedings to disqualify candidates who do not possess qualifications provided under the Constitution or laws 

  1. The lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates cannot be supplied by a mere rule. COMELEC not authorized by the Constitution to rule on the qualifications (age, residence, citizenship) or lack thereof of candidates, and even voters  

  1. Disqualification vs. ineligibility 
Proceedings: based on Sections 12 and 68 of the OEC, and 40 of LGC 
Lack of qualifications prescribed in the Constitution/statutes for holding public office 
Purpose: bar an individual from becoming or continuing to be a CANDIDATE  
Purpose: remove the incumbent (i.e. elected official) from office 
  1. Why no proceedings for determining BEFORE ELECTION the QUALIFICATIONS of a Candidate: 
    1. No need to determine eligibility for office if a candidate does not win 
      Vs. if he committed election offenses (vote buying, over spending, commission of prohibited acts), he might win after committing these election offenses. So it would be a prejudicial question which will determine whether he can run for office or not 
      So effect of disqualification cases: 
      • Candidate will not be voted for 
      • If he was voted for, votes for him would not count 
      • If he was voted for and won, he would not be proclaimed 
      • If proclaimed, his proclamation would be set aside 

    2. Disqualification cases/cases re: certificates of candidacy should be summary proceedings 
      …But proceedings to determine eligibility of candidates takes long, and may even extend beyond the term of the office 
      …receipt of COC is a ministerial duty of the COMELEC and its officers: law is satisfied if candidates state in their COC that they are eligible, leaving the determination of their eligibility after the election and only in the event they are elected. 

    3. It is national policy not to have pre-proclamation cases against President, VP, Senator, HOR 
    WHY: preserve prerogatives of the electoral tribunals (HRET, SET, PET) to be the sole judges under the constitution of the election, returns, and qualifications of members of congress, President, and VP 
    Cf: RA 7166, Section 15: 
    Sec. 15.Pre-proclamation Cases Not Allowed in Elections for President Vice-President, Senator, and Member of the House of Representatives.- For purposes of the elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of Representatives, no pre-proclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns or the certificates of canvass, as the case may be. However, this does not preclude the authority of the appropriate canvassing body motu propio or upon written complaint of an interested person to correct manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns before it. 
    Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers may be initiated in the board or directly with the Commission in accordance with Section 19 hereof. 
    Any objection on the election returns before the city or municipal board of canvassers, or on the municipal certificates of canvass before the provincial board of canvassers or district boards of canvassers in Metro Manila Area, shall be specifically noticed in the minutes of their respective proceedings. 

  1. Respecting jurisprudence, COMELEC amended its rules to remove proceeding for disqualification of ineligible candidates 

Grounds for disqualification. -Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. 
Grounds. - Any candidate who, in action or protest in which he is a party, is declared by final decision of a competent court, guilty of, or found by the Commission to be suffering from any disqualification provided by law or the Constitution. 

A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate invoking grounds for a Petition to Deny to or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy or Petition to Declare a Candidate as a Nuisance Candidate, or a combination thereof, shall be summarily dismissed. 

So now, before COMELEC can disqualify a candidate: 

  • There must be a declaration by final judgment of a competent court that a candidate is guilty/suffering from any disqualification… 
  • Or a law or the constitution declares the disqualification 

On false material representation (for petition to deny due course/cancel COC): 
-there should be a prior authority or ruling that the candidate is not qualified 
-self-evident facts of unquestioned or unquestionable veracity and judicial confessions  
(side note: Poe stated under oath in her Senatorial COC that she resided in the Philippines for 6 years and 6 months. Isn't this considered a judicial confession? 

Rule 129, Section 4. Judicial admissions An admission, verbal or written, made by the party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. 

In Poe's case, her defense is that she only made an honest mistake in stating her residence to be 6 years and 6 months) 

  1. On Natural-born status of POE 

-since no prior authority on the status of POE's citizenship and residence, COMELEC was forced to rule on the same 

"Clearly, to avoid a direct ruling on the qualifications of petitioner, which it cannot make in the same case for cancellation of COC, it resorted to opinionatedness which is, moreover, erroneous. The whole process undertaken by COMELEC is wrapped in grave abuse of discretion." 

