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ENBANC

[G.R.No.221697,March08,2016]
MARYGRACENATIVIDADS.POELLAMANZARES,PETITIONER,VS.COMMISSIONONELECTIONSAND
ESTRELLAC.ELAMPARO,RESPONDENTS,
[G.R.NOS.221698700]
MARYGRACENATIVIDADS.POELLAMANZARES,PETITIONER,VS.COMMISSIONONELECTIONS,
FRANCISCOS.TATAD,ANTONIOP.CONTRERASANDAMADOD.VALDEZ,RESPONDENTS,
DECISION
PEREZ,J.:
BeforetheCourtaretwoconsolidatedpetitionsunderRule64inrelationtoRule65oftheRulescfCourtwithextremelyurgentapplication
foranexparteissuanceoftemporaryrestrainingorder/statusquoanteorderand/orwritofpreliminaryinjunctionassailingthefollowing:
(1)1December2015ResolutionoftheCommissiononElections(COMELEC)SecondDivision(2)23December2015Resolutionofthe
COMELECEnBanc,inSPANo.15001(DC)(3)11December2015ResolutionoftheCOMELECFirstDivisionand(4)23December2015
ResolutionoftheCOMELECEnBanc,inSPANo.15002(DC),SPANo.15007(DC)andSPANo.15139(DC)forhavingbeenissued
withoutjurisdictionorwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction.

TheFacts
MaryGraceNatividadS.PoeLlamanzares(petitioner)wasfoundabandonedasanewborninfantintheParishChurchofJaro,Iloilobya
certain Edgardo Militar (Edgardo) on 3 September 1968. Parental care and custody over petitioner was passed on by Edgardo to his
relatives,EmilianoMilitar(Emiliano)andhiswife.Threedaysafter,6September1968,Emilianoreportedandregisteredpetitionerasa
foundling with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City (OCRIloilo). In her Foundling Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth, the
petitionerwasgiventhename"MaryGraceNatividadContrerasMilitar."[1]
Whenpetitionerwasfive(5)yearsold,celebrityspousesRonaldAllanKelleyPoe(a.k.a.FenandoPoe,Jr.)andJesusaSonoraPoe(a.k.a.
Susan Roces) filed a petition for her adoption with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Juan City. On 13 May 1974, the trial court
granted their petition and ordered that petitioner's name be changed from "Mary Grace Natividad Contreras Militar" to "Mary Grace
Natividad Sonora Poe." Although necessary notations were made by OCRIloilo on petitioner's foundling certificate reflecting the court
decreedadoption,[2]thepetitioner'sadoptivemotherdiscoveredonlysometimeinthesecondhalfof2005thatthelawyerwhohandled
petitioner'sadoptionfailedtosecurefromtheOCR
IloiloanewCertificateofLiveBirthindicatingpetitioner'snewnameandthenameofheradoptiveparents.[3]Withoutdelay,petitioner's
motherexecutedanaffidavitattestingtothelawyer'somissionwhichshesubmittedtotheOCRIloilo.On4May2006,OCRIloiloissueda
newCertificateofLiveBirthinthenameofMaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoe.[4]
Havingreachedtheageofeighteen(18)yearsin1986,petitionerregisteredasavoterwiththelocalCOMELECOfficeinSanJuanCity.On
13December1986,shereceivedherCOMELECVoter'sIdentificationCardforPrecinctNo.196inGreenhills,SanJuan,MetroManila.[5]
On 4 April 1988, petitioner applied for and was issued Philippine Passport No. F927287[6] by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Subsequently,on5April1993and19May1998,sherenewedherPhilippinepassportandrespectivelysecuredPhilippinePassportNos.
L881511andDD156616.[7]
Initially, the petitioner enrolled and pursued a degree in Development Studies at the University of the Philippines8 but she opted to
continueherstudiesabroadandleftfortheUnitedStatesofAmerica(U.S.)in1988.Petitionergraduatedin1991fromBostonCollegein
ChestnutsHill,MassachusettswheresheearnedherBachelorofArtsdegreeinPoliticalStudies.[9]
On27July1991,petitionermarriedTeodoroMisaelDanielV.Llamanzares(Llamanzares),acitizenofboththePhilippinesandtheU.S.,at
SanctuariodeSanJoseParishinSanJuanCity.[10]DesirousofbeingwithherhusbandwhowasthenbasedintheU.S.,thecoupleflew
backtotheU.S.twodaysaftertheweddingceremonyoron29July1991.[11]
While in the U.S., the petitioner gave birth to her eldest child Brian Daniel (Brian) on 16 April 1992.[12] Her two daughters Hanna
MacKenzie(Hanna)andJesusaAnika(Anika)werebothborninthePhilippineson10July1998and5June2004,respectively.[13]
On18October2001,petitionerbecameanaturalizedAmericancitizen.[14]SheobtainedU.S.PassportNo.017037793on19December
2001.[15]
On8April2004,thepetitionercamebacktothePhilippinestogetherwithHannatosupportherfather'scandidacyforPresidentintheMay
2004 elections. It was during this time that she gave birth to her youngest daughter Anika. She returned to the U.S. with her two
daughterson8July2004.[16]

Afterafewmonths,specificallyon13December2004,petitionerrushedbacktothePhilippinesuponlearningofherfather'sdeteriorating
medicalcondition.[17]Herfatherslippedintoacomaandeventuallyexpired.Thepetitionerstayedinthecountryuntil3February2005to
takecareofherfather'sfuneralarrangementsaswellastoassistinthesettlementofhisestate.[18]
Accordingtothepetitioner,theuntimelydemiseofherfatherwasasevereblowtoherentirefamily.Inherearnestdesiretobewithher
grievingmother,thepetitionerandherhusbanddecidedtomoveandresidepermanentlyinthePhilippinessometimeinthefirstquarter
of2005.[19]Thecouplebeganpreparingfortheirresettlementincludingnotificationoftheirchildren'sschoolsthattheywillbetransferring
to Philippine schools for the next semester[20] coordination with property movers for the relocation of their household goods, furniture
andcarsfromtheU.S.tothePhilippines[21]andinquirywithPhilippineauthoritiesastotheproperproceduretobefollowedinbringing
theirpetdogintothecountry.[22]Asearlyas2004,thepetitioneralreadyquitherjobintheU.S.[23]
Finally, petitioner came home to the Philippines on 24 May 2005[24] and without delay, secured a Tax Identification Number from the
BureauofInternalRevenue.Herthree(3)childrenimmediatelyfollowed[25]whileherhusbandwasforcedtostayintheU.S.tocomplete
pendingprojectsaswellastoarrangethesaleoftheirfamilyhomethere.[26]
The petitioner and her children briefly stayed at her mother's place until she and her husband purchased a condominium unit with a
parking slot at One Wilson Place Condominium in San Juan City in the second half of 2005.[27] The corresponding Condominium
CertificatesofTitlecoveringtheunitandparkingslotwereissuedbytheRegisterofDeedsofSanJuanCitytopetitionerandherhusband
on20February2006.[28]Meanwhile,herchildrenofschoolagebeganattendingPhilippineprivateschools.
On14February2006,thepetitionermadeaquicktriptotheU.S.tosupervisethedisposalofsomeofthefamily'sremaininghousehold
belongings.[29]ShetravelledbacktothePhilippineson11March2006.[30]
In late March 2006, petitioner's husband officially informed the U.S. Postal Service of the family's change and abandonment of their
addressintheU.S.[31]Thefamilyhomewaseventuallysoldon27April2006.[32]
Petitioner'shusbandresignedfromhisjobintheU.S.inApril2006,arrivedinthecountryon4May2006andstartedworkingforamajor
PhilippinecompanyinJuly2006.[33]
Inearly2006,petitionerandherhusbandacquireda509squaremeterlotinCorinthianHills,QuezonCitywheretheybuilttheirfamily
home[34] and to this day, is where the couple and their children have been residing.[35] A Transfer Certificate of Title covering said
propertywasissuedinthecouple'snamebytheRegisterofDeedsofQuezonCityon1June2006.
On7July2006,petitionertookherOathofAllegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippinespursuanttoRepublicAct(R.A.)No.9225orthe
Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.[36] Under the same Act, she filed with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) a sworn
petitiontoreacquirePhilippinecitizenshiptogetherwithpetitionsforderivativecitizenshiponbehalfofherthreeminorchildrenon10July
2006.[37]Ascanbegatheredfromits18July2006Order,theBIactedfavorablyonpetitioner'spetitionsanddeclaredthatsheisdeemed
tohavereacquiredherPhilippinecitizenshipwhileherchildrenareconsideredascitizensofthePhilippines.[38]
Consequently,theBIissuedIdentificationCertificates(ICs)inpetitioner'snameandinthenamesofherthree(3)children.[39]
Again,petitionerregisteredasavoterofBarangaySantaLucia,SanJuanCityon31August2006.[40]ShealsosecuredfromtheDFAa
new Philippine Passport bearing the No. XX4731999.[41] This passport was renewed on 18 March 2014 and she was issued Philippine
PassportNo.EC0588861bytheDFA.[42]
On 6 October 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed petitioner as Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and
ClassificationBoard(MTRCB).[43]Beforeassumingherpost,petitionerexecutedan"AffidavitofRenunciationofAllegiancetotheUnited
StatesofAmericaandRenunciationofAmericanCitizenship"beforeanotarypublicinPasigCityon20October2010,[44]insatisfactionof
thelegalrequisitesstatedinSection5ofR.A.No.9225.[45]Thefollowingday,21October2010petitionersubmittedthesaidaffidavitto
theBI[46]andtookheroathofofficeasChairpersonoftheMTRCB.[47]Fromthenon,petitionerstoppedusingherAmericanpassport.
On 12 July 2011, the petitioner executed before the Vice Consul of the U.S. Embassy in Manila an "Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of
NationalityoftheUnitedStates."[49]Onthatday,sheaccomplishedaswornquestionnairebeforetheU.S.ViceConsulwhereinshestated
that she had taken her oath as MTRCB Chairperson on 21 October 2010 with the intent, among others, of relinquishing her American
citizenship.[50] In the same questionnaire, the petitioner stated that she had resided outside of the U.S., specifically in the Philippines,
from3September1968to29July1991andfromMay2005topresent.[51]
On 9 December 2011, the U.S. Vice Consul issued to petitioner a "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States" effective 21
October2010.[52]
On2October2012,thepetitionerfiledwiththeCOMELECherCertificateofCandidacy(COC)forSenatorforthe2013Electionswherein
sheanswered"6yearsand6months"tothequestion"PeriodofresidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeMay13,2013."[53]Petitionerobtained
thehighestnumberofvotesandwasproclaimedSenatoron16May2013.[54]
On19December2013,petitionerobtainedPhilippineDiplomaticPassportNo.DE0004530.[55]

On15October2015,petitionerfiledherCOCforthePresidencyfortheMay2016Elections.[56]InherCOC,thepetitionerdeclaredthat
sheisanaturalborncitizenandthatherresidenceinthePhilippinesuptothedaybefore9May2016wouldbeten(10)yearsandeleven
(11)monthscountedfrom24May2005.[57]ThepetitionerattachedtoherCOCan"AffidavitAffirmingRenunciationofU.S.A.Citizenship"
subscribedandsworntobeforeanotarypublicinQuezonCityon14October2015.[58]
Petitioner'sfilingofherCOCforPresidentintheupcomingelectionstriggeredthefilingofseveralCOMELECcasesagainstherwhichwere
thesubjectoftheseconsolidatedcases.
OriginofPetitionforCertiorariinG.R.No.221697
A day after petitioner filed her COC for President, Estrella Elamparo (Elamparo) filed a petition to deny due course or cancel said COC
which was docketed as SPA No. 15001 (DC) and raffled to the COMELEC Second Division.[59] She is convinced that the COMELEC has
jurisdiction over her petition.[60] Essentially, Elamparo's contention is that petitioner committed material misrepresentation when she
stated in her COC that she is a naturalborn Filipino citizen and that she is a resident of the Philippines for at least ten (10) years and
eleven(11)monthsuptothedaybeforethe9May2016Elections.[61]
Ontheissueofcitizenship,ElamparoarguedthatpetitionercannotbeconsideredasanaturalbornFilipinoonaccountofthefactthatshe
wasafoundling.[62]Elamparoclaimedthatinternationallawdoesnotconfernatural bornstatusandFilipinocitizenshiponfoundlings.[63]
Followingthislineofreasoning,petitionerisnotqualifiedtoapplyforreacquisitionofFilipinocitizenshipunderR.A.No.9225forsheisnot
anaturalbornFilipinocitizentobeginwith.[64]EvenassumingarguendothatpetitionerwasanaturalbornFilipino,sheisdeemedtohave
lostthatstatuswhenshebecameanaturalizedAmericancitizen.[65]AccordingtoElamparo,naturalborncitizenshipmustbecontinuous
frombirth.[66]
Onthematterofpetitioner'sresidency,Elamparopointedoutthatpetitionerwasboundbythesworndeclarationshemadeinher2012
COC for Senator wherein she indicated that she had resided in the country for only six (6) years and six (6) months as of May 2013
Elections.ElamparolikewiseinsistedthatassumingarguendothatpetitionerisqualifiedtoregainhernaturalbornstatusunderR.A.No.
9225,shestillfellshortofthetenyearresidencyrequirementoftheConstitutionasherresidencecouldonlybecountedattheearliest
from July 2006, when she reacquired Philippine citizenship under the said Act. Also on the assumption that petitioner is qualified to
reacquirelostPhilippineCitizenship,ElamparoisofthebeliefthatshefailedtoreestablishherdomicileinthePhilippines.[67]
PetitionerseasonablyfiledherAnswerwhereinshecounteredthat:

(1)
(2)
(3)

the COMELEC did not have jurisdiction over Elamparo's petition as it was actually a petition for quo
warrantowhichcouldonlybefiledifGracePoewinsinthePresidentialelections,andthattheDepartment
ofJustice(DOJ)hasprimaryjurisdictiontorevoketheBI'sJuly18,2006Order
the petition failed to state a cause of action because it did not contain allegations which, if hypothetically
admitted, would make false the statement in her COC that she is a naturalborn Filipino citizen nor was
thereanyallegationthattherewasawillfulordeliberateintenttomisrepresentonherpart
she did not make any material misrepresentation in the COC regarding her citizenship and residency
qualificationsfor:
a.the1934ConstitutionalConventiondeliberationsshowthatfoundlingswereconsideredcitizens
b. foundlings are presumed under international law to have been born of citizens of the place where they
arefound
c.shereacquiredhernaturalbornPhilippinecitizenshipundertheprovisionsofR.A.No.9225
d.sheexecutedaswornrenunciationofherAmericancitizenshippriortothefilingofherCOCforPresident
in the May 9, 2016 Elections and that the same is in full force and effect and has not been withdrawn or
recanted
e.theburdenwasonElamparoinprovingthatshedidnotpossessnaturalbornstatus
f. residence is a matter of evidence and that she reestablished her domicile in the Philippines as early as
May24,2005
g.shecouldreestablishresidenceevenbeforeshereacquirednaturalborncitizenshipunderR.A.No.9225
h. statement regarding the period of residence in her 2012 COC for Senator was an honest mistake, not
bindingandshouldgivewaytoevidenceonhertruedateofreacquisitionofdomicile
i. Elamparo's petition is merely an action to usurp the sovereign right of the Filipino people to decide a
purelypoliticalquestion,thatis,shouldsheserveasthecountry'snextleader.[68]

AfterthepartiessubmittedtheirrespectiveMemoranda,thepetitionwasdeemedsubmittedforresolution.
On 1 December 2015, the COMELEC Second Division promulgated a Resolution finding that petitioner's COC, filed for the purpose of
running for the President of the Republic of the Philippines in the 9 May 2016 National and Local Elections, contained material
representationswhicharefalse.ThefallooftheaforesaidResolutionreads:

WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, the instant Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of
CandidacyisherebyGRANTED.Accordingly,theCertificateofCandidacyforPresidentoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesinthe
May 9, 2016 National and Local Elections filed by respondent Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llarnanzares is hereby
CANCELLED.[69]

Motion for Reconsideration of the 1 December 2015 Resolution was filed by petitioner which the COMELEC En Banc resolved in its 23
December2015Resolutionbydenyingthesame.[70]

OriginofPetitionforCertiorariinGR.Nos.221698700
Thiscasestemmedfromthree(3)separatepetitionsfiledbyFranciscoS.Tatad(Tatad),AntonioP.Contreras(Contreras)andAmadoD.
Valdez(Valdez)againstpetitionerbeforetheCOMELECwhichwereconsolidatedandraffledtoitsFirstDivision.
In his petition to disqualify petitioner under Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure,[71] docketed as SPA No. 15002 (DC), Tatad
allegedthatpetitionerlackstherequisiteresidencyandcitizenshiptoqualifyherforthePresidency.[72]
TatadtheorizedthatsincethePhilippinesadherestotheprincipleofjussanguinis,personsofunknownparentage,particularlyfoundlings,
cannotbeconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizenssincebloodrelationshipisdeterminativeofnaturalbornstatus.[73]Tatadinvokedthe
ruleofstatutoryconstructionthatwhatisnotincludedisexcluded.Heaverredthatthefactthatfoundlingswerenotexpresslyincludedin
thecategoriesofcitizensinthe1935Constitutionisindicativeoftheframers'intenttoexcludethem.[74]
Therefore,theburdenliesonpetitionertoprovethatsheisanaturalborncitizen.[75]
Neithercanpetitionerseekrefugeunderinternationalconventionsortreatiestosupportherclaimthatfoundlingshaveanationality.[76]
AccordingtoTatad,internationalconventionsandtreatiesarenotselfexecutoryandthatlocallegislationsarenecessaryinordertogive
effect to treaty obligations assumed by the Philippines.[77] He also stressed that there is no standard state practice that automatically
confersnaturalbornstatustofoundlings.[78]
SimilartoElamparo'sargument,TatadclaimedthatpetitionercannotavailoftheoptiontoreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipunderR.A.No.
9225becauseitonlyappliestoformernaturalborncitizensandpetitionerwasnotasshewasafoundling.[79]
Referringtopetitioner'sCOCforSenator,Tatadconcludedthatshedidnotcomplywiththeten(10)yearresidencyrequirement.[80]Tatad
opined that petitioner acquired her domicile in Quezon City only from the time she renounced her American citizenship which was
sometimein2010or2011.[81]
Additionally,Tatadquestionedpetitioner'slackofintentiontoabandonherU.S.domicileasevincedbythefactthatherhusbandstayed
thereatandherfrequenttripstotheU.S.[82]
InsupportofhispetitiontodenyduecourseorcanceltheCOCofpetitioner,docketedasSPANo.15139(DC),Valdezallegedthather
repatriation under R.A. No. 9225 did not bestow upon her the status of a naturalborn citizen.[83] He advanced the view that former
naturalborncitizenswhoarerepatriatedunderthesaidActreacquiresonlytheirPhilippinecitizenshipandwillnotreverttotheiroriginal
statusasnaturalborncitizens.[84]
Hefurtherarguedthatpetitioner'sownadmissioninherCOCforSenatorthatshehadonlybeenaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleast
six(6)yearsandsix(6)monthspriortothe13May2013Electionsoperatesagainsther.Valdezrejectedpetitioner'sclaimthatshecould
havevalidlyreestablishedherdomicileinthePhilippinespriortoherreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenship.Ineffect,hispositionwasthat
petitionerdidnotmeettheten(10)yearresidencyrequirementforPresident.
UnlikethepreviousCOMELECcasesfiledagainstpetitioner,Contreras'petition,[85]docketedasSPANo.15007(DC),limitedtheattackto
theresidencyissue.Heclaimedthatpetitioner's2015COCforPresidentshouldbecancelledonthegroundthatshedidnotpossessthe
tenyearperiodofresidencyrequiredforsaidcandidacyandthatshemadefalseentry
inherCOCwhenshestatedthatsheisalegalresidentofthePhilippinesforten(10)yearsandeleven(11)monthsby9May2016.[86]
Contreras contended that the reckoning period for computing petitioner's residency in the Philippines should be from 18 July 2006, the
datewhenherpetitiontoreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipwasapprovedbytheBI.[87]Heassertedthatpetitioner'sphysicalpresenceinthe
countrybefore18July2006couldnot
bevalidevidenceofreacquisitionofherPhilippinedomicilesinceshewasthenlivinghereasanAmericancitizenandassuch,shewas
governedbythePhilippineimmigrationlaws.[88]
Inherdefense,petitionerraisedthefollowingarguments:
First,Tatad'spetitionshouldbedismissedoutrightforfailuretostateacauseofaction.Hispetitiondidnotinvokegroundsproperfora
disqualificationcaseasenumeratedunderSections12and68oftheOmnibusElectionCode.[89]Instead,Tatadcompletelyreliedonthe
alleged lack of residency and naturalborn status of petitioner which are not among the recognized grounds for the disqualification of a
candidatetoanelectiveoffice.[90]
Second, the petitions filed against her are basically petitions for quo warranto as they focus on establishing her ineligibility for the
Presidency.[91] A petition for quo warranto falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and not the
COMELEC.[92]
Third, the burden to prove that she is not a naturalborn Filipino citizen is on the respondents.[93] Otherwise stated, she has a
presumptioninherfavorthatsheisanaturalborncitizenofthiscountry.
Fourth, customary international law dictates that foundlings are entitled to a nationality and are presumed to be citizens of the country

wheretheyarefound.[94]Consequently,thepetitionerisconsideredasanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines.[95]
Fifth,sheclaimedthatasanaturalborncitizen,shehaseveryrighttoberepatriatedunderR.A.No.9225ortherighttoreacquireher
naturalbornstatus.[96]Moreover,theofficialactsofthePhilippineGovernmentenjoythepresumptionofregularity,towit:theissuance
ofthe18July2006OrderoftheBIdeclaringherasnaturalborncitizen,herappointmentasMTRCBChairandtheissuanceofthedecree
of adoption of San Juan RTC.[97] She believed that all these acts reinforced her position that she is a naturalborn citizen of the
Philippines.[98]
Sixth, she maintained that as early as the first quarter of 2005, she started reestablishing her domicile of choice in the Philippines as
demonstrated by her children's resettlement and schooling in the country, purchase of a condominium unit in San Juan City and the
constructionoftheirfamilyhomeinCorinthianHills.[99]
Seventh,sheinsistedthatshecouldlegallyreestablishherdomicileofchoiceinthePhilippinesevenbeforesherenouncedherAmerican
citizenship as long as the three determinants for a change of domicile are complied with.[100] She reasoned out that there was no
requirementthatrenunciationofforeigncitizenshipisaprerequisitefortheacquisitionofanewdomicileeofchoice.[101]
Eighth,shereiteratedthattheperiodappearingintheresidencyportionofherCOCforSenatorwasamistakemadeingoodfaith.[102]
InaResolution[103]promulgatedon11December2015,theCOMELECFirstDivisionruledthatpetitionerisnotanaturalborncitizen,that
shefailedtocompletetheten(10)yearresidencyrequirement,andthatshecommittedmaterialmisrepresentationinherCOCwhenshe
declaredthereinthatshehasbeenaresidentofthePhilippinesforaperiodoften(10)yearsandeleven(11)monthsasofthedayofthe
elections on 9 May 2016. The COMELEC First Division concluded that she is not qualified for the elective position of President of the
RepublicofthePhilippines.ThedispositiveportionofsaidResolutionreads:

WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,theCommissionRESOLVED,asitherebyRESOLVES,toGRANTthePetitionsandcancel
the Certificate of Candidacy of MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA POELLAMANZARES for the elective position of
PresidentoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesinconnectionwiththe9May2016SynchronizedLocalandNationalElections.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration seeking a reversal of the COMELEC First Division's Resolution. On 23 December 2015, the
COMELECEnBancissuedaResolutiondenyingpetitioner'smotionforreconsideration.
Alarmed by the adverse rulings of the COMELEC, petitioner instituted the present petitions for certiorari with urgent prayer for the
issuanceofanexpartetemporaryrestrainingorder/statusquoanteorder and/or writ of preliminary injunction. On 28 December 2015,
temporary restraining orders were issued by the Court enjoining the COMELEC and its representatives from implementing the assailed
COMELECResolutionsuntilfurtherordersfromtheCourt.TheCourtalsoorderedtheconsolidationofthetwopetitionsfiledbypetitioner
initsResolutionof12January2016.Thereafter,oralargumentswereheldinthesecases.
TheCourtGRANTSthepetitionofMaryGraceNatividadS.PoeLlamanzaresandtoANNULandSETASIDEthe:

1.Resolution dated 1 December 2015 rendered through its Second Division, in SPA No. 15001 (DC), entitled Estrella C. Elamparo,
petitioner,vs.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares.
2.Resolution dated 11 December 2015, rendered through its First Division, in the consolidated cases SPA No. 15002 (DC) entitled
FranciscoS.Tatad,petitioner,vs.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondentSPANo.15007(DC)entitledAntonio
P.Contreras,petitioner,vs.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondentandSPANo.15139(DC)entitledAmadoD.
Valdez,petitioner,v.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondent.
3.Resolutiondated23December2015oftheCommissionEnBanc,upholdingtheIDecember2015ResolutionoftheSecondDivision.
4.Resolutiondated23December2015oftheCommissionEnBanc,upholdingthe11December2015ResolutionoftheFirstDivision.

TheprocedureandtheconclusionsfromwhichthequestionedResolutionsemanatedaretaintedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamounting
tolackofjurisdiction.ThepetitionerisaQUALIFIEDCANDIDATEforPresidentinthe9May2016NationalElections.
TheissuebeforetheCOMELECiswhetherornottheCOCofpetitionershouldbedeniedduecourseorcancelled"ontheexclusiveground"
that she made in the certificate a false material representation. The exclusivity of the ground should hedge in the discretion of the
COMELECandrestrainitfromgoingintotheissueofthequalificationsofthecandidatefortheposition,if,asinthiscase,suchissueisyet
undecidedorundeterminedbytheproperauthority.TheCOMELECcannotitself,inthesamecancellationcase,decidethequalificationor
lackthereofofthecandidate.
Werely,firstofall,ontheConstitutionofourRepublic,particularlyitsprovisionsinArticleIX,C,Section2:

Section2.TheCommissiononElectionsshallexercisethefollowingpowersandfunctions:
(1)Enforceandadministeralllawsandregulationsrelativetotheconductofanelection,plebiscite,initiative,referendum,and
recall.
(2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective

regional,provincial,andcityofficials,andappellatejurisdictionoverallcontestsinvolvingelectivemunicipalofficialsdecidedby
trialcourtsofgeneraljurisdiction,orinvolvingelectivebarangayofficialsdecidedbytrialcourtsoflimitedjurisdiction.
Decisions,finalorders,orrulingsoftheCommissiononelectioncontestsinvolvingelectivemunicipalandbarangayofficesshall
befinal,executory,andnotappealable.
(3)Decide,exceptthoseinvolvingtherighttovote,allquestionsaffectingelections,includingdeterminationofthenumberand
locationofpollingplaces,appointmentofelectionofficialsandinspectors,andregistrationofvoters.
(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government,
includingtheArmedForcesofthePhilippines,fortheexclusivepurposeofensuringfree,orderly,honest,
peaceful,andcredibleelections.
(5)Register,aftersufficientpublication,politicalparties,organizations,orcoalitionswhich,inadditiontootherrequirements,
mustpresenttheirplatformorprogramofgovernmentandaccreditcitizens'armsoftheCommissiononElections.Religious
denominationsandsectsshallnotberegistered.Thosewhichseektoachievetheirgoalsthroughviolenceorunlawfulmeans,
orrefusetoupholdandadheretothisConstitution,orwhicharesupportedbyanyforeigngovernmentshalllikewiseberefused
registration.
Financialcontributionsfromforeigngovernmentsandtheiragenciestopoliticalparties,organizations,coalitions,orcandidates
related to elections constitute interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, shall be an additional ground for the
cancellationoftheirregistrationwiththeCommission,inadditiontootherpenaltiesthatmaybeprescribedbylaw.
(6)File,uponaverifiedcomplaint,oronitsowninitiative,petitionsincourtforinclusionorexclusionofvotersinvestigateand,
where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds,
offenses,andmalpractices.
(7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of places where
propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and
nuisancecandidacies.
(8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other
disciplinaryaction,forviolationordisregardof,ordisobediencetoitsdirective,order,ordecision.
(9) Submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative,
referendum,orrecall.

NotanyoneoftheenumeratedpowersapproximatetheexactitudeoftheprovisionsofArticleVI,Section17ofthesamebasiclawstating
that:

TheSenateandtheHouseofRepresentativesshalleachhaveanElectoralTribunalwhichshallbethesolejudgeofallcontests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of
nineMembers,threeofwhomshallbeJusticesoftheSupremeCourttobedesignatedbytheChiefJustice,andtheremaining
sixshallbeMembersoftheSenateortheHouseofRepresentatives,asthecasemaybe,whoshallbechosenonthebasisof
proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the partylist system
representedtherein.TheseniorJusticeintheElectoralTribunalshallbeitsChairman.

orofthelastparagraphofArticleVII,Section4whichprovidesthat:

TheSupremeCourt,sittingenbanc,shallbethesolejudgeofallcontestsrelatingtotheelection,returns,andqualificationsof
thePresidentorVicePresident,andmaypromulgateitsrulesforthepurpose.

ThetribunalswhichhavejurisdictionoverthequestionofthequalificationsofthePresident,theVicePresident,SenatorsandtheMembers
oftheHouseofRepresentativeswasmadeclearbytheConstitution.Thereisnosuchprovisionforcandidatesforthesepositions.
CantheCOMELECbesuchjudge?
TheopinionofJusticeVicenteV.MendozainRomualdezMarcosv.CommissiononElections,[104]whichwasaffirmativelycitedintheEn
BancdecisioninFerminv.COMELEC[105]isourguide.ThecitationinFerminreads:

Apparentlyrealizingthelackofanauthorizedproceedingfordeclaringtheineligibilityofcandidates,theCOMELECamendedits
rulesonFebruary15,1993soastoprovideinRule251,thefollowing:
Groundsfordisqualification.Anycandidatewhodoesnotpossessallthequalificationsofacandidateasprovided
forbytheConstitutionorbyexistinglaworwhocommitsanyactdeclaredbylawtobegroundsfordisqualification
maybedisqualifiedfromcontinuingasacandidate.

The lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be supplied by a mere rule. Such an act is
equivalent to the creation of a cause of action which is a substantive matter which the COMELEC, in the exercise of its rule
makingpowerunderArt.IX,A,6oftheConstitution,cannotdoit.ItisnoteworthythattheConstitutionwithholdsfromthe
COMELEC even the power to decide cases involving the right to vote, which essentially involves an inquiry into qualifications
basedonage,residenceandcitizenshipofvoters.[Art.IX,C,2(3)]
TheassimilationinRule25oftheCOMELECrulesofgroundsforineligibilityintogroundsfordisqualificationiscontrarytothe
evidentintentionofthelaw.Fornotonlyintheirgroundsbutalsointheirconsequencesareproceedingsfor"disqualification"
differentfromthoseforadeclarationof"ineligibility.""Disqualification"proceedings,asalreadystated,arebasedongrounds
specifiedin12and68oftheOmnibusElectionCodeandin40oftheLocalGovernmentCodeandareforthepurposeof
barringanindividualfrombecomingacandidateorfromcontinuingasacandidateforpublicoffice.Inaword,theirpurposeis
toeliminateacandidatefromtheraceeitherfromthestartorduringitsprogress."Ineligibility,"ontheotherhand,refersto
the lack of the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution or the statutes for holding public office and the purpose of the
proceedingsfordeclarationofineligibilityistoremovetheincumbentfromoffice.
Consequently,thatanindividualpossessesthequalificationsforapublicofficedoesnotimplythatheisnotdisqualifiedfrom
becoming a candidate or continuing as a candidate for a public office and vice versa. We have this sort of dichotomy in our
NaturalizationLaw.(C.A.No.473)Thatanalienhasthequalificationsprescribedin2oftheLawdoesnotimplythathedoes
notsufferfromanyof[the]disqualificationsprovidedin4.

Beforewegetderailedbythedistinctionastogroundsandtheconsequencesoftherespectiveproceedings,theimportanceoftheopinion
is in its statement that "the lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be supplied by a mere rule".
JusticeMendozalecturedinRomualdezMarcosthat:

Three reasons may be cited to explain the absence of an authorized proceeding for determining before election the
qualificationsofacandidate.
Firstisthefactthatunlessacandidatewinsandisproclaimedelected,thereisnonecessityfordetermininghiseligibilityfor
theoffice.Incontrast,whetheranindividualshouldbedisqualifiedasacandidateforactsconstitutingelectionoffenses(e.g.,
votebuying,overspending,commissionofprohibitedacts)isaprejudicialquestionwhichshouldbedeterminedlesthewins
because of the very acts for which his disqualification is being sought. That is why it is provided that if the grounds for
disqualification are established, a candidate will not be voted for if he has been voted for, the votes in his favor will not be
countedandifforsomereasonhehasbeenvotedforandhehaswon,eitherhewillnotbeproclaimedorhisproclamationwill
besetaside.
Secondisthefactthatthedeterminationofacandidates'eligibility,e.g.,hiscitizenshipor,asinthiscase,hisdomicile,may
take a long time to make, extending beyond the beginning of the term of the office. This is amply demonstrated in the
companion case (G.R. No. 120265, Agapito A. Aquino v. COMELEC) where the determination of Aquino s residence was still
pending in the COMELEC even after the elections of May 8, 1995. This is contrary to the summary character proceedings
relatingtocertificatesofcandidacy.Thatiswhythelawmakesthereceiptofcertificatesofcandidacyaministerialdutyofthe
COMELECanditsofficers.Thelawissatisfiedifcandidatesstateintheircertificatesofcandidacythattheyareeligibleforthe
positionwhichtheyseektofill,leavingthedeterminationoftheirqualificationstobemadeaftertheelectionandonlyinthe
event they are elected. Only in cases involving charges of false representations made in certificates of candidacy is the
COMELECgivenjurisdiction.
Thirdisthepolicyunderlyingtheprohibitionagainstpre proclamationcasesinelectionsforPresident,VicePresident,Senators
andmembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives.(R.A.No.7166,15)ThepurposeistopreservetheprerogativesoftheHouse
ofRepresentativesElectoralTribunalandtheotherTribunalsas"solejudges"undertheConstitutionoftheelection,returnsand
qualificationsofmembersofCongressofthePresidentandVicePresident,asthecasemaybe.[106]

To be sure, the authoritativeness of the Romualdez pronouncements as reiterated in Fermin, led to the amendment through COMELEC
ResolutionNo.9523,on25September2012ofitsRule25.This,the15February1993versionofRule25,whichstatesthat:

Grounds for disqualification. Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the
Constitutionorbyexistinglaworwhocommitsanyactdeclaredbylawtobegroundsfordisqualificationmaybedisqualified
fromcontinuingasacandidate.[107]

wasinthe2012rendition,drasticallychangedto:

Grounds.Anycandidatewho,inactionorprotestinwhichheisaparty,isdeclaredbyfinaldecisionofacompetentcourt,
guiltyof,orfoundbytheCommissiontobesufferingfromanydisqualificationprovidedbylawortheConstitution.
APetitiontoDisqualifyaCandidateinvokinggroundsforaPetitiontoDenytoorCancelaCertificateofCandidacyorPetitionto
DeclareaCandidateasaNuisanceCandidate,oracombinationthereof,shallbesummarilydismissed.

Clearly, the amendment done in 2012 is an acceptance of the reality of absence of an authorized proceeding for determining before
electionthequalificationsofcandidate.Suchthat,aspresentlyrequired,todisqualifyacandidatetheremustbeadeclarationbyafinal
judgmentofacompetentcourtthatthecandidatesoughttobedisqualified"isguiltyoforfoundbytheCommissiontobesufferingfrom

anydisqualificationprovidedbylawortheConstitution."
Insofarasthequalificationofacandidateisconcerned,Rule25andRule23areflipsidesofonetotheother.Bothdonotallow,arenot
authorizations,arenotvestmentofjurisdiction,fortheCOMELECtodeterminethequalificationofacandidate.Thefactsofqualification
must beforehand be established in a prior proceeding before an authority properly vested with jurisdiction. The prior determination of
qualificationmaybebystatute,byexecutiveorderorbyajudgmentofacompetentcourtortribunal.
If a candidate cannot be disqualified without a prior finding that he or she is suffering from a disqualification "provided by law or the
Constitution,"neithercanthecertificateofcandidacybecancelledordeniedduecourseongroundsoffalserepresentationsregardinghis
orherqualifications,withoutapriorauthoritativefindingthatheorsheisnotqualified,suchpriorauthoritybeingthenecessarymeasure
bywhichthefalsityoftherepresentationcanbefound.Theonlyexceptionthatcanbeconcededareselfevidentfactsofunquestionedor
unquestionable veracity and judicial confessions. Such are, anyway, bases equivalent to prior decisions against which the falsity of
representationcanbedetermined.
The need for a predicate finding or final pronouncement in a proceeding under Rule 23 that deals with, as in this case, alleged false
representationsregardingthecandidate'scitizenshipandresidence,forcedtheCOMELECtoruleessentiallythatsincefoundlings[108]are
notmentionedintheenumerationofcitizensunderthe1935Constitution,[109] they then cannot be citizens. As the COMELEC stated in
oralarguments,whenpetitioneradmittedthatsheisafoundling,shesaiditall.Thisbordersonbigotry.Oddly,inaneffortattolerance,
theCOMELEC,aftersayingthatitcannotrulethathereinpetitionerpossessesbloodrelationshipwithaFilipinocitizenwhen"itiscertain
thatsuchrelationshipisindemonstrable,"proceededtosaythat"shenowhastheburdentopresentevidencetoprovehernaturalfiliation
withaFilipinoparent."
Thefactisthatpetitioner'sbloodrelationshipwithaFilipinocitizenisDEMONSTRABLE.
At the outset, it must be noted that presumptions regarding paternity is neither unknown nor unaccepted in Philippine Law. The Family
CodeofthePhilippineshasawholechapteronPaternityandFiliation.[110]Thatsaid,thereismorethansufficientevidencethatpetitioner
hasFilipinoparentsandisthereforeanaturalbornFilipino.Parenthetically,theburdenofproofwasonprivaterespondentstoshowthat
petitionerisnotaFilipinocitizen.Theprivaterespondentsshouldhaveshownthatbothofpetitioner'sparentswerealiens.Heradmission
thatsheisafoundlingdidnotshifttheburdentoherbecausesuchstatusdidnotexcludethepossibilitythatherparentswereFilipinos,
especiallyasinthiscasewherethereisahighprobability,ifnotcertainty,thatherparentsareFilipinos.
Thefactualissueisnotwhotheparentsofpetitionerare,astheiridentitiesareunknown,butwhethersuchparentsareFilipinos.Under
Section4,Rule128:

Sect. 4. Relevancy, collateral matters Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its
existenceornoexistence.Evidenceoncollateralmattersshallnotbeallowed,exceptwhenittendsinanyreasonabledegreeto
establishtheprobabilityofimprobabilityofthefactinissue.

TheSolicitorGeneralofferedofficialstatisticsfromthePhilippineStatisticsAuthority(PSA)[111]thatfrom1965to1975,thetotalnumber
of foreigners born in the Philippines was 15,986 while the total number of Filipinos born in the country was 10,558,278. The statistical
probability that any child born in the Philippines in that decade is naturalborn Filipino was 99.83%. For her part, petitioner presented
censusstatisticsforIloiloProvincefor1960and1970,alsofromthePSA.In1960,therewere962,532Filipinosand4,734foreignersin
the province 99.62% of the population were Filipinos. In 1970, the figures were 1,162,669 Filipinos and 5,304 foreigners, or 99.55%.
Also presented were figures for the child producing ages (1549). In 1960, there were 230,528 female Filipinos as against 730 female
foreignersor99.68%.Inthesameyear,therewere210,349Filipinomalesand886malealiens,or99.58%.In1970,therewere270,299
Filipino females versus 1,190 female aliens, or 99.56%. That same year, there were 245,740 Filipino males as against only 1,165 male
aliensor99.53%.COMELECdidnotdisputethesefigures.Notably,CommissionerArthurLimadmitted,duringtheoralarguments,thatat
thetimepetitionerwasfoundin1968,themajorityofthepopulationinIloilowasFilipino.[112]
Other circumstantial evidence of the nationality of petitioner's parents are the fact that she was abandoned as an infant in a Roman
CatholicChurchinIloiloCity.ShealsohastypicalFilipinofeatures:height,flatnasalbridge,straightblackhair,almondshapedeyesand
anovalface.
Thereisadisputablepresumptionthatthingshavehappenedaccordingtotheordinarycourseofnatureandtheordinaryhabitsoflife.
[113]Alloftheforegoingevidence,thatapersonwithtypicalFilipinofeaturesisabandonedinCatholicChurchinamunicipalitywherethe

population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such that there would be more than a 99% chance that a child born in the
provincewouldbeaFilipino,wouldindicatemorethanampleprobabilityifnotstatisticalcertainty,thatpetitioner'sparentsareFilipinos.
ThatprobabilityandtheevidenceonwhichitisbasedareadmissibleunderRule128,Section4oftheRevisedRulesonEvidence.
Toassumeotherwiseistoaccepttheabsurd,ifnotthevirtuallyimpossible,asthenorm.InthewordsoftheSolicitorGeneral:

Second.ItiscontrarytocommonsensebecauseforeignersdonotcometothePhilippinessotheycangetpregnantandleave
theirnewbornbabiesbehind.Wedonotfaceasituationwheretheprobabilityissuchthateveryfoundlingwouldhavea50%
chance of being a Filipino and a 50% chance of being a foreigner. We need to frame our questions properly. What are the
chances that the parents of anyone born in the Philippines would be foreigners? Almost zero. What are the chances that the
parentsofanyoneborninthePhilippineswouldbeFilipinos?99.9%.
AccordingtothePhilippineStatisticsAuthority,from2010to2014,onayearlyaverage,therewere1,766,046childrenbornin
the Philippines to Filipino parents, as opposed to 1,301 children in the Philippines of foreign parents. Thus, for that sample
period, the ratio of nonFilipino children to natural born Filipino children is 1:1357. This means that the statistical probability

thatanychildborninthePhilippineswouldbeanaturalbornFilipinois99.93%.
From1965to1975,thetotalnumberofforeignersborninthePhilippinesis15,986whilethetotalnumberofFilipinosbornin
the Philippines is 15,558,278. For this period, the ratio of nonFilipino children is 1:661. This means that the statistical
probabilitythatanychildborninthePhilippinesonthatdecadewouldbeanaturalbornFilipinois99.83%.
We can invite statisticians and social anthropologists to crunch the numbers for us, but I am confident that the statistical
probabilitythatachildborninthePhilippineswouldbeanaturalbornFilipinowillnotbeaffectedbywhetherornottheparents
are known. If at all, the likelihood that a foundling would have a Filipino parent might even be higher than 99.9%. Filipinos
abandontheirchildrenoutofpovertyorperhaps,shame.Wedonotimagineforeignersabandoningtheirchildrenhereinthe
Philippinesthinkingthoseinfantswouldhavebettereconomicopportunitiesorbelievingthatthiscountryisatropicalparadise
suitable for raising abandoned children. I certainly doubt whether a foreign couple has ever considered their child excess
baggagethatisbestleftbehind.
TodenyfullFilipinocitizenshiptoallfoundlingsandrenderthemstatelessjustbecausetheremaybeatheoreticalchancethat
one among the thousands of these foundlings might be the child of not just one, but two, foreigners is downright
discriminatory,irrational,andunjust.Itjustdoesn'tmakeanysense.Giventhestatisticalcertainty99.9%thatanychildborn
in the Philippines would be a natural born citizen, a decision denying foundlings such status is effectively a denial of their
birthright. There is no reason why this Honorable Court should use an improbable hypothetical to sacrifice the fundamental
politicalrightsofanentireclassofhumanbeings.YourHonor,constitutionalinterpretationandtheuseofcommonsenseare
notseparatedisciplines.

Asamatteroflaw,foundlingsareasaclass,naturalborncitizens.Whilethe1935Constitution'senumerationissilentastofoundlings,
thereisnorestrictivelanguagewhichwoulddefinitelyexcludefoundlingseither.Becauseofsilenceandambiguityintheenumerationwith
respect to foundlings, there is a need to examine the intent of the framers. In Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,[114] this
Courtheldthat:

Theascertainmentofthatintentisbutinkeepingwiththefundamentalprincipleofconstitutionalconstructionthattheintentof
the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. The primary task in constitutional
constructionistoascertainandthereafterassuretherealizationofthepurposeoftheframersandofthepeopleintheadoption
of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the
explanationofferedbytheframers.[115]

AspointedoutbypetitioneraswellastheSolicitorGeneral,thedeliberationsofthe1934ConstitutionalConventionshowthattheframers
intendedfoundlingstobecoveredbytheenumeration.Thefollowingexchangeisrecorded:

Sr.Rafols:
xxxx
President:
Sr.Rafols:
Sr.Montinola:

Sr.Rafols:
Sr.Montinola:
Sr.Rafols:
Sr.Briones:
Sr.Rafols:
President:
Sr.Rafols:

President:
Sr.Busion:
Sr.Roxas:

Foranamendment.Iproposethataftersubsection2,thefollowingisinserted:"Thenatural
childrenofaforeignfatherandaFilipinomothernotrecognizedbythefather.
[We] would like to request a clarification from the proponent of the amendment. The
gentlemanreferstonaturalchildrenortoanykindofillegitimatechildren?
Toallkindsofillegitimatechildren.Italsoincludesnaturalchildrenofunknownparentage,
naturalorillegitimatechildrenofunknownparents.
For clarification. The gentleman said "of unknown parents." Current codes consider them
Filipino,thatis,IrefertotheSpanishCodewhereinallchildrenofunknownparentageborn
in Spanish territory are considered Spaniards, because the presumption is that a child of
unknownparentageisthesonofaSpaniard.ThismaybeappliedinthePhilippinesinthata
childofunknownparentageborninthePhilippinesisdeemedtobeFilipino,andthereisno
need...
Thereisaneed,becausewearerelatingtheconditionsthatare[required]tobeFilipino.
Butthatistheinterpretationofthelaw,therefore,thereisno[more]needforamendment.
Theamendmentshouldreadthus:"NaturalorillegitimateofaforeignfatherandaFilipino
motherrecognizedbyone,orthechildrenofunknownparentage."
Theamendment[should]meanchildrenborninthePhilippinesofunknownparentage.
ThesonofaFilipinatoaForeigner,althoughthis[person]doesnotrecognizethechild,is
notunknown.
Doesthegentlemanaccepttheamendmentornot?
I do not accept the amendment because the amendment would exclude the children of a
Filipinawithaforeignerwhodoesnotrecognizethechild.Theirparentageisnotunknown
and I think those of overseas Filipino mother and father [whom the latter] does not
recognize,shouldalsobeconsideredasFilipinos.
ThequestioninorderistheamendmenttotheamendmentfromtheGentlemanfromCebu,
Mr.Briones.
Mr. President, don't you think it would be better to leave this matter in the hands of the
Legislature?
Mr.President,myhumbleopinionisthatthesecasesarefewandJarinbetween,thatthe
constitution need [not] refer to them. By international law the principle that children or
peopleborninacountryofunknownparentsarecitizensinthisnationisrecognized,andit
isnotnecessarytoincludeaprovisiononthesubjectexhaustively.[116]

ThoughtheRafolsamendmentwasnotcarriedout,itwasnotbecausetherewasanyobjectiontothenotionthatpersonsof"unknown

parentage"arenotcitizensbutonlybecausetheirnumberwasnotenoughtomeritspecificmention.Suchwastheaccount,[117]citedby
petitioner,ofdelegateandconstitutionlawauthorJoseAruegowhosaid:

During the debates on this provision, Delegate Rafols presented an amendment to include as Filipino citizens the illegitimate
childrenwithaforeignfatherofamotherwhowasacitizenofthePhilippines,andalsofoundlingsbutthisamendmentwas
defeatedprimarilybecausetheConventionbelievedthatthecases,beingtoofewtowarranttheinclusionofaprovisioninthe
Constitution to apply to them, should be governed by statutory legislation. Moreover, it was believed that the rules of
international law were already clear to the effect that illegitimate children followed the citizenship of the mother, and that
foundlings followed the nationality of the place where they were found, thereby making unnecessary the inclusion in the
Constitutionoftheproposedamendment.

ThisexplanationwaslikewisethepositionoftheSolicitorGeneralduringthe16February2016OralArguments:

WeallknowthattheRafolsproposalwasrejected.Butnotethatwhatwasdeclinedwastheproposalforatextualandexplicit
recognitionoffoundlingsasFilipinos.Andso,thewaytoexplaintheconstitutionalsilenceisbysayingthatitwastheviewof
MontinolaandRoxaswhichprevailedthatthereisnomoreneedtoexpresslydeclarefoundlingsasFilipinos.
Obviously, it doesn't matter whether Montinola's or Roxas' views were legally correct. Framers of a constitution can
constitutionalizerulesbasedonassumptionsthatareimperfectorevenwrong.Theycanevenoverturnexistingrules.Thisis
basic.WhatmattershereisthatMontinolaandRoxaswereabletoconvincetheircolleaguesintheconventionthatthereisno
moreneedtoexpresslydeclarefoundlingsasFilipinosbecausetheyarealreadyimpliedlysorecognized.
Inotherwords,theconstitutionalsilenceisfullyexplainedintermsoflinguisticefficiencyandtheavoidanceofredundancy.The
policy is clear: it is to recognize foundlings, as a class, as Filipinos under Art. IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution. This
inclusive policy is carried over into the 1973 and 1987 Constitution. It is appropriate to invoke a famous scholar as he was
paraphrasedbyChiefJusticeFernando:theconstitutionisnotsilentlysilent,itissilentlyvocal.[118]

TheSolicitorGeneralmakesthefurtherpointthattheframers"workedtocreateajustandhumanesociety,"that"theywerereasonable
patriots and that it would be unfair to impute upon them a discriminatory intent against foundlings." He exhorts that, given the grave
implicationsoftheargumentthatfoundlingsarenotnaturalbornFilipinos,theCourtmustsearchtherecordsofthe1935,1973and1987
Constitutions"foranexpressintentiontodenyfoundlingsthestatusofFilipinos.Theburdenisonthosewhowishtousetheconstitution
todiscriminateagainstfoundlingstoshowthattheconstitutionreallyintendedtotakethispathtothedarksideandinflictthisacrossthe
boardmarginalization."
We find no such intent or language permitting discrimination against foundlings. On the contrary, all three Constitutions guarantee the
basicrighttoequalprotectionofthelaws.AllexhorttheStatetorendersocialjustice.Ofspecialconsiderationareseveralprovisionsin
the present charter: Article II, Section 11 which provides that the "State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full
respect for human rights," Article XIII, Section 1 which mandates Congress to "give highest priority to the enactment of measures that
protectandenhancetherightofallthepeopletohumandignity,reducesocial,economic,andpoliticalinequalitiesxxx"andArticleXV,
Section3whichrequirestheStatetodefendthe"rightofchildrentoassistance,includingpropercareandnutrition,andspecialprotection
fromallformsofneglect,abuse,cruelty,exploitation,andotherconditionsprejudicialtotheirdevelopment."Certainly,theseprovisions
contradictanintenttodiscriminateagainstfoundlingsonaccountoftheirunfortunatestatus.
Domestic laws on adoption also support the principle that foundlings are Filipinos. These laws do not provide that adoption confers
citizenshipupontheadoptee.Rather,theadopteemustbeaFilipinointhefirstplacetobeadopted.ThemostbasicofsuchlawsisArticle
15oftheCivilCodewhichprovidesthat"[l]awsrelatingtofamilyrights,duties,status,conditions,legalcapacityofpersonsarebindingon
citizensofthePhilippineseventhoughlivingabroad."Adoptiondealswithstatus,andaPhilippineadoptioncourtwillhavejurisdictiononly
iftheadopteeisaFilipino.InEllisandEllisv.Republic,[119]achildleftbyanunidentifiedmotherwassoughttobeadoptedbyaliens.This
Courtsaid:

Inthisconnection,itshouldbenotedthatthisisaproceedingsinrem,whichnocourtmayentertainunlessithasjurisdiction,
notonlyoverthesubjectmatterofthecaseandovertheparties,butalsoovertheres,whichisthepersonalstatusofBaby
Roseaswellasthatofpetitionersherein.OurCivilCode(Art.15)adherestothetheorythatjurisdictionoverthestatusofa
natural person is determined by the latter's nationality. Pursuant to this theory, we have jurisdiction over the status of Baby
Rose, she being a citizen of the Philippines, but not over the status of the petitioners, who are foreigners.[120] (Underlining
supplied)

Recent legislation is more direct. R.A. No. 8043 entitled "An Act Establishing the Rules to Govern the InterCountry Adoption of Filipino
Children and For Other Purposes" (otherwise known as the "InterCountry Adoption Act of 1995"), R.A. No. 8552, entitled "An Act
Establishing the Rules and Policies on the Adoption of Filipino Children and For Other Purposes" (otherwise known as the Domestic
AdoptionActof1998)andthisCourt'sA.M.No.02602SCorthe"RuleonAdoption,"allexpresslyreferto"Filipinochildren"andinclude
foundlingsasamongFilipinochildrenwhomaybeadopted.
Ithasbeenarguedthattheprocesstodeterminethatthechildisafoundlingleadingtotheissuanceofafoundlingcertificateunderthese
lawsandtheissuanceofsaidcertificateareactstoacquireorperfectPhilippinecitizenshipwhichmakethefoundlinganaturalizedFilipino
atbest.Thisiserroneous.UnderArticleIV,Section2"NaturalborncitizensarethosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithout
havingtoperformanyacttoacquireorperfecttheirPhilippinecitizenship."Inthefirstplace,"havingtoperformanact"meansthatthe
act must be personally done by the citizen. In this instance, the determination of foundling status is done not by the child but by the

authorities.[121] Secondly, the object of the process is the determination of the whereabouts of the parents, not the citizenship of the
child.Lastly,theprocessiscertainlynotanalogoustonaturalizationproceedingstoacquirePhilippinecitizenship,ortheelectionofsuch
citizenshipbyonebornofanalienfatherandaFilipinomotherunderthe1935Constitution,whichisanacttoperfectit.
In this instance, such issue is moot because there is no dispute that petitioner is a foundling, as evidenced by a Foundling Certificate
issuedinherfavor.[122]TheDecreeofAdoptionissuedon13May1974,whichapprovedpetitioner'sadoptionbyJesusaSonoraPoeand
RonaldAllanKelleyPoe,expresslyreferstoEmilianoandhiswife,RosarioMilitar,asher"foundlingparents,"henceeffectivelyaffirming
petitioner'sstatusasafoundling.[123]
Foundlingsarelikewisecitizensunderinternationallaw.Underthe1987Constitution,aninternationallawcanbecomepartofthesphere
of domestic law either by transformation or incorporation. The transformation method requires that an international law be transformed
intoadomesticlawthroughaconstitutionalmechanismsuchaslocallegislation.[124]Ontheotherhand,generallyacceptedprinciplesof
internationallaw,byvirtueoftheincorporationclauseoftheConstitution,formpartofthelawsofthelandeveniftheydonotderivefrom
treaty obligations. Generally accepted principles of international law include international custom as evidence of a general practice
acceptedaslaw,andgeneralprinciplesoflawrecognizedbycivilizednations.[125]Internationalcustomaryrulesareacceptedasbinding
as a result from the combination of two elements: the established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States and a
psychologicalelementknownastheopinionjurissivenecessitates(opinionastolawornecessity).Implicitinthelatterelementisabelief
thatthepracticeinquestionisrenderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit.[126]"Generalprinciplesoflawrecognized
bycivilizednations"areprinciples"establishedbyaprocessofreasoning"orjudiciallogic,basedonprincipleswhichare"basictolegal
systemsgenerally,"[127]suchas"generalprinciplesofequity,i.e.,thegeneralprinciplesoffairnessandjustice,"andthe"generalprinciple
againstdiscrimination"whichisembodiedinthe"UniversalDeclarationofHumanRights,theInternationalCovenantonEconomic,Social
and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention Against
DiscriminationinEducation,theConvention(No.111)ConcerningDiscriminationinRespectofEmploymentandOccupation."[128]These
arethesamecoreprincipleswhichunderliethePhilippineConstitutionitself,asembodiedinthedueprocessandequalprotectionclauses
oftheBillofRights.[129]
Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR") has been interpreted by this Court as part of the generally accepted principles of
internationallawandbindingontheState.[130]Article15thereofstates:

1.Everyonehastherighttoanationality.
2.Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedofhisnationalitynordeniedtherighttochangehisnationality.

The Philippines has also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 7 of the UNCRC imposes the following
obligationsonourcountry:

Article7

1.Thechildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhavetherightfrombirthtoaname,therighttoacquirea
nationalityandasfaraspossible,therighttoknowandbecaredforbyhisorherparents.
2.StatesPartiesshallensuretheimplementationoftheserightsinaccordancewiththeirnationallawandtheirobligations
undertherelevantinternationalinstrumentsinthisfield,inparticularwherethechildwouldotherwisebestateless.

In1986,thecountryalsoratifiedthe1966InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights(ICCPR).Article24thereofprovideforthe
rightofeverychild"toacquireanationality:"

Article24

1.Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin,
property or birth, the right, to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his
family,societyandtheState.
2.Everychildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhaveaname.
3.Everychildhastherighttoacquireanationality.

ThecommonthreadoftheUDHR,UNCRCandICCPRistoobligatethePhilippinestograntnationalityfrombirthandensurethatnochild
is stateless. This grant of nationality must be at the time of birth, and it cannot be accomplished by the application of our present
naturalization laws, Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended, and R.A. No. 9139, both of which require the applicant to be at least
eighteen(18)yearsold.
Theprinciplesfoundintwoconventions,whileyetunratifiedbythePhilippines,aregenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw.The
firstisArticle14ofthe1930HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLawsunderwhichafoundlingis
presumedtohavethe"nationalityofthecountryofbirth,"towit:

Article14
A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child's parentage is
established,itsnationalityshallbedeterminedbytherulesapplicableincaseswheretheparentageisknown.
A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was found.
(Underliningsupplied)

The second is the principle that a foundling ispresumedbornofcitizens of the country where he is found, contained in Article 2 of the
1961UnitedNationsConventionontheReductionofStatelessness:

Article2
AfoundlingfoundintheterritoryofaContractingStateshall,intheabsenceofprooftothecontrary,beconsideredtohave
beenbornwithintheterritoryofparentspossessingthenationalityofthatState.

ThatthePhilippinesisnotapartytothe1930HagueConventionnortothe1961ConventionontheReductionofStatelessnessdoesnot
mean that their principles are not binding. While the Philippines is not a party to the 1930 Hague Convention, it is a signatory to the
UniversalDeclarationonHumanRights,Article15(1)ofwhich[131]effectivelyaffirmsArticle14ofthe1930HagueConvention.Article2of
the1961"UnitedNationsConventionontheReductionofStatelessness"merely"giveseffect"toArticle15(1)oftheUDHR.[132]InRazon
v. Tagitis,[133] this Court noted that the Philippines had not signed or ratified the "International Convention for the Protection of All
Persons from Enforced Disappearance." Yet, we ruled that the proscription against enforced disappearances in the said convention was
nonethelessbindingasa"generallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallaw."Razonv.Tagitisislikewisenotablefordeclaringthebanasa
generallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallawalthoughtheconventionhadbeenratifiedbyonlysixteenstatesandhadnotevencome
intoforceandwhichneededtheratificationofaminimumoftwentystates.Additionally,aspetitionerpointsout,theCourtwascontent
with the practice of international and regional state organs, regional state practice in Latin America, and State Practice in the United
States.
Another case where the number of ratifying countries was not determinative is Mijares v. Ranada,[134] where only four countries had
"either ratified or acceded to"[135] the 1966 "Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and
Commercial Matters" when the case was decided in 2005. The Court also pointed out that that nine member countries of the European
Common Market had acceded to the Judgments Convention. The Court also cited U.S. laws and jurisprudence on recognition of foreign
judgments.Inall,onlythepracticesoffourteencountrieswereconsideredandyet,therewaspronouncementthatrecognitionofforeign
judgmentswaswidespreadpractice.
Our approach in Razon and Mijares effectively takes into account the fact that "generally accepted principles of international law" are
basednotonlyoninternationalcustom,butalsoon"generalprinciplesoflawrecognizedbycivilizednations,"asthephraseisunderstood
in Article 38.1 paragraph (c) of the ICJ Statute. Justice, fairness, equity and the policy against discrimination, which are fundamental
principles underlying the Bill of Rights and which are "basic to legal systems generally,"[136] support the notion that the right against
enforced disappearances and the recognition of foreign judgments, were correctly considered as "generally accepted principles of
internationallaw"undertheincorporationclause.
Petitioner's evidence[137] shows that at least sixty countries in Asia, North and South America, and Europe have passed legislation
recognizingfoundlingsasitscitizen.Fortytwo(42)ofthosecountriesfollowthejussanguinisregime.Ofthesixty,onlythirtythree(33)
arepartiestothe1961ConventiononStatelessnesstwentysix(26)arenotsignatoriestotheConvention.Also,theChiefJustice,atthe
2February2016OralArgumentspointedoutthatin166outof189countriessurveyed(or87.83%),foundlingsarerecognizedascitizens.
Thesecircumstances,includingthepracticeofjussanguiniscountries,showthatitisagenerallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallawto
presumefoundlingsashavingbeenbornofnationalsofthecountryinwhichthefoundlingisfound.
CurrentlegislationrevealstheadherenceofthePhilippinestothisgenerallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallaw.Inparticular,R.A.No.
8552, R.A. No. 8042 and this Court's Rules on Adoption, expressly refer to "Filipino children." In all of them, foundlings are among the
Filipinochildrenwhocouldbeadopted.Likewise,ithasbeenpointedthattheDFAissuespassportstofoundlings.Passportsarebylaw,
issuedonlytocitizens.Thisshowsthateventheexecutivedepartment,actingthroughtheDFA,considersfoundlingsasPhilippinecitizens.
Adoptingtheselegalprinciplesfromthe1930HagueConventionandthe1961ConventiononStatelessnessisrationalandreasonableand
consistent with the jus sanguinis regime in our Constitution. The presumption of naturalborn citizenship of foundlings stems from the
presumption that their parents are nationals of the Philippines. As the empirical data provided by the PSA show, that presumption is at
morethan99%andisavirtualcertainty.
Insum,alloftheinternationallawconventionsandinstrumentsonthematterofnationalityoffoundlingsweredesignedtoaddressthe
plightofadefenselessclasswhichsuffersfromamisfortunenotoftheirownmaking.Wecannotberestrictiveastotheirapplicationifwe
are a country which calls itself civilized and a member of the community of nations. The Solicitor General's warning in his opening
statementisrelevant:

.... the total effect of those documents is to signify to this Honorable Court that those treaties and conventions were drafted
becausetheworldcommunityisconcernedthatthesituationoffoundlingsrendersthemlegallyinvisible.Itwouldbetragically
ironicifthisHonorableCourtendedupusingtheinternationalinstrumentswhichseektoprotectandupliftfoundlingsatoolto
denythempoliticalstatusortoaccordthemsecondclasscitizenship.[138]

The COMELEC also ruled[139] that petitioner's repatriation in July 2006 under the provisions of R.A. No. 9225 did not result in the
reacquisitionofnaturalborncitizenship.TheCOMELECreasonedthatsincetheapplicantmustperformanact,whatisreacquiredisnot
"naturalborn"citizenshipbutonlyplain"Philippinecitizenship."
TheCOMELEC'srulearrogantlydisregardsconsistentjurisprudenceonthematterofrepatriationstatutesingeneralandofR.A.No.9225
inparticular.
IntheseminalcaseofBengsonIIIv.HRET,[140]repatriationwasexplainedasfollows:

Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his
citizenshipwillberestoredtohispriorstatusasanaturalizedFilipinocitizen.Ontheotherhand,ifhewasoriginallyanatural
borncitizenbeforehelosthisPhilippinecitizenship,hewillberestoredtohisformerstatusasanaturalbornFilipino.

R.A.No.9225isarepatriationstatuteandhasbeendescribedassuchinseveralcases.TheyincludeSobejanaCondonv.COMELEC[141]
where we described it as an "abbreviated repatriation process that restores one's Filipino citizenship x x x." Also included is Parreo v.
CommissiononAudit,[142]whichcitedTabasa v. Court of Appeals,[143] where we said that "[t]he repatriation of the former Filipino will
allow him to recover his naturalborn citizenship. Parreo v. Commission on Audit[144] is categorical that "if petitioner reacquires his
Filipinocitizenship(underR.A.No.9225),hewill...recoverhisnaturalborncitizenship."
TheCOMELECconstruedthephrase"frombirth"inthedefinitionofnaturalcitizensasimplying"thatnaturalborncitizenshipmustbegin
atbirthandremainuninterruptedandcontinuousfrombirth."R.A.No.9225wasobviouslypassedinlinewithCongress'soleprerogative
todeterminehowcitizenshipmaybelostorreacquired.Congresssawitfittodecreethatnaturalborncitizenshipmaybereacquiredeven
ifithadbeenoncelost.ItisnotfortheCOMELECtodisagreewiththeCongress'determination.
More importantly, COMELEC's position that naturalborn status must be continuous was already rejected in Bengson III v. HRET[145]
wherethephrase"frombirth"wasclarifiedtomeanatthetimeofbirth:"Apersonwhoatthetimeofhisbirth,isacitizenofaparticular
country,isanaturalborncitizenthereof."Neitheris"repatriation"anactto"acquireorperfect"one'scitizenship.InBengsonIIIv.HRET,
thisCourtpointedoutthatthereareonlytwotypesofcitizensunderthe1987Constitution:naturalborncitizenandnaturalized,andthat
thereisnothirdcategoryforrepatriatedcitizens:

It is apparent from the enumeration of who are citizens under the present Constitution that there are only two classes of
citizens: (1) those who are naturalborn and (2) those who are naturalized in accordance with law. A citizen who is not a
naturalizedFilipino,i.e.,didnothavetoundergotheprocessofnaturalizationtoobtainPhilippinecitizenship,necessarilyisa
naturalborn Filipino. Noteworthy is the absence in said enumeration of a separate category for persons who, after losing
Philippinecitizenship,subsequentlyreacquireit.Thereasonthereforisclear:astosuchpersons,theywouldeitherbenatural
bornornaturalizeddependingonthereasonsforthelossoftheircitizenshipandthemodeprescribedbytheapplicablelawfor
the reacquisition thereof. As respondent Cruz was not required by law to go through naturalization proceedings in order to
reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce a natural born Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary qualifications to be
electedasmemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives.[146]

TheCOMELECcannotreverseajudicialprecedent.ThatisreservedtothisCourt.Andwhilewemayalwaysrevisitadoctrine,anewrule
reversingstandingdoctrinecannotberetroactivelyapplied.InMoralesv.CourtofAppealsandJejomarErwinS.Binay,Jr.,[147]wherewe
decreedreversedthecondonationdoctrine,wecautionedthatit"shouldbeprospectiveinapplicationforthereasonthatjudicialdecisions
applyingorinterpretingthelawsoftheConstitution,untilreversed,shallformpartofthelegalsystemofthePhilippines."ThisCourtalso
saidthat"whilethefuturemayultimatelyuncoveradoctrine'serror,itshouldbe,asageneralrule,recognizedasgoodlawpriortoits
abandonment.Consequently,thepeople'sreliancethereuponshouldberespected."[148]
Lastly,itwasrepeatedlypointedoutduringtheoralargumentsthatpetitionercommittedafalsehoodwhensheputinthespacesfor"born
to"inherapplicationforrepatriationunderR.A.No.9225thenamesofheradoptiveparents,andthismisledtheBItopresumethatshe
was a natural born Filipino. It has been contended that the data required were the names of her biological parents which are precisely
unknown.
This position disregards one important fact petitioner was legally adopted. One of the effects of adoption is "to sever all legal ties
between the biological parents and the adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adoptee."[149] Under R.A. No.
8552,petitionerwasalsoentitledtoanamendedbirthcertificate"attestingtothefactthattheadopteeisthechildoftheadopter(s)"and
which certificate "shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue."[150] That law also requires that "[a]ll records, books, and
papersrelatingtotheadoptioncasesinthefilesofthecourt,theDepartment[ofSocialWelfareandDevelopment],oranyotheragency
orinstitutionparticipatingintheadoptionproceedingsshallbekeptstrictlyconfidential."[151]Thelawthereforeallowspetitionertostate
thatheradoptiveparentswereherbirthparentsasthatwaswhatwouldbestatedinherbirthcertificateanyway.Andgiventhepolicyof
strictconfidentialityofadoptionrecords,petitionerwasnotobligatedtodisclosethatshewasanadoptee.
Clearly, to avoid a direct ruling on the qualifications of petitioner, which it cannot make in the same case for cancellation of COC, it
resorted to opinionatedness which is, moreover, erroneous. The whole process undertaken by COMELEC is wrapped in grave abuse of
discretion.
OnResidence

Thetaintedprocesswasrepeatedindisposingoftheissueofwhetherornotpetitionercommittedfalsematerialrepresentationwhenshe
statedinherCOCthatshehasbeforeanduntil9May2016beenaresidentofthePhilippinesforten(10)yearsandeleven(11)months.
Petitioner'sclaimthatshewillhavebeenaresidentforten(10)yearsandeleven(11)monthsonthedaybeforethe2016elections, is
true.
TheConstitutionrequirespresidentialcandidatestohaveten(10)years'residenceinthePhilippinesbeforethedayoftheelections.Since
theforthcomingelectionswillbeheldon9May2016,petitionermusthavebeenaresidentofthePhilippinespriorto9May2016forten
(10)years.Inanswertotherequestedinformationof"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippinesuptothedaybeforeMay09,2016,"sheput
in "10 years 11 months" which according to her pleadings in these cases corresponds to a beginning date of 25 May 2005 when she
returnedforgoodfromtheU.S.
When petitioner immigrated to the U.S. in 1991, she lost her original domicile, which is the Philippines. There are three requisites to
acquireanewdomicile:1.Residenceorbodilypresenceinanewlocality2.anintentiontoremainthereand3.anintentiontoabandon
the old domicile.[152] To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of
domicileabonafideintentionofabandoningtheformerplaceofresidenceandestablishinganewoneanddefiniteactswhichcorrespond
withthepurpose.Inotherwords,theremustbasicallybeanimusmanendicoupledwithanimusnonrevertendi.Thepurposetoremainin
oratthedomicileofchoicemustbeforanindefiniteperiodoftimethechangeofresidencemustbevoluntaryandtheresidenceatthe
placechosenforthenewdomicilemustbeactual.[153]
PetitionerpresentedvoluminousevidenceshowingthatsheandherfamilyabandonedtheirU.S.domicileandrelocatedtothePhilippines
forgood.Theseevidenceincludepetitioner'sformerU.S.passportshowingherarrivalon24May2005andherreturntothePhilippines
everytimeshetravelledabroademailcorrespondencesstartinginMarch2005toSeptember2006withafreightcompanytoarrangefor
the shipment of their household items weighing about 28,000 pounds to the Philippines email with the Philippine Bureau of Animal
IndustryinquiringhowtoshiptheirdogtothePhilippinesschoolrecordsofherchildrenshowingenrollmentinPhilippineschoolsstarting
June 2005 and for succeeding years tax identification card for petitioner issued on July 2005 titles for condominium and parking slot
issuedinFebruary2006andtheircorrespondingtaxdeclarationsissuedinApril2006receiptsdated23February2005fromtheSalvation
Army in the U.S. acknowledging donation of items from petitioner's family March 2006 email to the U.S. Postal Service confirming
requestforchangeofaddressfinalstatementfromtheFirstAmericanTitleInsuranceCompanyshowingsaleoftheirU.S.homeon27
April200612July2011filledupquestionnairesubmittedtotheU.S.EmbassywherepetitionerindicatedthatshehadbeenaPhilippine
resident since May 2005 affidavit from Jesusa Sonora Poe (attesting to the return of petitioner on 24 May 2005 and that she and her
family stayed with affiant until the condominium was purchased) and Affidavit from petitioner's husband (confirming that the spouses
jointlydecidedtorelocatetothePhilippinesin2005andthathestayedbehindintheU.S.onlytofinishsomeworkandtosellthefamily
home).
The foregoing evidence were undisputed and the facts were even listed by the COMELEC, particularly in its Resolution in the Tatad,
ContrerasandValdezcases.
However,theCOMELECrefusedtoconsiderthatpetitioner'sdomicilehadbeentimelychangedasof24May2005.Attheoralarguments,
COMELECCommissionerArthurLimconcededthepresenceofthefirsttworequisites,namely,physicalpresenceandanimusmanendi,but
maintainedtherewasnoanimusnonrevertendi.[154]TheCOMELECdisregardedtheimportofalltheevidencepresentedbypetitioneron
thebasisofthepositionthattheearliestdatethatpetitionercouldhavestartedresidenceinthePhilippineswasinJuly2006whenher
application under R.A. No. 9225 was approved by the BI. In this regard, COMELEC relied on Coquilla v. COMELEC,[155] Japzon v.
COMELEC[156] and Caballero v. COMELEC.[157] During the oral arguments, the private respondents also added Reyes v. COMELEC.[158]
RespondentscontendthatthesecasesdecreethatthestayofanalienformerFilipinocannotbecounteduntilhe/sheobtainsapermanent
residentvisaorreacquiresPhilippinecitizenship,avisafreeentryunderabalikbayanstampbeinginsufficient.Sincepetitionerwasstillan
American(withoutanyresidentvisa)untilherreacquisitionofcitizenshipunderR.A.No.9225,herstayfrom24May2005to7July2006
cannotbecounted.
Butasthepetitionerpointedout,thefactsinthesefourcasesareverydifferentfromhersituation.InCoquillav.COMELEC,[159]theonly
evidence presented was a community tax certificate secured by the candidate and his declaration that he would be running in the
elections. Japzon v. COMELEC[160] did not involve a candidate who wanted to count residence prior to his reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship. With the Court decreeing that residence is distinct from citizenship, the issue there was whether the candidate's acts after
reacquisitionsufficedtoestablishresidence.InCaballerov.COMELEC,[161]thecandidateadmittedthathisplaceofworkwasabroadand
thatheonlyvisitedduringhisfrequentvacations.InReyesv.COMELEC,[162]thecandidatewasfoundtobeanAmericancitizenwhohad
not even reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 or had renounced her U.S. citizenship. She was disqualified on the
citizenship issue. On residence, the only proof she offered was a sevenmonth stint as provincial officer. The COMELEC, quoted with
approvalbythisCourt,saidthat"suchfactaloneisnotsufficienttoproveheroneyearresidency."
Itisobviousthatbecauseofthesparseevidenceonresidenceinthefourcasescitedbytherespondents,theCourthadnochoicebutto
holdthatresidencecouldbecountedonlyfromacquisitionofapermanentresidentvisaorfromreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenship.In
contrast, the evidence of petitioner is overwhelming and taken together leads to no other conclusion that she decided to permanently
abandonherU.S.residence(sellingthehouse,takingthechildrenfromU.S.schools,gettingquotesfromthefreightcompany,notifying
theU.S.PostOfficeoftheabandonmentoftheiraddressintheU.S.,donatingexcessitemstotheSalvationArmy,herhusbandresigning
from U.S. employment right after selling the U.S. house) and permanently relocate to the Philippines and actually reestablished her
residencehereon24May2005(securingT.I.N,enrollingherchildreninPhilippineschools,buyingpropertyhere,constructingaresidence
here,returningtothePhilippinesafteralltripsabroad,herhusbandgettingemployedhere).Indeed,coupledwithhereventualapplication
toreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipandherfamily'sactualcontinuousstayinthePhilippinesovertheyears,itisclearthatwhenpetitioner
returnedon24May2005itwasforgood.

