a collections of case digests and laws that can help aspiring law students to become a lawyer
Pecson vs Coronel
G.R. No. 20374, October 11, 1923
On November 28, 1922, the Court of First Instance of Pampanga probated as the last will and testament of Dolores Coronel (testatrix) who named as her sole heir Lorenzo Pecson, the husband of her niece. The relatives of testatrix by consanguinity questioned the genuineness of the will on the following grounds: First, that it was improbable and exceptional that Dolores Coronel should dispose of her estate by excluding her blood relatives; and second, that if such will was not expressed in fact, it was due to extraneous illegal influence.
Whether the decedent can exclude her blood relatives in the disposition of her estate.
Yes. It is true that the ties of relationship in the Philippines are very strong, but we understand that cases of preterition of relatives from the inheritance are not rare. The liberty to dispose of one’s estate by will when there are no forced/compulsory heirs is rendered sacred by the Civil Code in force in the Philippines since 1989.
The Supreme Court held that nothing is strange in the preterition made by Dolores Coronel of her blood relatives, nor in the designation of Lorenzo Pecson(husband of her niece) as her sole beneficiary. Furthermore, although the institution of the beneficiary here would not seem the most usual and customary, still this would not be null per se.
“In the absence of any statutory restriction every person possesses absolute dominion over his property and may bestow it upon whomsoever he pleases without regard to natural or legal claim upon his bounty. If the testator possesses the requisite capacity to make a will, and the disposition of his property is not affected by fraud or undue influence, the will is not rendered invalid by the fact that it is unnatural, unreasonable, or unjust. Nothing can prevent the testator from making a will as eccentric, as injudicious, or as unjust as caprice, frivolity, or revenge can dictate.
A petition for certification election was filed by private respondent Pinag-Isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anakpawis– Holy Child Catholic School Teachers and Employees Labor Union (HCCS-TELU-PIGLAS). Holy Child Parochial School raised that member of private respondent do not belong to the same class; it is not only a mixture of managerial, supervisory, and rank-and-file employees – as three (3) are vice-principals, one (1) is a department head/supervisor, and eleven (11) are coordinators – but also a combination of teaching and non-teaching personnel – as twenty-seven (27) are non-teaching personnel. It insisted that, for not being in accord with Article 245 of the Labor Code, private respondent is an illegitimate labor organization lacking in personality to file a petition for certification election The Med-Arbiter denied the same.
Whether or not a petition for certification election is dismissible on the ground that the labor organization’s membership allegedly consists of supervisory and rank-and-file employees.
No. Before, when the 1989 Rules was still in application, mingling will prevent an otherwise legitimate and duly registered labor organization from exercising its right to file a petition for certification election. But then, the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules was further amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997 (1997 Amended Omnibus Rules). Specifically, the requirement under Sec. 2(c) of the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules – that the petition for certification election indicate that the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees has not been mingled with supervisory employees – was removed.
Petitioner argued that, in view of the improper mixture of teaching and nonteaching personnel in private respondent due to the absence of mutuality of interest among its members, the petition for certification election should have been dismissed on the ground that private respondent is not qualified to file such petition for its failure to qualify as a legitimate labor organization, the basic qualification of which is the representation of an appropriate bargaining unit. The Supreme Court disagreed and said that the concepts of a union and of a legitimate labor organization are different from, but related to, the concept of a bargaining unit.
In case of alleged inclusion of disqualified employees in a union, the proper procedure for an employer like petitioner is to directly file a petition for cancellation of the union’s certificate of registration due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code, as amended. To reiterate, a private respondent who has been awarded a valid certificate of registration should be considered to have gained legal personality that cannot be challenged collaterally.
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard vs. Bureau of Labor Relations
· February 16, 2010: the Samahan through Alipio filed an application for registration of its name “Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard” with DOLE o The application stated that the association had a total of 120 members
· February 26, 2010: the DOLE-Pampanga issued the certificate of registration
· March 15, 2010: Hanjin prayed for the cancellation of registration of Samahan on the ground that its members did not fall under any of the types of workers enumerated in the second sentence of Art. 243 of the LC o The enumeration included only ambulant, intermittent, itinerant, rural workers, self-employed, and those without definite employers may form a workers’ association o Hanjin also posited that 1/3 of the members of the association had definite employers and the continued existence of the association would prejudice the company o Hanjin added that Samahan committed a misrepresentation in connection with the list of members who took part in the ratification of their constitution and by-laws Hanjin claimed that Samahan made it appear that its members were all qualified to become members of the worker’s association
· DOLE Regional Director: Ruled in favor of Hanjin o RD Bihis found that the preamble as stated in the Consti and by-laws of Samahan, was an admission that all its members were employees of Hanjin: “KAMI, ang mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard ay naglalayong na isulong ang pagbpapabuti…”. The same claim was made by Samahan it its motion to dismiss, but it failed to adduce evidence that the remaining 63 members were employees of Hanjin.
RD Bihis stated that the remaining employees should have formed a labor union for collective bargaining instead
· Aggrieved, Samahan filed an appeal to the Bureau of Labor Relations. Samahan pointed out that the words “Hanjin Shipyard” was used to refer to a workplace and not as an employer or company o When a shipyard was put up in Subic, Zambales, it became known as Hanjin Shipyard. Further, the remaining 63 members stated that they were either working or had worked at Hanjin à therefore no misrepresentation
· Bureau of Labor Relations: Granted Samahan’s appeal and reversed the decision of the RD, but directed Samahan to remove “Hanjin Shipyard” from name of association. BLR stated that the law clearly afforded the right to self-organization to all workers including those without definite employers but subject to the limitation that it is only for mutual aid and protection. It is NOT stated anywhere that the right to self-organization is limited to collective bargaining o The BLR stated that there was no misrepresentation – “kami ang manggagawa sa Hanjin shipyard”, if translated is: “We, the workers AT Hanjin Shipyard…”. The use of the preposition “at” is intended to describe a place. At most, the use by Samahan of the name Hanjin Shipyard would only warrant a change in the name of the association
· CA: Reversed the decision of the BLR; the registration of Samahan is contrary to the Labor Code o The CA stressed that only 57/120 members were working at Hanjin while the phrase in the preamble created an impression that ALL members were employees of Hanjin à a clear proof of misrepresentation.
