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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. Respondent alleged that the petitioner is an American citizen because of her failure to comply with the requirements of Republic Act (RA) No. 9225.
ISSUE: 1. 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
RATIO DECIDENDI: 1. 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 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.
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