Inthisconnection,theCOMELECalsotookitagainstpetitionerthatshehadenteredthePhilippinesvisafreeasabalikbayan.Acloserlook
atR.A.No.6768asamended,otherwiseknownasthe"AnActInstitutingaBalikbayanProgram,"showsthatthereisnooverridingintent
totreatbalikbayansastemporaryvisitorswhomustleaveafteroneyear.IncludedinthelawisaformerFilipinowhohasbeennaturalized
abroadand"comesorreturnstothePhilippines."[163]Thelawinstitutesabalikbayanprogram"providingtheopportunitytoavailofthe
necessarytrainingtoenablethebalikbayantobecomeeconomicallyselfreliantmembersofsocietyupontheirreturntothecountry"[164]
inlinewiththegovernment's"reintegrationprogram."[165]Obviously,balikbayansarenotordinarytransients.
Giventhelaw'sexpresspolicytofacilitatethereturnofabalikbayanandhelphimreintegrateintosociety,itwouldbeanundulyharsh
conclusiontosayinabsolutetermsthatthebalikbayanmustleaveafteroneyear.Thatvisafreeperiodisobviouslygrantedhimtoallow
himtoreestablishhislifeandreintegratehimselfintothecommunitybeforeheattendstothenecessaryformalandlegalrequirementsof
repatriation. And that is exactly what petitioner did she reestablished life here by enrolling her children and buying property while
awaitingthereturnofherhusbandandthenapplyingforrepatriationshortlythereafter.
Nocasesimilartopetitioner's,wheretheformerFilipino'sevidenceofchangeindomicileisextensiveandoverwhelming,hasasyetbeen
decidedbytheCourt.Petitioner'sevidenceofresidenceisunprecedented.Thereisnojudicialprecedentthatcomesclosetothefactsof
residenceofpetitioner.ThereisnoindicationinCoquillav.COMELEC,[166] and the other cases cited by the respondents that the Court
intended to have its rulings there apply to a situation where the facts are different. Surely, the issue of residence has been decided
particularlyonthefactsofthecasebasis.
To avoid the logical conclusion pointed out by the evidence of residence of petitioner, the COMELEC ruled that petitioner's claim of
residenceoften(10)yearsandeleven(11)monthsby9May2016inher2015COCwasfalsebecausesheputsix(6)yearsandsix(6)
monthsas"periodofresidencebeforeMay13,2013"inher2012COCforSenator.Thus,accordingtotheCOMELEC,shestartedbeinga
PhilippineresidentonlyinNovember2006.Indoingso,theCOMELECautomaticallyassumedastruethestatementinthe2012COCand
the2015COCasfalse.
Asexplainedbypetitionerinherverifiedpleadings,shemisunderstoodthedaterequiredinthe2013COCastheperiodofresidenceasof
thedayshesubmittedthatCOCin2012.ShesaidthatshereckonedresidencyfromAprilMay2006whichwastheperiodwhentheU.S.
housewassoldandherhusbandreturnedtothePhilippines.Inthatregard,shewasadvisedbyherlawyersin2015thatresidencecould
becountedfrom25May2005.
Petitioner'sexplanationthatshemisunderstoodthequeryin2012(periodofresidencebefore13May2013)asinquiringaboutresidence
as of the time she submitted the COC, is bolstered by the change which the COMELEC itself introduced in the 2015 COC which is now
"periodofresidenceinthePhilippinesuptothedaybeforeMay09,2016."TheCOMELECwouldnothaverevisedthequeryifitdidnot
acknowledgethatthefirstversionwasvague.
That petitioner could have reckoned residence from a date earlier than the sale of her U.S. house and the return of her husband is
plausible given the evidence that she had returned a year before. Such evidence, to repeat, would include her passport and the school
recordsofherchildren.
ItwasgraveabuseofdiscretionfortheCOMELECtotreatthe2012
COC as a binding and conclusive admission against petitioner. It could be given in evidence against her, yes, but it was by no means
conclusive.Thereisprecedentafterallwhereacandidate'smistakeastoperiodofresidencemadeinaCOCwasovercomebyevidence.
In RomualdezMarcos v. COMELEC,[167] the candidate mistakenly put seven (7) months as her period of residence where the required
periodwasaminimumofoneyear.Wesaidthat"[i]tisthefactofresidence,notastatementinacertificateofcandidacywhichoughtto
bedecisiveindeterminingwhetherornotanindividualhassatisfiedtheconstitution'sresidencyqualificationrequirement."TheCOMELEC
ought to have looked at the evidence presented and see if petitioner was telling the truth that she was in the Philippines from 24 May
2005.HadtheCOMELECdoneitsduty,itwouldhaveseenthatthe2012COCandthe2015COCbothcorrectlystatedthepertinentperiod
ofresidency.
TheCOMELEC,byitsownadmission,disregardedtheevidencethatpetitioneractuallyandphysicallyreturnedhereon24May2005not
because it was false, but only because COMELEC took the position that domicile could be established only from petitioner's repatriation
underR.A.No.9225inJuly2006.However,itdoesnottakeawaythefactthatinreality,petitionerhadreturnedfromtheU.S.andwas
heretostaypermanently,on24May2005.Whensheclaimedtohavebeenaresidentforten(10)yearsandeleven(11)months,she
coulddosoingoodfaith.
Foranother,itcouldnotbesaidthatpetitionerwasattemptingtohideanything.Asalreadystated,apetitionforquowarrantohadbeen
filed against her with the SET as early as August 2015. The event from which the COMELEC pegged the commencement of residence,
petitioner'srepatriationinJuly2006underR.A.No.9225,wasanestablishedfacttorepeat,forpurposesofhersenatorialcandidacy.
Notably, on the statement of residence of six (6) years and six (6) months in the 2012 COC, petitioner recounted that this was first
broughtupinthemediaon2June2015byRep.TobiasTiangcooftheUnitedNationalistAlliance.Petitionerappearstohaveansweredthe
issue immediately, also in the press. Respondents have not disputed petitioner's evidence on this point. From that time therefore when
Rep. Tiangco discussed it in the media, the stated period of residence in the 2012 COC and the circumstances that surrounded the
statementwerealreadymattersofpublicrecordandwerenothidden.
Petitionerlikewiseprovedthatthe2012COCwasalsobroughtupintheSETpetitionforquowarranto.HerVerifiedAnswer,whichwas
filedon1September2015,admittedthatshemadeamistakeinthe2012COCwhensheputinsix(6)yearsandsix(6)monthsasshe
misunderstoodthequestionandcouldhavetruthfullyindicatedalongerperiod.HeranswerintheSETcasewasamatterofpublicrecord.
Therefore,whenpetitioneraccomplishedherCOCforPresidenton15October2015,shecouldnotbesaidtohavebeenattemptingtohide
hererroneousstatementinher2012COCforSenatorwhichwasexpresslymentionedinherVerifiedAnswer.

Thefactsnow,ifnotstretchedtodistortion,donotshoworevenhintatanintentiontohidethe2012statementandhaveitcoveredby
the2015representation.Petitioner,moreover,hasonhersidethisCourt'spronouncementthat:

Concededly, a candidate's disqualification to run for public office does not necessarily constitute material misrepresentation
which is the sole ground for denying due course to, and for the cancellation of, a COC. Further, as already discussed, the
candidate'smisrepresentationinhisCOCmustnotonlyrefertoamaterialfact(eligibilityandqualificationsforelectiveoffice),
butshouldevinceadeliberateintenttomislead,misinformorhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderacandidateineligible.It
mustbemadewithanintentiontodeceivetheelectorateastoone'squalificationstorunforpublicoffice.[168]

Insum,theCOMELEC,withthesamepostureofinfallibilism,virtuallyignoredagoodnumberofevidenceddatesallofwhichcanevince
animusmanenditothePhilippinesandanimusnonreverteditotheUnitedStatesofAmerica.Theveracityoftheeventsofcomingand
stayinghomewasasmuchasdismissedasinconsequential,thefocushavingbeenfixedatthepetitioner's"sworndeclarationinherCOC
for Senator" which the COMELEC said "amounts to a declaration and therefore an admission that her residence in the Philippines only
commence sometime in November 2006" such that "based on this declaration, [petitioner] fails to meet the residency requirement for
President."Thisconclusion,asalreadyshown,ignoresthestandingjurisprudencethatitisthefactofresidence,notthestatementofthe
personthatdeterminesresidenceforpurposesofcompliancewiththeconstitutionalrequirementofresidencyforelectionasPresident.It
ignorestheeasilyresearchedmatterthatcasesonquestionsofresidencyhavebeendecidedfavorablyforthecandidateonthebasisof
facts of residence far less in number, weight and substance than that presented by petitioner.[169] It ignores, above all else, what we
considerasaprimaryreasonwhypetitionercannotbeboundbyherdeclarationinherCOCforSenatorwhichdeclarationwasnoteven
consideredbytheSETasanissueagainsthereligibilityforSenator.WhenpetitionermadethedeclarationinherCOCforSenatorthatshe
has been a resident for a period of six (6) years and six (6) months counted up to the 13 May 2013 Elections, she naturally had as
referencetheresidencyrequirementsforelectionasSenatorwhichwassatisfiedbyherdeclaredyearsofresidence.Itwasuncontested
duringtheoralargumentsbeforeusthatatthetimethedeclarationforSenatorwasmade,petitionerdidnothaveasyetanyintentionto
vieforthePresidencyin2016andthatthegeneralpublicwasnevermadeawarebypetitioner,bywordoraction,thatshewouldrunfor
President in 2016. Presidential candidacy has a lengthofresidence different from that of a senatorial candidacy. There are facts of
residenceotherthanthatwhichwasmentionedintheCOCforSenator.Suchotherfactsofresidencehaveneverbeenproventobefalse,
andthese,torepeatinclude:
[Petitioner]returnedtothePhilippineson24May2005.[petitioner's]husbandhoweverstayedintheUSAtofinishpendingprojectsand
arrangethesaleoftheirfamilyhome.
Meanwhile[petitioner]andherchildrenlivedwithhermotherinSanJuanCity.[Petitioner]enrolledBrianinBeaconSchoolinTaguigCity
in2005andHannainAssumptionCollegeinMakatiCityin2005.AnikawasenrolledinLearningConnectioninSanJuanin2007,when
shewasalreadyoldenoughtogotoschool.

In the second half of 2005, [petitioner] and her husband acquired Unit 7F of One Wilson Place Condominium in San Juan.
[Petitioner]andherfamilylivedinUnit7FuntiltheconstructionoftheirfamilyhomeinCorinthianHillswascompleted.
Sometime in the second half of 2005, [petitioner's] mother discovered that her former lawyer who handled [petitioner's]
adoption in 1974 failed to secure from the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo a new Certificate of Live Birth indicating
[petitioner's]newnameandstatingthatherparentsare"RonaldAllanK.Poe"and"JesusaL.Sonora."
InFebruary2006,[petitioner]travelledbrieflytotheUSinordertosupervisethedisposalofsomeofthefamily'sremaining
householdbelongings.[Petitioner]returnedtothePhilippineson11March2006.
In late March 2006, [petitioner's] husband informed the United States Postal Service of the family's abandonment of their
addressintheUS.
ThefamilyhomeintheUSwassoleon27April2006.
InApril2006,[petitioner's]husbandresignedfromhisworkintheUS.HereturnedtothePhilippineson4May2006andbegan
workingforaPhilippinecompanyinJuly2006.
In early 2006, [petitioner] and her husband acquired a vacant lot in Corinthian Hills, where they eventually built their family
home.[170]

In light of all these, it was arbitrary for the COMELEC to satisfy its intention to let the case fall under the exclusive ground of false
representation,toconsidernootherdatethanthatmentionedbypetitionerinherCOCforSenator.
Allputtogether,inthematterofthecitizenshipandresidenceofpetitionerforhercandidacyasPresidentoftheRepublic,thequestioned
ResolutionsoftheCOMELECinDivisionandEnBancare,oneandall,deadlydiseasedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionfromroottofruits.
WHEREFORE,thepetitionisGRANTED.TheResolutions,towit:
1. dated 1 December 2015 rendered through the COMELEC Second Division, in SPA No. 15001 (DC), entitled Estrella C. Elamparo,
petitioner,vs.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondent,statingthat:
[T]heCertificateofCandidacyforPresidentoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesintheMay9,2016NationalandLocalElections
filedbyrespondentMaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzaresisherebyGRANTED.

2. dated 11 December 2015, rendered through the COMELEC First Division, in the consolidated cases SPA No. 15002 (DC) entitled
Francisco S. Tatad, petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora PoeLlamanzares, respondent SPA No. 15007 (DC) entitled Antonio P
Contreras,petitioner,vs.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondentandSPANo.15139(DC)entitledAmadoD.Valdez,
petitioner,v.MaryGraceNatividadSonoraPoeLlamanzares,respondentstatingthat:
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,theCommissionRESOLVED,asitherebyRESOLVES,toGRANTthepetitionsandcancelthe
CertificateofCandidacyofMARYGRACENATIVIDADSONORAPOELLAMANZARESfortheelectivepositionofPresidentofthe
RepublicofthePhilippinesinconnectionwiththe9May2016SynchronizedLocalandNationalElections.
3.dated23December2015oftheCOMELECEnBanc,upholdingthe1December2015ResolutionoftheSecondDivisionstatingthat:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to DENY the Verified Motion for
ReconsiderationofSENATORMARYGRACENATIVIDADSONORAPOELLAMANZARES.TheResolutiondated11December2015
oftheCommissionFirstDivisionisAFFIRMED.
4.dated23December2015oftheCOMELECEnBanc,upholdingthe11December2015ResolutionoftheFirstDivision.
areherebyANNULEDandSETASIDE. Petitioner MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA POELLAMANZARES is DECLAREDQUALIFIED to
beacandidateforPresidentintheNationalandLocalElectionsof9May2016.
SOORDERED.
Bersamin,andMendoza,JJ.,concur.
Sereno,C.J.,Velasco,Jr.,Jardeleza,andCaguioa,JJ.,seeconcurringopinion.
Carpio,Brion,DelCastillo,andPerlasBernabe,JJ.,seedissentingopinion.
LeonardoDeCastro,J.,pleaseseeseparatedissentingopinion.
Peralta,J.,IjoinJ.Caguioa'sopinion.
Reyes,J.,IconcurwiththedissentingopinionofJ.PerlasBernabe.
Leonen,J.,seeseparateconcurringopinion.

NOTICEOFJUDGMENT

Sirs/Mesdames:
Please take notice that on March 8, 2016 a Decision/Resolution, copy attached herewith, was rendered by the Supreme Court in the
aboveentitledcase,theoriginalofwhichwasreceivedbythisOfficeonMarch11,2016at5:33a.m.
Verytrulyyours,
(SGD)
FELIPAG.BORLONGANANAMA
ClerkofCourt

[1]PetitionforCertiorariinG.R.Nos.221698700,pp.1516COMELECFirstDivisionResolutiondatedIIDecember2015inSPANo.15

002(DC),SPANo.15007(DC)andSPANo.15139(DC),p.2.
[2]PetitionforCertiorari,id.at1617
[3]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranoteIat4.
[4]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at22.
[5]Id.at17Comment(onthePetitionforCertiorariinG.R.No.221697)filedbyrespondentCOMELECdatedIIJanuary2016,p.6.
[6]PetitionforCertiorari,id.id.at7.
[7]Id.at18.
[8]Supranote6.
[9]Id.
[10]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranoteIat3.
[11]PetitionforCertiorari,supranoteIat17.

[12]Id.at18.
[13]Id.
[14]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote10.
[15]Id.
[16]SupranoteIat1718.
[17]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote10.
[18]Id.
[19]Id.
[20]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at20.
[21]Id.
[22]Supranote3.
[23]Supranote20.
[24]Supranote3.

[25]Supranote20.
[26]Supranote3.
[27]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote4.
[28]Id.
[29]Id.at23COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote3.
[30]Id.id.
[31]Id.id.
[32]Id.id.
[33]Id.at2324COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote1at5.
[34]Id.at24id.
[35]Id.
[36]Supranote34.
[37]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at25COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote1at5.
[38]Id.at2526id.
[39]Id.at26id.
[40]Id.id.
[41]Id.id.
[42]Id.at32id.at6.
[43]Supranote39.
[44]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at2627COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote1at5.

[45]Section5,R.A.No.9225states:

SEC.5.CivilandPoliticalRightsandLiabilities.ThosewhoretainorreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipunderthisActshallenjoyfullcivil
and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following
conditions:
xxxx
3.ThoseappointedtoanypublicofficeshallsubscribeandsweartoanoathofallegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippinesand
itsdulyconstitutedauthoritiespriortotheirassumptionofoffice:Provided,Thattheyrenouncetheiroathofallegiancetothe
countrywheretheytookthatoath
xxxx
[46]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at27.
[47]Id.at29.
[48]Supranote46supranote1at6.
[49]PetitionforCertiorari,supranoteIat30id.
[50]Id.
[51]Supranote48.
[52]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at31COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote1at6.
[53]Comment,supranote5at9.
[54]PetitionforCertiorari,supranoteIat31.
[55]Id.at32Comment,supranote53at10.
[56]Id.COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranoteIat6.
[57]Id.id.at7.
[58]Id.id.
[59]Comment(onthePetitioninG.R.No.221697)filedbyrespondentElamparo,datedJanuary6,2016,p.7.
[60]COMELECSecondDivisionResolutiondatedDecember1,2015inSPANo.15001(DC),p.7.
[61]Id.at78.
[62]Supranote60.
[63]Id.
[64]Id.at8.
[65]Id.
[66]PetitionforCertiorariinG.R.No.221697,p.7.
[67]Supranote64.
[68]PetitionforCertiorari,supranote65at8COMELECSecondDivisionResolution,supranote60at811.
[69]COMELECSecondDivisionResolution,supranote60at34.
[70]Comment,supranote59at10.
[71]SectionIofRule25oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedure,asamended,states:

Rule25DisqualificationofCandidates

Section1.Grounds.Anycandidatewho,inanactionorprotestinwhichheisaparty,isdeclaredbyfinaldecisionofacompetentcourt,
guiltyof,orfoundbytheCommissiontobesufferingfromanydisqualificationprovidedbylawortheConstitution.
APetitiontoDisqualifyaCandidateinvokinggroundsforaPetitiontoDenytoorCancelaCertificateofCandidacyorPetitiontoDeclarea
CandidateasaNuisanceCandidate,oracombinationthereof,shallbesummarilydismissed.
[72]PetitiontoDisqualifydated19October2015filedbyTatadinSPANo.15002(DC),p.9.
[73]Id.,at9and14.
[74]Id.at10.
[75]Id.at12.
[76]Id.at11.
[77]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranote1at8.
[78]Id.
[79]PetitiontoDisqualify,supranote72at11.
[80]Id.at21.
[81]Id.
[82]Id.
[83]SupranoteIat8.
[84]Id.
[85]Contreras'petitionisapetitionforcancellationofGracePoe'sCOCunderSection78oftheOmnibusElectionCodewhichstatesthat:

Sec.78.Petitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelacertificateofcandidacy.Averifiedpetitionseekingtodenyduecourseortocancela
certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as
requiredunderSection74hereofisfalse.Thepetitionmaybefiledatanytimenotlaterthantwentyfivedaysfromthetimeofthefiling
ofthecertificateofcandidacyandshallbedecided,afterduenoticeandhearing,notlaterthanfifteendaysbeforetheelection.
[86]PetitionforCancellationofGracePoe'sCOCdated17October2015filedbyContrerasinSPANo.15007(DC),pp.24.
[87]Id.at3PetitionforCertiorari,supranote1at13.
[88]Id.at34.
[89]Sections12and68oftheOmnibusElectionCodeprovide:

Sec.12.Disqualifications.Anypersonwhohasbeendeclaredbycompetentauthorityinsaneorincompetent,orhasbeensentencedby
final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than
eighteenmonthsorforacrimeinvolvingmoralturpitude,shallbedisqualifiedtobeacandidateandtoholdanyoffice,unlesshehasbeen
givenplenarypardonorgrantedamnesty.
Thisdisqualificationstobeacandidatehereinprovidedshallbedeemedremoveduponthedeclarationbycompetentauthoritythatsaid
insanityorincompetencehadbeenremovedoraftertheexpirationofaperiodoffiveyearsfromhisserviceofsentence,unlesswithinthe
sameperiodheagainbecomesdisqualified.
Sec.68.Disqualifications.Anycandidatewho,inanactionorprotestinwhichheisapartyisdeclaredbyfinaldecisionofacompetent
courtguiltyof,orfoundbytheCommissionofhaving(a)givenmoneyorothermaterialconsiderationtoinfluence,induceorcorruptthe
votersorpublicofficialsperformingelectoralfunctions(b)committedactsofterrorismtoenhancehiscandidacy(c)spentinhiselection
campaignanamountinexcessofthatallowedbythisCode(d)solicited,receivedormadeanycontributionprohibitedunderSections89,
95, 96, 97 and 104 or (e) violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v, and cc, subparagraph 6, shall be
disqualifiedfromcontinuingasacandidate,orifhehasbeenelected,fromholdingtheoffice.Anypersonwhoisapermanentresidentof
oranimmigranttoaforeigncountryshallnotbequalifiedtorunforanyelectiveofficeunderthisCode,unlesssaidpersonhaswaivedhis
statusaspermanentresidentorimmigrantofaforeigncountryinaccordancewiththeresidencerequirementprovidedforintheelection
laws.
[90]COMELECFirstDivisionResolution,supranoteIat12.

[91]Id.at10.
[92]Id.
[93]Id.at9.
[94]Id.
[95]Id.
[96]Id.
[97]Id.
[98]Id.
[99]Id.at910.
[100]Id.at10.
[101]Id.
[102]Id.
[103] The 11 December 2015 Resolution of the COMELEC First Division was concurred in by Commissioners Louie Tito F. Guia and Ma.

RowenaAmeliaV.Guanzon.PresidingCommissionerChristianRobertS.LimissuedaSeparateDissentingOpinion.
[104]318Phil.329(1995).
[105]595Phil.449(2008).
[106]RomualdezMarcosv.COMELEC,supranote104at396397.
[107]Id.at397398Ferminv.COMELEC,supranote105at471472.
[108] In A.M. No. 02602SC, Resolution Approving The Proposed Rule on Adoption (Domestic and InterCountry), effective 22 August

2002, "foundling" is defined as "a deserted or abandoned infant or child whose parents, guardian or relatives are unknown or a child
committed to an orphanage or charitable or similar institution with unknown facts of birth and parentage and registered in the Civil
Registerasa"foundling."
[109]ArticleIVCitizenship.

Sec.I.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution,
(2)ThoseborninthePhilippineIslandsofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionofthisConstitution,hadbeenelectedtopublicoffice
inthePhilippineIslands.(3)ThosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
(4)ThosewhosemothersarecitizensofthePhilippinesand,uponreachingtheageofmajority,electPhilippinecitizenship.
(5)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
Section2.Philippinecitizenshipmaybelostorreacquiredinthemannerprovidedbylaw.
[110]Article163to182,TitleVIofExecutiveOrderNo.209,otherwiseknownasTheFamilyCodeofthePhilippines,whichtookeffecton4

August1988.
[111] Statistics from the PSA or its predecessor agencies are admissible evidence. See Herrera v. COMELEC, 376 Phil. 443 (1999) and

Bagabuyov.COMELEC,593Phil.678(2008).Inthelattercase,theCourteventookjudicialnoticeofthefigures.
[112]TransciptofStenographicNotes,9February2016,p.40.
[113]Section3(y),Rule131.
[114]236Phil.307(1987).
[115]Id.at314315.

[116]EnglishtranslationoftheSpanishoriginalpresentedinthepetitioner'spleadingsbeforetheCOMELECandthisCourt.TheCOMELEC

andprivaterespondentshavenotdisputedtheaccuracyandcorrectnessofthetranslation.
[117]1JoseM.Aruego,TheFramingofthePhilippineConstitution209(1949).
[118]TSN,16February2016,pp.2021.
[119]117Phil.976(1963).
[120]Id.at978979.
[121] See Section 5 of the RA No. 8552: "Location of Unknown Parent(s). It shall be the duty of the Department or the childcaring

agencywhichhascustodyofthechildtoexertalleffortstolocatehis/herunknownbiologicalparent(s).Ifsucheffortsfail,thechildshall
be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared abandoned."
(Underliningsupplied)
[122]SeeExhibit"1"inSPANo.15001(DC)andSPANo.1500(DC).
[123]SeeExhibit"2"inSPANo.15001(DC)andSPANo.1500(DC).
[124]Razon,Jr.v.Tagitis,621Phil.536,600(2009)citingPharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssoc.ofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,561Phil.

386,398(2007).
[125]Article38.1,paragraphs(b)and(c)oftheStatuteoftheInternationalCourtofJustice.
[126]Mijaresv.Raiiada,495Phil.372,395(2005).
[127]PharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssoc.ofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,561Phil.386,400(2007).
[128]InternationalSchoolAllianceofEducatorsv.Quisumbing,388Phil.661,672673(2000).
[129]CONSTITUTION,Art.III,Sec.I.
[130]Rep.ofthePhilippinesv.Sandiganbayan,454Phil.504,545(2003).
[131]"Everyonehastherighttoanationality."
[132] See Introductory Note to the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness issued by the United Nations High

CommissioneronRefugees.
[133]Supranote124.
[134]Supranote126.
[135]Id.at392SeefootnoteNo.55ofsaidcase.
[136]PharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssoc.ofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,supranote127.
[137]SeeExhibits38and39series.
[138]OpeningStatementoftheSolicitorGeneral,p.6.
[139]FirstDivisionresolutiondatedIIDecember2015,upheldintotobytheCOMELECEnBanc.
[140]409Phil.633,649(2001).
[141]692Phil.407,420(2012).
[142]551Phil.368,381(2007).
[143]531Phil.407,417(2006).
[144]Supranote142.
[145]Supranote140at646.

[146]Id.at651.
[147]G.R.No.21712627,10November2015.
[148]Id.
[149]ImplementingRulesandRegulationsofRepublicActNo.8552,Art.VI,Sec.33.

[150]RepublicActNo.8552(1998),Sec.14.
[151]RepublicActNo.8552(1998),Sec.15.
[152]Fernandezv.HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal,623Phil.628,660(2009)citingJapzonv.COMELEC,596Phil.354,370

372 (2009) further citing Papandayan, Jr. v. COMELEC, 430 Phil. 754, 768770 (2002) further further citing Romualdez v. RTC, Br. 7,
TaclobanCity,G.R.No.104960,14September1993,226SCRA408,415.
[153]Dominov.COMELEC,369Phil.798,819(1999).
[154]TSN,16February2016,p.120.
[155]434Phil.861(2002).
[156]
[157]596Phil.354(2009).
[158]G.R.No.209835,22September2015.
[159]G.R.No.207264,25June2013,699SCRA522,Supranote155.
[160]Supranote156.
[161]Supranote157.
[162]Supranote158.
[163]RepublicActNo.6768(1989),asamended,Sec.2(a).
[164]RepublicActNo.6768(1989),asamended,Sec.1.
[165]RepublicActNo.6768(1989),asamended,Sec.6.
[166]Supranote155.
[167]Supranote104at326.(Emphasissupplied)
[168]Ugdoracion,Jr.v.COMELEC,575Phil.253,265266(2008).
[169]InMitrav.COMELEC,etal.,[636 PhiL 753 (2010)], It was ruled that the residence requirement can be complied with through an

incrementalprocessincludingacquisitionofbusinessinterestinthepertinentplaceandleaseoffeedmillbuildingasresidence.
[170]COMELECResolutiondated11December2015inSPANo.15002(DC),pp.45.

SERENO,CJ.:
It is important for every Member of this Court to be and to remain professionally indifferent to the outcome of the 2016 presidential
election. Whether it turns out to be for a candidate who best represents one's personal aspirations for the country or who raises one's
fears, is a future event we must be blind to while we sit as magistrates. We are not the electorate, and at this particular juncture of
history,ouronlyroleistoadjudicateasourunfetteredconsciencedictates.Wehavenomasterbutthelaw,nodrumbeaterbutreason,
andinourheartsmustlieonlythelovefortruthandforjustice.ThisiswhattheConstitutionrequiresofus.
ItisaproposatthispointtorecalltheprinciplesthatJusticeAngelinaSandovalGutierrezevokedinherconcurringopinioninTecsonv.
COMELEC,[1]thelandmarkcaseinvolvingasrespondentapresidentialcandidatefor2014,thelateRonaldAllanKellyPoe:
xxxx

Let it not be forgotten that the historic core of our democratic system is political liberty, which is the right and
opportunitytochoosethosewhowillleadthegovernedwiththeirconsent.Thisrighttochoosecannotbesubtly
interfered with through the elimination of the electoral choice. The present bid to disqualify respondent Poe from the
presidentialraceisaclearattempttoeliminatehimasoneofthechoices.ThisCourtshouldresistsuchattempt.Therightto
choose is the single factor that controls the ambitions of those who would impose through force or stealth their
will on the majority of citizens. We should not only welcome electoral competition, we should cherish it. Disqualifying a
candidate,particularlythepopularone,onthebasisofdoubtfulclaimsdoesnotresulttoagenuine,freeandfairelection.It
results to violence. x x x. We have seen Edsa I and Edsa II, thus, we know that when democracy operates as intended, an
arousedpubliccanreplacethosewhogoverninamannerbeyondtheparametersestablishedbypublicconsent.[2]
xxxx
WhenthepeoplevoteonMay10andcasttheirballotsforPresident,theywillbeexercisingasovereignright.Theymayvote
for respondent Poe, or they may not. When they vote, they will consider a myriad of issues, some relevant, others trivial,
including the eligibility of the candidates, their qualities of leadership, their honesty and sincerity, perhaps including their
legitimacy.Thatistheirprerogative.Aftertheelection,andonlyafter,andthatiswhattheConstitutionmandates,theelection
ofwhoeverisproclaimedwinnermaybechallengedinanelectioncontestorapetitionforquowarranto.Wherethechallengeis
becauseofineligibility,hewillbeoustedonlyifthisCourtexertsutmostefforttoresolvetheissueinamannerthatwouldgive
effecttothewillofthemajority,foritismerelysoundpublicpolicytocauseelectiveofficestobefilledbythosewhoarethe
choiceofthemajority.[3]
ThatiswhattheCOMELECrulingsinthesecaseswouldhavepreciselyaccomplishedhadtheybeenaffirmed:theillegitimate
eliminationofanelectoralchoice,achoicewhoappearstobeoneofthefrontrunnersinalltherelevantsurveys.Forthereasonsset
forthbelow,IconcurwithJusticeJosePortugalPerez,andamhereinexpoundingindetailthereasonsforsuchconcurrence.
WiththemajorityoftheMembersoftheCourtdeclaring,byavoteof9asagainst6,thatpetitionerMaryGracePoeLlamanzareshasno
legalimpedimenttorunforthepresidency,itismostunfortunatethatoneoftheDissentingOpinionsopenswithastatementthattriesto
castuncertaintyonanalreadytensesituation.Thedissentgivesexcessiveweighttothefactthatthereare5Justicesintheminoritywho
believethatpetitionerdoesnothavethequalificationsforpresidency,whileignoringtherealitythatthereatleast7Justiceswhobelieve
thatpetitionerpossessesthesequalifications.
Notethatthefalloneededonlytodisposeofthegrantordenialofthepetitionsandnothingmore.Ideally,nofurtherinterpretationofthe
votesshouldhavebeenmade.Unfortunately,thereareattemptstomakesuchaninterpretation.Wethereforeneedtolooktoourinternal
rulesforclarificationonthemattertoavoidexacerbatingmatters.
If we were to apply the rules on voting in the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, it is clear that the Court decided on the matter of
petitioner'sintrinsicqualificationsinaccordancewithRule12,Section1oftheserules:
Section1.Votingrequirements.(a)AlldecisionsandactionsinCourtenbanccasesshallbemadeupupontheconcurrence
of the majority of the Members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues or issues involved and
votedonthem.
Out of the 12 Members who voted on the substantive question on citizenship, a clear majority of 7 voted in favor of petitioner. As to
residency,7outof13votedthatpetitionercompliedwiththe10yearresidencyrequirement.Thesevotes,asexplainedintheextended
opinions submitted by the members of the majority, must be respected. Granting therefore that we need to address the question of
substantivequalificationsofpetitioner,sheclearlypossessesthequalificationsforpresidencyonthematterofresidencyandcitizenship.
I.
TheProceedingsBeforetheCourt
On28December2015,petitionerfiledtwoseparatePetitionsforCertioraribeforethisCourtassailingtheResolutionsdated23December
2015oftheCOMELECEnBanc,whichorderedthecancellationofherCertificateofCandidacy(CoC)forthe2016presidentialelections.[4]
BothpetitionsincludedaprayerfortheissuanceofTemporaryRestrainingOrders(TRO)againsttheCOMELEC.
Intheafternoonof28December2015,bymyauthorityasChiefJusticeanduponthewrittenrecommendationoftheMembersinCharge,
theCourtissuedtwoseparateordersenjoiningCOMELECanditsrepresentativesfromimplementingtheassailedResolutions,pursuantto
Section6(g),Rule7oftheSupremeCourtInternalRules.[5]
The issuance of the TROs was confirmed by the Court En Banc, voting 123, in Resolutions dated 12 January 2016. In the same
resolutions,theCourtorderedtheconsolidationofthetwopetitions.
Oral arguments were then held on the following dates:January 19 and 26 February 2, 9 and 16, 2016. During these proceedings, the
partieswereorderedinopencourttosubmittheirMemorandawithinfivedaysfromtheconclusionoftheoralarguments,afterwhichthe
consolidatedpetitionswouldbedeemedsubmittedforresolution.
On29February2016,thedraftreportoftheMemberinChargewascirculatedtotheMembersoftheCourt.TheCourtthendecidedto
schedule the deliberations on the case on 8 March 2016. A reserved date 9 March 2016 was also agreed upon, in the event that a
decisionisnotreachedduringthe8March2016session.
Inkeepingwiththeaboveschedule,theMembersoftheCourtdeliberatedandvotedonthecaseon8March2016.
II
COMELECexceededitsjurisdictionwhenitruledonpetitioner'squalificationsunderSection78oftheOmnibusElection
Code.
ThebriefreasonswhytheCOMELECexceededitsjurisdictionwhenitruledonpetitioner'squalificationsareasfollows.

First, Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 118, or the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), does not allow the COMELEC to rule on the
qualificationsofcandidates.ItspowertocancelaCertificateofCandidacy(CoC)iscircumscribedwithintheconfinesofSection78ofthe
OEC that provides for a summary proceeding to determine the existence of the exclusive ground that any representation made by the
candidateregardingaSection74matterwasfalse.Section74requires,amongothersastatementbythecandidateonhiseligibilityfor
office.ToauthorizetheCOMELECtogobeyonditsmandateandruleontheintrinsicqualificationofpetitioner,andhenceforth,ofevery
candidate,isanoutcomeclearlyprohibitedbytheConstitutionandbytheOEC.
Second,evenassumingthattheCOMELECmaygobeyondthedeterminationofpatentfalsityoftheCoC,itsdecisiontocancelpetitioner's
CoC must still be reversed. The factual circumstances surrounding petitioner's claims of residency and citizenship show that there was
neitherintenttodeceivenorfalserepresentationonherpart.Worse,theCOMELEC'sunmeriteduseofthisCourt'sdissentingopinionsasif
theywerepronouncementsoftheCourtitself[6]misleadsboththeCourtandthepublic,asitevincesarefusaltoacknowledgeadissent's
proper place not as law, but as the personal views of an individual member of this Court. Most egregiously, the COMELEC blatantly
disregardedalonglineofdecisionsbythisCourttocomeupwithitsconclusions.
ThePoweroftheCOMELECPrior
toSection78oftheOmnibus
ElectionCode
PriortotheOEC,thepoweroftheCOMELECinrelationtothefilingofCoCshadbeendescribedasministerialandadministrative.[7] In
1985,theOECwaspassed,empoweringtheCOMELECtograntordenyduecoursetoapetitiontocancelaCoC.Therighttofileaverified
petition under Section 78 was given to any person on the ground of material representation of the contents of the CoC as provided for
under Section 74. Among the statements a candidate is required to make in the CoC, is that he or she is eligible for the office the
candidateseeks.
The fundamental requirements for electoral office are found in the Constitution. With respect to the petitions at hand, these are the
naturalborn Filipino citizenship and the 10year residency requirements for President found under Section 2, Article VII in relation to
Section1,ArticleIVoftheConstitution.
InthedeliberationsoftheBatasangPambansaonwhatwouldturnouttobeSection78oftheOmnibusElectionCodeorBatasPambansa
Bilang(BP)881,thelawmakersemphasizedthatthefearofpartisanshiponthepartoftheCOMELECmakesitimperativethatit
must only be for the strongest of reasons, i.e., material misrepresentation on the face of the CoC, that the COMELEC can
reject any such certificates. Otherwise, to allow greater power than the quasiministerial duty of accepting facially
compliantCoCswouldopenthedoorforCOMELECtoengageinpartisanshiptheCOMELECmaytargetanycandidateatwill.
The fear was so real to the lawmakers that they characterized the power to receive CoCs not only as summary, but initially as,
"ministerial."Allowmetoquote:
HON.ADAZA.WhyshouldwegivetheComelecpowertodenyortogiveduecoursewhentheacceptanceofthecertificateof
candidacyisministerial?
HON.FERNAN.Iyonnangaangsinasabikoeh.
THE CHAIRMAN. Baka iyong residences, this must be summary. He is not a resident of the ano, why will you wait?
Automaticallydisqualifiedsiya.Supposeheisnotanaturalborncitizen.
HON.ADAZA.No,butwecanspecifythegroundshere.Kasi,theycanusethispowertoexpand.
THECHAIRMAN.Yeah,thatisunderthisarticlenga.
HON.ADAZA.Iyonnanga,butlet'smakeparticularreference.Remember,Nonoy,thisisanewprovisionwhichgivesauthority
totheComelec.Thiswasnevertherebefore.Ikanselnanatinyan.
HON.GONZALES.AtsakatheConstitutionsays,diba?"TheCommissiononElectionisthesolejudgeofallthecontest."This
merelyreferstoconteste.Petitionfangtogiveduecoursee.Youwillonlybedeclareddisqualified.
THE CHAIRMAN. No, no, because, clearly, he is a nonresident. Oh, why can we not file a petition? Supposing he is not a
naturalborncitizen?Why?
HON.GONZALES.Thisisaveryveryseriousquestion.Thisshouldbedeclaredonlyinproperelectioncontest,properlylitigated
butneverinasummaryproceedings.
THECHAIRMAN.Wewillnotusetheword,thephrase"duecourse","seekingthecancellationoftheCertificateofCandidacy".
Forexample,siAding,isaresidentofCebuandherunsinDavaoCity.
HON.ADAZA.HeisaresidentofCebubutherunsinLapuLapu?lkaw,youarealreadythreateninghimah.
THECHAIRMAN.ThesearethecasesIamsure,thatare...
HON.ADAZA.Isee.No,no,butletusgetridoftheprovision.Thisisdangerous.
THECHAIRMAN.Nobut,ifyouknowthatyouropponentisnotelectedorsuppose...
HON.ADAZA.Filetheproperpetitionlikebeforewithoutprovidingthis.
THECHAIRMAN.Butinthemeantime,why...
HON.SITOY.Myproposalistodeletethephrase"todenyduecourse",godirectto"seekingthecancellationoftheCertificate
ofCandidacy."
HON.ASOK.EveryCertificateofCandidacyshouldbepresumedaccepted.Itshouldbepresumedaccepted.

THECHAIRMAN.Supposeonthebasisof...
HON.SITOY.That'swhy,myproposalis,"anypersonseekingthecancellationofaCertificateofCandidacy".
HON.FERNAN.Butwherearethegroundshere?
HON.ADAZA.Noy,let'sholdthis.Holdmunaito.Thisisdangerouse.
THECHAIRMAN.Okay,okay.
HON.GONZALES.GinagamitlamangngComelecang"before"ifitisclaimedthatacandidateisanofficialorthathisCertificate
of Candidacy has been filed in bad faith, iyon lang. Pero you cannot go to the intrinsic qualifications and disqualifications of
candidates.
HON.DELOSREYES.Whicharetakenupinanordinaryprotest.
HON.GONZALES.Ditoba,kasamaiyongproceedingssa...?WhatI'msayingis:KagayaiyongnabanggitkayNonoy,natural
courseofmargin,imagine,itwilleventuallyreachtheSupremeCourt.Themomentthatthedisqualificationispending,lalong
lalonakungmaydecisionngComelecandyetpendingpabeforetheSupremeCourt,thatalreadyadverselyaffectacandidate,
mabigat na iyan. So, what I'm saying is, on this disqualification subjudice, alisin ito except if on the ground that he is a
nuisancecandidateorthathisCertificateofCandidacyhasbeenfiledinbadfaith.ButifhisCertificateofCandidacyappearsto
beregularandvalidonthebasisthathiscertificatehasbeenfiledontime,thenitshouldbegivenduecouse.[8]
Thesameconcernswereraisedwhentheprovisionwastakenupagain:
THE PRESIDING OFFICER. No. 10, the power of the Commission to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy.
Whatisthespecificano,Tessie?
HON.ADAZA.Page45.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Section71.
HON.ADAZA.KasikayNeptaliitoanditisalsocontainedinourpreviousproposal,"Anypersonseekingtodenyduecourseto
orcancel..."ourproposalhereisthatitshouldnotbemadetoappearthattheCommissiononElectionshastheauthorityto
deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacy. I mean their duty should be ministerial, the acceptance, except in
caseswheretheyarenuisancecandidates.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Incaseofnuisance,whowilldetermine,hindibaComeleciyan?
HON.ADAZA.Iyonnanga,exceptinthosecases,eh.Ito,thiscoversaprovisionnotonlyinreferencetonuisancecandidates.
HON.CUENCO.Willyoureadtheprovision?
HON.ADAZA."Anypersonseekingduecoursetoorthecancellation..."becauseourpositionhereisthatthesearematters
that should be contained in an election protest or in a quo warranto proceedings, eh. You know, you can be given a lot of
problemsinthecourseofthecampaign.
HON.ASOK.Butwealreadyhaveaspecificprovisiononthis.
HON.ADAZA.(MPAdazareadingtheprovision.)Youknow,weshouldnothavethisasaprovisionanymorebecausewhatever
matterswillberaisedrespectingthiscertificateofcandidacy,thesearenormalissuesforprotestorquowarranto,eh.
HON.CUENCO.SoyounowwanttoremovethispowerfromtheComelec?
HON.ADAZA.ThispowerfromtheComelec.Thisisthenewprovision,eh.Theyshouldnothavethis.Allofuscanbebothered,
eh.
HON.CUENCO.SointhatcasehowcantheComeleccancelthecertificateofcandidacywhenyousaid...
HON.ADAZA.Onlywithrespecttothenuisancecandidates.Thereisnospecificprovision.
HON.ASOK.Thereisalreadyaspecificprovisionfornuisancecandidates.
HON.ADAZA.Thisonereferstoothercandidateswhoarenotnuisancecandidates,butmostparticularlyreferstomattersthat
areinvolvedinprotestandquowarrantoproceedings.Whyshouldweexpandtheirotherprovisionsbefore.Youknow,youcan
getbothered.
HON.CUENCO.Everybodywillbevulnerable?
HON.ADAZA.Yeah,everybodywillbevulnerable,eh.
HON.CUENCO.Evenifyouareaseriouscandidate?
HON.ADAZA.Evenifyouareaseriouscandidatebecause,forinstance,theywillfileapetitionforquowarranto,theycanfilea
petition to the Comelec to cancel your certificate of candidacy. These are actually grounds for protest or for quo warranto
proceedings.
xxxx
HON.CUENCO.Bymerelyalleging,forexample,thatyouareasubversive.
HON.ADAZA.Oo,iyonnanga,eh.

xxxx
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Supposeyouaredisqualified,youdonothavethenecessaryqualifications,theComeleccanmotu
propiocancelit.
HON.CUENCO.Onwhatground,Mr.Chairman?
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Youaredisqualified.Let'ssay,walakangresidenceorkuwan...
HON.ADAZA.Ah,that'stheproblem.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.That'swhy.
HON.ADAZA.WeshouldnotallowthatthingtocropupwithinthepowersoftheComelecbecauseanyonecancreateproblem
foreverybody.Youknow,that'sapropersubjectforprotestorquowarranto.ButnottoempowertheComelectocancel.That's
averydangerousprovision.Itcanreachallofus.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Hindi,ifyouarearesidentperoiyong,let'ssayanewcomercomestoMisamisOriental,3months
beforeandfilehisCertificateofCandidacy.
HON.ADAZA.Nevermind,filethenecessarypetition.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Thesearethecasestheysay,thatwillbeinvolved.
HON.ADAZA.Ithinkweshouldkuwanthate.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Iyontalagangnonresidentandthenhegoesthereandfilehiscertificate,Youcan,howcananybody
stophim,diba?
HON. ADAZA. No, let me cite to you cases, most people running for instance in the last Batasan, especially in the highly
urbanized city, they were residence in one particular city but actually running in the province. You see, how you can be
bothered if you empower the Comelec with this authority to cancel, there would have been many that would have been
cancelled.
THEPRESIDINGOFFICER.Thereweremanywhotriedtobeatthedeadline.
HON.ADAZA.No,therearemanywhodidnotbeatthedeadline,Iknow.
HON.LOOD.ThematterofpointisthewordArticle8,Article8,providesfullresponsibilityfor...
HON.ADAZA.Whichone?That'sright.
HON.LOOD.That'swhyitincludesfull...(Unintelligible).
HON.ADAZA.No,it'sverydangerous.Wewillbeallinserioustrouble.Besides,thatcoveredalreadybyspecificprovisions.So,
canweagree.Anywayitisthisnewprovisionwhichisdangerous.
HONCUENCO.So,youwanttheentireprovision?
HON.LOOD.Unlesswemakeexception.[9]
TheSummaryNatureofProceedings
underSection78OnlyAllowthe
COMELECtoRuleonPatent
MaterialMisrepresentationofFacts
onResidencyandCitizenship,notof
ConclusionsofLaw,andespecially,
notintheAbsenceofEstablished
LegalDoctrinesontheMatter
The original intent of the legislature was clear: to make the denial of due course or cancellation of certificate of candidacy before the
COMELEC a summary proceeding that would not go into the intrinsic validity of the qualifications of the candidate, even to the point of
makingthepowermerelyministerialintheabsenceofpatentdefects.Therewasconcernamongsomeothermembersaboutgivingthe
COMELECthepowertodenyduecoursetoorcanceloutrightthecertificateofcandidacy.Assuch,theproposalwastoremoveSection78
entirely or to lay down specific parameters in order to limit the power of the COMELEC under the provision. Thus, in interpreting the
languageofSection78aspresentlycrafted,thoseintendedlimitationsmustbekeptinmind.Thisincludesretainingthesummarynature
ofSection78proceedings.
Reyesv.CommissiononElections[10]providesaninsightintothesummarynatureofaSection78proceeding:
ThespecialactionbeforetheCOMELECwhichwasaPetitiontoCancelCertificateofCandidacywasaSUMMARYPROCEEDING
orone"heardsummarily."ThenatureoftheproceedingsisbestindicatedbytheCOMELECRuleonSpecialActions,Rule23,
Section 4 of which states that the Commission may designate any of its officials who are members of the
PhilippineBartohearthecaseandtoreceiveevidence.COMELECRule17furtherprovidesinSection3thatwhen
the proceedings are authorized to be summary, in lieu of oral testimonies, the parties may, after due notice, be
required to submit their position paper together with affidavits, counteraffidavits and other documentary
evidence...andthat"[t]hisprovisionshalllikewiseapplytocaseswherethehearingandreceptionofevidencearedelegated
bytheCommissionortheDivisiontoanyofitsofficials...."
xxxx

In fact, in summary proceedings like the special action of filing a petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of
candidacy, oral testimony is dispensed with and, instead, parties are required to submit their position paper
togetherwithaffidavits,counteraffidavitsandotherpiecesofdocumentaryevidence.
The Summary nature of Section 78 proceeding implies the simplicity of subjectmatter[11] as it does away with long drawn and
complicatedtrialtypelitigation.Consideringitsnature,theimplicationtherefore,isthatSection78casescontemplatesimpleissuesonly.
Anyissuethatiscomplexwouldentailtheuseofdiscretion,theexerciseofwhichisreservedtotheappropriateelectiontribunal.With
greaterreasonthen,claimsofcandidateonamatterofopiniononunsettledquestionsoflaw,cannotbe the basis for the
denialofaCoC.
Section78ProceedingsCannotTake
thePlaceofaQuoWarranto
ProceedingoranElectoralProtest
The danger of the COMELEC effectively thwarting the voter's will was clearly articulated by Justice Vicente V. Mendoza in his separate
opinioninthecaseinvolvingMrs.ImeldaRomualdezMarcos.[12]TheCourtvotedtogranttheRule64PetitionofMrs.Marcostoinvalidate
the COMELEC's Resolution denying her Amended CoC. Justice Mendoza wanted the Court to do so on the prior threshold issue of
jurisdiction,i.e.,thattheCOMELECdidnothaveeventhepowertoassumejurisdictionoverthepetitionofCiriloMontejobecauseitwasin
effect a petition for disqualification. Thus, the COMELEC resolution was utterly void. Justice Mendoza explains Section 78 in relation to
petitionsfordisqualificationundertheConstitutionandrelevantlaws.TheallegationsintheMontejo'spetitionwerecharacterized,thus:
The petition filed by private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo in the COMELEC, while entitled "For Cancellation and
Disqualification,"containednoallegationthatprivaterespondentImelda RomualdezMarcos made material representations in
her certificate of candidacy which were false, it sought her disqualification on the ground that "on the basis of her Voter
Registration Record and Certificate of Candidacy, [she] is disqualified from running for the position of Representative,
consideringthatonelectionday,May8,1995,[she]wouldhaveresidedlessthanten(10)monthsinthedistrictwheresheis
seekingtobeelected."Foritspart,theCOMELEC'sSecondDivision,initsresolutionofApril24,1995,cancelledhercertificate
of candidacy and corrected certificate of candidacy on the basis of its finding that petitioner is "not qualified to run for the
position of Member of the House of Representatives for the First Legislative District of Leyte" and not because of any finding
thatshehadmadefalserepresentationsastomaterialmattersinhercertificateofcandidacy.
Montejo'spetitionbeforetheCOMELECwasthereforenotapetitionforcancellationofcertificateofcandidacyunder78ofthe
OmnibusElectionCode,butessentiallyapetitiontodeclareprivaterespondentineligible.Itisimportanttonotethis,because,
aswill presently be explained, proceedings under 78 have for their purpose to disqualify a person from being a candidate,
whereasquowarrantoproceedingshavefortheirpurposetodisqualifyapersonfromholdingpublicoffice.Jurisdictionoverquo
warrantoproceedingsinvolvingmembersoftheHouseofRepresentativesisvestedintheElectoralTribunalofthatbody.[13]
JusticeMendozaopinedthattheCOMELEChasnopowertodisqualifycandidatesonthegroundofineligibility,elaboratingthus:
InmyviewtheissueinthiscaseiswhethertheCommissiononElectionshasthepowertodisqualifycandidatesontheground
thattheylackeligibilityfortheofficetowhichtheyseektobe elected. I think that it has none and that the qualifications of
candidatesmaybequestionedonlyintheeventtheyareelected,byfilingapetitionforquowarrantooranelectionprotestin
theappropriateforum,notnecessarilyintheCOMELECbut,asinthiscase,intheHouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal.
That the parties in this case took part in the proceedings in the COMELEC is of no moment. Such proceedings were
unauthorizedandwerenotrenderedvalidbytheiragreementtosubmittheirdisputetothatbody.
Thevariouselectionlawswillbesearchedinvainforauthorizedproceedingsfordeterminingacandidate'squalificationsforan
officebeforehiselection.TherearenoneintheOmnibusElectionCode(B.P.Blg.881),intheElectoralReformsLawof1987
(R.A.No.6646),orinthelawprovidingforsynchronizedelections(R.A.No.7166).Thereare,inotherwords,noprovisionsfor
preproclamationcontestsbutonlyelectionprotestsorquowarrantoproceedingsagainstwinningcandidates.
To be sure, there are provisions denominated for "disqualification," but they are not concerned with a declaration of the
ineligibilityofacandidate.Theseprovisionsareconcernedwiththeincapacity(duetoinsanity,incompetenceorconvictionof
anoffense)ofapersoneithertobeacandidateortocontinueasacandidateforpublicoffice.Thereisalsoaprovisionforthe
denial or cancellation of certificates of candidacy, but it applies only to cases involving false representations as to certain
mattersrequiredbylawtobestatedinthecertificates.[14]
He then proceeded to cite the three reasons explaining the absence of an authorized proceeding for determining before election the
qualificationsofacandidate:
Firstisthefactthatunlessacandidatewinsandisproclaimedelected,thereisnonecessityfordetermininghiseligibilityfor
theoffice.Incontrast,whetheranindividualshouldbedisqualifiedasacandidateforactsconstitutingelectionoffenses(e.g.,
votebuying,overspending,commissionofprohibitedacts)isaprejudicial question which should be determined lest he wins
because of the very acts for which his disqualification is being sought. That is why it is provided that if the grounds for
disqualification are established, a candidate will not be voted for if he has been voted for, the votes in his favor will not be
countedandifforsomereasonhehasbeenvotedforandhehaswon,eitherhewillnotbeproclaimedorhisproclamationwill
besetaside.
Secondisthefactthatthedeterminationofacandidate'seligibility,e.g.,hiscitizenshipor,asinthiscase,hisdomicile,may
take a long time to make, extending beyond the beginning of the term of the office. This is amply demonstrated in the
companion case (G.R. No. 120265, Agapito A. Aquino v. COMELEC) where the determination of Aquino's residence was still
pending in the COMELEC even after the elections of May 8, 1995. This is contrary to the summary character of
proceedingsrelatingtocertificatesofcandidacy.Thatiswhythelawmakesthereceiptofcertificatesofcandidacy
a ministerial duty of the COMELEC and its officers. The law is satisfied if candidates state in their certificates of
candidacy that they are eligible for the position which they seek to fill, leaving the determination of their

qualificationstobemadeaftertheelectionandonlyintheeventtheyareelected.Onlyincasesinvolvingcharges
offalserepresentationsmadeincertificatesofcandidacyistheCOMELECgivenjurisdiction.
ThirdisthepolicyunderlyingtheprohibitionagainstpreproclamationcasesinelectionsforPresident,VicePresident,Senators
andmembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives.(R.A.No.7166,15)ThepurposeistopreservetheprerogativesoftheHouse
ofRepresentativesElectoralTribunalandtheotherTribunalsas"solejudges"undertheConstitutionoftheelection,returnsand
qualificationsofmembersofCongressorofthePresidentandVicePresident,asthecasemaybe.[15]
The legal differentiation between Section 78 visavisquowarranto proceedings and electoral protests made by Justice Mendoza in the
RomualdezMarcoscasewascompletelyadopted,andaffirmedbyaunanimousCourtinFerminv.COMELEC.[16]Ferminv.COMELEChas
beenaffirmedinMunderv.CommissiononElections, [17]Agustinv.CommissiononElections[18]Talagav.CommissiononElections, [19]
Mitra v. Commission on Elections, [20] Hayundini v. Commission on Elections, [21] Aratea v. Commission on Elections [22] Gonzalez
v.CommissiononElections [23]Jalosjos,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,[24]DelaCruzv.CommissiononElections, [25]andMaruhomv.
COMELEC,[26],thustheMendozaformulationhasbecomesettleddoctrine.
It is clear that what the minority herein is attempting to accomplish is to authorize the COMELEC to rule on the intrinsic
qualifications of petitioner, and henceforth, of every candidate an outcome clearly prohibited by the Constitution and by
theOmnibus Election Code. That this was also the objective of the minority justices in Tecson v. COMELEC should warn us that the
proposaloftheminorityhereinwillresultinthedirectreversalofthesaidcase.
InTecson,theCOMELECcontendeditdidnothavethejurisdictiontoruleonthequalificationofRonaldAllanKelley Poe. The COMELEC
stated that it could only rule that FPJ did not commit material misrepresentation in claiming that he was a naturalborn Filipino citizen,
therebeingsubstantialbasistosupporthisbeliefthathewasthesonofaFilipino.TheCourtupheldthisconclusionoftheCOMELEC,and
inthedispositiveconclusionsportionoftheDecisionheld:
(4) But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a naturalborn citizen of the
Philippines,theevidenceonhandstillwouldpreponderateinhisfavorenoughtoholdthathecannotbeheldguiltyofhaving
made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the
Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner has utterly failed to substantiate his case before the Court, notwithstanding the ample
opportunitygiventothepartiestopresenttheir position and evidence, and to prove whether or not there has been material
misrepresentation,which,assoruledinRomualdezMarcosvs.COMELEC,must not only be material, but also deliberate and
willful.
TheCourtmadetwoimportantrulingsonthisparticularpoint.First,thatMr.Fornier,thepetitionerintheCOMELECcasetodenyMr.Poe's
CoC,hadtheburdentoprovethatMr.Poecommittedmaterialmisrepresentation.Second,evenassumingthatthepetitionerthereinwas
able to make out a prima facie case of material misrepresentation, the evidence on Mister Poe's side preponderated in favor of the
conclusion that he did not make any material misrepresentation. Thus, the COMELEC was correct in saying that there was no basis to
grant Fornier's Section 78 petition. Mr. Poe, We said, did not have to conclusively establish his naturalborn citizenship
preponderanceofevidencewassufficienttoprovehisrighttobeacandidateforPresident.
ItisabsolutelyoffensivetoOurconceptofdueprocessfortheCOMELECtoinsistonitsowninterpretationofanareaoftheConstitution
that this Court has yet to squarely rule upon, such as the citizenship of a foundling. It was also most unfair of COMELEC to suddenly
impose a previously nonexisting formal requirement on candidatessuch as a permanent resident visa or citizenship itselfto begin the
tollingoftherequireddurationofresidency.Neitherstatutesnorjurisprudencerequirethosematters.COMELECgrosslyactedbeyondits
jurisdictionbyusurpingthepowersofthelegislatureandthejudiciary.
Section78andMaterialMisrepresentation
It must be emphasized that all the decisions of the COMELEC where the Court upheld its denial of a CoC on the basis of an alleged
misrepresentationpertainingtocitizenshipandresidency,werealldenialsonmattersoffactthatwereeitheruncontroverted,orfactual
mattersthatwereproventobefalse.Noneofthemhadtodowithanyquestionoflaw.
Inthefollowingcases,weupheldtheCOMELEC'SdenialoftheCoCs:Labo,Jr.v.COMELEC[27],(Labo'sstatementthathewasanatural
borncitizenwasdisprovedonthegroundthathefailedtosubmitanyevidenceprovinghisreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenship)Abellav
.COMELEC[28] (Abella, a candidate for governor of Leyte, and undisputedly a resident of Ormoc City, an independent component city,
failed to establish a new domicile in Kananga, Leyte ) Domino v. Commission on Elections,[29](the lease contract over a residence in
SaranganiProvincefailedtoproducethekindofpermanencynecessarytoestablishabandonmentofone'soriginaldomicile)Caballerov.
Commission on Elections,[30] (petitioner, who had effectively transferred his domicile of choice in Canada, failed to present competent
evidencetoprovethathewasabletoreestablishhisresidenceinUyugan)Jalosjosv.CommissiononElections,[31](Svetlana Jalosjos,
whosedomicileoforiginwasSanJuan,MetroManila,failedtoacquireadomicileofchoiceinBaliangao,MisamisOccidental,priortothe
May2010elections)Aquinov.CommissiononElections,[32](Aquino,whosedomicileoforiginwasSanJose,Concepcion,Tarlac,failedto
establishedanewdomicileintheSecondDistrictofMakatiCityonthemerebasisofaleaseagreementofacondominiumunit)Reyesv.
CommissiononElections[33](wherepetitioner,whopreviouslyadmittedthatshewasaholderofaU.S.passport,failedtosubmitproof
thatshereacquiredherFilipinocitizenshipunderRA9225orthatshemaintainedherdomicileoforiginin Boac, Marinduque ) Dumpit
Michelenav.Boado[34](candidateDumpitMichelenawasnotaresidentofAgoo,LaUnionvoter'sregistrationatNaguilian,LaUnionand
jointaffidavitofallbarangayofficialsofSanJulianWest,Agootakenasproofthatshewasnotaresidentofthebarangay) Hayudini v.
CommissiononElections[35](candidateHayudiniwasnotaresidentofSouthUbian,TawiTawibasedonafinalRTCDecisionordering
thedeletionofHayudini'snameinBarangayBintawlan's permanent list of voters) Velasco v. Commission on Elections[36] (court ruling
that he was not a registered voter of Sasmuan, Pampanga) Bautista v. Commission on Elections[37] (admission that he was not a
registered voter of Lumbangan, Nasugbu, Batangas where he was running as punong barangay) Ugdoracion, Jr. v. Commission on
Elections[38] (admission that he was at the time of the filing of the CoC still a holder of a then valid green card) and Jalosjos v.
CommissiononElections[39](temporaryandintermittentstayinastranger'shousedoesnotamounttoresidence).

In fact, in the only case of material misrepresentation on citizenship where the Supreme Court agreed to a Section 78 denial by the
COMELEC,wasinthecaseofMr.RamonL.Labo,Jr.ofBaguioCity[40]whohadpreviouslybeendeclaredbytheSupremeCourtitselfas
notaFilipinocitizen.[41]IntheLabocase,therewasapriorbindingconclusionoflawthatjustifiedtheactionoftheCOMELECindenying
the CoC.1wphi1 It is important to emphasize this considering the dangers of an overly broad reading of the COMELEC's power under
Section78.
A candidate commences the process of being voted into office by filing a certificate of candidacy (CoC). A candidate states in his CoC,
amongothers,thatheiseligibletorunforpublicoffice,asprovidedunderSection74oftheOmnibusElectionCode.Thus:
Sec.74.Contentsofcertificateofcandidacy.Thecertificateofcandidacyshallstatethatthepersonfilingitisannouncinghis
candidacy for the office stated therein and that he is eligible for said office if for Member of the Batasang Pambansa, the
province, including its component cities, highly urbanized city or district or sector which he seeks to represent the political
party to which he belongs civil status his date of birth residence his post office address for all election purposes his
profession or occupation that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and
allegiancetheretothathewillobeythelaws,legalorders,anddecreespromulgatedbythedulyconstitutedauthoritiesthat
he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country that the obligation imposed by his oath is assumed
voluntarily,withoutmentalreservationorpurposeofevasionandthatthefactsstatedinthecertificateofcandidacyaretrue
tothebestofhisknowledge.
AsusedinSection74,theword"eligible"meanshavingtherighttorunforelectivepublicofficethatis,havingallthequalificationsand
noneoftheineligibilities.[42]Theremedytoremovefromtheelectoralballot,thenamesofcandidateswhoarenotactuallyeligible,but
whostillstateunderoathintheirCoCsthattheyareeligibletorunforpublicoffice,isforanypersontofileapetitionunderSection78,
whichprovides:
Sec.78.Petitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelacertificateofcandidacy.Averifiedpetitionseekingtodenyduecourseorto
cancelacertificateofcandidacymaybefiledbyanypersonexclusivelyonthegroundthatanymaterialrepresentation
contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than
twentyfivedaysfromthetimeofthefilingofthecertificateofcandidacyandshallbedecided,afterduenoticeandhearing,
notlaterthanfifteendaysbeforetheelection.(Emphasissupplied)
HowLegallySignificantistheIntent
toDeceiveforaSection78OEC
PetitiontoProsper?
It was proposed by Justice Dante O. Tinga in his Dissenting Opinion in Tecson v. COMELEC that the intent to deceive was never
contemplated as an essential element to prove a Section 78 petition.[43] The problem with this opinion is that it remains a proposed
reversal of a doctrine that remains firmly entrenched in our jurisprudence. In a long line of cases, starting with RomualdezMarcos v.
COMELEC[44]in1995,thisCourthasinvariablyheldthatintenttodeceivetheelectorateisanessentialelementforaSection78petition
toprosper.
InRomualdezMarcos,theCourtruledthatitisthefactofthequalification,notastatementinacertificateofcandidacy,whichoughtto
be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the constitution's qualification requirements. The statement in the
certificateofcandidacybecomesmaterialonlywhenthereisorappearstobeadeliberateattempttomislead,misinform,orhideafact
whichwouldotherwiserenderacandidateineligible.[45]
ThisrulingwasadoptedbytheCourtinalonglineofcases,inwhichitwasruledthatasidefromtherequirementofmateriality,apetition
underSection78mustalsoshowthattherewasmaliciousintenttodeceivetheelectorateastothecandidate'squalifications for public
office.
InSalcedoIIv.COMELEC,[46]theCourtaffirmedthedecisionoftheCOMELECdenyingthepetitiontocanceltheCoCfiledbyErmelita
Cacao Salcedo, a candidate for mayor of Sara, Iloilo. Apart from finding that the use of the surname "Salcedo" was not a material
qualificationcoveredbySection78,theCourtalsodeclaredthattherewasnointentiononthepartofthecandidatetomisleadordeceive
the public as to her identity. We concluded that, in fact, there was no showing that the voters of the municipality were deceived by
Salcedo'suseofsuchsurnameconsequently,theCOMELECcorrectlyrefusedtocancelherCoC.
Ontheotherhand,inVelascov.COMELEC,[47]WeupheldthecancellationoftheCoCfiledbyNardoVelascobecausehemadeamaterial
misrepresentationastohisregistrationasavoter.InOurdiscussion,WeemphasizedthatVelascoknewthathisregistrationas a voter
hadalreadybeendeniedbytheRTC,buthestillstatedunderoathinhisCoCthathewasavoterofSasmuan.[48]Thiswasconsidered
sufficientbasisfortheCOMELECtogranttheSection78petition.[49]
InJustimbaste v. Commission on Elections,[50] this Court sustained the COMELEC's dismissal of the petition of cancellation filed against
RusticoB.Balderianbecausetherewasnoshowingthathehadtheintenttodeceivethevotingpublicastohisidentitywhenheusedhis
Filipinoname,insteadofhisChinesename,inhisCoC.
On the other hand, in Maruhom v. COMELEC,[51] We upheld the cancellation of the CoC of Jamela Salic Maruhom because she had
subsisting voter registrations in both the municipalities of Marawi and Marantao in Lanao del Sur. We emphasized that Maruhom
deliberatelyattemptedtoconcealthisfactfromtheelectorateasitwouldhaverenderedherineligibletorunasmayorofMarantao.
The element of intent was again required by this Court in MitravCOMELEC. [52]In that case, We reversed the ruling of the COMELEC,
whichcancelledtheCoCfiledbyAbrahamKahlilB.Mitrabecausethecommission"failedtocriticallyconsiderwhetherMitradeliberately
attemptedtomislead,misinformorhideafactthatwouldotherwiserenderhimineligibleforthepositionofGovernorofPalawan."Upon
anexaminationoftheevidenceinthatcase,WeconcludedthattherewasnobasisfortheCOMELEC'sconclusionthatMitradeliberately
attemptedtomisleadthePalawanelectorate.

ThepresenceofintenttodeceivetheelectoratewasalsoacontrollingfactorinthedecisionoftheCourtinPanlaquiv.COMELEC. [53]We
ruled that the decision of the Regional Trial Court to exclude Nardo Velasco as a voter did not result in the cancellation of his CoC for
mayorofSasmuan,Pampanga.SaidthisCourt:
It is not within the province of the RTC in a voter's inclusion/exclusion proceedings to take cognizance of and determine the
presenceofafalserepresentationofamaterialfact.Ithasnojurisdictiontotrytheissuesofwhetherthemisrepresentation
relatestomaterialfactandwhethertherewasanintentiontodeceivetheelectorateintermsofone'squalificationsforpublic
office.ThefindingthatVelascowasnotqualifiedtovoteduetolackofresidencyrequirementdoesnottranslateintoafinding
ofadeliberateattempttomislead,misinform,orhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderhimineligible.
InGonzalesvCOMELEC, [54]theCourtdistinguishedbetweenapetitionforcancellationunderSection78andapetitionforcancellation
underSection68oftheOEC,inordertodeterminewhetherthepetitionfiledagainstRamonGonzaleswasfiledontime.Wedeclaredthat
a Section 78 petition must pertain to a false representation on a material matter that is made with the deliberate intent to mislead,
misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. Upon finding these elements in the petition filed against
FernandoV.Gonzales,WeruledthattheapplicableperiodforfilingthepetitionisthatprescribedunderSection78i.e.withintwentyfive
daysfromthefilingoftheCOC.Sincethepetitionwasfiledbeyondthisperiod,thisCourtdeclaredthattheCOMELECerredingivingdue
coursetothesame.
TherequirementofintentwaslikewisereiteratedinTecsonv.COMELEC, [55]Ugdoracion,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,[56]Fermin v.
CommissiononElections,[57]Arateav.CommissiononElections[58]andTalagav.CommissiononElections.[59]
Ithasbeenclaimed,however,thatthisCourtinTagolinov.HRET,[60]abandonedthisrequisitewhenitstatedthat"deliberatenessofthe
misrepresentation, much less one's intent to defraud, is of bare significance in a Section 78 petition as it is enough that the person's
declaration of a material qualification in the [certificate of candidacy] be false." In that case, the Court, using Miranda v. Abaya[61] as
basis,statedthat:
Inthisrelation,jurisprudenceholdsthatanexpressfindingthatthepersoncommittedanydeliberatemisrepresentationisof
littleconsequenceinthedeterminationofwhetherone'sCoCshouldbedeemedcancelledornot.Whatremainsmaterialisthat
thepetitionessentiallyseekstodenyduecoursetoand/orcanceltheCoConthebasisofone'sineligibilityandthatthesame
begrantedwithoutanyqualification.[62]
Itisimportanttonotethatthestatementregardingintenttodeceivewasonlyanobiterdictum.TheprimaryissueinbothTagolinoand
Mirandaiswhetheracandidatewhosecertificateofcandidacyhadbeendeniedduecourseorcancelledmaybevalidlysubstitutedinthe
electoralprocess.Inotherwords,thecasesdealtwiththeeffectofthedenialofduecourseorcancellationofacertificateofcandidacy,
andnotonthevalidityorsoundnessofthedenialorcancellationitself.
Furthermore,inMiranda,WeclarifiedtheCOMELEC'suseoftheword"disqualified"whengrantingapetitionthatprays for the denial of
duecourseorcancellationofacertificateofcandidacy.ThisCourtsaid:
From a plain reading of the dispositive portion of the Comelec resolution of May 5, 1998 in SPA No. 98019, it is sufficiently
clear that the prayer specifically and particularly sought in the petition was GRANTED, there being no qualification on the
matterwhatsoever.Thedisqualificationwassimplyruledoverandabovethegrantingofthespecificprayerfordenialofdue
courseandcancellationofthecertificateofcandidacy.[63]
Clearly,thephrase"noqualification"inMiranda,whichwasessentiallyechoedinTagolino,referredtotherulingoftheCOMELECtogrant
thepetitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelthecertificateofcandidacy.Itdidnotrefertothefalserepresentationmadebythecandidate
inhiscertificateofcandidacy.
Atanyrate,afterTagolino,WereiteratedtherequirementofdeceitforaSection78petitiontoprosperinfourmorecases.[64]Ourmost
recentpronouncementsinJaloverv.Osmena,[65]reiteratedthatapetitionunderSection78cannotprosperinasituationwherethe
intent to deceive or defraud is patently absent, or where no deception of the electorate results. Furthermore, the
misrepresentationcannotbetheresultofamereinnocuousmistake,butmustpertaintoamaterialfact.
SaidJusticeArturoD.Brioninthe2014unanimousJaloverv.Osmenadecision:
Separatefromtherequirementofmateriality,afalserepresentationunderSection78mustconsistofadeliberate
attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact, which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible." (citing
Ugdoracion,Jr.v.CommissiononElections)Inotherwords,itmustbemadewiththeintentiontodeceivetheelectorateasto
thewouldbecandidate'squalificationsforpublicoffice.InMitrav.COMELEC,weheldthatthemisrepresentationthatSection
78addressescannotbetheresultofamereinnocuousmistake,andcannotexistinasituationwheretheintenttodeceiveis
patentlyabsent,orwherenodeceptionoftheelectorateresults.Thedeliberatecharacterofthemisrepresentationnecessarily
followsfromaconsiderationoftheconsequencesofanymaterialfalsity:acandidatewhofalsifiesamaterialfactcannotrun.
Thus,apetitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelacertificateofcandidacyaccordingtotheprevailingdecisionsofthisCourtstillrequires
thefollowingessentialallegations:(1)thecandidatemadearepresentationinthecertificate(2)therepresentationpertainstoamaterial
matterwhichwouldaffectthesubstantiverightsofthecandidate(therighttorunfortheelection)and(3)thecandidatemadethefalse
representation with the intention to deceive the electorate as to his qualification for public office or deliberately attempted to mislead,
misinform,orhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderhimineligible.[66]
RomualdezMarcosv.COMELECisagainworthrecalling.[67]Weruledthereinthatitisthefactofthedisqualification,notastatementina
certificateofcandidacywhichoughttobedecisiveindeterminingwhetherornotanindividualhassatisfiedtheconstitution'squalification
requirements.Thestatementinthecertificateofcandidacybecomesmaterialonlywhenthereisorappearstobeadeliberateattemptto
mislead,misinformorhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderacandidateineligible.[68]

InMitra v. COMELEC,[69]We gave importance to the character of a representation made by a candidate in the certificate of candidacy.
This Court found grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC when it failed to take into account whether there had been a
deliberatemisrepresentationinMitra'scertificateofcandidacy.[70]TheCOMELECcannotsimplyassumethatanerrorinthecertificateof
candidacywasnecessarilyadeliberatefalsityinamaterialrepresentation.[71]
ItmustbeemphasizedthatunderSection78,itisnotenoughthatapersonlackstherelevantqualificationhemusthavealsomadea
false representation of the lack of qualification in the certificate of candidacy.[72]The denial of due course to, or the cancellation of the
certificateofcandidacy,isnotbasedonthelackofqualificationsbutonafindingthatthecandidatemadeamaterialrepresentationthatis
false,whichrelatestothequalificationsrequiredofthepublicofficethecandidateisrunningfor.[73]
ConsideringthatintenttodeceiveisamaterialelementforasuccessfulpetitionunderSection78,aclaimofgoodfaithisavaliddefense.
Misrepresentationmeanstheactofmakingafalseormisleadingassertionaboutsomething,usuallywiththeintenttodeceive.[74]Itisnot
just written or spoken words, but also any other conduct that amounts to a false assertion.[75]A material misrepresentation is a false
statement to which a reasonable person would attach importance in deciding how to act in the transaction in question or to which the
makerknowsorhasreasontoknowthattherecipientattachessomeimportance.[76]
In the sphere of election laws, a material misrepresentation pertains to a candidate's act with the intention to gain an advantage by
deceitfullyclaimingpossessionofallthequalificationsandnoneofthedisqualificationswhenthecontraryistrue.
Amaterialmisrepresentationisincompatiblewithaclaimofgoodfaith.Goodfaithencompasses,amongotherthings,anhonestbelief,the
absenceofmaliceandtheabsenceofadesigntodefraudortoseekanunconscionableadvantage.[77]Itimplieshonestyofintentionand
honestbeliefinthevalidityofone'sright,ignoranceofacontraryclaim,andabsenceofintentiontodeceiveanother.[78]
BurdenofProofinSection78Proceedings
Section1,Rule131oftheRevisedRulesonEvidencedefinesburdenofproofas"thedutyofapartytopresentevidenceonthefactsin
issuenecessarytoestablishhisclaim""bytheamountofevidencerequiredbylaw."WhenitcomestoaSection78proceeding,itisthe
petitionerwhohastheburdenofestablishingmaterialmisrepresentationinaCoC.[79]
SincetheCOMELECisaquasijudicialbody,thepetitionermustestablishhiscaseofmaterialmisrepresentationbysubstantialevidence.
[80]Substantialevidenceisthatamountofrelevantevidencewhichareasonablemindmightacceptasadequatetojustifyaconclusion.

Burdenofproofnevershifts.[81]Itistheburdenofevidencethatshifts.[82]Hence,inaSection78proceeding,ifthepetitionercomesup
withaprimafaciecaseofmaterialmisrepresentation,theburdenofevidenceshiftstotherespondent.
Inthiscase,respondentshadtheburdentoestablishthefollowing:(1)falsityoftherepresentationsmadebypetitionerwithregardtoher
citizenshipandresidenceand(2)intenttodeceiveormisleadtheelectorate.
Onresidence
Aswillbefurtherdiscussedbelow,respondentsmainlyreliedontherepresentationthatpetitionerpreviouslymadeinher2012CoCfor
thepositionofSenatortoestablishtherequirementsoffalsityandintenttodeceive.Petitioner,however,hasshownbyanabundanceof
substantialevidencethatherresidenceinthePhilippinescommencedon24May2005andthatthestatementshemadeinthe2012CoC
wasduetohonestmistake.Butrespondentsfailedtomeetheadonthisevidence.Hence,theyfailedtodischargetheirburdenofproving
materialmisrepresentationwithrespecttoresidency.
Furthermore, the COMELEC unreasonably shifted the burden of proof to petitioner, declaring that she had the burden to show that she
possessedthequalificationstorunforPresident.Aspreviouslydiscussed,respondentshadtheburdentoestablishthekeyelementsfora
Section78petitiontoprosper.
Oncitizenship
Withrespecttotheissueofcitizenship,respondentsleanedheavilyonpetitioner'sadmissionthatshewasafoundling.Nevertheless,this
didnotestablishthefalsityofpetitioner'sclaimthatshewasanaturalborncitizen.Presumptionsoperatedprofoundlyinherfavortothe
effectthatafoundlingisanaturalborncitizen.Further,shehadarighttorelyontheselegalpresumptions,thusnegatingthenotionof
deceptiononherpart.Thus,respondentsfailedtodischargetheirburdenofprovingmaterialmisrepresentationwithrespecttoresidency.
Yet, the COMELEC unfairly placed the burden of proof on petitioner when, for reasons already discussed, the onus properly fell on
respondents.Thispointwillbemorecomprehensivelydiscussedbelow.
III.
TheCOMELECactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionwhenitcancelledpetitioner's2016CertificateofCandidacyinthe
absenceofanymaterialmisrepresentationonresidencyorcitizenship.
Inmyview,thefactthattheCOMELECwentbeyondanexaminationofthepatentfalsityoftherepresentationsintheCoCisenoughto
demonstrateitsgraveabuseofdiscretion.ImaintainthataSection78proceedingmustdealsolelywith"patentdefectsinthecertificates"
andnotthequestionofeligibilityorineligibility.ThecommissionclearlyexceededthelimitedauthoritygrantedtoitunderSection78of
theOECwhenitdeterminedpetitioner'sintrinsicqualifications,notonthebasisofanyuncontrovertedfact,butonquestionsoflaw.
With this conclusion, the Court already has sufficient justification to reverse and set aside the assailed COMELEC Resolutions.
Consequently,Ibelievethatitisnolongernecessaryforustodecidequestionspertainingtopetitioner'squalifications.
However,giventhefactualmilieuofthiscaseanditssignificancetotheupcomingelectoralexercise,Iamlikewisemindfulofthedutyof
the Court to allay the doubts created by the COMELEC ruling in the minds of the voting public. Furthermore, the dissents have already
gone to the intrinsic qualification of petitioner as to cast doubt on her viability as a candidate. These positions must be squarely
addressedhencethisextendedopinionisinevitable.