Whether or not the CA erred in cancelling the registration of Samahan.
Yes, right to self-organization includes the right to form a union, workers’ association and labor management councils: More often than not, the right to self-organization connotes unionism workers, however, can also form and join a workers’ association as well as labor-management councils. Art. XIII of the ’87 Constitution Sec. 3 states that the State shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization. Art. III of the Labor Code states that the State shall assure the rights of workers to Self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work. The right to self-organization is not limited to unionism. Workers may also form or join an association for mutual aid and protection and for other legitimate purposes.
NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES- MANILA PAVILION HOTEL CHAPTER vs SEC. OF LABOR
A certification election was conducted on June 16, 2006 among the rank-and-file employees of respondent Holiday Inn Manila Pavilion Hotel (the Hotel) with the following results:
EMPLOYEES IN VOTERS’ LIST=353
TOTAL VOTES CAST=346
In view of the significant number of segregated votes, contending unions, petitioner, NUHWHRAIN-MPHC, and respondent Holiday Inn Manila Pavillion Hotel Labor Union (HIMPHLU), referred the case back to Med-Arbiter to decide which among those votes would be opened and tallied. 11 votes were initially segregated because they were cast by dismissed employees, albeit the legality of their dismissal was still pending before the Court of Appeals. Six other votes were segregated because the employees who cast them were already occupying supervisory positions at the time of the election. Still five other votes were segregated on the ground that they were cast by probationary employees and, pursuant to the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), such employees cannot vote. It bears noting early on, however, that the vote of one Jose Gatbonton (Gatbonton), a probationary employee, was counted.
Med-Arbiter Calabocal ruled for the opening of 17 out of the 22 segregated votes, especially those cast by the 11 dismissed employees and those cast by the six supposedly supervisory employees of the Hotel.
Petitioner, who garnered 151 votes, appealed to the Secretary of Labor and Employment (SOLE), arguing that the votes of the probationary employees should have been opened considering that probationary employee Gatbonton’s vote was tallied. And petitioner averred that respondent HIMPHLU, which garnered 169 votes, should not be immediately certified as the bargaining agent, as the opening of the 17 segregated ballots would push the number of valid votes cast to 338 (151 + 169 + 1 + 17), hence, the 169 votes which HIMPHLU garnered would be one vote short of the majority which would then become 169.
Secretary affirmed the decision of the med-arbiter. In fine, the SOLE concluded that the certification of HIMPHLU as the exclusive bargaining agent was proper.
Whether employees on probationary status at the time of the certification elections should be allowed to vote.
Yes. The inclusion of Gatbonton’s vote was proper not because it was not questioned but because probationary employees have the right to vote in a certification election. The votes of the six other probationary employees should thus also have been counted. As Airtime Specialists, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja holds:
In a certification election, all rank-and-file employees in the appropriate bargaining unit, whether probationary or permanent are entitled to vote. This principle is clearly stated in Art. 255 of the Labor Code which states that the “labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit shall be the exclusive representative of the employees in such unit for purposes of collective bargaining.” Collective bargaining covers all aspects of the employment relation and the resultant CBA negotiated by the certified union binds all employees in the bargaining unit. Hence, all rank-and-file employees, probationary or permanent, have a substantial interest in the selection of the bargaining representative. The Code makes no distinction as to their employment status as basis for eligibility in supporting the petition for certification election. The law refers to “all” the employees in the bargaining unit. All they need to be eligible to support the petition is to belong to the “bargaining unit.”
For purposes of this section (Rule II, Sec. 2 of Department Order No. 40-03, series of 2003), any employee, whether employed for a definite period or not, shall beginning on the first day of his/her service, be eligible for membership in any labor organization.
All other workers, including ambulant, intermittent and other workers, the self-employed, rural workers and those without any definite employers may form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection and other legitimate purposes except collective bargaining.
The provision in the CBA disqualifying probationary employees from voting cannot override the Constitutionally protected right of workers to self-organization, as well as the provisions of the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules on certification elections and jurisprudence thereon.
A law is read into, and forms part of, a contract. Provisions in a contract are valid only if they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy.
British Airways vs Court of Appeals
Mahtani decided to visit is relatives in Bombay, India. He obtained the services of a
certain Mr. Gumar to prepare his travel plans. The latter purchased a ticket from British Airways (BA).
Since BA had no direct flights from Manila to Bombay, he had to take a flight to
Hongkong via PAL and from Hongkong, a connecting flight to Bombay on board BA.
Mahtani checked in at Philippine Air Lines (PAL) his two pieces of luggage containing his clothing’s and personal effects. Unfortunately, when Mahtani arrived in Bombay, he discovered that his luggage was missing and that upon inquiry from the BA representatives, he was told that the same might have been diverted to London. After one week, BA finally advised him to file a claim by accomplishing the "Property Irregularity Report. “Mahtani filed his complaint for damages and attorney's fees against BA and Mr. Gumar.
BA filed its answer with counter claim. BA filed a third-party complaint against PAL alleging that the reason for the non-transfer of the luggage was due to the latter's late arrival in Hongkong, thus leaving hardly any time for the proper transfer of Mahtani's luggage to the BA aircraft bound for Bombay. PAL filed its answer to the third-party complaint, arguing that there was, in fact, adequate time to transfer the luggage to BA facilities in Hongkong. Furthermore, the transfer of the luggage to Hongkong
authorities should be considered as transfer to BA.
The trial court rendered the decision in favor of Mahtani and the Third-Party Complaint
against PAL was dismissed for lack of cause of action. BA appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA
affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court. Thus, this petition.
Whether or not British Airline should be liable for the loss of the baggage.
Yes. In the instant case, it is apparent that the contract of carriage was between Mahtani and BA. Moreover, it is indubitable that his luggage never arrived in Bombay on time. Therefore, as in several cases, the Court have assessed the airlines' culpability in the form of damages for breach of contract involving misplaced luggage.
The nature of an airline's contract of carriage partakes of two types, namely: a contract to deliver a cargo or merchandise to its destination and a contract to transport passengers to their destination. A business intended to serve the travelling public primarily, it is imbued with public interest, hence, the law governing common carriers imposes an exacting standard. Neglect or malfeasance by the carrier's employees could
predictably furnish bases for an action for damages.
