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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