Case Digest (Art. v)

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Pundaodaya –versus- Comelec & Noble, G.R.179313, Sept.17, 2009 Facts: Petitioner ran against Noble for municipal mayor of Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental in the 2007 elections. Pundaodaya filed a petition for disqualification against Noble alleging that the latter lacks the residency qualification. Pundaodaya claimed that Noble is a resident of Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City. Noble averred that he is a registered voter and resident of Barangay Esperanza, Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental. In a resolution, the Second Division of the COMELEC ruled and disqualified Noble from running as mayor. Noble filed a motion for reconsideration of the resolution. In the meantime, he garnered the highest number of votes and was proclaimed the winning candidate. Pundaodaya then filed an Urgent Motion to Annul Proclamation. The COMELEC En Banc reversed the decision of the Second Division and declared Noble qualified to run for the mayoralty position. Pundaodaya filed the instant petition for certiorari. Issue: Should “residence” and “domicile” be construed as referring to “dwelling”? Did Noble effectively change his domicile? Held: The Court found that Noble failed to convince that he successfully effected a change of domicile. To establish a new domicile of choice, personal presence in the place must be coupled with conduct indicative of that intention. It requires not only such bodily presence in that place but also a declared and probable intent to make it one’s fixed and permanent place of abode. In Japzon v. Commission on Elections, it was held that 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).” De Guzman –versus- Comelec, G.R. No. 180048, June 19, 2009 Facts: Petitioner and private respondent Angelina DG. Dela Cruz were candidates for vice-mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija in the 2007 elections. Private respondent filed a petition for disqualification alleging that petitioner is not a citizen of the Philippines. Petitioner admitted that he was a naturalized American. However, he applied for dual citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003) and subsequently took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. As such, he is qualified to run as vice-mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija. Private respondent won as vice-mayor. Petitioner filed an election protest on grounds of irregularities and massive cheating. The COMELEC First Division rendered its resolution disqualifying petitioner. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was dismissed on by the COMELEC En Banc. Petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari. Issue: Does the filing of a certificate of candidacy ipso facto amount to a renunciation of his foreign citizenship under R.A. No. 9225? Held:

The court ruled that the filing of a certificate of candidacy does not ipso facto amount to a renunciation of his foreign citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 because R.A. No. 9225 provides for more requirements. Thus, in Japzon v. COMELEC, the Court held that Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225 requires the twin requirements, “he must: (1) meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws; and (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenships before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.” Cordova –versus- Comelec, G.R. No. 176947, Feb. 12, 2009 Facts: Cordora stated that Tambunting was not eligible to run for local public office because Tambunting lacked the required citizenship and residency requirements. Tambunting, on the other hand, maintained that he did not make any misrepresentation in his certificates of candidacy. Cordora claimed that he is not a natural-born Filipino, that he was born of a Filipino mother and an American father. Tambunting denied that he was naturalized as an American citizen. He also took an oath of allegiance pursuant to R.A. No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003). Cordora claims that the number of years of residency stated in Tambunting’s certificates of candidacy is false because he lost his residency because of his naturalization as an American citizen, Tambunting contended that the residency requirement is not the same as citizenship. The COMELEC Law Department recommended the dismissal of the complaint against Tambunting and the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the findings and the resolution. Issue: Did Tambunting fulfill the citizenship and residency requirements prescribed by law? Held: The petition has no merit. We affirm the ruling of the COMELEC En Banc. Cordora concluded that Tambunting failed to meet the residency requirement because of Tambunting’s naturalization as an American. Cordora’s reasoning fails because Tambunting is not a naturalized American. Because of the circumstances of his birth, it was no longer necessary for Tambunting to undergo the naturalization process to acquire American citizenship. Moreover, residency, for the purpose of election laws, includes the twin elements of the fact of residing in a fixed place and the intention to return there permanently, and is not dependent upon citizenship.

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