Sps Perena vs Sps Nicolas
Spouses Perena were engaged in school bus service, transporting students from Paranaque to Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati. In June 1996, spouses Zarate contracted spouses Perena to transport their son, Aaron Zarate, from their residence in Paranaque to Don Bosco. As on the usual days of school on August 22, 1996, the van picked up Aaron in their house, he then took the left side seat near the rear door of the said vehicle. Considering that the students were due by 7:15am at Don Bosco, and because of heavy traffic at the South Superhighway, the driver, Clemente Alfaro, decided to take the narrow path underneath the Magallanes interchange which then is being used by Makati bound vehicles as short cut. The said narrow path has a railroad crossing, and while traversing the said narrow path, closely tailing a huge passenger bus, the driver of the school service decided to overtake the said bus at about 50 meters away from the railroad crossing. Considering that the stereo is playing loudly and blinded by the bus, he did not hear the blowing of horn of the oncoming train as a warning to the vehicles. The bus successfully crossed the railroad crossing but the van did not. The train hit the rear side of the van and the impact threw 9 of the 12 students including Aaron. His body landed in the path of the train, which dragged him, severed his head, instantaneously killing him. Devastated by the sudden death of their son, spouses Zarate commenced this action for damages.
The Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of the spouses Zarate. On appeal, The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court but lowered the moral damages to Php 2,500,000.00.
Whether or not there is a breach of contract of a common carrier and whether there is negligence.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor spouses Zarate, affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals. In this case, the Supreme Court, once and for all lay the matter to rest that the school service is a common carrier and not a private carrier, and as such, they are required to observe the extraordinary diligence as provided under Article 1733 of the Civil Code. According to the Supreme Court, the true test for a common carrier is not the quantity or extent of the business transacted, or the number and character of the conveyances used in the activity, but whether the undertaking is a part of the activity engaged in by the carrier that he has held out to the general public as his business or occupation. Otherwise stated, making the activity, or holding himself or itself out to the public as a ready to act for all who may desire his or its services to transport goods or persons for a fee.
Applying the considerations mentioned above, there is no question that Perenas as the operators of a school service were: 1) engaged in transporting passengers generally as a business not just as a casual occupation; 2) undertaking to carry passengers over established roads; 3) transporting students for a fee. Despite catering limited clientele, the Perenas operated as a common carrier because they hold themselves out as a ready transportation indiscriminately to the students at a particular school living within or near where they operated the service and for a fee.
First Philippine Industrial Corporation vs Court of Appeals
· Petitioner FPIC is a grantee of a pipeline concession under RA 387 (Petroleum Act) to contract, install, and operate oil pipelines.
· Sometime in January 1995, the FPIC applied for a Mayor’s Permit from the Office of the City Mayor of Batangas.
· Before said permit was to be issued, the City Treasurer required the payment of local tax based on gross receipts from the fiscal year 1993 pursuant to the Local Government Code. This amounted to Php 956, 076.04, payable in four (4) installments.
· FPIC paid the first installment under protest. In its protest, FPIC contended that it is engaged in the business of transporting petroleum products from Batangas refineries, via pipeline, to Sucat and JFT Pandacan Terminals.
· FPIC claimed exemption from paying tax on gross receipts under Sec. 133 of the LGC. It further alleged that transportation contractors are not included in the enumeration of contractors under Sec. 131 of the Local Government Code.
· The City Treasurer denied the protest on the ground that FPIC cannot considered to be engaged in the transportation business. It was also asserted by the Respondent City Treasurer that pipelines are not included in the term “common carrier” which it contended solely refers to trucks, trains, ships, and the like. As such, the City Treasurer held that FPIC is not exempted.
· FPIC filed a complaint for tax refund with the RTC Batangas, but the same was denied.
· The Court of Appeals affirmed the same.
· While the SC initially denied the petition, it was reinstated after the granting of Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.
Whether or not Petitioner is a common carrier and is consequently exempt from paying tax on gross receipts.
Yes. A common carrier may be defined as one who holds himself out to the public as engaged in the business of transporting persons or property from place to place, for compensation, offering his services to the public.
The test for determining whether a party is a common carrier of goods is:
1. He must be engaged in the business of carrying goods for others as a public employment, and must hold himself out as ready to engage in the transportation of goods for person generally as a business and not as a casual occupation;
2. He must undertake to carry goods of the kind to which his business is confined;
3. He must undertake to carry by the method by which his business is conducted and over his established roads; and
4. The transportation must be for hire. Based on these definitions and requirements, there is no doubt that FPIC is a common carrier.
The Respondents’ argument that the term common carriers refer only to transporting goods via vehicles or vessels is erroneous. The definition makes no distinction as to the means of transporting. Further, under Art. 86 of the Petroleum Act, FPIC is considered a common carrier.
The BIR likewise consider FPIC a common carrier in BIR Ruling No. 069-83. From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the petitioner is a common carrier and is exempt from the business tax under Sec. 133 of the Local Government Code.
De Guzman v Court Of Appeals
Cendena was a junk dealer and was engaged in buying used bottles and scrap materials in Pangasinan and brought these to Manila for resale. He used two 6-wheeler trucks. On the return trip to Pangasinan, he would load his vehicles with cargo which various merchants wanted delivered to Pangasinan. For that service, he charged freight lower than regular rates. General Milk Co. contacted with him for the hauling of 750 cartons of milk. On the way to Pangasinan, one of the trucks was hijacked by armed men who took with them the truck and its cargo and kidnapped the driver and his helper.
Only 150 cartons of milk were delivered. The Milk Co. sued to claim the value of the lost merchandise based on an alleged contract of carriage. Cendena denied that he was a common carrier and contended that he could not be liable for the loss it was due to force majeure. The trial court ruled that he was a common carrier. The Court of Appels reversed.
Whether or not Cendena is a common carrier.
Yes, Cendena is properly characterized as a common carrier even though he merely backhauled goods for other merchants, and even if it was done on a periodic basis rather than on a regular basis, and even if his principal occupation was not the carriage of goods. Article 1732 makes no distinction between one whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such carrying only as an ancillary activity. It also avoids making a distinction between a person or enterprise offering transportation services on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering service on an occasional, episodic, or unscheduled basis. Neither does it make a distinction between a carrier offering its services to the public and one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of population.