GraveAbuseofDiscretion
InMitrav.COMELEC,[83]thisCourtheldthatCOMELEC'suseofwrongorirrelevantconsiderationsintheresolutionofanissueconstitutes
graveabuseofdiscretion:
As a concept, "grave abuse of discretion" defies exact definition generally, it refers to "capricious or whimsical exercise of
judgmentasisequivalenttolackofjurisdiction"theabuseofdiscretionmustbepatentandgrossastoamounttoanevasion
ofapositivedutyoravirtualrefusaltoperformadutyenjoinedbylaw,ortoactatallincontemplationoflaw,aswherethe
power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. Mere abuse of discretion is not
enoughitmustbegrave.Wehaveheld,too,thattheuseofwrongorirrelevantconsiderationsindecidinganissue
issufficienttotaintadecisionmaker'sactionwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.
Closely related with the limited focus of the present petitionisthecondition,underSection5,Rule64oftheRulesofCourt,
thatfindingsoffactoftheCOMELEC,supportedbysubstantialevidence,shallbefinalandnonreviewable.Substantialevidence
isthatdegreeofevidencethatareasonablemindmightaccepttosupportaconclusion.
In light of our limited authority to review findings of fact, we do not ordinarily review in a certiorari case the COMELEC's
appreciationandevaluationofevidence.AnymisstepbytheCOMELECinthisregardgenerallyinvolvesanerrorofjudgment,
notofjurisdiction.(Emphasissupplied)

Forreasonsdiscussedbelow,IfindthattheCOMELECcommittedagrosslyunreasonableappreciationofboththeevidencepresentedby
petitioner to prove her residency, as well the legal standards applicable to her as a foundling. For purposes of clarity, I will discuss
residencyandcitizenshipseparately.
InSabili,[84]wenotedthattheCourtdoesnotordinarilyreviewtheCOMELEC'sappreciationandevaluationofevidence.However,when
theappreciationandevaluationofevidenceissogrosslyunreasonableastoturnintoanerrorofjurisdiction,theCourtisdutyboundto
intervene. In that case, petitioner was able to show that the COMELEC relied on wrong or irrelevant considerations like property
ownershipinanothermunicipalityindecidingtheissueofwhetherpetitionermadeamaterialmisrepresentationregardinghisresidence.
IV.
A.ONRESIDENCY
TheCOMELECmadetwofindingsasfaraspetitioner'scompliancewiththe10yearresidencyrequirementisconcerned.First,petitioner
committedafalsematerialrepresentationregardingherresidencyinher2016CoCforPresident,asshownbyherdeclarationinher2013
CoCforsenator.Second,petitioner'saliencitizenshipatthetimesheallegedlyabandonedherdomicileintheUSwasalegalimpediment
whichpreventedherfromreestablishingherdomicileinthePhilippines,consideringherfailuretoobtainanauthorizationfromtheBureau
ofImmigrationaspermanentresidentinthecountryearlyenoughtostartthecountofthe10yearresidencyrequirement.
These conclusions reveal the failure of the COMELEC to properly appreciate and evaluate evidence, so much so that it overstepped the
limitsofitsdiscretiontothepointofbeinggrosslyunreasonable.
Therewasnodeliberateintentonthe
partofpetitionertomakeamaterial
misrepresentationastoherresidency.
IntheassailedResolutions,theCOMELEChadconcludedthatpetitionercommittedafalsematerialrepresentationaboutherresidencyin
her 2016 CoC for president on the basis of her declaration in her 2013 CoC for senator. According to the Commission, this 2012
declarationshowedadeliberateintenttomisleadtheelectorateandthepublicatlarge.
Publicrespondent'sconclusionsareunjustified.Inthefirstplace,theCOMELECmisappliedtheconceptsofadmissionsandhonestmistake
inweighingtheevidencepresentedbypetitioner.Aswillbediscussedbelow,declarationsagainstinterestarenotconclusiveevidenceand
must still be evaluated to determine their probative value. Neither does the declaration in her 2013 CoC foreclose the presentation of
evidence of petitioner's good faith and honest belief that she has complied with the 10year residency requirement for presidential
candidates.
AdmissionsagainstInterest
AdmissionsagainstinterestaregovernedbySection26,Rule130oftheRulesofCourt,whichprovides:
Sec. 26. Admissions of a party. The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence
againsthim.
Itiswelltoemphasizethatadmissionsagainstinterestfallundertherulesofadmissibility.[85]Admissionsagainstinterestpassthetestof
relevanceandcompetence.They,however,donotguaranteetheirownprobativevalueandconclusiveness.Likeallevidence,theymust
beweighedandcalibratedbythecourtagainstallotherpiecesathand.Also,apartyagainstwhomanadmissionagainstinterestis
offeredmayproperlyrefutesuchdeclarationbyadducingcontraryevidence.[86]
To be admissible, an admission must (1) involve matters of fact, and not of law (2) be categorical and definite (3) be knowingly and
voluntarily made and (4) be adverse to the admitter' s interests,otherwiseitwouldbeselfservingandinadmissible.[87] An admission
against interest must consist of a categorical statement or document pertaining to a matter of fact. If the statement or document
pertainstoaconclusionoflawornecessitatespriorsettlementofquestionsoflaw,itcannotberegardedasanadmission
againstinterest.[88]
Even a judicial admission, which does not require proof, for judicial admissions under Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court[89] But
eventhen,contraryevidencemaybeadmittedtoshowthattheadmissionwasmadethroughpalpablemistake.InBitongv.CA,[90]the

Courtruledthatalthoughactsorfactsadmittedinapleadingdonotrequireproofandcannolongerbecontradicted,evidencealiundecan
bepresentedtoshowthattheadmissionwasmadethroughpalpablemistake.SaidtheCourt:
A party whose pleading is admitted as an admission against interest is entitled to overcome by evidence the apparent
inconsistency, and it is competent for the party against whom the pleading is offered to show that the statements were
inadvertentlymadeorweremadeunderamistakeoffact.Inaddition,apartyagainstwhomasingleclauseorparagraphofa
pleading is offered may have the right to introduce other paragraphs which tend to destroy the admission in the paragraph
offeredbytheadversary.
Every alleged admission is taken as an entirety of the fact which makes for the one side with the qualifications which limit,
modifyordestroyitseffectontheotherside.Thereasonforthisis,wherepartofastatementofapartyisusedagainsthimas
anadmission,thecourtshouldweighanyotherportionconnectedwiththestatement,whichtendstoneutralizeorexplainthe
portionwhichisagainstinterest.
Inotherwords,whiletheadmissionisadmissibleinevidence,itsprobativevalueistobedeterminedfromthewholestatement
andothersintimatelyrelatedorconnectedtherewithasanintegratedunit.[91]
COMELECConclusionsonAdmission
againstInterest
IntheResolutiondated1December2015oftheSecondDivisioninSPANo.15001(Elamparov.Llamanzares),the COMELEC ruled as
follows:
Respondent ran for Senator in the May 13, 2013 Senatorial Elections. In her COC for Senator, she answered "6 years and 6
months" in the space provided for the candidate's period of residence in the Philippines. Based on her own declaration,
respondentadmittedunderoaththatshehasbeenaresidentofthecountryonlysinceNovember2006.
Undeniably,thisfallsshortby6monthsoftherequiredMay2006commencementoftheresidenceinthePhilippinesinorder
forrespondenttoqualifyasacandidateforPresidentofthePhilippinesintheMay9,2016elections.Ifwereckonherperiodof
residency from November 2006, as she herself declared, she will be a resident of the Philippines by May 9, 2016 only for a
periodof9yearsand6months.
Ascorrectlypointedoutbypetitioner,thisswornstatementbyrespondentisanadmissionagainstherinterest.
Section26,Rule130,RulesofCourt(whichisofsuppletoryapplication)expresslystates:
Section26.Admissionofaparty.Theact,declarationoromissionofapartyastoarelevantfactmaybegivenin
evidenceagainsthim.
TherationalefortherulewasexplainedbytheSupremeCourtinManilaElectricCompanyv.HeirsofSpousesDionisioDeloy:
Beinganadmissionagainstinterest,thedocumentsarethebestevidencewhichaffordsthegreatestcertaintyofthe
factsindispute.Therationalefortheruleisbasedonthepresumptionthatnomanwoulddeclareanythingagainst
himselfUNLESSSUCHDECLARATIONWASTRUE.Thus,itisfairtopresumethatthedeclarationcorrespondsto
thetruth,anditishisfaultifitdoesnot.
Respondent'srepresentationinherCOCforSenatorthatshehadbeenaresidentofthePhilippinesforaperiodof6yearsand
6 months by May 2013 is an admission that is binding on her. After all, she should not have declared it under oath if such
declarationwasnottrue.
Respondent'sconvenientdefensethatshecommittedanhonestmistakeonadifficultquestionoflaw,whenshestatedinher
COCforSenatorthatherperiodofresidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeMay13,2013was6yearsand6months,isatbestself
serving.Itcannotoverturntheweightgiventotheadmissionagainstinterestvoluntarilymadebyrespondent.
Assumingarguendothatasnowbelatedlyclaimedthesamewasduetoanhonestmistake,noevidencehasbeenshownthat
therewasanattempttorectifythesocalledhonestmistake.TheattempttocorrectitinherpresentCOCfiledonlyonOctober
15,2015cannotservetooutweightheprobativeweightthathastobeaccordedtotheadmissionagainstinterestinher2013
COCforSenator.
Certainly, it is beyond question that her declaration in her 2013 COC for Senator, under oath at that, that she has been a
residentofthePhilippinessinceNovember2006stillstandsintherecordofthisCommissionasanofficialdocument,which
maybegiveninevidenceagainsther,andtheprobativeweightandbindingeffectofwhichisneitherobliteratedbythepassing
of time nor by the belated attempt to correct it in her present COC for President of the Philippines. Respondent cannot now
declareanearlierperiodofresidence.Respondentisalreadystoppedfromdoingso.Ifallowedtorepudiateatthislatestage
her prior sworn declaration, We will be opening the floodgates for candidates to commit material misrepresentations in their
COCsandescaperesponsibilityforthesamethroughthemereexpedientofconvenientlychangingtheirstoryinasubsequent
COC. Worse, We will be allowing a candidate to run for President when the COC for Senator earlier submitted to the
Commissioncontainsamaterialfactordatabarringherfromrunningforthepositionshenowseekstobeelectedto.Surely,to
ruleotherwisewouldbetotolerateacavalierattitudetotherequirementofputtinginthecorrectdatainaCOC.Infact,the
COCfiler,inthatsameCOC,certifiesunderoaththatthedatagivenareindeed"trueandcorrect".
As shown by the abovecited Resolution, the COMELEC Second Division regarded the declaration of petitioner in her 2013 certificate of
candidacyforsenatorthatshehadbeenaresidentofthePhilippinesonlysinceNovember2006asabindingandconclusivestatement
thatshecannolongerrefute.Itappearedtoconfuseadmissionsagainstinterestwithjudicialadmissions.
However,intheResolutiondated23December2015oftheEnBanc,COMELECconcededthatsuchstatementmayindeedbeovercomeby
petitionerthroughthepresentationofcompetentevidenceofgreaterweight.AccordingtotheCOMELECEnBanc:

OntheallegationthattheSecondDivisionchosetorelysolelyonthedeclarationsofrespondentinher2013COC:wearenot
persuaded. Again, the Second Division was not constrained to mention every bit of evidence it considered in arriving at the
assailedResolution.Concededly,however,itdidputampleattentiononRespondent's2013COC,butnotwithoutgoodreason.
Torecall,Respondent,inher2013COCforSenator,indicated,underoath,thatherperiodofresidenceinthePhilippinesfrom
May13,2013is"6yearsand6months."Followingthis,shebecamearesidentonNovember2006.Thisisentirelyinconsistent
with her declaration in the present 2016 COC for president that immediately before the May 9, 2016 elections, she will be a
resident of the country for "10 years and 11 months," following which she was a resident since May, 2005. The Second
Divisionstruckrespondent'sargumentsmainlyonthebasisofthiscontradiction.
Respondent cannot fault the Second Division for using her statements in the 2013 COC against her. Indeed, the Second
Divisioncorrectly found that this is an admission against her interest. Being such, it is "the best evidence which affords the
greatest certainty of the facts in dispute. The rationale for the rule is based on the presumption that no man would declare
anythingagainsthimselfunlesssuchdeclarationwastrue.Thus,itisfairtopresumethatthedeclarationcorrespondswiththe
truth,anditishisfaultifitdoesnot."
Moreover, a COC, being a notarial document, has in its favor the presumption of regularity. To contradict the facts stated
therein, there must be evidence that is clear, convincing and more than merely preponderant. In order for a declarant to
impugn a notarial document which he himself executed, it is not enough for him to merely execute a subsequent notarial
document. After executing an affidavit voluntarily wherein admissions and declarations against the affiant's own interest are
madeunderthesolemnityofanoath,theaffiantcannotjustbeallowedtospurnthemandundowhathehasdone.
Yes,thestatementinthe2013COC,albeitanadmissionagainstinterest,maylaterbeimpugnedbyrespondent.However,she
cannot do this by the mere expedient of filing her 2016 COC and claiming that the declarations in the previous one were
"honestmistakes".Theburdenisuponhertoshow,byclear,convincingandmorethanpreponderantevidence,that,indeed,it
isthelatterCOCthatiscorrectandthatthestatementsmadeinthe2013COCweredonewithoutbadfaith.Unfortunatelyfor
respondent,shefailedtodischargethisheavyburden.
Asshownbytheforegoing,theCOMELECenbanchada proper understanding of an admission against interest that it is one piece of
evidencethatshouldbeevaluatedagainstallotherpiecespresentedbeforeit.
TheCOMELECwaswrong,however,inrulingthatpetitionerattemptedtoovercometheallegedadmissionagainstinterestmerelybyfiling
her2016CoCforpresident.Petitionersubmittedseveredvariousmanyandvariedpiecesofevidencetoproveherdeclarationinher2016
certificateofcandidacyforpresidentthatasofMay2005,shehaddefinitelyabandonedherresidenceintheUSandintended to reside
permanentlyinthePhilippines.Theyarethefollowing:
1.Petitioner'sUSpassportshowingthatshereturnedtothePhilippineson24May2005andfromthenwouldalwaysreturntothe
Philippinesaftereverytriptoaforeigncountry.
2. Email exchanges showing that as early as March 2005, petitioner had begun the process of relocating and reestablishing her
residenceinthePhilippinesandhadallofthefamily'svaluablemovablepropertiespackedandstoredforshippingtothePhilippines.
3.Schoolrecordsofpetitioner'sschoolagedchildrenshowingthattheybeganattendingPhilippineschoolsstartingJune2005.
4.IdentificationcardissuedbytheBIRtopetitioneron22July2005.
5. Condominium Certificate of Title covering a unit with parking slot acquired in the second half of 2005 which petitioner's family
usedasresidencependingthecompletionoftheirintendedpermanentfamilyhome.
6. Receipts dated 23 February 2006 showing that petitioner had supervised the packing and disposal of some of the family's
householdbelongings.
7.ConfirmationofreceiptoftherequestforchangeofaddresssentbytheUSPostalServiceon28March2006
8.FinalsettlementofthesellingofthefamilyhomeintheUSasof27April2006.
9.TransferCertificateofTitledated1June2006showingtheacquisitionofavacantlotwherethefamilybuilttheirfamilyhome.
10.QuestionnaireissuedbytheUSDepartmentofStateBureauofConsularAffairsregardingthepossiblelossofUScitizenship,in
whichpetitioneransweredthatshehadbeenaresidentofthePhilippinessinceMay2005.
11. Affidavits of petitioner's mother and husband attesting to the decision of the family to move to the Philippines in early 2005
shortlyafterthedeathofpetitioner'sfather.
Unfortunately,theCOMELECEnBancfoundthatthesepiecesofevidencefailedtoovercometheprobativeweightoftheallegedadmission
against interest. According to the COMELEC, the discrepancy between petitioner's 2013 and 2016 certificates of candidacy only goes to
showthatshesuitsherdeclarationsregardingherperiodofresidencyinthePhilippineswhenitwouldbetoheradvantage.Hence,her
deliberateattempttomislead,misinform,orhidethefactofherineligibilityinsofarasresidencyisconcerned.
The statement that she would be a resident of the Philippines for six years and six months as of May 2013 (reckoned from November
2006) in her 2013 certificate of candidacy was admittedly made under oath. However, while notarized documents fall under the
categoryofpublicdocuments,[92] they are not deemed prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.[93] Section 23, Rule
132oftheRulesofCourtstates:
Sec.23.Publicdocumentsasevidence.Documentsconsistingofentriesinpublicrecordsmadeintheperformanceofaduty
byapublicofficerareprimafacieevidenceofthefactsthereinstated.Allotherpublicdocumentsareevidence,evenagainsta
thirdperson,ofthefactwhichgaverisetotheirexecutionandofthedateofthelatter.

Clearly, notarized documents are merely proof of the fact which gave rise to their execution and of the date stated therein.[94] They
requirenofurtherprooftobeadmissible,becausethecertificateofacknowledgementservesastheprimafacieevidenceofitsexecution.
[95]

Thuswhilepetitioner's2013certificateofcandidacymaybepresentedasproofofitsregularityanddueexecution,itisnotprimafacie
evidenceofthefactsstatedtherein,i.e.thedeclarationthatsheessentiallybecamearesidentofthePhilippinesonlyinNovember2006.
Furthermore,whileanotarizeddocumentcarriestheevidentiaryweightconferreduponitwithrespecttoitsdueexecutionandregularity,
evensuchpresumptionisnotabsoluteasitmayberebuttedbyclearandconvincingevidencetothecontrary.[96]
Thus,wherethedocumentoritscontentsareinquestion,thepersonwhoexecutedthesamemaysubmitcontraryevidencetoestablish
the truth of the matter. In this case, petitioner submitted the abovecited pieces of evidence to prove that her 2016 certificate of
candidacydeclaredthetruthaboutherresidenceinthePhilippines,andthatherdeclarationinher2013certificateofcandidacywasthe
resultofanhonestmistake.
HonestMistake
TheCOMELECgavescantconsiderationtopetitioner'sassertionthatshemadeanhonestmistakeinher2013certificateofcandidacyfor
senator.TheCommissionhypothesizedthatifpetitionertrulybelievedthattheperiodofresidencywouldbecountedbackwardsfromthe
dayoffilingtheCoCforSenatorinOctober2012,sheshouldalwaysreckonherresidencyfromApril2006.TheCOMELECobservedthat
theperiodofresidencyindicatedinthe2015CoCforPresidentwasreckonedfromMay2005.TheCOMELECtooktheallegedunexplained
inconsistencyasabadgeofintenttodeceivetheelectorate.
To a malicious mind, the assertions of petitioner are nothing but sinister. Considering the contradicting and inconsistent dates alleged
beforetheCOMELEC,anindiscriminateobservermaybetemptedtothinktheworstanddisbelieveaclaimtothecommonexperienceof
humanmistake.
UnitedStatesv.AhChong, [97]hastaughtgenerationsoflawyersthatthequestionastowhetheronehonestly,ingoodfaith,and
withoutfaultornegligencefellintothemistake,istobedeterminedbythecircumstancesastheyappearedtohimatthe
time when the mistake was made, and the effect which the surrounding circumstances might reasonably be expected to
haveonhismind,informingtheintentuponwhichheacted.
Inthepetitionsbeforeus,petitionerexplainedhermistakeinthefollowingmanner:
5.268. [Petitioner] committed an honest mistake when she stated in her COC for Senator that her "PERIOD OF RESIDENCE
BEFOREMAY13,2013"is"6"yearsand"6"months.
5.268.1. Only a twoyear period of residence in the Philippines is required to qualify as a member of the Senate of the
RepublicofthePhilippines.[Petitioner]sincerelyhadnodoubtthatshehadsatisfiedthisresidencerequirement.Sheeven
accomplishedherCOCforSenatorwithouttheassistanceofalawyer.xxx
5.268.2.Itisnowonderthat[petitioner]didnotknowthattheuseofthephrase"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippines
beforeMay13,2013"inherCOCforSenator,actuallyreferredtotheperiodimmediatelypreceding13May2013,orto
her period of residence on the day right before the 13 May 2013 elections. [Petitioner] therefore interpreted this
phrase to mean her period of residence in the Philippines as of the submission of COCs in October 2012
(whichistechnicallyalsoaperiod"beforeMay13,2013").
5.268.3. In terms of abandoning her domicile in the U.S.A. and permanently relocating to the Philippines, nothing
significant happened in "November 2006." Moreover, private respondent was not able to present any evidence which
wouldshowthat[petitioner]returnedtothePhilippineswiththeintentiontoresideherepermanentlyonly in November
2006.Thus,therewouldhavebeennologicalreasonfor[petitioner]toreckonthestartofherresidenceinthePhilippines
from this month. Even the COMELEC considered a date other than November 2006 as the reckoning point of
[petitioner's] residence (i.e., August 2006). This date is, of course, not the day [petitioner] established her
domicilein the Philippines. Nonetheless, that even the COMELEC had another date in mind bolsters the fact
that[petitioner]'srepresentationinherCOCforSenatorregardingherperiodofresidencewasbasedonher
honestmisunderstandingofwhatwasaskedofherinItemNo.7ofherCOCforSenator,andthatsheindeed
countedbackwardfromOctober2012(insteadoffrom13May2013).
xxxx
When [petitioner] accomplished her COC for Senator, she reckoned her residence in the Philippines from MarchApril
2006,whichiswhen(toherrecollectionatthetimeshesignedthisCOC)sheandherfamilyhadsubstantiallywoundup
their affairs in the U.S.A. in connection with their relocation to the Philippines. Specifically, March 2006 was when
[petitioner] arrived in the Philippines after her last lengthy stay in the U.S.A., and April 2006 was when she and her
husbandwerefinallyabletoselltheirhouseintheU.S.A.ThemonthofApril2006isalsowhen[petitioner's]husbandhad
resigned from his job in the U.S.A. The period between MarchApril 2006 to September 2012 is around six (6)
yearsandsix(6)months.Therefore,thisistheperiod[petitioner]indicated(albeit,mistakenly)inherCOC
forSenatorasher"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeMay13,2013."
5.268.7. This erroneous understanding of the commencement of her residence in the Philippines, together
with the confusing question in Item No. 7 of her COC for Senator, explains why [petitioner] mistakenly
indicated in that COC that her "Period of Residence in the Philippines before May 13, 2013" would be "6"
yearsand"6"months.
5.268.8. [Petitioner] was later advised (only last year, 2015) by legal counsel that the concept of "residence," for
purposesofelectionlaw,takesintoaccounttheperiodwhenshewasphysicallypresentinthePhilippinesstartingfrom24
May 2005, (after having already abandoned her residence in the U.S.A., coupled with the intent to reside in the
Philippines)andnotjusttheperiodafterherU.S.A.residencewassoldandwhenherfamilywasalreadycompleteinthe

country,afterherhusband'sreturn.[Petitioner]'speriodofresidenceinherCOCforSenatorshould,therefore,havebeen
counted.from 24 May 2005, and extended all the way "up to the day before" the 13 May 2013 elections. [Petitioner]
realized only last year, 2015, that she should have stated "7" years and "11" months (instead of "6" years and "6"
months)asherperiodofresidenceinherCOCforSenator.[98](Emphasessupplied)
Toanopenmind,theforegoingexplanationprofferedbypetitionerdoesnotappeartobeconcocted,implausible,ortheproductofmere
afterthought. The circumstances as they appeared to her at the time she accomplished her 2013 certificate of candidacy for senator,
withouttheassistanceofcounsel,mayindeedreasonablycausehertofilluptheresidencyitemwiththeanswer"6yearsand6months."
Itdoesnotnecessarilymean,however,thatshehadnotbeenresidinginthePhilippinesonapermanentbasisforaperiodlongerthan
that.
Thefactthatitwasthefirsttimethatpetitionerranforpublicofficethatonlyatwoyearperiodofresidenceinthecountryisrequiredfor
thoserunningassenatorandthattheiteminthecertificateofcandidacyproviding"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeMay13,
2013"couldbeopentoaninterpretationdifferentfromthatrequired,shouldhavebeentakenintoconsiderationinappreciatingwhether
petitionermadethesubjectentryhonestly,ingoodfaith,andwithoutfaultornegligence.
Thesurroundingcircumstancesinthiscasedonotexcludethepossibilitythatpetitionermadeanhonestmistake,bothinreckoning her
periodofresidenceinthePhilippinesaswellasdeterminingtheproperendperiodofsuchresidenceatthetime.Thatpetitionerisrunning
forthehighestpublicofficeinthecountryshouldnotbetheonlystandardbywhichweweighheractionsandultimatelyhermistakes.Not
allmistakesaremadewithevilmotives,inmuchthesamewaythatnotallgooddeedsaredonewithpureintentions.Goodfaithisalways
presumed,andinthefaceoftangibleevidencepresentedtoprovethetruthofthematter,whichisindependentofthecircumstancesthat
causedpetitionertomakethatfatefulstatementof"6yearsand6months,"itwouldbedifficulttodismisshercontentionthatsuchisthe
resultofanhonestmistake.
To reiterate, the COMELEC incorrectly applied the rule on admissions in order to conclude that petitioner deliberately
misrepresented her qualificationsnotwithstanding a reasonable explanation as to her honest mistake, and despite the
numerouspiecesofevidencesubmittedtoproveherclaims.
IfpetitionerhonestlybelievedthatshecanreckonherresidencyinthePhilippinesfromMay2005becauseshehadalreadyrelocatedto
the country with the intent to reside here permanently,then her statement in her 2016 certificate of candidacy for president cannot be
deemedtohavebeenmadewithintenttodeceivethevotingpublic.TheCOMELEChasclearlyfailedtoprovetheelementofdeliberate
intenttodeceive,whichisnecessarytocancelcertificatesofcandidacyunderSection78.
In any case, the single declaration of petitioner in her 2013 certificate of candidacy for senator cannot be deemed to overthrow the
entiretyofevidenceshowingthatherresidenceinthePhilippinescommencedinMay2005.
Petitionerwasabletoprovethefactof
thereestablishmentofherdomicilein
thePhilippinessinceMay2005.
Section 2, Article VII of the Constitution requires that a candidate for president be "a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years
immediately preceding such election." The term residence, as it is used in the 1987 Constitution and previous Constitutions, has been
understoodtobesynonymouswithdomicile.[99]Domicilemeansnotonlytheintentiontoresideinoneplace,butalsopersonalpresence
therein coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.[100] It is the permanent home and the place to which one intends to return
wheneverabsentforbusinessorpleasureasshownbyfactsandcircumstancesthatdisclosesuchintent.[101]
Domicile is classified into three: (1) domicile of origin, which is acquired at birth by every person and (2) domicile of choice, which is
acquired upon abandonment of the domicile of origin and (3) domicile by operation of law, which the law attributes to a person
independentlyofhisresidenceofintention.[102]
Domicile by operation of law applies to infants, incompetents, and other persons under disabilities that prevent them from acquiring a
domicileofchoice.[103]Italsoaccruesbyvirtueofmarriagewhenthehusbandandwifefixthefamilydomicile.[104]
A person's domicile of origin is the domicile of his parents.[105] It is not easily lost and continues even if one has lived and maintained
residences in different places.[106] Absence from the domicile to pursue a profession or business, to study or to do other things of a
temporaryorsemipermanentnature,andeventravelsabroad,[107]doesnotconstitutelossofresidence.[108]
Incontrast,immigrationtoaforeigncountrywiththeintentiontolivetherepermanentlyconstitutesanabandonmentofdomicileinthe
Philippines.[109]InordertoqualifytorunforpublicofficeinthePhilippines,animmigranttoaforeigncountrymustwaivesuchstatusas
manifestedbysomeactoractsindependentofanddonepriortothefilingofthecertificateofcandidacy.[110]
Apersoncanhavebutonedomicileatatime.[111] Once established, the domicile remains until a new one is acquired.[112]In order to
acquire a domicile by choice, there must concur: (a) physical presence in the new place, (b) an intention to remain there (animus
manendi),and(c)anintentiontoabandontheformerdomicile(animusnonrevertendi).[113]
Withoutclearandpositiveproofoftheconcurrenceoftheserequirements,thedomicileoforigincontinues.[114]InGallegov.Verra,[115]
weemphasizedwhatmustbeshownbythepersonallegingachangeofdomicile:
Thepurposetoremaininoratthedomicileofchoicemustbeforanindefiniteperiodoftime.Theactsofthepersonmustconformwith
hispurpose.Thechangeofresidencemustbevoluntarytheresidenceattheplacechosenforthedomicilemustbeactualandtothefact
ofresidencetheremustbeaddedtheanimusmanendi.[116]
The question of whether COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in its conclusion that petitioner failed to meet the durational
residencyrequirementof10yearsgoesintotheCOMELEC'sappreciationofevidence.InSabiliv.COMELEC,[117]weheldthat:

As a general rule, the Court does not ordinarily review the COMELEC's appreciation and evaluation of evidence. However,
exceptions thereto have been established, including when the COMELEC'sappreciation and evaluation of evidence become so
grossly unreasonable as to turn into an error of jurisdiction. In these instances, the Court is compelled by its bounden
constitutionaldutytointerveneandcorrecttheCOMELEC'serror.[118]
Sabiliwasaninstanceofgrosslyunreasonableappreciationinevaluationofevidence,verymuchlikethelopsidedevaluationofevidence
oftheCOMELECinthepresentcase.
Further, in Mitra v. COMELEC,[119] we held that COMELEC's use of wrong or irrelevant considerations in the resolution of an issue
constitutesgraveabuseofdiscretion:
As a concept, "grave abuse of discretion" defies exact definition generally, it refers to "capricious or whimsical exercise of
judgmentasisequivalenttolackofjurisdiction"theabuseofdiscretionmustbepatentandgrossastoamounttoanevasion
ofapositivedutyoravirtualrefusaltoperformadutyenjoinedbylaw,ortoactatallincontemplationoflaw,aswherethe
power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. Mere abuse of discretion is not
enoughitmustbegrave.Wehaveheld,too,thattheuseofwrongorirrelevantconsiderationsindecidinganissue
issufficienttotaintadecisionmaker'sactionwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.
Closely related with the limited focus of the present petitionisthecondition,underSection5,Rule64oftheRulesofCourt,
thatfindingsoffactoftheCOMELEC,supportedbysubstantialevidence,shallbefinalandnonreviewable.Substantialevidence
isthatdegreeofevidencethatareasonablemindmightaccepttosupportaconclusion.
In light of our limited authority to review findings of fact, we do not ordinarily review in a certiorari case the COMELEC's
appreciationandevaluationofevidence.AnymisstepbytheCOMELECinthisregardgenerallyinvolvesanerrorofjudgment,
notofjurisdiction.(Emphasissupplied)
However, before going into a discussion of the evidence submitted by petitioner, a threshold issue must first be resolved: whether
petitioner'sstatusasavisafreebalikbayanaffectedherabilitytoestablishherresidenceinthecountry.Ibelievethatitdidnot.
ThePhilippines'BalikbayanProgram
On31July1973,PresidentMarcosissuedLetterofInstructionsNo.(LOI)105[120]designatingtheperiodfrom1September1973to28
February1974asa"HomecomingSeason"forFilipinosand/ortheirfamiliesanddescendantswhoarenowresidentsorcitizensofother
countries (referred to as overseas Filipinos). Due to its overwhelming success,[121] the Balikbayan Program was extended. This was
furtherenhancedin1974underLOI163.[122]
In 1975, professionals and scientists were targeted in the program by encouraging their return under LOI 210, and then by PD 819.
OverseasFilipinoscientistsandtechnicianswerebeingencouragedtocomehomeandapplytheirknowledgetothedevelopmentprograms
ofthecountry,andtotakeadvantageoftheBalikbayanProgram.ItwasalsodecreedthatanyoverseasFilipinoarrivinginthePhilippines
under the BalikbayanProgramshall be authorized to remain in the country for a period of one year from the date of arrival within the
extendedperiod.
PursuanttothestatedpurposeofLOI210,P.D.819[123]wasissuedon24October1975inrecognitionofthe"needofattractingforeign
based scientists, professionals, or persons with special skill or expertise who are of 'Filipino descent or origin."[124]It was decreed that
these persons, who are licensed to practice their profession, special skill or expertise in their host, adopted or native countries, may
practicetheirprofession,specialskillorexpertisewhilestayinginthePhilippineseitheronatemporaryorpermanentbasis,togetherwith
theirfamiliesuponapprovalbytheSecretaryofHealth.TheyareonlyrequiredtoregisterwiththeProfessionalRegulationCommission,
regardlessofwhetherornottheirspecialskillorexpertisefallswithinanyoftheregulatedprofessionsandvocationsin the Philippines,
and pay the required license fee. They are entitled to all incentives, benefits and privileges granted to or being enjoyed by overseas
Filipinos(balikbayans).
Asameansofattractingmore"returnees,"[125]LOI1044providedforadditionalincentivessuchasattendanceininternational scientific
conferences,seminars,meetingsalongthefieldofexpertisewiththetravelofthereturneesfundedbytheprogramatleastonce
peryear.Also,theyshallhaveprioritytoobtainhousingloansfromGSIS,SSSandDevelopmentBankofthePhilippinestoassure
theircontinuedstayinthecountry.
By virtue of LOI 272A[126], the Balikbayan Program was extended to another period beginning 1 March 1976 to 28 February 1977
featuringthesameincentivesandbenefitsprovidedbyLOI210.Itwasagainextendedto28February1978,[127]to28February1979,
[128]to29February1980,[129]andto28February1981.[130]

On28February1981,PresidentMarcosissuedExecutiveOrderNo.(EO)657extendingtheBalikbayanProgramforoverseasFilipinosfora
periodoffiveyearsbeginning1March1981to28February1986.
ExecutiveOrderNo.(E.O.)130[131]issuedon25October1993byPresidentRamosinstitutionalizedtheBalikScientistProgramunderthe
DepartmentofScienceandTechnology(DOST)butwithdifferentfeatures.ItdefinedaBalikScientistasascienceortechnologyexpert
whoisaFilipinocitizenoraforeignerofFilipinodescent,residingabroadandcontractedbythenationalgovernmenttoreturnandworkin
thePhilippinesalonghis/herfieldofexpertiseforashorttermwithadurationofatleastonemonth(ShortTermProgram)orlongterm
withadurationofatleasttwoyears(LongTermProgram).
ABalikScientistundertheShortTermProgrammaybeentitledtofreeroundtripeconomyairfareoriginatingfromaforeigncountryto
the Philippines by direct route, and grantsinaid for research and development projects approved by the Secretary of Science and
Technology.
A Balik Scientist under the LongTerm Program and returning new graduates from DOSTrecognized science and technology foreign
institutionsmaybeentitledtothefollowingincentives:

1. Free oneway economy airfare from a foreign country to the Philippines, including airfare for the spouse and two minor
dependentsandfreereturntripeconomyairfareaftercompletionoftwoyearsinthecaseofBalikScientists,andthreeyearsinthe
caseofnewgraduates
2. Dutyfree importation of professional instruments and implements, tools of trade, occupation or employment, wearing apparel,
domesticanimals,andpersonalandhouseholdeffectsinquantitiesandoftheclasssuitabletotheprofession,rankorpositionofthe
personsimportingthem,fortheirownuseandnotforbarterorsale,inaccordancewithSection105oftheTariffandCustomsCode
3.Nodollarimportationofmotorvehicles
4.ExemptionfrompaymentoftraveltaxforFilipinopermanentresidentsabroad
5.Reimbursementoffreightexpensesfortheshipmentofacarandpersonaleffects
6.Reimbursementofthefreightexpensesfor21/2tonsvolumeweightforsurfaceshipmentofacarandpersonaleffects,aswellas
excessbaggagenotexceeding20kilogramsperadultand10kilogramsperminordependentwhentravellingbyair
7.Housing,whichmaybearrangedthroughpredeterminedinstitutions
8. Assistance in securing a certificate of registration without examination or an exemption from the licensure requirement of the
ProfessionalRegulationCommissiontopracticeprofession,expertiseorskillinthePhilippines
9.GrantsinaidforresearchanddevelopmentprojectsapprovedbytheSecretaryofScienceandTechnologyand
10.Grantofspecialnonimmigrantvisas[132]underSection47(a)(2)ofthePhilippineImmigrationActof1940,asamended,after
compliancewiththerequirementstherefor.
R.A.6768,[133]enactedon3November1989,institutedaBalikbayanProgramundertheadministrationoftheDepartmentofTourismto
attractandencourageoverseasFilipinostocomeandvisittheirmotherland.UnderR.A.6768,thetermbalikbayancoversFilipinocitizens
whohavebeencontinuouslyoutofthePhilippinesforaperiodofatleastoneyearFilipinooverseasworkersandformerFilipinocitizens
andtheirfamilywhohadbeennaturalizedinaforeigncountryandcomesorreturnstothePhilippines.
Thelawprovidedvariousprivilegestothebalikbayan:
1.TaxfreemaximumpurchaseintheamountofUS$1,000oritsequivalentinotheracceptableforeigncurrenciesatPhilippineduty
freeshops
2.Accesstoaspecialpromotional/incentiveprogramprovidedbythenationalflagaircarrier
3.VisafreeentrytothePhilippinesforaperiodofoneyearforforeignpassportholders,withtheexceptionofrestrictednationals
4.Traveltaxexemption[134]and
5.Accesstoespeciallydesignatedreceptionareasattheauthorizedportsofentryfortheexpeditiousprocessingofdocuments.
It is emphasized in the law that the privileges granted thereunder shall be in addition to the benefits enjoyed by the balikbayanunder
existinglaws,rulesandregulations.
R.A.9174[135]dated7November2002amendedR.A.6768byextendingfurthertheprivilegesofabalikbayantoinclude:
1.KabuhayanshoppingprivilegethroughanadditionaltaxexemptpurchaseinthemaximumamountofUS$2,000oritsequivalent
inPhilippinepesoandotheracceptableforeigncurrencies,exclusivelyforthepurchaseoflivelihoodtoolsatallgovernmentowned
andcontrolled/operateddutyfreeshops
2.Accesstonecessaryentrepreneurialtrainingandlivelihoodskillsprogramsandmarketingassistance,includingthe
balikbayan'simmediatefamilymembers,underthegovernment'sreintegrationprogramand
3.Accesstoaccreditedtransportationfacilitiesthatwillensuretheirsafeandconvenienttrips+uponarrival.
It was again emphasized that the privileges granted shall be in addition to the benefits enjoyed by the balikbayanunder existing laws,
rulesandregulations.
BalikbayansarenotMereVisitors
Asshownbytheforegoingdiscussion,theBalikbayanProgram,asconceptualizedfromtheverybeginning,envisionedasystemnotjustof
welcoming overseas Filipinos (Filipinos and/or their families and descendants who have become permanent residents or naturalized
citizensofothercountries)asshorttermvisitorsofthecountry,butmoreimportantly,onethatwillencouragethemtocomehomeand
onceagainbecomepermanentresidentsofthePhilippines.
Notably, the program has no regard at all for the citizenship of these overseas Filipinos. To qualify for the benefits, particularly the
exemptionsfromthepaymentofcustomsdutiesandtaxesonpersonaleffectsbroughthomeandtaxexemptionsforlocalpurchases,all
theyhavetodoisprovetheirdesiretobecomepermanentresidentsofthePhilippines.Thisisdonethroughthesimpleexpedientofthe
presentationoftheofficialapprovalofchangeofresidencebytheauthoritiesconcernedintheirrespectiveforeignhostcountries.
Asoriginallyintendedinthecaseofthebalikscientists,theyarealsowelcometopracticetheirprofession,specialskillorexpertisewhile
stayinginthePhilippineseitherontemporaryorpermanent bases. Again, there was no regard for their citizenship considering that the
program is open to both foreignbased Filipinos and those of Filipino origin or descent, as long as they were licensed to practice their
profession,specialskillorexpertiseintheirhost,adoptedornativecountries.

Therefore,asfarasourimmigrationlawsareconcernedwithregardtobalikbayans,theyandtheirfamiliesmayresideinthePhilippines
either on temporary or permanent bases even though they remain nationals of their host, adopted or native countries. The special
treatmentaccordedtobalikbayansfindsitsrootsinrecognitionoftheirstatusasformerFilipinosandnotasmerealiens.
Further militating against the notion of balikbayans as mere visitors of the country are the privileges accorded to them
underR.A.9174,thecurrentbalikbayanlaw.ItspecificallyprovidesforaKabuhayanshoppingprivilegeforthepurchaseof
livelihood tools as well as access to the necessary entrepreneurial training and livelihood skills programs and marketing
assistanceinaccordancewiththeexistingrulesonthegovernment'sreintegrationprogram.
Livelihoodtoolshavebeendefinedas"instrumentsusedbyhandorbymachinenecessarytoapersoninthepracticeofhisorhertrade,
vocation or profession, such as hand tools, power tools, precision tools, farm tools, tools for dressmaking, shoe repair, beauty parlor,
barbershopandthelike,"[136]aswellasacomputerunitanditsaccessories.
Accesstothereintegrationprogramisoneofthesocialservicesandfamilywelfareassistancebenefits(asidefrominsuranceandhealth
care benefits, loan guarantee fund, education and training benefits and workers assistance and onsite services) that are available, to
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) members.[137] It incorporates community organizing, capabilitybuilding, livelihood
loansandothersocialpreparationssubjecttothepoliciesformulatedbytheOWWABoard.[138]
The reintegration program aims to prepare the OFW in his/her return to Philippine society.[139] It has two aspects. The first is
reintegration preparedness (OnSite) which includes interventions on value formation, financial literacy, entrepreneurial development
training (EDT), technological skills and capacity building.[140] The second is reintegration proper (InCountry) which consists of job
referrals for local and overseas employment, business counselling, community organizing, financial literacy seminar, networking with
supportinstitutionsandsocialpreparationprograms.[141]
As the Philippine government's reintegration manager,[142] the Department of Labor and Employment National Reintegration Center for
OFWs(NRCO)providesthefollowingservices:
1. Develop and support programs and projects for livelihood, entrepreneurship, savings, investments and financial literacy for
returning Filipino migrant workers and their families in coordination with relevant stakeholders, service providers and international
organizations
2. Coordinate with appropriate stakeholders, service providers and relevant international organizations for the promotion,
developmentandthefullutilizationofoverseasFilipinoworkerreturneesandtheirpotentials
3.Institute,incooperationwithothergovernmentagencies concerned, a computerbased information system on returning Filipino
migrantworkerswhichshallbeaccessibletoalllocalrecruitmentagenciesandemployers,bothpublicandprivate
4.ProvideaperiodicstudyandassessmentofjobopportunitiesforreturningFilipinomigrantworkers
5.DevelopandimplementotherappropriateprogramstopromotethewelfareofreturningFilipinomigrantworkers
6.Maintainaninternetbasedcommunicationsystemforonlineregistrationandinteractionwithclients,andmaintainandupgrade
computerbasedservicecapabilitiesoftheNRCO
7. Develop capacitybuilding programs for returning overseas Filipino workers and their families, implementers, service providers,
andstakeholdersand
8.Conductresearchforpolicyrecommendationsandprogramdevelopment.[143]
WhilethereintegrationprogramcoversonlyOFWs,[144]nonOFWbalikbayanscanalsoavailofpossiblelivelihoodtrainingincoordination
withtheDepartmentofTourism,theTechnologyandLivelihoodResourceCenterandothertraininginstitutions.[145]
R.A. 9174 is the government's latest thrust in its consistent efforts in attracting balikbayans to come home to the
Philippines and build a new life here. Notwithstanding our immigration laws, balikbayans may continue to stay in the
Philippinesforthelongtermevenunderavisafreeentry,whichisextendibleuponrequest.[146]
ItmustbeemphasizedthatnoneoftheCourt'spreviousdecisionshaseverlookedattheveryextensiveprivilegesgrantedtoBalikbayan
entrants.
Coquilla,Japzon,Caballero,Jalosjos
andtheBalikbayanProgram
InrulingthatpetitionercanonlybesaidtohavevalidlyreestablishedherresidencyinthePhilippineswhenshereacquiredherPhilippine
citizenship,theCOMELECinvokedtherulinginCoquillav.COMELEC.[147]
InCoquilla,petitionerwasaformernaturalborncitizenandwhoreacquiredPhilippinecitizenshiponNovember10,2000.Hewasnotable
to show by any evidence that he had been a oneyear resident of Oras, Eastern Samar prior to the May 14, 2001 local elections. His
argumentwasthathehadbeenaresidentofthesaidtownfortwoyears,butwasnotabletoshowactualresidenceoneyearfrombefore
thesaidelection.EvidenceshowsonthecontrarythathislasttriptotheUnitedStates,ofwhichhewasaformercitizenwasfromJuly6
to August 5, 2000. The only evidence he was able to show was a residence certificate and his bare assertion to his townmates that he
intended to have himself repatriated. He did not make much of a claim, except to advert to the fulfillment of the required residenceby
cumulatinghisvisitsandactualresidence.WeCourtsaid:
Second, it is not true, as petitioner contends, that he reestablished residence in this country in 1998 when he came back to
prepareforthemayoraltyelectionsofOrasbysecuringaCommunityTaxCertificateinthatyearandbyconstantlydeclaringto
his townmates of his intention to seek repatriation and run for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections. The status of being an

alien and a nonresident can be waived either separately, when one acquires the status of a resident alien before acquiring
Philippine citizenship, or at the same time when one acquires Philippine citizenship. As an alien, an individual may obtain an
immigrantvisaunder13ofthePhilippineImmigrationActof1948andanImmigrantCertificateofResidence(ICR)andthus
waive his status as a nonresident. On the other hand, he may acquire Philippine citizenship by naturalization under C.A. No.
473,asamended,or,ifheisaformerPhilippinenational,hemayreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipbyrepatriationorbyanactof
Congress,inwhichcasehewaivesnotonlyhisstatusasanalienbutalsohisstatusasanonresidentalien.
In the case at bar, the only evidence of petitioners status when he entered the country on October 15, 1998, December 20,
1998,October16,1999,andJune23,2000isthestatementPhilippineImmigrationBalikbayaninhis19982008U.S.passport.
AsforhisentryonAugust5,2000,thestampboretheaddedinscriptiongoodforoneyearstay.Under2ofR.A.No.6768(An
Act Instituting a Balikbayan Program), the term balikbayan includes a former Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in a
foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines and, if so, he is entitled, among others, to a visafree entry to the
Philippinesforaperiodofone(1)year(3(c)).Itwouldappearthenthatwhenpetitionerenteredthecountryonthedatesin
question,hedidsoasavisafreebalikbayanvisitorwhosestayassuchwasvalidforoneyearonly.Hence,petitionercanonly
be held to have waived his status as an alien and as a nonresident only on November 10, 2000 upon taking his oath as a
citizen of the Philippines under R.A. No. 8171. He lacked the requisite residency to qualify him for the mayorship of Oras,
Eastern,Samar.
Notethattherecordisbareofanyassertion,unlikeinthecasebeforeUs,thatCoquillahadboughtaresidence,relocatedallhiseffects,
establishedallthenecessitiesofdailylivingtooperationalizetheconceptofactualresidencetoshowresidencefortheminimumperiodof
oneyear.EvenifinfacttheperiodofreckoningforCoquillaweretostartfromhisentryintothecountryon5August2000,itwouldstill
beonlyninemonthsthustherewasnotevenanynecessitytodiscusstheeffectofhishavingbeenclassifiedasaBalikbayanwhenhe
enteredthecountryin1998,1999and2000.
TheCOMELECtriestoassertthatitsinterpretationoftherulinginCoquillawascarriedoverinJapzonv.COMELEC[148]andCaballerov.
COMELEC[149]astobarpetitioner'sclaimsonresidency.TheCOMELECisdeadwrong.
InJapzon,privaterespondentTywasanaturalbornFilipinowholefttoworkintheUSandeventuallybecameanAmericancitizen.On2
October2005,TyreacquiredhisFilipinocitizenshipbytakinghisOathofAllegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippinesinaccordancewith
theprovisionsofRepublicActNo.(R.A.)9225.[150]ImmediatelyafterreacquiringhisPhilippinecitizenship,heperformedacts(i.e.applied
for a Philippine passport, paid community tax and secured Community Tax Certificates (CTC) and registered as a voter) wherein he
declared that his residence was at General Macarthur, Eastern Samar. On 19 March 2007, Ty renounced his American citizenship
beforeanotarypublic.Priortothis,however,TyhadbeenbodilypresentinGeneralMacarthur,EasternSamarforamore
thanayearbeforetheMay2007elections.Assuch,theCourtbrushedasidethecontentionthatTywasineligibletorunfor
mayor on the ground that he did not meet the oneyear residency requirement. If anything, Japzon reinforces petitioner's
position.
InCaballero,petitionerwasanaturalbornFilipinowhowasnaturalizedasaCanadiancitizen.On13September2012,petitionertookhis
OathofAllegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippinesinaccordancewiththeprovisionsofRepublicActNo.9225.On 1 October 2012, he
renouncedhisCanadiancitizenship.HefiledhiscertificateofcandidacyformayorofUyugan,Bataneson3October2012.
We ruled that it was incumbent upon petitioner toprove that he made Uyugan, Batanes his domicile of choice upon reacquisitionofhis
Philippine citizenship. Aside from his failure to discharge this burden, the period reckoned from 13 September 2012 to the May 2013
elections is only nine months clearly short of the required oneyear residency requirement for mayoralty candidates. Caballero is thus
clearlynotapplicable.Indeed,itistobenotedthatitisonlyJusticeBrioninhisSeparateConcurringOpinionwhoopinesthatapermanent
residentvisaisrequiredforreestablishmentofdomiciletotakeplace,aviewnotsharedbythemajority.
JusticeBrionneededtostateinhisSeparateConcurringOpinionthatapermanentresidencyvisaisnecessaryforthestartofresidencyfor
electionpurposesispreciselybecausesuchviewisnotfoundinthePonencia,hence,contrariestobelegallyinapplicable.
TherearecategoricalrulingsinU.S.statecourtsthataresquarelyasallfourswiththepetitionbeforeus.InElkinsv.Moreno,[151]aliens
withanonimmigrantvisawereconsideredashavingthelegalcapacitytochangetheirdomiciles.Inreachingthisconclusion,
theUSSupremeCourttookintoaccounttheintentionofCongresswhenitenactedthetermsandrestrictionsforspecificclassesofnon
immigrantsenteringtheUnitedStates:
Although nonimmigrant aliens can generally be viewed as temporary visitors to the United States, the nonimmigrant
classificationisbynomeanshomogeneouswithrespecttothetermsonwhichanonimmigrantenterstheUnitedStates.For
example,Congressexpresslyconditionedadmissionforsomepurposesonanintentnottoabandonaforeignresidenceor,by
implication,onanintentnottoseekdomicileintheUnitedStates.Thus,the1952ActdefinesavisitortotheUnitedStatesas
"analien...havingaresidenceinaforeigncountrywhichhehasnointentionofabandoning"andwhoiscomingtotheUnited
States for business or pleasure. Similarly, a nonimmigrant student is defined as "an alien having a residence in a foreign
countrywhichhehasnointentionofabandoning...andwhoseekstoentertheUnitedStatestemporarilyandsolelyforthe
purposeofpursuing...acourseofstudy...."Seealso(aliensin"immediateandcontinuoustransit")(vesselcrewman"who
intends to land temporarily") (temporary worker having residence in foreign country "which he has no intention of
abandoning").
By including restrictions on intent in the definition of some nonimmigrant classes, Congress must have meant aliens to be
barredfromtheseclassesiftheirrealpurposeincomingtotheUnitedStateswastoimmigratepermanently.xxx.
ButCongressdidnotrestricteverynonimmigrantclass.Inparticular,norestrictionsonanonimmigrant'sintentwereplacedon
aliens admitted under 101(a)(15)(G)(iv). Since the 1952 Act was intended to be a comprehensive and complete code, the
conclusionisthereforeinescapablethat,whereaswiththeG4classCongressdidnotimposerestrictionsonintent,thiswas
deliberate.Congress' silence is therefore pregnant, and we read it to mean that Congress, while anticipating that permanent
immigrationwouldnormallyoccurthroughimmigrantchannels,waswillingtoallownonrestrictednonimmigrantalienstoadopt
theUnitedStatesastheirdomicile.

Underpresentlaw,therefore,wereaG4alientodevelopasubjectiveintenttostayindefinitelyintheUnitedStateshewould
beabletodosowithoutviolatingeitherthe1952Act,theService'sregulations,orthetermsofhisvisa.Ofcourse,shouldaG
4alienterminatehisemploymentwithaninternationaltreatyorganization,bothheandhisfamilywouldlosetheirG4status.
Nonetheless,suchanalienwouldnotnecessarilybesubjecttodeportationnorwouldhehavetoleaveandreenterthecountry
inordertobecomeanimmigrant.[152](Citationsomitted)(Emphasissupplied)
In Toll v. Moreno, [153] the Supreme Court of Maryland applied the ruling in Elkins and held that the ordinary legal standard for the
establishmentofdomicilemaybeusedevenfornonimmigrants:
Ifunderfederallawaparticularindividualmustleavethiscountryatacertaindate,orcannotremainhereindefinitely,thenhe
couldnotbecomedomiciledinMaryland.Anypurportedintenttolivehereindefinitelywouldbeinconsistentwithlaw.Itwould
atmostbeanunrealisticsubjectiveintent,whichisinsufficientunderMarylandlawtoestablishdomicile.
xxxx
In light of the Supreme Court's interpretation of federal law, itis obvious that nothing inherent in the nature of a G4
visawouldrendertheholderofsuchvisaabsolutelyincapableofestablishingaMarylanddomicile.Assumingthe
correctnessofthedefendant'sassertionthatmostG4visaholderswillleavethiscountry,ifinaparticularcase
one of these individuals is in a minority and, as shown by objective factors, intends for Maryland to be his fixed
place of abode and intends to remain here indefinitely, he will have satisfied the Maryland standard for
establishingdomicileinthisState.
The fact that an alien holds a nonimmigrant visa is thus not controlling. What is crucial in determining whether an alien may lawfully
adoptadomicileinthecountryistherestrictionplacedbyCongressonaspecifictypeofnonimmigrantvisa.Solongastheintended
stay of a nonimmigrant does not violate any of the legal restriction, sufficient animus manendi may be appreciated and
domicilemaybeestablished.
Inthecaseofbalikbayans,thetrueintentofCongresstotreattheseoverseasFilipinosnotasmerevisitorsbutasprospectivepermanent
residentsisevidentfromtheletterofthelaw.Whiletheyareauthorizedtoremaininthecountryforaperiodofonlyoneyearfromtheir
dateofarrival,thelaws,rulesandregulationsundertheBalikbayanProgramdonotforeclosetheiroptionsshouldtheydecidetoactually
settledowninthecountry.Infact,theBalikbayanProgramenvisionsasituationwhereformerFilipinoswouldhavebeenlegallystayingin
the Philippines visafree for more than 36 months.[154] In the case of petitioner Poe, she entered the Philippines visafree under the
Balikbayan program, left for a short while and legally reentered under the same program. This is not a case where she abused any
Balikbayanprivilegebecauseshortlyafterreenteringthecountryon11March2006,[155]sheappliedfordualcitizenshipunderR.A.9225.
Basedontheforegoing,itwasmostunfairforCOMELECtodeclarethatpetitionercouldnothaveacquireddomicileinthe Philippines in
2005 merely because of her status as a balikbayan. Her visa (or lack thereof) should not be the sole determinant of her intention to
reacquireherdomicileinthePhilippines.
CongressitselfwelcomesthereturnofoverseasFilipinoswithoutrequiringanytypeofvisa.Althoughvisafreeentryisforalimitedtime,
the period is extendible and is not conditioned upon the acquisition of a permanent resident visa. Considering that the law allows a
balikbayantostayinthePhilippinesforacertainperiodevenwithoutavisaandtosettlein.thecountryduringthatperiod,thereisno
reason to reject petitioner's intent to reestablish a residence from the date she entered the country. In fact, petitioner's permanent
resettlement,asonemillionsofFilipinowhohadgoneabroad,isanendgoaloftheBalikbayanProgram.
If we were to apply the standard for determining the effect of a visa on the ability of petitioner to reestablish her domicile in the
Philippines,theU.S.casesofElkinsv.MorenoandTollv.Moreno,begthequestion:DoesherentryasaBalikbayanrestrictherfromre
establishingherdomicileinthePhilippines?Theanswerwould be a resounding NO, for precisely the legislative policy of the Balikbayan
ProgramistoassistinthereintegrationofformerFilipinocitizenbackintothecountry.TheCourtmustalsonotethatthevisafreeentryis
goodforoneyearandrenewable,eventotheextentofauthorizingtheBalikbayantostaymuchlonger.TheBalikbayanprogramisfully
compatibleandsupportiveofthereestablishmentbyaBalikbayanofherresidenceinhernativeland,herdomicileoforigin.
And this is not a case when petitioner abused the privileges of visafree entry considering that, a year after her relocation, she
immediatelytookstepstoreacquireherPhilippinecitizenship
Petitionerwasabletoprovethatshe
reacquiredherdomicileinthePhilippines
beginningMay2005.
Asdiscussed,thereareonlythreerequisitesforapersontoacquireanewdomicilebychoice:(1)residenceorbodilypresenceinthenew
domicile (2) an intention to remain there and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile.[156] In my view, the pieces of evidence
submittedbypetitionersufficientlyprovethatshereestablishedherdomicileinthePhilippinesasearlyasMay2005.
I shall discuss the fulfillment of the requirements in the following order: (1) intention to remain in the new domicile (2) intention to
abandontheolddomicileand(3)bodilyresidenceinthenewdomicile.
IntenttoEstablishaNewDomicile
ToproveherintenttoestablishanewdomicileinthePhilippineson24May2005,petitionerpresentedthefollowingevidence:(1)school
recordsindicatingthatherchildrenattendedPhilippineschoolsstartingJune2005[157](2)Taxpayer'sIdentificationNumber(TIN)Card,
[158]showingthatsheregisteredwithandsecuredtheTINfromtheBIRon22July2005(3)Condominium Certificates of Title (CCTs)
[159] and Tax Declarations covering Unit 7F and a parking slot at One Wilson Place Condominium, 194 Wilson Street, San Juan, Metro

Manila,purchasedinearly2005andservedasthefamily'stemporaryresidence(4)TransferCertificateofTitle(TCT)[160]inthenameof
petitionerandherhusbandissuedon1June2006,coveringaresidentiallotinCorinthianHills,QuezonCityin2006and(5)registration
asavoteron31August2006.

EnrollmentofChildreninLocalSchools
Whetherchildrenareenrolledinlocalschoolsisafactorconsideredbycourtswhenitcomestoestablishinganewdomicile.InFernandez
v.HRET,[161]weusedthisindicium:
In the case at bar, there are real and substantial reasons for petitioner to establish Sta. Rosa as his domicile of choice and
abandon his domicile of origin and/or any other previous domicile. To begin with, petitioner and his wife have owned and
operatedbusinessesinSta.Rosasince2003.TheirchildrenhaveattendedschoolsinSta.Rosaatleastsince2005.xxx
(Emphasissupplied)
InBlount v. Boston,[162]the Supreme Court of Maryland identified location of the school attended by a person's children as one of the
factorsindeterminingachangeofdomicile.Thediscourseisreproducedhere:
Whereactualresidenceand/orplaceofvotingarenotsoclearortherearespecialcircumstancesexplainingparticularplaceof
abodeorplaceofvoting,courtwilllooktomyriadofotherfactorsindecidingperson'sdomicile,suchaspayingoftaxesand
statementsontaxreturns,ownershipofproperty,whereperson'schildrenattendschool,addressatwhichpersonreceives
mail,statementsastoresidencyincontracts,statementsonlicensesorgovernmentaldocuments,wherepersonalbelongings
are kept, which jurisdiction's banks are utilized, and any other facts revealing contact with one or the other jurisdiction.[163]
(Emphasissupplied)
Thefactthatpetitioner'schildrenbegantheirschoolinginthePhilippinesshortlyaftertheirarrivalinthecountryinMay2005isnolonger
indispute.InitsComment,theCOMELECnotedthisasoneofthefacts"dulyproven"bypetitioner.[164]By"dulyproven,"theCOMELEC
explainedduringtheoralargumentsthatthetermmeantthatdocumentaryproofsubstantiatedthepertinentallegation:
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Allright.Letmeturnyourattentiontopage56oftheCOMELECComment.Itsays,"theCOMELECnotedthefollowingfactsas
duly proven by the petitioner. Petitioner's children arrived in the Philippines during the latter half of 2005. Shortly after their
arrival, petitioner's children began their schooling in the country. Petitioner purchased a condominium unit in San Juan City
during the second half of 2005. Petitioner and husband started the construction of their house in 2006. Petitioner and her
husband informed the U.S. Postal Service in 2006 of their abandonment of their U. S. Address." What does the commission
meanwhenitsaysthatthesefactsaredulyproven?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Your Honor please, the proceeding before the commission was summary. There was a preliminary conference, submission of
exhibits, stipulations, comparison between the originals and the photocopies, and offer of evidence. We considered these
facts as noncontroverted in the sense that they are covered by documentary proof, Your Honor. (Emphasis
supplied)
AcquisitionofaNewResidence
TheCOMELEC,initsComment,foundthefollowingfactstobedulyproven:thatpetitionerpurchasedacondominiumunitinSanJuanCity
duringthesecondhalfof2005,andthatpetitionerandherhusbandstartedtheconstructionoftheirhouseinCorinthianHillsin2006.[165]
ThatpetitionerpurchasedtheresidentiallotinCorinthianHillsisnotupfordebate.Takentogether,thesefactsestablishanotherindicium
ofpetitioner'sestablishmentofanewdomicileinthePhilippines.
Ourveryownjurisdictiontreatsacquisitionofresidentialpropertyasafactorindicatingestablishmentofanewdomicile.Takethe2012
caseofJalosjosv.COMELEC,[166]inwhichweheldthatRommelJalosjosacquiredanewdomicileinZamboangaSibugay:
Jalosjos presented the affidavits of nextdoor neighbors, attesting to his physical presence at his residence in Ipil. These
adjoining neighbors are no doubt more credible since they have a better chance of noting his presence or absence than his
otherneighbors,whoseaffidavitsErasmopresented,whojustsporadicallypassedbythesubjectresidence.Further,itisnot
disputed that Jalosjos bought a residential lot in the same village where he lived and a fish pond in San Isidro,
Naga,ZamboangaSibugay.Heshowedcorrespondenceswithpoliticalleaders,includinglocalandnationalpartymates,from
where he lived. Moreover, Jalosjos is a registered voter of Ipil by final judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga
Sibugay.(Emphasissupplied)
IthasbeenarguedthattheacquisitionofatemporarydwellinginGreenhills,thepurchaseofaresidentiallotinCorinthianHills,andthe
eventualconstructionofahouseinthelatterplacedonotindicateanintentonthepartofpetitionertostayinthecountryforgood.The
2013caseofJalosjosv.COMELEC[167]hasbeencitedtosupportthisconclusion,aswepurportedlyheldinthatcasethatownershipofa
house"doesnotestablishdomicile."
ThisreadingofJalosjosisnotaccurate.BynomeansdidJalosjosruleout ownership of a house or some other property as a factor for
establishinganewdomicile.Toappreciatethestatementinitspropercontext,therelevantdiscussioninJalosjosisquotedbelow:
Assumingthattheclaimofpropertyownershipofpetitioneristrue,Fernandezv.COMELEChasestablishedthattheownership
of a house or some other property does not establish domicile. This principle is especially true in this case as petitioner has
failedtoestablishherbodilypresenceinthelocalityandherintenttostaythereatleastayearbeforetheelections,towit:
Touseownershipofpropertyinthedistrictasthedeterminativeindiciumofpermanenceofdomicileorresidenceimpliesthat
the landed can establish compliance with the residency requirement. This Court would be, in effect, imposing a property
requirementtotherighttoholdpublicoffice,whichpropertyrequirementwouldbeunconstitutional.(Emphasissupplied)
Ascanbeseenfromthequoteddiscourse,thecasedidnotthrowoutownershipofahouseasafactorfordeterminingestablishmentofa
newdomicile.Rather,itdiscardedownershipofahouseasacontrollingfactorfordeterminingestablishmentofanewdomicile.

Even US courts consider acquisition of property as a badge of fixing a new domicile.[168] In Hale v. State of Mississippi Democratic EC,
[169]theSupremeCourtofMississippiusedacquisitionofanewresidenceasafactorfordeterminingtransferofdomicile.Inthatcase,

William Stone sought the Democratic Party nomination for Senate District 10, a district covering parts of Marshall County, including
Stone's home in Holly Springs. Hale argued that Stone was not eligible to run for that office because he did not meet the twoyear
residencyrequirement.Specifically,HalearguedthatStonecouldnotbearesidentofMarshallCountybecauseStone.hadnotabandoned
hisdomicileinBentonCounty.HehadmovedtoHollySpringsinOctober2013.
TheMississippiSupremeCourtruledthatStonehadproventhatheestablishedhisdomicileinMarshallCounty.Itrelied,amongothers,on
acquisitionofahomeinthenewdomicileasafactor:
ToprovehispositionthathehadchangedhisdomicilefromBentonCountytoMarshallCounty,Stoneprovidedanabundance
ofevidence.InOctober2013,Stonerentedahouseat305PeelLaneinHollySprings,thecountyseatofMarshallCounty,and
he obtained utility service for the home. In July 2014, he bought a home at 200 Johnson Park in Holly Springs.
Furthermore, he notified the Senate comptroller about his change of address, and the comptroller sent an email to every
memberoftheSenateinformingthemofthechange.
xxxx
We have held that '[t]he exercise of political rights, admissions, declarations, the acts of purchasing a home and
longcontinued residency are circumstances indicative of his intention to abandon his domicile of origin and to
establish a new domicile.' Taking into consideration all of these factors, the circuit court did not err in determining that
Stone'sdomicilehasexistedinMarshallCountysinceOctoberof2013.(Emphasessuppliedandcitationsomitted)
SecuringaTaxpayer'sIdentification
Number(TIN)Card
InhisCommentOppositiontothePetitionforCertiorari in G.R. No. 221698700, private respondent Valdez positedthatsecuringaTIN
doesnotconclusivelyestablishpetitioner'sanimusmanendiinthePhilippines.[170]Hereasonsthatanyperson,evenanonresident,can
secureaTIN.Onthismatter,Imustagreewithhim.
Indeed,the1997TaxCodemandatesallpersonsrequiredunderourtaxlawstorenderorfileareturntosecureaTIN.[171] This would
includeanonresidentsolongasheorsheismandatedbyourtaxlawstofileareturn,statementorsomeotherdocument.[172]Itisthus
correcttosaythataTINCarddoesnotconclusivelyevincethenotionthatpetitionerisaresidentofthePhilippines.
Nevertheless, the significance of the TIN Card lies in the fact that it lists down the address of petitioner as No. 23 Lincoln St. West
Greenhills, the very same address of her mother, Jesusa Sonora Poe, as reflected in the latter's affidavit.[173]Therefore, the TIN Card,
whichwasissuedon22July2005,corroboratestheassertionthatpetitioner,uponherarrivalin2005,wasthenstayingathermother's
home.
RegistrationasVoter
Petitionerregisteredasavoteron31August2006.Thisspeaksloudlyoftheintenttoestablishadomicileinthecountry.InHalev.State
of Mississippi Democratic EC,[174]the Supreme Court of Mississippi considered registering to vote as a factor indicative of the intent to
acquire a new domicile. More importantly, Oglesby v. Williams treats voter registration as one of the two most significant indicia of
acquisitionofanewdomicile.TheOglesbydiscussionisinformative:
ThisCourt'slongstandingviewondeterminingaperson'sdomicilewasstatedinRoberts,wheretheCourtwrote:
Thewordsresideorresidentmeandomicileunlessacontraryintentisshown.Apersonmayhaveseveralplacesofabodeor
dwelling,buthecanhaveonlyonedomicileatatime.Domicilehasbeendefinedastheplacewithwhichanindividualhasa
settled connection for legal purposes and the place where a person has his true, fixed, permanent home, habitation and
principal establishment, without any present intention of removing therefrom, and to which place he has, whenever he is
absent, the intention of returning. The controlling factor in determining a person's domicile is his intent. One's domicile,
generally,isthatplacewhereheintendstobe.Thedeterminationofhisintent,however,isnotdependentuponwhathesays
ataparticulartime,sincehisintentmaybemoresatisfactorilyshownbywhatisdonethanbywhatissaid.Onceadomicileis
determinedorestablishedapersonretainshisdomicileatsuchplaceunlesstheevidenceaffirmativelyshowsanabandonment
ofthatdomicile.Indecidingwhetherapersonhasabandonedapreviouslyestablisheddomicileandacquiredanewone,courts
will examine and weigh the factors relating to each place. This Court has never deemed any single circumstance conclusive.
However, it has viewed certain factors as more important than others, the two most important being where a
personactuallylivesandwherehevotes.Whereapersonlivesandvotesatthesameplacesuchplaceprobably
willbedeterminedtoconstitutehisdomicile.Wherethesefactorsare not so clear, however, or where there are special
circumstances explaining a particular place of abode or place of voting, the Court will look to and weigh a number of other
factorsindecidingaperson'sdomicile.
Furthermore, this Court has stated that the place of voting is the "highest evidence of domicile." ("the two most
importantelementsindeterminingdomicilearewhereapersonactuallylivesandwherehevotes")("Evidencethataperson
registered or voted is ordinarily persuasive when the question of domicile is at issue," quoting Comptroller v. Lenderking).
Furthermore,actualresidence,coupledwithvoterregistration,"clearlycreate[s]apresumptionthat[theperson]
wasdomiciled" there. ("[w]here the evidence relating to voting and the evidence concerning where a person actuallylives
bothclearlypointtothesamejurisdiction,itislikelythatsuchplacewillbedeemedtoconstitutetheindividual'sdomicile").In
other words, the law presumes that where a person actually lives and votes is that person's domicile, unless special
circumstancesexplainandrebutthepresumption.(Citationsomitted)(Emphasessupplied)
This Court, too, shares this reverence for the place of voting as an evidence of domicile. In Templeton v. Babcock, [175] we held as
follows:

ThefindingofthetrialcourttotheeffectthatthedeceasedhadacquiredadomicileintheStateofCaliforniaisinouropinion
baseduponfactswhichsufficientlysupportsaidfinding.Inparticular,weareoftheopinionthatthetrialcourtcommittedno
errorinattachingimportancetothecircumstancethatthedeceasedhadvotedinCaliforniaelections.
Though not of course conclusive of acquisition of domicile, voting in a place is an important circumstance and, where the
evidence is scanty, may have decisive weight. The exercise of the franchise is one of the highest prerogatives of citizenship,
and in no other act of his life does the citizen identify his interests with the state in which he lives more than in the act of
voting.(Emphasissupplied)
Insum,theevidenceofpetitionersubstantiatesherclaimoftheintenttoestablishanewdomicileinthecountry.Theenrollmentofher
children in local schools since 2005, the family's temporary stay in her mother's home followed by the purchase of the Greenhills
condominiumunitandthesubsequentestablishmentoftheCorinthianHillsfamilyhome,theregistrationofpetitionerasavoterandthe
issuance1ofaTINCardinherfavor,collectivelydemonstratetheconclusionthatshehasestablishedanincrementaltransferofdomicile
inthecountry.
Respondent Valdez, however, points out that petitioner currently maintains two residential properties in the US, one purchased in 1992
andtheotherin2008.[176]Accordingtohim,thisisinconsistentwithanimusmanendi.
Thisargumentdisregardsoverwhelmingevidenceshowingthatpetitionerintendedtoestablishanewdomicileinthecountry. Petitioner
has uprooted her family from Virginia, US to Manila, enrolled her children soon after her arrival in the Philippines, acquired residential
propertiesinthenewdomicileoneofwhichnowservesasthecurrentfamilyhomeandregisteredasavoter.Thesefactorsallpointto
onedirection:petitionerisinthecountryandisheretostay.Wecannotdisregardthesefactors,allofwhichestablishanexustothenew
domicile,becauseofasolitaryfact:theretentionoftworesidentialhousesintheUS.Tobesure,itisdifficulttojustifyaconclusionwhich
considers only one contact in the old domicile and ignores many significant contacts established by the removing person in the new
domicile.
Moreover,petitioneronlyadmitted[177]thatsheownsthetwohouses.Sheneveradmittedthatsheresidesinanyofthem.Atbest,what
canonlybeestablishedisthatpetitionerownspropertiesclassifiedasresidentialproperties.Undoubtedly,wecannotmakeaconclusion
thatpetitionerfailedtomeettheanimusmanendirequirementintheabsenceofproofthatpetitionerusesoneofthepropertiesasaplace
of abode. In fact, all the evidence points to the fact that she leaves the Philippines only for brief periods of time obviously with no
intentiontoresideelsewhere.
Itisimportanttoalwaysrememberthatdomicileisinthemainaquestionofintent.[178]Itrequiresfactintensiveanalysis.Notasingle
factorisconclusive.Itisthetotalityoftheevidencethatmustbeconsidered.
Even the US Supreme Court admitted that domicile is a difficult question of fact that its resolution commands a pragmatic and careful
approach.InTheDistrictofColumbiav.Murphy,[179]theUSHighCourtremarked:
[T]hequestionofdomicileisadifficultoneoffacttobesettledonlybyarealistic and conscientious review ofthe many
relevant(andfrequentlyconflicting)indiciaofwhereaman'shomeisandaccordingtotheestablishedmodesofproof.[180]
ItisinterestingtonotethattheUSSupremeCourtappendedafootnoteonthetermhomeintheabovequotedstatement.Footnote10
states:
Ofcourse,thistermdoesnothavethemagicqualitiesofadiviningrodinlocatingdomicile.Infact,thesearchforthdomicile
ofanypersoncapableofacquiringadomicileofchoiceisllutasearchforhis"home."SeeBeale,SocialJusticeandBusiness
Costs,49Harv.L.Rev.593,5961Beale,ConflictofLaws,19.1.[181]
Now, if we are to adopt the view that petitioner failed to meet the animus manendi requirementon the ground that she maintains two
housesintheUS,Iposethisquestion:inoursearchforpeti'tioner'shome,arewemakingarealisticandconscientiousreviewofallthe
facts?
Additionally,itisnotrequiredforpurposesofestablishing a new domicile that a person must sever all contacts with ,the old domicile."
[182]Ithereforefindnothingwrongwithpetitionermaintainingresidentialpropertiesintheolddomicile.

Ithasbeenfurthersuggestedthatpetitioner'sinvocationofacquisitionofresidentialpropertyasafactorshowinganimusmanendidoes
not benefit her considering that she purchased in 2008 a residential property in the US, which was subsequent to her purchase of the
condominiumunitandtheresidentiallotinthePhilippines,andthatshemaintainedtheonesheacquiredin1992.Butwhatisconsidered
foranimusmanendipurposesasafactorisacquisitionofahouseinthenewdomicile.Acquisitionofahouseintheolddomicileisnota
factorfordetermininganimusmanendi.
ThatpetitionerstillmaintainstwohousesintheUSdoesnotnegateherabandonmentofherUSdomicile.First,ithas,notbeenshown
thatpetitioneractuallylivedintheresidentialhouseacquiredin1992.WhatisclearisthattherewasonlyonefamilyhomeinVirginia,US,
andpetitionerhadalreadyreestablishedherresidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeitwasevensold.
Second,theresidentialhouseacquiredin2008hasnobearinginthecasesbeforeuswithregardtodeterminingthevalidityofpetitioner's
abandonment of her US domicile, particularly because it was purchased after she had already reacquired her Filipino citizenship. Inthis
regard, even respondent Valdez claims that "it is only upon her reacquisition of Filipino citizenship on 18 July 2006, that she can be
considered to have established her domicile in the Philippines."[183] This concession already leaves no question as to petitioner's
abandonmentofherUSdomicileandintenttoresidepermanentlyinthePhilippinesatthetimethattheresidentialhouseintheUSwas
purchasedin2008.
1.IntenttoAbandontheOldDomicile
Toproveherintenttoabandonherolddomicileinthe US, petitioner presented the following evidence: ( 1) email exchange1sbetween
petitionerorherhusbandandthepropertymoversregardingrelocationoftheirhouseholdgoods,furnitureandvehiclesfromtheUSto

theBhilippines(2)invoicedocumentshowingdeliveryfromtheUSandtothePhilippinesofthepersonalpropertiesofpetitionerandher
family(3)acknowledgmentofchangeofaddressbytheUSPostalService(4)salelofthefamilyhomeon27April2006.
PlanstoRelocate
InOglesbyv.Williams, [184]theCourtofAppealsofMarylandnotedthatplansforremovalshowintenttoabandontheolddomicile.The
Courtsaid:
[T]here are many citizens of Maryland who intend to change their domicile upon retirement and may make quite elaborate
plans toward fulfilling that intent by building a retirement home in the place where they intend to retire. Such plans, by
themselves,donotprovetheabandonmentofanexistingdomicile,althoughitisevidenceoftheintentiontodo
so.Weresuchplanningtobesufficient,theintentrequirementwouldswallowtherequirementofanactualremovaltoanother
habitationwiththeintenttoresidethereindefinitely.(Emphasissupplied)
In this case, petitioner submitted email exchanges showing that the family began planning to move back to the Philippines as early as
March2005.Exhibit"6series"includesanemailletterdated17March2005andsenttopetitionerbyKarlaMurphyon18March2005.
Basedontheemail,KarlaworkedatVictoryVan,acompanyengagedinmovingpersonalbelongings.Apparently,petitionerhadaskedfor
anestimateofmovingpersonalpropertiesfromtheUStothePhilippines.Theemailreplyreads:
From:KarlaMurphyMURPHY@VictoryVan.com
To:gllamanzaresgllamanzares@aol.com
Subject:RelocationtoManilaEstimate
Date:Fri,18Mar2005
3.17.05
HiGrace:
Sorryforthedelayingettingthistoyou.Iknowyouareeagertogetsomeratesforbudgetarypurposes.
I estimate that you have approximately 28,000 lbs of household goods plus your two vehicles. This will necessitate
usingTHREE 40' containers. You not only have a lot of furniture but many of your pieces plus the toys are very
voluminous.WewillloadthecontainersfrombottomtotopnottowasteanyspacebutIsincerelybelieveyouwillneedtwo
containersjustforyourhouseholdgoods.
Toprovideyouwithdoortodoorservicewhichwouldincludepacking,exportwrapping,customcratingforchandeliers,marble
top and glass tops, loading of containers at your residence, US customs export inspection for the vehicles, transportation to
Baltimore, ocean freight and documentation to arrival Manila, customs clearance, delivery, with collection of vehicles from
agent in Manila unwrapping and placement of furniture, assisted unpacking, normal assembly (beds, tables, two piece
dressers and china closets), container return to port and same day debris removal based on three 40' containers, with
28,000lbsofHHGandtwoautoswillbeUSD19,295.
Grace,Ipredictyouwillhavesomequestions.IwillbeoutoftheofficetomorrowandwillbeintheofficealldayonMonday.If
yourquestionscan'twaitpleasecallmeonmycellnumberat7032972788.
I'lltalktoyousoon.
Kindregardsandagain,thanksforyourpatience.
Karla(EmphasesSupplied)
Theemailindicatesthatpetitionerwasplanningtomoveanestimated28,000poundsofhouseholdgoodsplustwovehiclesfromVirginia,
UStoManila.Theemailfurthershowsthatthreefortyfootcontainerswereestimatedtobeusedinthemovementoftheseitems.
Twentyeight thousand pounds of personal properties, including two vehicles, is not difficult to visualize. The exchanges during the oral
argumentsheldbythisCourtforthiscaseshowsthatthreefortyfootcontainersisaboutthesizeofathreestoreyhouse.Theexchange
isquotedbelow:
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Okay.Alright.Nowwhenyoucome,youseeyouhavethrownoutthefactofrelocation,continuousschooling,youhavethrown
thatout.MayInowaskyouwhatyoudidinlookingattheemailthattheysubmitteddated18March2005.Haveyou[looked]
closelyatthatemail?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Okay.Canyoutelluswhatthatemailsaid?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
These correspondences, email correspondences evinced a strong desire to bring your belongings here to seemingly on the
surface,YourHonor,totransferresidencehereandtoinquireaboutthecostofmovingtothePhilippines,YourHonor...
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Didyoulookatthe,howmuchtheywereplanningtomovebacktothePhilippines?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Welltheysaidtheysoldtheirhousetherealready,YourHonor...

CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Twentyeightthousandpounds.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Andtheestimateoftheforwardingcompanyisthattheyneedthreefortyfootcontainers,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Noquestionasto,noquestionastothat,YourHonor.
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Okay.Alright.Includingcanyoulookatwhatafortyfootcontainerlookslike.This.(imageflashedonthescreen)Pleaselook
atthisCommissionerLim.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
I'mquitefamiliarhavingbeenamaritimelawyerinthepast...
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
Alright.Thankyouverymuch.Youseeonefortyfootcontaineralreadycontainsanoffice,andanentireresidence.Andthenif
youputthreeontopoftheother,okay,...(imageflashedonthescreen)
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
CHIEFJUSTICESERENO:
That'salreadythecontentofanentirehouse.Andthey'retalkingaboutglasstops,marbletops,chandeliers,inadditiontothat
twocarsandpets.Ofcourse,it'snotintheemail.
Inotherwords,eventhisthereisnointention,CommissionerLim?[185]
Definitely,theemailshowsthatasearlyas18March2005,petitioneralreadyhadplanstorelocatetoManila.Itmustbestressedthatnot
onlyhouseholdgoodswouldbemovedtoManila,buttwovehiclesaswell.Petitionerwascertainlynotplanningforashorttrip.Theletter,
therefore,showstheintentofpetitionertoabandonherolddomicileintheUSasearlyasMarchof2005.
ChangeofPostalAddress
PetitioneralsoadducedasevidencetheemailoftheUSPostalServiceacknowledgingthenoticeofchangeofaddressmadebypetitioner's
husband. It has been argued that the online acknowledgment merely establishes that petitioner's husband only requested a change of
addressanddidnotnotifytheUSPostalserviceoftheabandonmentoftheoldUSaddress.Thisreasoningfailstoappreciatethatanotice
ofchangeofaddressisalreadyconsideredanindiciumsufficienttoestablishtheintenttoabandonadomicile.
The already discussed Hale v. State of Mississippi Democratic EC[186] utilized change of postal address as a factor for determining the
intenttoabandonadomicile.InthecaseofFarnsworthv.Jones, [187]theCourtofAppealsofNorthCarolinanoted,amongothers,the
failureofthecandidatetochangehisaddress.Itruledoutthepossibilitythatdefendanthadactuallyabandonedhispreviousresidence.
To the contrary, defendant maintained the condominium at Cramer Mountain, ate dinner weekly at the Country Club there,
exercised there, and spent approximately 50% of his time there. Headditionally did not change his address to Ashley
Arms for postal purposes, or for any other purposes. He executed a monthtomonth lease for a furnished
apartment because he wanted to "see what would happen" in the election. Although defendant acquired a new
residence at the Ashley Arms address and expressed his intention to remain there permanently, there is little
evidenceintherecordtoindicatethathewasactuallyresidingthere.xxx.(Emphasissupplied)
IdoagreewiththeobservationthattheonlineacknowledgementnevershowedthatthechangeofaddresswasfromtheoldUSaddress
to the new Philippine address. To my mind, however, the deficiency is not crucial considering that there are other factors (discussed
elsewhere in this opinion) showing that petitioner's intent was to relocate to the Philippines. What matters as far as the online
acknowledgementisconcernedisthatitindicatesanintenttoabandontheolddomicileofpetitioner.
SaleofOldResidence
Anotherfactorpresentinthiscaseisthesaleofpetitioner'sfamilyhomeintheUS.
In Imbraguglio v. Bernadas[188] decided by the Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, Bernard Bernadas filed a "Notice of
Candidacy"fortheofficeofSheriffofSt.BernardParish.PetrinaImbragugliofiledapetitionobjectingtothecandidacyofBernadasonthe
groundoffailuretoestablishresidenceintheparish.ItwasfoundthatBernardassoldhishomeonEtienneDriveon23February2006.
Since 31 August 2006, Bernadas has lived with his family at a home he purchased at 7011 General Haig Street in New Orleans. The
Louisiana appellate court ruled that Bernardas had abandoned his domicile in the parish by selling his home therein and had not
reestablishedthesame.TheLouisianaappellatecourtheldthat:
We also find no error in the trial court's finding that the defendant established a new domicile for purposes of La. R.S. 1
$:451.3(whichtookeffectonJune8,2006)byvoluntarilysellinghishome,theonlypropertyownedinSt.BernardParish,
andmovingtoNewOrleanswithoutresidinganywhereinSt.BernardParishfortwoyearsprecedingthedatehefiledhisnotice
ofcandidacytorunforsheriff.(Emphasissupplied)
Locationofpersonalbelongings

Another vital piece of evidence is the invoice issued by Victory Van to petitioner indicating the actual delivery of personal property to
ManilainSeptember2006andthecostofshippingofthehouseholdgoods.PertinentportionsoftheInvoicedated13September2006are
quotedbelow:
Hello!AsyoumayhaveheardfromyouragentinthePhilippines,therewasanoverflow.Everyeffortwasmadetomakeitfitin
thetwo40'sandallwentexceptforabout1900lbs,whichwillbesentinliftvans.Aninvoiceisattached.Thankyou.
xxxx

CUSTOMER:
GraceLlamanzares DATE:
9/13/2006
ORIGIN:
Sterling,VA
REFERENCE#: EXP06020
DESTINATION: Manila,Philippines
WEIGHT:
VOLUME:
VOLUME

25,241lbs
240'SSC
2LiftVans
OverflowLCI,
Shipment(293Cu
Ft.)

Theinvoiceprovesthat25,241poundsofpersonalpropertyownedbypetitionerandherfamilyweremovedfromSterling,Virginia,USto
Manila,Philippines.Thisprovesanotherfactor:theconsummationofthepreviouslydiscussedplantorelocatetoManila.Thelocation of
themajorityofthepersonalbelongingsmattersinthedeterminationofachangeindomicile.Thisfactorwasusedinthealreadydiscussed
OglesbyandinBellv.Bell.[189]
ItmustbenotedthatBellheldthatunimportantbelongingsarenotconsideredinthatdetermination.Inthatcase,thewifesoughtbefore
aPennsylvaniacourttheissuanceofaninjunctionrestrainingthehusbandfromobtainingadivorceinNevada.Shefiledthesuitonthe
groundthatthehusbandfailedtoestablishadomicileinNevada'asheoncelivedinPennsylvania.Also,hewasawayfromNevadamost
ofthetimesinceheworkedinNigeria.
ThePennsylvaniaSuperiorCourt,inholdingthatthehusbandsucceededinestablishingadomicileinNevada,disregardedthefactthatthe
husbandleftbehindacrateofhisclothingatthehomeinPennsylvania.
AsfortherelevancyoftheclothingleftbehindatthePennsylvanialocationbyMr.Bellafterhisdeparture,we,asdidthetrial
court,findthiselementtobe"oflittlemoment.That[Mr.Bell]hasdonewithoutthemforsolongshowsthattheyarenotof
particularimportancetohim."(Emphasissupplied)
Itisworthytonotethatthecasedidnotrejectmovement/nonmovementofpersonalbelongingsasafactorfordetermining domicile.
Rather,whatitrejectedwasunimportantpersonalproperties.Thus,thiscase,combinedwiththeOglesbycase,providesthatmovement
ofpropertiesthatarevaluable/importantindicatesintenttoabandonthepreviousdomicile.Anothertakeawayfromthiscaseisthatwhen
onlyunimportantbelongingsremainintheolddomicile,theintenttoabandontheolddomicileisnotdiminished.
Whatismore,itmustbeemphasizedthatpetitionerdonatedtotheSalvationArmy,asshownbyExhibit"15"andExhibit"15A,"which
arereceiptsshowingdonationstotheSalvationArmyofclothes,booksandmiscellaneousitems.Thereceiptsaredated23February2006.
Thevalueofthepersonaleffectsdonatedwasplacedbypetitioner'shusbandatUSD300.00andUSD575.00,[190]certainlylittlepersonal
itemsthatwereeventhen,fullydisposed.
What can be gleaned from the above facts is that petitioner intended to bring along with her in the Philippines only those items she
deemedimportanttoher,andthatthosethatwereleftbehindwereunimportant.Itshouldbestressedthattheitemsdonatedtocharity
included books and clothes, which presumably are not valuable to petitioner hence, the donations to the Salvation Army. Accordingly,
petitionerwasabletoestablishanotherfactorindicatingtheintentofpetitionertoabandonherolddomicileandestablishanewdomicile
inthePhilippines.
Insum,thereismorethansufficientevidenceindicatingpetitioner'sintenttoabandonherdomicileintheUS.Severalfactorshavebeen
established: plans to transfer to the Philippines, sale of the residence in the old domicile, change of postal address, and relocation of
valuablepersonalbelongingstothenewdomicile.
2.Actualremovalfromold
domicileandrelocationto
newdomicile
Thethirdrequirementforestablishmentofanewdomicileisbodilypresenceinortheactualremovaltothenewdomicile.
InOglesbyv.Williams, [191]the Court of Appeals of Maryland faced the issue of whether Beau H. Oglesby met the twoyear residency
requirementtorunforState'sAttorneyforWorcesterCountyintheNovember2002generalelection.Oglesbyadmittedthathehadbeen
domiciledinWicomicoCountyforaperiodoftimebeginninginDecember1995.Heargued,however,thathispurchaseofrealpropertyin
Worcester County on 5 September 2000, more than two years before the election, coupled with his intention to be domiciled there,
effectivelyestablishedthathehadchangedhisdomiciletoWorcesterCounty.
We do not question, to be sure, that the appellant intended to make Worcester County his residence, his fixed, permanent
homeandhabitationand,thus,toabandonhisWicomicoCountyresidence.Wesimplydonotbelievethattheintentwas
perfectedbeforetheappellantmovedintotheWorcesterCountyhometheappellant'sintentwas not actualized
untilthen.
[T]here are many citizens of Maryland who intend to change their domicile upon retirement and may make quite elaborate
plans toward fulfilling that intent by building a retirement home in the place where they intend to retire. Such plans, by
themselves,donotprovetheabandonmentofanexistingdomicile,althoughitisevidenceoftheintentiontodoso.Weresuch

planningtobesufficient,theintentrequirementwouldswallowtherequirementofanactualremovaltoanotherhabitationwith
theintenttoresidethereindefinitely.
xxxx
TheevidenceshowsthattheappellantestablishedadomicileinWicomicoCountyinDecember,1995andremaineddomiciledin
thatcountyuntil,attheearliest,December,2000.HevotedintheNovember7,2000electioninWicomicoCountyandhedid
notmoveintoaresidenceinWorcesterCountyuntilDecember,2000.Weholdthattheappellantdidnotbecomea
domiciliaryofWorcesterCountyuntil,attheearliest,heactuallymovedintohisnewhomeonDecember20,2000.
Oglesbymakesthedateofactualtransferasthereckoningpointforthechangeofdomicile.Hadtheactualremovalhappenedpriortothe
twoyearperiod,Oglesbywouldhavesatisfiedtheresidencyrequirementinthatcase.
Applyingtheruletothiscase,itappearsthattheintentwasactualizedin24May2005,thedatewhenpetitionerarrivedinthePhilippines,
as revealed by her US passport bearing a stampshowing her entry in the Philippines. The fact that she arrived here for the purpose of
movingbacktothePhilippineswasnotdeniedbyCOMELECduringtheoralarguments,althoughitdidnotrecognizethelegalimplications
ofsuchfact.
We must not lose sight of the fact that petitioner registered as a voter in this country on 31 August 2006. Thus, the implication of
petitionerhavingregisteredon31August2006isthatshehadalreadybeenaresidentinthecountryforatleastoneyearasofthedayof
her registration. The reason is that the Voter's Registration Act of 1996[192] requires among other things that the citizen must have
residedinthePhilippinesforatleastoneyear.
Thatbeingsaid,theregistrationofpetitionerasvoterbolsterspetitioner'sclaimthatsheconcretizedherintenttoestablishadomicilein
the country on 24 May 2005. Take note that if we use 24 May 2005 as the reckoning date for her establishment of domicile in the
Philippines,shewouldhaveindeedbeenaresidentforroughlyoneyearandthreemonthsasof31August2006,thedatesheregistered
asavoterinthePhilippines.
Besides,whenweconsidertheotherfactorspreviouslymentionedinthisdiscussiontheenrolmentofpetitioner'schildrenshortlyafter
their arrival in the Philippines, the purchase of the condominium unit during the second half of 2005, the construction of their house in
Corinthian Hills in 2006, the notification of the US Postal Service of petitioner's change of address there can only be one conclusion:
petitionerwasheretostayinthePhilippinesforgoodwhenshearrivedinMay2005.
Letmehighlightthefactofenrolmentofpetitioner's children in 2005. This happened shortly after their arrival inthePhilippines,which
wasinMay2005.TakingtogetherthetwofactsthearrivalofthefamilyinMayandthesubsequentattendanceofthechildreninlocal
schoolsthefollowingmonththelogicalconclusionthatwecanderivefromthemisthatpetitionerarrivedearlyinMaysoastoprepare
herchildren'sschoolinginthePhilippines.Now,giventhatinMay,shealreadyhadinmindtheattendanceofherchildreninlocalschools,
thisindicatesthatpetitioner,atthetimeofherarrivalalreadyhadtheintenttobeinthecountryforthelonghaul.
Lastly, we must not overlook the proximity of her date of arrival in the Philippines in 24 May 2005 to the death of her father in 14
December2004.Theclosenessofthedatesconfirmstheclaimofpetitionerthattheuntimelydeathofherfatherandtheneedtogiveher
mother moral support and comfort. The return to the country, it must be emphasized, happened within one year of the death of
petitioner'sfather.Itreflectsthemotiveofpetitionerforherreturnto the Philippines: the only child had to return to the Philippines as
soonaspossiblesothatshecould,bewithhergrievingmother.Moreimportant,thisverysamemotivejustifiestheactsofrelocationshe
executed,severalofwhichoccurredwithinayearofthedeathofherfather.
As a result, petitioner's arrival in the Philippines on 24 May 2005 was definitely coupled with both animus manendi and animus non
revertendi.
True,petitioner'stransferinthiscasewasincremental.ButthisCourthasalreadyrecognizedthevalidityofincrementaltransfers.InMitra
v.COMELEC,[193]Westated:
Mitra'sfeedmilldwellingcannotbeconsideredinisolationandseparatelyfromthecircumstancesofhistransferofresidence,
specifically, his expressed intent to transfer to a residence outside of Puerto Princesa City to make him eligible to run for a
provincialpositionhispreparatorymovesstartinginearly2008hisinitialtransferthroughaleaseddwellingthepurchaseof
alotforhispermanenthomeandtheconstructionofahouseinthislotthat,parenthetically,isadjacenttothepremiseshe
leasedpendingthecompletionofhishouse.Theseincrementalmovesdonotoffendreasonatall,inthewaythatthe
COMELEC'shighlysubjectivenonlegalstandardsdo.(Emphasissupplied)
EventheSuperiorCourtofPennsylvaniainBellv.Bell[194]recognizedthenotionofincrementaltransfersinachangeofdomicile:
Intent, being purely subjective, must to a large extent be determined by the acts which are manifestations of that intent.
However,itdoesnotfollowfromthatthattheactsmustalloccursimultaneouslywiththeformationoftheintent.
Suchaconclusionwouldbecontrarytohumannature.Onedoesnotmovetoanewdomicileandimmediatelychangechurch
membership, bank account, operator's license, and club memberships. Nor does he immediately select a neighborhood,
purchaseahomeandbuyfurniture.Allofthoseactsrequirevaryingdegreesofconsiderationandasaconsequence
cannotbedonehastilynorsimultaneously.(Emphasessupplied)
Theforegoingconsidered,theCOMELECusedawrongconsiderationinreachingtheconclusionthatpetitionerfailedtomeetthedurational
residencyrequirementof10years.Thereisnofalsitytospeakofintherepresentationmadebypetitionerwithregardtoherresidencein
the country. For using wrong or irrelevant considerations in deciding the issue, COMELEC tainted its cancellation of petitioner's 2016
certificateofcandidacyforpresidentwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.
LongResidenceinthePhilippines
WemustrememberthatpetitionerandherchildrenwouldhavestayedinthePhilippinesfor10yearsand11monthsby9May2016.For
nearly11years,herchildrenhavestudiedandspentasubstantialpartoftheirformativeyearshere.Onthis,thecaseofHaleis again

instructive:
We have held that '[t]he exercise of political rights, admissions, declarations, the acts of purchasing a home and
longcontinued residency are circumstances indicative of his intention to abandon his domicile of origin and to
establish a new domicile.' Taking into consideration all of these factors, the circuit court did not err in determining that
Stone'sdomicilehasexistedinMarshallCountysinceOctoberof2013.(Emphasissuppliedandcitationsomitted)
Petitioner'sintentiontoabandonUS
domicilewasnotnegated
TheCOMELECFirstDivisionandtheCOMELECEnBancinSPANos.15002(DC),15007(DC)and15139(DC)ruledthatthefactthat
petitioner's husband remained and retained his employment in the US in May 2005 negated her intent to reside permanently in the
Philippines. Furthermore, petitioner travelled frequently to the US using her US passport even after she reacquired her Philippine
citizenship.AccordingtotheCOMELEC,theseshowthatshehasnotabandonedherdomicileintheUS.RespondentValdezalsopointsto
two houses in the US that petitioner maintains up to the present, and alleges that this fact also negates her alleged intent to reside
permanentlyinthePhilippines.
The fact that petitioner's husband was left in the US and retained his employment there should be viewed based on the totality of the
circumstancesandthereasonforsuchseparation.ThereisnoquestionthattheimpetusforpetitionertomovebacktothePhilippineswas
thedeathofherfatherinDecember2004andthedesiretobebackinthePhilippinesandcomforthergrievingmother.Thereisalsono
questionthatbyMay2005,petitionerandherchildrenwerealreadylivinginthePhilippinesandthechildrenalreadyenrolledinPhilippine
schools.
Petitioner and her family could not have been expected to uproot their lives completely from the US and finish all arrangements in the
spanofsixmonths.OneofthespouseshadtoremainintheUStowindupalllogisticalaffairs.Thereisalsonoshowingthatpetitioneris
abletoreadilyfindajobinthePhilippinesupontheirreturn.Again,oneofthespouseshastocontinueearningalivingforthefamily's
upkeep and to finance the heavy cost of relocation. The conjugal decision became clear when it was the husband who kept his
employmentintheusandcametojoinhisfamilyinthePhilippinesonlyafterthesaleofthehouseintheUS.
Tomymind,thatpetitioner'shusbandremainedintheUSuntilApril2006onlyshowedthatthefamilyenduredaperiodofseparationin
ordertorebuildtheirfamilylifetogetherinthePhilippines.Thefactthatthehusbandstayedbehindshouldnothavebeenconsideredin
isolationbutcontemplatedinlightoftherealitiesofthesituation.
The COMELEC also faults petitioner for travelling to the US "frequently" using her US passport. A closer examination of the factual
circumstancesatthetime,however,revealsthatpetitionerhadajustifiablereasonfordoingso.
WhenpetitionercamebacktothePhilippinesinMay2005,shewasadmittedlystillaUScitizen.ShereacquiredherPhilippinecitizenship
on7July2006undertheauspicesofRepublicActNo.9225andbecameadualcitizenofthePhilippinesandtheUS.Itwasonlyon20
October2010thatpetitionerrenouncedherUScitizenshipandbecameapureFilipinocitizen.Thus,petitionerwasaUScitizenfromMay
2005to20October2010.
Section215(b)oftheUSImmigrationandNationalityActprovidesthat"itshallbeunlawfulforanycitizenoftheUnitedStatestodepart
from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport." This provision is
echoedinSection53.1oftheUSCodeofFederalRegulations,unlesstheUScitizenfallsunderanyoftheexceptionsprovidedtherein.[195]
Petitioner, as a US citizen, was required by law to use her US passport when travelling to and from the US. Notwithstanding her dual
citizenship and the abandonment of her US domicile, she could not have entered or departed from the US if she did not use her US
passport.
In Maquiling v. COMELEC, [196] which I penned for the Court, while we ruled that the use of a foreign passport negates the earlier
renunciationofsuchforeigncitizenship,didnotsay,however,thattheuseofaforeignpassportafterreacquisitionofPhilippine
citizenshipandbeforetherenunciationoftheforeigncitizenshipadverselyaffectstheresidencyofacandidateforpurposes
of running in the elections. This case cannot, therefore, be used as basis to negate petitioner's residency. This Maquiling
decisioninvolvedRommelArnadowhowaselectedMayorofKauswagan,LanaodelNorteinthe2010elections.Heranalsoforthe2013
electionsforthesamepostandwonagain.TheCourtaffirmedtheMaquilingdoctrineinthecaseofArnadov.COMELEC.[197]Thedoctrine
wasnotexpandedinanymannerastoaffectpetitioner'scitizenshipclaim.TheMaquilingdoctrinesolelyhastodowiththeeffectofthe
continueduseofaUSpassportaftertherenunciationofUScitizenship.Inthecaseofpetitioner,thereisabsolutelynoevidence,which
evenCOMELECadmits,thatsheusedaUSpassportaftersherenouncedherUScitizenshipon20October2010.Clearly,Maquilingand
Arnado are not relevant to the petitioner's case until new proof can be adduced contradicting the present state of the
evidenceonrecordthatpetitionerneverusedherUSpassportaftersherenouncedherUScitizenship.
Taking into account all these pieces of evidence, it cannot be said that petitioner made a false material representation in her 2016
certificateofcandidacyforpresidentasfarasherresidencyisconcerned.Thetotalityofthesecircumstancesshowsthatindeed,shehad
reestablished her residence in the Philippines for 10 years and 11 months until the day before the elections in May 2016, which is
sufficient to qualify her to run for president in the country. At the very least, it negates a finding of deliberate intention on her part to
misleadtheelectoratewithregardtoherresidency.Evidently,asinglestatementinher2013certificateofcandidacyforsenatorcannot
be deemed to overthrow the entirety of the evidence on record, which shows that her residence in the Philippines commenced in May
2005.
IV.
B.ONCITIZENSHIP
IntheassailedResolutions,theCOMELECalsodeclaredthatpetitionermadeafalsematerialrepresentationwhenshedeclared that she
wasanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines.Accordingtothecommission,petitioner'sinabilitytoproveherbloodrelationshiptoaFilipino
parentprecludedherfromeverclaimingnaturalbornstatusunderthe1935Constitution.COMELECargues,therefore,thatherdeclaration
astohercitizenshipmustnecessarilybeconsideredfalse.

Ifindnosupportwhatsoeverfortheselegalconclusions.
Petitionerdidnotmakeafalsematerial
representationregardinghercitizenshipin
her2016CertificateofCandidacyfor
president.
Consideringthattherehasbeennodefinitiverulingonthecitizenshipoffoundlings,itwouldbeunreasonableandunfairfortheCOMELEC
to declare that petitioner deliberately misrepresented her status as a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines. In fact, the evidence she
submittedinsupportofherclaimofcitizenshipgivesuseveryreasontoacceptherassertionofgoodfaith.
Inanyevent,Ibelievethatthereissufficientlegalbasistosustainapresumptionofcitizenshipinfavorofpetitionernotwithstandingthe
absence of any physical proof of her filiation. Her naturalborn status can be founded from solid interpretation of the provisions of the
Constitution.
Therewasnodeliberateattemptto
mislead,misinform,orhideafact
thatwouldotherwiserenderher
ineligible.
ContrarytoclaimsthatpetitionercommitteddeliberatemisrepresentationwhenshedeclaredthatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,the
followingdocumentssupportafindingofgoodfaithonherpart:
1.AdoptionDecree
The adoption decree issued in favor of petitioner in 1974 allows her to legally claim to be the daughter of Ronald Allan Poe andJesusa
SonoraPoe.Thispropositionfindssupportinstatutesandjurisprudence.
InRepublic v. Court of Appeals, We held that upon entry of an adoption decree, the law creates a relationship in which adopted
childrenweredeclared"bornof'theiradoptiveparents.[198]
Congress confirmed this interpretation when it enacted R.A. 8552, which provides that the "adoptee shall be considered the legitimate
son/daughter of the adopter for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided 1 by law to
legitimatesons/daughterborntothemwithoutdiscriminationofanykind."[199]
Apartfromobtainingthestatusoflegitimatechildren,adopteesarelikewiseentitledtomaintainthestrictconfidentialityoftheiradoption
proceedings.TheprovisionsofP.D.603,[200]R.A.85152[201]andtheRuleonAdoption[202]stipulatethatallrecords,books,andpapers
relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, or any other agency or
institutionparticipatinginthe
adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential. The records are permanently sealed and may be opened only upon the court's
determinationthatthedisclosureofinformationtothirdpartiesif"necessary"and"forthebestinterestoftheadoptee."[203]Thisgrantof
confidentialitywouldmeanverylittleifanadopteeisrequiredtogobeyondthisdecreetoproveherparentage.
2.CertificateofLiveBirth
Upon the issuance of an adoption decree, an amended certificate of birth is issued by the civil registrar attesting to the fact that the
adopteeisthechildoftheadoptersbybeingregisteredwiththeirsurname.[204]Likeallpersons,petitionerhastherighttorelyonthis
birthcertificateforinformationaboutheridentity,statusandfiliation.
Article 410 of the Civil Code states that the books making up the civil register and all documents relating thereto are considered public
documentsandshallbeprimafacieevidenceofthefactsthereincontained.[205]Asapublicdocument,aregisteredcertificateoflivebirth
enjoysthepresumptionofvalidity.[206]
Petitioner'sbirthcertificatealsohastheimprimaturofnolessthantheMunicipalCourtofSanJuan,RizalProvince.[207]Intheabsenceof
a categorical pronouncement in an appropriate proceeding that the decree of adoption is void, the birth certificate and the facts stated
thereinaredeemed1egitimate,genuineandrea1.[208]
Petitionerthuscannotbefaultedforrelyingonthecontentsofapublicdocumentwhichenjoysstrongpresumptionsofvalidityunderthe
law. She is actually obliged to do so because the law does not provide her with any other reference for information regarding her
parentage. It must be noted that records evidencing her former foundling status 'have been sealed after the issuance of the decree of
adoption.InBaldosv.CourtofAppealsandPillazar, [209]Weheldthatitisnotforapersontoprovethefactsstatedinhiscertificateof
livebirth,butforthosewhoareassailingthecertificatetoproveitsallegedfalsity.
Theissuanceofanamendedcertificatewithoutanynotationthatitisneworamendedorissuedpursuanttoanadoptiondecree,should
notbetakenagainstpetitioner,becauseitmerelycomplieswiththeconfidentialityprovisionsfoundinadoptionlaws.[210]UnderSection
16oftheRuleonAdoption(A.M.No.02602SC,31July2002),itshallbetheresponsibilityofthecivilregistrarwherethefoundlingwas
registered to annotate the adoption decree on the foundling certificate, and to prepare and a new birth certificate without any notation
thatitisaneworamendedcertificate.
3.Voter'sID
TheVoter'sIDissuedtopetitionerlikewiseprovethatsheactedingoodfaithwhensheassertedthatshewasanaturalborncitizenofthe
Philippines.Preciselybecauseoftheentriesinthesedocuments,Poecouldnotbeexpectedtoclaimanycitizenshipotherthanthatofthe
Philippines.Hence,shecouldnothavecommittedamaterialmisrepresentationinmakingthisdeclaration.
4.PhilippinePassport

In1996,R.A.8239(PhilippinePassportActof1996)waspassed.Thelawimposesuponthegovernmentthedutytoissuepassportorany
travel document to any citizen of the Philippines or individal who complies with the requirements of the Act.[211] "Passport" has been
definedasadocumentissuedbythePhilippinegovernmenttoitscitizensandrequestingothergovernmentstoallowitscitizenstopass
safelyandfreely,andincaseofneedtogivehim/heralllawfulaidandprotection.[212]
Section5ofR.A.8239statesthatnopassportshallbeissuedtoanapplicantunlesstheSecretaryorhisdulyauthorizedrepresentativeis
satisfied that the applicant is a Filipino citizen who has complied with the requirements. Conversely, a Philippine passport holder like
petitionerispresumedtobeaFilipinocitizen,consideringthepresumptionofregularityaccordedtoactsofpublicofficialsinthecourseof
theirduties.WhentheclaimtoPhilippinecitizenshipisdoubtful,onlya"traveldocument"isissued.[213]Atraveldocument,inlieuofa
passport, is issued to stateless persons who are likewise permanent residents, or refugees granted such status or asylum in the
Philippines.[214]IftheStateconsidersfoundlingstobeanythingelsebutitscitizens(statelesspersons,forexample),itwouldnothave
giventhempassports.However,sincethe1950s,theDepartmentofForeignAffairs(DFA)hasbeenissuingpassportstofoundlings.[215]A
quick look at the official website[216] of the DFA would show an enumeration of supporting documents required of foundlings for the
issuance of a Philippine passport to wit, certificate of foundling authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority, clearance from the
Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), passport of the person who found the applicant, and letter of authority or
endorsement from DSWD for the issuance of passport. The only conclusion that can be made is that foundlings are considered by the
State,oratleastbytheexecutive,tobePhilippinecitizens.
Rule 130, Section 44[217] of the Rules of Court has been cited by the Court to support the finding that entries in the passport are
presumedtrue.[218]Onitsface,thePhilippinepassportissuedtoPoeon16March2014indicateshercitizenshiptobe"Filipino."Hence,
the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in not even considering this as evidence in determining whether Poe intended to
deceivetheelectoratewhensheindicatedthatshewasanaturalbornFilipino.
5.BureauofImmigrationOrder
WhilefindingsmadebyBureauofImmigration(BI)onthecitizenshipofpetitionerisnotconclusiveontheCOMELEC,[219]suchnegateany
notionofbadfaithormaliceonthepartofpetitionerwhenshemadetherepresentationinherCoCthatshewasanaturalborncitizen.At
the time, the presumption created by the Order was in operation. In effect, petitioner had color of authority to state that she was a
naturalborncitizenofthePhilippines.
It has been argued that petitioner had obtained theBI order only because she misrepresented herself to have been "born ... toRonald
Allan Kelley Poe and Jesusa Sonora Poe."[220] However, as previously discussed, the potent policy interests[221] embedded in the
confidentialityofadoptionrecordsfullyjustifiesherdecisiontowritethenamesofheradoptiveparentsasindicatedinherbirthcertificate.
6.TheDecisionoftheSenateElectoralTribunalinSETCaseNo.00105
TheSETDecisionisaprimafaciefindingofnaturalborncitizenshipthatpetitionercanrelyon.ThefactthattheSETDecisionwasissued
laterthanthefilingbypetitionerofherCoCforpresidentdoesnottakeawayfromitsvalidityasanothertangiblebasis of petitioner to
validly claim that she was a naturalborn Filipino. It should be borne in mind that the SET Decision is a determination of petitioner's
naturalbornstatusasofthetimeshewaselectedandassumedherdutiesassenatorofthePhilippines.WhiletheDecisionwaslaterin
issuance,theapplicationofthisrulingbytheSETsignificantlypredatesthefilingofher2016certificateofcandidacyforpresident.
Takentogether,theenumerateddocumentsprovidepetitionerwithsufficientbasisforherclaimofcitizenship.Shecannotbefaultedfor
relying upon these pieces of evidence, particularly considering that at the time she made her declaration that she was a naturalborn
citizen,thepresumptioncreatedbythesedocumentshasnotbeenoverturned.
Atanyrate,itwouldbeabsurdforpetitionertoanswer"foundling"ineverydocumentwhereherfiliationandcitizenshipisrequiredwhen
herbirthcertificateandotherofficialdocumentsprovideotherwise.Notonlywouldthisdefeatthepurposeofthedegreeofconfidentiality
prescribedbythelaw,shewouldevenruntheriskofcausingoffensetoherparentswhomshewoulddepriveofactualrecognition.
Petitioner'shonestbeliefthatshewasanaturalborncitizenisfurthershownbyherconstantassertionofherstatusandiscorroborated
byofficialdocumentsandactsofgovernmentissuedinherfavor.Ibelievethatthesedocuments,attheveryleast,negateanydeliberate
intentonherparttomisleadtheelectorateastohercitizenshipqualification.
LegalSignificanceofConfirmationofRenunciation
It had been posited that petitioner's repatriation as a citizen of the Philippines under R.A. 9225 had been rendered doubtful by her
subsequentactsin2011,inparticularherexecutionofanOath/AffirmationofRenunciationofNationalityofUnitedStatesbeforeaVice
ConsuloftheU.S.EmbassyinthePhilippines[222]hercompletionofaQuestionnaireonInformationforDeterminingPossibleLossofU.S.
Citizenship[223]andtheissuanceofaConfirmationofLossofNationalityoftheUnitedStates.[224]
SufficeittostatethatthesedocumentswereexecutedbypetitioneronlyforthepurposeofcomplyingwiththerequirementsofU.S.law.
It had no relevance to petitioner's reacquisition of citizenship under Philippine law. The fact remains that she had already properly
renounced her U.S. citizenship by executing the Affidavit of Renunciation required in Section 5 of R.A. 9225. Any act done thereafter
servedonlytoconfirmthisearlierrenunciationofforeigncitizenship.
Respondentvalidlypresumedthat
sheisacitizenofthePhilippines.
The failure of the COMELEC to properly appreciate evidence showing good faith on the part of petitioner is compounded by its narrow
minded approach to the question of citizenship. There is sufficient basis to support the presumption that foundlings are citizens of the
Philippines.
Although the citizenship of foundlings is not expressly addressed by the language of Article IV of the Constitution, Philippine statutes,
administrativeregulationsandjurisprudencesupportthisconclusion,eveninlightoftheabsenceofphysicalprooftoestablishfoundlings

filiation.
Moreover,apresumptionoffoundlingstheirnaturalbornstatuscanbeestablishedbythedeliberationsofthe1935Constitutionandthe
historyofitsprovisions.Theselegalauthoritiesandmaterialsserveassufficientjustificationforanyfoundlingsgoodfaithbeliefthatsheis
anaturalborncitizen.
ThestandardproposedbytheCOMELECphysicalproofofbloodrelationtoaparentwhoisacitizenofthePhilippinesisanimpossible,
oppressiveanddiscriminatorycondition.Toallowtheimpositionofthisunjustandunreasonablerequirementistosanctionaviolationof
theConstitutionandourobligationsunderexistinginternationallaw.
InPhilippinelaw,afoundlingreferstoadesertedorabandonedinfantorachildwhoseparents,guardian,orrelativesareunknownora
childcommittedtoanorphanageorcharitableorsimilarinstitutionwithunknownfactsofbirthandparentage,andregisteredassuchin
theCivilRegister.[225]
TherulingoftheCOMELECispremisedsolelyontheadmittedfactthatpetitionerisafoundling.AsexplainedintheassailedResolutions,
petitionerwasfoundabandonedintheparishchurchofJaro,Iloilo,on3September1968byacertainEdgardoMilitar.Shewaslateron
legallyadoptedbyRonaldAllanPoeandJesusaSonoraPoe.Todate,however,herbiologicalparentsareunknown.
AccordingtotheCOMELEC,thesecircumstancesrenderthe citizenship of petitioner questionable. It claims that I since she is unable to
establishtheidentitiesofherparents,sheislikewiseincapableofprovingthatsheisrelatedbybloodtoaFilipinoparent.Accordingly,she
cannotbeconsideredanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.Theseargumentsareunmeritorious.
Filiationasamatteroflegalfiction
Under Philippine law, the parentage of a child is a matter of legal fiction. Its determination relies not on physical proof, but on legal
presumptionsandcircumstantialevidence.Forinstance,achildisdisputablyorconclusivelypresumedlegitimate,i.e.bornoftwomarried
individuals depending on the period that elapsed between the birth of that child and the ce1ebration[226] or termination[227] of the
spouses'marriage.Thepresumptionofthefactoflegitimacyisoneofthestrongestknowntothelaw,andcannotbeoverthrownexcept
bystrongerevidence.[228]AstheCourtexplainedinRodolfoA.Aguilarv.EdnaG.Siasat:[229]
"Thereisperhapsnopresumptionofthelawmorefirmlyestablishedandfoundedonsoundermoralityandmore
convincing reason than the presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption indeed
becomesconclusiveintheabsenceofproofthatthereisphysicalimpossibilityofaccessbetweenthespousesduringthefirst
120daysofthe300dayswhichimmediatelyprecedesthebirthofthechilddueto(a)thephysicalincapacityofthehusbandto
have sexual intercourse with his wife (b) the fact that the husband and wife are living separately in such a way that sexual
intercourse is not possible or (c) serious illness of the husband, which absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite
remarkably, upon the expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, and in proper cases Article 171, of the
FamilyCode(whichtookeffecton03August1988),theactiontoimpugnthelegitimacyofachildwouldnolonger
be legally feasible and the status conferred by the presumption becomes fixed and unassailable. (Emphases
supplied)
TheFamilyCodealsoallowspaternityandfiliationtobeestablishedthroughanyofthefollowingmethods:(1)recordofbirth(2)written
admissionoffiliation(3)openandcontinuouspossdssionofthestatusofalegitimateoranillegitimatechild(4)orothermeansallowed
bytheRulesorspeciallaws.[230]Notably,noneofthesemethodsrequiresphysicalproofofparentage:
(a)Theentriesinarecordofbirthdependonlyonthestatementsofcertainpersonsidentifiedbylaw:ingeneral,administratorof
the hospital, or in absence thereof, either of the following: the physician/nurse/midwife/hilot who attended the birth. In default of
both, either or both parents shall cause the registration of the birth and if the birth occurs in a vessel/vehicle/airplane while in
transit,registrationshallbethejointresponsibilityofthedriver/captain/pilotandtheparents.[231]
(b)Filiationmayalsobeprovedbyanadmissionoflegitimatefiliationinapublicdocumentoraprivatehandwritteninstrumentand
signed by the parent concerned. In Aguilar, the Court declared that such due recognition in any authentic writing is, in itself, a
consummatedactofacknowledgmentofthechildandrequiresnofurthercourtaction.[232]
(c) With respect to open and continuous possession of the status of children and other means allowed by the Rules of Court, the
relevantsectionsofRule130provide:
SEC.39.Actordeclarationaboutpedigree.Theactordeclarationofapersondeceased,orunabletotestify,inrespect
to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred
before the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or
declaration.Theword"pedigree"includesrelationship,familygenealogy,birth,marriage,death,thedateswhenandthe
places where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately
connectedwithpedigree.
SEC.40.Familyreputationortraditionregardingpedigree. The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to
the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness
testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other
familybooksorcharts,engravingonrings,familyportraitsandthelike,maybereceivedasevidenceofpedigree.
Evidently,thereisnolegalbasisforthestandardproposedbytheCOMELECandprivaterespondents.Physicalorscientific
proof of a blood relationship to a putative parent is not required by law to establish filiation or any status arising
therefromsuchascitizenship.Infact,thisCourthasrepeatedlyemphasizedthatDNAevidenceisnotabsolutelyessential
solongaspaternityorfiliationmaybeestablishedbyotherproof.233Thereis,therefore,noreasontoimposethisundue
burden on petitioner, particularly in light of her situation as a foundling. Instead of requiring foundlings to produce
evidence of their filiation a nearly impossible condition administrative agencies, the courts and even Congress have
insteadproceededontheassumptionthatthesechildrenarecitizensofthePhilippines.

Contemporaneousandsubsequent
constructionbythelegislature,executive
andjudicialbranchesofgovernment
Although the details of their births cannot be established, foundlings are provided legal protection by the state through statutes, rules,
issuancesandjudicialdecisionsallowingtheiradoption.Asearlyas1901,theCodeofCivilProcedure[234]recognizedthatchildrenwhose
parents are unknown have a right to be adopted. Failure to identify the parents of the child was not made an obstacle to adoption
instead,therulesallowedalegalguardian,orthetrustees/directorsofanorphanasylum,tograntt,erequiredconsentonbehalfofthe
unknownparents.SimilarprovisionswereincludedinthesubsequentrevisionsoftheRulesofCourtin1940[235]and1964.[236]
Earlystatutesalsospecificallyallowedtheadoptionoffoundlings.ActNo.1670wasenactedpreciselytoprovidefortheadoptionofpoor
children who were in the custody of asylums and other institutions. These children included orphans or "any other child so maintained
thereinwhoseparentsareunknown":[237]
SECTION548.Adoptionofchildfrominstitutionforpoorchildren.Upontheapplicationofanypersontothecompetent
authoritiesofanyasylumorinstitutionwherethepoorchildrenaremaintainedatpublicexpensetoadoptanychildso
maintainedtherein,itshallbethedutyofsuchauthorities,withtheapprovaloftheSecretaryoftheInterior,toreportthe
fact to the provincial fiscal, or in the City of Manila to the fiscal of the city, and such official shall thereupon prepare the
necessaryadoptionpapersandpresentthemattertothepropercourt.Thecostsofsuchproceeding,incourtshallbedeoficio.
TheprovisionsofActNo.1670weresubstantiallyincludedintheAdministrativeCodeof1916[238]andintheRevisedAdministrativeCode
of1911.[239]
In1995,CongressenactedRepublicActNo.8043toestablishtherulesgoverningthe"IntercountryAdoptionofFilipinoChildren." The
adoptionofafoundlingwassimilarlyrecognizedunderSection8ofthestatute,whichallowedthesubmissionofafoundlingcertificateto
facilitatetheintercountryadoptionofachild.[240]Afewyearslaterorin1998,thelawon"DomesticAdoptionofFilipinoChildren" was
amendedthroughR.A.8552.Thistime,aspecificprovisionwasincludedtogoverntheregistrationoffoundlingsforpurposesofadoption:
SECTION5.LocationofUnknownParent(s).ItshallbethedutyoftheDepartmentorthechildplacingorchildcaringagency
whichhascustodyofthechildtoexertalleffortstolocatehis/herunknownbiologicalparent(s).Ifsucheffortsfail,thechild
shall be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be
declaredabandoned.
In2009,CongresspassedR.A.9523,[241]which allowed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to declare a child
"legallyavailableforadoption"asaprerequisiteforadoptionproceedings.Underthisstatute,foundlingswereincludedinthedefinitionof
abandonedchildren[242]andexpresslyallowedtobeadopted,providedtheywerefirstdeclaredbytheDSWDasavailableforadoption.
[243]AdministrativeOrderNo.01109wasadoptedbythatdepartmentin2009toimplementthestatute.[244]

Theseenactmentsandissuancesonadoptionaresignificant,becausetheyeffectivelyrecognizefoundlingsascitizensofthePhilippines.It
mustbeemphasizedthatjurisdictionoveradoptioncasesisdeterminedbythecitizenshipoftheadopterandtheadoptee.Asexplainedby
this Court in Spouses Ellis v.Republic,[245]the Philippine Civil Code adheres to the theory that jurisdiction over the status of a natural
personisdeterminedbythelatter'snationality.This1ulingcitesArticle15oftheCivilCode:
ARTICLE15.Lawsrelatingtofamilyrightsandduties,ortothestatus,conditionandlegalcapacityofpersonsarebindingupon
citizensofthePhilippines,eventhoughlivingabroad.
Thecitizenshipofapersonisa"status"governedbythisprovisionisclear,pursuanttoourrulinginBoardofImmigrationCommissioners
v.Callano.[246]Inthatcase,WeappliedthenationalityruleinArticle15todeterminewhethersomeindividualshadlosttheirPhilippine
citizenship:
"Thequestion,whetherpetitionerswhoareadmittedlyFilipinocitizensatbirthsubsequentlyacquiredChinesecitizenshipunder
theChineseLawofNationalitybyreasonofrecognitionoraprolongedstayinChina,isafitsubjectfortheChineselawandthe
Chinesecourttodetermine,whichcannotberesolvedbyaPhilippinecourtwithoutencroachingonthelegalsystemofChina.
For,thesettledruleofinternationallaw,affirmedbytheHagueConventiononConflictofNationalityLawsofApril12,1930and
by the International Court of Justice, is that." Any question as to whether a person possesses the nationality of a particular
stateshouldbedeterminedinaccordancewiththelawsofthatstate."(quotedinSalonga,PrivateInternationalLaw,1957Ed.,
p.l12)Therewasnonecessityofdecidingthatquestionbecausesofarasconcernthepetitioners'status,theonlyquestionin
thisproceedingis:Did the petitioners lose their Philippine citizenship upon the performance of certainactsorthe
happeningofcertaineventsinChina?Indecidingthisquestionnoforeignlawcanbeapplied.Thepetitionersare
admittedlyFilipinocitizensatbirth,andtheirstatusmustbegovernedbyPhilippinelawwherevertheymaybe,in
conformitywithArticle15(formerlyArticle9)oftheCivilCodewhichprovidesasfollows:"Lawsrelatingtofamily
rights and duties, or to the status, conditions and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the
Philippines,eventhoughlivingabroad."UnderArticleIV,Section2,ofthePhilippine Constitution, "Philippine citizenship.
may be lost or reacquired m the manner provided by law," which implies that the question of whether a Filipino has lost his
PhilippinecitizenshipshallbedeterminedbynootherthanthePhilippinelaw.(Emphasissupplied)
Ellis also discredits the assertion that this Court has no power to determine the citizenship of a foundling based only on
presumptions. In that case, an infant named Baby Rose was abandoned at the Heart of Mary Villa, an institution for unwed mothers.
WhenanAmericancouple,theSpousesEllis,latersoughttoadoptBabyRose,theSupremeCourtpresumedthecitizenshipoftheinfant
forpurposesofadoption:
"Inthisconnection,itshouldbenotedthatthisisaproceedingsinrem,whichnocourtmayentertainunlessithasjurisdiction,
notonlyoverthesubjectmatterofthecasean4overtheparties,butalsoovertheres,whichisthepersonalstatusofBaby
Rose as well as that of petitioners herein. Our Civil Code (Art. 15) adheres to the theory that jurisdiction over the
status of a natural person is determined by the latters' nationality. Pursuant to this theory,wehavejurisdiction

overthestatusofBabyRose,shebeingacitizenofthePhilippines,butnotoverthestatusofthepetitioners,who
areforeigners.Underourpoliticallaw,whichispatternedaftertheAngloAmericanlegalsystem,wehave,likewise,adopted
the latter's view to the effect that personal status, in general, is determined by and/ or subject to the jurisdiction of the
domiciliarylaw(Restatement of the Law of Conflict of Laws, p. 86 The Conflict of Laws by Beale, Vol. I, p. 305, Vol. II, pp.
713714). This, perhaps, is the reason why our Civil Code does not permit adoption by nonresident aliens, and we have
consistentlyrefusedtorecognizethevalidityofforeigndecreesofdivorceregardlessofthegroundsuponwhichthesameare
based involving citizens of the Philippines who are not bona fide residents of the forum, even when our laws authorized
absolutedivorceinthePhilippines.(citationsomittedandemphasissupplied)
Inthe1976caseDuncanv.CFIofRizal,[247]theCourtagainpresumedthePhilippinecitizenshipofafoundlingforpurposesofadoption.
Notwithstandingtherefusalofthedefactoguardianorevealtheidentityofthechild'smother,theadoptionoftheabandonedchildwas
allowedinordertopreventa"cruelsanctiononaninnocentchild":
Havingdeclaredthatthechildwasanabandonedonebyanunknownparent,thereappearstobenomrelegalneedtorequire
thewrittenconsentofsuchparentothechildtotheadoption.xxx.
ThetrialcourtinitsdecisionhadsoughtrefuseintheancientRomanlegalmaxim"Duralexsedlex"tocleanseitshandsofthe
hardandharshdecisionitrendered.Whilethisoldadagegenerallyfindsaptapplicationinmanyotherlegalcases,inadoption
of children, however, this should be softened so as to apply the law with less severity and with compassion and humane
understanding,foradoptionismoreorthebenefitofunfortunatechildren,particularlythosebornoutofwedlock,thanforthose
bornwithasilverspoonintheirmouths.Alleffortsoractsdesignedtoprovidehomes,love,careandeducationforunfortunate
children, who otherwise may grow from cynical street urchins to hardened criminal offenders and become serious social
problems,shouldbegiventhewidestlatitudeofsympathy,encouragementandassistance.Thelawisnot,andshouldnot
bemade,aninstrumenttoimpedetheachievementofasalutaryhumanepolicyAsoftenasislegallyandlawfully
possible, their texts and intendments should be construed so as to give all the chances for human life to exist
withamodicumpromisefausefulandconstructiveexistence.
...Ifwearenowtosustainthedecisionofthe court below, this Tribunal will be doing a graver injustice to all
concernedparticularlytosaidspouses,andworse,itwillbeimposingacruelsanctiononthisinnocentchildand
on all other children who might be similarly situated. We consider it to be justifiable and more humane to
formalize a factual relation, that of parents and son, existing between the herein petitioning spouses and the
minor child baptized by them as Colin Berry Christensen Duncan, than to sustain the hard, harsh and cruel
interpretation of he law that was done by the private respondent court and Judge. It is Our view that it is in
consonancewiththeruespiritandpurposeofthelaw,andwiththepolicyoftheState,touphold,encourageand
givelifeandmeaningtotheexistenceoffamilyrelations.
Although the citizenship of the child in Duncanwasnot elaborated upon, the Court proceeded to assume jurisdiction over the adoption
proceedings. From this act, it may be inferred that the Court presumed that the child was a Philippine citizen whose status m y be
determinedbyaPhilippinecourtpursuanttoArticle15oftheCivilCode.
The foregoing enactments and decisions prove the contemporaneous and subsequent interpretation of the Constitution b the three
branchesofgovernment.ItisevidentthatCongress,certainadministrativeagenciesandeventhecourtshavealwaysproceededonthe
assumptionthatthesechildrenareFilipinocitizensintheabsenceofevidencetothecontrary.
Theassertionthatcitizenshipcannotbemadetorestuponapresumptioniscontradictedbythepreviouspronouncements
ofthisCourt.InBoardofCommissionerset.alv.DelaRosa, [248]theCourtutilizedapresumptionofcitizenshipinfavorof
respondentWilliamGatchalianonthebasisofanOrderoftheBureauofImmigrationadmittinghimasaFilipinocitizen.
OnMarch15,1973,thenActingCommissionerNitudaissuedanOrder(Annex"6",counterpetitionwhichaffirmedtheBoardof
SpecialInquiryNo.1decisiondatedJuly6,1961admittingrespondentGatchalianandothersasFilipinocitizensrecalledthe
July6,1962warrantofarrestanrevalidatedtheirIdentificationCertificates.
The above order admitting respondent as a Filipino citizen is the last official act of the government on the basis of which
respondent William Gatchalian continually exercised the rights of a Filipino citizen to the present. Consequently, the
presumptionofcitizenshipliesinfavorofrespondentWilliamGatchalian.
In2004,apresumptionwaslikewisemadeythisCourttoresolveissuesinvolvingthecitizenshipofpresidentialcandidate
FernandoPoe,Jr.inTecsonv.COMELEC.[249]Inparticular,thepresumptionthatPoe'sgrandfatherhadbeenaresidentofSanCarlos,
Pangasinan, from 1898 to 1902, entitled him to benefit from the en masse Filipinization effected by the Philippine Bill of 1902. We
explained:
ThedeathcertificateofLorenzoPouwouldindicatethathediedon11September1954,attheageof84years,inSanCarlos,
Pangasinan.ItcouldthusbeassumedthatLorenzoPouwasbornsometimeintheyear1870whenthePhilippineswasstilla
colony of Spain. Petitioner would argue that Lorenzo Pou was not in the Philippine during the crucial period of from 1898 to
1902consideringthattherewasnoexistingrecordaboutsuchfactintheRecordsManagementanArchivesOffice.Petitioner,
however,likewisefailedtoshowthatLorenzoPouwasatanyotherplaceduringthesameperiod.Inhisdeathcertificate,the
residenceofLorenzoPouwasstatedtobeSanCarlos,Pangasinan.Intheabsenceofanyevidencetothecontrary,itshouldbe
sound to conclude, or at least to presume, that the place of residence of a person at the time of his death was also his
residence before death. It would be extremely doubtful if the Records Management and Archives Of ice would have had
completerecordsofallresidentsofthePhilippinesfrom1898to1902.
xxxx
(3) In ascertaining, in G.R. No. 161824, whether grave abuse of discretion has been committed by the COMELEC, it is
necessarytotakeonthematterofwhetherornotprivaterespondentFPJisanaturalborncitizen,which,inturn,dependedon
whetherornotthefatherofprivaterespondent,AllanF.Poe,wouldhavehimselfbeenaFilipinocitizenand,intheaffirmative,

whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of private respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his
putativefather.AnyconclusionontheFilipinocitizenshipofLorenzoPoucouldonlybedrawnfromthepresumption
that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been ho n sometime in the year 1870, when the
Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in
1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such that
Lorenzo Pou wouldhavebenefitedfromtheen masse Filipinization that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902.
Thatcitizenship(ofLorenzoPou),ifacquired,wouldtherebyextendtohisson,AllanF.Poe,fatherofprivaterespondentFPJ.
The1935Constitution,duringwhichregimeprivaterespondentFPJhasseenfirstlight,conferscitizenshiptoallpersonswhose
fatherseFilipinocitizensregardlessofwhethersuchchildrenarelegitimateorillegitimate.(Emphasissupplied)
It is reasonable to presume that petitioner is a Filipino citizen, considering that she was found abandoned in Iloilo at a time when the
numberofchildrenborntoforeignersinthecountryasbutasmallfractionofthetotalnumberofbirthsinthePhilippines.[250]without
evidencetothecontrary,thispresumptionmuststandinaccordancewiththerulesonevidence.
ThePlaceofProbabilityintheRuleofLaw
Obedience to the rule of law is the bedrock of the Philippine justice system.[251]In order to expound and define the true meaning and
operation of these laws, they must first be ascertained by judicial determination, and in order "to produce uniformity in these
determinations,theyoughttobesubmitted,inthelastresort,toonesupremetribunalxxxauthorizedtosettleanddeclare
inthelastresortauniformrulefciviljustice."[252]
Therulesofevidence,authorizedbytheConstitution,isameansbywhichuniformityisinstitutedinthejudicialsystemwhetherincourts
oflaworadministrativeagenciesgrantedquasiadjudicatorypower.Theserulesgovernthemeansofascertainingthetruthrespectinga
matteroffact.[253]
Itmustbeemphasizedthatascertainingevidencedoesnotentailabsolutecertainty.UnderRule128oftheRulesofCourt,evidencemust
onlyinducebeliefintheexistenceofafactinissue,thus:
Section4.Relevancycollateralmatters.Evidencemusthavesucharelationtothefactinissueastoinducebeliefin
its existence or nonexistence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it tends in any
reasonabledegreetoestablishtheprobabilityorimprobabilityofthefactinissue.(Emphasissupplied)
Hence,judgesarenotprecludedfromdrawingconclusionsfrominferencesbasedonestablishedfacts.InthecaseofJoaquinv.Navarro,
[254]theCourtproceededtodiscussthisprocess:[255]

In speaking of inference the rule can not mean beyond doubt, for "inference is never certainty, but it may be plain
enoughtojustifyafindingoffact."
xxxx
"Juriesmustoftenreason,"saysoneauthor,"accordingtoprobabilities,drawinganinferencethatthemainfact
in issue existed from collateral facts not directly proving, but strongly tending to prove, its existence. The vital
questioninsuchcasesisthecogencyoftheproofaffordedbythesecondaryfacts.Howlikely,accordingtoexperience,isthe
existenceoftheprimaryfactifcertainsecondaryfactsexist?"Thesameauthortellsusofacasewhere"ajurywasjustifiedin
drawingtheinferencethatthepersonwhowascaughtfiringashotatananimaltrespassingonhislandwasthepersonwho
firedashotaboutanhourbeforeatthesameanimalalsotrespassing."ThatInfact,thecircumstancesintheillustrationleave
greaterroomforanotherpossibilitythandothefactsofthecaseathand.[256](Emphasissuppliedandcitationsomitted)
This is enshrined in established legal doctrines, including that of probable cause for preliminary investigation,[257] probable cause for
issuanceofawarrantofarrest,[258]substantialevidence,[259]preponderanceofevidence,[260]andcharacterevidence.[261]
Jurisprudence is replete with cases decided on the basis of probability. For example, the Court affirmed an award of workrelated
compensationtoanemployeewhocontractedrectalcancerbasedonaprobability,statingthus:
Thedegreeofproofrequiredtoestablishworkconnectionbetweenthedisablingailmentandtheworkingconditionsismerely
substantial evidence, or "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion"
Probabilitynotcertaintyisthetouchstoneintestingevidenceofworkconnection. [262](Emphasisintheoriginalandcitations
omitted).
In criminal cases, it has also been ruled that "extrajudicial confessions, independently made without collusion, which are identical with
eachotherintheiressentialdetailsandarecorroboratedbyotherevidenceonrecord,areadmissibleascircumstantial evidence against
thepersonimplicatedtoshowtheprobabilityofthelatter'sactualparticipationinthecommissionofthecrime."[263]
Note that the two cases cited pertain to different quantum of evidence (substantial for administrative and beyond reasonable doubt for
criminal),butbothhaverelieduponprobabilitiestoruleuponnissue.Inthatsense,itcanbeconcludedthatprobabilitiesareconsidereds
essentialelementsofthejudicialdeterminationofrelevantevidence.
Whileitistruethatadministrativeorquasijudicialbodiesarenotboundbythetechnicalrulesofprocedureintheadjudicationofcases,
this procedural rule should not be construed as a lice se to disregard certain fundamental evidentiary rules.[264] In the instant case
COMELECrefusedtoconsiderevidencethattendsto"establishtheprobabilityofafactinissue,"whichinthiscasepertainstopetitioner's
citizenship, claiming that it "did not and could not show bloodline to a Filipino pare t as required under jus sanguinis."[265] This, to my
mind,constitutesgrossmisappreciationofthefacts.
First and foremost, it is admitted that petitioner has typical Filipino features, with her brown eyes, low nasal bridge, black hair, oval
shaped face and height. This by itself, does not evince belief that as to her definite citizenship, but coupled with other circumstantial

evidencethat she was abandoned as an infant, that the population of Iloilo in 1968 was Filipino[266] and there were not international
airportsinIloiloathattimeestablishestheprobabilitytheshewasbornofFilipinoparents.
SuchprobabilityisfurtherenhancedbythestatisticsobtainedfromthePhilippineStatisticsAuthority,showingthat 10,558,278 children
(99.03%) were born to Filipino parents while 15,98 (0.07%) were born to foreigners in the Philippines from 1965 to 1975.[267]
Consideringthatthee1ectioncasesrequireamerepreponderanceofevidence,[268]then it can be reasonably concluded that petitioner
has fulfilled the requirements of citizenship under the law. In the words of Justice Tuazon in Joaquin,this conclusion is not airtight but
rationalnevercertainbutplainenoughtojustifyafact.
The rationale for implementing this policy is simple to require abandoned children to prove their parentage or status before they are
grantedprotectionwouldcompoundtheiralreadydirepredicament.Thatrequirementwouldrendertheseunfortunatechildrenevenmore
vulnerable, in contravention of the declared policy of the State to "defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care an
nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their
development."[269]
Respondentmayheconsideredanaturalborn
citizenunderthe1935Constitution.
Having established that foundlings may be presumed citizens of the Philippines, the question now turns to whether they may be
considered naturalborn. I believe that this issue may be resolved by utilizing both an originalist and a functionalist approach to the
interpretationoftheConstitution.
Originalistv.FunctionalistInterpretation
InitsMemorandum,theCOMELECassertedthatfoundlingscannotbeconsiderednaturalborncitizensinlightoftheprincipleofinclusion
unius est exclusion alterius.[270] This line of reasoning stems from an originalist reading of the Constitution, which is anchored on the
principlethatconstitutionalissuesaretoberesolvedbylookingonlyatthetextoftheConstitutionandattheclearintentoftheframers.
[271] Intentionalism is a species of originalism. Another species is textualism, which has been described as "that [which] looks to the

Constitution'soriginalpublicmeaning,"[272]or"read[s]thelanguageoftheConstitutionasthemanonthestreetwouldunderstandit."
[273]

Itisafallacy,however,toassertthatthereisonlyoneoriginalist/textualistapproachtointerprettheConstitution.Thereare
many approaches to constitutional interpretation, subclassified into a) originalism v. nonoriginalism, and b) formalism v.
functionalism,amongothers.InhiscommentaryonthePhilippineConstitution,Bernasenumeratedanddescribedatleastfive
modes of constitutional interpretation, i.e. historical approach,[274] structural approach,[275] doctrinal approach,[276] ethical
approach,[277]andprudentialapproach.[278]
In legal scholarship, the functionalist approach appears to be defined most clearly by what it is not it is not formalism.[279] William
Eskridge, a member of the Yale Law School faculty wrote a paper entitled "Relationships between Formalism and Functionalism in
SeparationofPowersCases"inwhichhedistinguishedformalismfromfunctionalism:
There are no fewer than three different ways that constitutional formalism and functionalism can be contrasted. One is their
apparently different approach to legal rules and standards. Formalism might be associated with brightline rules that seek to
placedeterminate,readilyenforceablelimitsonpublicactors.Functionalism,atleastasanantipode,mightbeassociatedwith
standardsorbalancingteststhatseektoprovidepublicactorswithgreaterflexibility.
Another way of contrasting formalism and functionalism focuses on the reasoning process by which we reach rules or
standards.Formalismmightbeunderstoodasdeductionfromauthoritativeconstitutionaltext,structure,originalintent,orall
three working together. Functionalism might be understood as inductionfrom constitutional policy and practice, with practice
typically being examined over time. Formalist reasoning promises stability and continuity of analysis over time functionalist
reasoningpromisesadaptabilityandevolution.
Finallyandrelatedly,formalismandfunctionalismcouldbecontrastedasemphasizingdifferentgoalsforlaw.Formalismmight
beunderstoodasgivingprioritytoruleoflawvaluessuchastransparency,predictability,andcontinuityinlaw.Functionalism,
inturn,mightbeunderstoodasemphasizingpragmaticvalueslikeadaptability,efficacy,andjusticeinlaw.[280]
IemphasizethatthisCourthasutilizeddifferentapproachestointerpretingtheConstitution.Itisnotmandatedtofakeonlyanoriginalist
viewofthefundamentallaw.Onthecontrary:theCourt,throughJusticeJoseP.Laurel,consideredthe1935Constitutiontobea"living
constitution.[281]ThisconceptissaidtohaveoriginatedfromMissouriv.Holland[282]pennedbyJusticeOliverWendellHolmes:
Whenwearedealingwithwordsthatalsoareaconstituentact,liketheConstitutionoftheUnitedStates,wemustrealizethat
theyhavecalledintolifeabeingthedevelopmentofwhichcouldnothavebeenforeseencompletelybythemostgiftedofits
begetters.Itwasenoughforthemtorealizeortohopethattheyhadcreatedanorganismithastakenacenturyandhascost
theirsuccessorsmuchsweatandbloodtoprovethattheycreatedanation.(Emphasissupplied)
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, in his Notion of Living Constitution, [283] ventured to say that the framers purposely couched the
UnitedStatesConstitutioningeneralterms:
TheframersoftheConstitutionwiselyspokeingenerallanguageandlefttosucceedinggenerationsthetaskofapplyingthat
languagetotheunceasinglychangingenvironmentinwhichtheywouldlive.Thosewhoframed,adopted,andratifiedtheCivil
WaramendmentstotheConstitutionlikewiseusedwhathavebeenaptlydescribedas"majesticgeneralities"incomposingthe
fourteenth amendment. Merely because a particular activity may not have existed when the Constitution was adopted, or
becausetheframerscouldnothaveconceivedofaparticularmethodoftransactingaffairs,cannotmeanthatgenerallanguage
intheConstitutionmaynotbeappliedtosuchacourseofconduct.WheretheframersoftheConstitutionhaveusedgeneral

language,theyhavegivenlatitudetothosewhowouldlaterinterprettheinstrumenttomakethatlanguageapplicabletocases
thattheframersmightnothaveforeseen.(EmphasisSupplied)
TheoristsutilizingthefunctionalistapproachhavelikenedConstitutionstoanimatebeingsthatcanevolvetotheextentthattheybecome
hardlyrecognizablebytheirframers.Inotherwords,theybelievethattheConstitutionmaybeinterpretedinamannerthatgoesbeyond
theoriginalintentofthepersonswhocraftedthetext.
Inthiscase,theuseofboththeoriginalistandthefunctionalistapproachesleadstothesameresultthatpetitionerpadsufficientreason
tobelievethatsheisanaturalborncitizendespitetheadmittedfactthatshewasafoundling.
TheOriginalistApproach:
Interpretationinaccordancewiththe
intentoftheframers
RespondentsurgetheCourttoresolvethecitizenshipissueinthiscasebyusingtheoriginalistapproach,i.e.tomakeaninterpretation
basedprimarilyonanexaminationofthetextandtheoriginalintentoftheframersofthe1935Constitution.Theypositthattherewasno
intentonthepartofthedelegatestothe1934ConstitutionalConventiontoconsiderfoundlingsasnaturalborncitizens,"forhaditbeen
so, the text of the provision would have explicitly stated it."[284] In thy opinion, this is a simplistic reading of the Constitution that
disregardstheintentoftheframers.
WherethetermsoftheConstitutionitselfdonotrevealtheintentoftheframersandtherestofthepeople,extrinsicaidsmayberesorted
to,evenwhenusinganoriginalistapproach.TheanswermaybeprovidedbythedebatesorproceedingsintheConstitutionalConvention,
thecontemporaneouslegislativeorexecutiveconstruction,history,andtheeffectsresultingfromtheconstructioncontemplated[285]Here,
therecordsofthe1934ConstitutionalConventionprovethattheframersintendedtoaccordnaturalborncitizenshiptofoundlings.
Ithasbeenarguedthatthenoninclusionofaprovisionon"naturalchildrenofaforeignfatherandaFilipinomothernotrecognizedbythe
father" negates the intent to consider foundlings naturalborn citizens (or even merely citizens). However, the Court cannot infer the
absenceofintenttoincludefoundlingsbasedonthatfactalone.Indeed,thetranscriptofthedeliberationsduringthe1934Constitutional
ConventionshowswhyitwasdecidedthatfoundlingswerenottobeexpresslymentionedinSection1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution:
Sr.Rafols:Foranamendment,IproposethatafterIsubsection2,thefollowingisinserted:'Thenaturalchildrenofaforeign
fatherandaFilipinomothernotrecognizedbythefather.'
ElPresidente:Wewouldliketorequestaclarificationfromtheproponentoftheamendment.Thegentlemanreferstonatural
childrenortoanykindofillegitimatechildren?
Sr. Rafols: To all kinds of illegitimate children. It also includes natural children of unknown parentage, natural or illegitimate
childrenofunknownparents.
Sr.Montinola:Forclarification.Thegentlemansaid'ofunknownparents.'CurrentcodesconsiderthemFilipino,thatis,Irefer
totheSpanishCodewhereinallchildrenofunknownparentageborninSpanishterritoryareconsideredSpaniards,becausethe
presumptionisthat~childofunknownparentageisthesonofaSpaniard.ThismaybeappliedinthePhilippinesinthatachild
ofunknownparentageborninthePhilippinesisdeemedtobeFilipino,andthereisnoneed...
Sr.Rafols:Thereisaneed,becausewearerelatingtheconditionsthatare[required]tobeFilipino.
Sr.Montinola:Butthatistheinterpretationofthelaw,therefore,thereisnoneedfortheamendment.
Sr. Rafols: The amendment should read thus: 'Natural or illegitimate of a foreign father and a Filipino mother recognized by
one,orthechildrenofunknownparentage.'
Sr.Briones:Theamendment[should]meanchildrenborninthePhilippinesofunknownparentage.
Sr.Rafols:ThesonofaFilipinatoaforeigner,althoughthis[person]doesnotrecognizethechild,isnotunknown.
ElPresidente:Doesthegentlemanaccepttheamendmentornot?
Sr. Rafols: I do not accept the amendment because the amendment would exclude the children of a Filipina with a foreigner
whodoesnotrecognizethechild.TheirparentageisnotunknownandIthink those children of overseas Filipino mother and
father[whomthelatter]doesnotrecognize,shouldalsobeconsideredasFilipinos.
ElPresidente:ThequestioninorderistheamendmenttotheamendmentfromthegentlemanfromCebu,Mr.Briones.:
Mr.Bulson:Mr.President,don'tyouthinkitwouldbebettertoleavethismatterinthehandsoftheLegislature?:
Sr.Roxas:Mr.President,myhumbleopinionisthatthesecasesarefewandfarbetween,thattheconstitutionneed[not]refer
to them. By international law the principle that children or people born in a country of unknown parents are citizens in this
nationisrecognized,anditisnotnecessarytoincludeaprovisiononthesubjectexhaustively.
Thedelegatesappearedtohavebeenconvince4thattherewasnoneedtoincludeabindingprovisiononthesubjectforthe1following
reasons:theSpanishCivilCodealreadyrecognizesfoundlingswerebornofSpanishcitizens,andwerethusSpanish(Sr.Montinola)that
the citizenship of foundlings could be determined by Congress (Sr. Buslon) that the cases were so few and far between that the
Constitution did not need to refer to them (Sr. Roxas) or international law already recognized children or people born in a country of
unknownparentsascitizensofthatcountry(Sr.Roxas).
Forthesereasons,theybelievedthatitwasnolong1ernecessarytoincludefoundlingsamongthosetobeexpresslyenumerated in the
1935Constitution.TherecordisbereftofanyproposalbyanydelegatetodenyfoundlingsFilipinocitizenship.Itwouldeven
appearthatthosedelegateswhospokecouldnotimagineanyotherinterpretationthanthatfoundlingsaretobeconsidered
Filipinos.

ThetextualsilenceonfoundlingsinArticleIV,Section1isconsistentwiththeprinciplethatagoodConstitutionisbrief,comprehensive,
anddefinite.[286]Themajority[287]ofthedelegates,beinglawyers,musthavesubscribedtotheacceptedprinciplethattheConstitutionis
unavoidablyrequiredtobecouchedingenerallanguage:
It did not suit the purposes of the people, in framing this great charter of our liberties, to provide for minute specifications of its
powersortodeclarethemeansbywhichthosepowersshouldbecarriedintoexecution.Itwasforeseenthatthiswouldbeaperilous
anddifficult,ifnotanimpracticable,task.Theinstrumentwasnotintendedtoprovidemerelyfortheexigenciesofafewyears,but
wastoendurethroughalonglapseofages,theeventsofwhichwerelockedupintheinsrutablepurposesofProvidence.Itcould
not be foreseen what new changes and modifications of power might be indispensable to effectuate the general objects of the
charter, and restrictions and specifications which at the present might seem salutary might in the end prove the overthrow of the
systemitself.Henceitspowersareexpressedingeneralterms,leavingtothelegislaturefromtimetotimetoadoptitsownmeans
toeffectuatelegitimateobjectsandtomouldandmodeltheexerciseofitspowersasitsownwisdomandthepublicinterests,should
require.[288]
TheunderstandingthattheConstitutionmustbebriefevenasitisbroadisevidentinSr.Roxas'statementduringthedeliberationsthat
casesofchildrenbornofunknownparentagewereso"fewkindfarinbetween,thattheconstitutionneednotrefertothem."Notably,no
oneraised a comment or an objection in response to Delegate Roxas' remark. The framers might have also accepted, regardless of its
veracity,thatinternationallawregardsfoundlingsascitizensofthecountrywheretheywerefound.Theymayhavebelieved,asamatter
offact,thatcurrentcodesalreadyconsideredchildrenofunknownparentsasFilipinos.
Whatisclearfromthedeliberationsisthattheframerscouldnothaveintendedtoplacefoundlingsinlimbo,asthesocialjusticeprinciple
embodiedinSection5,ArticleIIofthe1935Constitutionindiscriminatelycovered"allofthepeople."Socialjusticehasbeendefinedas
"thehumanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively
secularconceptionmayatleastbeapproximated."[289]Itmeansthepromotionofthewelfareofallthepeople.[290]Itisfoundedonthe
recognitionofthenecessityofinterdependenceamongdiverseunitsofasocietyandoftheprotectionthatshouldbeequallyandevenly
extendedtoallgroupsasacombinedforceinoursocialandeconomiclife.Thisrecognitionisconsistentwiththestate'sfundamentaland
paramount objective of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons and bringing about the greatest good to the greatest
number.[291]
TheFunctionalistApproach:
Interpretationconsistentwithnatural
justice
Theissueofcitizenshipmayalsoberesolvedusingthefunctionalapproachtoconstitutionalinterpretation.Underthismethod,theCourt
shouldadoptaninterpretationthatwouldallowtheConstitutiontofulfillitspurpose.
Takinghistoricalconsiderationsintoaccount,itisbeyond cavil that the Constitution would not function as envisioned if we give judicial
imprimatur to the COMELEC's argument. It claims that the 1935 Constitution, as well as the 1973 and 1987 constitutions, excluded
foundlings from being citizens merely on the ground that they could not establish a blood relationship with a Filipino father. This
interpretationwouldlikewisegoagainstthefundamentalprincipleofnaturaljustice.
Mixtureofjussoliandjussanguinis
ThehistoryofcitizenshiplawsinthePhilippinesshowsthatwehaveneveradoptedapurelyjus sanguinis regime. Ours is a mixture of
elementsofjussoliandjussanguinis,whichweinheritedfromtheAmericansandtheSpaniards,respectively.Infact,aswillbeelaborated
inthesucceedingsection,theconceptof"naturalborncitizenship"originatedfromajussolijurisdiction.
TheCOMELEChowever,opinesthatonlythosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippinesareconsiderednaturalborncitizensunderthe
1935Constitution.[292]CitingVallesv.Comelec, [293]itarguesthatnaturalbornPhilippinecitizenshipisacquiredatthemomentofbirth
on the basis of blood relationship.[294] This is a gross misreading of the case. The Court in Valles did say that the principle of jus
sanguinis,whichconfers citizenship by virtue of blood relationship, was subsequently retained under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions
however, the Court never stated that jus sanguinis had ever been the exclusive regime in this jurisdiction. On the contrary, Rosalind
Lopez'sfather,fromwhomshederivedherPhilippinecitizenship,wasconsideredbytheCourtasaPhilippinecitizenbasedonhisbirthin
Daet,CamarinesNorte,in1879,ajussoliapplication:ofcitizenshiprules.
Far from adhering to an exclusively jus sanguinis regime, at least four modes of acquiring citizenship have operated in the: Philippine
jurisdictionsincetheturnofthecentury:jussoli,jussanguinis,resjudicataandnaturalization.Jussoliusedtopredominatebutuponthe
effectivityofthe1935Constitution,jussanguinisbecamethepredominatingregime.[295]
Citizenshippriortothe1935Constitution
The first Civil Code adopted in the Philippines was the Spanish Civil Code,[296] which became effective on 18 December 1889. It
enumeratedwhowereSpaniards:
Article17.ThefollowingareSpaniards:
(a)PersonsborninSpanishterritory,
(b)ChildrenofaSpanishfatherormother,eveniftheywerebornoutsideofSpain,
(c)Foreignerswhohaveobtainednaturalizationpapers,
(d) Those who, without such papers, may have become domiciled inhabitants of any town of the Monarchy. (Emphasis
supplied)
On21January1899,theMalolosConstitution,whichwasframedbythenationalassemblyofthefirstPhilippineRepublic,was
promulgated.AllpersonsborninthePhilippineterritorywereconsideredasFilipinos:

Article6.ThefollowingareFilipinos:
1.AllpersonsborninthePhilippineterritory.AvesselofPhilippineregistryisconsidered,forthispurpose,aspartof
Philippineterritory.
2.ChildrenofaFilipinofatherormother,althoughbornoutsideofthePhilippines.
3.Foreignerswhohaveobtainedcertificationofnaturalization.
4.Thosewho,withoutsuchcertificate,haveacquiredadomicileinanytownwithinPhilippineterritory.
ItisunderstoodthatdomicileisacquiredbyuninterruptedresidencefortwoyearsinanylocalitywithinPhilippineterritory,with
anopenabodeandknownoccupation,andcontributingtoallthetaxesimposedbytheNation.
TheconditionofbeingaFilipinoislostinaccordancewithlaw.(Emphasissupplied)
TheMalolosConstitutionwasshortlivedandwasinforceonlyintheplaceswerethefirstPhilippineRepublichadcontrolOn11April1899,
the Treaty of Paris between Spain and America took effect. Justice Jose C. Vitug, in Tecson v. Comelec[297] implied that between 10
December1898whenthepartiesenteredintothetreatyand11April1899,whenittookeffect,Spanishcivillawremainedintact.[298]
Theterm"citizensofthePhilippineIslands"wasintroducedafewyearslaterthroughSection4ofthePhilippineBillof1902:
Section4.ThatallinhabitantsofthePhilippineIslandscontinuingtoresidethereinwhowereSpanishsubjectsontheeleventh
clayofApril,eighteenhundredandninetynine,andthenresidedinsaidPhilippineIslands,andtheirchildrenbornsubsequent
thereto,shallbedeemedandheldtobecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsandassuchentitledtotheprotectionoftheUnited
States,exceptsuchasshallhaveelectedtopreservetheirallegiancetotheCrownofSpaininaccordancewiththeprovisionsof
thetreatyofpeacebetweentheUnitedStatesandSpainsignedatParisDecembertenth,eighteenhundredandninetyeight.
UnderthePhilippineBill,acitizenofthePhilippineswasonewhowasaninhabitantofthePhilippinesandaSpanishsubjecton11April
1899.Theterminhabitantwastakentoinclude1)anativeborninhabitant2)aninhabitantwhowasanativeofPeninsularSpainor3)
aninhabitantwhoobtainedSpanishpapersonorbefore11April1899.[299]
ControversyaroseonthestatusofchildrenborninthePhilippinesfrom11April1899to1July1902,duringwhichperiodnocitizenship
law was extant in the Philippines. Weight was given to the view, articulated in jurisprudential writing at the time that the common law
principleofjussoligovernedthoseborninthePhilippineArchipelagowithinthatperiod.[300]Jussoliwas also known as the principle of
territoriality,whichwasoperativeintheUnitedStatesandEngland.
In 1916, the Philippine Autonomy Act, also known as the Jones Law, restated virtually the provisions of the Philippine Bill: of 1902 as
amendedbytheActofCongressin1912:[301]
Section 2. That all inhabitants of the Philippine Islands who were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, eighteen
hundredandninetynine,andthenresidedinsaidIslands,andtheirchildrenbornsubsequentlythereto,shallbedeemedand
held to be citizens of the Philippine Islands, except such as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of
SpaininaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthetreatyofpeacebetweentheUnitedStatesandSpain,signedatParisDecember
tenth, eighteen hundred and ninetyeight and except such others as have since become citizens of some other country
Provided, That the Philippine Legislature, herein provided for, is hereby authorized to provide for the acquisition of Philippine
citizenshipbythosenativesofthePhilippineIslandswhodonotcomewithintheforegoingprovisions,thenativesoftheinsular
possessions of the United States, and such other persons residing in the Philippine Islands who are citizens of the United
States,orwhocouldbecomecitizensoftheUnitedStatesunderthelawsoftheUnitedStates,ifresidingtherein."
Underthe.JonesLaw,nativeborninhabitantsofthePhilippinesweredeemedtobecitizensofthePhilippinesasof11April1899ifthey
were (1) subjects of Spain on 11 April 1899 (2) residing in the Philippines on that date and (3) since that date, not citizens of some
othercountry.[302]
Citizenshipunderthe1935,1973and1987
Constitutions
ArticleIV,Section1ofthe1935Constitutionprovides:
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
1.ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
2.ThoseborninthePhilippineIslandsofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionofthisConstitution,hadbeenelectedtopublic
officeinthePhilippineIslands.
3.ThosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
4.ThosewhosemothersarecitizensofthePhilippinesand,uponreachingtheageofmajority,electPhilippinecitizenship.
5.Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
Items1and4oftheforegoingsectionshowthatthe1935Constitutionwasnotbasedpurelyonthejussanguinisprinciple.Taking into
accountthehistoryofourcitizenshipprovisions,thephrase"thosewhowerecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoption
ofthisConstitution"clearlyincludedthosewhodidnothaveasingledropofFilipinobloodinthem.Moreover,"thoseborninthePhilippine
Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office" were also automatically
consideredcitizensdespitethefactthattheywereofforeignblood.