COMELEC: POE is a foundling, not recognized as a natural-born citizen of the 1935 Constitution; therefore, they are not natural-born citizens. 
-it cannot rule that POE possesses a blood relationship with a natural-born Filipino, and it is certain that such relationship is indemonstrable 
-Poe has the burden of proof to establish her natural filiation with a Filipino parent 

A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, Resolution Approving The Proposed Rule on Adoption (Domestic and 
Inter-Country), effective 22 August 2002 
"a deserted or abandoned infant or child whose parents, guardian or relatives are unknown; or a child committed to an orphanage or charitable or similar institution with unknown facts of birth and parentage and registered in the Civil Register as a "foundling." 

Article IV, Section 1, 1935 Constitution: 
Sec. I. The following are citizens of the Philippines: 
(I) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this 
(2) Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine Islands. 
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines. 
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.  
(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. 

Section 2. Philippine citizenship may be Jost or reacquired in the manner provided by Jaw. 


  1. There is more than sufficient evidence that Poe has Filipino parents and is therefore, natural-born Filipino 

  • Admission as a foundling did not shift burden on Poe of proving that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen 
  • Factual issue: WON POE's parents are Filipinos 
  • Here, collateral evidence induce belief that Poe's parents are natural-born Filipinos: 
    • Statistics: 
      • OSG: reports from PSA 
        • From 1965-1975: born in the Philippines: 99.83°/o natural-born 
          • 15,986 foreigners 
          • 10,558,278 Filipinos 
      • POE: Census statistics from Iloilo for 1960 to 1970 
        • Population (1960): 99.62% were Filipinos 
          • 962,532 Filipinos 
          • 4,734 Foreigners 
        • Population (1970): 99.55 % were Filipinos 
          • 1,162,669 Filipinos 
          • 5,304 foreigners 
        • Child producing ages (15-40) 
          • 1960:  
            • 230,528 Female Filipinos to 730 Female Foreigners (99.68%) 
            • 210,349 Filipino Males to 886 male aliens (99.58%) 
          • 1970 
            • 270,299 Filipino Females to 1, 190 female aliens (99.56%) 
            • 245,740 Filipino males to 1,165 male aliens (99.53°/o) 
      • COMELEC never disputed the collateral evidence on the majority of population being Filipinos; Commissioner Lim even admitted it during oral arguments 
    • Factual circumstances surrounding discovery of Poe as foundling: 
      • Found in a Roman Catholic Church in Iloilo City 
      • She has typical filipino features:  
        • Height 
        • Flat nasal bridge 
        • Straight black hair 
        • Almond shaped eyes 
        • Oval face 
    • Rule 131, Section 3 (y): Disputable presumption that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life: 
      "All of the foregoing evidence, that a person with typical Filipino features is abandoned in Catholic Church in a municipality where the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such that there would be more than a 99% chance that a child born in the province would be a Filipino, would 
      indicate more than ample probability if not statistical certainty, that petitioner's parents are Filipinos." 
    • As stated by the OSG: it is contrary to common sense for foreigners to come to the Philippines so they can get pregnant and leave their newborn babies behind: 
      • "We do not imagine foreigners abandoning their children here in the Philippines thinking those infants would have better economic opportunities or believing that this country is a tropical paradise suitable 
      for raising abandoned children. I certainly doubt whether a foreign couple has ever considered their child excess baggage that is best left behind." 