S.S. Ventures International, Inc. vs. S.S. Ventures Labor Union (SSVLU)
G.R. No. 161690
Petitioner S.S. Ventures International, Inc. (Ventures) is in the business of manufacturing sports shoes. Respondent S.S. Ventures Labor Union (Union) is a labor organization registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
March 21, 2000, the Union filed with DOLE-Region III a petition for certification election in behalf of the rank-and-file employees August 21, 2000, Ventures filed a Petition to cancel the Union’s certificate of registration alleging that the Union deliberately and maliciously included the names of more or less 82 former employees no longer connected with Ventures in its list of members who attended the organizational meeting and in the adoption/ratification of its constitution and by-laws; that No organizational meeting and ratification actually took place; and the Union’s application for registration was not supported by at least 20% of the rank-and-file employees of Ventures.
Regional Director of DOLE- Region III favored Ventures and resolved to Cancel the Certificate of the union. On appeal, the BLR Director granted the Union’s appeal and reversing the decision of RD. Ventures went to the CA. The CA dismissed Ventures’ petition as well as the MR. Hence, this petition for review
Whether the registration of the Union must be cancelled.
No. The right to form, join, or assist a union is specifically protected by Art. XIII, Section 3 of the Constitution and such right, according to Art. III, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and Art. 246 of the Labor Code, shall not be abridged. Once registered with the DOLE, a union is considered a legitimate labor organization endowed with the right and privileges granted by law to such organization. While a certificate of registration confers a union with legitimacy with the concomitant right to participate in or ask for certification election in a bargaining unit, the registration may be canceled or the union may be decertified as the bargaining unit, in which case the union is divested of the status of a legitimate labor organization. Among the grounds for cancellation is the commission of any of the acts enumerated in Art. 239(a) of the Labor Code, such as fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the adoption or ratification of the union’s constitution and like documents. The Court, has in previous cases, said that to decertify a union, it is not enough to show that the union includes ineligible employees in its membership. It must also be shown that there was misrepresentation, false statement, or fraud in connection with the application for registration and the supporting documents, such as the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto and the minutes of ratification of the constitution or by-laws, among other documents.
BANAT v COMELEC
Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) party list petitioned in Court for the constitutionality of RA 9369, enjoining respondent COMELEC from implementing the statute. RA 9369 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2231 and House Bill No. 5352. Petitioner also assailed the constitutionality of Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 of the said Republic Act and alleged that they were of questionable application and their validity was doubtful. Petitioner raised the issue whether RA 9369, RA 7166 as amended, being a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2231 and House Bill No. 5352, violated Section 26(1) of Article VI of the Constitution which states that "Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof." BANAT also questioned the validity of Sections 37 and 38, whether or not it violated Section 17 or Article VI of the Constitution which specifies that the Senate and the House of Representatives should each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all election, returns, and qualification contests relating to its Members. Petitioner alleged that the title of RA 9369 is misleading because it speaks of poll automation but contains substantial provisions dealing with the manual canvassing of election returns. Petitioner also alleged that Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 are neither embraced in the title nor pertaining to the subject matter of RA 9369.
Do Sections 37 and 38 of RA 7166 not violate Section 17, Article VI.
No. It is settled that every statute is presumed to be constitutional. The presumption is that the legislature intended to enact a valid, sensible, and just law. Those who petition the Court to declare a law unconstitutional must show that there is a clear an unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful, speculative, or argumentative one. Otherwise, the petition must fail. Section 37 and 38 do not violate Section 17, Article VI. The COMELEC maintained that the amendments introduced by Section 37 pertained only to the adoption and application of the procedures on the pre-proclamation controversies. It did not provide Congress and the COMELEC "en banc" may entertain pre-proclamation cases for national elective posts.
ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY v COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
“Ang Ladlad” is an organization of people who identify themselves as lesbians, gays, bisexuals or trans- genders. The Comelec dismissed the petition on moral grounds as “the definition of the LGBT sector makes it crystal clear that it tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs.”
Whether or not “Ang Ladlad” party-list application should be denied as the organization allegedly tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs.
No. The denial of accreditation, insofar as it justified the exclusion by using religious dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees against the establishment of religion; including its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and assembly, and equal protection of laws, as well as constituted violations of the Philippines’ international obligations against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Rather than relying on religious belief, the government must act for secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects. “Ang Ladlad” has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation. Hence, its application as a party-list should be granted.
Roque v COMELEC
In this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, petitioners H. Harry L. Roque, Jr., et al., suing as taxpayers and concerned citizens, seek to nullify respondent Comelec’s award of the 2010 Elections Automation Project to the joint venture of Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) and Smartmatic International Corporation (Smartmatic) and to permanently prohibit the Comelec, TIM and Smartmatic from signing and/or implementing the corresponding contract-award. They contend the mechanism of the PCOS machines would infringe the constitutional right of the people to the secrecy of the ballot which, according to the petitioners, is provided in Sec. 2, Art. V of the Constitution.
Is the Poll Automation Law unconstitutional for infringing the constitutional right of the people to the secrecy of the ballot.
No. Parenthetically, the contention that the PCOS would infringe on the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot because, as petitioners would put it, the voter would be confronted with a “three feet” long ballot, does not commend itself for concurrence. Surely, the Comelec can put up such infrastructure as to insure that the voter can write his preference in relative privacy. And as demonstrated during the oral arguments, the voter himself will personally feed the ballot into the machine. A voter, if so minded preserving the secrecy of his ballot, will always devise a way to do so. By the same token, one with least regard for secrecy will likewise have a way to make his vote known.
Penera v COMELEC
Penera and private respondent Edgar T. Andanar were mayoralty candidates in Sta. Monica during the 14 May 2007 elections. On 2 April 2007, Andanar filed before the Office of the Regional Election Director, Caraga Region (Region XIII), a Petition for Disqualification against Penera, as well as the candidates for Vice-Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan who belonged to her political party, for unlawfully engaging in election campaigning and partisan political activity prior to the commencement of the campaign period.