Significantly,theprovisionsofSection1(1)ofArticleIVofthe1935Constitutionwerecarriedovertothe1973and1987Constitutions.
[303]TheonlydifferencewasthereferencetothecountryasPhilippines"insteadof"PhilippineIslands."

Consideringthemixtureofcitizenshipregimescurrentlyinforce,itisnotcorrecttosaythatthereisanexclusivejussanguinisprinciplein
place,andbecauseofthatprinciple,thatpetitioneristherebyrequired,regardlessofthefactthatsheisafoundling,tosubmitproofof
herbloodrelationshiptoaFilipinofather.Toruleotherwisewouldbetoimplementapurelyjussanguinisregimecontrarytothehistoryof
theConstitution.
Functionalityinaccordwithnaturaljustice
Aspreviouslyexplained,theConstitutionismeanttoadvancethefundamentalvaluesoftheFilipinopeople,inparticular,thosearticulated
inthePreamble:thepromotionofgeneralwelfare[304]thecreationofajustandhumanesociety[305]andtheprotectionoftheblessings
ofindependenceanddemocracyunderaregimeoftruth,justice,freedom,love,equality,andpeaceinaccordancewiththeruleoflaw.
[306]TheConstitutionmustbeinterpretedtoallowittofunctioninaccordancewiththeseideals.Thus,theCourtshouldnotconstruethe

citizenshipprovisionsofthe1935Constitutioninamannerthatwouldunjustlydeprivefoundlingsofcitizenshipandrenderthemstateless.
To emphasize, from the time that the Supreme Court was vested with the power to interpret the law, We have exercised this power in
accordancewithwhatisrightandjust.Citizenshipcasesarenoexception.Inpreviouscases,theCourthasinfactinterpretedthelawon
citizenshipinaccordancewithnaturaljustice.
InRoa v. Collector,[307] We have assumed that the principle of jus soli was applicable. This assumption was affirmed in Torres v. Tan
Chim[308]andGallofinv.Ordonez,[309]inwhichthisCourtheldthattheprincipleofjussoliwasfollowedwithreferencetoindividualswho
werebornofChinesefathersandFilipinomothers.[310]
InTalarocv.Uy, [311]WeheldthatinmakingjussanguinisthepredominatingprincipleinthedeterminationofPhilippinecitizenship,the
Constitution did not intend to exclude those who were citizens of the Philippines by judicial declaration at the time of its adoption. We
ruled that if, on the strength of Roa, a person was considered al fullfledged Philippine citizen on the date of the adoption of the
Constitution when jus soli was the prevailing doctrine, that person cannot be divested of Filipino citizenship.[312] The Court also stated
that "it would be neither fair nor good policy to hold Uy an alien after he had exercised the privileges of citizenship in the face of legal
principlesthathavetheforceoflaw."[313]
Theprinciplesofnaturaljusticewerealsoutilizedinothercasestoavoidanunfairoutcome.InSaledePorkanv.Yatco,[314]Weupheld
the validity of a contract over a parcel of land in favor of a "nonChristian inhabitant of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu." The
contractwasconsideredvaliddespitethelackofapprovalbytheprovincialgovernoroftheprovincewherethecontractwasexecutedas
mandatedbytheAdministrativeCodeofMindanaoandSulu.TheCourtheld:
But if the contract, Exhibit B, is avoided, the result would be just the contrary, for the nonChristian plaintiffappellant here
wouldbedivestedofownershipoverthehouseswhichwerecededtohimbyCdeSandwhichhenowpossesses.Thiswould
defeatthelegislativeaimandpurpose,destroysubstantialequities,andthwartthepostulatesofnaturaljustice.
In Van Dorn v. Romillo, [315] We also prevented injustice by freeing a Filipino woman from her marital obligations after she had been
divorcedbyherforeignerhusband:
To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private
respondentandstillsubjecttoawife'sobligationsunderArticle109,et.seq.oftheCivilCodecannotbejust.Petitionershould
notbeobligedtolivetogetherwith,observerespectandfidelity,andrendersupporttoprivaterespondent.Thelattershould
notcontinuetobeoneofherheirswithpossiblerightstoconjugalproperty.Sheshouldnotbediscriminatedagainstinherown
countryiftheendsofjusticearetobeserved.
Conceptof"naturalborn"citizenship
Therequirementofnaturalborncitizenshipshouldserveonlytodenycertainprivilegestothosewhohavegonethroughtheprocessof
naturalizationinordertoacquireandperfecttheircitizenship.Theconcept,originallymeanttodistinguishthosewhoare"naturalborn"
fromthosewhoare"foreignborn"injussolijurisdictions,cannot:beusedtojustifythedenialofcitizenshipstatustofoundlingsbecause
oftheirinabilitytoproveacertainbloodrelationship.
"Naturalborn"citizenshipandjussoli
An examination of the origin of the term "naturalborn" reveals that it was lifted by the Philippines from the United States (U.S.)
Constitution,whichstates:
NoPersonexceptanaturalbornCitizen,oraCitizenoftheUnitedStates,atthetimeoftheAdoptionofthisConstitution,shall
beeligibletotheOfficeofthePresidentneithershallanypersonbeeligibletothatOfficewhoshallnothaveattainedtothe
AgeofthirtyfiveYears,andbeenfourteenYearsaResidentwithintheUnitedStates.[316](Capitalizationintheoriginal)
TheU.S.Constitutionitselfdoesnotdefinetheterm.However,numerousholdingsandreferencesinfederalandstatecaseshaveclearly
indicated that those born in the United States andsubjecttoitsjurisdiction(i.e.,notborntoforeigndiplomatsortooccupying military
forces),eveniftheywereborntoalienparents,arecitizens"atbirth"or"bybirth,"andare"naturalborn,"asopposedto"naturalized,"
U.S.citizens.[317]
Asamatterofinclusion,ithasbeenheldthatitisbeyonddisputethatanyonebornonAmericansoilwithanAmericanparentisa"natural
borncitizen."[318]Asamatterofexclusion,anyonewhosecitizenshipisacquiredafterbirthasaresultof"naturalization"isnota"natural
born citizen."[319] The meaning of the naturalborn citizen clause became politically salient in the U.S. when John McCain became the
RepublicannomineeforPresidentinSeptemberof2008.HewasborninthePanamaCanalZonetoparentswhowereAmericancitizens.
[320]

Thephrase"naturalborncitizen"founditswaytoAmericafromEngland.Whiletherehadbeennoextensiveusageofthephraseduring
thefoundingeraoftheUS(17741797),itseemsclearthatitwasderivedfrom"naturalbornsubject,"whichhadatechnicalmeaningin
Englishlawandconstitutionaltheory.[321]TheframersoftheUSConstitutionwouldhavebeenfamiliarwithBlackstone'sCommentaries
whichJamesMadison(hailedasthe"FatheroftheConstitution")describedas"abookwhichisineveryman'shand"andwouldhave
understoodthatthefundamentalpremiseofnaturalborncitizenshipwasaconceptofallegiancetothesovereignatbirth.[322]
Indeed,theEnglishlexicographerSamuelJohnsondefined"natural"as"native,"whichmaymeaneitheran"inhabitant"oran"offspring."
[323]TheconceptionofnaturalbornsubjectsunderBritishlawistiedtothatofnaturalallegiancetoasovereign.Thisconceptionisbased

primarily on being born within the territory subject to the sovereign's rule, but with the addition of others (such as the children of
ambassadorsorofthesovereignsthemselves)whohavea"naturalallegiance"tothesovereign.
Blackstonewrites:
Thefirstandmostobviousdivisionofthepeopleisintoaliensandnaturalbornsubjects.Naturalbornsubjectsaresuchasare
bornwithinthedominionsofthecrownofEngland,thatis,withintheligeance,orasitisgenerallycalled,theallegianceofthe
kingandaliens,suchasarebornoutofit.Allegianceisthetie,orligamen,whichbindsthesubjecttotheking,inreturnfor
thatprotectionwhichthekingaffordsthesubject.Thethingitself,orsubstantialpartofit,isfoundedinreasonandthenature
ofgovernmentthenameandtheformarederivedtousfromourGothicancestors.
xxxx
Allegiance,bothexpressandimplied,ishoweverdistinguishedbythelawintotwosortsorspecies,theonenatural,theother
localtheformerbeingalsoperpetual,thelattertemporary.Naturalallegianceissuchasisduefromallmenbornwithinthe
king'sdominionsimmediatelyupontheirbirth.For,immediatelyupontheirbirth,theyareundertheking'sprotectionatatime
too,when(duringtheirinfancy)theyareincapableofprotectingthemselves.
xxxx
WhenIsay,thatanalienisonewhoisbornoutoftheking'sdominions,orallegiance,thisalsomustbeunderstoodwithsome
restrictions.Thecommonlawindeedstoodabsolutelysowithonlyaveryfewexceptions:sothataparticularactofparliament
became necessary after the restoration, for the naturalization of children of his majesty's English subjects, born in foreign
countriesduringthelatetroubles.Andthismaximofthelawproceededuponageneralprinciple,thateverymanowesnatural
allegiancewhereheisborn,andcannotowetwosuchallegiances,orservetwomasters,atonce.Yetthechildrenoftheking's
ambassadors born abroad were always held to be natural subjects: for as the father, though in a foreign country, owes not
even a local allegiance to the prince to whom he is sent so, with regard to the son also, he was held (by a kind of
postliminium) to be born under the king of England's allegiance, represented by his father, the ambassador.[324] (Emphasis
supplied)
Based on the foregoing, it appears that the original opposite of the term "naturalborn" is not "naturalized," but
"foreignborn."The term was meant to distinguish between those born within a certain territory and those born outside it.
Bloodordescentwasirrelevant.However,becauseofthemixtureofcommonlawandcivillawinourjurisdiction,theoriginal
conceptofnaturalborncitizenshipseemstohavebeendiluted.
CitizensbyBirthv.Citizensby
Naturalization
Irrespectiveoftheoriginoftheconcept,theterm"naturalborn"wasusedbytheframersofthe1935,1973and1987Constitutionsto
delineatetheprivilegesofthosewhoarecitizensatbirth,fromthoseenjoyedbycitizenswhoarenaturalized.
The word "naturalborn" appeared thrice in the 1935 Constitution as a qualification for the presidency and vicepresidency, as well as
membershipintheSenateandHouseofRepresentatives.[325]Theframersofthe1935Constitution,however,didnotdefinetheterm.
Intheircommentaryonthe1935Constitution,TaadaandFernandoopinedthattherequirementthatapersonbeanaturalborncitizen
may be interpreted to mean that at the time of birth, the candidate was a Filipino citizen naturalized citizens are excluded.[326]
Proceedingfromthislogic,citizenswhodidnotacquiretheirPhilippinecitizenshipthroughnaturalizationhavethecitizenship
qualificationtorunforthepresidency.
The statements in these commentaries are supported by the deliberations of the framers of the 1935 Constitution. During the 1934
ConstitutionalConvention,DelegateAlejandrinoproposedtolimiteligibilityforthepresidencyandvicepresidencyonlytoFilipinocitizens
borninthePhilippinesofparentswhowerenotnaturalized.[327]Thisproposalwasshotdown.Itmustbenoted,though,thathereferred
to parents who were "not naturalized," instead of those who were "naturalborn." It may be inferred that the framers of the 1935
Constitution only intended to exclude those citizens who had been naturalized from occupying certain positions. Another section of the
deliberationsproceededinthismanner:
DelegateArtadi.Iamgoingtoaskareconsiderationwithrespecttothematterappearingonpage22Awhichtreatsofthe
interpretation of the words, 'naturalborn,' because I would like to inform the Assembly that I have had a conversation with
somemembersofthecommittee...andtheyexplainedtomethatthewords,'naturalborn,'donotnecessarilymean'bornin
thePhilippines'thatistosay,translatedintoSpanish,theymeanthatonewhopossessesallthequalificationstobePresident
oftherepublic,asitiswritten,isnotnecessarilyborninthePhilippines.Sothatforpurposesoftherecord,Iwouldlikeoneof
the members of the committee to explain the true interpretation of the words, 'naturalborn,' for the information of the
Assembly.
ThePresident.ThedelegatefromCapiz,Mr.Roxas,maypleasetellwhatistheexactequivalentofthosewords.
Delegate Roxas. Mr. President, the phrase, 'naturalborn citizen' appears in the Constitution of the United States but the
authorssaythatthisphrasehasneverbeenauthoritativelyinterpretedbytheSupremeCourtoftheUnitedStatesinviewof

the fact that there has never been raised the question of whether or not an elected President fulfilled this condition. The
authors are uniform in the fact that the words, 'naturalborn' citizen,' means a citizen by birth, a person who is a
citizenbyreasonofhisbirth,andnotbynaturalizationorbyafurtherdeclarationrequiredbylawforcitizenship.
InthePhilippines,forexample,undertheprovisionsofthearticleoncitizenshipwhichwehaveapproved,allthosebornofa
fatherwhoisaFilipinocitizen,betheypersonsborninthePhilippinesoroutside,wouldbecitizensbybirthor'naturalborn.
And with respect to one born of a Filipino mother but of a foreign father, the article which we approved about citizenship
requiresthat,uponreachingtheageofmajority,thischildneedstoindicatethecitizenshipwhichheprefers,andifheelects
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, then he shall be considered a Filipino citizen. According to this
interpretation, the child of a Filipino mother with a foreign father would not be a citizen by birth, because the law or the
Constitutionrequiresthathemakeafurtherdeclarationafterhisbirth.Consequently,thephrase,'naturalborncitizen,'as
it is used in the English text means a Filipino citizen by birth, regardless of where he was born.[328] (Emphasis
supplied)
The requirement of "naturalborn" citizenship was carried over to the 1973 Constitution[329] and then to the present Constitution.[330]
Confirmingtheoriginalvisionoftheframersofthe1935Constitution,the1973Constitutiondefinedthetermas"onewhoisacitizenof
thePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformanyacttoacquireorperfecthisPhilippinecitizenship."[331]The1973definitionwas
adoptedinthepresentConstitution,withtheaddedprovisothatthosewhoelectPhilippinecitizenshipinaccordancewithparagraph(3),
[332]Section1ofArticleIV,shallbedeemednaturalborncitizens:

Art.IV,Section2.NaturalborncitizensarethosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformany
act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3),
Section1hereofshallbedeemednaturalborncitizens.
Sincethetermwasdefinedinthenegative,itisevidentthattheterm"naturalborncitizens"referstothosewhodonothavetoperform
anyacttoacquireorperfecttheirPhilippinecitizenship.Thedefinitionexcludesonlythosewhoarenaturalized.Fromthisinterpretation,it
maybeinferredthataFilipinocitizenwhodidnotundergothenaturalizationprocessisnaturalborn.AsWeexplainedinBengsonIIIv.
HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal:[333]
A citizen who is not a naturalized Filipino, i.e., did not have to undergo the process of naturalization to obtain Philippine citizenship,
necessarilyisanaturalbornFilipino.Noteworthyistheabsenceinsaidenumerationofaseparatecategoryforpersonswho,afterlosing
Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The reason therefor is clear: as to such persons, they would either be naturalborn or
naturalizeddependingonthereasonsforthelossoftheircitizenshipandthemodeprescribedbytheapplicablelawforthereacquisition
thereof.
In Bengson, We also ruled that private respondent regained his status as a naturalborn citizen the moment he reacquired his Filipino
citizenshipthroughrepatriation.ThatpartoftheDecisionwillbediscussedinfurtherdetailinthesucceedingsections.
NotPurityofBlood
Naturalizedcitizensareformeraliensorforeignerswhohadtoundergoarigidprocedure,inwhichtheyhadtoadducesufficientevidence
toprovethattheypossessedallthequalificationsandnoneofthedisqualificationstobecomeFilipinocitizensasprovidedbylaw.[334]In
contrast,asstatedintheearlycaseRoav.CollectorofCustoms,[335]anaturalborncitizenisaonewhohasbecomesuchatthemoment
ofbirth.
ItmaybeobservedfromtheexchangesduringthedeliberationsonthequalificationsofmembersoftheSupremeCourtthattheconcern
aboutthenaturalbornrequirementwasnotallaboutthequestionableallegianceofthosewithoutFilipinoblood,butofthosebornabroad
of Filipino parents. Delegate Lim expressed his understanding that the requirement was for the President to be "nativeborn," and his
reservationsaboutinstallingasmagistratesthosewhoarenotfamiliarwiththe"idiosyncrasiesofthepeople:"
How can we figure out that naturalized citizens could really interpret the purposes of this Constitution including the
idiosyncrasies of the people? We have as a matter of policy adopted the principle that the President of the Commonwealth
should be a native born. Our Supreme Court in some instances has the power much bigger than that of the President by
declaring our laws passed by the National Assembly as unconstitutional. That power makes the Supreme Court the supreme
interpreterofourlawsoftheland,andwhoelsebutnativebornpersons,individualswhohavebeenborninthecountry,can
interpret,asIsaid,thecustomsandhabitsofourpeople?[336]
Itmustbeemphasizedthatnaturalbornstatuswasneverintendedtobeameasureofthepurityofblood.ThisCourt,onreconsideration
inTanChong,[337]explainedwhybirthalonemaynotbesufficientbasisfortheacquisitionofcitizenship.Someoftheimportantelements
thatwouldmakeapersonlivinginacountryitscitizen:youthspentinthecountryintimateandendearingassociationwiththecitizens
amongwhomtheyliveknowledgeandprideofthecountry'spastbeliefinthegreatnessandsecurityofitsinstitutions,intheloftinessof
itsideas, and in the ability of the country's government to protect them, their children and their earthy possessions against perils from
withinandfromwithoutandtheirreadinesstodefendthecountryagainstthoseperils.[338]
In the same manner, blood relationship alone is not controlling.[339] The following groups of people, who technically have no "Filipino
blood,"wereeffectivelyconsideredcitizensbyvirtueofCommonwealthActNo.473orthe"RevisedNaturalizationLaw":
Section15.EffectoftheNaturalizationonWifeandChildren.Anywomanwhoisnowormayhereafterbemarriedtoacitizen
ofthePhilippines,andwhomightherselfbelawfullynaturalizedshallbedeemedacitizenofthePhilippines.
MinorchildrenofpersonsnaturalizedunderthislawwhohavebeenborninthePhilippinesshallbeconsideredcitizensthereof.
A foreignborn minor child, if dwelling in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of the parent, shall automatically
becomeaPhilippinecitizen,andaforeignbornminorchild,whoisnotinthePhilippinesatthetimetheparentisnaturalized,

shall be deemed a Philippine citizen only during his minority, unless he begins to reside permanently in the Philippines when
stillaminor,inwhichcase,hewillcontinuetobeaPhilippinecitizenevenafterbecomingofage.
A child born outside of the Philippines after the naturalization of his parent, shall be considered a Philippine citizen, unless
withinoneyearafterreachingtheageofmajority,hefailstoregisterhimselfasaPhilippinecitizenattheAmericanConsulate
ofthecountrywhereheresides,andtotakethenecessaryoathofallegiance.(Emphasissupplied)
A necessary implication of the above provision is that children born within the Philippines after the naturalization of their parent are
unqualifiedlycitizensofthecountry.Thisimplicationholdstrueevenifthenaturalizedparentispurelyofforeignblood.Moreover,because
theydonotneedtoperformanyacttoacquirePhilippinecitizenship,theymustbeconsiderednaturalborncitizensbydefinition.
Like foundlings, these groups are not expressly mentioned in the Constitution. However, by implication of law, they are considered
naturalborncitizensdespitetheabsenceofasingledropofFilipinobloodinthem.Fromthisfact,onecandrawnootherconclusion:that
thenaturalbornclassificationhasnothingtodowithbloodlineorbirthright.
Foundlingnot"naturalizedinaccordance
withlaw"
Ithasbeenarguedthatafoundlingmayobtainonlynaturalizedcitizenship,becauseanactissupposedlyrequiredtoacquirethisstatus,
i.e., the registration of the child as a foundling after an administrative proceeding. In other words, it is contended that the process of
registrationeffectivelyamountstonaturalizationinaccordancewithlaw.Thiscontentionisunacceptableforthreereasons.
First, the phrase "naturalized in accordance with law" must be understood with reference to the naturalization process provided under
naturalization statutes. In several decisions, this Court has construed the meaning of the expression "in accordance with law" as an
allusiontoenablinglegislation.[340]Hence,naturalizationinArticleIV,Section1ofthe1935Constitution,doesnotrefertojustanyact,
but to the specific procedure for naturalization prescribed by the legislature. The Court does not have the right to engage in judicial
legislationonnaturalizationwhentheConstitutionexclusivelyvestssaidpowerinCongress.
Second,registrationisnotanactthatcanbeattributedtoafoundling.PursuanttoSection5ofActNo.3752,[341]thepersonwhofinds
an abandoned child shall report the place, date and hour of finding and other attendant circumstances to the local civil registrar for
purposes of registration. This prescribed act is in sharp contrast to the naturalization process provided under the Revised Naturalization
Law,[342]whichrequirestheapplicantstothemselvespersonallyandvoluntarilyperformcertainactstoavailofnaturalizedcitizenship.In
particular,applicantsarerequiredto(a)fileadeclarationunderoaththeirbonafideintentiontobecomeacitizenofthePhilippines[343]
(b)fileapetitionforcitizenshipwithacompetentcourt[344](c)participateinahearingbeforeacompetentcourt[345]and(d)takean
oath of allegiance to the Philippines.[346] Needless to state, foundlings do not perform acts equivalent to any of these when they are
registered.Moreoftenthannot,theyarenotawareoftheircircumstanceswhentheyarebeingregisteredasfoundlings.
Third, it is possible to register a foundling by reporting the circumstances of the discovery to the local civil registrar without any
administrativeproceeding,iftheregistrationisdonepriortothesurrenderofthecustodyofthechildtotheDSWDoraninstitution.[347]It
is only when the child is turned over to the DSWD without having been registered with the local civil registrar that an administrative
proceedingisrequiredpriortotheissuanceofaFoundlingCertificate.[348]Ifachildisalreadyregisteredbythefinder,theadministrative
proceedingundertheRulesoftheDSWD[349]isfollowednotforthepurposeofallowingthatregistration,butonlytodeterminewhether
thechildmaybedeclaredlegallyavailableforadoption.
Petitionerdidnotlosehernaturalborn
statuswhenshereacquiredPhilippine
citizenshipunderR.A.9225.
Respondents also question the reacquisition by petitioner of her citizenship under R.A. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re
acquisitionActof2003.Theyclaimthatonlynaturalborncitizensareallowedtoreacquirecitizenshipunderthelaw. Since petitioner is
allegedlynotacitizenofthePhilippines,sheisnotentitledtothisprivilege.
Thepremiseofpetitioner'sargumenthasalreadybeenextensivelyaddressedabove.Forreasonspreviouslyexplained,petitionermaybe
considered a naturalborn citizen hence, she may validly reacquire her citizenship under R.A. 9225. The other arguments raised by
respondentsareaddressedbelow.
AdoptionDecreeandAmendedBirth
Certificate
Inmyview,petitionerwasentitledtorelyupontheadoptiondecreeissuedinherfavorandtheamendedbirthcertificateissuedpursuant
thereto. These documents named Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces, and no other, as her parents for all intents and purposes. Her
relianceonthesedocumentsjustifiesherbeliefthatsheisanaturalborncitizenentitledtoavailherselfoftheprovisionsofR.A.9225.
It must be emphasized that adoption severs all legal ties between the biological parents and the adoptee and vests those rights in the
adopter.[350] Section 17 of R.A. 8552, in particular, provides that the "adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of the
adopterforallintentsandpurposesandassuchisentitledtoalltherightsandobligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughter
borntothemwithout discrimination of any kind." Hence, upon the entry of an adoption decree, the law creates a relationship in which
adoptedchildrenaredeemed"bornof"theiradoptiveparents:
...Theactofadoptionfixesastatus,viz.,thatofparentandchild.Moretechnically,itisanactbywhichrelations
of paternity and affiliation are recognized as legally existing between persons not so related by nature. It has
beendefinedasthetakingintoone'sfamilyofthechildofanotherassonordaughterandheirandconferringon
it a title to the rights and privileges of such. The purpose of an adoption proceeding is to effect this new status of
relationshipbetweenthechildanditsadoptiveparents,thechangeofnamewhichfrequentlyaccompaniesadoptionbeingmore

anincidentthantheobjectoftheproceeding.Thewelfareofthechildistheprimaryconsiderationinthedeterminationofan
applicationforadoption.Onthispart,thereisunanimousagreement.
It is the usual effect of a decree of adoption to transfer from the natural parents to the adoptive parents the custody of the
child's person, the duty of obedience owing by the child, and allotherlegalconsequencesandincidentsofthenatural
relation, in the same manner as if the child had been born of such adoptive parents in lawful wedlock, subject,
however,tosuchlimitationsandrestrictionsasmaybebystatuteimposed.[351](Emphasissupplied)
As proof of this new relationship, an adoptee's original birth certificate is cancelled and sealed in the records of the Civil Registry.
Thereafter,anamendedbirthcertificateisissuedinitsplace"attestingtothefactthattheadopteeisthechildoftheadopter(s)"[352]This
amendedcertificateisissuedwithoutanynotationthatitisneworamended.[353]Onceissued,thisdocumenthasthesamelegaleffectas
anyotherbirthcertificate,andisentitledtoapresumptionofvalidityasapublicdocument.[354]
Evidently,torequireadopteestogobeyondtheparentageestablishedintheirbirthcertificateswoulddefeatthepurposeofR.A.8552in
requiring courts and other institutions to seal adoption records, including the child's original birth certificate, and to maintain the
confidentialityofthosepapers.[355]
Bytheseprovisions,thelegislatureclearlyintendedtoprotecttheprivacyofthepartiestotheadoption,therebyallowingthemtoavoid
the stigma resulting from the proceedings. The rationale behind these confidentiality provisions was elucidated by the U.S. Court of
Appeals, Second Circuit, in Alma Society Incorporated v. Mellon. [356] In that decision, which was later affirmed by the U.S. Supreme
Court,[357]theU.S.CourtofAppealsexplained:
Judged by these standards, the New York sealed record statutes do not want constitutional validity. The statutes, we think,
serve important interests. New York Domestic Relations Law s 114 and its related statutes represent a considered legislative
judgmentthattheconfidentialitystatutespromotethesocialpolicyunderlyingadoptionlaws.SeeInreAnonymous,89Misc.2d
132, 133, 390 N.Y.S.2d 779, 781 (Surr.Ct.1976). Originally, sealing adoption records was discretionary with the court, 1924
N.Y.Laws,ch.323,s113,butin1938confidentialityofadoptionrecordsbecamemandatory.1938N.Y.Laws,ch.606s114.
Aslateas1968,thelegislatureenactedvariousamendmentstoincreasetheassuranceofconfidentiality.1968N.Y.Laws,ch.
1038.Moreover,thepurposeofarelatedstatute,Section4138ofthePublicHealthLaws,wastoerasethestigma
ofillegitimacyfromtheadoptedchild'slifebysealinghisoriginalbirthcertificateandissuinganewoneunderhis
new surname. And the major purpose of adoption legislation is to encourage natural parents to use the process
when they are unwilling or unable to care for their offspring. New York has established a careful legislative
scheme governing when adoption may occur and providing for judicial review, to encourage and facilitate the
socialpolicyofplacingchildreninpermanentlovinghomeswhenanaturalfamilybreaksup.Asthecourtofappeals
statedinScarpettav.SpenceChapinAdoptionService,28N.Y.2d185,195,321N.Y.S.2d65,73,Cert.denied,404U.S.805,
321 N.Y.S.2d 65, 269 N.E.2d 787 (1971), "(i)t cannot be doubted that the public policy of our State is contrary to the
disclosure of the names and identities of the natural parents and prospective adoptive parents to each other." (Footnote
omitted.) Fortytwo other states, according to the State of New York, require that birth and adoption records be kept
confidential, indicating the importance of the matter of confidentiality. See also Uniform Adoption Act (U.L.A.) s 16(2) (rev.
1969)(adoptionrecords"aresubjecttoinspectiononlyuponconsentoftheCourtandallinterestedpersonsorinexceptional
cases, only upon an order of the Court for good cause shown"). These significant legislative goals clearly justify the State's
decision to keep the natural parents' names secret from adopted persons but not from nonadopted persons. (Emphasis
supplied)
ApplicabilityofBengsonvHRET
As to whether petitioner also reacquired her naturalborn status, the Court must apply the ruling in Bengson III v. HRET,[358] which
allowed the applicant to reacquire not only his citizenship, but also his original naturalborn status. In that case, the Court noted that
thosewhoreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipmustbeconsiderednaturalbornornaturalizedcitizens,sincetheConstitutiondoesnotprovide
a separate category for them. Between the two categories, the Court found it more appropriate to consider them naturalborn citizens,
sincetheywerenotrequiredtogothroughthetediousnaturalizationprocedureprovidedunderthelaw:
ThepresentConstitution,however,nowconsidersthosebornofFilipinomothersbeforetheeffectivityofthe1973Constitution
and who elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the majority age as naturalborn. After defining who are naturalborn
citizens, Section 2 of Article IV adds a sentence: "Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3),
Section 1 hereof shall be deemed naturalborn citizens." Consequently, only naturalized Filipinos are considered not natural
borncitizens.ItisapparentfromtheenumerationofwhoarecitizensunderthepresentConstitutionthatthereareonlytwo
classesofcitizens:(1)thosewhoarenaturalbornand(2)thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.Acitizenwhois
notanaturalizedFilipino,i.e.,didnothavetoundergotheprocessofnaturalizationtoobtainPhilippinecitizenship,necessarily
isanaturalbornFilipino.Noteworthyistheabsenceinsaidenumerationofaseparatecategoryforpersonswho,afterlosing
Philippinecitizenship,subsequentlyreacquireit.Thereasonthereforisclear:astosuchpersons,theywouldeitherbenatural
bornornaturalizeddependingonthereasonsforthelossoftheircitizenshipandthemodeprescribedbytheapplicablelawfor
thereacquisitionthereof.AsprivaterespondentCruzwasnotrequiredbylawtogothroughnaturalizationproceedingsinorder
toreacquirehiscitizenship,heisperforceanaturalbornFilipino.Assuch,hepossessedallthenecessaryqualificationstobe
electedasmemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives.
Although Bengson referred to R.A. 2630 or the repatriation of persons who served in the U.S. Armed Forces,[359] a similar process is
undergonebythosewhoreacquirecitizenshipunderR.A.9225.Inpreviouscases,thisCourthasalsoconsistentlycharacterizedR.A.9225
asa"repatriation"statute[360]thatallowsformerFilipinocitizenstorecovertheirnaturalbornstatus.[361]
Accordingly,thelogicusedbythisCourtinBengsonalsoappliestothiscasetheprocedureprovidedbyR.A.9225doesnotamountto
naturalizationconsequently,acitizenwhoreacquirescitizenshipunderthisstatutecannotbedeemednaturalized.
Determinationofnaturalbornstatusatbirth

WhenR.A.9225providesfortheloss,reacquisitionandretentionofcitizenship,itrefersonlytothefactofcitizenship,not naturalborn
status:
Section2.DeclarationofPolicy.ItisherebydeclaredthepolicyoftheStatethatallPhilippinecitizenswhobecomecitizensof
anothercountryshallbedeemednottohavelosttheirPhilippinecitizenshipundertheconditionsofthisAct.
Section 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, naturalborn citizens of
thePhilippineswhohavelosttheirPhilippinecitizenshipbyreasonoftheirnaturalizationascitizensofaforeigncountryare
herebydeemedtohavereacquiredPhilippinecitizenshipupontakingthefollowingoathofallegiancetotheRepublic:
"I_______________________ , solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of
the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines, and I
herebydeclarethatIrecognizeandacceptthesupremeauthorityofthePhilippinesandwillmaintaintruefaithandallegiance
theretoandthatIimposethisobligationuponmyselfvoluntarilywithoutmentalreservationorpurposeofevasion."
NaturalborncitizensofthePhilippineswho,aftertheeffectivityofthisAct,becomecitizensofaforeigncountryshallretain
theirPhilippinecitizenshipupontakingtheaforesaidoath.(Emphasissupplied)
These provisions are consistent with Article IV,[362] Section 2 of the 1935 Constitution, which indicates that what may be lost or
reacquiredisPhilippinecitizenshipandnotnaturalbornstatus.Thesetermswerecarriedoverintothe1973and1987Constitutions.
Theprecisecharacterofthecitizenshipreacquiredunderthelawwasnolongermadeanissueintheseprovisions,becausenaturalborn
statusisdeterminedatthetimeofbirth.[363]Thischaracteristiccannotbechanged,unlessanindividualundergoesnaturalizationinany
oftheinstancesprovidedbylaw.[364]Aswillbeexplainedbelow,theprocedureforthereacquisitionofcitizenshipunderR.A.9225does
notamountto
naturalization.
Reacquisitionisnotnaturalization
It has been argued that the taking of an oath under R.A. 9225, as petitioner has done, should be considered as an "act to acquire or
perfectcitizenship"underSection2,ArticleIVofthepresentConstitution.Aspreviouslydiscussed,however,thereareonlytwoclassesof
citizensundertheConstitutionthosewhoarenaturalbornandthosewhoarenaturalized.The"act"advertedtointheConstitutionmust
thereforebeunderstoodaspertainingonlytotheactofnaturalization.
The1935,1973,and1987ConstitutionsconferredonCongressthepowertodeterminewhoarenaturalizedcitizens:
1935CONSTITUTION
ARTICLEIV
Citizenship
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(5)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.(Emphasissupplied)
1973CONSTITUTION
ARTICLEIII
Citizenship
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.(Emphasissupplied)
1987CONSTITUTION
ARTICLEIV
Citizenship
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.(Emphasissupplied)
In compliance with this constitutional mandate, Congress enacted the required enabling statute in 1939 when it passed Commonwealth
ActNo.473ortheRevisedNaturalizationLaw.Thispieceoflegislationidentifiesthosewhoaretobeconsiderednaturalizedcitizensofthe
country,anditisnottheprovinceoftheCourttoencroachuponthislegislativeprerogative.Accordingly,wecannotunilaterally declare
those who have availed themselves of the benefits of R.A. 9225 and similar laws as naturalized citizens. To do so would violate the
principleofseparationofpowers.
ItmustbeemphasizedthatR.A.9225merelydiscussestheretentionandreacquisitionofcitizenship,notnaturalization.Asearlyas1936,
Congressalreadytreatednaturalizationasadifferentspeciesapartfromrepatriationandothermodesthatmaylaterbeintroducedbythe
nationalassembly:
Section.2.Howcitizenshipmaybereacquired.Citizenshipmaybereacquired:

(1)Bynaturalization:Provided,Thattheapplicantpossessnoneofthedisqualification'sprescribedinsectiontwoofActNumbered
Twentyninehundredandtwentyseven,
2) By repatriation of deserters of the Army, Navy or Air Corp: Provided, That a woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her
marriagetoanalienmayberepatriatedinaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisActaftertheterminationofthemaritalstatusand
(3)BydirectactoftheNationalAssembly.[365]
ThereacquisitionandretentionofcitizenshipunderR.A.9225orR.A.2630[366]andrepatriationunderR.A.8171[367]aredifferentfrom
naturalizationunderC.A.473.Reacquisition,retention,andrepatriationareeffectedbymerelytakingthenecessaryoathofallegianceand
registeringinthepropercivilregistry(andintheBureauofImmigrationinaccordancewithR.A.8171).Ontheotherhand,naturalization
is a tedious process that begins with the filing of a declaration of intention one year prior to filing a petition for admission to Philippine
citizenshipandendswiththeissuanceofacertificateofnaturalization.
Here, petitioner did not have to undergo the process of naturalization in order to reacquire her Philippine citizenship. She only had to
followtheprocedurespecifiedinR.A.9225.Inthislight,todeclareheranaturalizedcitizenwouldthusbecontrarytolaw.
Torefusetorecognizefoundlingsas
citizensofthePhilippinesisto
contraveneourobligationsunder
existinginternationallaw.
ThePhilippinesisobligatedbyexistingcustomaryandconventionalinternationallawtorecognizethecitizenshipoffoundlings.
CustomaryInternationalLaw
Petitionerassertsthatinternationallawinthe1930sgrantedafoundlingtherighttoacquireanationality"frombirth."Inmyopinion,she
has not presented sufficient evidence to prove that in 1935, the Philippines was bound by customary international law to recognize
foundlingsasPhilippinecitizens.
It must be remembered that norms of customary international law become binding on the Philippines as part of the law of the land by
virtueoftheIncorporationClauseintheConstitution.[368]Forincorporationtooccur,however,twoelements[369]mustbeestablished:(a)
widespreadandconsistentpracticeonthepartofstatesand(b)apsychologicalelementknownastheopinioJurissivenecessitatisora
belief on the part of states that the practice in question is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it.[370] For
evident reasons, a statement made by one of the framers of the 1935 Constitution and the Hague Convention cannot, by themselves,
prove widespread state practice or opinio Juris. Without more, We cannot declare the existence of a binding norm of customary
internationallawgrantingcitizenshiptofoundlingsin1935.
I believe, however, that this customary norm exists in international law at present. Although matters of citizenship were
traditionally considered to be within the exclusive jurisdiction of states, contemporary developments indicate that their
powers in this area are now "circumscribed by their obligations to ensure the full protection of human rights."[371] In
particular,therightofchildrentoacquireanationalityisenshrinedinanumberofinternational[372] and regional[373]conventions. The
presumption of citizenship accorded to foundlings in a state's territory is specifically mentioned in three conventions: the 1930 Hague
Convention,[374] the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness[375] and the European Convention on Nationality.[376] These
treaties, concurred in by various state parties,[377] show that on the part of the members of the international community, there is
widespreadrecognitionoftherighttonationalityofchildreningeneralandfoundlingsinparticular.
Asimportantastheseinternationalinstrumentsaretheactionsofstatesintheirowndomesticspheres.TheInternationalCourtofJustice
itselfhasconsiderednationallegislationassufficientevidenceofstatepractice.[378] Inthiscase,asurveyofthecitizenshiplawsof189
countriesallovertheworldrevealsthat165ofthesenationsconsiderfoundlingsascitizensbyoperationoflaw.Twentythreeofthese
states[379]grantcitizenshiptofoundlingsinobservanceofthejussoliprinciple,orthegeneralgrantofcitizenshiptoallindividualsborn
withintheirterritory.Meanwhile,onehundredfortytwocountries[380]haveenactedfoundlingstatutestograntcitizenshiptoachildfound
in their territories if the parents are unknown, unless there is proof to the contrary. Depending on the rule followed by the state, the
foundlingispresumedeithertohavebeenbornintheterritory[381]ortohavebeenborntocitizensofthestate.[382]
Thatstateshaveagreedtobeboundbytheseobligationsundervariousconventionsandhaveevenenacteddomesticlegislationtofulfill
theirresponsibilitiesunderthelawofnationsindicatestheirrecognitionofthebindingcharacterofthisnorm.Theseactsdemonstratethe
opinioJurisofthosestates,i.e.,theirrecognitionthatthegrantofnationalitytofoundlingsisobligatoryunderinternationallaw.[383]
In view of the concurrence of these two elements, it is evident that a rule requiring states to accord citizenship to foundlings has
crystallizedintoacustomarynorm.ThePhilippinesisthereforeboundatpresenttoactincompliancewiththeseobligations.
TheICCPRandtheCRC
As a state party to the ICCPR[384] and the CRC,[385] the Philippines is also obligated to respect the right of every child to acquire a
nationality.Whilethesetreatiesostensiblypertainonlytoa"righttoacquire"anationality,thisrighthasbeeninterpretedasthedutyofa
state to "grant nationality," particularly where there is a link only with the state on whose territory the child was born. As the United
Nations(UN)HumanRightsCommitteeexplained:
64.Regardlessofthegeneralruleswhichgovernacquisitionofnationality,Statesshouldensurethatsafeguardsareinplaceto
ensurethatnationalityisnotdeniedtopersonswithrelevantlinks to that State who would otherwise be stateless. This is of
particular relevance in two situations, at birth and upon State succession. As regards the right to acquire a nationality under
article24, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Human Rights Committee stated that
"Statesarerequiredtoadopteveryappropriatemeasure...toensurethateverychildhasanationalitywhenheisborn".In
thiscontext,birthontheterritoryofaStateandbirthtoanationalarethemostimportantcriteriausedtoestablishthelegal

bondofnationality.WherethereisonlyalinkwiththeStateonwhoseterritorythechildwasborn,thisStatemust
grant nationality as the person can rely on no other State to ensure his orherrighttoacquireanationalityand
would otherwise be stateless. Indeed, if nationality is not granted in such circumstances then article 24,
paragraph3,oftheInternationalCovenantaswellasarticle7oftheConventionontheRightsoftheChildwould
otherwisebemeaningless.Inconcreteterms,thecircumstancereferredtoabovemayarise,forexample,whereachildis
born on the territory of a State to stateless parents or with respect to foundlings. Given the consequences to the children
concerned,denialofnationalityinsuchinstancesmustbedeemedarbitrary.[386](Emphasissupplied)
InitsConcludingObservationsonFiji'scompliancewiththeCRC,theUNCommitteeontheRightsoftheChildlikewisedirectedstatesto
takeallmeasurestoavoidstatelessnessincompliancewiththeirobligationsunderArticle7oftheCRC:
TheCommitteetakesnoteofarticle7oftheCitizensDecree,whichstipulatesthatanyinfantfoundabandonedinFijiisdeemed
to have been born in Fiji unless there is evidence to the contrary. However, the Committee is concerned that this stipulation
might carry a risk of statelessness for children of whom it can be proven that they have not been born in Fiji, but whose
nationalitycanneverthelessnotbeestablished.[...]TheCommitteerecommendsthattheStatepartytakeallthenecessary
measurestoavoidachildfoundabandonedinFijibeingstateless.[387]
Consideringtheseinternationalnorms,itistheobligationofthePhilippinesnotonlytograntnationalitytofoundlings,butalsotoensure
thatnoneofthemarearbitrarilydeprivedoftheirnationality.Needlesstostate,theCourtcannotinterprettheConstitutioninamanner
contrarytotheseobligations.Wecannotsanctionaviolationofinternationallaw.
Adeclarationthatfoundlingsarestateless
personswouldhaveunconscionable
consequences.
ThedutyoftheCourttointerprettheConstitutionisimpressedwiththeequallyvitalobligationtoensurethatthefundamentallawserves
theendsofjusticeandpromotesthecommongood.Afterall,theConstitutionismeanttobethelegalembodimentofthesevalues,andto
bethepeople'sinstrumentfortheprotectionofexistingnaturalrightsandbasichumanliberties.AsChiefJusticeReynatoPunoexplained
inhisSeparateOpinioninRepublicv.Sandiganbayan:
Butwhiletheconstitutionguaranteesandprotectsthefundamentalrightsofthepeople,itshouldbestressedthatitdoesnot
createthem.AsheldbymanyoftheAmericanRevolutionpatriots,"libertiesdonotresultfromcharterschartersratherarein
thenatureofdeclarationsofpreexistingrights."JohnAdams,oneofthepatriots,claimedthatnaturalrightsarefounded"in
theframeofhumannature,rootedintheconstitutionoftheintellectandmoralworld."Thus,itissaidofnaturalrightsvisa
vistheconstitution:
. . . (t)hey exist before constitutions and independently of them. Constitutions enumerate such rights and provide
against their deprivation or infringement, but do not create them. Itis supposed that all power, all rights, and all
authority are vested in the people before they form or adopt a constitution. By such an instrument, they create a
government,anddefineandlimitthepowerswhich the constitution is to secure and the government respect. But
they do not thereby invest the citizens of the commonwealth with any natural rights that they did not before
possess.(Italicssupplied)
Aconstitutionisdescribedasfollows:
AConstitutionisnotthebeginningofacommunity,northeoriginofprivaterightsitisnotthefountainoflaw,nor
theincipientstateofgovernmentitisnotthecause,butconsequence,ofpersonalandpoliticalfreedomitgrants
norightstothepeople,butis the creature of their power, the instrument of their convenience. Designed for their
protectionintheenjoymentoftherightsandpowerswhichtheypossessedbeforetheConstitutionwasmade,itis
buttheframeworkofthepoliticalgovernment,andnecessarilybaseduponthepreexistingconditionoflaws,rights,
habitsandmodesofthought.Thereisnothingprimitiveinititisallderivedfromaknownsource.Itpresupposes
anorganizedsociety,law,order,propriety, personal freedom, a love of political liberty, and enough of
cultivatedintelligencetoknowhowtoguardagainsttheencroachmentsoftyranny.[388](Citationsomitted
andemphasissupplied)
IbelievethatdisputesinvolvingtheConstitutionmust be resolved with these precepts in mind. As the Constitution is no ordinarylegal
document, this Court should strive to give meaning to its provisions not only with reference to its text or the original intention of its
framers.BehindthetextaretheidealsandaspirationsoftheFilipinopeopletheirintentto"promotethegeneralwelfare"[389]to"build
ajustandhumanesociety"[390]andto"securetheblessingsofindependenceanddemocracyundertheruleoflawandaregimeoftruth,
justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace."[391] Any construction that would derogate from these fundamental values cannot be
countenanced.
Inthiscase,adeclarationthatfoundlingsarenaturalborncitizensareunconscionable.First,suchadeclarationwould effectively render
allchildrenofunknownparentagestatelessandwouldplacetheminaconditionofextremevulnerability.[392] As citizenship is "nothing
less than the right to have rights,"[393] its deprivation would leave foundlings without any right or measure of protection. During the
proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Nationality, the Senior Legal Adviser of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugeesexplainedthenatureoftherighttocitizenship:
TheRighttoaGivenNationalityintheAvoidanceofStatelessness
Citizenship,ornationality,hasbeendescribedasman'sbasicright,as,infact,therighttohaverights.Nationalityisnotonlya
rightofitself,itisanecessaryprecursortotheexerciseofotherrights.Nationalityprovidesthelegalconnectionbetweenan
individual and a State, which serves as a basis for certain rights for both the individual and the State, including the State's
entitlementtograntdiplomaticprotection.[394]

In the Philippines, a stateless individual is deprived of countless rights and opportunities under the Constitution, statutes and
administrativeregulations.Theseincludetherightstosuffrage[395]educationandtraining[396]candidacyandoccupationofpublicoffice
andotherpositionsingovernment[397]useandenjoymentofnaturalresources[398]investment[399] ownership and control of certain
typesofbusinesses[400]practiceofrofessons[401] engagement in certain occupations[402] and even participation in legal proceedings
involvingstatus,conditionandlegalcapacity.[403]
Second,adeclarationthatpetitionerisacitizenbutisnotnaturalbornisnolessodioustofoundlingsconsideringtheprivilegesthatwould
be deemed unavailable to them. These include certain state scholarships[404] and a number of government positions requiring natural
born citizenship as a qualification, i. e. a range of nationa1[405] and loca1[406] offices, various posts in government commissions,[407]
corporations,[408]banks,[409]educationalinstitutions,[410]professionalregulatoryboards[411]andthemilitary.[412]
Therepercussionsofsucharulingforfoundlingscurrently holding the enumerated positions are too compelling to ignore. Adeclaration
thatindividualsofunknownparentagearenotFilipinos,oratbestnaturalizedcitizens,mayleadtotheirremovalfromgovernmentposts
ademandtoreturnallemolumentsandbenefitsgrantedinconnectionwiththeirofficesandeventheendofpensionbenefitspresently
beingenjoyedbyaffectedretirees.TheproposalforCongresstoremedytheunjustsituationthatwouldresultfromanaffirmancebythis
CourtofunjustCOMELECrulingsistooodiousasolutiontoevenconsider.ItisnotthefunctionofCongresstocorrectanyinjusticethat
wouldresultfromthisCourt'sproposedunhappyrulingonfoundlings.Rather,itisthisCourt'sfirstandforemostdutytorenderjusticeto
them,astheConstitutionsrequires
WHEREFORE,IvotetoGRANTtheconsolidatedpetitions.

[1]468Phil.421(2004).
[2]Id.at490.
[3]Id.at494.
[4]ThepetitiondocketedasG.R.No.221697assailedtheCOMELECEnBancResolutiondated23December2015inSPANo.15001(DC)

denyingpetitioner'smotionforreconsiderationoftheCOMELECSecondDivisionResolutiondated1December2015.Ontheotherhand,
thepetitiondocketedasG.R.No.221698700assailstheCOMELECEnBancResolutiondated23December2015intheconsolidatedcases
docketedasSPANos.15002(DC),15007(DC)and15139(DC).TheCOMELECEnBancdeniedpetitioner'smotionforreconsideration
oftheCOMELECFirstDivisionResolutiondated11December2015.
[5] This provision states: "When the Court in recess and the urgency of the case requires immediate action, the Clerk of Court or the

DivisionClerkofCourtshallpersonallytransmittherollototheChiefJusticeortheDivisionChairpersonforhisorheraction."
[6]Forinstance,seetheCOMELEC'suseofadissentinTecsonv.COMELEC,OmnibusResolutiondated11December2015,pp.24,46.
[7]Sanchezv.Rosario,111Phil.733(1961),citingAbeedev.Imperial103Phil.136145(1958).
[8]DeliberationsoftheCommittee:AdHoc,RevisionofLaws,20May1985,pp.6568.
[9]DeliberationsoftheCommittee:RevisionofLaws,30May1985.
[10]G.R.No.207264,22October2013.
[11]Black'sLawDictionarydefines"summaryproceeding"as"anonjuryproceedingthatsettlesacontroversyordisposesofacaseina

relativelypromptandsimplemanner."(Black'sLawDictionary1242[8thed.2004]).
[12]318Phil.329(1995).
[13]Id.at460461.
[14]Id.at457458.JusticeMendozathenquoteSection12,68and78oftheOmnibusElectionCode,Sections6and7oftheElectoral

ReformsLaw.R.A.6646,andSection40oftheLocalGovernmentCode,R.A.7160).
[15]Id.at462463.
[16]Ferminv.COMELEC,595Phil.449(2008).
[17]G.R.No.194076,G.R.No.194160,[October18,2011])
[18]G.R.No,207105,[November10,2015])
[19]G.R.No.196804,197015,[October9,2012],696PHIL786918)

[20]G.R.No.191938,[July2,2010],636PHIL753815)
[21]G.R.No.207900,[April22,2014])
[22]G.R.No.195229,[October9,2012],696PHIL700785)
[23]G.R.No.192856,[March8,2011])
[24]G.R.No,193237,193536,[October9,2012],696PHIL601700)
[25]G.R.No.192221,[November13,2012])
[26]G.R.No.179430,[July27,2009],611PHIL501517)
[27]G.R.No.105111,105384,July3,1992.
[28]G.R.No.100710,100739,September3,1991,278PHIL275302.
[29]G.R.No.134015,July19,1999,369PHIL793829.
[30]G.R.No.209835,September22,2015.
[31]G.R.No.193314,February26,2013.
[32]G.R.No.I20265,September18,1995,318PHIL467539.
[33]G.R.No.207264,25June2013.
[34]511Phil.720(2005).
[35]G.R.No.207900,22April2014.
[36]595Phil.1172(2008).
[37]460Phil.459(2003).
[38]575Phil.253(2008).
[39]G.R.No.193314(Resolution),25June2013.
[40]Labo,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.105111,105384,3July1992.
[41]Labo,Jr.v.CommissiononElections.257Phil.123(1989).
[42]Arateav.COMELEC,G.R.No.195229,9October2012.
[43]SeeDissentingOpinionofJusticeDanteO.TingainTecsonv.COMELEC,468Phil.421755(2004).
[44]G.R.No.119976,18September1995.
[45]Id.
[46]371Phil.377393(1999).
[47]G.R.No.180051,24December2008.
[48]Id.
[49]Id.
[50]593Phil.383397(2008).
[51]G.R.No.179430,27July2009.
[52]636Phil.753815(2010).

[53]G.R.No.188671,24February2010.
[54]G.R.No.192856,8March2011
[55]468Phil.421755(2004).
[56]575Phil.253266(2008).
[57]595Phil.449479(2008).
[58]696Phil.700785(2012).
[59]696Phil.786918(2012).
[60]G.R.No.202202,19March2013.
[61]G.R.No.136351,28JulyI999.
[62]Tagolinov.HRET,G.R.No.202202,19March2013.
[63]Mirandav.Abaya,G.R.No.136351,28July1999.
[64]Villafuertev.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.206698,25February2014Hayudiniv.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.207900,

22April2014Agustinv.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.207105,10November2015.
[65]G.R.No.209286,23September2014.
[66]Ferminv.COMELEC,G.R.No.179695&182369,18December2008.
[67]G.R.No.119976,18September1995.
[68]Id.
[69]G.R.No.191938,2July2010.
[70]Id.
[71]Id.
[72]Tagolinov.HRET,supra.
[73]Ferminv.COMELEC,supra.
[74]Almagrov.SpousesAmaya,Sr.,G.R.No.179685,19June2013.
[75]Id.
[76]Id.
[77]HeirsofLimensev.Vda.deRamos,G.R.No.152319,28October2009.
[78]Id.
[79]SeeTecsonv.COMELEC,G.R.No.161434,161634,161824,March3,2004,468PHIL421755andSalcedoIIv.COMELEC,371Phil

(1999).
[80]RulesofCourt,Rule133,Sectio
[81]SeeJisonv.CourtofAppeals,GRNo.124853,24February1998..
[82]Id.
[83]G.R.No.191938,2July2010.
[84]686Phil.649(2012).
[85]Rule130oftheRulesofCourt.

[86]RufinaPatisFactoryv.Alusitain,supra.
[87]Lacbayanv.Samoy,Jr.,supra.
[88]Id.
[89]Sec.4.Judicialadmissions.Anadmission,verbalorwritten,madebyapartyinthecourseoftheproceedingsinthesamecase,does

not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such
admissionwasmade.
[90]G.R.No.123553,13July1998.
[91]Id.
[92]RulesofCourt,Rule132,Section19provides:

Sec.19.ClassesofDocuments.Forthepurposeoftheirpresentationinevidence,documentsareeitherpublicorprivate.
Publicdocumentsare:
(a) The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers,
whetherofthePhilippines,orofaforeigncountry
(b)Documentsacknowledgedbeforeanotarypublicexceptlastwillsandtestamentsand
(c)Publicrecords,keptinthePhilippines,ofprivatedocumentsrequiredbylawtobeenteredtherein.
Allotherwritingsareprivate.(Emphasissupplied)
[93]PhilippineTrustCo.v.CA,G.R.No.150318,22November2010.
[94]Id.
[95]Chuav.CA,G.R.No.88383,19February1992.
[96]ChinaBankingCorp.,Inc.v.CA,G.R.No.155299,24July2007.
[97]G.R.No.5272,19March1910.
[98]Memorandumofpetitioner,pp.284287.
[99]Cav.HRET,G.R.Nos.9219192&9220203,30July1991.
[100]Nuvalv.Ouray,G.R.No.30241,29December1928.
[101]Carrev.Carre,G.R.No.L10128,13November1956.
[102]Ugdaracian,Jr.v.COMELEC,G.R.No.179851,18April2008.
[103]25AmJur2d,Domicil13,citedintheConcurringandDissentingOpinionofJ.Puno,Macalintalv.COMELEC,G.R.No.157013,10

July2003.
[104]Limbonav.COMELEC,G.R.No.181097,25June2008.
[105]RomualdezMarcosv.COMELEC,G.R.No.119976,18September1995.
[106]RomualdezMarcosv.COMELEC,G.R.No.119976,18September1995.
[107]Japzonv.COMELEC,G.R.No.180088,19January2009Gayov.Verceles,G.R.No.150477,28February2005.
[108] Sabili v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 193261, 24 April 2012 Papandayan, Jr. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147909, 16 April 2002 Romualdez

Marcos v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 119976, 18 September 1995 Co v. HRET, G.R. Nos. 9219192 & 9220203, 30 July 1991 Faypon v.
Quirino,G.R.No.L7068,22December1954.
[109]Caasiv.CA,G.R.Nos.88831&84508,8November1990.
[110]Caasiv.CA,G.R.Nos.88831&84508,8November1990.
[111]Jalosjosv.COMELEC,G.R.No.191970,24April2012.

[112]Jalosjosv.COMELEC,G.R.No.191970,24April2012.
[113]Gallegov.Verra,G.R.No.48641,24November1941.
[114]DumpitMichelenav.Boado,G.R.Nos.16361920,17November2005.
[115]Gallegov.Verra,G.R.No.48641,24November1941.
[116]Gallegov.Verra,G.R.No.48641,24November1941,p.456.
[117]Id.
[118]Id.at668.
[119]G.R.No.191938,2July2010.
[120]Designating1September1973to28February1974asaHomecomingSeasonforOverseasFilipinos.Pursuanttotheprogram,the

executivedepartmentsweremobilizedtowelcomeandextendprivilegestooverseasFilipinoswhoarecominghometothePhilippines.It
calledforthepreparationofahospitalityprogramforoverseasFilipinos,aswellastheofferingofpromotionalroundtripairlinefaresfor
foreign and domestic flights. A temporary "tax holiday" was also declared for the Homecoming Season in which all tax clearance
requirementsinvolvedinthetravelofoverseasFilipinostoandfromthePhilippinesshallbesuspendedandwaived.Aprogramofrewards
was initiated for local governments which are able to invite the most number of overseas Filipinos. The presidential issuance also
constitutedaNationalHospitalityCommitteeforOverseasFilipinos,whichshallorganizeandsupervisetheoperationsoflocalhospitality
committees,especiallyinregardtosharingwithoverseasFilipinosatraditionalFilipinoChristmas.
[121]TheintroductorystatementofLOINo.163dated7February1974provides:

WhileprojectedarrivalsbyFebruary28was30,000,the35,000thBalikbayanparticipanthasalreadyactuallyarrivedasofthisdate.
NumerousrequestsandpetitionsfortheextensionoftheBalikbayanprogramhavebeenreceivedbytheOfficeofthePresidentandthe
Department of Tourism from individual Overseas Filipinos, from associations thereof, and from officials of the Philippine foreign service.
They cite as reasons the noncoincidence of the original Homecoming season (1 September 1973 to 28 February 1974) with the school
vacation period overseas, and the lack of time of Overseas Filipinos to arrange for their vacations and leave of absences from their
occupationsduetothesuddennessofthelaunchingoftheBalikbayanprogram.
Acommonreason,moreover,isthat,withthestoriesaboutthenewPhilippinesrelatedbyBalikbayanparticipantswhohavereturnedto
their overseas residences, our countrymen who were unable to participate in Balikbayanare now more eager than ever to observe for
themselvestheNewSocietyinactionandtosharetheprideofthenewFilipinoinhimselfandinhisrebornnation.
[122]SixmonthExtensionoftheBalikbayanProgram.
[123]DeclaringABalikScientistProgram,AllowinganyForeignBasedScientists,Professional,Technician,oranyPersonwithSpecialSkill

orExpertisewhoisofFilipinoOriginorDescenttoPracticeHis/HerProfessionorExpertiseinthePhilippinesandAligningIncentivesfor
Him/HerandforOtherPurposes.
[124]5th"Whereas"clauseofP.D.819.
[125]"Now,therefore"clauseofLOI1044.
[126]Extensionofthe"BALIKBAYAN"Programdated9February1976.
[127]LOI493entitledExtensionofEffectivityoftheBalikbayanProgramdated30December1976.
[128]LOI652entitledExtensionoftheBalikbayanProgramdated6January1978.
[129]LOI811entitledExtensionofPeriodforOperationoftheBalikbayanProgramdated14February1979.
[130]LOI985entitledExtensionoftheBalikbayanProgramdated21January1980.
[131]InstitutingtheBalikScientistProgramundertheDepartmentofScienceandTechnology.
[132] Special nonimmigrant visas are issued in accordance with Section 47 of The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended. It

states:
Section47.NotwithstandingtheprovisionsofthisAct,thePresidentisauthorized
(a)Whenthepublicinterestsowarrants

(l)Towaivethedocumentaryrequirementsforanyclassofnonimmigrants,undersuchconditionsashemayimpose
(2) To admit, as nonimmigrants, aliens not otherwise provided for by this Act, who are coming for temporary period only, under such
conditionsashemayprescribe
(3)Towaivethepassportrequirementsforimmigrants,undersuchconditionsashemayprescribe
(4)Toreduceortoabolishthepassportvisafeesinthecaseofanyclassofnonimmigrantswhoarenationalsofcountrieswhichgrant
similarconcessionstoPhilippinecitizensofasimilarclassvisitingsuchcountries
(5) To suspend the entry of aliens into the Philippines from any country in which cholera or other infectious or contagious disease is
prevalent
(b) For humanitarian reasons, and when not opposed to the public interest, to admit aliens who are refugees for religious, political, or
racialreasons,insuchclassesofcasesandundersuchconditionsashemayprescribe.
[133]AnActInstitutingaBalikbayanProgram.
[134]PresidentialDecreeNo.1183(AmendingandConsolidatingtheProvisionsonTravelTaxofRepublicActNo.1478asAmendedand

Republic Act No. 6141, Prescribing the Manner of Collection Thereof, Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof, and for Other Purposes,
dated 21 August 1977) and Executive Order No. 283 (Restructuring the Travel Tax Exemptions and Restoring the Reduced Rates on
CertainIndividuals,AmendingforthisPurpose,PresidentialDecreeNo.1183,asAmended,datedJuly25,1987)exemptedonlyFilipino
overseascontractworkersfromthepaymentofthetraveltax.
[135]AnActAmendingRepublicActNumbered6768,Entitled,"AnActInstitutingA"BalikbayanProgram,"byProvidingAdditionalBenefits

andPrivilegestoBalikbayanandforOtherPurposes.
[136]RepublicActNo.6768,asemendedbyRepublicActNo.9174,Section2(c).
[137]OWWABoardResolutionNo.03803dated19September2003entitledGuidelinesonOWWAMembership,ArticleVIII,Section2(4)

(b).
[138]Id.atSection6(b).
[139],(lastvisited9March2016).
[140]Id.
[141]Id.
[142],(lastvisited9March2016)
[143]RepublicActNo.8042(MigrantWorkersandOverseasFilipinosActof1995),asamendedbyRepublicActNo.10022dated8March

2010,Section17.
[144]AnOFWisapersonwhoistobeengaged,isengagedorhasbeenengagedinaremuneratedactivityinastateofwhichheorsheis

notacitizenoronboardavesselnavigatingtheforeignseasotherthanagovernmentshipusedformilitaryornoncommercialpurposes
oronaninstallationlocatedoffshoreoronthehighseas[RepublicActNo.8042,Section3(a)]
[145]RepublicActNo.6768,asamendedbyRepublicActNo.9174,Section6,par.2.
[146]ThewebsiteoftheBureauofImmigrationstates:

ThosewhoareadmittedasBalikbayansaregivenaninitialstayofone(1)year.Theymayextendtheirstayforanotherone(1),two(2)
orsix(6)monthsprovidedthattheypresenttheirvalidpassportandfilledoutthevisaextensionformandsubmitittotheVisaExtension
Section in the BI Main Office or any BI Offices nationwide. An additional requirement will be ask (sic) for (sic) Balikbayans who have
stayedinthePhilippinesafterthirtysix(36)months.
[147]G.R.No.151914,31July2002.
[148]G.R.No.180088,19January2009.
[149]G.R.No.209835,22September2015.
[150]CitizenshipRetentionandReacquisitionActof2003.
[151]435U.S.647(1978).
[152]Id.

[153]284Md.425(1979).
[154]ThewebsiteoftheBureauofImmigrationstates:

ThosewhoareadmittedasBalikbayansaregivenaninitialstayofone(l)year.Theymayextendtheirstayforanotherone
(I),two(2)orsix(6)monthsprovidedthattheypresenttheirvalidpassportandfilledoutthevisaextensionformandsubmit
ittotheVisaExtensionSectioninthe81MainOfficeorany81Officesnationwide.Anadditionalrequirementwillbeask(sic)
for(sic)BalikbayanswhohavestayedinthePhilippinesafterthirtysix(36months).
Thisisavailableathttp://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visainquiry/balikbayanprivilege,(lastvisited8March2016).

[155]PetitiontoDenyDueCourse,dated21Oct.2015(Elamparo),AnnexE.
[156]Jalosjosv.COMELEC,G.R.No.193314,26February2013Mitrav.COMELEC,G.R.No.191938,2July2010Gayov.Verceles,G.R.

No.150477,28February2005.
[157]PetitionersubmittedasevidenceExhibit"7,"whichisBrian'sofficialtranscriptofrecordsfromtheBeaconSchoolinTaguigCity.It

statesthatBrianwasenrolledinGrade8attheBeaconSchoolfortheacademicyear20052006.Exhibit7A,aCertificationfromSandra
BernadetteFirmalino,RegistraroftheDeLaSalleHighSchoolDepartment,indicatesthatin2006,BriantransferredtoLaSalleGreenhills,
andthathestudiedthereuntilhegraduatedfromhighschoolin2009.Exhibits"7B"and"7C"areHanna'spermanentrecordsatthe
AssumptionCollegeasanelementaryandsecondarystudent,respectively.TheyshowthatHannawasenrolledinGrade2atAssumption
CollegeinMakatiCityforacademicyear20052006.
AsforAnika,petitionerallegedthatAnikawasjustunderayearoldwhentheformerandherfamilyrelocatedtothePhilippinesinMay
2005andthereforeAnikawasnotenrolledinanyschoolin2005.PetitionerpresentedExhibit"7D,"whichisaCertificateofAttendance
dated 8 April 2015 issued by the Directress of the Learning Connection, Ms. Julie Pascual Penaloza. It states that Anika attended pre
schoolattheLearningConnectioninSanJuanCityfromJanuarytoMarch2007.PetitionerlikewiseofferedasevidenceExhibit"7E,"a
Certificationdated14April2015issuedbytheDirectressoftheGreenmeadowsLearningCenter,Ms.AnnaVillali.maReyes,Anikastudied
at the Greenmeadows Learning Center in Quezon City for academic year 20072008. Exhibit "7F" is the Elementary Pupil's Permanent
RecordshowingthatAnikaspentherkindergartenandgradeschoolyearsattheAssumptionCollege.Therecordcoverstheyears2007to
2013.ThesameExhibit"7F"indicatesthatAnikawasbornon5June2004.
[158]MarkedasExhibit"8."
[159]MarkedasExhibits"11"and"12."
[160]TCTNo.290260,issuedbytheRegisterofDeedsofQuezonCity.
[161]G.R.No.187478(2009).
[162]718A.2d1111(1984).
[163]Id.
[164]COMELECCommentdated7January2016,p.56.
[165]COMELECComment,page56.
[166]G.R.No.191970,24April2012.
[167]Jalosjosv.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.193314.26February2013.
[168] Oglesby State Election Bd. v. Bayh 521 N.E. 2d 1313 (1988) Farnsworth v. Jones, 114 N.C. App. 182 (1994) Hale v. State of

MississippiDemocraticExecutiveCommittee(168So.3d946(2015).
[169]No.2015EC00965SCT(2015).
[170]Seep.47,par.157.
[171]Section236(J)oftheTaxReformActof1997,R.A.No.8424,11December1997provides:

(J) Supplying of Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Any person required under the authority of this Code to make, render or file a
return,statementorotherdocumentshallbesuppliedwithorassignedaTaxpayerIdentificationNumber(TIN)whichheshallindicatein
suchreturn,statementordocumentfiledwiththeBureauofInternalRevenueforhisproperidentificationfortaxpurposes,andwhichhe
shallindicateincertaindocuments,suchas,butnotlimitedtothefollowing:
[172]Id.

[173]Affidavit,p.1.
[174]No.2015EC00965SCT(2015).
[175]G.R.No.28328,2October1928,52PHIL130138)
[176]CommentOppositiontothePetitionforCertiorari(G.R.No.221698700)dated8January2015,p.51,par.174.
[177]Petitioner'sMemorandump.279.
[178]372Md.360(2002).
[179]314U.S.441(1941).
[180]314u.s.456
[181]Id.
[182] Superior Court of North Carolina. Wake County. Business Court. Steve W Fowler and Elizabeth P. Fowler v. North Carolina

Department of Revenue. No. 13 CVS 10989. 6 August 2014, citing Hall v. Wake Cnty. Bd. of Elections, 280 N.C. 600, 187 S.E.2d 52
(1972).SeealsoRobinCatesv.OlgaMescherskayaandProgressiveCasualtyInsuranceCompany.CivilActionNo.1400729./Signed1
July 2014. United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, citing Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, LLC v. Sasol North Am., Inc., No. 11
856,2012WL262613,at*5(W.D.La.Jan.30,2012).
[183]MemorandumforrespondentAmadoD.Valdez,p.25.
[184]372Md.360(2002).
[185]TranscriptofStenographicNotestakenduringtheOralArgumentson16February2016,pp.8586.
[186]No.2015EC00965SCT(2015).
[187]114N.C.App.182(1994).
[188]968So.2d745(2007).
[189]Pa.SuperiorCt.237(1984)473A.2d1069.
[190]ReceiptNos.827172and8220421,dated23February2006.
[191]372Md.360(2002).
[192]RepublicActNo.8189,11June1996.
[193]G.R.No.191938,19October2010.
[194]473A.2d1069(1984).
[195]53.2Exceptions.

(a)U.S.citizens,asdefinedin41.0ofthischapter,arenotrequiredtobearU.S.passportswhentravelingdirectlybetweenpartsofthe
UnitedStatesasdefinedin51.1ofthischapter.
(b)AU.S.citizenisnotrequiredtobearavalidU.S.passporttoenterordeparttheUnitedStates:
(1)WhentravelingasamemberoftheArmedForcesoftheUnitedStatesonactivedutyandwhenheorsheisintheuniformof,orbears
documents identifying him or her as a member of, such Armed Forces, when under official orders or permit of such Armed Forces, and
whencarryingamilitaryidentificationcardor
(2)WhentravelingentirelywithintheWesternHemisphereonacruise!ship,andwhentheU.S.citizenboardsthecruiseshipataportor
place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from
where he[ or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a governmentissued photo identification document in combination
with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report: of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a
Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States if the U.S. citizen is
undertheageof16,heorshemaypresenteitheranoriginaloracopyofhisorherbirthcertificate,aConsularReport:ofBirthAbroad
issuedbytheDepartment,oraCertificateofNaturalizationissuedbyU.S.CitizenshipandImmigrationServicesor
(3) When traveling as a U.S. citizen seaman, carrying an unexpired Merchant Marine Document (MMD) in conjunction with maritime

business. The MMD is not sufficient to establish citizenship for purposes of issuance of a United States passport under part 51 of this
chapteror
(4)Trustedtravelerprograms(i)NEXUSProgram.WhentravelingasaparticipantintheNEXUSprogram,heorshemaypresentavalid
NEXUSprogramcardwhenusingaNEXUSAirkioskorwhenenteringtheUnitedStatesfromcontiguousterritoryoradjacentislandsata
landorseaportofentry.AU.S.citizenwhoenterstheUnitedStatesbypleasurevesselfromCanadaundertheremoteinspectionsystem
mayalsopresentaNEXUSprogramcard
(ii)FASTprogram.AU.S.citizenwhoistravelingasaparticipantintheFASTprogrammaypresentavalidFASTcardwhenenteringthe
UnitedStatesfromcontiguousterritoryoradjacentislandsatalandorseaportofentry
(iii) SENTRI program. A U.S. citizen who is traveling as a participant in the SENTRI program may present a valid SENTRI card when
entering the United States from contiguous territory or adjacent islands at a land or sea portofentry The NEXUS, FAST, and SENTRI
cardsarenotsufficienttoestablishcitizenshipforpurposesofissuanceofaU.S.passportunderpart51ofthischapteror
(5)Whenarrivingatlandportsofentryandseaportsofentryfromcontiguousterritoryoradjacentislands,NativeAmericanholdersof
AmericanIndianCards(FormI872)issuedbyU.S.CitizenshipandImmigrationServices(USCIS)maypresentthosecardsor
(6) When arriving at land or sea ports of entry from contiguous territory or adjacent islands, U.S. citizen holders of a tribal document
issued by a United States qualifying tribal entity or group of United States qualifYing tribal entities as provided in 8 CFR 235.l(e) may
present that document. Tribal documents are not sufficient to establish citizenship for purposes of issuance of a United States passport
underpart51ofthischapteror
(7)WhenbearingdocumentsorcombinationsofdocumentstheSecretaryofHomelandSecurityhasdeterminedunderSection7209(b)of
Public Law 108458 (8 U.S.C. 115 note) are sufficient to denote identity and citizenship. Such documents are not sufficient to establish
citizenshipforpurposesofissuanceofaU.S.passportunderpart51ofthischapteror
(8) When the U.S. citizen is employed directly or indirectly on the construction, operation, or maintenance of work undertaken in
accordance with the treaty concloded on February 3, 1944, between the United States and Mexico regarding the functions of the
InternationalBoundaryandWaterCommission(IBWC),TS994,9Bevans1166,59Stat.1219,orotherrelatedagreements,providedthat
theU.S.citizenbearsanofficialidentificationcardissuedbytheIBWCandistravelinginconnectionwithsuchemploymentor
(9)WhentheDepartmentofStatewaives,pursuanttoEO13323ofDecember30,2003,Section2,therequirementwithrespecttothe
U.S.citizenbecausethereisanunforeseenemergencyor
(10)WhentheDepartmentofStatewaives,pursuanttoEO13323ofDecember30,2003,Sec2,therequirementwithrespecttotheU.S.
citizenforhumanitarianornationalinterestreasonsor
(11)WhentheU.S.citizenisachildundertheageof19arrivingfromcontiguousterritoryinthefollowingcircumstances:
(i)Childrenunderage16.AUnitedStatescitizenwhoisundertheqgeof16ispermittedtopresenteitheranoriginaloracopyofhisor
her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
ServiceswhenenteringtheUnitedStatesfromcontiguousterritoryatlandorseaportsofentryor
(ii) Groups of children under age 19. A U.S. citizen who is under age 19 and who is traveling with a public or private school group,
religiousgroup,socialorculturalorganization,orteamassociatedwithayouthsportorganizationmaypresenteitheranoriginaloracopy
of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services when arriving in the United States from contiguous territory at all land or sea ports of entry, when the group,
organizationorteamisunderthesupervisionofanadultaffiliatedwiththeorganizationandwhenthechildhasparentalorlegalguardian
consenttotravel.Forpurposesofthisparagraph,anadultisconsideredtobeapersonwhoisage19orolder.Thefollowingrequirements
willapply:
(A)Thegroup,organization,orteammustprovidetoCBPuponcrossingtheborderonorganizationalletterhead:
(1)Thenameofthegroup,organizationorteam,andthenameofithesupervisingadult
(2)Alistofthechildrenonthetripand
(3)Foreachchild,theprimaryaddress,primaryphonenumber,:dateofbirth,placeofbirth,andthenameofatleastoneparentorlegal
guardian.
(B) The adult leading the group, organization, or team must demonstrate parental or legal guardian consent by certifYing in the writing
submitredinparagraph(b)(ll)(ii)(A)ofthissectionthatheorshehasobtainedforeachchildtheconsentofatleastoneparentorlegal
guardian.
(C) The procedure described in this paragraph is limited to memb rs of the group, organization, or team who are urider age 19. Other
membersofthegroup,organization,orteammustcomplywithotherapplicabledocumentand/orinspectionrequirementsfoundin8CFR
parts211,212,or235.
[196]G.R.No.195649,16April2013.
[197]
[198]Republicv.CourtofAppealsG.R.No.97906,21May1992.