  1. The framers of the 1935 Constitution understood foundlings to be included under natural born citizens, so they did not deem it necessary to expressly include it in the enumeration of natural-born citizens 

-legal basis for reviewing the intent of framers: Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (236 Phil. 307 (1987)) 
-what happened:  
  • Rafols proposed to include children of unknown parentage in the enumeration of natural-born Filipinos 
  • Montinola cited the Spanish Code wherein all children of unknown parentage born in Spanish territory are considered Spaniards because the presumption is that a child of unknown parentage is the son of a Spaniard. So apply same principle in the Philippines.  
  • Rafols stated that there is a need to expressly provide it in the enumeration, since they were talking about Filipinos, not Spaniards 
  • Roxas interjected saying that: 
    • Children of unknown parentage cases are few, Consti need not refer to them 
    • International law principles recognize that children born in a country  of unknown parents are citizens in this nation (i.e. Philippines), and this principle is recognized in the Philippines 
  • SO SUM: children of unknown parentage were not included in the enumeration of natural-born Filipinos NOT BECAUSE they are not considered to be so, but ONLY BECAUSE THEIR CASES ARE TOO FEW TO MERIT SPECIFIC MENTION IN THE CONSTITUTION 
-OSG: it would have been unfair to impute upon the framers of the Constitution discriminatory intent against foundlings; it is upon private respondents to establish this discriminatory intent 
-Court: Constitutional provisions all support finding that foundlings should not be discriminated against, and contradict any finding of intent to discriminate foundlings  
  • Article II, Section 11: "State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights" 
  • Article XIII, Section 1: mandates Congress to "give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities x x x" 
  • Article XV, Section 3: State to defend the "right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development." 

  1. Domestic Laws on adoption support principle that foundlings are Filipinos 
-adoption does not confer citizenship upon adoptee 
-for Domestic laws on adoption to apply to foundlings, they should first be considered Filipinos! 
  • Article 15 of the Civil Code: "[l]aws relating to family rights, duties, status, conditions, legal capacity of persons are binding on citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad." 
  • Ellis v. Ellis (117 Phil. 976 (1963)): expressly declared that foundlings are citizens of the Philippines; and adoption courts in the Philippines will only have jurisdiction over the adoption if the adoptee is a Filipino 
(side comment: considered Filipinos, but does not qualify that they are natural-born Filipinos) 

  1. On argument that foundlings are, at the very least, naturalized citizens: NOT CORRECT 
    1. 2 types of citizens: 
      1. Natural born - those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire  or perfect  their Philippine citizenship 
      2. Naturalized - those who have to perform an act to perfect their Philippine citizenship 
    2. Argument by private respondents: foundlings acquire a foundling certificate; issuance of the foundling certificate is an act which  is needed for the foundling to acquire Philippine citizenship 
    3. HELD: NO 
      1. "having to perform an act" : act must be personally done by the foundling, not by the authorities 
      2. Object of issuance of foundling certificate: determination of whereabouts of the parents, NOT confer citizenship upon the foundling (cfSection 5, RA 8552 - only after location of unknown parents are not determined will the government issue a foundling certificate) 
      3. Situation not analogous to naturalization cases, or to cases when the citizen elects Philippine citizenship 
    4. PLUS ISSUE MOOT because POE was already legally adopted, and it was declared there that Poe is a foundling (honestly, anlabo ng paragraph na to) 

  2. Foundlings are citizens under International Law 

"All of the international law conventions and instruments on the matter of nationality of foundlings were designed to address the plight of a defenseless class which suffers from a misfortune not of their own making. We cannot be restrictive as to their application if we are a country which calls itself civilized and a member of the community of nations" 

  1. Intro: how International law are introduced in the Philippines (*PIL briefer) 
    1. Transformation - international law transformed to local legislation 
    2. Incorporation - form part of the law of the land automatically: 
      1. Generally Accepted Principles of International Law 
        1. International customs as evidence of a general practice accepted as law 
          1. Established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States 
          2. Opinion juris sive necessitates (opinion as to the law or necessity) - belief that the practice in question is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it 
        2. General principles of international law recognized by civilized nations 
        -principles "established by a process of reasoning" or judicial logic, based on principles which are "basic to legal systems generally:" 
        • the general principles of fairness and justice 
        • General principle against discrimination 
        -these are embodied in several treaties: 
        • Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
        • the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
        • the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 
        • the Convention Against Discrimination in Education 
        • the Convention (No. 111) Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation 
        -these are likewise embodied in our constitution 

  2. Specific Treaties obligate the Philippines to grant nationality from the time of birth and ensure that no child is stateless - can't be established by naturalization wherein applicant must be at least 18 years old: 
    1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights - interpreted by SC to be part of the generally accepted principles of international law and binding on the State (Rep. of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan, 454 Phil. 504, 545 (2003)) 

    Article 15, UDHR 
    1. Everyone has the right to a nationality. 
    2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the 
    right to change his nationality. 