Penera’s filed a motion for reconsideration of this Court’s Decision of 11 September 2009.The assailed Decision dismissed Penera’s petition and affirmed the Resolution dated 30 July 2008 of the COMELEC En Banc as well as the Resolution dated 24 July 2007 of the COMELEC Second Division. The Decision disqualified Penera from running for the office of Mayor in Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte and declared that the Vice-Mayor should succeed Penera.
Is Penera guilty of premature campaigning. May premature campaigning be committed by a person who is not a candidate.
No to both. Under the assailed September 11, 2009 decision, a candidate may already be liable for premature campaigning after the filing of the certificate of candidacy but even before the start of the campaign period. Thus, such person can be disqualified for premature campaigning for acts done before the start of the campaign period. In short, the Decision considers a person who files a certificate of candidacy already “candidate” even before the start of the campaign period.
Now the Court holds that the assailed Decision is contrary to the clear intent and letter of the law. In Lanot v. COMELEC,it held that a person who files a certificate of candidacy is not a candidate until the start of the campaign period. Lanot was decided on the ground that one who files a certificate of candidacy is not a candidate until the start of the campaign period.
Congress elevated the Lanot doctrine into a statute by specifically inserting it as the second sentence of the third paragraph of the amended Section 15 of RA 8436. In RA 9369, Congress inserted the word “only” so that the first proviso now reads:
x x x Provided, that, unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the aforesaid campaign period x x x.
Thus, Congress not only reiterated but also strengthened its mandatory directive that election offenses can be committed by a candidate “only” upon the start of the campaign period. This clearly means that before the start of the campaign period, such election offenses cannot be so committed.
RONALD ALLAN POE a.k.a. FERNANDO POE, JR. VS. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
In the 2004 election, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was proclaimed the duly elected President of the Philippines. The second placer in the elections, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed an election protest before the Electoral Tribunal. When the FPJ died during his medical treatment, his widow, Susan Roces filed a motion to intervene as a substitute for deceased protestant FPJ. She claims that there is an urgent need for her to continue and substitute for her late husband to ascertain the true and genuine will of the electorate in the interest of the Filipino people. The Protestee, GMA asserts that the widow of a deceased candidate is not the proper party to replace the deceased protestant since a public office is personal and not a property that passes on to the heirs. Protestee also contends that under the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, only the registered candidates who obtained the 2nd and 3rd highest votes for the presidency may contest the election of the president.
Whether or not may the widow substitute/intervene for the protestant who died during the pendency of the latter’s protest case.
No. Only the registered candidate for President or for Vice-President of the Philippines who received the second or third highest number of votes may contest the election of the President or the Vice-President, as the case may be, by filing a verified petition with the Clerk of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal within thirty (30) days after the proclamation of the winner.
An election protest is not purely personal and exclusive to the protestant or to the protestee, hence, substitution and intervention is allowed but only by a real party in interest. Note that Mrs. FPJ herself denies any claim to the office of President but rather stresses that it is with the “paramount public interest” in mind that she desires “to pursue the process” commenced by her late husband. However, nobility of intention is not the point of reference in determining whether a person may intervene in an election protest. In such intervention, the interest which allows a person to intervene in a suit must be in the matter of litigation and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by the effect of the judgment. In this protest, Mrs. FPJ will not immediately and directly benefit from the outcome should it be determined that the declared president did not truly get the highest number of votes.
Gador vs Commission on Elections
G.R. No. L-52365
January 22, 1980
The petition alleges that the petitioner is a candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Ozamiz as Independent this coming January 30, 1980 local election. He filed his certificate of candidacy with the Election Registrar of Ozamis City on January 7, 1980 because of the news in the Bulletin Today. The said news stated that the respondent COMELEC issued a resolution for the extension of time for filing COC. However, the President denied said resolution. Therefore, respondent COMELEC informed the petitioner that his name might not be included in the list of candidates for mayor because of the said incident. Thus, this petition.
Whether or not the certificate of candidacy of the petitioner which was filed on January 7, 1980 is valid.
No. A certificate of candidacy filed beyond reglementary period is void. Section 7, Batasang Pambansa Bilang 52, provides that “The sworn certificate of candidacy shall be filed in triplicate not later than January 4, 1980.” It is a fact admitted by the petitioner that the President had not extended the period within which to file the certificate of candidacy.
This Court is powerless to grant the remedy prayed for in the petition. Having been filed beyond January 4, 1980, the certificate of candidacy of the petitioner is void.
Romualdez Marcos vs. Commission on Elections
Petitioner Imelda Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitution’s one-year residency requirement for candidates for the House of Representatives.
Whether or not petitioner has satisfied the residency requirement as mandated by Art. VI, Sec. 6 of the Constitution.
Yes. For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile. The Court upheld the qualification of petitioner, despite her own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for only 7 months, because of the following: (a) a minor follows the domicile of her parents; Tacloban became petitioner’s domicile of origin by operation of law when her father brought the family to Leyte; (b) domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, the domicile of origin should be deemed to continue; (c) the wife does not automatically gain the husband’s domicile because the term “residence” in Civil Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law; when petitioner married President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium; (d) even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose a new one only after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice
Frivaldo vs COMELEC
Frivaldo, J. was elected as a Governor of the province of Sorsogon on January 22, 1988. On October 27, 1988 the League of Cities of Sorsogon President Salvador Estuye filed a petition to COMELEC requesting to disqualify Frivaldo from his office on the grounds that he was a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. Frivaldo was naturalized as an American citizen in Januray 20, 1983. Frivaldo admitted but said that he was only forced to do so since the time of Marcos regime he was considered as an enemy and he went to USA seeking refuge and his naturalization is not impressed with voluntariness as he went back after the Marcos Regime to the country to help the restoration of democracy. He implies that he reacquired his Philippine citizenship by participating in the election. The case was approved by COMELEC and motion to dismiss filed by Frivaldo was denied to which Frivaldo filed a motion for certiorari and prohibition to the court.
Whether or not Juan G. Frivaldo was a citizen of the Philippines at the time of his election on January 18, 1988.