[199]Section17.
[200]ChildandYouthWelfareCode(1974),Article38.
[201]DomesticAdoptionActof1998,Sec.15.
[202]A.M.No.02602SC,Sec.18.
[203]ItmustbenotedthatintheUS,adoptionstatutesprohibitadoptionfilesfrombeinginspectedbybirthparents,thegeneralpublic,

andeventheadultadopteesthemselves,withP,oststatesprovidingthatsealedadoptedrecordscouldbeopenedonlybycourtorder.203
InthecaseofInRe:RogerB418N.E.2d751(III.1981),theCourteventuallyheldthattheadopteehasnofundamentalrighttoviewhis
adoption records since the status of an adoptee does not result at birth. It is derived from legal proceedings the purpose of which is to
protectthebestinterestsofthechild.
[204]RepublicActNo.8552entitled"DomesticAdoptionActof1998,"Section14.
[205]CIVILCODE,Art.410.
[206]Baldosv.CourtofAppealsandPillazar,638Phil.601(2010).
[207]MarkedasExhibit"2."
[208]Reyesv.Sotero,517Phil.708(2006).
[209]Id.
[210]Theoriginalcertificateofbirthshallbestamped"cancelled,"annotatedwiththeissuanceofanamendedbirthcertificateinitsplace,

andshallbesealedinthecivilregistryrecords.Withdueregardtotheconfidentialnatureoftheproceedingsandrecordsofadoption,the
civil registrar where the foundling was registered is charged with the duty to seal the foundling certificate in the civil registry records,
whichcanbeopenedonlyuponorderoftheeourtwhichissuedthedecreeofadoptiort(Section16(B)(3)(c),A.M.No.02602SC,31July
2002).
[211]Section2,StatementofPolicy.
[212]Section3(d).
[213]Section3(e).
[214]Section13(e)
[215]In1950,anapplicationforaPhilippinepassportwasfiledforaboy,whohadbeenfoundbySps.Haleinanairraidshelter.Theboy

wasonlythreeyearsoldwhenhewasfound.Hisparents,sisterandgrandmotherwereamongthedead.TheDFAaskedforaDOJopinion
withtheregardtothestatusoffoundlings.In1951,theSecretaryofJusticereleasedDOJOpinionNo.189,seriesof1951whichstated
that,followinginternationalconventions,afoundlingispresumedtohaveassumedthecitizenshipoftheplacewhereheorsheisfound.
Sincethen,theOFAhasbeenissuingpassportstofoundlings.
[216]<http://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/consularservices/passportinformdtion>(lastaccessed8March2016).
[217] Section 44. Entries in official records. Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer of the

Philippines,orbyapersonintheperformanceoffdutyspeciallyenjoinedbylaw,areprimafacieevidenceofthefactsthereinstated.(38)
[218]Lejanov.People,652Phil.512(2010).
[219]InGo,Sr.v.Ramos,G.R.Nos.167569,167570,171946,4Septembr2009,614PHIL451484,theCourtexplainedthatresjudicata

applies only when the following concur: (a) a person's citizenship is raised as a material issue in a controversy where that person is a
party (b) the Solicitor General or an authorized representative took active part in the resolution of the issue ana (c) the finding of
citizenshipisaffirmedbythisCourt.Theseconditionsdonotobtaininthiscase.
[220]PetitionforCertiorari(G.R.No.221697)dated28December2015,AnnexIseries,Exhibit20.
[221]InInRe:RogerB,theSupremeCourtofIllinoisexplainedthep?tentpolicyinterestswhicharepromotedbythesealingofadoption

records.Includedinthoseinterestsarethefacilitationoftheadoptionprocessbymaintainingtheanonymityandtherighttoprivacyof
thenaturalparents,andtheintegrityofthenewadoptivefamily:

Confidentialityisneededtoprotecttherighttoprivacyofthenatralparent.Thenaturalparents,havingdetermineditisinthe
best interest of themselves and the child, have placed the child for adoption. This process is not done merely rwith the
expectationofanonymity,butalsowiththestatutoryassurancethathisorheridentitywillbeshieldedfrompublicdisclosure.
Quiteconceivably,thenaturalparentshaveestablishedanewfamilyunitwiththeexpectationofconfidentialityconcerningthe

adoptionthatoccurredseveralyearsearlier.
xxxx
Confidentialityalsomustbepromotedtoprotecttherightoftheadoptingparents.Theadoptingparentshavetakenintotheir
homeachildwhomtheywillregardastheirownandwhomtheywilllove,support,andraiseasanintegralpartofthefamily
unit.Theyshouldbegiventheopportunitytocreateastablefamilyrelationshipfreefromunnecessaryintrusion.TheSection
createsasituationinwhichtheemotionalattachmentsaredirectedtowardtherelationshipwiththenewparents.Theadoptive
parentsneedanddeservethechild'sloyaltyastheygrowolder,andparticularlyintheirlateryears.
xxxx
The State's concern of promoting confidentiality to prot ct the integrity of the adoption process is well expressed by the
followingexcerptfromKlibanoff,GenealogicalInformationinAdoption:TheAdopteesQuestandtheLaw:

"The primary interest of the public is to preserve the integrity of the adoptive process. That is, the continued
existence of adoption as a humane solution to the serious social problem of children who are or may become
unwanted,abusedorneglected.Inordertomaintainit,thepublichasaninterestinassuringthatchangesinilaw,
policyorpracticewillnotbemadewhichnegativelyaffectthesupplyofcapableadoptiveparentsorthewillingness
ofbiologicalparentstomakedecisionswhicharebestforthemandtheirchildren.Weshouldnotincreasetheriskof
neglecttoanychild,norshouldweforceparentstoresorttotheblackmarketinordertosurrenderchildrenithey
can'tcarefor.
xxxx
Noonehasyetshownthatdecadesofpolicyprotectingtheanonymityofthebiologicalparentsandthesecurityfrom
intrusionoftheparentchildrelationshipafteradoptionhavebeenmisguided.Quitethecontrary.Theoverwhelming
successofadoptionaaninstitutionwhichhasprovidedmillionsofchildrenwithfamilies,andviceversa,cannotbe
easilyattacked.
Thepublichasastronginterest,too,inpreservingtheconfidentialnonpublicnatureoftheprocess.Publicattitudes
toward illegitimacy and parents who neglect or abuse children have not changed sufficiently to warrant careless
disclosureofthecircumstancesleadingtoadoption.
But the public also has an interest in the mental health of children who have been adoptedin order that they not
becomeburdenstosociety.Someprovisionfortherelativelysmallgroupofadopteeswhosepsychologicalneedsare
compellingwouldappear:necessary."
xxxx
TheStatecertainlymustprotecttheinterestoftheadoptee,laswellastherightsofthenaturalandadoptingparents.When
the adoptee is a minor, there is no dispute that the sealedrecord provisions serve this end. The child, in his nevJ family
environment, is insulated from intrusion from the natural parents. The child is protected from any stigma resulting from
illegitimacy,neglect,orabuse.Thepreclusion:ofoutsideinterferenceallowstheadoptedchildtodeveloparelationshipoflove
andcohesivenesswiththenewfamilyunit.Priortoadulthood,theadoptee'sinterestisconistentwiththatoftheadoptingand
naturalparents.
Upon reaching majority, the adoptee often develops a counterVailing interest that is in direct conflict with the other parties,
particularlythenaturalparents.Theadopteewishestodeterminehisnaturalidentity,whiletheprivacyinterestofthe,natural
parentsremain,perhapsstrongerthanever.TheSectionrecognizesthattherightofprivacyisnotabsolute.Itallowsthecourt
toevaluatetheneedsoftheadopteeIaswellasthenatureoftherelationshipsandchoicesmadebyallpartiesconcerned.The
tatute,byprovidingforreleaseofadoptionrecordsonlyuponissuanceofacourtorder,doesnomorethanallowthecourtto
balance the interests of all the parties and make a det rmination based on the facts and circumstances of each individual
case.221(Citationsomitted)

[222]Exhibit30,AnnexIseriesinG.R.No.229697Exhibit30(Tatad),Sxhibit2022(Contreras/Valdez),AnnexMseriesofPetitionfor

CertiorariinG.R.Nos.229688700.
[223]Exhibit30A,AnnexIseriesinG.R.No.229697Exhibit30A(Tatad,Exhibit23(Contreras/Valdez),AnnexMseriesofPetitionfor

CertiorariinG.R.Nos.229688700.
[224] Exhibit 31, Annex Iseries in G.R. No. 229697 Exhibit 31 (Tatad)J Exhibit 34 (Contreras/Valdez), Annex Mseries of Petition for

CertiorariinG.R.Nos.229688700.
[225] Section 3(h), Rules and Regulations to Implement the Domestic Adoptin Act of 1998, IRRR.A. 8552 (1998) Also see Rule 26,

Implementing Rules and Regulations of Act Nof 3753 and Other Laws on Civil Registration, NSO Administrative Order No. 193 (1992)
Section3(e),RuleonAdoption,A.M.No.02602SC(2002).
[226]Articles255and258oftheCivilCodestate:

Article 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three
hundreddaysfollowingitsdissolutionortheseparationofthespousesshallbepresumedtobelegitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted otlier than that of the physical impossibility of the husband's having
accesstohisWifewithinthefirstonehundredandtwentydaysofthethreehundredwhichpecededthebirthofthechild.
Article258.Achildbornwithinonehundredeightyqaysfollowingthecelebrationofthemarriageisprimafaciepresumedto
bellegitimate.Suchachildisconclusivelypresumedtobelegitimateinanyofthesrcases:
(1)Ifthehusband,beforethemarriage,knewofthepregnancyofthewife
(2)Ifheconsented,beingpresent,totheputtingofhissurnameontherecordofbirthofthechild
(3)Ifheexpresslyortacitlyrecognizedthechildashisown.

AsimilarprovisionisfoundintheFamilyCode:

Article 168. If the marriage is terminated and the motheri contracted another marriage within three hundred days after such
terminationoftheformermarriage,theserulesshallgovernintheabsenceofprooftotecontrary:
(1)Achildbornbeforeonehundredeightydaysafterthes!olemnizationofthesubsequentmarriageisconsideredtohavebeen
corceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within three hundred days after the termination of the former
marriage
(2)Achildbornafteronehundredeightydaysfollowingtecelebrationofthesubsequentmarriageisconsideredtohavebeen
con eived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hu dred days after the termination of the former
marriage.

[227]Rule131,Section3oftheRulesofCourt,states:

Section 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and
overcomebyothereividence.
xxxx
(dd)Thatifthemarriageisterminatedandthemothercontractedianothermarriagewithinthreehundreddaysaftersuchterminationof
theformermarriageJtheseridesshallgovernintheabsenceofprooftothecontrary:
(1)Achildbornbeforeonehundredeightydaysafterthesolemntzationofthesubsequentmarriageisconsideredtohavebeenconceived
duringtheformer[marriage,provideditbebornwithinthreehundreddaysaftertheterminationoftheformermarriage
(2)Achildbornafteronehundredeightydaysfollowingthecelebrationofthesubseq
546+45
56uentmarriageisconsideredtohavebeenconceivedduringsuchmarriage,eventhoughitbebornwithinthethreehundreddaysafter
theterminationofteformermarriage.
[228]AlejandroE.Sebastian,ThePhilippineLawonLegitimacy,11PHIL.L.J.35(1931),p.42.
[229]G.R.No.200169,28January2015.
[230]CIVILCODE,Art.172.
[231]Section5,ActNo.3753states:

SECTION5.RegistrationandCertificationofBirths.Thedeclarationofthephysicianormidwifeinattendanceatthebirthor,in
defaultthereof,thedeclarationofeitherparentofthenewbornchild,shallbesufficientfortheregistrationofabirthinthecivil
register. Such declaration shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax land shall be sent to the local civil registrar not
laterthanthirtydaysafterthebirth,bythphysician,ormidwifeinattendanceatthebirthorbyeitherparentofthenewlyborn
child.
In such declaration, the persons above mentioned shall certify to fhe following facts: (a) date and hour of birth (b) sex and
nationalityofinfant(c)names,citizenship,andreligionofparentsor,incasethefatherisnotknown,ofthemothralone(d)
civil status of parents (e) place where the infant was born (f) and such other data may be required in the regulation to be
issued.
Incaseofanillegitimatechild,thebirthcertificateshallbesignedndsworntojointlybytheparentsoftheinfantoronlythe
mother if the father refuses. In the latter case, it shall not be permissible to state or reveal in the document the name othe
fatherwhorefusestoacknowledgethechild,ortogivethereinanyinformationbywhichsuchfathercouldbeidentified.

[232]Supranote229.
[233]InLucasv.Lucas(G.R.No.190710,665Phil.795815[2011]),theCourtexplained:

Notwithstanding these, it should be stressed that the issuance iof a DNA testing order remains discretionary upon the court.
Thecourtmay,forexample,considerwhetherthereisabsolutenecessityfortheDNAtesting.Ifthereisalreadypreponderance
ofevidencetoestablishpaternityandtheDNAtestresultwouldonlybecorroborative,thecourtmay,initsdiscretion,disallow
aDNAtesting.

ThispronouncementwasreiteratedinTecsonv.COMELEC(G.R. Nos. 161434, 161634, 161824, 468 Phil. 42175 [2004]), in which the
Courtstated:Incaseproofoffiliationorpaternitywouldbeunlikelytosatisfactorilyestablishorwouldbedifficulttoobtain,DNAtesting,
whichexaminesgeneticcodesobtainedfrombodycellsoftheillegitimatechildandanyphysicalresiduofthelongdeadparentcouldbe
resortedto."
[234]Section765ofAct190states:

SECTION 765. How a Child May be Adopted. An inhabftant of the Philippine Islands, not married, or a husband and wife jointly,
may petition the Court of First Instance of the province in which they reside for leave to adopt a minor child: but a written
consentmustbegivenforsuchadoptionbythechild,ifoftheageoffourteenyears,andbyeachofhisorherlivingparentswhoisnot
hopelesslyinsaneorintemperate,orhasnotabandonedsuchchild,oriftherearenosuchparents,oriftheparentsareunknown,
or have abandoned such child, or if they are hopelessly insane or intemperate, then by the legal guardian, or if there is no such
guardian, then by a discreet and suitable person appointed by the court to act in the proceedings as the next friend of such child but
when such child is an inmate of lan orphan asylum or children's home, organized under the laws of the Philippine slands,
and has been previously abandoned by its parents or guardians, or voluntarily surrendered by its parents or guardians to the
trustees or directors of an asylum or cllildren's home, then the written consent of the president of the board of trustees or directors of
suchasylummustbegiven:Provided,nevertheless,Thatnothinghereincontainedshallauthorizeaguardiantoadopthiswardbeforethe
terminationoftheguardianshipandthefinalsettlementandapprovalofhisaccountsasguardianbythecourt.(mphasessupplied)
[235]Sections3and7,Rule100(AdoptionandCustodyofMinors)ofthe1940RulesofCourt,state:

SECTION 3. Consent to Adoption. There shall be filed with! the petition a writtenconsent to the adoption signed by the
child,ifoverfourteen!yearsofageandnotincompetent,andbyeachofitsknownlivingparentswhoisntinsaneorhopelessly
intemperateorhasnotabandonedsuchchild,oriftherearenosuchparentsbythegeneralguardianorguardianad
litemofthechild,orifthecildisinthecustodyofanorphanasylum,children'shome,orbenevolentsocietyorperson,by
the proper officer or officers of such asylum, home, or society, or by such persbn but if the child is illegitimate and has not
beenrecognized,theconsentofitsfathertptheadoptionshallnotberequired.
SECTION7.ProceedingsastoVagrantorAbusedChild.Whentheparentsofanyminorchildaredead,orbyreasonof
long absence or legal ior physical disability have abandonedit, or cannot support it through vagrancy, neglig nee, or
misconduct, or neglect or refuse to support it, or unlawfully beat or otherwise h bitually maltreat it, or cause or allow it to
engageincommonbegging,ortocommitofensesagainstthelaw,theproperCourtofFirstInstance,uponpetitionfiledby
somerputableresidentoftheprovincesettingforththefacts,mayissueanorderrequiringuchparentstoshowcause,
or,iftheparentsaredeadorcannotbefound,requiringthefiscaloftheprovincetoshowcause,atatimeandplace
fixed in the order, why the child should not be taken from its parents, if living and if upon hearing it appear that the
allegationsofthepetitionaretrue,andthatitisforthebestinterestofthechild,thecourtmaymakeanordertakingit
fromitsparents,ifliving,andcommittingittoanysuitableorphanasylum,children'shome,orbenevolentsociety
or person, to be ultimately placed, by adoption or otherwise, in a home found for it by uch asylum, children's home,
society,orperson.

[236]Sections3and7,Rule99ofthe1964RulesofCourt,provide:

SECTION3.ConsenttoAdoption.Thereshallbefiledwitlithepetitionawrittenconsenttotheadoptionsignedbythechild,iffourteen
yearsdfageoroverandnotincompetent,andbythechild'sspouse,ifany,andbyeachofitknownlivingparentswhoisnotinsaneor
hopelesslyintemperateorhasnotabandoneJsuchchild,orifthereareno such parentsbythegeneralguardianorguardianad
litemofthechild,orifthechildisinthecustodyofanorphanasylum,children'shome,orbenevolentsocietyorperson,bytheproper
officer or officers of such asylum, home, or society, or by such person but if the child is illegitimate and has not been recognized, the
consentofitsfathertotheadoptionshallnotberequired.
Ifthepersontobeadoptedisofage,onlyhisorherconsentandthhtofthespouse,ifany,shallberequired.
SECTION 7. Proceedings as to Vagrant or Abused Child.When the parents of any minor child are dead, or by reason of long
absence or legal or physical disability have abandoned it, or cannot support it through vagrancy, negligence, or misconduct, or
neglectorrefusetosupportit,ortreatitwithexcessiveharshnesorgiveitcorruptingorders,counsels,orexamples,orcauseorallowit
to engage in egging, or to commit offenses against the law, the proper Court of First Instance, upon petition filed by some reputable
residentoftheprovincesettingforththefacts,mayisfueanorderrequiringsuchparentstoshowcause,or,iftheparentsaredeador

canngt be found, requiring the fiscal of the province to show cause, at a time and place filx.ed in the order, why the child
shouldnotbetakenfromitsparents,iflivingandifupnthehearingitappearsthattheallegationsofthepetitionaretrue,andthatitis
fortheestinterestofthechild,thecourtmaymakeanordertakingitfromitsparents,iflivingndcommittingittoanysuitableorphan
asylum,children'shome,orbenevolentsocietyopersontobeultimatelyplaced,byadoptionorotherwise,inahomefoundforitbysuch
sylum,children'shome,societyorperson.
[237]Sections1and5ofActNo.1670provide:

SECTION1.Theboardoftrusteesordirectorsofanyasylumorinstitutioninwhichpoorchildrenarecaredforand
maintained at public expense are hereby authorized, with the consent of the Director of Health, to place any orpran or
otherchildsomaintainedthereinwhoseparentsareunknown,orbeingknownareunableorunwillingtosupportsuch
child,inchargeofanysuitablepersonwhomaydesiretotakesuchchildandshallfurnishsatisfactoryevidenceofhisability
suitablytomaintain,carefor,andeducatesuchchild.
SECTION5.Upontheapplicationofanypersontothetruseesordirectorsofanyasylumorinstitutionwherepoorchildren
are maintained at public expense to adopt any child so maintained therein, it shall be the duty of such trustes or
directors,withtheapprovaloftheDirectorofHealth,toreportthefacttotheprovicialfiscal,orinthecityofManilatothe
city attorney, and such official shall hereupon prepare the necessary adoption papers and present the matter to the
propercourt.Thecostsofsuchproceedingsincourtshallbedeoficio.

[238]AdministrativeCode,ActNo.2657,31December1916.
[239]Sections545and548ofActNo.2711provide:

SECTION545.Transferofchildfrominstitutionforpoorchilden.Thecompetentauthoritiesofanyasylumorinstitution
inwhichpoorchildenarecaredforandmaintainedatpublicexpenseareauthorized,subjecttoregultionsapprovedby
theSecretaryoftheInterior,toplaceanyorphanorotherchildsomaintainedthereinwhoseparentsareunknown,or
beingknownareunableorunwillingtosupportsuchchild,inchargeofanysuitableperson who may desire to ta e such
childandshallfurnishsatisfactoryevidenceofhisabilitysuitablytomaintain,carefor,andeducatesuchchild.

Theintrustingofachildtoanypersonashereinprovidedshal!lnotconstitutealegaladoptionandshallnotaffectthecivilstatusofsuch
childorprjudicetherightofanypersonentitledtoitslegalcustodyorguardianship.

SECTION548.Adoptionofchildfrominstitutionforpoorhildren.Upontheapplicationofanypersontothecompetent
authorities of anasylum or institution where the poor children are maintained at public expense tadopt any child so
maintainedtherein,itshallbethedutyofsuchauthorities,w'ththeapprovaloftheSecretaryoftheInterior,toreportthe
fact to the provincial fiscal, br in the City of Manila to the fiscal of the city, and such official shall thereupon prepare! the
necessaryadoptionpapersandpresentthemattertothepropercourt.Thecostsofschproceedingincourtshallbedeoficio.

[240]Thelawprovides:

SECTION8.WhoMayBeAdopted.Onlyalegallyfreechildmaybethesubjectofintercountryadoption.Inorderthatsuch
childmaybeconsideredforplacement,thefollowingdocumentsmustbesubmittedtotheBoard:
a)Childstudy
b)Birthcertificate/foundlingcertificate
c)Deedofvoluntarycommitment/decreeofabandonmnt/deathcertificateofparents
d)Medicalevaluation/history
e)Psychologicalevaluation,asnecessaryand
f)Recentphotoofthechild

[241]AnActRequiringtheCertificationoftheDepartmentofSocialWelfaeandDevelopment(DSWD)toDeclarea"ChildLegallyAvailable

forAdoption"asaPrerequisiteforAddptionProceedings(2009).
[242]PursuanttoSection2(3)ofR.A.9523,an"AbandonedChild"referftoachildwhohasnoproperparentalcareorguardianship,or

whoseparent(s)havedesertedhim/herforaperiodofatleastthree(3)continuousmonths,andthetermincludesafounding.
[243]Sections4and5ofR.A.9523state:

Section4.ProcedurefortheFilingofthePetition.ThepetitipnshallbefiledinthecegionalofficeoftheDSWDwherethechild
wasfoundorabandred.

The Regional Director shall examine the petition and its supporting documents, if sufficient in form and substance and shall
authorizethepostipgofthenoticeofthepetitionconspicuousplaceforfive(5)consecutivedaysinthelocalitywherethechild
wasfound.
TheRegionalDirectorshallactonthesameandshallrenderardcommendationnotlaterthanfive(5)workingdaysafterthe
completion of its posting. He/she shall transmit a copy of his/her recommendation and records to the Office of the Secretary
withinfortyeight(48)hoursfromthedateoftherecommendation.
Section 5. Declaration of Availability for Adoption. Upon finding merit in the petition, the Secretary shall issue a certification
declaringthechildlegallavailableforadoptionwithinseven(7)workingdaysfromreceiptoftherecommendation.
Saidcertification,byitselfshallbethesolebasisfortheimmediteissuancebythelocalcivilregistrarofafoundlingcertificate.
Within seven (7) working days, the local civil registrar shall transmit the founding certificate to the National Sta,tistic Office
(NSO).

[244] Guidelines on the Issuance of DSWD Certification Declaring a ChildiLegally Available for Adoption, DSWD Administrative Order No.

01211(2011).
[245]G.R.No.L16922,30April1963.
[246]134Phil.901912(1968).
[247]G.R.No.L30576,I0February1976.
[248]274Phil.11571249(1991).
[249]G.R.Nos.161434,161634,161824,468Phil.42175(2004).
[251]Peoplev.Veneracion,319Phil:364(1995).
[252]AlexanderHamilton,FederalistPaperNo.22emphasissupplied.
[253]RULESOFCOURT,Rule128,Sec.1.
[254]93Phil.257(1953).
[255]Id.ThepassagecitedInreBohenko'sEstate,4N.Y.S.2nd.427,whichalsocitedTortoravs.StateofNewYork,269N.Y.199N.E.

44Hartvs.HudsonRiverBridgeCo.,8N.Y.622.
[256]Id.ThepassagecitedlMooreonFacts,Sec.596.
[257]RULESOFCOURT,Rule112

Section1.PreliminaryInvestigationDefinedWhenRequired Prelim nary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether


thereissufficientgroundtoengederawellfoundedbeliefthatacrimehasbeencommittedandtherespondentisprobablyguiltythereof,
andshouldbeheldfortrial.
[258]Section6.Whenwarrantofarrestmayissue.(a)BytheRegionalTrialCourt.Withinten(10)daysfromthefilingofthecomplaintor

information,thejudgeshallpersonallyevaluatetheresolutionoftheprosecutoranditssupportingevidence.Hemayimmediatelydismiss
thecaseiftheevidenceonrecordclearlyfailstoestablishprobablecause.Ifhefindsprobablecause,heshallissueawarrantofarrest,or
acommitmentorderiftheaccusedhasalreadybeenarrestedpursuanttoawarrantissuedbythejudgewhoconductedthepreliminary
investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to Section 7 of this Rule. In case of doubt on the existence of
probablecause,thejudgemayordertheprosecutortopresentadditionalevidencewithinfive(5)daysfromnoticeandtheissuemustbe
resolvedbythecourtwithinthirty(30)daysfromthefilingofthecomplaintofinformation.
[259]RULESOFCOURT,Rule133

Section 5. Substantial evidence. In cases filed before administrati e or quasijudicial bodies, a fact may be deemed established if it is
supported by substantial evide ce, or that amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justifY
conclusion.
[260]RULESOFCOURT,Rule133

Section1.Preponderanceofevidence,howdetermined.Incivilcases,thepartyhavingtheburdenofproofmustestablishhiscasebya
preponderanceofevidence.Indeterminingwherethepreponderanceorsuperiorweightofevidenceontheissuesinvolved,lies,thecourt
may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses' manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and
opportunityofknowingthefactstowhichtheyaretestlfying,thenatureofthefactstowhichtheytestify,theprobabilityorimprobability

oftheirtestimony,theirinterestorwantofinterest,andalsotheirpersonalcredibilitysofarasthesamemaylegitimateappearuponthe
trial.Thecourtmayalsoconsiderthenumberofwitnesses,thoughthepreponderanceisnotnecessarilywiththegreaternumber.
[261]RULESOFCOURT,Rule130

Section51.Characterevidencenotgenerallyadmissibleexceptions(a)InCriminalCases:
(1)Theaccusedmayprovehisgoodmoralcharacterwhichispertinenttothemoraltraitinvolvedintheoffensecharged.
(2)Unlessinrebuttal,theprosecutionmaynotprovehisbadmoralcharacterwhichispertinenttothemoraltraitinvolvedintheoffense
charged.
(3) The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved if it tends to establish in any reasonable degree the
probabilityorimprobabilityoftheoffensecharged.
[262]Mercado,Jr.v.Employees'CompensationCommission,223Phil.483t493(1985).
[263]Peoplevs.Condemena,L22426,May29,1968,23SCRA910,919.
[264]LepantoConsolidatedMiningCompanyv.Dumapis,G.R.No.163i10,13August2008,562SCRA103,113114.
[265]MemorandumforpublicrespondentCOMELEC,p.21
[266]PetitionforCertiorari(G.R.221697),p.107.
[267]OralArguments,TSN,16August2016.
[268]Tecsonv.COMELEC,468Phil.421(2004).
[269]1987Constitution,ArticleXV,Section3(2).
[270]Seep.55
[271]ErwinChemerinsky,ConstitutionalLaw:PrinciplesandPolicies1719(3rded.2006).
[272]WilliamMichaelTreanor,AgainstTextualism,103Nw.U.L.Rev.9831006(2009).:

http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub,LastAccessed:8March2016.
[273]JoaquinBernas,SJ,The1987ConstitutionoftheRepublicofthePhiippinesACommentary,p.997(2009).
[274]Inthisapproach,thejusticeanalyzestheintentionoftheframesoftheConstitutionandthecircumstancesofitsratification.
[275]Thejusticedrawsinferencesfromthe"threecorneredpowerrelationhips"foundintheConstitution.

Hegivesasexample'separationofpowers."Inotherwords,ajusticrelies,notonthetextoftheConstitution,butonstructure.
[276] This relies on established precedents. For Bernas, the Supreme Court Decisions are, to a certain extent, a "second set of

constitutionaltexts."
[277]Thisformofinterpretation"seekstointerprettheFilipinomoralcommitmentsthatareembeddedintheconstitutionaldocument.The

Constitution,aerall,asthePreamblesays,ismeanttobeanembodimentof'ouridealsandaspirations.'Amongthesemaybeourinnate
religiosity,respectforhumandignity,andthecelebrationofcultualandethnicdiversity."
[278]Thejusticeweighsandcomparesthecoststobenefitsthatmightbefoundinconflictingrules.
[279] Madisonian Tectonics: How Form Follows Function in Constitutional nd Architectural Interpretation, Jonathan Turley, The George

WashingtonLawReview,Vol.83:308.
[280] Eskridge, William N. Jr., "Relationships between Formalism and Functionalism in Separation of P owers Cases" (1998). Faculty

ScholarshipSeris.Availab1eonlineathttp://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/3807.LastAccessedon:8March2016.
[281]Angarav.ElectoralCommission,63Phil.139(1936).
[282]252u.s.416(1920).
[283]HarvardJournalofLaw&PublicPolicy,Vol.29,pp.401415.
[284]Petition,p.12.

[285]TaadaandFernando,ConstitutionofthePhilippines,VoLI,4thEd.,pp.2324(1952).
[286]TaadaandFernando,ConstitutionofthePhilippines,Vol.I,4thEd.p.13.(1952).
[287]Amajorityofthedelegateselected142outof202werelawyers.Oftheselawyers,10werelawprofessors.Likewisetherewere6

other educators who were elected as delegates, 2 of them political scientists. There were also a respectable number of farmers and
businessmen.Fiftyfiveofthemcanbeclassifiedunderthiscategory.Almostamajorityofthetotalnumberofdelegateshadpreviously
servedaspublicofficialsmostlyinanelectivecapacity.Thusthereweremanyformersenators,andrepresentativesandassemblymenin
theranksofthedelegates(Id.at6).
[288]Martinv.Hunter'sLessee,14U.S.304(1816).
[289]Calalangv.Williams,70Phil.726(1940).
[290]Id.
[291]Id.
[292]MemorandumforpublicrespondentCOMELEC,p.56.
[293]392Phil.327(2000).
[294]COMELECComment,p.28.
[295]ThefollowingexcerptsshowthattheCourtcharacterizedjussanguiniasthepredominatingregimeofcitizenship:

a)Roav.InsularCollectorofCustoms(1912)
"Areadingofarticle17oftheCivilCode,abovecopied,isufficienttoshowthatthefirstparagraphaffirmsandrecognizestheprincipleof
nationality by place ofJ birth, jus soli. The second, that of jus sanguinis and the last two that of free selection, with the first
predominating."
b)Torresv.TanChim(1940)
"In abrogating the doctrine laid down in the Roa case and making jus sanguinis the predominating principle in the determination of
Philippinecitizenship,theConstitution:didnotintendtoexcludethosewhowerecitizensofthePhilippinesbyjudicialdeclarationatthe
timeofitsadoption.IfonthestrengthoftheRoadecisionapersonwasconsideredafullpledgedPhilippinecitizen(Art.IV,sec.1,No.1)
on the date of the adoption of the Constitution when jus soli had been the pr vailing doctrine, he cannot be divested ofhis Filipino
citizenship."
c)Villahermosav.CommissionerofImmigration(1948)
"After the Constitution, mere birth in the Philippines of a Chinese' father and Filipino mother does not ipso facto confer Philippine
citizenship, and jus sanguinis instead dfjus soli is the predominating factoron questions of citizenship, thereby rendering obsolete the
decisioninRoavs.CollectorofCustoms,23Phil.,andU.S.vs.LimBin,36Phil.,andsimilarcasesonwhichpetitioer'scounselrelies."
d)Talarocv.Uy(1952)
"In abrogating the doctrine laid down in the Roa case and making jus sanguinis the predominating principle in the determination of
Philippine citizenship, the Constitution did not intend to exclude those who were citizens of the Philippines by judicial declaration at the
timeofitsadoption.IfonthestrengthoftheRoadecisionapersonwasconsideredafullpledgedPhilippinecitizen(Art.IV,sec.1,No.1)
on the date of the adoption of the Constitution when jus soli had been the prevailing doctrine, he cannot be divested of his Filipino
citizenship."I
[296] ranslated by Licenciados Cliffor S. Walton and Nestor Ponce de Leon. Published under authority of MaJorGeneral Willam Ludlow

MilitaryGovernorofHavana.EditedbyMajorCliffordS.Walton.Availableonlineathttps://archive.org/stream/spanishcivilcode00spairich
_djvu.txt.(lastvisitedat9March2016).
[297]Supranote1.
[298]JusticeVitugwrote:"Theyear1898wasanotherturningpointinPhilippinehistory.Alreadyinthestateofdeclineasasuperpower,

Spain was forced to so cede her sole colony ip the East to an upcoming world power, the United States. An accepted principle of
internationallawdictatedthatachangeinsovereignty,whileresultinginanabrogationofallpoliticallawstheninforce,wouldhaveno
effectoncivillaws,whichwouldremainvirtuallyintact."
[299]Tecsonv.Comelec citing Leon T. Garcia, The Problems of Citizenship in the Philippines, Rex Bookstore, 1949, at pp. 3132, supra

note1.

[300]Idat.2326,citedinTecsonv.Comelec,supranote1.
[301]Teesonv.Comelec,supranote1.
[302]Tecsonv.Comelec,supranote___.
[303]ArticleIII,Section1ofthe1973Constitutionstates:

Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
1.ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
xxxx
ArticleIV,Section1ofthe1987Constitution,states:
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:1
1.ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesatthetimetheadoptionofthisConstitution
xxxx
[304]1987Constitution,Preamble.
[305]Id.
[306]Id.
[307]23Phil315(1912).
[308]69Phil.518(1940).
[309]70Phil.287(1940).
[310]TaadaandFernando,ConstitutionofthePhilippines,Vol.II,4thEd.(1952),p.649.
[311]Talarocv.Uy,92Phil.52(1952).

Facts:ThisisanactiontocontesttheelectionofUytotheofficeofMunicipalMayoronthegroundthatheisChinese,therefore,ineligible.
HewasborninthePhilippinesin1912ofaFilipinomotherandaChinesefather.Hisparentsdidnotgetmarrieduntil1914.Hisfatherdied
in1917,whilehismotherdiedin1949.Uyhadvotedinpreviouselectionsandheldvariouspositionsinthegovernment.Heneverwentto
China.
Held:OnthestrengthoftheRoadoctrine,UycanbeconsideredaFilipinocitizenonthedateoftheadoptionoftheConstitutionwhenjus
solihasbeentheprevailingdoctrine.ThestatusofthosepersonswhowereconsideredFilipinocitizensundertheprevailingdoctrineofjus
soliwouldnotbeaffectedbythechangeofdoctrineupontheeffectivityofthePhilippineConstitution.
[312]Id.
[313]92Phil.61(1952).
[314]70Phil.161166(1940).
[315]223Phil.357363(1985).
[316]U.S.Constitution,Art.II,Sec.I.
[317]JackMaskell,"QualificationsforPresidentandthe'NaturalBorn'CitizenshipEligibilityRequirement",CongressionalResearchService,

14November2011(lastvisited8March2016).
[318] Lawrence B. Solum, Commentary, "Original ism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause," 107 Mich. L. Rev First Impressions 22, 22

(2010).
[319]Id.
[320]Id.
[321]Id.at26
[322]SeeidF.E.Edwards,NaturalBornBritishSubjectsatCommonLaw,14JournaloftheSocietyofComparativeLegislation314,315(

1914)(lastvisited8March2016).

[323] A Dictionary Of The English Language: In Which The Words are Deduced from Their Originals, And Illustrated in Their Different

SignificationsByExamplesfromtheBestWriters,ToWhichArePrefixed,AHistoryoftheLanguage,AndAnEnglishGrammar(2nded.
1756).
[324] The Founders' Constitution, Volume 2, Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 (Citizenship), Document I, The University of Chicago Press

http://presspubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_4_citizenships1.html(lastvisited8March2016).
[325]Sections4and7,ArticleVIofthe1935Constitutionstate:

Section4.NopersonshallbeaSenatorunlesshebeanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippinesand,atthetimeofhiselection,
isatleastthirtyfiveyearsofage,aqualifiedelector,andaresidentofthePhilippinesfornotlessthantwoyearsimmediately
priortohiselection.
Section7.NopersonshallbeaMemberoftheHouseofRepresentativesunlesshebeanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,
and,atthetimeofhiselection,isatleasttwenty fiveyearsofage,aqualifiedelector,andaresidentoftheprovinceinwhich
heischosenfornotlessthanoneyearimmediatelypriortohiselection.

Section3,Art.VIIofthe1935Constitution,states:

Section 3. No person may be elected to the office of President or VicePresident, unless he be a natural born citizen of the
Philippines, a qualified voter, forty years of age or over, and has been a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years
immediatelyprecedingtheelection.

[326]TaadaandFernando,ConstitutionofthePhilippines,Vol.II,4thEd.(1952),pp.974975.
[327]TaadaandFernando,ConstitutionofthePhilippines,Vol.II,4thEd.(1952),p.975.
[328]Id.at404405.
[329]Sections4and2,Art.VIIofthe1973Constitution,state:

Section4.NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,ableto
read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years
immediatelyprecedingsuchelection.(asamendedintheJanuary27,1984Plebiscite)
Section2.ThereshallbeaVicePresidentwhoshallhavethesamequalificationsandtermofofficeasthePresidentandmay
beremovedfromofficeinthesamemannerasthePresidentasprovidedinArticleXIII,Section2ofthisConstitution.

[330]Sections2and3,Art.VIIofthe1987Constitution,read:

Section2.NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,abletoreadand
write,atleastfortyyearsofageonthedayoftheelection,andaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleasttenyearsimmediatelypreceding
suchelection.
Section3.ThereshallbeaVicePresidentwhoshallhavethesamequalificationsandtermofofficeandbeelectedwithandinthesame
mannerasthePresident.HemayberemovedfromofficeinthesamemannerasthePresident.
[331]Section4,ArticleIII.
[332]Thissectionstates:

Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(3)ThosebornbeforeJanuaryI7,1973,ofFilipinomothers,whoelectPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingtheageofmajorityand
xxxx
[333]409Phil.633(2001).
[334]ChiefJustice(thenAssociateJustice)Panganiban'sConcurringOpinioninBengsonIII,id.

[335]23Phil315,338(1912).
[336]Laurel,ProceedingsofthePhilippineConstitutionalConvention,VoLV,p.1032.
[337]79Phil.249,256(1947).
[338]Id.
[339]TaadaandFernando,supra.
[340]See:AngBagongBayaniOFWv.CommissiononElections,412Phil.308374(2001).
[341]Theprovisionstates:

SECTION5.RegistrationandCertificationofBirths.xxxx
Inthecaseofanexposedchild,thepersonwhofoundthesameshallreporttothelocalcivilregistrartheplace,dateandhouroffinding
andotherattendantcircumstances.
[342]CommonwealthActNo.473(1939).
[343]Section5ofC.A.473states:

SECTION 5. Declaration of Intention. One year prior to the filing of his petition for admission to Philippine citizenship, the
applicantforPhilippinecitizenshipshallfilewiththeBureauofJusticeadeclarationunderoaththatitisbonafidehisintention
tobecomeacitizenofthePhilippines.Suchdeclarationshallsetforththename,age,occupation,personaldescription,placeof
birth,lastforeignresidenceandallegiance,thedateofarrival,thenameofthevesseloraircraft,ifany,inwhichhecameto
thePhilippines,andtheplaceofresidenceinthePhilippinesatthetimeofmakingthedeclaration.Nodeclarationshallbevalid
until lawful entry for permanent residence has been established and a certificate showing the date, place, and manner of his
arrival has been issued. The declarant must also state that he has enrolled his minor children, if any, in any of the public
schoolsorprivateschoolsrecognizedbytheOfficeofPrivateEducationofthePhilippines,wherePhilippinehistory,government,
andcivicsaretaughtorprescribedaspartoftheschoolcurriculum,duringtheentireperiodoftheresidenceinthePhilippines
required of him prior to the hearing of his petition for naturalization as Philippine citizen. Each declarant must furnish two
photographsofhimself.

[344]Section7ofC.A.473states:

SECTION7.PetitionforCitizenship.AnypersondesiringtoacquirePhilippinecitizenshipshallfilewiththecompetentcourt,a
petitionintriplicate,accompaniedbytwophotographsofthepetitioner,settingforthhisnameandsurnamehispresentand
former places of residence his occupation the place and date of his birth whether single or married and if the father of
children,thename,age,birthplaceandresidenceofthewifeandofthechildrentheapproximatedateofhisorherarrivalin
the Philippines, the name of the port of debarkation, and, if he remembers it, the name of the ship on which he came a
declaration that he has the qualifications required by this Act, specifying the same, and that he is not disqualified for
naturalizationundertheprovisionsofthisActthathehascompliedwiththerequirementsofsectionfiveofthisActandthat
he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the date of the filing of the petition up to the time of his admission to
Philippinecitizenship.Thepetitionmustbesignedbytheapplicantinhisownhandwritingandbesupportedbytheaffidavitof
atleasttwocrediblepersons,statingthattheyarecitizensofthePhilippinesandpersonallyknowthepetitionertobearesident
ofthePhilippinesfortheperiodoftimerequiredbythisActandapersonofgoodreputeandmorallyirreproachable,andthat
saidpetitionerhasintheiropinionallthequalificationsnecessarytobecomeacitizenofthePhilippinesandisnotinanyway
disqualified under the provisions of this Act. The petition shall also set forth the names and postoffice addresses of such
witnessesasthepetitionermaydesiretointroduceatthehearingofthecase.Thecertificateofarrival,andthedeclarationof
intentionmustbemadepartofthepetition.

[345]Section10ofC.A.473provides:

SECTION10.HearingofthePetition.Nopetitionshallbeheardwithinthethirtydaysprecedinganyelection.Thehearingshall
be public, and the SolicitorGeneral, either himself or through his delegate or the provincial fiscal concerned, shall appear on
behalf of the Commonwealth of the Philippines at all the proceedings and at the hearing. If, after the hearing, the court
believes, in view of the evidence taken, that the petitioner has all the qualifications required by, and none of the
disqualifications specified in, this Act and has complied with all requisites herein established, it shall order the proper
naturalization certificate to be issued and the registration of the said naturalization certificate in the proper civil registry as
requiredinsectiontenofActNumberedThreethousandsevenhundredandfiftythree.

[346]PursuanttoSection12ofC.A.473,thepetitionershall,inopencourt,takethefollowingoathbeforethenaturalizationcertificateis

issued:

"I,_________________,solemnlyswearthatIrenounceabsolutelyandforeverallallegianceandfidelitytoanyforeignprince,
potentate, state of sovereignty, and particularly to the_________of which at this time I am a subject or citizen that I will
supportanddefendtheConstitutionofthePhilippinesandthatIwillobeythelaws,legalordersanddecreespromulgatedby
thedulyconstitutedauthoritiesoftheCommonwealthofthePhilippinesandIherebydeclarethatIrecognizeandacceptthe
supreme authority of the United States of America in the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto and
thatIimposethisobligationuponmyselfvoluntarilywithoutmentalreservationorpurposeofevasion.
"SohelpmeGod."

[347]Rule28oftheImplementingRulesandRegulationsofActNo.3753andOtherLawsonCivilRegistration(NSOAdministrativeOrder

No.l93[1992])provides:

Immediatelyafterfindingafoundling,thefindershallreportthecasetothebarangaycaptainoftheplacewherethefoundling
wasfound,ortothepoliceheadquarters,whicheverisnearerorconvenienttothefinder.Whenthereportisdulynotedeither
by the barangay captain or by the police authority, the finder shall commit the child to the care of the Department of Social
WelfareandDevelopmentortoadulylicensedorphanageorcharitableorsimilarinstitution.Uponcommitment,thefinder
shallgivetothecharitableinstitutionhiscopyoftheCertificateofFoundling,ifhehadregisteredthefoundling.
(emphasissupplied)

[348] Pursuant to R.A. 9523 (2009), the DSWD may declare a child legally available for adoption in accordance with the following

procedure:

SECTION4.ProcedurefortheFilingofthePetition.ThepetitionshallbefiledintheregionalofficeoftheDSWDwherethechild
wasfoundorabandoned.
The Regional Director shall examine the petition and its supporting documents, if sufficient in form and substance and shall
authorizethepostingofthenoticeofthepetitioninconspicuousplacesforfive(5)consecutivedaysinthelocalitywherethe
childwasfound.
TheRegionalDirectorshallactonthesameandshallrenderarecommendationnotlaterthanfive(5)workingdaysafterthe
completion of its posting. He/she shall transmit a copy of his/her recommendation and records to the Office ofthe Secretary
withinfortyeight(48)hoursfromthedateoftherecommendation.
SECTION5.DeclarationofAvailabilityforAdoption.Uponfindingmeritinthepetition,theSecretaryshallissueacertification
declaringthechildlegallyavailableforadoptionwithinseven(7)workingdaysfromreceiptoftherecommendation.
Said certification, by itself, shall be the sole basis for the immediate issuance by the local civil registrar of a foundling
certificate. Within seven (7) working days, the local civil registrar shall transmit the foundling certificate to the National
StatisticsOffice(NSO).

[349]RulesandRegulationstoImplementtheDomesticAdoptionActof1998,IRRR.A.8552,Section5(1998).
[350]Section16,R.A.8552.
[351]Republicv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.97906,21May1992.
[352]Section14,R.A.8552.
[353]Id.
[354]SeeBaldosv.CourtofAppealsandPillazar,638Phil.601(2010)HeirsofCabaisv.CourtofAppeals,374Phil.681691(1999).
[355]Sections14and15ofR.A.8552state:

Section14.CivilRegistryRecord.AnamendedcertificateofbirthshallbeissuedbytheCivilRegistry,asrequiredbythe
RulesofCourt,attestingtothefactthattheadopteeisthechildoftheadopter(s)bybeingregisteredwithhis/hersurname.
Theoriginalcertificateofbirthshallbestamped"cancelled"withtheannotationoftheissuanceofanamendedbirthcertificate
initsplaceandshallbesealedinthecivilregistryrecords.Thenewbirthcertificatetobeissuedtotheadopteeshallnotbear
anynotationthatitisanamendedissue.
Section 15. Confidential Natltre of Proceedings and Records. All hearings in adoption cases shall be confidential and

shall not be open to the public. All records, books, and papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the
Department,oranyotheragencyorinstitutionparticipatingintheadoptionproceedingsshallbekeptstrictlyconfidential.
Ifthecourtfindsthatthedisclosureoftheinformationtoathirdpersonisnecessaryforpurposesconnectedwithorarisingout
oftheadoptionandwillbeforthebestinterestoftheadoptee,thecourtmaymeritthenecessaryinformationtobereleased,
restrictingthepurposesforwhichitmaybeused.

[356]601F.2d1225,1235(2dCir.1979).
[357]444U.S.995,100S.Ct.531,62L.Ed.2d426(1979).
[358]409Phil.633672(2001).
[359]ReacquisitionofPhilippineCitizenshipbyPersonsWhoServedinUSArmedForces(1960).
[360]SeeSobejanaCondonv.COMELEC,G.R.No.198742,692Phil.407431(2012).
[361]SeeParrefiov.COA,G.R.No.162224,551Phil.368381(2007).
[362]ArticleIV,Section2,states:

Section2.Philippinecitizenshipmaybelostorreacquiredinthemannerprovidedbylaw.
[363] In Bengson v. HRET (409 PHIL 633672 [2001]), the Court declared: "A person who at the time of his birth is a citizen of a

particularcountry,isanaturalborncitizenthereof."(Emphasissupplied)
[364]Sections2and3ofCommonwealthAct63provides:

SECTION2.Howcitizenshipmaybereacquired.Citizenshipmaybereacquired:
(l) By naturalization: Provided, That the applicant possess none of the disqualifications prescribed in section two of Act
NumberedTwentyninehundredandtwentyseven
(2)ByrepatriationofdesertersoftheArmy,NavyorAirCorpsProvided,Thatawomanwholosthercitizenshipbyreasonof
hermarriagetoanalienmayberepatriatedinaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisActaftertheterminationofthemarital
statusand(3)BydirectactoftheNationalAssembly.
SECTION3. Procedure incident to reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. The procedure prescribed for naturalization under
ActNumberedTwentyninehundredandtwentyseven,asamendedshallapplytothereacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipby
naturalizationprovidedforinthenextprecedingsection:Provided,Thatthequaliticationsandspecialqualificationsprescribed
insectionthreeandfourofsaidActshallnotberequired:Andprovided.further,
(1)ThattheapplicantbeatleasttwentyoneyearsofageandshallhaveresidedinthePhilippinesatleastsixmonthsbefore
heappliesfornaturalization
(2)Thatheshallhaveconductedhimselfinaproperandirreproachablemannerduringtheentireperiodofhisresidenceinthe
Philippines,inhisrelationswiththeconstitutedgovernmentaswellaswiththecommunityinwhichheislivingand
(3)Thathesubscribestoanoathdeclaringhisintentiontorenounceabsolutelyandperpetuallyallfaithandallegiancetothe
foreignauthority,stateorsovereigntyofwhichhewasacitizenorsubject.

[365]CommonwealthActNo.63,WaysinWhichPhilippineCitizenshipMaybeLostorReacquired(1936).
[366] An Act Providing for Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship by Persons Who Lost Such Citizenship by Rendering Service To, or

AcceptingCommissionIn,theArmedForcesoftheUnitedStates(1960).
[367]RepatriationofFilipinoWomenandofNaturalBornFilipinosWhoLostTheirPhilippineCitizenship(1995).
[368]ArticleII,Section2ofthe1987Constitution,provides:

ThePhilippinesxxxadoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartofthelawofthelandandadheresto
thepolicyofpeace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations.
[369]Article38(1)(b)oftheStatuteoftheInternationalCourtofJusticestates:

1.TheCourt,whosefunctionistodecideinaccordancewithinternationallawsuchdisputesasaresubmittedtoit,shallapply:
xxx
a.internationalcustom,aseviJenceofageneralpracticeacceptedaslaw

[370]Razon,Jr.v.Tagitis,621Phil.536635(2009)
[371] InterAmerican Court of Human Rights, Proposed Amendments to the Naturalization Provision of the Constitution of Costa Rica.

AdvisoryOpinionOC4/84ofJanuary19,1984.SeriesANo.4,para.35.
[372]InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,Article24UnitedNationsConventionontheRightsoftheChild,Article7.
[373]Seethe1997EuropeanConventiononNationality,Article61969AmericanConventiononHumanRights(PactofSanJose,Costa

Rica), Article 20 1999 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 6 2008 Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights,
Article29.
[374]Article14oftheConventionstates:

Achildwhoseparentsarebothunknownshallhavethenationalityofthecountryofbirth.Ifthechild'sparentageisestablished,
itsnationalityshallbedeterminedbytherulesapplicableincaseswheretheparentageisknown.
Afoundlingis,untilthecontraryisproved,presumedtohavebeenbornontheterritoryoftheStateinwhichitwasfound.

[375]Article2oftheConventionprovides:

Article2
AfoundlingfoundintheterritoryofaContractingStateshall,intheabsenceofprooftothecontrary,beconsideredtohave
beenbornwithinthatterritoryofparentspossessingthenationalityofthatState.

[376]Article6(1)(b)oftheConventionstates:

Article6Acquisitionofnationality
l.EachStatePartyshallprovideinitsinternallawforitsnationalitytobeacquiredexlegebythefollowingpersons:
xxx
(b)foundlingsfoundinitsterritorywhowouldotherwisebestateless.

[377] Based on the databases of the United Nations Treaty Collection (https://treaties.un.org), the number of state parties in the

conventionsmentionedareasfollows:InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights168ConventionontheRightsoftheChild196
HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws13ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness
65EuropeanConventiononNationality20.
[378]SeeJurisdictionalImmunitiesoftheState(Germanyv.Italy),Judgment,I.C.J.Reports2012,p.99ArrestWarrantof11April2000

(DemocraticRepublicofCongov.Belgium),I.C.J.Reports2002,p.3.
[379] Argentina (See Database of European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship) Bolivia (Article 141, New Constitution of

Bolivia) Brazil (Article 12[1], Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil) Chile (Article 10, Constitution) Cuba (Article 29, The
Constitution of the Republic of Cuba as amended) Dominica (Article 98, Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica, 1978)
Dominican Republic (Article 18, Constitution), Ecuador (Article 7, Ecuador Constitution) El Salvador (Article 90, Constitution of the
RepublicofElSalvadorasamended),EquatorialGuinea(Article10,FundamentalLawofEquatorialGuinea,1982)Grenada(Item96,97,
Grenada Constitution, 7 February 1974) Guatemala (Article 144, Guatemalan Constitution), Jamaica (Item 3B, Jamaican Constitution
August 1962) Kiribati (Kiribati Independence Order dated July 12,1979) Niger (Directory of Citizenship Laws compiled by the United
StatesOfficeofPersonnelManagementInvestigationsService)Pakistan(Sections4and5,PakistanCitizenshipAct1951,asamended)
Palau (The Citizenship Act, 13 PNCA, 1 January 1995) Panama (Article 9, Constitution of Panama) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
(Items 9091, Constitution of 1979) Tanzania (Sections 5 and 6, Tanzania Citizenship Act No. 6 of 1995, 10 October 1995) Thailand
(Section7,NationalityActB.E.2508)Venezuela(Article32,ConstitutionoftheBolivarianRepublicofVenezuela)andZimbabwe(Section
5,ConstitutionofZimbabwe).
[380]Afghanistan(Article3,LawofCitizenshipinAfghanistan,6November1936)Albania(Article8[1],LawonAlbanianCitizenship,Law

No.8389,6September1998)Algeria(Article7,OrdonnanceNo.7086du15decembre1970portantcodedeIanationalitealgerienne,

18December1970)Andorra(NationalityAct,5October1997)Angola(Article9,ConstituicaodaRepublicadeAngolaaos,21Janeirode
2010)AntiguaandBarbuda(Article3[1],ConstitutionofAntiguaandBarbuda)Armenia(Article12,LawoftheRepublicofArmeniaon
the Citizenship of the Republic of Armenia as amended, 27 November 2005) Australia (Section 14, Australian Citizenship Act 2007)
Austria (Article 8(1), Federal Law Concerning the Austrian Nationality [Nationality Act of 1985]) Azerbaijan (Article 13, Law of the
AzerbaijanRepubliconCitizenshipoftheAzerbaijanRepublic,15March1994)Bahrain(ItemNo.5[B],BahrainiCitizenshipActfor1963,
16September1963)Barbados(Cap.186,Section4[1],BarbadosCitizenshipAct)Belgium(CodeofBelgianNationality,28June1984),
Belize (Part III, 7, Belizean Nationality Act, Cap. 161) Benin (Article 10, Code de Ia nationalitedahomeenn, Loi No. 6517, 23 June 1
965) Bosnia and Herzegovina (Section 7, Bosnia and Herzegovina Nationality Law, 7 October 1992) Bulgaria (Article 11, Law on
BulgarianCitizenship,November1998)BurkinaFasp(ZatuNo.AnVIA0013/FP/PRESdu16Novembre1989)Burundi(Article3,LoiNo
1/013 du 18 juillet 2000 portantreforme du code de la nationalite, 18 July 2000), Cambodia (Article 4 [2] [b], Law on Nationality, 9
October 1996) Cameroon (Section 9, Law No. 1968LF3 of the 11th June 1968 to set up the Cameroon Nationality Code) Canada
(Section 4[1], Canadian Citizenship Act) Cape Verde (Nationality law, Law No. 80/III/90, from 29th of June) Central African Republic
(Article I 0, RepubliqueCentrafricaine: Loi No. 1961.212 du 1961 portant code de Ia nationalitecentrafricaine, 21 April 1961) Chad
(Ordonnance33/PG.INT.du14aoftt1962codedeIanationalitetchadienneascitedintheDirectoryofCitizenshipLawscompiledbythe
UnitedStatesOfficeofPersonnelManagementInvestigationsService)China(Article6,NationalityLawofthePeople'sRepublicofChina,
10 September 1980) Comoros (Article 13, Code ofNationality, Law No. 7912) Costa Rica (Article 13[4), Political Constitution of the
Republic of Costa Rica), Croatia (Law of Croatian Citizenship, June 1991) Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti (Article 6, Code de Ia
NationaliteDjiboutienne[Djibouti],Loin79/AN/04/5emeL,24October2004)DemocraticRepublicofCongo(Article2[3],LOINo.87.010
DulerAOUT1987,PortantCodedeIaFamille)Egypt(Article2[4],LawNo.26of1975ConcerningEgyptianNationality,OfficialJournal
No.22,29MayI975),Eritrea(Item2[3],EritreanNationalityProclamationNo.2III992,6April1992)Estonia(Section5[2],Citizenship
Act of Estonia) Ethiopia (Article 3[2], Proclamation No. 378/2003, A Proclamation on Ethiopian Nationality, 23 December 2003) Fiji
(Section7,CitizenshipofFijiDecree2009)Finland(SectionI2,FinnishNationalityAct359/2003asamended)France(Article19,Title1,
FrenchCivilCode),G.Bissau,Gabon(ArticleI1[2],CodedeIaNationaliteLoiNo.371998)Georgia(Article15,OrganicLawofGeorgia
on Georgian Citizenship) Germany (Section 4[2], Nationality Act of 22 July 1913 as amended) Ghana (Citizenship Act, Act 591, 5
January 2001) Greece (Article 1[2][b], Greek Citizenship Code) Guinea (Directory of Citizenship Laws compiled by the United States
OfficeofPersonnelManagementInvestigationsService)GuineaBissau(Article5[2],LeidaCidadaniaLein.o2/92De6deAbril)Guyana
(Item8[2],GuyanaCitizenshipAct,Cap.14:0I)Haiti(Article4,HaitiCitizenshipAct)Honduras(Article23,ConstitutionoftheRepublic
of Honduras) Hungary (Section 3[3][b], Act LV of 1993 as amended) Iceland (Article 1[1], Icelandic Nationality Act No. 100/1952, I
January1953)Indonesia(Article4[9],4[10],4[11],LawoftheRepublicofIndonesiaNo.12onCitizenshipoftheRepublicofIndonesia,
1 August 2006) Iran (Article 976[3], Iran Nationality Law) Iraq (Article 4[6], Law No. 46 of 1963) Ireland (Item 10, Irish Nationality
and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended), Israel (Article 4[A], Nationality Law 57121952, 14 July 1953) Italy (Article 1[2], Law no.
91/1992)Jamaica,Japan(Article2[3],NationalityLawLawNo.147of1950,asamended)Jordan(Article3[4],JordanianNationality
Law1954,LawNo.6of1954onNationality,1January1954)Kazakhstan(Article13,LawonCitizenshipoftheRepublicofKazakhstan,1
March1992)Kenya(Article9,KenyaCitizenshipandImmigrationActNo.12of2011,30August20Il)Korea(Article2[1][3],2[2]Law
No.I6of1948,NationalityActasamended,20December1948)Kosovo(Article7,LawNr.03/L034onCitizenshipofKosovo)Kuwait
(Article3,NationalityLawof1959)KyrgyzRepublic(Article2[5],TheLawoftheKyrgyzRepubliconcitizenshipoftheKyrgyzRepublicas
amended,21March2007)LaoPDR(LawonLaoNationality,29November1990)Latvia(Section2(1)(3)and2(1)(5),LawofCitizenship
1994 [as amended]) Lebanon (Article I [3], Decree No.15 on Lebanese Nationality including Amendments, 19 January 1925) Lesotho
(Item 38, Lesotho Constitution of 1993, 2 April 1993) Liberia (Constitution of the Republic of Liberia) Libya (Section 3, Item 3, Law
Number(24)for2010/1378OnLibyanNationality,24May2010)Liechtenstein(Section4[a],Actof4January1934ontheAcquisition
and Loss of Citizenship) Lithuania (Article 16, Republic of Lithuania Law on Citizenship No. XI1196, 2 December 2010) Luxembourg
(Article1[2],LuxembourgNationalityLawof23October2008)Macedonia(Article6,LawonCitizenshipoftheRepublicofMacedonia)
Madagascar(DirectoryofCitizenshipLawscompiledbytheUnitedStatesOfficeofPersonnelManagementInvestigationsService)Malawi
(Item2[5),MalawiCitizenshipAct1966)Malaysia(SecondSchedule[Article39],Part1:CitizenshipbyOperationofLawofPersonsBorn
beforeMalaysiaDay[Article14[l][a]Section1,FederalConstitutionofMalaysia,31August1957)Mali(Article11,LoiNo.6218ANRM
du 3 fevrier 1962 portant Code de Ia nationalitemalienne) Malta (Item 17[3], Maltese Citizenship Act) Marshall Islands (Directory of
Citizenship Laws compiled by the United States Office of Personnel Management Investigations Service) Mauritania (Article 11, Loi N
1961112, Loiportant code de la nationalitemauritanienne) Mexico (Article 7, Law of Nationality as cited in the database of European
UnionDemocracyObservatoryonCitizenship)Moldova(Article11[2],LawonCitizenshipoftheRepublicofMoldova)Mongolia(Article
7[4],LawofMongoliaonCitizenship,5June1995)Montenegro(Article7,MontenegrinCitizenshipAct)Morocco(ArticlelI,CodedeIa
nationalitemarocaine (2011), Dahir n. 158250 du 21 safar 1378, 6 September 1958) Mozambique (Article lO[b], Nationality Act, 25
June1975)Nepal(Item3[3],NepalCitizenshipAct2063,2006),Netherlands(Article3(2),NetherlandsNationalityActasinforceon8
February 2015) New Zealand (Section 6, Citizenship Act 1977 061) Nicaragua (Article 16[4), Constitution of Nicaragua) Norway
(Section 4, Act on Norwegian Nationality) Oman (Article 1 [3], Royal Decree No. 3/83 Law on the Organization of the Omani
Nationality) Papua New Guinea (Section 77, Constitution) Paraguay (Article 146[1], Constitution of Paraguay) Peru (Article 2[2],
Constitution)Poland(Article15,Lawof2April2009onPolishCitizenship)Portugal(A1ticle1[2]PortugueseNationalityAct,Law37/81
of3Octoberasamended)Qatar(Article1[3],LawNo.38of2005ontheAcquisitionofQatarinationality38I2005)Romania(Article
3(1), Law No. 21 of 1 March 1991), Russia (Article 12[2], Federal Law on the Citizenship of the Russian Federation, 15 May 2002)
Rwanda (Article 9, Organic Law N 30/2008 of25/07/2008 relating to Rwandan Nationality 25 July 2008) Saint Kitts and Nevis (Items
95[5][c],I983Constitution)SaintLucia(Article7[2]oftheLawofNationality,ConstitutionofI978ascitedinthedatabaseofEuropean
Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship) Samoa (Part II, Item 6(3),Citizenship Act of 2004) San Marino (See Council of Europe
bulletin: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/nationality/Bulletin_en_files/San%20Marino%20E.pdf) Sao Tome & Principe (Article
5(1) (e) and 5(2), Law of Nationality dated September I 3, 1990) Saudi Arabia (Item No. 7[2], Saudi Arabian Citizenship System
(Regulation),Decisionno.4of25/1/1374Hijra,23September1954)Serbia(Article13,LawonCitizenshipoftheRepublicofSerbia)
Singapore(Article140[13],ThirdSchedule,ConstitutionoftheRepublicofSingapore,9August1965)Slovakia(Section5(2)(b),ActNo.
40/1993Coli.OnnationalityoftheSlovakRepublicof19January1993)Slovenia(Article9,CitizenshipoftheRepublicofSloveniaAct)
Somalia(Article15,LawNo.28of22December1962SomaliCitizenshipasamended)SouthAfrica(Article44,SouthAfricanCitizenship
ActNo.88of1995)SouthSudan(Item8[4],NationalityActof2011,7July2011)Spain(SpanishCivilCode,BookOneTitleI,Article
17[1][d])SriLanka(ItemNo.7,CitizenshipActofSriLanka)Sudan(Section5,SudaneseNationalityAct1994)Suriname(Article4,
State Ordinance of24 November 1975 for the Regulation of the Surinamese Nationality and Residence in Suriname), Swaziland (Section
17,SwazilandCitizenshipAct,1992,Act14/1992,1December1992)Sweden(Section2,SwedishCitizenshipAct)Switzerland(Article
6,FederalActontheAcquisitionandLossofSwissCitizenshipasamended)Taiwan(Article2[3],NationalityActasamended,5February
1929), Tajikistan (Article 19, 13 Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on Nationality of the Republic of Tajikistan, 8 August

2015) TimorLeste (Section 3[2][b], Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste) Togo (Article 2, Nationality Act) Tunisia
(Articles9and10,CodeofTunisianNationalityLawNo.636)Turkey(Article8,TurkishCitizenshipLawof2009)Turkmenistan(ArticleII
[1][8], Law of2013 on Citizenship, 22 June 2013) Uganda (Item II, Constitution of the Republic of Uganda) Ukraine (Article 7, Law on
Ukrainian Citizenship) United Arab Emirates (Article 2(5], Federal Law No. 17 for 1972 Concerning Nationality, Passports and
AmendmentsThereof,18November1972)UnitedKingdom(PartI,Item1(2),BritishNationalityActof1984)UnitedStatesofAmerica
(Immigration and Nationality Act 301(a), 302, 306, 307) Uruguay (Article 74, Constitution of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay)
Uzbekistan (Article 16, Law on Citizenship in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 28 July 1992) Vietnam (Article 18, Law on Vietnamese
Nationality,ResolutionNo:24/2008/QH12,13November2008)andYemen(LawNo.6of1990onYemeniNationality,26August1990).
[381]SeeforinstancetheLawofNationalityofMexico,LawNo.636.
[382]SeethePortugueseNationalityAct,Law37/81,of3OctoberasamendedSpanishCivilCode,BookOne:TitleIICameroonLawNo.

1968LF3ofthe11thJune1968Loin1961.212du1961portantcodedeIanationalitecentrafricaineoftheCentralAfricanRepublic
Code of Nationality, Law No. 7912 of Comoros Loi No. 6218 ANRM du 3 fevrier 1962 portant Code de la nationalitemalienne of Mali
Code de Ia nationalitemarocaine (2011), Dahir n. 158250 du 21 safar 1378,6 September 1958 of Morocco Law of Nationality dated
September 13, 1990 of Sao Tome and Principe Law No. 28 of 22 December 1962 Somali Citizenship as amended Code of Tunisian
NationalityLawNo.63.
[383] See Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area (Canada/United States of America), Judgment, ICJ Reports

1984,p.299.
[384]Article24oftheICCPRstates:

1.Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or
birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the
State.
2.Everychildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhaveaname.
3.Everychildhastherighttoacquireanationality.

[385]Article7oftheCRCstates:

1.Thechildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhavetherightfi:ombirthtoaname,therighttoacquireanationality
and.asfaraspossible,therighttoknowandbecaredforbyhisorherparents.
2.StatesPartiesshallensuretheimplementationoftheserightsinaccordancewiththeirnationallawandtheirobligationsunderthe
relevantinternationalinstrumentsinthisfield,inparticularwherethechildwouldotherwisebestateless.

[386]AnnualReportoftheUnitedNationsHighCommissionerforHumanRightsandReportsoftheOfficeoftheHighCommissionerand

theSecretaryGeneral.Arbitrarydeprivationofnationality:reportoftheSecretaryGeneral,A/HRC/10/34,26January2009
[387] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding observations on the combined 24th Periodic Reports of Fiji, adopted by the

committeeatitssixtyseventhsession(119September2014),CRC/C/FIJ/C0/24
[388]454Phil.504642(2003).
[389]ThePreambleofthe1935Constitutionstates:

TheFilipinopeople,imploringtheaidofDivineProvidence,inordertoestablishagovernmentthatshallembodytheirideals,
conserveanddevelopthepatrimonyofthenation,promotethegeneralwelfare,andsecuretothemselvesandtheirposterity
theblessingsofindependenceunderaregimeofjustice,liberty,anddemocracy,doordainandpromulgatethisConstitution.

[390]ThePreambleofthe1987Constitutionprovides:

We,thesovereignFilipinopeople,imploringtheaidofAlmightyGod,inordertobuildajustandhumanesociety,andestablish
aGovernmentthatshallembodyouridealsandaspirations,promotethecommongood,conserveanddevelopourpatrimony,
andsecuretoourselvesandourposterity,theblessingsofindependenceanddemocracyundertheruleoflawandaregimeof
truth,justice,freedom,love,equality,andpeace,doordainandpromulgatethisConstitution.

[391]Id.
[392] InterAmerican Court of Human Rights, Proposed Amendments to the Naturalization Provision of the Constitution of Costa Rica.

