AQUINO vs. COMELEC
(248 SCRA 400)
On 20 March 1995, Agapito A. Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative for the new Second Legislative District of Makati City. In his certificate of candidacy, Aquino stated that he was a resident of the aforementioned district for 10 months. Faced with a petition for disqualification, he amended the entry on his residency in his certificate of candidacy to 1 year and 13 days. The Commission on Elections dismissed the petition on 6 May and allowed Aquino to run in the election of 8 May. Aquino won. Acting on a motion for reconsideration of the above dismissal, the Commission on Election later issued an order suspending the proclamation of Aquino until the Commission resolved the issue. On 2 June, the Commission on Elections found Aquino ineligible and disqualified for the elective office for lack of constitutional qualification of residence.
Whether “residency” in the certificate of candidacy actually connotes “domicile” to warrant the
disqualification of Aquino from the position in the electoral district.
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, i.e., his domicile, is that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes of election law. The purpose is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of favorable circumstances existing in that community for electoral gain. Aquino’s certificate of candidacy in a previous (1992) election indicates that he was a resident and a registered voter of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac for more than 52 years prior to that election. Aquino’s connection to the Second District of Makati City is an alleged lease agreement of a condominium unit in the area. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. The short length of time he claims to be a resident of Makati (and the fact of his stated domicile in Tarlac and his claims of other residences in Metro Manila) indicate that his sole purpose in transferring his physical residence is not to acquire a new, residence or domicile but only to qualify as a candidate for Representative of the Second District of Makati City. Aquino was thus rightfully disqualified by the Commission on Elections.