No. Petition denied, Juan G. Frivaldo is not a citizen of the Philippines and disqualified from serving as the Governor of the Province of Sorsogon, vacancy shall be filled by the elected Vice-Governor. Local Government Code section 42 indicates that a candidate for local elective office must be a citizen of the Philippines and a qualified voter of the constituency where is running. - Omnibus Election Code section 117 states that a qualified voter, among other qualifications, must be a citizen of the Philippines. The Court rules that Frivaldo was not a citizen of the Philippines at the time of his election as the evidence shown from the certification of US District Court of North California stating that he is a citizen of the Philippines. Frivaldo’s argument that he reacquire his Philippine citizenship through the participation in the election which in his view repatriated him to which the Court refutes that there are proper methods to which one can reacquire citizen ship either through Direct Act of Congress, Naturalization or Repatriation to which Frivaldo did not access to. Only citizens of the Philippines which have one allegiance can run in local elective office.
EFREN ARATEA v. COMELEC
G.R. No. 195229, October 9, 2012
Romeo D. Lonzanida (Lonzanida) and Estela D. Antipolo (Antipolo) were candidates for Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales in the May 2010 National and Local Elections. Dra. Sigrid S. Rodolfo (Rodolfo) filed a petition under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code to disqualify Lonzanida and to deny due course or to cancel Lonzanida’s certificate of candidacy on the ground that Lonzanida was elected, and had served, as mayor of San Antonio, Zambales for four (4) consecutive terms immediately prior to the term for the May 2010 elections. The COMELEC Second Division rendered a Resolutionon 18 February 2010 cancelling Lonzanida’s certificate of candidacy. Lonzanida’s motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC En Banc remained pending during the May 2010 elections. Lonzanida and Efren Racel Aratea (Aratea) garnered the highest number of votes and were respectively proclaimed Mayor and Vice-Mayor.
However, DILG stated that Lonzanida was disqualified to hold office by reason of his criminal conviction, Lonzanida had been convicted by final judgment of 10 counts of falsification under the Revised Penal Code, and as a consequence, his office was deemed permanently vacant, and thus, Aratea should assume the Office of the Mayor in an acting capacity without prejudice to the COMELEC’s resolution of Lonzanida’s motion for reconsideration. In another letter dated 6 August 2010, Aratea requested the DILG to allow him to take the oath of office as Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales. In his response, then Secretary Jesse M. Robredo allowed Aratea to take an oath of office as "the permanent Municipal Mayor of San Antonio, Zambales without prejudice however to the outcome of the cases pending before the COMELEC.
Who is qualified to hold the office of the mayor, Estela Antipolo, “the alleged second placer” or Efren Aratea, the winning Vice-Mayor.
Antipolo, the alleged "second placer," should be proclaimed Mayor because Lonzanida’s certificate of candidacy was void ab initio. In short, Lonzanida was never a candidate at all. All votes for Lonzanida were stray votes. Thus, Antipolo, the only qualified candidate, garnered the highest number of votes for the position of Mayor. Whether his certificate of candidacy is cancelled before or after the elections is immaterial because the cancellation on such ground means he was never a candidate from the very beginning, his certificate of candidacy being void ab initio. There was only one qualified candidate for Mayor in the May 2010 elections. Thus, Antipolo, the only qualified candidate, garnered the highest number of votes for the position of Mayor. Sec. 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy. ‒ The certificate of candidacy shall state that the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and that he is eligible for said office. On the other hand, under Article 32 of the Revised Penal Code, perpetual special disqualification means that "the offender shall not be permitted to hold any public office during the period of his disqualification,” which is perpetually. Both temporary absolute disqualification and perpetual special disqualification constitute ineligibilities to hold elective public office. A person suffering from these ineligibilities is ineligible to run for elective public office and commits a false material representation if he states in his certificate of candidacy that he is eligible to so run.
LBP vs COMELEC
The General Counsel of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), a registered political party, informed the COMELEC by way of Manifestation that only the Party Chairman, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, or his authorized representative may endorse the certificate of candidacy of the party’s official candidates. The same Manifestation stated that Sen. Angara had placed the LDP Secretary General, Representative Agapito A. Aquino, on “indefinite forced leave.” In the meantime, Ambassador Enrique A. Zaldivar was designated Acting Secretary General. However, Rep. Aquino filed his Comment, contending that the Party Chairman does not have the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions on the Secretary General. As the Manifestation filed by the LDP General Counsel has no basis, Rep. Aquino asked the COMELEC to disregard the same.
Whether or not the ascertainment of the identity of the political party and its officers is within the COMELEC’s jurisdiction.
The COMELEC correctly stated that “the ascertainment of the identity of [a] political party and its legitimate officers” is a matter that is well within its authority. The source of this authority is no other than the fundamental law itself, which vests upon the COMELEC the power and function to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. In the exercise of such power and in the discharge of such function, the Commission is endowed with ample “wherewithal” and “considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will ensure the accomplishment of the great objectives for which it was created to promote free, orderly and honest elections.” However, by giving both wings’ representatives in the election committees, the COMELEC has eroded the significance of political parties and effectively divided the opposition. The purpose of according to dominant status and representation to a minority party is precisely to serve as an effective check on the majority. The COMELEC performed a disservice to the opposition and, ultimately, to the voting public, as its Resolution facilitated, rather than forestalled, the division of the minority party. The assailed COMELEC Resolution does not advance, but subverts, this philosophy behind political parties.
LUIS A. ASISTIO VS. AGUIRRE
GR No. 191124 April 27, 2010
On January 26, 2010, private respondent Enrico R. Echiverri filed against petitioner Luis A. Asistio a Petition for Exclusion before the MeTC, Branch 52, Caloocan City alleging that Asistio is not a resident of Caloocan City, specifically not of 123 Interior P. Zamora St., Barangay 15, Caloocan City, the address stated in his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for Mayor in the 2010 Elections. Upon verification by private respondent, petitioner was listed as a registered voter of Baranggay 15 but his declared address , in truth, falls under Baranggay 17 where he is not listed in the CVL. On January 28, 2010, the MeTC issued a Notice of Hearing notifying Asistio, through his counsel of the scheduled hearings of the case. Asistio filed his Answer alleging that he is a resident of No. 116, P. Zamora St., Caloocan City, and a registered voter of Precinct No. 1811A because he mistakenly relied on the address stated in the contract of lease with Angelina Tengco which was 123 Interior P. Zamora St., Barangay 15, Caloocan City. Trial on the merits ensued and on February 5, 2010, Judge Malabaguio rendered a decision directing removal of the name of LUIS AQUINO ASISTIO from the list of permanent voters of Caloocan City. An appeal to the MeTC decision was made as it would deprive Asistio of his right to vote . Echiverri, however, filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal, arguing that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the Appeal on the ground of failure to file the required appeal fees; petitioner having paid his docket fee only on February 11, 2010 which was not simultaneous with the filing of his notice of appeal on February 10, 2010 . RTC granted the motion of Echiverri to dismiss Asistio’s appeal of the MeTC decision on the ground of non-payment of the required docket fees.
