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Digest:Reyes v. Commission on Elections (699 SCRA 622, 2013)

Reyes v. Commission on Elections (699 SCRA 622, 2013)

Facts:  Petitioner filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the lone district of Marinduque. Respondent, a registered voter and resident of the Municipality of Torrijos, Marinduque, filed before the COMELEC a petition for the cancellation of petitioner’s COC. On October 31, 2012, the respondent filed the amended petition on the ground that the petitioner’s COC contained material misrepresentations regarding the petitioner’s marital status, residency, date of birth and citizenship. Respondent alleged that the petitioner is an American citizen and filed in February 8, 2013 a manifestation with motion to admit newly discovered evidence and amended last exhibit.

On March 27, 2013, the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution cancelling the petitioner’s COC on the basis that petitioner is not a citizen of the Philippines because of her failure to comply with the requirements of Republic Act (RA) No. 9225.

The petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on April 8, 2013. But on May 14, 2013 the COMELEC en banc promulgated a Resolution denying the petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit.

On May 18, 2013, petitioner was proclaimed winner of the May 13, 2013 elections and on June 5, 2013 took her oath of office before the Speaker of House of Representatives. She has yet to assume office at noon of June 30, 2013.

On June 5, 2013, the COMELEC en banc issued a Certificate of Finality declaring the May 14, 2013 Resolution of the COMELEC en banc final and executory.

Petitioner then filed before the court Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Status Quo Ante Order.



  1. Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC has the jurisdiction over the petitioner who is a duly proclaimed winner and who has already taken her oath of office for the position of member of the House of Representative.
  2. Whether or not the COMELEC erred in its ruling that the petitioner is illegible to run for office



  1. Ruling: Pursuant to Section 17, Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution, the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election returns and qualification of the members of House of Representative.
  2. In R.A 9925, for a respondent to reacquire Filipino citizenship and become eligible for public office, the law requires that she must have accomplished the following 1) take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the consul-general of the Philippine Consulate in the USA, and 2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath. In the case at bar, there is no showing that petitioner complied with the requirements. Petitioner’s oath of office as Provincial Administrator cannot be considered as the oath of allegiance in compliance with RA 9225. As to the issue of residency, the court approved the ruling if the COMELEC that a Filipino citizen who becomes naturalized elsewhere effectively abandons his domicile of origin. Upon reacquisition of Filipino citizenship, he must still show that he chose to establish his domicile in the Philippines through positive acts, and the period of his residency shall be counted from the time he made it his domicile of choice. In this case, there is no showing that the petitioner reacquired her Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 so as to conclude  that the petitioner renounced her American citizenship, it follows that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA. Petitioner claim that she served as Provincial Administrator of the province of Marinduque from January 18, 2011 to July 13, 2011 is not sufficient to prove her one-year residency for she has never recognized her domicile in Marinduque as she remains to be an American citizen. No amount of her stay in the said locality can substitute the fact that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA.
Source and Credit to:  dreamcatcher0803

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