    1. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - ratified by RP 

    Article 7: 
    1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents. 
    2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless. 

    1. 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) - ratified by RP 

    Article 24 
    1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right, to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State. 
    2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name. 
    3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality. 

  3. Specific conventions, although unratified by RP, presumes foundlings to have nationality of the country of birth 

  1. 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws 

Article 14: 
A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child's parentage is established, its nationality shall be determined by the rules applicable in cases where the parentage is known.  

A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was found. (Underlining supplied) 

  1. 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness 

Article 2 
foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be considered to have been born within the territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State. 

How are these binding?? 
  1. considered part of the generally accepted principles of international law 
-Razon v. Tagitis (621 Phil. 536, 600 (2009)) 
  • In this case, court held that even when RP not a signatory to the treaty "International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance," proscription against enforced disappearances in the said convention was a generally accepted principle of international law 
  • Even when the treaty has not come into force (16 out of the 20 required to ratify the treaty), ban on forced disappearances GAPIL 
  • Ban on forced disappearances practiced in several states 

-Mijares v. Ranada (495 Phil. 372, 395 (2005) 
  • Even if only 4 countries ratified the 1966 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, many states recognized in their jurisdictions foreign judgments (14 reported, but court nonetheless held that it was a widespread practice) 

  1. On 1930 Hague Convention: UDHR's Article 15 (1) effectively affirms Article 14 of 1930 Hague Convention 
  2. On 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness: it merely gives effect to UDHR's Article 15 (1) 

  1. Poe showed practice of states wherein they passed legislations recognizing foundlings as its citizens:  
    1. at least 60 countries in Asia, North and South America, and Europe 
    2. 42/60 follow jus sanguinis 
    3. 33/60 are parties to 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the rest (26) are not (side note: pano yung isang state???) 
*CJ Sereno likewise noted that 166 out of 189 countries surveyed (87.83%) recognize foundlings as citizens 
*Practice in the Philippines: 
  • Ra 8552, RA 8042, and SC Rules on Adoption: "FILIPINO children" includes foundlings 
  • DFA issues passports to foundlings, even when law requires them to issue passports ONLY TO CITIZENS 

  1. REPATRIATION already held to confer upon the individual his previous status 
COMELEC: Poe did not acquire natural-born status after repatriation under RA 9225; only Filipino citizenship 

  1. Law and jurisprudence provides that previous status reclaimed after repatriation 
    1. Bengson III v. HRET (409 Phil. 633, 649 (200 I)): 
      1. Naturalized Filipino citizen restored to prior status as naturalized Filipino 
      2. Natural born citizen restored to former status as natural-born Filipino 
    2. Sobejana-Condon v. COMELEC 692 Phil. 407, 420 (2012): RA 9225 is an "abbreviated repatriation process that restores one's Filipino citizenship 
    3. Parreno v. Commission on Audit (551 Phil. 368, 381 (2007)), citing Tabasa v. Court of Appeals (53 I Phil. 407, 4 I 7 (2006)): repatriation of the former Filipino will allow him to recover his natural-born citizenship 
  2. "From birth"  
COMELEC: natural born citizenship must be continuous from birth 
SC:  i. Natural born citizens do not lose their status as such after reacquiring them: no requirement that natural-born citizenship must be uninterrupted and continuous from birth 
-RA 9225 was obviously passed for natural born citizens to reacquire citizenship which was lost; COMELEC cannot disagree with the intent of Congress 
Ii. Bengson v. HRET: only 2 types of citizens: natural-born and naturalized. There is no third category for repatriated citizens 
-natural-born citizen:  a person who at the time of birth is a citizen of a particular country 
-repatriated citizens are not naturalized citizens  