Whether or not Asistio should be excluded from the permanent list of voters of [Precinct 1811A] of Caloocan City for failure to comply with the residency required by law evidenced by the declaration of a false or non- existent address.
No.Section 117 of The Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa Bilang 881) echoed in Section 9 of The Voters Registration Act of 1996 (Republic Act No. 8189) states the qualifications of a voter. From these provisions, the residency requirement of a voter is at least one (1) year residence in the Philippines and at least six (6) months in the place where the person proposes or intends to vote.
"Residence," as used in the law is doctrinally settled to mean "domicile," importing not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention inferable from a person’s acts, activities, and utterances Domicile is not easily lost.
To successfully effect a transfer thereof, one must demonstrate: (1) an actual removal or change of domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and (3) acts which correspond with that purpose. As to the payment of docket fees, the Court observes, that while Judge Aguirre declares in her Order that the appellate docket fees were paid only on February 11, 2010 , she conveniently omits to mention that the postal money orders obtained by Asistio for the purpose were purchased on February 10, 2010. To the court, Asistio, by purchasing the postal money orders for the purpose of paying the appellate docket fees on February 10, 2010, although they were tendered to the MeTC only on February 11, 2010 already meant substantial compliance with the procedural requirements in filing his appeal. Asistio has always been a resident of Caloocan City since his birth or for more than 72 years and his family is known to be among the prominent political families in Caloocan City. In fact, Asistio served in public office as representative, having been elected as such in the 1992, 1995, 1998, and 2004 elections. In 2007, he also sought election as City Mayor. In all of these occasions, Asistio cast his vote in the same city.
Taking these circumstances into consideration, it cannot be denied that Asistio has qualified, and continues to qualify, as a voter of Caloocan City. There is no showing that he has established domicile elsewhere, or that he had consciously and voluntarily abandoned his residence in Caloocan City. He should, therefore, remain in the list of permanent registered voters of Precinct No. 1811A, Barangay 15, Caloocan City. That Asistio allegedly indicated in his COC for Mayor, both for the 2007 and 2010 elections, a non-existent or false address, or that he could not be physically found in the address he indicated when he registered as a voter do not serve as proof that he has abandoned his domicile or that he has established residence outside of Caloocan City. The SC granted Asistio’s petition to reverse and set aside the February 5, 2010 decision of the Caloocan City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 52, and the February 15, 2010 order of the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC). Asistio remains a registered voter of Precinct No. 1811A, Barangay 15, Caloocan City.
MAQUILING vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Arnado was a natural born Filipino citizen but lost his citizenship upon naturalization as citizen of United States of America. Sometime in 2008 and 2009, his repatriation was granted, and he subsequently executed an Affidavit of Renunciation of foreign citizenship. In November 2009, Arnando filed for a certificate of candidacy and won the said election. But prior from his declaration as winner, a pending action for disqualification was filed by Balua, one of the contenders for the position. Balua alleged that Arnando was not a citizen of the Philippines, with a certification issued by the Bureau of Immigration that Arnando’s nationality is USA-American and a certified true copy of computer-generated travel record that he has been using his American passport even after renunciation of American citizenship. A division of the COMELEC ruled against Arnando but this decision was reversed by the COMELEC en Banc stating that continued use of foreign passport is not one of the grounds provided for under Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 63 through which Philippine citizenship may be lost. Meanwhile, Maquiling petition that should be declared winner as he gained the second highest number of votes.
Whether or not continued use of a foreign passport after renouncing foreign citizenship affects one’s qualifications to run for public office.
Yes. The use of foreign passport after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship; it does not divest Filipino citizenship regained by repatriation, but it recants the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position which makes him dual citizen. Citizenship is not a matter of convenience. It is a badge of identity that comes with attendant civil and political rights accorded by the state to its citizens. It likewise demands the concomitant duty to maintain allegiance to one’s flag and country. While those who acquire dual citizenship by choice are afforded the right of suffrage, those who seek election or appointment to public office are required to renounce their foreign citizenship to be deserving of the public trust. Holding public office demands full and undivided allegiance to the Republic and to no other. It is a continuing requirement that must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but during the officer's entire tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably challenged. Therefore, the Court held Arnando disqualified for any local elective position as provided by express disqualification under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code. Popular vote does not cure this ineligibility of the candidate. Otherwise, substantive requirements set by the Constitution are nugatory. Furthermore, there is no second placer to speak of because as reiterated in the case of Jalosjos v. COMELEC, when the ineligibility was held to be void ab initio, no legal effect is produced. Hence among the qualified candidates for position, Maquiling who garnered the highest votes should be declared as winner.
Villaber vs COMELEC
GR NO. 148326
Both petitioner Pablo Villaber and respondent Douglas R. Cougas were rival candidate for a congressional seat in the First District of Davao Del Sur dating the May 14, 2001 elections. Villaber filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for Congressman on Feb. 1, 2001 file Cagas filed his on Feb. 28, 2001. On March 4 , 2001, Cagas filed with the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor, COMELEC, Davao Del Sur, a consolidated petition to disqualify Villaber and to cancel the latter COC. Cagas alleged in the said consolidated petition that on March 2, 1990, Villaber was convicted by the RTC of Manila for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.22 and was sentenced to suffer 1 year imprisonment. The check that bounced was in the sum of P100,00.00. Cagas further alleged that this crime involves moral turpitude; hence under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), he is disqualified to run for any public office. In his answer to the disqualification suit, Villaber countered mainly that his conviction has not become final and executory because the affirmed Decision was not remanded to the trial court for promulgation in his presence. Further, even if the judgment of conviction was already final and executory, it cannot be the basis for his disqualification since violation of B.P. Blg. 22 does not involve moral turpitude.