AdvisoryOpinionOC4/84ofJanuary19,1984.SeriesANo.4,para.35.
[393]SeeDissentingOpinionofChiefJusticeWarrenin2356U.S.44,6465,78S.Ct.568,57980,2L.Ed.2d603(1958).
[394]Batchelor,CarolA.DevelopmentsinInternationalLaw:theAvoidanceofStatelessnessthroughPositiveApplicationoftheRighttoa

Nationality.1stEuropeanConventiononNationality.(Strasbourg,18and19October1999).
[395]1987Constitution,ArticleV,Section1.
[396]Id.,ArticleXIV,Section1(righttoqualityeducationatalllevels)ArticleXIV,Section2(5)(righttobeprovidedtrainingincivics,

vocationalefficiencyandotherskills
[397]Id.,Section18,ArticleXI.
[398]ThefollowingeconomicrightsarerestrictedtoPhilippinecitizensundertheConstitution:righttotheexclusiveuseandenjoymentof

thenation'smarinewealthinitsarchipelagicwaters,territorialsea,andexclusiveeconomiczoml(ArticleXII,Section2)righttoengage
insmallscaleutilizationofnaturalresources(ArticleXII,Section2)righttoleasenotmorethanfivehundredhectares,oracquirenot
morethantwelvehectaresofpublicalienableland,bypurchase,homestead,orgrant(ArticleXII,Section3)righttobeatransfereeof
publicland(ArticleXII,Section7)
[399] These include the right to participate in certain areas of investments (Article XII, Section 10) right to be granted a franchise

certificate,oranyotherformofauthorizationfortheoperationofapublicutility(ArticleXII,Section11)
[400] The Constitution allows only citizens to exercise the following rights: the right to be the executive and managing officers of a

corporation or association engaged in any public utility enterprise (Article XII, Section 11 ) Right to practice a profession (Article XII,
Section14)righttoown,controlandadministereducationalinstitutions(ArticleXIV,Section[2])Righttoownandmanagemassmedia
(ArticleXVI,Section11[1])Righttobecomeanexecutiveandmanagingofficerofanentityengagedintheadvertisingindustry(Article
XVI,Section11[2])Righttoengageintheadvertisingindustry(ArticleXVI,Section11[2]).
TheownershipofthefollowingbusinessesarealsoreservedforPhilippinecitizens:Retailtradeenterpriseswithpaidupcapitaloflessthan
US$2,500,000(Section5,R.A.8762)cooperatives(ChapterIII,Article26,R.A.6938)privatesecurityagencies(Section4,R.A.5487)
smallscalemining(Section3[C],R.A.7076)ownership,operationandmanagementofcockpits(Section5[a],PD449)Manufactureof
firecrackersandotherpyrotechnicdevices(Section5,R.A.7183).
[401]ArticleXll,Section14Thefollowingprofessionsarealsorestrictedbystatute:Aeronauticalengineering(Section14[b],R.A.1570)

Agriculturalengineering(Section13[a],R.A.8559)Chemicalengineering(Section2,R.A.9297)Civilengineering(Section12[b],R.A.
544)Electricalengineering(Section16[a],R.A.7920)Electronicsandcommunicationengineering(Section14[a],R.A.9292)Geodetic
engineering(Section12[a],R.A.8560)Mechanicalengineering(Section14[a],R.A.8495)Metallurgicalengineering(Section17[a],R.A.
1 0688) Mining engineering (Section 19[a], R.A. 4274) Naval architecture and marine engineering (Section ll[b], R.A. 4565) Sanitary
engineering(Section17[b],R.A.1364)Medicine(Section9[1],R.A.2382asamended)Medicaltechnology(Section8[1],R.A.5527as
amended) Dentistry (Section 14[a], R.A. 9484) Midwifery (Section 13, R.A. 7392) Nursing (Section 13[a], R.A. 9173) Nutrition and
dietetics (Section 18[aJ, P.D. 1286) Optometry (Section 19[a], R.A. 8050) Pharmacy (Section l&[a], R.A. 5921) Physical and
occupational therapy (Section 15[a], R.A. 5680) Radiologic and xray technology (Section 19[a], R.A. 7431) Veterinary medicine
(Section15[a],R.A.9268)Accountancy(Section14[a],R.A.9298)Architecture(Section13[a],R.A.9266)Criminology(Section12[a],
R.A.6506)Chemistry(Sectionl3[a],R.A.754)Customsbrokerage(Section16[a],R.A.9280)Environmentalplanning(Section13[b],
P.D.1308)Forestry(Section14[b],R.A.6239)Geology(Section15,R.A.4209)Interiordesign(Section13(a],R.A.8534)Law(Art.
VIII,Section5[5],1987ConstitutionRule138[2],RulesofCourt)Librarianship(Section15[a],R.A.9246)Marinedeckofficers(Section
14[a], R.A. 8544) Marine engine officers (Section 14[a], R.A. 8544) Master plumbing (Section 12[b], R.A. 1378) Sugar technology
(Section 14[a], R.A. 5197) Social work (Section 12[a], R.A. 4373) Teaching (Section 15[a], R.A. 7836) Agriculture (R.A. 8435)
Fisheries (Section 2[b], R.A. 8550) Guidance counseling (Section 13[a], R.A. 9258) Real estate service (Section 14[a], R.A. 9646)
Respiratorytherapy(R.A.10024)andPsychology(Section12[a],R.A.10029).
[402]Righttomanufacture,repair,stockpileand/ordistributebiological,chemicalandradiologicalweaponsandantipersonnelminesand

the right to manufacture, repair, stockpile and/or distribute nuclear weapons (10th Foreign Negative Investment List, Executive Order
184,29 May 2015, citing Article II, Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution and Conventions and Treaties to which the Philippines is a
signatory)andrighttobecomemembersoflocalpoliceagencies(Section9[1]R.A.4864).
[403]SeeCivilCode,Article15.Thenextsectionincludesamoredetaileddiscussionofadoptionandfoundlings.
[404] See Section 2, R.A. 4090: Providing for State Scholarships for Poor But Deserving Students (1964) Part V(A)(1)(1.3), Amended

ImplementingRulesandRegulationsforRepublicActNo.7687,DOSTDepEDJointCircular(2005)Section5(a)(i),AdministrativeOrder
No.57,EducationalReformAssistancePackageforMindanaoanMuslims(1999).
[405] The following positions in the Executive branch must be occupied by naturalborn Philippine citizens: President (Article VII,

Section2,1987Constitution)VicePresident(ArticleVII,Section3,1987Constitution)DirectororAssistantDirectoroftheBureau
ofMinesandGeoSciences(Section2,PD1281asamendedbyPD1654[1979)UndersecretaryofDefenseforMunitions(Section2,R.A.
1884, Establishment of a Government Arsenal [1957]) Assistant Director of the Forest Research Institute (Section 7[a], PD 607,
CreatingtheForestResearchInstituteintheDepartmentofNaturalResources[1974])OfficersofthePhilippineCoastGuard(Section
12,R.A.9993,PhilippineCoastGuardLawof2009[2010])CommissionerorDeputyCommissionersofImmigration(Section4[b],
C.A. 613, The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 [1940]) Secretary and Undersecretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform

(Section50,R.A.3844asamendedbyR.A.6389[1971])Directors,AssistantDirectorsofBureausintheDepartmentofAgrarian
Reform(Section50G,R.A.3844asamendedbyR.A.6389,AgriculturalLandReformCode[1971])ChairmanandCommissionersof
theTariffCommission(Section502,PD1464asamended,HarmonizedCommodityDescriptionandCodingSystem2002Tariffand
CustomsCodeofthePhilippines[2002])DirectororAssistantDirectorsoftheBureauofForestDevelopment(Section6,PD705,
RevisedForestryCodeofthePhilippines[1975])CityFiscalandAssistantCityFiscalsofManila(Section38,R.A.409asamendedby
R.A.4631,RevisedCharterofCityofManila[1965])andProsecutorsintheNationalProsecutionService(Section603,DOJDepartment
CircularNo.05010,[2010]).
Inthelegislativebranch,theoccupantsofthefollowingpostsarerequiredtobenaturalborncitizens:Senator(ArticleVI,Section6,
1987 Constitution) Members of the House of Representatives (Article VI, Section 3, 1987 Constitution) nominees for partylist
representatives(Section9,PartyListSystemAct,R.A.7941[1995]).
The following members of the judicial branch are required to be naturalborn citizens: Members of the Supreme Court and lower
collegiatecourts(ArticleVIII,Section7,1987Constitution)RegionalTrialCourtJudges(Section15,BP129asamendedbyR.A.8369,
theFamilyCourtsActof1997[1997])JudgesofaMetropolitanTrialCourt,MunicipalTrialCourt,orMunicipalCircuitTrialCourt(Section
26,BP129asamended)PresidingJudgeandAssociateJusticesoftheSandiganbayan(Section1,PD1486asamendedbyPD1606,
CreatingtheSandiganbayan[1978])JudgesoftheShari'aCircuitCourt(Art.152,PD1083,CodeofMuslimPersonalLawsofthe
Philippines[1977]).
Otherconstitutionalofficesarereservedtonaturalborncitizens:OmbudsmanandhisDeputies(ArticleXI,Section8,1987Constitution)
BSP Board of Governors (Article XII, Section 20, 1987 Constitution) Chairman and Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission
(Article IX [B], Section I, 1987 Constitution Book V, Title I, Subtitle A, Chapter 3, Section 10 Executive Order No. 292,
AdministrativeCodeof1987ArticleV,Section8(b)PD807,CivilServiceDecreeofthePhilippinesorCivilServiceLawof1975[1975))
ChairmanandCommissionersoftheCommissiononElections(ArticleIX[C],SectionI,1987ConstitutionBookV,TitleII,SubtitleC,
Chapter2,Section4,EO292,AdministrativeCodeof1987[1987])ChairmanandCommissionersoftheCommissiononAudit(ArticleIX
[D], Section 1, 1987 Constitution) Chairman and Members of the Commission on Human Rights (Article XIII, Section 17[2], 1987
ConstitutionBookV,TitleII,SubtitleA,SectionI,EO292,AdministrativeCodeof1987[1987]).
[406]Thefollowingpositionsinthelocalgovernmentareincluded:RegionalGovernorandViceGovernoroftheARMM(ArticleVII,Section

3,R.A.9054,StrengtheningandExpandingtheARMMOrganicAct[2001])MembersoftheRegionalAssemblyoftheARMM(ArticleVI,
Section 6 [I], R.A. 9054, Strengthening and Expanding the ARMM Organic Act [2001]) Regional Secretary, Regional Undersecretaries,
AssistantRegionalSecretary,AssistantSecretaryforMadaris,BureauDirectors,andAssistantBureauDirectorsoftheARMMDepartment
of Education (Article II, Section 22, Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 27910, ARMM Basic Education Act of 2010 [2010] Regional
Governor and Vice Governor of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (Article V, Sections 2 and 3, R.A. 8438, Organic Act of Cordillera
AutonomousRegion[1997]).
[407] Members of these government commissions, boards, administrations are required to be naturalborn citizens: Chairman and

Members of the Energy Regulatory Commission (Section 38, R.A. 9136, Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 [2001])
Commissioners of the Commission on the Filipino Language (Section 6, R.A. 7104, Commission on the Filipino Language Act [1991])
Board of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (Section 9 [a], R.A. 10086, Strengthening Peoples' Nationalism Through
Philippine History Act [2010]) Executive Director and Deputy Executive Directors of the NHCP (Section 17, R.A. 10086, Strengthening
Peoples'NationalismThroughPhilippineHistoryAct[2010])CommissionersofNationalCommissiononIndigenousPeoples(Section3[a]
RulesandRegulationsImplementingTheIndigenousPeoples'RightsActof1997,NCIPAdministrativeOrderNo.0198,[1998])Members
ofProvincial,RegionalandNationalConsultativeBodiesoftheNCIP(Sections22[a]NCIPAdministrativeOrderNo.103,Guidelinesfor
theConstitutionandOperationalizationoftheConsultativeBody[2003])ChairmanandMembersoftheBoardofAgriculture(ArticleTil,
Section6(a]PRCBoardofAgricultureResolutionNo.0202,RulesandRegulationsimplementingPRCResolutionNo.2000663[2002])
MembersoftheBoardoftheMovieandTelevisionReviewandClassificationBoard(Section2,PD1986,CreatingtheMovieandTelevision
ReviewandClassificationBoard[1985])ChairmanandMembersoftheBoardofFisheries(ArticleIII,Section7[a]PRCBoardofFisheries
Resolution no. 0102, Rules and Regulations Implementing PRC Resolution No. 2000664) Representative of Consumers at the Price
ControlCouncil(Section2,R.A.6124,FixingoftheMaximumSellingPriceofEssentialArticlesorCommodities[1970])Membersofthe
AntiDummyBoard(Section1,R.A.1130asamendedbyR.A.6082[1969])Chairman,MembersoftheBoardandGeneralManagerof
the Public Estates Authority/Philippine Reclamation Authority, (Section 6, PO 1084, Charter of the Public Estates Authority [1977])
ChairmanandMembersoftheLandTenureAdministration(Section4,R.A.1400,LandReformActof1955[1955])BoardofDirectorsof
the Panay Development Authority (Section 17, R.A. 3856, Creation of Panay Development Authority [1964] Administrator of the
Agricultural Credit Administration (Section 101, R.A. 3844 as amended by R.A. 6389, Agricultural Land Reform Code [1971]) Director
General,DeputyDirectorGeneral,andExecutiveDirectorsoftheNationalManpowerYouthCouncil[absorbedbyTESDApursuanttoPO
850] (Article 53, PO 442 as amended by PO 850 Amendments to P.O. No. 442, Labor Code of the Philippines [1975]) Governor and
DeputyGovernorsoftheLandAuthority(Section50,R.A.3844,AgriculturalLandReformCode,[1963]).
[408]ProjectDirectoroftheMindoroOfficeoftheMindoroIntegratedRuralDevelopmentOffice(Section6[a],PO805,Implementingthe

Mindoro Integrated Rural Development Program and Providing Funds therefore [1975]) Project Director of the Cagayan Integrated
Agricultural Development Project (Section 6 [a], PO 1189, Implementing the Cagayan Integrated Agricultural Development Project
[1977])ProjectDirectoroftheSamarOfficeoftheSamarIntegratedRuralDevelopmentProject(Section4[a],PO1048,Implementation
oftheSamarIntegratedRuralDevelopmentProject[1976])MembersoftheCentralLuzonCagayanValleyAuthority(Section2[e],R.A.
3054,CreationofCentralLuzonCagayanValleyAuthority[1961])ProjectDirectoroftheRuralInfrastructureProjectOfficeintheDOTC
(Section3,PO1298,ImplementingtheRuralInfrastructureProject[1978])MembersoftheCooperativeDevelopmentAuthority(Section
5[a],R.A.6939,CooperativeDevelopmentAuthorityLaw[1990])BoardofDirectorsoftheBasesConversionandDevelopmentAuthority
(Section9[b],BasesConversionandDevelopmentActof1992,R.A.7227[1992])ProgramDirectorattheCotabatoAgusanRiverBasin
ProgramOffice(Section3,PO1556,CreationoftheCotabatoAgusanRiverBasinProgramOffice[1978])ExecutiveDirectoroftheRiver
BasinCouncil(Section5,EO412,CreationofBicolRiverBasinCouncil[1973])BoardofDirectorsofthePhilippineNationalOilCompany
(Section 6, Presidential Decree 334 as amended by PO 405, Creating the Philippine National Oil Company) Board of Governors ofthe
Ospital ng Bagong Lipunan (Section 3, PO 141 I, Dissolving the GSIS Hospital, Inc. [1978]) Board of Directors ofthe Philippine Export
CreditInsuranceandGuaranteeCorporation(Section8,R.A.6424,PhilippineExportCreditInsuranceandGuaranteeCorporationAct[I

972])PresidentofthePhilippineExportandForeignLoanGuaranteeCorporation[laterTradeandInvestmentDevelopmentCorporation,
nowPhil.ExportImportCreditAgency(Section14,PO1080asamendedbyR.A.8494).
[409]MembersoftheBoardofDirectorsofthefollowingbanksarerequiredtobenaturalborncitizens:PhilippineNationalBank(Section

10,EO80,The1986RevisedCharterofthePhilippineNationalBank[1986])LandBankofthePhilippines(Section86,RepublicActNo.
3844asamendedbyR.A.7907,CodeofAgrarianReforminthePhil.[1995])DevelopmentBankofthePhilippines(Section8,R.A.8523,
StrengtheningtheDevelopmentBankofthePhilippines[1998]).
[410] Presidents of State Universities imd Colleges (Section 5.1, CHED Memorandum Order 16 [2009]) and the College President of the

CompostelaValleyStateCollege(ImplementingRulesandRegulationsofRepublicActNo.10598[2014]).
[411]Theseinclude:MembersoftheBoardofExaminersofCriminologists(Section3[1],R.A.6506,CreationofBoardofExaminersfor

Criminologists [1972]) Chairman and Members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Geology (Section 8 [a], R.A. 10166, Geology
ProfessionActof2012[2012])ChairpersonandMembersoftheProfessionalRegulatoryBoardofPsychology(Section5[a],R.A.10029,
Philippine Psychology Act of 2009 [2010]) Chairperson and Members ofthe Board of Respiratory Therapy (Section 5 [a], R.A. 10024,
PhilippineRespiratoryTherapyActof2009[2010])ChairmanandMembersoftheProfessionalRegulatoryBoardofDentistry(Section7
[a], R.A. 9484, The Philippine Dental Act of2007 [2007]) Chairperson and Members of the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians
(Section7[a],R.A.9246,ThePhilippineLibrarianshipActof2003[2004])MembersoftheProfessionalRegulatoryBoardofAccounting
(Section 6 [a], R.A. 9298, Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004 [2004]) Chairman and Members of the Board of Chemical Engineering
(Section7[a],R.A.9297,ChemicalEngineeringLawof2004[2004])MembersofthePhilippineLandscapeArchitectureBoard(Section4
[a], R.A. 9053, Philippine Landscape Architecture Act of2000 [2001]) Chairperson and Members of the Board of the Professional
RegulatoryBoardofNursingSection4,R.A.9I73,PhilippineNursingActof2002[2002])MemberoftheProfessionalRegulatoryBoard
ofAccountancy(Section6[a],R.A.9298,PhilippineAccountancyActof2004[2004])MembersoftheBoardofAgriculturalEngineering
(Section5[a],R.A.8559,PhilippineAgriculturalEngineeringActof1998[1998])MembersoftheBoardofGeodeticEngineering(Section
4[a],R.A.8560,PhilippineGeodeticEngineeringActof1998[1998])ChairpersonandmembersoftheProfessionalRegulatoryBoardfor
Foresters(Section7[a],R.A.10690,TheForestryProfessionAct[2015])MembersoftheBoardofExaminersforForester(Section6[a],
R.A. 6239, The Forestry Profession Law [1971] Members ofthe Board of Pharmacy Section 7 [a], R.A. 5921, Pharmacy Law [1969])
Members of the Board of Medical Examiners (Section 14, R.A. 2382 as amended by R.A. 4224, The Medical Act of 1959 as amended
[1965]) Members of the Board of Mechanical Engineering (Section 5 [a] R.A. 8495, Philippine Mechanical Engineering Act of 1998
[1998])MembersoftheBoardofOptometry,(Section8[a],R.A.8050,RevisedOptometryLawof1995[1995])MembersoftheBoard
ofElectricalEngineering(Section5[a],R.A.7920,NewElectricalEngineeringLaw[1995]).
[412]Inparticular,allofficersoftheRegularForceoftheArmedForcesofthePhilippines(Section4[b],R.A.291,ArmedForcesOfficer

PersonnelActof1948[1948])OfficersoftheWomen'sAuxiliaryCorps(Section2,R.A.3835,AnActtoEstablishtheWomen'sAuxiliary
Corps in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to provide the Procurement of its Officers and Enlisted personnel, and for Other Purposes
[1963]).

DISSENTINGOPINION

CARPIO,J.:
Idissentfromthemajorityopinion.
Withtherulingofthemajoritytoday,apresidentialcandidatewhoisdeemedanaturalbornFilipinocitizenbylessthanamajorityofthis
Court,deemednotanaturalbornFilipinocitizenbyfiveJustices,andwithnoopinionfromthreeJustices,cannowrunforPresidentofthe
Philippines even after having been unanimously found by the Commission on Elections En Banc (COMELEC) to be not a naturalborn
Filipinocitizen.WhatisclearandundeniableisthatthereisnomajorityofthisCourtthatholdsthatpetitionerMaryGraceNatividadS.
PoeLlamanzares(petitioner)isanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.Thisrulingofthemajoritywillleadtoabsurdresults,makingamockeryof
our national elections by allowing a presidential candidate with uncertain citizenship status to be potentially elected to the Office of the
President,anofficeexpresslyreservedbytheConstitutionexclusivelyfornaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
This means that the majority of this Court wants to resolve the citizenship status of petitioner after the elections, and only if petitioner
winstheelections,despitepetitionerhavingalreadypresentedbeforetheCOMELECalltheevidenceshewantedtopresenttoproveher
citizenshipstatus.ThiswillmakeamockeryofourelectionprocessifpetitionerwinstheelectionsbutislaterdisqualifiedbythisCourtfor
notpossessingabasicqualificationfortheOfficeofthePresidentthatofbeinganaturalbornFilipinocitizen.
Thosewhovotedforpetitionerwouldhaveutterlywastedtheirvotes.Thisisnothowthenaturalborncitizenshipqualificationforelective
officemandatedbytheConstitutionshouldbeappliedbythehighestcourtoftheland.
ThereisnodisputethatpetitionerisaFilipinocitizen,asshepubliclyclaimstobe.However,shehasfailedtoprovethatsheisanatural
bornFilipinocitizenandaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleasttenyearsimmediatelyprecedingthe9May2016elections.Petitioneris
noteligibletorunforPresidentoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesforlackoftheessentialrequirementsofcitizenshipandresidencyunder
Section2,ArticleVIIofthe1987Constitution.[1]Petitioner'scertificateofcandidacy(COC),whereinshestatedthatsheisqualifiedforthe
position of President, contains false material representations, and thus, must be cancelled. Petitioner, not being a naturalborn Filipino
citizen,isalsoanuisancecandidatewhoseCOCcanmotupropriobecancelledbytheCOMELECunderSection69oftheOmnibusElection
Code.

TheCase

Theseconsolidatedcertioraripetitions[2]seektonullifytheResolutions[3]oftheCOMELECforallegedlybeingissuedwithgraveabuseof
discretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction.IntheassailedResolutions,theCOMELECcancelledpetitioner'sCOCfortheposition
ofPresidentforthe9May2016electionsonthegroundof"falsematerialrepresentations"whenshestatedthereinthatsheisa"natural
bornFilipinocitizen"andthather"periodofresidenceinthePhilippinesuptothedaybeforeMay09,2016"is"10yearsand11months,"
whichiscontrarytothefactsasfoundbytheCOMELEC.
TheIssues

The core issues in this case are (1) whether petitioner, being a foundling, is a naturalborn Filipino citizen, and (2) whether she is a
resident of the Philippines for ten years immediately preceding the 9 May 2016 national elections. The resolution of these issues will in
turn determine whether petitioner committed false material representations in her COC warranting the cancellation of her COC. If
petitioner is not a naturalborn Filipino citizen, the issue arises as a necessary consequence whether she is a nuisance candidate whose
COCcanmotupropriobecancelledbytheCOMELEC.
COMELECJurisdiction

Section2(1),ArticleIXCoftheConstitutionvestsintheCOMELECthepower,amongothers,to"[e]nforceandadministeralllawsand
regulations relative to the conduct of an election, x x x."[4] Screening initially the qualifications of all candidates lies within this specific
power. In my dissent in Tecson v. COMELEC,[5] involving the issue of Fernando Poe, Jr.'s citizenship, I discussed the COMELEC's
jurisdiction,towit:
xxx.UnderSection2(1),ArticleIXCoftheConstitution,theComelechasthepowerandfunctionto"[E]nforceandadministeralllaws
andregulationsrelativetutheconductofanelection."Theinitialdeterminationofwhoarequalifiedtofilecertificatesofcandidacieswith
the Comelec clearly falls within this allencompassing constitutional mandate of the Comelec. The conduct of an election necessarily
includestheinitialdeterminationofwhoarequalifiedunderexistinglawstorunforpublicofficeinanelection.Otherwise,theComelec's
certifiedlistofcandidateswillbeclutteredwithunqualifiedcandidatesmakingtheconductofelectionsunmanageable.Forthisreason,the
ComelecweedsouteverypresidentialelectiondozensofcandidatesforpresidentwhoaredeemednuisancecandidatesbytheComelec.
Section 2(3), Article IXC of the Constitution also empowers the Comelec to "[D]ecide, except those involving the right to vote, all
questions affecting elections x x x. " The power to decide "all questions affecting elections" necessarily includes the power to decide
whetheracandidatepossessesthequalificationsrequiredbylawforelectiontopublicoffice.Thisbroadconstitutionalpowerandfunction
vestedintheComelecisdesignedpreciselytoavoidanysituationwhereadisputeaffectingelectionsisleftwithoutanylegalremedy.If
onewhoisobviouslynotanaturalbornPhilippinecitizen,likeArnoldSchwarzenneger,runsforPresident,theComelecis
certainly not powerless to cancel the certificate of candidacy of such candidate. There is no need to wait until after the
electionsbeforesuchcandidatemaybedisqualified.[6](Italicizationintheoriginalboldfacingsupplied)
Clearly, pursuant to its constitutional mandate, the COMELEC can initially determine the qualifications of all candidates and disqualify
those found lacking any of such qualifications before the conduct of the elections. In fact, the COMELEC is empowered to motu proprio
cancelCOCsofnuisancecandidates.[7]InTimbolv.COMELEC,[8]theCourtstatedthus:

Respondent'spowertomotuproprio
denyduecoursetoacertificateof
candidacyissubjecttothecandidate's
opportunitytobeheard.
UnderArticleII,Section26oftheConstitution,"[t]heStateshallguaranteeequalaccesstoopportunitiesforpublicservice[.]"
This,however,doesnotguarantee"aconstitutionalrighttorunfororholdpublicoffice[.]"Torunforpublicofficeisamere
"privilegesubjecttolimitationsimposedbylaw."Amongtheselimitationsistheprohibitiononnuisancecandidates.
Nuisancecandidatesarepersonswhofiletheircertificatesofcandidacy"toputtheelectionprocessinmockeryor
disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other
circumstancesoractswhichclearlydemonstratethatthecandidatehasnobonafideintentiontorunfortheofficeforwhichthe
certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate." x x x.
(Emphasissupplied)

It cannot be disputed that a person, not a naturalborn Filipino citizen, who files a certificate of candidacy for President, "put[s] the
electionprocessinmockery"andisthereforeanuisancecandidate.Suchperson'scertificateofcandidacycanmotuproprio be cancelled
bytheCOMELECunderSection69oftheOmnibusElectionCode,whichempowerstheCOMELECtocancelmotupropriotheCOCifit"has
beenfiledtoputtheelectionprocessinmockery."
InPamatongv.COMELEC,[9]citedinTimbol,[10]theCourtexplainedthereasonwhynuisancecandidatesaredisqualifiedtorunforpublic
office:

Therationalebehindtheprohibitionagainstnuisancecandidatesandthedisqualificationofcandidateswhohavenotevinceda
bonafideintentiontorunforofficeiseasytodivine.TheStatehasacompellinginteresttoensurethatitselectoralexercises
are rational, objective, and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting
elections.Inevitably,thegreaterthenumberofcandidates,thegreatertheopportunitiesforlogisticalconfusion,nottomention
the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. These practical difficulties should, of course,
never exempt the State from the conduct of a mandated electoral exercise. At the same time, remedial actions should be
availabletoalleviatetheselogisticalhardships,whenevernecessaryandproper.Ultimately,adisorderlyelectionisnotmerelya
textbookexampleofinefficiency,butarotthaterodesfaithinourdemocraticinstitutions.xxx.
xxxx
x x x. The organization of an election with bonafide candidates standing is onerous enough. To add into the mix candidates
with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process. This is not to
mentionthecandidacieswhicharepalpablyridiculoussoastoconstituteaonenotejoke.Thepollbodywouldbeboggedby
irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process, most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance
candidates.ItwouldbeasenselesssacrificeonthepartoftheState.

Toallowaperson,whoisfoundbytheCOMELECnottobeanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,torunforPresidentofthePhilippinesconstitutes
a mockery of the election process. Any person, who is not a naturalborn Filipino citizen, running for President is obviously a nuisance
candidate under Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code. Allowing a nuisance candidate to run for President renders meaningless the
COMELEC's constitutional power to "[e]nforce and administer all laws x x x relative to the conduct of an election, x x x." The election
processbecomesacompletemockerysincetheelectorateismercilesslyofferedchoiceswhichincludepatentlyineligiblecandidates.The
electorateisalsoneedlesslymisledtocasttheirvotes,andthuswastetheirvotes,foranineligiblecandidate.TheCOMELECcannotbea
partytosuchmockeryoftheelectionprocessotherwise,theCOMELECwillbecommittingagraveabuseofdiscretion.
CitizensofthePhilippines

Itisthesovereignpowerandinherentrightofeveryindependentstatetodeterminewhoareitsnationals.ThePhilippines,andnoother
state,shalldeterminewhoareitscitizensinaccordancewithitsConstitutionandlaws.
Inthiscase,the1935PhilippineConstitutionshallbeappliedtodeterminewhetherpetitionerisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines
sinceshewasbornin1968whenthe1935Constitutionwasineffect.
Section1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitutionidentifieswhoare
Filipinocitizens,thus:

ArticleIV.Citizenship
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:

1.ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
2.ThoseborninthePhilippineIslandsofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionofthisConstitution,hadbeenelectedto
publicofficeinthePhilippineIslands.
3.ThosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
4.ThosewhosemothersarecitizensofthePhilippinesand,uponreachingtheageofmajority,electPhilippinecitizenship.
5.Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.

Fromthisconstitutionalprovision,wefindthat,exceptforthosewhowerealreadyconsideredcitizensatthetimeoftheadoptionofthe
Constitution,therewere,astherearestillnow,onlytwomethodsofacquiringPhilippinecitizenship:(1)bybloodrelationtothefather(or
themotherunderthe1987Constitution)whomustbeaFilipinocitizenand(2)bynaturalizationaccordingtolaw.[11]
The Philippines adheres to the jussanguinis principle or the "law of the blood" to determine citizenship at birth. An individual acquires
Filipino citizenship at birth solely by virtue of biological descent from a Filipino father or mother. The framers of the 1935 Constitution
clearlyintendedtomaketheacquisitionofcitizenshipavailableonthebasisofthejussanguinisprinciple.Thisviewismadeevidentby
thesuppressionfromtheConstitutionofthejussoliprinciple,andfurther,bythefactthattheConstitutionhasmadedefiniteprovisions
for cases not covered by the jus sanguinis principle, such as those found in paragraph 1, Section 1 of Article IV, i.e., those who are
citizensofthePhilippinesatthetimeoftheadoptionoftheConstitution,andinparagraph2,Section1ofthesameArticle,i.e.,thoseborn
inthePhilippinesofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionoftheConstitution,hadbeenelectedtopublicofficeinthePhilippines.[12]
Intermsofjurisprudence,therewasaperiodwhentheCourtwasuncertainregardingtheapplicationofjussolior"lawofthesoil"asa
principle of acquisition of Philippine citizenship at birth.[13] In Tan Chong v. Secretary of Labor,[14] decided in 1947, the Court finally
abandonedthejussoliprinciple,andjussanguinishasbeenexclusivelyadheredtointhePhilippinessincethen.[15]
BasedonSection1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution,petitioner'scitizenshipmaybedeterminedonlyunderparagraphs(3),(4)and(5).
Paragraph(1)ofSection1isnotapplicablesincepetitionerisnotaFilipinocitizenatthetimeoftheadoptionofthe1935Constitutionas

petitionerwasbornaftertheadoptionofthe1935Constitution.Paragraph(2)ofSection1islikewiseinapplicablesincepetitionerwasnot
borninthePhilippinesofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionoftheConstitution,hadbeenelectedtopublicofficeinthePhilippines.
OftheFilipinocitizensfallingunderparagraphs(3),(4)and(5),onlythoseinparagraph(3)ofSection1,whosefathersarecitizensofthe
Philippines,canbeconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizenssincetheyareFilipinocitizensfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformanyactto
acquireorperfecttheirPhilippinecitizenship.[16]Inshort,theyareFilipinocitizensbythemerefactofbirth.
Underparagraph(4)ofSection1,thoseFilipinocitizenswhosemothersareFilipinosandwhosefathersarealienscannotbeconsidered
naturalborn Filipino citizens since they are still required to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority they are not
Filipinocitizensbythemerefactofbirth.
However,underparagraph(2),Section1ofArticleIVofthe1987Constitution,thosewhosefathersareFilipinocitizensandthosewhose
mothersareFilipinocitizensaretreatedequally.TheyareconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.[17]Moreover,underSection2,Article
IV of the 1987 Constitution, in relation to paragraph (3), Section 1 of the same Article, those born before 17 January 1973 of Filipino
mothersandwhoelectedPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingtheageofmajorityarealsodeemednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
InCo v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives,[18] the Court held that the constitutional provision treating as naturalborn
Filipino citizens those born before 17 January 1973 of Filipino mothers and alien fathers, and who elected Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority, has a retroactive effect. The Court declared that this constitutional provision was enacted "to correct the
anomaloussituationwhereonebornofaFilipinofatherandanalienmotherwasautomaticallygrantedthestatusofanaturalborncitizen
whileonebornofaFilipinomotherandanalienfatherwouldstillhavetoelectPhilippinecitizenship.Ifonesoelected,hewasnot,under
earlierlaws,conferredthestatusofanaturalborn."[19]TheCourtexplained:

TheprovisioninParagraph3wasintendedtocorrectanunfairpositionwhichdiscriminatesagainstFilipinowomen.Thereisno
ambiguityinthedeliberationsoftheConstitutionalCommission,viz:

Mr.Azcuna:Withrespecttotheprovisionofsection4,wouldthisreferonlytothosewhoelectPhilippinecitizenship
aftertheeffectivityofthe1973Constitutionorwoulditalsocoverthosewhoelecteditunderthe1973Constitution?
Fr. Bernas: It would apply to anybody who elected Philippine citizenship by virtue of the provision of the 1935
Constitution whether the election was done before or qfter January 17, 1973. (Records of the Constitutional
Commission,Vol.1,p.228Emphasissupplied.)
xxxxxxxxx
Mr.Trenas:TheCommitteeonCitizenship,BillofRights,PoliticalRightsandObligationsandHumanRightshasmore
or less decided to extend the interpretation of who is a naturalborn citizen as provided in section 4 of the 1973
Constitution by adding that persons who have elected Philippine citizenship under the 1935 Constitution shall be
naturalborn?AmIrightMr.PresidingOfficer?
Fr.Bernas:Yes.
xxxxxxxxx
Mr. Nolledo: And I remember very well that in the Reverend Father Bernas' well written book, he said that the
decisionwasdesignedmerelytoaccommodateformerdelegateErnestoAngandthatthedefinitiononnaturalborn
hasnoretroactiveeffect.NowitseemsthattheReverendFatherBernasisgoingagainstthisintentionbysupporting
theamendment?
Fr.Bernas:AstheCommissionercansee,therehasbeenanevolutioninmythinking.(RecordsoftheConstitutional
Commission,Vol.1,p.189)
xxxxxxxxx
Mr.Rodrigo:ButthisprovisionbecomesveryimportantbecausehiselectionofPhilippinecitizenshipmakeshimnot
onlyaFilipinocitizenbutanaturalbornFilipinocitizenentitlinghimtorunforCongress...
Fr. Bernas: Correct. We are quite aware of that and for that reason we will leave it to the body to approve that
provisionofsection4.
Mr. Rodrigo: I think there is a good basis for the provision because it strikes me as unfair that the Filipino citizen
whowasbornadaybeforeJanuary17,1973cannotbeaFilipinocitizenoranaturalborncitizen.(Recordsofthe
ConstitutionalCommission,Vol.1,p.231)
xxxxxxxxx
Mr.Rodrigo:Thepurposeofthatprovisionistoremedyaninequitablesituation.Between1935and1973whenwe
were under the 1935 Constitution, those born of Filipino fathers but alien mothers were naturalborn Filipinos.
However,thosebornofFilipinomothersbutalienfatherswouldhavetoelectPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingthe
age of majority and if they do elect, they become Filipino citizens but not naturalborn Filipino citizens. (Records
oftheConstitutionalCommission,Vol.1,p.356)

Theforegoingsignificantlyrevealstheintentoftheframers.TomaketheprovisionprospectivefromFebruary3,1987istogive
anarrowinterpretationresultinginaninequitablesituation.Itmustalsoberetroactive.[20]

Therefore,thefollowingaredeemednaturalbornFilipinocitizens:(1)thosewhosefathersormothersareFilipinocitizens,and(2)those
whosemothersareFilipinocitizensandwerebornbefore17January1973andwhoelectedPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingtheageof
majority.Stateddifferently,thosewhosefathersormothersareneitherFilipinocitizensarenotnaturalbornFilipinocitizens.Iftheyare
not naturalborn Filipino citizens, they can acquire Philippine citizenship only under paragraph (5), Section 1 of Article IV of the 1935
ConstitutionwhichreferstoFilipinocitizenswhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
IntentoftheFramersofthe1935Constitution

Petitioner concedes that she does not fall under paragraphs (I) and (2) of Section 1, Article IV of the 1935 Constitution. However,
petitioner claims that the mere fact that she is a foundling does not exclude her from paragraphs (3) and (4) of the same provision.
PetitionerarguesinherPetitionthat"thepertinentdeliberationsofthe1934ConstitutionalConvention,onwhateventuallybecameArticle
IVofthe1935Constitution,showthattheintentoftheframerswasnottoexcludefoundlings from the term "citizens" of the
Philippines."[21]
Likewise, the Solicitor General asserts in his Comment[22] that "[t]he deliberations ofthe 1934 Constitutional Convention indicate the
intentiontocategorizefoundlingsasaclassofpersonsconsideredasPhilippinecitizens.xxx.The1935Constitution'ssilencecannot
simply be interpreted as indicative of an intent to entrench a disadvantaged class in their tragedy. Not only is there no evidence of
such intent, but also the silence can be explained in a compassionate light, one that is geared towards addressing a fundamental
questionofjustice."[23]
PetitionerandtheSolicitorGeneralaregravelymistaken.Theframersofthe1935Constitutionvotedtocategoricallyrejecttheproposal
toincludefoundlingsascitizensofthePhilippines.Petitioner'sPetition,andtheSolicitorGeneral'sComment,glaringlyomittedthatthe
1934 Constitutional Convention actually voted upon, and rejected, the proposal to include foundlings as citizens of the
Philippines.ThefollowingexchangeduringthedeliberationsoftheConventionshowsthisunequivocally.

SPANISH

ENGLISH

SR.RAFOLS:
Para una enmienda. Propongo que despues del inciso 2 se
inserte lo siguiente: "Los hijos naturales de un padre
extranjeroydeunamadrefilipinanoreconocidosporaquel.
xxxx

MR.RAFOLS:
For an amendment, I propose that after subsection 2, the
followingisinserted:''Thenaturalchildrenofaforeignfather
andaFilipinomothernotrecognizedbythefather.
xxxx

ELPRESIDENTE:
PRESIDENT: [We] would like to request a clarification from
La Mesa desea pedir una aclaracion del proponente de la the proponent of the amendment. The gentleman refers to
enmienda. Se refiere Su Seiioria a hijos naturales o a toda naturalchildrenortoanykindofillegitimatechildren?
clasedehijosilegitimos?
SR.RAFOLS:
MR. RAFOLS: To all kinds of illegitimate children. It also
A toda clase de hijos ilegitimos. Tambien se incluye a los includes natural children of unknown parentage, natural or
hijosnaturalesdepadresdesconocidos,loshijosnaturaleso illegitimatechildrenofunknownparents.
ilegitimos,depadresdesconocidos.
SR.MONTINOLA:
Para una aclaracion. Alli se dice "de padres desconocidos."
LosCodigosactualesconsiderancomofilipino,esdecir,ime
refieroalcodigoespaiiolquienIconsideracomoespafiolesa
todos los hijos de padres desconocidos nacidos en territorio
espafiol, porque la presuncion es que el hijo de padres
desconocidos es hijo de un espafiol, y de esa manera se
podra aplicar en Filipinas de que un hijo desconocido aqui y
nacidoenFilipinasseconsideraraqueeshijofilipinoynohay
necesidad...

MR.MONTINOLA:
For clarification. The gentleman said "of unknown parents."
Current codes consider them Filipino, that is, I refer to the
Spanish Code wherein all children of unknown parentage
born in Spanish territory are considered Spaniards, because
thepresumptionisthatachildofunknownparentageisthe
son of a Spaniard. This may be applied in the Philippines in
that a child of unknown parentage born in the Philippines is
deemedtobeFilipino,andthereisnoneed...

SR.RAFOLS:
MR.RAFOLS:
Haynecesidad,porqueestamosrelatandolascondicionesde Thereisaneed,becausewearerelatingtheconditionsthat
losquevanaserfilipinos.
are[required]tobeFilipino.
SR.MONTINOLA:
MR.MONTINOLA:
PeroesaesIainterpretaciondelaley,ahora,demaneraque But that is the interpretation of the law, therefore, there is
nohaynecesidaddelaenmienda.
no[more]needfortheamendment.
SR.RAFOLS:
La enmienda debe leerse de esta manera: "Los hijos
naturalesoilegitimosdeunpadreextranjeroydeunamadre
filipina reconocidos por aquel o los hijos de padres
desconocidos.

MR.RAFOLS:
The amendment should read thus: "Natural or illegitimate
childrenofaforeignfatherandaFilipinomotherrecognized
bytheformer,orthechildrenofunknownparentage."

SR.BRIONES:
MR.BRIONES:Theamendment[should]meanchildrenborn
Para una enmienda con elfin de significar The amendment inthePhilippinesofunknownparentage.
[should] mean children los hijos nacidos en Filipinas de
padresborninthePhilippinesofunknowndesconocidos

SR.RAFOLS:
MR.RAFOLS:
Esqueelhijodeunafilipinaconunextranjero,aunqueeste ThesonofaFilipinatoaforeigner,althoughthelatterdoes
noreconozcaalhijo,noesdesconocido.
notrecognizethechild,isnotofunknownparentage.
ELPRESIDENTE:
AceptaSuSefioriaonolaenmienda?

PRESIDENT:
Doesthegentlemanaccepttheamendmentornot?

SR.RAFOLS:
No acepto la enmienda, porque la lenmienda excluiria a los
hijosdeunafilipinaconunextranjeroqueestenoreconoce.
No son desconocidos y yo creo que esos hijos de madre
filipina con extranjero y el padre no reconoce, deben ser
tambienconsideradoscomofilipinos.

MR.RAFOLS:
I do not accept the amendment because the amendment
wouldexcludethechildrenofaFilipinawithaforeignerwho
doesnotrecognizethechild.Theirparentageisnotunknown
and I believe that these children of a Filipino mother by a
foreigner who does not recognize them should also be
consideredFilipinos.

ELPRESIDENTE:
PRESIDENT:
La cuestion en orden es la enmienda a la enmienda del The question to be settled is the amendment to the
DelegadoporCebu,Sr.Briones.
amendmentofthedelegatefromCebu,Mr.Briones.
Mr.BULSON:
MR.BUSLON:
Mr.President,don'tyouthinkitwouldbebettertoleavethe Mr.President,don'tyouthinkitwouldbebettertoleavethe
matterinthehandsoftheLegislature?
matterinthehandsoftheLegislature?
SR.ROXAS:
SenorPresidente,miopinionhumildeesqueestossoncasos
muy pequeos y contados, para que la constitucion necesite
referirse a ellos. Por !eyes internacionales se rec onoce el
principia de que los hijo las per o as nacidas en un pais de
padres desconocidos son ciudadanos de esa nacion, y no es
necesarioincluirunadisposiciontaxativasobreelparticular.

MR.ROXAS:
Mr. President, my humble opinion is that these cases are
veryinsignificantandveryfewthattheconstitutionneednot
make reference to them. International law recognizes the
principlethatthechildrenorpersonsinacountryofunknown
parentsarecitizensofthatnationanditisnotnecessaryto
includearestrictiveprovisiononthissubject.

LAENMIENDABRIONESESRETIRADA

THEBRIONESAMENDMENTISWITHDRAWN

ELPRESIDENTE:
InsisteelCaballeroporCebu,Sr.Briones,ensuenmienda?

PRESIDENT:
Does the gentleman from Cebu, Mr. Briones, insist in his
amendment?

SR.BRIONES:
SR.BRIONES:
Notengoespecialinteres,seorPresidente,enesaenmienda I have no special interest, Mr. President, in the amendment
ylaretiro.
andIwithdraw.
ELPRESIDENTE:
Porretirada.

PRESIDENT:Withdrawn.

LAENMIENDARAFOLSESRECHAZADA

THERAFOLSAMENDMENTISREJECTED

ELPRESIDENTE:
InsisteelCaballeroporCebu,Sr.Rafols,ensuenmienda?

PRESIDENT:
Does the gentleman from Cebu, Mr. Rafols, insist in his
amendment?

SR.RAFOLS:
Si.

SR.RAFOLS:
Yes.

EL PRESIDENTE: La Mesa sometera a votacion dicha


enmienda.LosqueestenconformesconIamisma,quedigan
si. (Una minoria: SI.) Los que no lo esten, que digan no.
(Unamayoria:NO.)Quedarechazadalaenmienda.[24]

PRESIDENT:
Let us submit to a vote the amendment. Those who agree
with it, say yes. (a minority: YES.) Those who are not, say
no. (a majority: NO.) The amendment is rejected.
(Emphasissupplied)

During the 26 November 1934 deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, Delegate Rafols proposed an amendment to declare as
FilipinocitizensthosenaturalorillegitimatechildrenofFilipinomothersandalienfatherswhodonotacknowledgethem.Suchproposed
amendment,accordingtoDelegateRafols,included"childrenofunknownparentage."
ThreedelegatesvoicedtheirobjectionstoRafols'samendment,namelyDelegatesBuslon,Montinola,andRoxas.
DelegateTeofiloBuslonsuggestedthatthesubjectmatterbeleftinthehandsofthelegislature,whichmeantthatCongresswoulddecide
whethertocategorizeasFilipinos(1)naturalorillegitimatechildrenofFilipinomothersandalienfatherswhodonotrecognizethemand
(2)childrenofunknownparentage.Ifthatwerethecase,foundlingswerenotandcouldnotvalidlybeconsideredasnaturalbornFilipino
citizens as defined in the Constitution since Congress would then provide the enabling law for them to be regarded as Filipino citizens.
FoundlingswouldbenaturalizedcitizenssincetheyacquireFilipinocitizenship"inaccordancewithlaw"underparagraph(5),Section1of
ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution.Significantly,petitionerandtheSolicitorGeneral,whoagreeswithpetitioner'sposition,conveniently
leftoutDelegateBuslon'sopinion.
Petitioner quotes the opinions of Delegates Ruperto Montinola and Manuel Roxas to support her theory. Petitioner argues that "the
pertinentdeliberationsofthe1934ConstitutionalConventionshowthattheintentoftheframerswasnottoexcludefoundlingsfromthe
term'citizensofthePhilippines,'butsimplytoavoidredundancyoccasionedbyexplicatingwhattothemwasalreadyaclearprincipleof
existingdomesticandinternationallaw."[25]
Petitionerisagaingravelymistaken.
There was no domestic law as well as international law existing during the proceedings of the 1934 Constitutional Convention explicitly
governingcitizenshipoffoundlings,andthus,therecouldnothavebeenaredundancyofanylawtospeakof.

Delegate Montinola applied the Spanish Civil Code provision, stating that children of unknown parentage born in Spanish territory were
consideredSpaniards,andopinedthatthesameconceptcouldbeappliedinthePhilippinesandthuschildrenofunknownparentageborn
inthePhilippinesshouldbeconsideredFilipinocitizens.
However,thiswasanerroneousapplicationsincetheprovisionsoftheSpanishCivilCode(whichDelegateMontinolawasrelyingon)were
nolongerineffectasoftheendofSpanishruleinthePhilippines.TheprovisionsoftheSpanishCivilCodecitedbyDelegateMontinola
ceasedtohaveeffectuponthecessionbySpainofthePhilippinestotheUnitedStates.Asearlyas1912,inRoav.CollectorofCustoms,
[26]theCourtstated:

Articles17to27,inclusive,oftheCivilCodedealentirelywiththesubjectofSpanishcitizenship.Whentheseprovisionswere
enacted, Spain was and is now the sole and exclusive judge as to who shall and who shall not be subjects of her kingdom,
including her territories. Consequently, the said articles, being political laws (laws regulating the relations sustained by the
inhabitants to the former sovereign), must be held to have been abrogated upon the cession of the Philippine Islands to the
UnitedStates.

"By wellsettled public law, upon the cession of territory by one nation to another, either following a conquest or
otherwise, * * * those laws which are political in their nature and pertain to the prerogatives of the former
governmentimmediatelyceaseuponthetransferofsovereignty."(Opinion,Atty.Gen.,July10,1889.)

Thus,DelegateMontinola'sopinionwasbasedonanerroneouspremisesincetheprovisionsoftheSpanishCivilCodehecitedhadalready
longbeenrepealedandcouldnolongerbeappliedinthePhilippines.
ThesamecanbesaidofDelegateManuelRoxas'sopinionregardingthesupposedinternationallawprinciplewhichrecognizesafoundling
to be a citizen of the country where the foundling is found. At that time, there was nothing in international law which automatically
grantedcitizenshiptofoundlingsatbirth.Infact,DelegateRoxasdidnotciteanyinternationallawprincipletothateffect.
Onlythe1930HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws,whicharticulatedthepresumptionon
theplaceofbirthoffoundlings,wasinexistenceduringthedeliberationsonthe1935Constitution.Aswillbediscussedfurther,the1930
HagueConventiondoesnotguaranteeanationalitytoafoundlingatbirth.Therefore,therewasnoprevailingcustomaryinternationallaw
atthattime,asthereisstillnonetoday,conferringautomaticallyanationalitytofoundlingsatbirth.
Moreover, none of the framers of the 1935 Constitution mentioned the term "naturalborn" in relation to the citizenship of foundlings.
Again,underthe1935Constitution,onlythosewhosefatherswereFilipinocitizenswereconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.Those
whowerebornofFilipinomothersandalienfatherswerestillrequiredtoelectPhilippinecitizenship,preventingthemfrombeingnatural
born Filipino citizens. If, as petitioner would like us to believe, the framers intended that foundlings be considered naturalborn Filipino
citizens,thiswouldhavecreatedanabsurdsituationwhereachildwithunknownparentagewouldbeplacedinabetterpositionthana
childwhosemotherisactuallyknowntobeaFilipinocitizen.Theframersofthe1935Constitutioncouldnothaveintendedtocreatesuch
anabsurdity.
In any event, Delegate Rafols's amendment, when put to a vote, was clearly rejected by the majority of the delegates to the 1934
Constitutional Convention. To reiterate, Delegate Rafols's proposal was defeated in the voting. The rejection of the Rafols
amendment not only meant the non inclusion in the text of the Constitution of a provision that children with unknown parentage are
Filipinocitizens,butalsosignifiedtherejectionbythedelegatesoftheideaorpropositionthatfoundlingsareFilipinocitizensatbirthjust
like naturalhom citizens. While the framers discussed the matter of foundlings because of Delegate Rafols's amendment, they not only
rejected the Rafols proposal but also clearly manifested that foundlings could not be citizens of the Philippines at birth like children of
Filipinofathers.Stateddifferently,theframersintendedtoexcludefoundlingsfromthedefinitionofnaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
Clearly,thereisno"silenceoftheConstitution"onfoundlingsbecausethemajorityofthedelegatestothe1934ConstitutionalConvention
expresslyrejectedtheproposedamendmentofDelegateRafolstoclassifychildrenofunknownparentageasFilipinocitizens.Therewould
havebeen"silenceoftheConstitution"iftheConventionneverdiscussedthecitizenshipoffoundlings.Therecanneverbe"silenceof
the Constitution" if the Convention discussed a proposal and rejected it, and because of such rejection the subject of the
proposalisnotfoundintheConstitution.TheabsenceofanymentionintheConstitutionofsuchrejectedproposalisnot"silenceof
theConstitution"but"expressrejectionintheConstitution"ofsuchproposal.
Further, to include foundlings among those born of Filipino fathers or Filipino mothers based solely on Montinola's and Roxas's opinions
during the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention is a strained construction of the Constitution which clearly runs counter to the
expressprovisionsoftheConstitutionandcontravenesthejussanguinisprincipleunderlyingthecitizenshipprovisionsoftheConstitution.
Besides,thereisnothinginthedeliberationsofthe1934ConstitutionalConventionindicatingthatamajorityofthedelegatesagreedwith
the opinion of either Delegate Montinola or Delegate Roxas. The opinions of Delegates Montinola and Roxas remained their personal
opinions, just like the countless opinions of other delegates who aired their opinions during the deliberations of the Convention without
such opinions being put to a vote. Delegate Buslon proposed that the citizenship of foundlings be addressed through legislation by
Congress,aproposalthatcarriedmoreweightsinceitfallssquarelyunderparagraph5,Section1ofArticleIVofthe1935Constitution
authorizingCongresstoenactnaturalizationlaws.
DefinitionoftheTerm"'NaturalBornCitizens"

Theterm"naturalborncitizen"wasfirstdiscussedbytheframersofthe1935ConstitutioninrelationtothequalificationsofthePresident

andVicePresident.Inparticular,DelegateRoxaselaboratedonthisterm,explainingthatanaturalborncitizenisa"citizenbybirth"a
personwhoisacitizenbyreasonofhisorherbirthandnotbyoperationoflaw.DelegateRoxasexplained:

Delegate Roxas. Mr. President, the phrase, 'naturalborn citizen,' appears in the Constitution of the United States but the
authorssaythatthisphrasehasneverbeenauthoritativelyinterpretedbytheSupremeCourtoftheUnitedStatesinviewof
the fact that there has never been raised the question of whether or not an elected President fulfilled this condition. The
authors are uniform in the fact that the words, 'naturalborn citizen,' means a citizen by birth, a person who is a citizen by
reasonofhisbirth,andnotbynaturalizationorbyafurtherdeclarationrequiredbylawforhiscitizenship.InthePhilippines,
for example, under the provisions of the article on citizenship which we have approved, all those born of a father who is a
Filipinocitizen,betheypersonsborninthePhilippinesoroutside,wouldbecitizensbybirthor'naturalborn.'
And with respect to one born of a Filipino mother but of a foreign father, the article which we approved about citizenship
requiresthat,uponreachingtheageofmajority,thischildneedstoindicatethecitizenshipwhichheprefers,andifheelects
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, then he shall be considered a Filipino citizen. According to this
interpretation, the child of a Filipino mother with a foreign father would not be a citizen by birth, because the law or the
Constitutionrequiresthathemakeafurtherdeclarationafterhisbirth.Consequently,thephrase,'naturalborncitizen,'asitis
usedintheEnglishtextmeansaFilipinocitizenbybirth,regardlessofwherehewasborn.[27](Emphasissupplied)

Clearly,itwastheintentoftheframersofthe1935ConstitutiontorefertonaturalborncitizensasonlythosewhowereFilipinocitizens
by the mere fact of being born to fathers who were Filipino citizens nothing more and nothing less. To repeat, under the 1935
Constitution, only children whose fathers were Filipino citizens were naturalborn Filipino citizens. Those who were born of alien fathers
andFilipinomotherswerenotconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens,despitethefactthattheyhadabloodrelationtoaFilipinoparent.
SinceanaturalborncitizenisacitizenbybirthwhoneednotperformanyacttoacquireorperfectPhilippinecitizenship,thenthoseborn
ofFilipinomothersandalienfathersandwhohadtoelectcitizenshipuponreachingtheageofmajority,anovertacttoperfectcitizenship,
were not considered naturalborn Filipino citizens. As a matter of course, those whose parents are neither Filipino citizens or are both
unknown,suchasinthecaseoffoundlings,cannotbeconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
FoundlingsandInternationalLaw
A.EachStateDeterminesitsCitizens
Fundamentalistheprinciplethateveryindependentstatehastherightandprerogativetodeterminewhoareitscitizens.InUnitedStates
v.WongKimArk,[28]decidedin1898,theUnitedStatesSupremeCourtenunciatedthisprinciple:

Itistheinherentrightofeveryindependentnationtodetermineforitself,andaccordingtoitsownconstitutionandlaws,what
classesofpersonsshallbeentitledtoitscitizenship.

Inourjurisdiction,theCourtsimilarlyechoedinthe1912caseofRoav.CollectorofCustoms[29]thisincontrovertiblerightofeachstate
todeterminewhoareitscitizens.Hence,everyindependentstatecannotbedeniedthisinherentrighttodeterminewhoareitscitizens
accordingtoitsownconstitutionandlaws.
Article1,ChapterIofthe1930HagueConventiononCertain
QuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLawsexplicitlyprovides:

Itisforeachstatetodetermineunderitsownlawwhoareitsnationals.ThislawshallberecognizedbyotherStatesinsofar
as it is consistent with international conventions, international custom, and the principles oflaw generally recognized with
regardtonationality.

Thismeansthatmunicipallaw,bothconstitutionalandstatutory,determinesandregulatestheconditionsonwhichcitizenshipisacquired.
[30]Thereisnosuchthingasinternationalcitizenshiporinternationallawbywhichcitizenshipmaybeacquired.[31]Whetheranindividual

possessesthecitizenshipofaparticularstateshallbedeterminedinaccordancewiththeconstitutionandstatutorylawsofthatstate.
B.ConventionalInternationalLaw,CustomaryInternationalLaw,andGenerallyAcceptedPrinciplesofInternationalLaw

Petitioner invokes conventional international law, customary international law and generally accepted principles of international law to
supportherclaimthatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.Areviewoftheseconceptsisthusinevitable.
Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice sets out the following sources of international law: (1) international
conventions,whethergeneralorparticular,establishingrulesexpresslyrecognizedbythecontestingstates(2)internationalcustom,as
evidenceofageneralpracticeacceptedaslaw(3)generalprinciplesoflawrecognizedbycivilizednationsand(4)judicialdecisionsand
theteachingsofthemosthighlyqualifiedpublicistsofthevariousnationsassubsidiarymeansforthedeterminationofrulesoflaw.[32]
Essentially,conventionalinternationallawisthebodyofinternationallegalprinciplescontainedintreatiesorconventionsasopposedto

customaryinternationallaworothersourcesofintemationallaw.[33]
Customaryinternationallawisdefinedasageneralandconsistentpracticeofstatesfollowedbythemfromasenseoflegalobligation.[34]
IhadoccasiontoexplaintheconceptofcustomaryinternationallawasusedinourConstitutioninthiswise:

Generally accepted principles of international law, as referred to in the Constitution, include customary international law.
Customary international law is one of the primary sources of international law under Article 38 of the Statute of the
InternationalCourtofJustice.Customaryinternationallawconsistsofactswhich,byrepetitionofStatesofsimilarinternational
acts for a number of years, occur out of a sense of obligation, and taken by a significant number of States. It is based on
custom,whichisaclearandcontinuoushabitofdoingcertainactions,whichhasgrownundertheaegisoftheconvictionthat
these actions are, according to international law, obligatory or right. Thus, customary international law requires the
concurrence of two elements: [1] the established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of the States and [2] a
psychologicalelementknownasopiniojurissivenecessitatis(opinionastolawornecessity).Implicitinthelatterelementisa
beliefthatthepracticeinquestionisrenderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit.[35]

IntheNorthSeaContinentalShelfCases,[36]theInternationalCourtofJusticeheldthat"[n]otonlymusttheactsconcernedamounttoa
settledpractice,buttheymustalsobesuch,orbecarriedoutinsuchaway,astobeevidenceofabeliefthatthispracticeisrendered
obligatorybyexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit.Theneedforsuchabelief,i.e.,theexistenceofasubjectiveelementisimplicitinthe
verynotionoftheopiniojurissivenecessitatis."
Moreover,tobeconsideredascustomaryinternationallaw,arulemustapplytoall,ormajorityofall,states.Onepossibleexceptionto
the universal applicability of customary international law is local or special custom. A local or special customary international rule binds
onlyagroupofstates,regionalorotherwise.[37]"Regionalcustomaryinternationallawreferstocustomaryinternationallawthatarises
from state practice and opinio juris of a discrete and limited number of states as it departs from generally applicable customary
internationallaw,itisonlybindinguponandopposableagainstthosestatesparticipatinginitsformation."[38]
Generally accepted principles of international law are those legal principles which are so basic and fundamental that they are found
universallyinthelegalsystemsoftheworld.Theseprinciplesapplyallovertheworld,notonlytoaspecificcountry,regionorgroupof
states. Legal principles such as laches, estoppel, good faith, equity and res judicata are examples of generally accepted principles of
internationallaw.[39] In Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Duque III,[40] the Court further explained the
conceptofgenerallyacceptedprinciplesoflaw,towit:

Somelegalscholarsandjudgeslookuponcertain"generalprinciplesoflaw"asaprimarysourceofinternationallawbecause
theyhavethe"characterofjusrationale"andare"validthroughallkindsofhumansocieties."(JudgeTanakainhisdissenting
opinioninthe1966SouthWestAfricaCase,1966I.C.J.296).O'Connellholdsthatcertainprinciplesarepartofinternational
lawbecausetheyare"basictolegalsystemsgenerally"andhencepartofthejusgentium.Theseprinciples,hebelieves,are
established by a process of reasoning based on the common identity of all legal systems. If there should be doubt or
disagreement, one must look to state practice and determine whether the municipal law principle provides a just and
acceptablesolution.xxx.

C.ThereisNoCustomaryInternationalLaw
PresumingaFoundlingasaCitizen
oftheCountryWheretheFoundlingisFound

Petitioner claims that under customary international law and generally accepted principles of international law, she (1) has a right to a
nationalityfrombirth(2)hasarighttobeprotectedagainststatelessnessand(3)ispresumedtobeacitizenofthePhilippineswhere
shewasfound.
Petitioneranchorsherclaimsonthe(1)1989ConventionontheRightsoftheChild(CRC),(2)1966InternationalCovenantonCiviland
Political Rights (ICCPR), (3) 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), (4) 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions
RelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws(1930HagueConvention),and(5)the1961
ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness(CRS),amongothers.
1.The1989ConventionontheRightsoftheChild

Article7
1.Thechildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhavetherightfrombirthtoaname,therighttoacquirea
nationalityandasfaraspossible,therighttoknowandbecaredforbyhisorherparents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations
undertherelevantinternationalinstrumentsinthisfield,inparticularwherethechildwouldotherwisebestateless.(Emphasis
supplied)

The Philippines signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 26 January 1990 and ratified the same on 21 August 1990. The
Conventiondefinesachildtomeaneveryhumanbeingbelowtheageofeighteenyearsunless,underthelawapplicabletothechild,the
ageofmajorityisattainedearlier.
Since petitioner was born in 1968 or more than 20 years before the Convention came into existence, the Convention could not have
appliedtothestatusofhercitizenshipatthetimeofherbirthin1968.Petitioner'scitizenshipatbirthcouldnotbeaffectedinanywayby
theConvention.
TheConventionguaranteesachildtherighttoacquireanationality,andrequiresthecontractingstatestoensuretheimplementationof
thisright,inparticularwherethechildwouldotherwisebestateless.Thus,asfarasnationalityisconcerned,theConventionguarantees
the right of the child to acquire a nationality so that the child will not be stateless. The Convention does not guarantee a child a
nationalityatbirth,muchlessanaturalborncitizenshipatbirthasunderstoodunderthePhilippineConstitution,butmerely
therighttoacquireanationalityinaccordancewithmunicipallaw.
2.The1966InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights

Article24
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin,
propertyorbirth,therighttosuchmeasuresofprotectionasarerequiredbyhisstatusasaminor,onthepartofhisfamily,
societyandtheState.
xxxx
3.Everychildhastherighttoacquireanationality.(Emphasissupplied)

Adopted on 16 December 1966 and entered into force on 23 March 1976, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
recognizes"theidealoffreehumanbeingsenjoyingcivilandpoliticalfreedomandfreedomfromfearandwantwhichcanonlybeachieved
ifconditionsarecreatedwherebyeveryonemayenjoyhiscivilandpoliticalrights,aswellashiseconomic,socialandculturalrights."[41]
ThePhilippinesisasignatorytothisinternationaltreaty.SimilartothetextoftheConventionontheRightsoftheChild,theICCPRdoes
notobligatestatestoautomaticallygrantanationalitytochildrenatbirth.The Covenant merely recognizes the right of a child to
acquireanationality.Inshort,theCovenantdoesnotguaranteeafoundlinganationalityatbirth,muchlessnaturalborn
citizenshipatbirthasunderstoodunderthePhilippineConstitution.
3.The1948UniversalDeclarationofHumanRights

Article15.
(1)Everyonehastherighttoanationality.
(2)Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedofhisnationalitynordeniedtherighttochangehisnationality.(Emphasissupplied)

TheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRightswasadoptedbytheUnitedNationsGeneralAssemblyon10December1948whereby"Member
States(includingthePhilippines)havepledgedthemselvestoachieve,incooperationwiththeUnitedNations,thepromotionofuniversal
respectforandobservanceofhumanrightsandfundamentalfreedoms."[42]Itsetsout,forthefirsttime,fundamentalhumanrightstobe
universallyprotected.[43]
Article 15(1) of the UDHR simply affirms the right of every human being to a nationality. Being a mere declaration, such
rightguaranteedbytheUDHRdoesnotobligatestatestoautomaticallyconfernationalitytoafoundlingatbirth,muchless
naturalborncitizenshipatbirthasunderstoodunderthePhilippineConstitution.
4.The1930HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws

Article14.
A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child's parentage is
established,itsnationalityshallbedeterminedbytherulesapplicableincaseswheretheparentageisknown.
Afoundlingis,untilthecontraryisproved,presumedtohavebeenbornontheterritoryoftheStateinwhichitwasfound.
Article15.
WherethenationalityofaStateisnotacquiredautomaticallybyreasonofbirthonitsterritory,achildbornontheterritoryof
thatStateofparentshavingnonationality,orofunknownnationality,mayobtainthenationalityofthesaidState.Thelawof

that State shall determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality in such cases. (Emphasis
supplied)

ThePhilippinesisnotasignatorytothisConvention,andtherefore,itisnotboundbytheConvention.Petitioner,however,claimsthatthis
Conventionisevidenceof"generallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw,"whichallegedlycreatedthepresumptionthatafoundlingisa
citizenatbirthofthestateinwhichthefoundlingisfound.
Article14merelystatesthatafoundling"shallhavethenationalityofthecountryofbirth."Itdoesnotsaythatafoundlingshallhave
thenationalityatbirth of the country where the foundling is found. Nowhere in Article 14 is nationality guaranteed to a foundling at
birth,muchlessnaturalborncitizenshipatbirthasunderstoodunderthePhilippineConstitution.Likewise,Article14merely
lays down the presumption that a foundling is born in the territory of the state in which the foundling is found. This is the only
presumptionthatArticle14establishes.
Article 15 acknowledges the fact that acquisition of nationality by reason of birth in a state's territory is not automatic. Article 15
expressly states that municipal law shall "determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality" by a
foundling.Thus,toimplementtheConventionthecontractingpartieshavetoenactstatutorylegislationprescribingtheconditionsforthe
acquisitionofcitizenshipbyafoundling.Thisrulesoutanyautomaticacquisitionofcitizenshipatbirthbyafoundling.
5.The1961ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness

Article1
1. A Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless. Such
nationalityshallbegranted:
(a)atbirth,byoperationoflaw,or
(b)uponanapplicationbeinglodgedwiththeappropriateauthority,byoronbehalfofthepersonconcerned,in
the manner prescribed by the national law. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, no such application
mayberejected.
AContractingStatewhichprovidesforthegrantofitsnationalityinaccordancewithsubparagraph(b)ofthisparagraphmay
alsoprovideforthegrantofitsnationalitybyoperationoflawatsuchageandsubjecttosuchconditionsasmaybeprescribed
bythenationallaw.
xxxx
Article2
A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be
considered to have been born within that territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State. (Emphasis
supplied)

A1961UnitedNationsmultilateraltreaty,theprimaryaimoftheConventionisthepreventionofstatelessnessbyrequiringstatestogrant
citizenship to children born in their territory, or born to their nationals abroad, who would otherwise be stateless. To prevent
statelessnessinsuchcases,stateshavetheoptiontograntnationality(1)atbirthbyoperationoflaw,or(2)subsequently
by application. In short, a contracting state to the Convention must enact an implementing law choosing one of the two
optionsbeforetheConventioncanbeimplementedinthatstate.
ThePhilippinesisnotasignatorytothisConvention,andthus,thePhilippinesisanoncontractingstate.TheConventiondoesnotbind
thePhilippines.Moreover,thisConventiondoesnotprovideautomaticallythatafoundlingisacitizenatbirthofthecountryinwhichthe
foundlingisfound.
Article 2 of the Convention provides, "A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the absence of proof to the
contrary,beconsideredtohavebeenbornofparentspossessingthenationalityofthatstate."Dr.LauravanWaasexplainsthemeaning
ofArticle2oftheConvention,asfollows:

Oncemore,thewordingofthisprovisiOnisevidenceofthecompromisereachedbetweenjussoliandjussanguiniscountries.
Ratherthandeterminingthatachildfoundabandonedontheterritoryofthestatewillautomaticallyacquirethe
nationalityofthatstate,itdeclaresthatthechildwillbeassumedtohaveboththenecessaryjussoliandjussanguinislinks
withthestate:bornontheterritorytoparentspossessingthenationalityofthestate.Thismeansthatthechildwillthen
simplyacquirenationalityexlegeunderthenormaloperationofthestate'snationalityregulationstheeffectbeing
the same in both jussoli and jus sanguinis regimes. No attempt is made to further define the type of evidence that may be
acceptedas"prooftothecontrary",thisbeinglefttothediscretionofthecontractingstates.[44](Emphasissupplied)

First,Article2appliesonlytoa"foundlingfoundintheterritoryofaContractingState."ThePhilippinesisnotacontractingstateto
theConventionandthusArticle2,andtheentireConvention,doesnotapplytothePhilippines.

Second, there must be "absence of proof' that the parents of the foundling do not possess the nationality of another state. This means
theremustbeanadministrativeorjudicialproceedingtodeterminethisfactualissue,anactnecessarytoacquirethecitizenshipofthe
statewherethefoundlingisfound.ThisalsomeansthatthegrantofcitizenshipunderArticle2isnotautomatic,asDr.LauravanWaas
explains. This factual determination prevents the foundling from acquiring naturalborn citizenship at birth as understood under our
Constitution,assumingArticle2appliestothePhilippines.
Third,thegrantofcitizenshipunderArticle2isexlegewhichmeansbyoperationoflawreferringtomunicipalstatutorylaw.Assuming
Article2appliestothePhilippines,anditdoesnot,thisgrantofcitizenshipreferstonaturalizationbyoperationoflaw,thecategoryof
citizensunderparagraph(5),Section1ofArticleIVofthe1935Constitution(nowSection1(4),ArticleIVofthe1987Constitution),or"
[t]hosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw."
Nationality at birth may result because the law applicable is either jus soli orjussanguinis. A child born in the United States to foreign
parentsisacitizenoftheUnitedStatesatbirthbecausetheUnitedStatesadoptsthejussoliprinciple.Underthejus soli principle, the
place of birth determines citizenship at birth, not blood relation to the parents. In contrast, a child born in the Philippines to foreign
parents is not a Philippine citizen at birth but a foreigner because the Philippines follows the jus sanguinis principle. Under the jus
sanguinisprinciple,citizenshipatbirthisdeterminedbybloodrelationtotheparents.
Nationality at birth does not necessarily mean naturalborn citizenship as prescribed under the Philippine Constitution. The Constitution
recognizesnaturalborncitizensatbirthonlyundertheprincipleofjussanguinistheremustbeabloodrelationbythechildtoaFilipino
father or mother. Even assuming, and there is none, that there is an international law granting a foundling citizenship, at birth, of the
country where the foundling is found, it does not necessarily follow that the foundling qualifies as a naturalborn citizen under the
PhilippineConstitution.InthePhilippines,anycitizenshipgrantedatbirthtoachildwithnoknownbloodrelationtoaFilipinoparentcan
only be allowed by way of naturalization as mandated by the Constitution, under paragraph 5, Section 1 of Article IV of the 1935
Constitution,[45] paragraph 4, Section 1 of Article III of the 1973 Constitution,[46] and paragraph 4, Section 1 of Article IV of the 1987
Constitution.[47]SuchachildisanaturalizedFilipinocitizen,notanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.
In sum, there is no international treaty to which the Philippines is a contracting party, which provides expressly or impliedly that a
foundling is deemed anaturalborn citizen of the country in which the foundling is found.[48] There is also obviously no international
treaty, to which the Philippines is not a party, obligating the Philippines to confer automatically Philippine citizenship to a foundling at
birth.
SincethePhilippinesisnotasignatorytothevariousinternationalconventionsregulatingnationality,[49]weshallscrutinizewhetherthe
relevant provisions on foundlings contained in the international conventions cited by petitioner have become part of customary
internationallaworgenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawonnationality.
Weshallfirstlaydownthebasicpremiseforaninternationalruletobeconsideredcustomaryinternationallaw.Sucharulemustcomply
withthetwinelementsofwidespreadandconsistentstatepractice,theobjectiveelementandopiniojurissivenecessitatis,thesubjective
element.Statepracticereferstothecontinuousrepetitionofthesameorsimilarkindofactsornormsbystates.Itisdemonstratedupon
theexistenceofthefollowingelements:(1)generalityorwidespreadpractice(2)uniformityandconsistencyand(3)duration.Onthe
otherhand,opiniojuris,thepsychologicalelement,requiresthatthestatepracticeornormbecarriedoutinthebeliefthatthispracticeor
normisobligatoryasamatteroflaw.[50]
The pertinent provisions on foundlings are found in the 1930 Hague Convention and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of
Statelessness. Article 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention and Article 2 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness state,
respectively: (1) "A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was
found"and(2)"AfoundlingfoundintheterritoryofaContractingStateshall,intheabsenceofprooftothecontrary,beconsideredto
havebeenbornwithinthatterritoryofparentspossessingthenationalityofthatState."
WeshalllimitourdiscussiontoArticle2oftheConventionontheReductionofStatelessnesssincethepresumptioninArticle14ofthe
1930HagueConventionconcernsmerelytheplaceofbirthoffoundlings.Inthiscase,thepartiesadmitthatpetitionerwasborninJaro,
IloilointhePhilippines,whichisthesameplacewhereshewasfound.Therefore,itisnolongerpresumedthatpetitionerwasborninthe
territoryofthePhilippinessinceitisalreadyanadmittedfactthatshewasborninthePhilippines.
Thereareonly64StateswhichhaveratifiedtheConventionontheReductionofStatelessnessasofFebruary2016. [51]Outofthe193
MemberStatesoftheUnitedNations,[52]farlessthanamajoritysignifiedtheiragreementtotheConvention.
Oneoftheessentialelementsofcustomaryinternationallawisthewidespreadandconsistentpracticebystatesofaspecificinternational
principle, in this case, that foundlings are presumed to be born to parents who are citizens of the state where the foundling is found.
Petitionerfailedtoprovethisobjectiveelement.Prof.MalcolmN.Shaw,inhiswidelyusedtextbookInternationalLaw,explainsthe
meaningofwidespreadandconsistentpracticeinthisway:

OneparticularanalogythathasbeenusedtoillustratethegeneralnatureofcustomarylawasconsideredbydeVisscher.He
likenedthegrowthofcustomtothegradualformationofaroadacrossvacantland.Afteraninitialuncertaintyastodirection,
the majority of users begin to follow the same line which becomes a single path. Not long elapses before that path is
transformedintoaroadacceptedastheonlyregularway,eventhoughitisnotpossibletostateatwhichprecisemomentthis
latterchangeoccurs.Andsoitiswiththeformationofacustom.DeVisscherdevelopsthisideabyreflectingthatjustassome
make heavier footprints than others due to their greater weight, the more influential states of the world mark the way with
morevigourandtendtobecometheguarantorsanddefendersofthewayforward.[53](Emphasissupplied)

Prof. Shaw concludes, "Accordingly, custom should to some extent mirror the perceptions of the majority of states, since it is based
uponusageswhicharepracticedbynationsastheyexpresstheirpowerandtheirhopesandfears."[54]
PetitionermanifestlyfailedtoshowthatArticle2oftheConventionontheReductionofStatelessnessisan"established,widespreadand
consistentpractice"ofamajorityofsovereignstates.ThereisnoshowingthatthisConventionwasinfactenforcedorpracticedbyat
least a majority of the members of the United Nations. Petitioner claims that "ratification by a majority of states is not essential for a
principle contained in an international treaty or convention to be 'customary international law."'[55] On the other hand, it is generally
acceptedbyinternationallawwritersthattheConventionontheReductionofStatelessnessdoesnotconstitutecustomaryinternational
lawpreciselybecauseofthesmallnumberofstatesthathaveratifiedtheConvention.Dr.LauravanWaassummarizesthestateofthe
lawonthisissue:

Inordertocontendthataruleofcustomaryinternationallawhastherebybeenestablished,wemustalsoprovethatstatesare
legislating in this way due to the conviction that they are legally compelled to do so the opinio juris sive necessitatis. The
codification of the obligation to grant nationality to foundlings in the 1930 Hague Convention and the 1961
StatelessnessConventioncannotbetakenassufficientevidencedue,mainly,tothelownumberofstatepartiesto
bothinstruments.[56](Emphasissupplied)

It is hornbook law that there is no general international law, whether customary international law or generally accepted principle of
internationallaw,obligatingthePhilippines,oranystateforthatmatter,toautomaticallyconfercitizenshiptofoundlingsatbirth.AsProf.
SerenaForlatiwrites:"Itisthusnotpossibletoconcludethateverychildwhowouldotherwisebestatelessisautomaticallyentitledtothe
nationalityofherorhiscountryofbirthundertheICCPR,theCRCorgeneralinternationallaw."[57]
Out of the 64 parties to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, only 13 states provide for the automatic and
unconditionalacquisitionofnationalitybyfoundlings.[58]ThismeansthatthemajorityofthecontractingstatestotheConvention
donotautomaticallyconfernationalitytofoundlingsatbirth.Infact,themajorityofthecontractingstatesimposevariousconditionsfor
the acquisition of nationality to prevent statelessness, such as proof of unknown parentage, the specific place where the foundling is
found, and whether the foundling is a newborn infant or a child of a certain age, among others. These conditions must necessarily be
establishedintheappropriateproceedingbeforethefoundlingcanacquirecitizenship.Theseconditionsfortheacquisitionofcitizenship
effectively prevent a foundling from being automatically considered a citizen at birth. In the Philippines, such conditions will prevent a
foundlingfrombeingconsideredanaturalborncitizenasdefinedunderthePhilippineConstitution.
Sincethefirstessentialelementforaninternationalruletobeconsideredacustomaryinternationallawismissinginthiscase,thesecond
essentialelementofopiniojurisislogicallylackingaswell.Infact,petitionerfailedtodemonstratethatanycompliancebymemberstates
withtheConventionontheReductionofStatelessnesswasobligatoryinnature.InBayanMunav.Romulo,[59]theCourtheld:

Absent the widespread/consistentpracticeofstates factor, the second or the psychological element must be deemed non
existent,foraninquiryonwhystatesbehavethewaytheydopresupposes,inthefirstplace,thattheyareactuallybehaving,
asamatterofsettledandconsistentpractice,inacertainmanner.Thisimplicitlyrequiresbeliefthatthepracticeinquestionis
renderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit.Likethefirstelement,thesecondelementhaslikewisenot
beenshowntobepresent.