  1. On "BORN TO" in the application for repatriation under RA 9225 
-argument against POE: misrepresentation, misled BI to presume that she was a natural-born Filipino when she used the name of her adoptive parents, not her biological parents 
-SC: Poe was legally adopted:  
  • So she severed all ties with her biological parents, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adoptee 
  • RA 8552, Section 14 entitles the adopted child to an amended birth certificate which shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue 
  • RA 8552, Section 15: all records, books, papers related to the adoption shall be kept strictly confidential 
  • Birth parents are what are contained in the amended birth certificate  
  • Poe was not legally required to disclose her adoption so she is not required to disclose her biological parents 

  1. On Residence of POE 
SC: Poe's claim that will have been a resident for ten (10) years and eleven ( 11) months on the day before the 2016 elections, is true 

1987 Constitution, Article VII, Section 2 
-a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election 

Poe put 10 years and 11 months, which she dated back to 25 May 2005 when she returned for good from the US 

When Poe immigrated to US in 1991, she lost her domicile of origin.  

To reacquire domicile of origin (Fernandez v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, 623 Phil. 628, 660 (2009) citing Japzon v. COMELEC, 596 Phil. 354, 370-372 (2009) further citing Papandayan, Jr. v. COMELEC, 430 
Phil. 754, 768-770 (2002) further further citing Romualdez v. RTC, Br. 7, Tacloban City, G.R. No. 104960, 14 September 1993, 226 SCRA408, 415) 
  1. Residence or bodily presence in a new locality 
  2. intention to remain there 
  3. intention to abandon the old domicile 

  • an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. 

Domino v. COMELEC, 369 Phil. 798, 819 (1999) 
  • purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time (not temporary) 
  • Change of residence voluntary (not due to circumstances) 
  • Residence chosen must be actual 

  1. HERE: Evidence of intent to remain in the Philippines and Abandon US as domicile 
    • US Passport showing arrival on May 25, 2005 
    • US passport showing return to RP everytime she went to US 
    • Email correspondence starting in March 2005 to September 2006 with a freight company to arrange for the shipment of their household items weighing about 28,000 pounds to the Philippines 
    • e-mail with the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry inquiring how to ship their dog to the Philippines 
    • school records of her children showing enrollment in Philippine schools starting June 2005 and for succeeding years 
    • TAX identification card issue don July 2005 
    • titles for condominium and parking slot issued in February 2006 and their corresponding tax declarations issued in April 2006 
    • receipts dated 23 February 2005 from the Salvation Army in the U.S. acknowledging donation of items from petitioner's family 
    • March 2006 e-mail to the U.S. Postal Service confirming request for change of address 
    • final statement from the First American Title Insurance Company showing sale of their U.S. home on 27 April 2006 
    • 12 July 2011 filled-up questionnaire submitted to the U.S. Embassy where petitioner indicated that she had been a Philippine resident since May 2005 
    • affidavit from Jesusa Sonora Poe (attesting to the return of petitioner on 24 May 2005 and that she and her family stayed with affiant until the condominium was purchased); 
    • Affidavit from petitioner's husband (confirming that the spouses jointly decided to relocate to the Philippines in 2005 and that he stayed behind in the U.S. only to finish some work and to sell the family home) 

  1. BUT COMELEC and TATAD opined that there was no animus non revertendi BEFORE JULY 2006 when BI approved her application under RA 9225 for repatriation 

Jurisprudence held that the stay of an alien former Filipino cannot be counted until he/she obtains a permanent resident visa or reacquires Philippine citizenship, a visafree entry under a balikbayan stamp being insufficient. Since petitioner was still an American (without any resident visa) until her reacquisition of citizenship under R.A. No. 9225, her stay from 24 May 2005 to 7 July 2006 cannot be counted. 