Whether or not violation of B.P. Blg. 22 involves moral turpitude.
Yes, violation of B.P. Blg. 22 involves moral turpitude, because its violation imports deceit and certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of a person. A drawer who issues an unfunded check deliberately reneges on his private duties he owes his fellow men or society in a manner contract to accepted and customary rule of right and duty, justice, honesty, or good morals.
FERMIN vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Fermin filed his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for mayor of Northern Kabuntalan. Private respondent, another mayoralty candidate, filed a Petition for Disqualification against Fermin. The petition alleged that the petitioner did not possess the period of residency required for candidacy. Elections were held without any decision being rendered by the COMELEC. Dilangalen emerged as the victor over Fermin. The latter subsequently filed an election protest. On 2007, COMELEC ruled that Fermin is a resident of a barangay not a component of the local government unit in which he seeks to be elected as of May 15, 2006 and is therefore not qualified or eligible to seek election as mayor in the said municipality. In its decision, the COMELEC relied on the oath of office subscribed and sworn to before Gov. Ampatuan, in which petitioner indicated that he was a resident of Barangay Payan, Kabuntalan as of April 27, 2006.
Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abuse its discretion when it relied on a single piece of evidence to support its finding that the petitioner was not a resident
The mere filing of a petition and the convenient allegation therein that a candidate does not reside in the locality where he seeks to be elected is insufficient to effect the cancellation of his CoC. Convincing evidence must substantiate every allegation. A litigating party is said to have a prima facie case when the evidence in his favor is sufficiently strong for his opponent to be called on to answer it. A prima facie case, then, is one which is established by sufficient evidence and can be overthrown only by rebutting evidence adduced on the other side. WHEREFORE, the petitions for certiorari are GRANTED.
MERCADO vs. MANZANO
G.R. No. 135083. May 26, 1999
Ernesto Mamaril filed a disqualification case against vice-mayoralty candidate Manzano on the ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. In its resolution, the second division of the COMELEC granted the petition of Mamaril and ordered the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of Manzano on the ground that he is a dual citizen and, under Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code and the Makati charter, persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective position. The Commission found out that Manzano was born in 1955, of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother, in San Francisco, California, in the United States. Hence, he is an American citizen, following the jus soli rule, and at the same time, a Filipino citizen for being born of Filipino parents.
Manzano filed a motion for reconsideration. Pending such motion, the 1998 elections was held and Manzano garnered the highest number of votes for vice-mayor in the city of Makati. His proclamation was suspended, pending resolution of the case. Petitioner Mercado, who garnered the second highest number of votes to Manzano, intervened in the disqualification case. Without resolving Manzano's motion, the COMELEC en banc reversed the ruling of the COMELEC second division and declared Manzano qualified to run for vice-mayor. Hence, Mercado filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the resolution of the COMELEC en banc.
Whether or not dual citizenship is a ground for disqualification.
No. To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship:
(1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli.
(2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country;
(3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship.
There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship.
Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition.
In including §5 in Article IV on citizenship, the concern of the Constitutional Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Hence, the phrase “dual citizenship” in R.A. No. 7160, §40(d) and in R.A. No. 7854, §20 must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance.” Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states.
Under RA 9225 (effective August 29, 2003), the mere filing of a certificate of candidacy is no longer deemed an express renunciation of foreign citizenship in order to run for public office. The candidate for public office with dual citizenship must (1) take an oath of allegiance and (2) execute a renunciation of foreign citizenship.
CAASI vs CA
G.R. No. 88831
Mateo Caasi, a rival candidate of Merito Miguel filed a petition to disqualify the latter from being a candidate for the position of municipal mayor of Pangasinan on the ground that Miguel is a green card holder. On his defense: Miguel admitted that he holds a green card issued to him by the US Immigration Service, but he denied that he is a permanent resident of the United States. He allegedly obtained the green card for convenience in order that he may freely enter the United States for his periodic medical examination and to visit his children there. He alleged that he is a permanent resident of Bolinao, Pangasinan, that he voted in all previous elections. COMELEC dismissed the petition on the ground that the possession of a green card by the respondent (Miguel) does not sufficiently establish that he has abandoned his residence in the Philippines. On the contrary, inspite of his green card, Respondent has sufficiently indicated his intention to continuously reside in Bolinao as shown by his having voted in successive elections in said municipality. As the respondent meets the basic requirements of citizenship and residence for candidates to elective local officials Petitioner then appealed to CA and prays for a review of the decision, "Merito C. Miguel, petitioner vs. Hon. Artemio R. Corpus, etc., respondents," reversing the decision of the RTC which denied. The Court of Appeals ordered the RTC to dismiss and desist from further proceeding in the quo warranto case. It is pointless for the Regional Trial Court to hear the case questioning the qualification of the petitioner as resident of the Philippines, after the COMELEC has ruled that the petitioner meets the very basic requirements of citizenship and residence for candidates to elective local officials (sic) and that there is no legal obstacles (sic) for the candidacy of the petitioner, considering that decisions of the Regional Trial Courts on quo warranto cases under the Election Code are appealable to the COMELEC.
Whether or not a green card is proof that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States.
Yes. Court deems it significant that in the "Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration” which Miguel filled up in his own handwriting and submitted to the US Embassy in Manila before his departure for the United States in 1984, Miguel's answer to Question No. 21 therein regarding his "Length of intended stay (if permanently, so state)," Miguel's answer was,” Permanently.". On its face, the green card that was subsequently issued by the United States Department of Justice and Immigration and Registration Service to the respondent Merito C. Miguel identifies him in clear bold letters as a RESIDENT ALIEN. Despite his vigorous disclaimer, Miguel's immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. For he did not go to the United States merely to visit his children or his doctor there; he entered the limited States with the intention to have there permanently as evidenced by his application for an immigrant's (not a visitor's or tourist's) visa. Based on that application of his, he was issued by the U.S. Government the requisite green card or authority to reside there permanently. Section 18, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law" is not applicable to Merito Miguel for he acquired the status of an immigrant of the United States before he was elected to public office, not "during his tenure" as mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan.
The law applicable to him is Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code that states that, “Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code, unless such person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws.”.