  1. Coquilla v. COMELEC (434 Phil. 861 (2002)) - only showed CTC + declaration that he was running in the elections 
  2. Japzon v. COMELEC (596 Phil. 354 (2009)) - issue there was whether the candidate's acts after reacquisition sufficed to establish residence, not counting of residence prior to reacquisition of Philippine citizenship 
  3. Caballero v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 209835, 22 September 2015) - candidate admitted that his place of work 
was abroad and that he only visited during his frequent vacations 
  1. Reyes v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 207264, 25 June 2013, 699 SCRA 522) - the candidate was found to be an American citizen who had not even reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 or had renounced her U.S. citizenship; on residence, only proof she offered was a seven-month stint as provincial officer 

So SC held that because the cited cases contained sparse evidence on the residency of the candidates, they were constrained to use the date of their repatriation as the date when the counting of residence should begin (as it is the only definite overt act of their intent to stay) 

Vs. POE'S CASE: " Indeed, coupled with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her family's actual continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear that when petitioner returned on 24 May 2005 it was for good." 

*GADALEJ to disregard evidence of POE's presence from May 2005 in the Philippines just because (1) Senatorial COC stated otherwise; and (2) they were of the impression that her residency should be counted from the time she was repatriated under RA 9225 

  1. On argument that Poe entered Philippines Visa-free as a balikbayan during that time (hence, her stay in the Philippines is TEMPORARY - 1 year max stay under RA 6768): RA 6768 does not treat balikbayan as transients: 
    • Law institutes a balikbayan program which provides balikbayans opportunities to avail of the necessary training to enable balikbayans to become economically self-reliant members of society upon their return 
    • The fact that they are offered trainings with the intention of preparing them for their return means that they are not treated as transients 
    • visa-free period is obviously granted him to allow him to re-establish his life and reintegrate himself into the community before he attends to the necessary formal and legal requirements of repatriation 
    • Law did not intend the balikbayans to leave after one year 

  • Poe's presented several evidence as opposed to the case mentioned by private respondents 

D. On argument that Poe was barred from claiming contrary to what was stated in her Senatorial COC 

COMELEC: based on her Senatorial CoC, she has been a resident of the Philippines only since November 2006 
  • she reckoned her residency from April-May 2006 when they sold their US House and her husband returned; however, in 2015, her lawyers advised her that she should have reckoned the date of her residency from May 2005 
  • She allegedly misunderstood the question in the form to ask the residence as of the time she submitted the COC 
  • COMELEC changed the question, so SC held that it was a tacit admission on the part of COMELEC that their questionnaire was vague 
  • Mistake justified since Poe was able to show evidence that she was in the country even before the date she alleged in her Senatorial COC 
  • GADALEJ to treat the Senatorial COC as binding admission against POE; it can be presented as evidence, but just disputable and not conclusive 
    • CfRomualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC: Evidence was admitted to establish that the fact of residence, not the statement made in the COC, is the determinative factor to determine whether an individual was able to satisfy the constitution's residency requirement 

E. No deliberate misrepresentation 
-POE cannot be said that she intended to hide anything re: residency 

  • There was a quo warranto case filed against her in SET as early as August 2015 
  • Her statement in the Senatorial CoC was brought up in the press by UNA spokesperson Toby Tiangco. Poe corrected the same immediately in the Press – so it was public knowledge, and private respondents never contested this allegation 
  • She likewise clarified in her verified answer before the SET that she misunderstood the question in her Senatorial COC. Her verified answer is part of the public records. So when POe filed her Presidential COC, she could not have been hiding her Senatorial COC where she declared that she was a resident of the Philippines for 6 years and 6 months then 
  • Even when there was a discrepancy between the Senatorial COC and the Presidential COC, if NO DELIBERATE INTENT TO MISLEAD, MISINFORM, or HIDE a Fact which would otherwise make her ineligible for office, COMELEC cannot cancel her COC 
    • Cf Ugdoracion, Jr. v. COMELEC, 575 Phil. 253, 265-266 (2008) 
      1. Misrepresentation on a material fact (eligibility and qualifications for office) 
      2. Deliberate intent to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise make her ineligible for office; intention to deceive