Moreover,asidefromthefactthatthePhilippinesisnotacontractingpartytotheConventionontheReductionofStatelessness,Article2
of the Convention is inapplicable to this case because the Convention, which took effect after the birth of petitioner, does not have
retroactiveeffect.Paragraph3,Article12oftheConventionexplicitlystates:

3.TheprovisionsofArticle2ofthisConventionshallapplyonlytofoundlingsfoundintheterritoryofaContractingStateafter
theentryintoforceoftheConventionforthatState.(Emphasissupplied)

In short, even if the Philippines were to ratify the Convention today, the Convention would still not benefit petitioner who was born in
1968.
D.ApplicableCustomaryInternationalLawon
CitizenshipofFoundlings

Whilethereisnocustomaryinternationallawconferringnationalitytofoundlingsatbirth,thereisnodisputethatpetitionerhastheright
toanationalityandthecorollaryrighttobeprotectedagainststatelessness.
The Philippines is not a signatory to the 1930 Hague Convention or to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. However, the
PhilippinesisasignatorytotheConventionontheRightsoftheChildandtotheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights.The
PhilippinesalsoadherestotheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights.
ThesalientprovisionsoftheCRC,theICCPRandtheUDHRonnationalityestablishprinciplesthatareconsideredcustomaryinternational

law because of the widespread and consistent practice of states and their obligatory nature among states. Generally, most states
recognizethefollowingcorenationalityprovisions:(1)everyhumanbeinghasarighttoanationality(2)stateshavetheobligationto
avoid statelessness and (3) states have the obligation to facilitate the naturalization of stateless persons, including foundlings living
withinsuchstates.
RighttoaNationality
Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "everyone has the right to a nationality." With these words, the
internationalcommunityrecognizesthateveryindividual,everywhereintheworld,shouldholdalegalbondofnationalitywithastate.[60]
The right to a nationality is a fundamental human right[61] from which springs the realization of other cardinal human rights.
Possession of a nationality carries with it the diplomatic protection of the country of nationality and is also often a legal or practical
requirementfortheexerciseofpoliticalandcivilrights.Consequently,therighttoanationalityhasbeendescribedasthe"righttohave
rights."[62]
ObligationtoAvoidStatelessness
Closely linked to the right of the individual to a nationality is every state's obligation to avoid statelessness since the nonfulfillment of
suchrightresultsinstatelessness.[63]Indeterminingwhoareitsnationals,everystatehasanobligationtoavoidcasesofstatelessness.
ObligationtoFacilitatetheNaturalizationofStatelessPersons,IncludingFoundlings
The right to confer nationality, being an inherent right of every independent state, carries with it the obligation to grant nationality to
individualswhowouldotherwisebestateless.Todothis,statesmustfacilitatethenaturalizationofstatelesspersons,includingfoundlings.
Therefore,statesmustinstitutetheappropriateprocessesandmechanisms,throughthepassageofappropriatestatutesorguidelines,to
complywiththisobligation.
Moststatesrecognizeascustomaryinternationallawtherightofeveryhumanbeingtoanationalitywhichintum,requiresthosestatesto
avoid statelessness, and to facilitate the naturalization of stateless persons, including foundlings. However, there is no customary
internationallawconferringautomaticallycitizenshipatbirthtofoundlings,muchlessnaturalborncitizenshipatbirthasunderstoodunder
thePhilippineConstitution.
E.GeneralPrincipleofInternationalLawApplicabletoFoundlings
Consideringthatthereisnoconventionalorcustomaryinternationallawautomaticallyconferringnationalitytofoundlingsatbirth,there
are only two general principles of international law applicable to foundlings. First is that a foundling is deemed domiciled in the country
where the foundling is found. A foundling is merely considered to have a domicile at birth, not a nationality at birth. Stated
otherwise,afoundlingreceivesatbirthadomicileoforiginwhichisthecountryinwhichthefoundlingisfound.[64]
Second,intheabsenceofprooftothecontrary,afoundlingisdeemedborninthecountrywherethefoundlingisfound.[65] These two
generalprinciplesofinternationallawhavenothingtodowithconfermentofnationality.
F.StatusofInternationalLawPrinciplesinthePhilippines

UnderSection3,ArticleIIofthe1935Constitution,[66]Section3,ArticleIIofthe1973Constitution,[67]andSection2,ArticleIIofthe
1987 Constitution,[68] the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land.
Internationallawcanbecomepartofdomesticlaweitherbytransformationorincorporation.[69]Thetransformationmethodrequiresthat
an international law be transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as domestic legislation.[70] The
incorporationmethodapplieswhen,bymereconstitutionaldeclaration,internationallawisdeemedtohavetheforceofdomesticlaw.[71]
ThePhilippineConstitutionadherestotheincorporationmethod.
Anytreaty,customaryinternationallaw,orgenerallyacceptedinternationallawprinciplehasthestatusofmunicipalstatutorylaw.As
such, it must conform to our Constitution in order to be valid in the Philippines. If a treaty, customary international law or generally
acceptedinternationallawprincipledoesnotcontravenetheConstitutionandstatutorylaws,thenitbecomespartofthelawoftheland.If
a treaty, customary international law or generally accepted international law principle conforms to the Constitution but conflicts with
statutory law, what prevails is the later law in point of time as international law has the same standing as municipal statutory law.[72]
However,ifatreaty,customaryinternationallaworgenerallyacceptedinternationallawprincipleconflictswiththeConstitution,itisthe
Constitution that prevails. The Constitution remains supreme and prevails over any international legal instrument or principle in case of
conflict.InexplainingSection2,ArticleIIofthe1987Constitution,theconstitutionalistFatherJoaquinBernas,S.J.narrated:

When Commissioner Guingona asked whether "generally accepted principles of international law" were adopted by this
provisionaspartofstatutorylaworofconstitutionallaw,Nolledo'sanswerwasunclear.Heseemedtosuggestthatatleastthe
provisionsoftheUnitedNationsCharterwouldformpartofbothconstitutionalandstatutorylaw.Nobodyadvertedtothefact
that Nolledo's interpretation was a departure from what had hitherto been the accepted meaning of the provision. Later,
however, during the period of amendment, Commissioner Azcuna clarified this by saying that generally accepted
principles of international law were made part only of statutory law and not of constitutionallaw.[73] (Emphasis
supplied)

Treaties,customaryinternationallawandthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawconcerningcitizenshipcannotprevailover
the provisions of the Constitution on citizenship in case of conflict with the latter.[74] Treaties, customary international law or generally
accepted international law principles on acquisition of citizenship that contravene the language and intent of the Constitution cannot be
giveneffectinthePhilippinesforbeingunconstitutional.
Assumingarguendothattherewasin1935andthereafteracustomaryinternationallawconferringnationalitytofoundlingsatbirth,still
foundlings could not be considered as naturalborn Filipino citizens since to treat them as such would conflict with the concept of jus
sanguinis under the 1935 Constitution. As stated, in case of conflict between customary international law and the Constitution, it is the
Constitutionthatprevails.The1935Constitutionclearlyrequiredbloodrelationtothefathertoestablishthenaturalborncitizenshipofa
child.The1935ConstitutiondidnotcontainanyprovisionexpresslyorimpliedlygrantingFilipinocitizenshiptofoundlingsonthebasisof
birthinthePhilippines(jussoliorlawofthesoil),[75]withthepresumptionofFilipinoparentagesoastomakethemnaturalborncitizens.
Evenassumingtherewasin1935andthereafteracustomaryinternationallawgrantingtofoundlingscitizenshipatbirth,suchcitizenship
atbirthisnotidenticaltothecitizenshipofachildwhoisbiologicallyborntoFilipinoparents.Thecitizenshipofafoundlingcanbegranted
atbirthbyoperationoflaw,butthefoundlingisconsidered"naturalizedinaccordancewithlaw"andnotanaturalborncitizen.Sincea
foundling's nationality is merely granted by operation of statutory law, specifically customary international law (which has the status of
statutorylaw)assumingsuchexists,afoundlingcanonlybedeemedaFilipinocitizenunderparagraph5,Section1ofArticleIVofthe
1935 Constitution which refers to naturalized Filipino citizens. To add another category of naturalborn Filipino citizens, particularly
foundlingsborninthePhilippineswhoseparentsareunknown,conflictswiththeexpresslanguageandintentofthe1935Constitutionto
limitnaturalbornFilipinocitizenstothosewhosefathersareFilipinocitizens.
Inshort,thereisadifferencebetweencitizenshipatbirthbecauseofjussoli,andcitizenshipatbirthbecauseofjussanguinis.Theformer
maybegrantedtofoundlingsunderPhilippinestatutorylawpursuanttoparagraph(5),Section1ofArticleIVofthe1935Constitutionbut
the Philippine citizenship thus granted is not that of a naturalborn citizen but that of a naturalized citizen. Only those citizens at birth
becauseofjussanguinis,whichrequiresbloodrelationtoaparent,arenaturalbornFilipinocitizensunderthe1935,1973and1987
Constitutions.
FoundlingsasNaturalizedFilipinoCitizens

Ifachild'sparentsareneitherFilipinocitizens,theonlywaythatthechildmaybeconsideredaFilipinocitizenisthroughtheprocessof
naturalizationinaccordancewithstatutorylawunderparagraph(5),Section1ofArticleIVofthe1935Constitution.Ifachild'sparents
areunknown,asinthecaseofafoundling,thereisnobasistoconsiderthechildasanatural bornFilipinocitizensincethereisnoproof
thateitherthechild'sfatherormotherisaFilipinocitizen.Thus,theonlywaythatafoundlingcanbeconsideredaFilipinocitizenunder
the1935Constitution,aswellasunderthe1973and1987Constitutions,isforthefoundlingtobenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
InthePhilippines,therearelawswhichprovideforthenaturalizationofforeigners.TheseareCommonwealthActNo.473,[76]asamended
byRepublicActNo.530,knownastheRevisedNaturalizationLaw,whichreferstojudicialnaturalization,andRepublicActNo.9139,[77]
whichpertainstoadministrativenaturalization.
Significantly,thereisnoPhilippinestatutewhichprovidesforthegrantofFilipinocitizenshipspecificallytofoundlingswhoarefoundinthe
Philippines.Theabsenceofadomesticlawonthenaturalizationoffoundlingscanbesufficientlyaddressedbycustomaryinternationallaw,
which recognizes the right of every human being to a nationality and obligates states to grant nationality to avoid statelessness.
Customaryinternationallawcanfillthegapinourmunicipalstatutorylawonnaturalizationoffoundlingsinordertopreventfoundlings
frombeingstateless.Otherwise,afoundlingfoundinthePhilippineswithnoknownparentswillbestatelessonthesolegroundthatthere
is no domestic law providing for the grant of nationality. This not only violates the right of every human being to a nationality but also
derogatesfromthePhilippines'obligationtograntnationalitytopersonstoavoidstatelessness.
Customary international law has the same status as a statute enacted by Congress. Thus, it must not run afoul with the Constitution.
CustomaryinternationallawcannotvalidlyamendtheConstitutionbyaddinganothercategoryofnaturalbornFilipinocitizens,specifically
by considering foundlings with no known parents as naturalborn citizens. Again, under paragraphs (3) and (4) of Section 1, Article
IVofthe1935Constitution,inrelationtoSections1and2,ArticleIVofthe1987Constitution,onlythosebornofFilipinofathersorFilipino
mothersareconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
Applyingcustomaryinternationallawtothepresentcase,specificallytherightofeveryhumanbeingtoanationalityandthePhilippines'
obligation to grant citizenship to persons who would otherwise be stateless, a foundling may be naturalized as a Filipino citizen upon
properapplicationforcitizenship.Thisapplicationshouldnotbeinterpretedinthestrictestsenseoftheword.Onthecontrary,theterm
"application" for purposes of acquiring citizenship must be construed liberally in order to facilitate the naturalization of foundlings. The
applicationforcitizenshipmaybeanyovertactwhichinvolvesrecognitionbythePhilippinesthatthefoundlingisindeeditscitizen.Thus,
the application for citizenship may be as simple as applying for a Philippine passport, which serves as evidence of citizenship.[78] An
application for a passport is an application for recognition that the holder is a citizen of the state issuing such passport. In the case of
petitioner,sheappliedfor,andwasissuedaPhilippinepassportonthefollowingdates:(1)4April1988[79](2)5April1993[80](3)19
May1998[81](4)13October2009[82](5)19December2013[83]and(6)18March2014.[84]
Inanyevent,forafoundlingtobegrantedcitizenship,itisnecessarythatthechild'sstatusasafoundlingbefirstestablished.Itmustbe
proven that the child has no known parentage before the state can grant citizenship on account of the child being a foundling. In the
Philippines,achildisdeterminedtobeafoundlingafteranadministrativeinvestigationverifyingthatthechildisofunknownparentage.
TheImplementingRulesandRegulations(IRR)ofActNo.3753[85]andOtherLawsonCivilRegistrationprovidethatthebarangaycaptain
or police authority shall certify that no one has claimed the child or no one has reported a missing child with the description of the

foundling.[86]Rule29ofthesaidIRRprovides:

RULE29.RequirementsforRegistrationofFoundling.Nofoundlingshallberecordedinthecivilregistrarunlessthefollowing
requirementsarecompliedwith:
a)CertificateofFoundling(OCRGFormNo.101,RevisedJanuary1993)accomplishedcorrectlyandcompletely
b)Affidavitofthefinderstatingthefactsandcircumstancessurroundingthefindingofthechild,andthefactthatthefoundling
hasbeenreportedtothebarangaycaptainortothepoliceauthority,asthecasemaybeand
c)Certificationofthebarangaycaptainorpoliceauthorityregardingthereportmadebythefinder,statingamong
otherthings,thatnoonehasclaimedthechildornoonehasreportedamissingchildwhosedescriptionmaybe
thesameasthefoundlingasofthedateofthecertification.(Emphasissupplied)

BeforeafoundlingisconferredPhilippinecitizenship,theremustfirstbeafactualdeterminationofthechild'sstatusasafoundlingafter
anadministrativeinvestigation.Oncefactuallydeterminedthatachildisafoundling,thatchildthroughitsguardianmaythereafterinitiate
proceedingstoapplyforPhilippinecitizenship,e.g.,applyforaPhilippinepassport.
This need for a factual determination prevents the foundling from automatically acquiring Philippine citizenship at birth. The fact of
unknownparentagemustfirstbeproveninanadministrativeproceedingbeforeafoundlingisgrantedcitizenshiponaccountofthechild's
foundling status. Such factual determination is a necessary act to acquire Philippine citizenship, preventing the foundling from being a
naturalborn Filipino citizen. In contrast, for naturalborn Filipino citizens, no factual determination in an administrative proceeding is
requiredtograntcitizenshipsincethecertificateoflivebirthspeaksforitselfitestablishesnaturalborncitizenship.
ErroneousInterpretationofStatistics

DuringtheOralArguments,theSolicitorGeneralinsistedthatpetitionerisanaturalbornFilipinocitizenbasedonthe99.93%statistical
probabilitythatanychildborninthePhilippinesfrom2010to2014wouldbeanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.From1965to1975,thereisa
99.83% statistical probability that a child born in the Philippines would be a natural born Filipino citizen. To buttress his position, the
SolicitorGeneralpresentedacertificationfromthePhilippineStatisticsAuthorityshowingthe"numberofforeignandFilipinochildren
borninthePhilippines:19651975and20102014."
Thisisgraveerror.
There is no law or jurisprudence which supports the Solicitor General's contention that naturalborn citizenship can be conferred on a
foundling based alone on statistical probability. Absent any legal foundation for such argument, the Solicitor General cannot validly
concludethata99.93%(or99.83%)statisticalprobabilitythatafoundlingborninthePhilippinesisanaturalbornFilipinocitizenlegally
confers on such foundling naturalborn citizenship. There is no constitutional provision or statute that confers naturalborn citizenship
basedonstatisticalprobability.
TheSolicitorGeneral'sdataspeakofforeignandFilipinobirthsinthePhilippines.Thedatacollectedshowthenumberofforeignand
FilipinochildrenborninthePhilippinesduringtheperiodscovered.Thismeansthatthefiguresreflectthetotalnumberofchildrenbornin
thePhilippineswithknownparents,eitherFilipinoorforeigner.Thedatadonotshowthenumberoffoundlings(thosewithunknown
parentage)borninthePhilippinesfrom1965to1975andfrom2010to2014.Thedataalsodonotshowthenumberoffoundlingswho
were later determined to have Filipino parentage. This is precisely because foundlings have unknown parents. A foundling's unknown
parentagerendersitquitedifficult,ifnotimpossible,tocollectdataon"thenumberofforeignandFilipinofoundlings."
For the Solicitor General's proposition to be correct, he should have presented statistics specifically based on the number of foundlings
born in the Philippines, and not on the number of children born in the Philippines with known foreign or Filipino parents. Children with
known parents constitute a class entirely different from foundlings with unknown parents. Gathering data from the number of children
borninthePhilippineswithknownparentstodeterminethenumberoffoundlingsborninthePhilippinestoconfernaturalborncitizenship
onfoundlingsresemblescomparingappleswithorangesandavocados.Sincethefigureswerecollectedfromtheuniverseofchildrenwith
known parents, either Filipinos or foreigners, and not from the universe of foundlings, the Solicitor General's proposition is fallacious in
concludingthatfoundlingsinthePhilippinesarenaturalbornFilipinocitizens.
Further, if there is a 99.93% (or 99.83%) probability that a child born in the Philippines is a naturalborn Filipino citizen, it does not
automatically follow that there is a 99.93% (or 99.83%) probability that a foundling born in the Philippines is a naturalborn Filipino
citizen. The data, if any, on the universe of foundlings may show a different statistical probability. There is evidently no such statistical
data. Therefore, the Solicitor General's argument that the probability that a foundling born in the Philippines would be a naturalborn
Filipinois99.93%(or99.83%)basedonthenumberofchildrenborninthePhilippineswithknownparentsisglaringlynonsequitur.
ThefollowingexchangebetweenJusticeCarpioandtheSolicitorGeneralillustratesthefallacyofthesocalled99.93%(99.83%)statistical
probabilityadvancedbytheSolicitorGeneral.Suchstatisticalprobabilitywouldresultinpatentabsurdities.

JUSTICECARPIO:
Now,howdoestheConstitutiondefinenaturalborncitizen?
xxxx

SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
NaturalborncitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformanyacttoacquireorperfecttheircitizenship.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay.Letusassumethataninfantisfound,athreedayinfantisfoundtodayinfrontoftheManilaCathedral.The
infant has blue eyes, blonde hair, milky white skin. The parish priest looks around and doesn't find any one
claimingthechild.So,theparishpriestgoestotheDSWD,turnsoverthechildtotheDSWD.TheDSWDconducts
an investigation, a formal investigation, to find out if the biological parents are around if they can be found.
Nobody comes out, so the DSWD issues a foundling certificate, okay. What is the nationality of the child? Is the
childanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
IwouldconsiderthechildanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippinesbecause99.9percentofthetime,thatchildwill
beanaturalborncitizen.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Soevenifthechildhasblueeyes,blondehair,Caucasianskin...
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
It'spossibleforFilipinostohaveblueeyes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:Blondehair?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
It'spossibleYourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Howmanypercent?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Again,YourHonor,ifwearelookingatpercentage....
JUSTICECARPIO:
HowmanypercentofFilipinos,naturalborn,haveblueeyes,blondehair,whiteskin,99.9percent?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Idon'tknowaboutthespecificnumbers.....
xxxx
JUSTICECARPIO:
Youdon'thavethestatistics.
xxxx
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Idon't,YourHonor,Idon't.
xxxx
JUSTICECARPIO:
So,youwouldsaythateverychildborninthePhilippineswhohasblueeyes,blondehair,whiteskin,whoseparentscannotbe
found, and there is a certificate by the DSWD that's a foundling, they are all natural born citizens of the Philippines. If
Filipino....
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
YourHonor,Iamnotthreatenedbypeoplewithblueeyesand,youknow,blonde...
JUSTICECARPIO:
Yes,butmyquestionis,whatisthenationalityofthosechildren,ofthoseinfants?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
NaturalbornFilipinosstill,YourHonor.
xxxx
JUSTICECARPIO:
Supposingnow,thereisaDNAtakenfromthechild[ren],yousaytheyarenaturalborncitizens.TheDNAshows
that they have Caucasian genes, no Asian genes at all, would you say they are naturalborn citizens of the
Philippines?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Well,it'spossibleforCaucasianstobeFilipinos,YourHonor,andnaturalbornFilipinos.

JUSTICECARPIO:
IftheirparentsareFilipinos.
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Yes,exactly,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Butifyoudon'tknowwhotheirparents....
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
ThenI,again,wouldgobackto99.9percent,whichisarathercomfortablenumberforme.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Yes,buthowmanypercentofFilipinoshaveblueeyes,blondehairandwhiteskin?
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Thatisanirrelevantfactforme,YourHonor.I'mnotlookingattheclassofcitizens....
xxxx
JUSTICECARPIO:
Youhavetolookatthestatisticsalso.
SOLICITORGENERALHILBAY:
Yes,YourHonor,ofcourse.[87](Emphasissupplied)

FortheSolicitorGeneraltoassertthatafoundlingwithblondhair,blueeyes,andmilkywhiteCaucasianskin,withnoAsiangeneinthe
foundling'sDNA,isanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,istheheightofabsurdity.TheSolicitorGeneral'spositionamendstheConstitutionand
makes jus soli the governing principle for foundlings, contrary to the jus sanguinis principle enshrined in the 1935, 1973, and 1987
Constitutions.
PhilippineLawsandJurisprudenceonAdoption
NotDeterminativeofNaturalBornCitizenship

DuringtheOralArguments,theChiefJusticecitedRepublicActNo.8552(RA8552)ortheDomesticAdoptionActof1998andRepublic
ActNo.8043(RA8043)ortheInterCountryAdoptionActof1995inarguingthattherearedomesticlawswhichgovernthecitizenshipof
foundlings.
Thisisanobviousmistake.
Theterm"naturalbornFilipinocitizen"doesnotappearinthesestatutesdescribingqualifiedadoptees.Infact,whiletheterm"Filipino"is
mentioned, it is found only in the title of RA 8552 and RA 8043. The texts of these adoption laws do not contain the term "Filipino."
Specifically,theprovisionsonthequalifiedadopteesread:

RA8552,Section8
Section8.WhoMayBeAdopted.Thefollowingmaybeadopted:
(a)Anypersonbeloweighteen(18)yearsofagewhohasbeenadministrativelyorjudiciallydeclaredavailableforadoption
(b)Thelegitimateson/daughterofonespousebytheotherspouse
(c)Anillegitimateson/daughterbyaqualifiedadoptertoimprovehis/herstatustothatoflegitimacy
(d)Apersonoflegalageif,priortotheadoption,saidpersonhasbeenconsistentlyconsideredandtreatedbytheadopter(s)
ashis/herownchildsinceminority
(e)Achildwhoseadoptionhasbeenpreviouslyrescindedor
(f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6)
monthsfromthetimeofdeathofsaidparent(s).
RA8053,Section8
Sec.8.WhoMaybeAdopted.Onlyalegallyfreechildmaybethesubjectofintercountryadoption.xxx.

Clearly, there is no specific provision in these adoption laws requiring that adoptees must be Filipinos, much less naturalborn Filipinos.

TheseadoptionlawsdonotdistinguishbetweenaFilipinochildandanalienchildfoundinthePhilippines,andthustheseadoptionlaws
applytobothFilipinoandalienchildrenfoundinthePhilippines.Inotherwords,eitherFilipinooralienchildrenfoundinthePhilippines,
overwhichthePhilippinegovernmentexercisesjurisdictionastheyarepresumeddomiciledinthePhilippines,maybesubjecttoadoption
underRA8552orRA8043.
However,theImplementingRulesandRegulationsofRA8552,issuedbytheDepartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopment,providethat
theyshall"applytotheadoptioninthePhilippinesofaFilipinochildbyaFilipinooralienqualifiedtoadoptunderArticleIII,Section7of
RA 8552."[88] The IRR, in effect, restricted the scope of RA 8552 when the IRR expressly limited its applicability to the adoption of a
Filipinochildwhenthelawitself,RA8552,doesnotdistinguishbetweenaFilipinoandanalienchild.Insuchacase,theIRRmustyieldto
thecleartermsofRA8552.Basicistherulethattheletterofthelawiscontrollingandcannotbeamendedbyanadministrativerule.In
Perezv.Phil.TelegraphandTelephoneCo.,[89]theCourtdeclared:

At the outset, we reaffirm the timehonored doctrine that, in case of conflict, the law prevails over the administrative
regulationsimplementingit.Theauthoritytopromulgateimplementingrulesproceedsfromthelawitself.Tobevalid,arule
orregulationmustconformtoandbeconsistentwiththeprovisionsoftheenablingstatute.Assuch,itcannotamendthelaw
eitherbyabridgingorexpandingitsscope.(Emphasissupplied)

InHijoPlantation,Inc.v.CentralBankofthePhilippines,[90]theCourtruled:

x x x [I]n case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said law, the basic law
prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law. Rules that subvert the
statutecannotbesanctioned.

InCebuOxygen&AcetyleneCo.,Inc.v.Drilon,[91]theCourtstated:

x x x [I]t is a fundamental rule that implementing rules cannot add or detract from the provisions of law it is
designed to implement. The provisions of Republic Act No. 6640, do not prohibit the crediting of CBA anniversary wage
increasesforpurposesofcompliancewithRepublicActNo.6640.Theimplementingrulescannotprovideforsuchaprohibition
notcontemplatedbythelaw.
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony
withtheprovisionsofthelaw,andshouldbeforthesolepurposeofcarryingintoeffectitsgeneralprovisions.The
law itself cannot be expanded by such regulations. An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress.
(Emphasissupplied)

The following exchange during the Oral Arguments highlights the Chief Justice's glaringly erroneous interpretation of RA 8552 and RA
8043,thus:

JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay,Let'sgotoxxxadoptionlaws.xxx[W]ehaveanadoptionlaw,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
xxxRepublicAct...8552?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Itsayswhocanbeadopted,correct?Whomaybeadopted?Section8,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
DoesitsaytherethattheadopteemustbeacitizenofthePhilippines?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
xxxCanyoureadSection8.

COMMISSIONERLIM:
Istandcorrected,YourHonor,itdoesnotrequirecitizenship.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Thereisnorequirement.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
BecausethelawcoverscitizensofthePhilippinesandchildrennotcitizensofPhilippinesbutfoundhere.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
IfafoundlingcannotbeshowntobeacitizenofthePhilippines,canweexercisejurisdictionandhavethatchildadopted?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Dowehavethepower,theStatehasthepower?Yes,becauseafoundlingisdeemedtobedomiciledwhere?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Intheplaceofhisbirth.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Ifhisplace[of]birthisunknown,whereishepresumedtobedomiciled?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
HeispresumedtobedomiciledintheterritoryoftheStatewherethefoundlingisfound.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Yes,becausethedomicileofafoundlingispresumedtobewhereheisfound.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
That'swhytheStatehasjurisdictionoverhimforadoptionpurposes.AndifnootherStatewillclaimhimwithmorereason,we
willhavejurisdictionoverafoundling,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay. So, the law does not distinguish whether Philippine citizen or nonPhilippine citizen, whether natural bornFilipinos or
naturalized,none.There'snodistinction?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
That'scorrect,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay.Let'sgototheSupremeCourtxxxruleonadoption.Weadoptedthisin2002.Whatdoesitsay?Whomaybeadopted?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Anypersonbelow18yearsofage...
JUSTICECARPIO:
DoesitsaythatonlycitizensofthePhilippines?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
No,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
There'sno...
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:

...nothingtherewhichsaysonlycitizensofthePhilippinescanbeadopted.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Preciselybecausewedon'tknowthecitizenshipofafoundling.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
That'sright,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
That'swhyit'snotrequiredthathewouldbeaFilipino,correct?
COMMISSIOl'JERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay. Let's go to the implementing rule and regulation of R.A. 8552. x x x. It says here, this is an implementing rule and
regulationtoimplementRepublicAct8552.Sothiswaspromulgatedbytheadministrativeagency,byDSWD,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Correct,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay.Itsayshereapplicability,Section2,theRuleshallapplytotheadoptioninthePhilippinesofaFilipinochildbyaFilipino
oralienqualifiedtoadopt.SoitlimitsadoptiontoPhilippinescitizens,toaFilipinochild?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay,Thisissupposedtoimplementthelaw.Cantheimplementingrulesrestrictthelaw?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Watercannotrisehigherthanitssource,YourHonor...
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay.
COMMISSIONERLIM:
TheIRR....
JUSTICECARPIO:
Doyouhaveadecision,jurisprudenceforthat,thatanImplementingRulecannotexpandandcannotdeductfromwhatthelaw
provides?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Icannotciteonenow,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Okay.CebuOxygenv.Drilon,xxx.ItsayshereitisafundamentalrulethatImplementingRulescannotaddordetractfrom
the provisions of law it is designed to implement. x x x. But this implementing rule says only Filipinos can be adopted. That
cannotbedone,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.
JUSTICECARPIO:
Fundamentalrule,iftheCourtsaysfundamentalrule,allpracticinglawyersmustknowthat,correct?
COMMISSIONERLIM:
Yes,YourHonor.[92]

Moreover,contrarytotheopinionoftheChiefJusticeduringtheOralArguments,thecasesofEllisv.RepublicofthePhilippines[93]and
Duncanv.CFIRizal[94]donotapplyinthiscasesincetheEllisandDuncancasesdonotinvolvefoundlingsortheircitizenship.Thesetwo
casesareaboutadoption,notaboutcitizenshiporfoundlings.
InEllis,theonlyissuebeforetheCourtwaswhetherpetitioners,notbeingpermanentresidentsinthePhilippines,werequalifiedtoadopt
BabyRose.ThecitizenshipoftheabandonedBabyRosewasnotputinissue.BabyRose'smotherwasknownsinceshedeliveredBaby
RoseattheCaloocanMaternityHospitalbutleftBabyRosefourdayslatertotheHeartofMaryVilla,aninstitutionforunwedmothersand

theirbabies.TheCourtinEllisstated:

BabyRosewasbornonSeptember26,1959,attheCaloocanMaternityHospital.Fourorfivedayslater,themotherofRose
leftherwiththeHeartofMaryVillaaninstitutionforunwedmothersandtheirbabiesstatingthatshe(themother)could
nottakeofRosewithoutbringingdisgraceuponher(themother'sfamily.).[95]

Inshort,BabyRosewasnotafoundlingbecausehermotherwasknown.TheCourtmerelymentionedinthedecisionthatBabyRosewas
a"citizenofthePhilippines,"thus,thelocalcourtshavejurisdictionoverherstatus.Theterm"naturalbornFilipinocitizen"isnotfoundin
thedecision.
Ontheotherhand,thecaseofDuncaninvolvedsolelytheissueofwhetherornotthepersonwhogavetheconsentforadoption,Atty.
CorazondeLeonVelasquez,wastheproperpersonrequiredbylawtogivesuchconsent.TheunwedmotherentrustedthebabytoAtty.
Velasquezwhoknewthemother.TheCourtinDuncanstated:

Sometime in May of 1967, the child subject of this adoption petition, undisputedly declared as only three days old then, was
turnedoverbyitsmothertowitnessAtty.CorazondeLeonVelasquez.Thenaturalandunweddedmother,fromthatdateonto
thetimeoftheadoptionproceedingsincourtwhichstartedinmidyearofsaid1967,anduptothepresent,hasnotbothered
toinquireintotheconditionofthechild,muchlesstocontributetothelivelihood,maintenanceandcareofthesame.xxx.We
areconvincedthatinfactsaidmotherhadcompletelyandabsolutelyabandonedherchild.[96]

Inshort,thebabywasnotafoundlingbecausethemotherwasknown.Again,theCourtdidnotmentiontheterm"naturalbornFilipino
citizen."NeitherdidtheCourtclassifytheabandonedinfantasaFilipinocitizen.
BurdenofProof

Any person who claims to be a citizen of the Philippines has the burden of proving his or her Philippine citizenship.[97] Any person who
claims to be qualified to run for the position of President of the Philippines because he or she is, among others, a naturalborn Filipino
citizen,hastheburdenofprovingheorsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.AnydoubtwhetherornotheorsheisnaturalbornFilipino
citizenisresolvedagainsthimorher.Theconstitutionalrequirementofanaturalborncitizen,beinganexpressqualificationforelection
asPresident,mustbecompliedwithstrictly.AstheCourtruledinPaav.Chan:[98]

Itisincumbentupontherespondent,whoclaimsPhilippinecitizenship,toprovetothesatisfactionofthecourtthatheisreally
aFilipino.NopresumptioncanbeindulgedinfavoroftheclaimantofPhilippinecitizenship,andanydoubtregarding
citizenshipmustberesolvedinfavoroftheState.[99](Emphasissupplied)

This statement in Paa was reiterated in the 2009 case of Go,Sr.v.Ramos.[100]Paa and Go lay down three doctrines: First, a person
claimingPhilippinecitizenshiphastheburdenofprovinghisclaim.Second,therecanbenopresumptioninfavorofPhilippinecitizenship.
Thisnegatespetitioner'sclaimtoanypresumptionthatsheisanaturalbornFilipinoCitizen.Third, any doubt on citizenship is resolved
againstthepersonclaimingPhilippinecitizenship.Therefore,apersonclaimingtobeaFilipinocitizen,whethernaturalbornornaturalized,
cannotinvokeanypresumptionofcitizenshipbutmustestablishsuchcitizenshipasamatteroffactandnotbypresumptions,withany
doubtresolvedagainsthimorher.
While it is the burden of the private respondents to first prove the fact of disqualification before the petitioner is called upon to defend
herselfwithcountervailingevidence,[101]inthiscase,thereisnodisputethatpetitionerisafoundlingwithunknownbiologicalparents.
Sincepetitioner'sparentageisunknownasshowninherCertificateofLiveBirth,suchbirthcertificatedoesnotshowonitsfacethatsheis
anaturalbornFilipinocitizen.ThisshiftedtheburdenofevidencetopetitionertoprovethatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizeneligibleto
runasPresidentofthePhilippines.
SincetheConstitutionrequiresthatthePresidentofthePhilippinesshallbeanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,itisimperativethat
petitionerprovethatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,despitethefactthatsheisafoundling.Theburdenofevidenceshiftedtoher
whensheadmittedherstatusasafoundlingwithnoknownbiologicalparents.Atthatmoment,itbecameherdutytoprovethatsheisa
naturalbornFilipinocitizen.[102]
DNAEvidence

As the burden of evidence has shifted to petitioner, it is her duty to present evidence to support her claim that she is a naturalborn
Filipino citizen, and thus eligible to run for President. The issue of parentage may be resolved by conventional methods or by using
available modem and scientific means.[103] One of the evidence that she could have presented is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
evidence[104] which could conclusively show that she is biologically (maternally or paternally) related to a Filipino citizen, which in tum
woulddeterminewhethersheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.
The probative value of such DNA evidence, however, would still have to be examined by the Court. In assessing the probative value of

DNA evidence, the Court would consider, among others things, the following data: how the samples were collected, how they were
handled,thepossibilityofcontaminationofthesamples,theprocedurefollowedinanalyzingthesamples,whethertheproperstandards
andprocedureswerefollowedinconductingthetests,andthequalificationoftheanalystwhoconductedthetests.[105]Morespecifically,
theymustbeevaluatedinaccordancewithA.M.No.06115SCortheRuleonDNAEvidence:[106]

Sec.9.EvaluationofDNATestingResults.InevaluatingtheresultsofDNAtesting,thecourtshallconsiderthefollowing:
(a)TheevaluationoftheweightofmatchingDl'JAevidenceortherelevanceofmismatchingDNAevidence
(b)TheresultsoftheDNAtestinginthelightofthetotalityoftheother
evidencepresentedinthecaseandthat
(c)DNAresultsthatexcludetheputativeparentfrompaternityshallbeconclusiveproofofnonpaternity.Ifthevalueofthe
ProbabilityofPaternity[107]islessthan99.9%theresultsoftheDNAtestingshallbeconsideredascorroborativeevidence.If
thevalueoftheProbabilityofPaternityis99.9%orhigher,thereshallbeadisputablepresumptionofpaternity.

PetitionerisNotaNaturalBornFilipinoCitizen

The1987PhilippineConstitutionisclear:"NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,x
x x, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election." Is petitioner, being a foundling, a
naturalbornFilipinocitizen?
Theanswerisclearlyno.First,thereisnoPhilippinelawautomaticallyconferringPhilippinecitizenshiptoafoundlingatbirth.Evenifthere
were,suchalawwouldonlyresultinthefoundlingbeinganaturalizedFilipinocitizen,notanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.
Second, there is no legal presumption in favor of Philippine citizenship, whether naturalborn or naturalized. Citizenship must be
establishedasamatteroffactandanydoubtisresolvedagainstthepersonclaimingPhilippinecitizenship.
Third,theletterandintentofthe1935ConstitutionclearlyexcludedfoundlingsfrombeingconsiderednaturalbornFilipinocitizens.The
Constitution adopts the jus sanguinis principle, and identifies naturalborn Filipino citizens as only those whose fathers or mothers are
Filipinocitizens.PetitionerfailedtoprovethateitherherfatherormotherisaFilipinocitizen.
Fourth, there is no treaty, customary international law or a general principle of international law granting automatically Philippine
citizenship to a foundling at birth. Petitioner failed to prove that there is such a customary international law. At best, there exists a
presumptionthatafoundlingisdomiciled,andborn,inthecountrywherethefoundlingisfound.
Fifth,evenassumingthatthereisacustomaryinternationallawpresumingthatafoundlingisacitizenofthecountrywherethefoundling
is found, or is born to parents possessing the nationality of that country, such presumption cannot prevail over our Constitution since
customaryinternationallawhasthestatusmerelyofmunicipalstatutorylaw.Thismeansthatcustomaryinternationallawisinferiortothe
Constitution,andmustyieldtotheConstitutionincaseofconflict.SincetheConstitutionadoptsthejussanguinisprinciple,andidentifies
naturalbornFilipinocitizensasonlythosewhosefathersormothersareFilipinocitizens,thenpetitionermustprovethateitherherfather
or mother is a Filipino citizen for her to be considered a naturalborn Filipino citizen. Any international law which contravenes the jus
sanguinisprincipleintheConstitutionmustofcourseberejected.
Sixth,petitionerfailedtodischargeherburdentoprovethatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.Beingafoundling,sheadmittedthatshe
does not know her biological parents, and therefore she cannot trace blood relation to a Filipino father or mother. Without credible and
convincingevidencethatpetitioner'sbiologicalfatherormotherisaFilipinocitizen,petitionercannotbeconsideredanaturalbornFilipino
citizen.
Seventh,afoundlinghastoperformanact,thatis,provehisorherstatusasafoundling,toacquirePhilippinecitizenship.Thisbeingso,
afoundlingcanonlybedeemedanaturalizedFilipinocitizenbecausethefoundlinghastoperformanacttoacquirePhilippinecitizenship.
Since there is no Philippine law specifically governing the citizenship of foundlings, their citizenship is addressed by customary
international law, namely: the right of every human being to a nationality, and the State's obligations to avoid statelessness and to
facilitatethenaturalizationoffoundlings.
During the Oral Arguments, the purportedly sad and depressing plight of foundlings if found not to be naturalborn Filipino citizens,
particularlytheirdisqualificationfrombeingelectedtohighpublicofficeandappointedtohighgovernmentpositions,hadbeenpointedout
onceagain.AsIhavestated,thisappealsplainlytohumanemotions.[108]Thisemotionalplea,however,convenientlyforgetstheexpress
languageoftheConstitutionreservingthosehighpositions,particularlythePresidency,exclusivelytonaturalbornFilipinocitizens.Even
naturalized Filipino citizens, whose numbers are far more than foundlings, are not qualified to run for President. The naturalborn
citizenship requirement under the Constitution to qualify as a candidate for President must be complied with strictly. To rule otherwise
amounts to a patent violation of the Constitution. It is basic in Constitutional Law that the qualification requirements prescribed by the
Constitution must be complied with by all presidential candidates, regardless of popularity or circumstances. Being sworn to uphold and
defendtheConstitution,theMembersofthisCourthavenootherchoicebuttoapplytheclearletterandintentoftheConstitution.
However,adecisiondenyingnaturalborncitizenshiptoafoundlingonthegroundofabsenceofproofofbloodrelationtoaFilipinoparent
neverbecomesfinal.[109]Resjudicatadoesnotapplytoquestionsofcitizenship.InMoyYaLimYaov.CommissionerofImmigration,[110]

citedinLeev.CommissionerofImmigration,[111]thisCourtdeclaredthat:

[e]very time the citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a judicial or administrative case, whatever the
corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res
adjudicata,henceithastobethreshedoutagainandagainastheoccasionmaydemand.xxx.

Likewise,inGo,Sr.v.Ramos,[112]whichinvolvedthecitizenshipofJimmyT.Go,aswellashisfatherCarlos,whowasallegedtobean
illegalandundesirablealieninourcountryandthuswassubjectedtodeportationproceedings,theCourtstatedthatcitizenshipcasesare
suigenerisandresjudicatadoesnotapplyinsuchcases:

x x x Cases involving issues on citizenship are sui generis. Once the citizenship of an individual is put into question, it
necessarilyhastobethreshedoutanddecidedupon.InthecaseofFrivaldov.CommissiononElections,wesaidthatdecisions
declaringtheacquisitionordenialofcitizenshipcannotgovernaperson'sfuturestatuswithfinality.Thisisbecauseaperson
maysubsequentlyreacquire,orforthatmatter,losehiscitizenshipunderanyofthemodesrecognizedbylawforthepurpose.
Indeed,iftheissueofone'scitizenship,afterithasbeenpasseduponbythecourts,leavesitstillopentofutureadjudication,
thenthereismorereasonwhythegovernmentshouldnotbeprecludedfromquestioningone'sclaimtoPhilippinecitizenship,
especiallysowhenthesamehasneverbeenthreshedoutbyanytribunal.
xxxx
Citizenship proceedings, as aforestated, are a class of its own, in that, unlike other cases, resjudicata does not obtain as a
matter of course. In a long line of decisions, this Court said that every time the citizenship of a person is material or
indispensableinajudicialoradministrativecase,whateverthecorrespondingcourtoradministrativeauthoritydecidestherein
as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res judicata hence, it has to be threshed out again and again as the
occasionmaydemand.Resjudicatamaybeappliedincasesofcitizenshiponlyifthefollowingconcur:
1.aperson'scitizenshipmustberaisedasamaterialissueinacontroversywheresaidpersonisaparty
2.theSolicitorGeneralorhisauthorizedrepresentativetookactivepartintheresolutionthereofand
3.thefindingorcitizenshipisaffirmedbythisCourt.

Consequently,ifinthefuture,petitionercanfindaDNAmatchtoaFilipinoparent,oranyothercredibleandconvincingevidenceshowing
herFilipinoparentage,thenpetitionercanstillbedeclaredanaturalbornFilipinocitizen.
NotbeinganaturalbornFilipinocitizen,petitionerisanuisancecandidatewhosecertificateofcandidacyforPresidentcanmotupropriobe
cancelledbytheCOMELEC.Infact,theCOMELECisdutyboundtocancelpetitioner'sCOCbecausetoallowapersonwho,asfoundbythe
COMELEC is not a naturalborn Filipino citizen, to run for President makes a mockery of the election process. Since petitioner is not a
naturalborn Filipino citizen, I deem it irrelevant to discuss the issue of whether petitioner complied with the tenyear residency
requirementtorunforPresident.Atanyrate,assumingpetitionerisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,whichsheisnot,IconcurwithJustice
MarianoC.DelCastillo'sDissentingOpinionontheresidencyissue.
Afinalword.TheConstitutiondefinesnaturalborncitizensas"thosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingto
perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship." "From birth" means that the possession of naturalborn
citizenshipstartsatbirthandcontinuestothepresentwithoutinterruption.Thephrase"withouthavingtoperformanyacttoacquire
or perfect their Philippine citizenship" means that a person is not a naturalborn Filipino citizen if he or she has to take an oath of
allegiancebeforeapublicofficialtoacquireorreacquirePhilippinecitizenship.Thisprecludesthereacquisitionofnaturalborncitizenship
that has been lost through renunciation of Philippine citizenship. The fact that the reacquisition of citizenship is made possible only
through legislation by Congress Republic Act No. 9225[113] means that Philippine citizenship is acquired pursuant to paragraph (4),
Section1ofArticleIVofthe1987Constitution,referringto"[t]hosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw."
Inshort,naturalbornFilipinocitizenswhohaverenouncedPhilippinecitizenshipandpledgedallegiancetoaforeigncountryhavebecome
aliens, and can reacquire Philippine citizenship, just like other aliens, only if "naturalized in accordance with law." Otherwise, a
naturalbornFilipinocitizenwhohasabsolutelyrenouncedandabjuredallegiancetothePhilippinesandpledgedsoleallegianceto
theUnitedStates,undertakingtobeararmsagainstanyforeigncountry,includingthePhilippines,whenrequiredbyU.S.law,[114]could
stillbecometheCommanderinChiefoftheArmedForcesofthePhilippinesbyperformingasimpleacttakinganoathofallegiancebefore
a Philippine public official to reacquire naturalborn Philippine citizenship. The framers of the Constitution, and the Filipino people who
ratified the Constitution, could not have intended such an anomalous situation. For this reason, this Court should one day revisit the
doctrinelaiddowninBengsonIIIv.HRET.[115]
ACCORDINGLY,therebeingnograveabuseofdiscretiononthepartoftheCommissiononElectionsEnBanc, I vote to DISMISSthe
petitions.

[1]Thisprovisionreads:

SECTION2.NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,abletoread

andwrite,atleastfortyyearsofageonthedayoftheelection,andaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleasttenyearsimmediately
precedingsuchelection.(Emphasissupplied)
[2]UnderRule65,inrelationtoRule64,oftheRulesofCivilProcedure.
[3] In G.R. Nos. 221698700, petitioner assails the COMELEC Resolutions dated II December 2015 (issued by the COMELEC's First

Division)and23December2015(issuedbytheCOMELECEnBanc).
InG.R.No.221697,petitionerassailstheCOMELECResolutionsdatedIDecember2015(issuedbytheCOMELEC'sSecondDivision)and
23December2015(issuedbytheCOMELECEnBanc).
[4]Thisprovisionpertinentlyreads:

SECTION2.TheCommissiononElectionsshallexercisethefollowingpowersandfunctions:
(1)Enforceandadministeralllawsandregulationsrelativetotheconductofanelection,plebiscite,initiative,referendum,andrecall
[5]468Phil.421,624642(2004).
[6]Id.at625626.
[7]Section69oftheOmnibusElectionCodeprovides:

Sec.69.Nuisancecandidates.TheCommissionmaymotupropriooruponaverifiedpetitionofaninterestedparty,refusetogivedue
coursetoorcancelacertificateofcandidacyifitisshownthatsaidcertificatehasbeenfiledtoputtheelectionprocessinmockery
ordisreputeortocauseconfusionamongthevotersbythesimilarityofthenamesoftheregisteredcandidatesorbyothercircumstances
oractswhichclearlydemonstratethatthecandidatehasnobonafideintentiontorunfortheofficeforwhichthecertificateofcandidacy
hasbeenfiledandthuspreventafaithfuldeterminationofthetruewilloftheelectorate.(Emphasissupplied)
[8]G.R.No.206004,24February2015.
[9]G.R.No.161872,13April2004,427SCRA96,104,105.
[10]Supranote8.
[11]EduardoAbaya,ACriticalStudyontheEffectofAdoptiononCitizenshipStatusinthePhilippines,PhilippineLawJournal,Vol.XXIII,

No.
l,
February
1948,
p.
444
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2023/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201%2004
%20Eduardo%20Abaya%20
%20A%20Critical%20Study%20on%20the%20effect%20of%20adoption%20on%20citizenship%20status%20in%20the%20Philippines.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016).
[12]EduardoAbaya,ACriticalStudyontheEffectofAdoptiononCitizenshipStatusinthePhilippines,PhilippineLawJournal,Vol.XXIII,

No.
I,
February
1948,
p.
448,
http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2023/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201%2004
%20Eduardo%20Abaya%20
%20A%20Critical%20Study%20on%20the%20effect%20of%20adoption%20on%20citizenship%20status%20in%20the%20Philippines.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016).
[13]Someofthecasesapplyingthejussoliprinciple:

Roav.CollectorofCustoms,23Phil.315(1912)
Vaov.CollectorofCustoms,23Phil.480(1912)
USv.Ang,36Phil.858(1917)
USv.LimBin,36Phil.924(1917)
GoJulianv.GovernmentofthePhilippines,45Phil.289(1923)
[14]79Phil.249(1947).
[15]SeeIreneR.CortesandRaphaelPerpetuoM.Lotilla,NationalityandInternationalLawfromthePhilippinePerspective,PhilippineLaw

Journal,
Vol.
60,
No.
1,
Supplemental
Issue,
1985,
p.
18
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2060/PLJ%20volume%2060%20supplemental%20issue/PLJ%20Volume%2060%20supplemental%20issue%20
01%20Irene%20R.%20Cortez%20&%20Rapael%20Perpetuo%20M.%20Lotilla%20%20Nationality%20and%201nternational%20Law.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016).
[16]Section2,ArticleIVofthe1987Constitutionreads:

SECTION2.NaturalborncitizensarethosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformanyacttoacquireor
perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section I hereof shall be
deemednaturalborncitizens.

[17]Sectionsland2,ArticleIVofthe1987Constitutionprovide:SECTION1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:

(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution
(2)ThosewhosefathersormothersarecitizensofthePhilippines
(3)ThosebornbeforeJanuary17,1973,ofFilipinomothers,whoelectPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingtheageofmajorityand
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
SECTION2.NaturalborncitizensarethosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesfrombirthwithouthavingtoperformanyacttoacquireor
perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section l hereof shall be
deemednaturalborncitizens.
[18]276Phil.758(1991).
[19]Id.at784.
[20]Id.at782783.
[21]Petitioner'sPetition,p.112.Underscoringintheoriginalandboldfacingsupplied.
[22] Manifestation dated 4 January 2016, adopting the Solicitor General's Comment in G.R. No. 221538, Rizalito Y. David v. Senate

ElectoralTribunal.Emphasissupplied.
[23]CommentinG.R.No.221538,pp.6,9,10.
[24]ProceedingsofthePhilippineConstitutionalConvention,Vol.IV,26November1934,pp.186188.
[25]Petitioner'sMemorandum,pp.103104.
[26]23Phil.315,330331(1912).
[27]ThisistheEnglishtranslationoftheexplanationgivenbyDelegateRoxasduringthedeliberations.JoseM.Aruego,THEFRAMINGoF

THEPHILIPPINECoNSTITUTION,1949,Vol.1,pp.404405.
Theportionsoftherecordsread:
SR.ROXAS.SeorPresidente,IafrasenaturalborncitizenapareceenlaConstituciondelosEstadosUnidosperolosautoresdicenque
esta frase nunca ha sido interpretada autoritativamente por la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, en vista de que nunca se habia
suscitadolacuestiondesiunPresidenteelegido,reuniaonoestacondicion.Losautoresestanuniformesenquelaspalabrasnaturalborn
citizen,quieredecirunciudadanopornacimiento,unapersonaqueesciudadanoporrazondesunacimientoynopornaturalizacionopor
cualquieradeclaracionulteriorexigidaporlaleyparasuciudadania.EnFilipinas,porejemplo,bajolasdisposicionesdelosarticulossabre
ciudadaniaquehemosaprobado,seriaciudadanopornacimiento,oseanaturalborntodosaquellosnacidosdeunpadrequeesciudadano
filipino,yaseaunapersonanacidaenFilipinasofueradeelias.
Yconrespetodeunonacidodemadrefilipina,perodepadreextranjero,elarticuloqueaprobamossobreciudadania,requieredequeal
llegar a la mayoria de edad, este hijo necesita escoger la ciudadania por la cual opta, y si opta por la ciudadania filipina al llegar a la
mayoriadeedad,entoncesseraconsideradociudadanofilipino.Bajoestainterpretacionelhijodeunamadrefilipinaconpadreextranjero,
no seria un ciudadano por nacimiento, por aquello de que la ley o la Constitucion requiere que haga una declaracion ulterior a su
nacimiento. Porlo tanto, la frase a natural born citizen, tal como se emplea en el texto ingles, quiere decir un ciudadano filipino por
nacimiento,sintenerencuentadondehanacido.(ProceedingsofthePhilippineConstitutionalConvention,Vol.V,18December1934,pp.
307308).
[28]169u.s.649(1898).
[29]Supranote26.
[30]EduardoAbaya,ACriticalStudyontheEffectofAdoptiononCitizenshipStatusinthePhilippines,PhilippineLawJournal,Vol.XXIII,

No.
1,
February
1948,
p.
443
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2023/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number
ll/o
201%2004%20Eduardo%20Abaya%20
%20A%20Critical%20Study%20on%20the%20effect%20ot%20adoption%20on%20citizenship%20status%20in%20the%20Philippines.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016).
[31]EduardoAbaya,ACriticalStudyontheEffectofAdoptiononCitizenshipStatusinthePhilippines,PhilippineLawJournal,Vol.XXIII,

No.
1,
February
1948,
p.
443
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2023/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201/PLJ%20volume%2023%20number%201%2004
%20Eduardo%20Abaya%20
%20A%20Critical%20Study%20on%20the%20effect%20of%20adoption%20on%20citizenship%20status%20in%20the%20Philippines.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016).

[32]http://www.icjcij.org/documents/?p1=4&p2=2lastaccessedon2March2016.
[33]https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/conventional_international_lawlastaccessedon2March2016.
[34]PharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssociationofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,561Phil.386(2007).
[35]DissentingOpinion,BayanMunav.Romulo,656Phil.246,326(2011).
[36]Judgmentof20February1969,at77(http://www.icjcij.org/docket/files/5l/556l.pdflastaccessedonIMarch2016).
[37]FormationandEvidenceofCustomaryInternationalLaw,InternationalLawCommission,UFRGSModelUnitedNationsJournal,p.192

(http://www.ufrgs.br/ufrgsmun/2013/wpcontent/uploads/2013110/FormationandEvidenceofCustomaryIntemationaiLaw.pdf
accessedon1March2016).
[38]

John
H.
Currie,
PUBLIC
INTERNATIONAL
LAW,
Second
(https://www.irwinlaw.com/cold/regional_customary_international_lawlastaccessedon1March2016).

Edition,

last

2008

[39]SeeMalcolmN.Shaw,INTERNATIONALLAW,SeventhEdition,2014,pp.6977.
[40]Supranote34,at400,citingLouisHenkin,RichardC.Pugh,OscarSchachter,HansSmith,International Law, Cases and Materials,

2ndEd.,p.96.Emphasisomitted.
[41]http://www.ohchr.org/en/professional/interestlpages/ccpr.aspxlastaccessedon2March2016.
[42]http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/lastaccessedon2March2016.
[43]http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/UDHRIndex.aspxlastaccessedon2March2016.
[44]LauravanWaas,NationalityMatters:StatelessnessunderInternationalLaw,pp.6970,Volume29,SchoolofHumanRightsResearch

Series, Intersentia, 2008 (http://www.stichtingros.nl/site/kennis/files/Onderzoek%20statenloosheid%20Laura%20van%20Waas.pdf last


accessedon2March2016).
[45]Section1,Articlervofthe1935Constitutionreadsinpart:Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:

xxxx
(5)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
[46]SectionI,ArticleIIIofthe1973Constitutionreadsinpart:

Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
[47]Section1,ArticleIVofthe1987Constitutionreadsinpart:

SectionI.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
xxxx
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.
[48] See Jaime S. Bautista, No customary international law automatically confers nationality to foundlings, The Manila Times Online

(http://www.manilatimes.netlnocustomaryintemationallawautomaticallyconfersnationalitytofoundlings/221126 last accessed on 2


March2016).
[49]SeeIreneR.CortesandRaphaelPerpetuoM.Lotilla,NationalityandInternationalLawfromthePhilippinePerspective,PhilippineLaw

Journal,
Vol.
60,
No.
I,
Supplemental
Issue,
1985,
p.
16
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
contentluploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2060/PLJ%20volume%2060%20supplemental%20issue/PLJ%20Volume%2060%20supplemental%20issue%20
01%20Irene%20R.%20Cortez%20&%20Rapael%20Perpetuo%20M.%20Lotilla%20
%20Nationality%20and%20International%20Law.pdflastaccessedon2March2016).
[50]BayanMunav.Romulo,656Phil.246,303(2011).
[51]SeeDeanRalphA.Sanniento,TheRighttoNationalityofFoundlingsinInternationalLaw,

(http://attyralph.com/2015/12/03/foundlingsnationality/lastaccessedon1March2016).

[52]http://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtml,lastaccessedon7March2016.
[53]MalcolmN.Shaw,INTERNATIONALLAw,SeventhEdition,2014,p.56,citingDeVisscher,TheoryandReality,p.149.SeealsoHersch

Lauterpacht, THE DEVELOPMENT oF INTERNATIONAL LAW, p. 368 Pitt Cobbett, LEADING CASES oN INTERNATIONAL LAW, 4thEdition,
London,1922,p.5,andMichaelAkehurst,CustomasaSourceofInternationalLaw,BritishYearbookofInternationalLaw,1975,Vol.47,
pp.223.
[54]Id.
[55]Petitioner'sMemorandum,p.174,citingMijaresv.Raada(495Phil.372[2005])andRazonv.Tagitis(621Phil.536[2009]).
[56]LauravanWaas,NationalityMatters:StatelessnessunderInternationalLaw,pp.7071,Volume29,SchoolofHumanRightsResearch

Series, Intersentia, 2008 (http://www.stichtingros.nl/site/kennis/files/Onderzoek%20statenloosheid%20Laura%20van%20Waas.pdf last


accessedon2March2016).
[57] Prof. Serena Forlati, Nationality as a Human Right, pp. 2223, The Changing Role of Nationality in International Law, edited by

AlessandraAnnoniandSerenaForlati,RoutledgeResearchInternationalLaw,2015KindleEditionemphasissupplied.
[58]

http://eudocitizenship.eu/databases/protectionagainststatelessness?
p=dataEUCIT&application=modesProtectionStatelessness&search=1&modeby=idmode&idmode=S02lastaccessedon2March2016.
Thesecountriesare:
1.Belgium
2.Bulgaria
3.Croatia
4.Finland
5.France
6.Germany
7.Hungary
8.Lithuania
9.Montenegro
10.Netherlands
11.Romania
12.Serbia
13.Sweden
[59]656Phil.246,306(2011).
[60]

https://www.unhcr.it/sites/53a16111Ob80eeaac7000002/assets/53a164ab0b80eeaac70001fe/preventing_and_reducing_statelessness.pdf
lastaccessedon2March2016.
[61]http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/Nationality.aspxlastaccessedon2March2016.
[62]Seehttp://www.ijrcenter.org/thematicresearchguides/nationalitycitizenship/lastaccessedon2March2016.
[63]

http://eudo
citizenship.eu/Internationa1DB/docs/Explanatory%20report%20Convention%20avoidance%20statelessness%20in%20relation%20to%20State%20succes
lastaccessedon1March2016.
[64] See The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission, Private International Law, The Law of Domicile, p. 4

(http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/files/321217989/6557/repl07.pdflastaccessedon3March2016).SeealsoM.W.Jacobs,ATreatiseon
the
Law
of
Domicil,
1887,
p.
167
(http://famguardian.org/Publications/TreatOnLawOfDomicile/A_Treatise_on_the_Law_of_Domicil_Nation.pdf, citing Savigny, System, etc.
359 (Guthrie's trans. p. 132), citing Linde, Lehrbuch, 89 Felix, Droit Int. Priv. no. 28 Calvo, Manuel, 198 Id. Dict. verb. Dom.
Westlake,Priv.Int.L.1sted.no.35,rule2Id.2ded.236Dicey,Dom.p.69,rule6Foote,Priv.Int.Jur.p.9Wharton,Confl.ofL.
39,citingHeffter,pp.108,109,lastaccessedon3March2016).
[65] John Bassett Moore, A DIGEST oF INTERNATIONAL LAW, Vol. III, 1906, p. 281 (http://www.unz.org/Pub/MooreJohn1906v03:289

lastaccessedon3March2016).
[66]Section3,ArticleIIofthe1935Constitutionprovides:

ThePhilippinesrenounceswarasaninstrumentofnationalpolicy,andadoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawasa
partofthelawoftheNation.
[67]Section3,ArticleIIofthe1973Constitutionprovides:

ThePhilippinesrenounceswarasaninstrumentofnationalpolicy,adoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartof

thelawoftheland,andadherestothepolicyofpeace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations.
[68]Section2,ArticleIIofthe1987Constitutionprovides:

ThePhilippinesrenounceswarasaninstrumentofnationalpolicy,adoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartof
thelawofthelandandadherestothepolicyofpeace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations.
[69] Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Duque III, supra note 34, citing Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.,

CONSTITUTIONALSTRUCTUREANDPOWERSoFGOVERNMENT(NOTESANDCASES),PartI(2005).
[70]Id.
[71]Id.
[72]SecretaryofJusticev.Lantion,379Phil.165(2000).
[73]JoaquinBernas,S.J.,THEINTENTorTHE1986CoNSTITUTIONWRITERS,1995,pp.7576.
[74]SeeIreneR.CortesandRaphaelPerpetuoM.Lotilla,NationalityandInternationalLawfromthePhilippinePerspective,PhilippineLaw

Journal,
Vol.
60,
No.
1,
Supplemental
Issue,
1985,
p.
1.
(http://plj.upd.edu.ph/wp
content/uploads/plj/PLJ%20volume%2060/PLJ%20volume%2060%20supplemental%20issue/PLJ%20Vol
ume%2060%20supplemental%20issue%2001%20Irene%20R.%20Cortez%20&%20Rapael%20Perpetuo%20M.%20Lotilla%20
%20Nationality%20and%20Intemational%20Law.pdflastaccessedon2March2016).
[75] See Jaime S. Bautista, No customary international law automatically confers nationality to foundlings, The Manila Times, 28

September 2015 (http://www.manilatimes.net/nocustomaryintemationalIawautomaticallyconfersnationalitytofoundlings/221126/,


lastaccessedon2March2016).SeealsoJoelRuizButuyan,LegalandemotionalentanglementsinPoeissue,6October2015,Philippine
DailyInquirer(http://opinion.inquirer.net/89141/legalandemotionalentanglementsinpoeissue,lastaccessedon2March2016).
[76]AnActtoProvidefortheAcquisitionofPhilippineCitizenshipbyNaturalization,andtoRepealActsNumberedTwentyNineHundred

andTwentySevenandThirtyFourHundredandFortyEight.
[77]AnActProvidingfortheAcquisitionofPhilippineCitizenshipforCertainAliensbyAdministrativeNaturalizationandforOtherPurposes.
[78]SeeFrancisWharton,LL.D.,ADIGESTOFTHEINTERNATIONALLAwoFTHEUNITEDSTATES,Vol.II,1886,p.465,192(Mr.Fish,

SecretaryofState,toMr.Davis,January14,1875,MSS.lnst.,Germ.XVI6).SeealsoPaulWeis,NATIONALITYANDSTATELESSNESSIN
INTERNATIONAL
LAW,
Second
Edition,
1979,
p.
228
(https://books.google.com.ph/books?
id=hSLGDXqXeegC&printsec=frontcover&dq=paul+weis+nationality&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=paul%20weis%20nationality&f=false
lastaccessedon2March2016).
[79]PhilippinePassportNo.F927287.
[80]PhilippinePassportNo.L881511.
[81]PhilippinePassportNo.DO156616.
[82]PhilippinePassportNo.XX4731999.
[83]PhilippinePassportNo.DE0004530.
[84]PhilippinePassportNo.EC0588861.
[85]CivilRegistryLaw,27February1931.
[86]SeeRules2630,IRRofActNo.3753andOtherLawsonCivilRegistration,18December1992.
[87]TSN,16February2016,pp.152157.
[88]Section2oftheImplementingRulesandRegulationspertinentlyreads:

SECTION2.Applicability.TheseRulesshallapplytotheadoptioninthePhilippinesofaFilipinochildbyaFilipinooralienqualifiedtoadopt
underArticleIII,Section7ofRA8552.
xxxx
[89]602Phil.522,537(2009).
[90]247Phil.154,162(1988).Citationsomitted.

[91]257Phil.23,29(1989).
[92]TSN,2February2016,pp.135141.
[93]117Phil.976(1963).
[94]161Phil.397(1976).
[95]Supranote93,at978.
[96]Supranote94,at407.
[97]Carpio,J.,DissentingOpinion,Tecsonv.Comelec,468Phil.421,634(2004).
[98]128Phil.815(1967).
[99]Id.at825.
[100]G.R.No.167569,4September2009,598SCRA266.
[101]Fernandezv.HRET,623Phil.628(2009).
[102]SeeReyesv.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.207264,25June2013,699SCRA522.
[103]Tijingv.CourtofAppeals,406Phil.449(2001).
[104] In Tijing v. Court of Appeals, 406 Phil. 449 (2001), the Court held that to establish parentage, the DNA from the mother, alleged

fatherandchildareanalyzedsincetheDNAofachild,whichhastwocopies,willhaveonecopyfromthemotherandanothercopyfrom
thefather.
[105]SeePeoplev.Vallejo,431Phil.798(2002).
[106]Dated2October2007.
[107]Section3(f)oftheRuleonDNAEvidencedefines"ProbabilityofParentage"asthenumericalestimateforthelikelihoodofparentage

ofaputativeparentcomparedwiththeprobabilityofarandommatchoftwounrelatedindividualsinagivenpopulation.
[108] See Joel Ruiz Butuyan, Legal and emotional entanglements in Poe issue, 6 October 2015, Philippine Daily Inquirer

(http://opinion.inquirer.net/89141/legalandemotionalentanglementsinpoeissuelastaccessedon2March2016).
[109] See Kilosbayan Foundation v. Ermita, .553 Phil. 331, 343344 (2007), where the Court stated in the dispositive portion of the

Decisionthat"respondentGregoryS.OngxxxisherebyENJOINEDfromacceptinganappointmenttothepositionofAssociateJusticeof
the Supreme Court or assuming the position and discharging the functions of that office, until he shall have successfully completed all
necessarysteps,throughtheappropriateadversarialproceedingsincourt,toshowthatheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizenandcorrectthe
recordsofhisbirthandcitizenship."
[110]148BPhil.773,85.5(1971).
[111]149Phil.661,665(1971).
[112]Supranote100,at288,290291.
[113]CitizenshipRetentionandReacquisitionActof2003.
[114]TheoathofallegiancetotheUnitedStatesthatnaturalizedAmricanstakestates:

Iherebydeclare,onoath,thatIabsolutelyandentirelyrenounceandabjureallallegianceandfidelitytoanyforeign
prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizenthatIwill
supportanddefendtheConstitutionandlawsoftheUnitedStatesofAmericaagainstallenemies,foreignanddomesticthat
IwillbeartruefaithandallegiancetothesamethatIwillbeararmsonbehalfoftheUnitedStateswhenrequiredby
thelaw that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law that
Iwill perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the Jaw and that I take this obligation
freely,withoutanymentalreservationorpurposeofevasionsohelpmeGod.

(https://www.uscis.gov/uscitizenship/naturalizationtest/naturalizationoathallegianceunitedstatesamerica last accessed on 7 March


2016).Emphasissupplied.

[115]409Phil.633(2001).

CONCURRINGOPINION

VELASCO,JR.,J.:
Iconcurwiththeponenciaandwilladdthefollowingonlyforemphasis.
OnResidency

Itisestablishedthattoacquireanewdomicileonemustdemonstratethreethings:(1)residenceorbodilypresenceinthenewlocality
(2)anintentiontoremainthere(animusmanendi)and(3)anintentiontoabandontheolddomicile(animusnonrevertendi).
ThereisnoissueastoSen.Poe'sactualbodilypresenceinthePhilippinessinceMay24,2005,whenceshe,perher2015Certificateof
Candidacy, reckons her residency in the country. What has been questioned is theanimus to stay in the Philippins and to abandon the
domicileintheUnitedStatesofAmerica(US)sincethen.Astheponenciaexplained,thefactsrecited,andtheevidencepresentedbySen.
PoesufficientlyportraysherintenttostayinthePhilippinesandtoabandontheUSsinceMay2005,towit:

35.Asaresultoftheuntimelydemiseofherfather,andherdesiretobewithandtocomforthergrievingmother,Petitioner
and her husband, sometime in the first quarter of 2005, decided to return to the Philippines for good. They consulted their
children,wholikewiseexpressedtheirwishtorelocatepermanentlytothePhilippines.Thechildrenalsowantedtosupporttheir
grandmotherandPetitioner.
36.In2004,petitionerhadalreadyresignedfromherworkintheU.S.A.andsheneveragainsoughtemploymentthere.In
early 2005 Brian (Poe's son) and Hanna's (Poe's eldest daughter) schools in Virginia, U.S.A., were likewise notified that they
wouldbetransferringtoPhilippineschoolsforthenextsemester.
37. As early as March 2005, Petitioner and her husband began obtaining quotations and estimates from property movers
regardingthetotalcostofrelocatingtoManilaalloftheirhouseholdgoods,furniture,andcarstheninVirginia,U.S.A.Oneof
these property movers was Victory Van International, a private freight forwarding company, with whom Petitioner and her
husbandhadaseriesofemailcorrespondencefrom2005to2006.Thespousesalsointendedtobringalongtheirpetdogand
theyinquiredwithPhilippineauthoritiesontheproceduretoaccomplishthisinAugust2005.
38.On24May2005,orshortlybeforethestartoftheacademicyearinthePhilippines,Petitionerreturnedtothecountry.Her
three (3) children also arrived in the country in the first half of 2005. Petitioner's husband, on the other hand, stayed in the
U.S.A.tofinishpendingprojects,andtoarrangeforthesaleofthefamilyhomethere.
39.AftertheirarrivalinthePhilippinesfromtheU.S.A.,PetitionerandherchildreninitiallylivedwithPetitioner'smotherinxx
xSanJuanCity.TheexistinglivingarrangementsatthehouseofPetitioner'smotherevenhadtobemodifiedtoaccommodate
Petitionerandherchildren,Petitioner'smotheralsoassignedtoPetitionerherfather'slongtimedriver,becausePetitionerand
her family would henceforth be based in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Petitioner and her children prepared for the start of the
schoolyear,withBrianandHannaattendingPhilippineschoolsstartingJune2005.xxx
40.ShortlyafterarrivinginthePhilippines,Petitionerimmediatelysubmittedherslftothelocaltaxjurisdictionbyregistering
andsecuringaTINfromtheBIR.
xxxx
42. In the meantime, in the second half of 2005, Petitioner and her husband had acquired Unit 7F of One Wilson Place
Condominium (and its corresponding parking slot), located at x x x San Juan, Metro Manila, to be used as the family's
temporaryresidence.

42.1On20February2006,theRegisterofDeedsforSanJuanCityissuedtoPetitionerandherhusbandCCTNo.xx
xcoveringUnit7FofOneWilsonPlace,andCCTNo.xxxcoveringtheparkingslotforUnit7F.
42.2On25April2006,Unit7FofOneWilsonPlaceanditscorrespondingparkingslotweredeclared,forrealestate
taxpurposes,inPetitioner'sandherhusband'snames.
42.3PetitionerandherfamilylivedatOneWilsonPlaceuntilthecompletionoftheirfamilyhomeatCorinthianHills,
QuezonCity.xxx

43.On14February2006,PetitionerbrieflytravelledtotheU.S.A.forthepurposeofsupervisingthedisposalofsomeofthe

family's remaining household belongings. Around this time, Petitioner's and her family's furniture and other household goods
werestillintheprocessofbeingpackedforcollection,storageandeventualtransporttothePhilippines.Petitionerdonatedto
the Salvation Army some of the family's personal properties which could no longer be shipped to the Philippines. Petitioner
returnedtothePhilippinesshortlyafter,oron11March2006.
44. In late March 2006, petitioner's husband officially informed the United States Postal Service of the family's change, and
abandonment,oftheirformeraddressintheU.S.A.ThefamilyhomeintheU.S.A.waseventuallysoldon27April2006.
45. In April 2006, Petitioner's husband resigned from his work in the U.S.A., and on 4 May 2006, he returned to the
Philippines.BeginningJuly2006,heworkedinthePhilippinesforamajorPhilippinecompany.
46. Meanwhile, in early 2006, Petitioner and her husband acquired a vacant 509square meter lot at x x x Corinthian Hills,
BagongUgongNorte,QuezonCity(the"CorinthianHillsLot")whereherfamilycouldfinallyestablishtheirnewfamilyhome.
46.1On1June2006,theRegisterofDeedsforQuezonCityissuedtoPetitionerandherhusbandTransferCertificateofTitle
("TCT")No.290260coveringtheCorinthianHillsLot.
46.2 Petitioner and her husband eventually built a house on the Corinthian Hills Lot. To this day, this house is their family
home.
47. After Petitioner and her family settled themselves, she turned her attention to regaining her naturalborn Filipino
citizenship. She was advised that she could legally reacquire her naturalborn Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of
allegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippines,pursuanttotheprovisionofR.A.No.9225,otherwiseknownasthe"Citizenship
RetentionandReAcquisitionActof2003."
48.OnJuly7,2006,PetitionertookherOathofAllegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippines,asrequiredunderSection3of
R.A.No.9225,towit:xxx
49.On10July2006,petitionerfiledwiththeB.I.aswornpetitiontoreacquirehernaturalbornPhilippinecitizenshippursuant
toR.A.No.9225anditsimplementingrulesandregulations.Uponadvice,andsimultaneouswithherownpetition,petitioner
filed petitions for derivative citizenship on behalf of her three children who were all below eighteen (18) years of age at that
time.xxx
50.On18July2006,theB.I.issuedanOrdergrantingPetitioner'sapplicationsxxx.
51. On 31 July 2006, the B.L issued Identification Certificates ("I.C.") in Petitioner's name and in the name of her three
childrenxxx.
52.On31August2006,theCOMELECregisteredPetitionerasavoteratBarangaySantaLucia,SanJuanCity.
53.On13October2009,orovertwo(2)yearsbeforeherU.S.A.Passportwassettoexpire(on18December2011),Petitioner
securedfromtheDFAhernewPhilippinePassportwithNo.xxx(whichwasvaliduntil12October2014).
54. On 6 October 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Petitioner as Chairperson of the MTRCB, a post which
requires naturalborn Philippine citizenship. Petitioner did not accept the appointment immediately, because she was advised
thatbeforeassuminganyappointivepublicoffice,Section5(3),R.A.No.9225requiredherto:(a)takeanOathofAllegianceto
theRepublicofthePhilippinesand(b)renounceherU.S.A.citizenship.Shecompliedwiththerequirementsbeforeassuming
herpostsasMTRCBChairpersonon26October2010.
55.On20October2010,PetitionerexecutedbeforeanotarypublicinPasigCityan"AffidavitofRenunciationofAllegianceto
theUnitedStatesofAmericaandRenunciationofAmericanCitizenship"ofevendate.xxx
56.On21October2010,inaccordancewithPresidentialDecreeNo.1986andSection5(3)ofR.A.No.9225,Petitionertook
heroathofofficeasChairpersonoftheMTRCB,beforePresidentBenignoS.AquinoIII.xxx
57. To ensure that even under the laws of the U.S.A., she would no longer be considered its citizen, Petitioner likewise
renounced her U.S.A. citizenship in accordance with the laws of that country. However, Petitioner was not legally required
under Philippine law to make another renunciation, as her earlier renunciation of U.S.A. citizenship on October 20, 2010 was
sufficienttoqualifyherforpublicoffice.
57.1 On 12 July 2011, Petitioner executed before the Vice Consul at the U.S.A. Embassy in Manila, an Oath/Affirmation of
RenunciationofNationalityoftheUnitedStates.
57.2.Onthesameday,Petitioneraccomplishedasworn"Questionnaire"beforetheU.S.ViceConsul,whereinshestatedthat
shehadtakenheroathasMTRCBChairpersonon21October2010,withtheintent,amongothers,ofrelinquishingherU.S.A.
citizenship.
57.3InthesameQuestionnaire,Petitionerstatedthatshehadresided"OutsideoftheUnitedStates,"i.e.,inthe"Philippines,"
from3September1968to29July1991andfrom"052005"to"Present.":Onpage4oftheQuestionnaire,Petitionerstated:

IbecamearesidentofthePhilippineonceagainsince2005.MymotherstillresidesinthePhilippines.Myhusband
andIarebothemployedandownropertiesinthePhilippines.Asadualcitizen(FilipinoAmerican)since2006,I've

voted in two Philippine national elections. My three children study and reside in the Philippines at the time I
performedtheactasdescribedinPartIitem6.

58.On9December2011,theU.S.A.ViceConsulissuedtopetitionera"CertificateofLossofNationalityoftheUnitedStates."
SaidCertificateatteststhatunderU.S.A.laws,PetitionerlostherU.S.A.citizenshipeffective21October2010,whichiswhen
shetookheroathofofficeasMTRCBChairperson.ThisfactislikewisereflectedonthelastpageofPetitoner:sformerU.S.A.
Passport.
59. On 27 September 2012, Petitioner accomplished her COC for Senator, which she filed with the COMELEC on 2 October
2012.Section12oftheCOCwas,agam,anaffirmationoftheOathof
AllegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippineswhichPetitionerhadtakenon7July2006(andwhichshehadreaffirmedon2.1
October2010whenshetookheroathofofficeasMTRCBChairperson).xxx
60.Duringthe13May2013NationalElections,petitionerranforandwasoverwhelminglyelectedasSenator.Shegarnered
over 20 million votes, the highest among her fellow Senatorial candidates, and a record in Philippine election history. On 16
May2013,PetitionerwasproclaimedSenatoroftheRepublicofthePhilippines.
61.On19December2013,theDFAissuedtoSen.PoeDiplomaticPassportNo.xxx(validuntilDecember2018),andon18
March2014,theDFAissuedinherfavorPhilippinePassportNo.xxx.LikeherearlierPhilippinepassports,thesetwo(2)most
recentpassportsuniformlystatethatSen.Poeisa"citizenofthePhilippines."
62.On15October2015,Sen.PoefiledwithCOMELECherCOCasPresident("COCforPresident")inthe9May2016national
andlocalelections.InherCOC,shestatedthatsheisa"NATURALBORNFILIPINOCITIZEN"andthather"RESIDENCEINTHE
PHILIPPINESUPTOTHEDAYBEFOREMAY09,2016"wouldbe"10"yearsand"11"months(countedfrom24May2005).

As"intent"isbasicallya"stateofmind"thatexistsonlyinidea[1]itsexistencecanonlybedeterminedbytheovertactsthattranslateit
tofact.Therealizationofsuchintentneednotbemadeinonefellswoopbytheexecutionofasingleformalact.Rather,thefulfillmentof
the intent to change domicile can be made via a series of steps through what the Court adverts in Mitra v. COMELEC[2] and Sabili v.
COMELEC[3]asan"incrementalprocess"ortheexecutionof"incrementaltransfermoves."
ThefactsofthecasesuggestthatSen.Poe'schangeofdomicileandrepatriationfromtheUStothePhilippineswas,toborrowfromMitra,
"accomplished, not in a single key move but, through an incremental process"[4] that started in early 2005. Specifically, Sen Poe took
definitealbeitincrementalmovestoreacquireherdomicileoforiginasshownbytherepatriationofherchildrenandtheirpet,ifImay
add, from the US to the Philippines the enrollment of her children in Philippine schools the sale of their family home in the US the
repatriation of her husband and his employment in the Philippines the transfer of their household goods, furniture, cars and personal
belongingsfromtheUStothePhilippinesthepurchaseofaresidentialcondominiuminthePhilippinesthepurchaseofaresidentiallot
theconstructionofherfamilyhomeinthecountryheroathofallegianceunderRA9225herchildren'sacquisitionofderivativePhilippine
citizenshiptherenunciationofherUScitizenshipherserviceaschairpersonoftheMTRCBandhercandidacyandserviceasasenatorof
the Philippines. All these acts are indicative of the intent to stay and serve in the country permanently, and not simply to make a
"temporary"sojourn.
Indeed,theforeknowledgeofSen.Poe'srepatriationandherdesireforit,i.e.,herintenttogobacktoandreestablishherdomicilethe
Philippines,isreadilydiscerniblefromheractsexecutedevenbeforeherreturntothecountryinMay2005.
TheforegoingindiciaofSen.Poe'sintenttoreestablishherdomicileinthecountrycannotbefrivolouslydismissedasinsufficientonthe
pretext that "this case involves relocation of national domicile from the US to the Philippines by an alien, which requires much stronger
proof,bothastofactandintent."[5]
ThesuggestionthatSen.Poe'sanimusmanendionlyexistedatthetimeshetookheroathofallegianceunderRA9225inJuly2006and
thatheranimusnonrevertendiexistedonlyinOctober2010whensherenouncedherUScitizenissimplyillogical.Thefactthatwhatis
involved is a change of national domicile from one country to another, separated as it were by oceans, and not merely from one
neighboringmunicipalitytoanotherlikeinMitraandSabili,itiswithmorereasonthattheteachingsinMitraandSabiliareapplicable.
It should be of judicial cognizance that even a temporary travel from one country to another is no easy feat. It takes weeks or even
monthstoplanandexecute.Bynomeansisthepermanenttransferofresidenceinonecountrytoanotheraneasierundertaking.Likein
petitioner'scase,itwouldbealongprocessthatwilltakemonths,ifnotyears,toaccomplishfromtheinitialinquirywiththemoversand
the concerned government agencies in both countries, to the actual packing and transportation of one's belongings, the travel of the
children and the pet,. their enrollment in schools, the acquisition of a new family home, and the reintegration to Philippine society. The
intent to reestablish national domicile cannot be plausibly determined by one isolated formal act or event but by a series of acts that
revealtheprecedingdesireandintenttoreturntoone'scountryoforigin.
Sen.Poeisnotanordinary"alien"tryingtoestablishherdomicileina"foreigncountry."ShewasbornandraisedinthePhilippines,who
wentthroughthetediousmotionsof,andsucceededin,reestablishingherhomeinthecountry.Sheis,bynomeans,foreigntothe
Philippines nor its people. She maintained close ties to the country and has frequently visited it even during the time she was still
recognizedasaUScitizen.Herparentslivedinthecountry,herfriendsshegrewupwithstayedhere.Inamannerofspeaking,herpast,
herrootswereinthePhilippinessothatitshouldnotberenderedmoreburdensomeforhertoestablishherfutureinthecountry.
Afterall,theresidencerequirementwasincontextintendedtopreventastrangerfromholdingofficeontheassumptionthatshewouldbe

insufficientlyacquaintedwiththeconditionsandneedsofherprospectiveconstituents.[6]Havinghelpedherfatherduringhispresidential
campaignandhavingservedasasenatorandbeforethatanMTRCBchairperson,itcannotbecontestedthatshehasmorethanenough
knowledge of the country, its people, and the many issues and problems that beset them. The mischief that the residency requirement
wasdesignedtopreventisclearlynotpresentinthiscase.
TheCourt'spronouncementsinCoquillav.CommissiononElections,[7]Caballerov.CommissiononElections[8]andJapzonv.Commission
and Elections and Jaime S. Ty[9] did not establish an absolute rule that a Filipino who became naturalized under the laws of a foreign
countrycanonlyreestablishhisorherdomicileinthePhilippinesfromthemomentheorsheswearsallegiancetothecountryunderRA
9225.Instead,theCourtconsideredtheacquisitionofdualcitizenshipunderRA9225ortheapplicationforaresidencypermitasoneof
manypossible,nottheonly,evidenceofanimusmanendi.TheCourtdidnotstatethatanyevidenceofresidencebeforetheacquisitionof
aresidencevisaorthereacquisitionofcitizenshipmustbeignored.
Unfortunately, in these three cases, the concerned candidates had presented negligible or no evidence of reestablishment of domicile in
thePhilippinesbeforetheirrepatriation.AsSen.Poepointedout,theonlypiecesofevidenceinCoquillashowingthathemighthadhad
theintenttoresideinthePhilippineswere:(a)hisCommunityTaxCertificateand(b)hisverbaldeclarationsthatheintendedtorunfor
office.InJapzon,therewasabsolutelynoevidenceofthecandidate'sresidencebeforehereacquiredhiscitizenshipandalltheevidence
pertainedtoeventsafterhisrepatriation.Finally,inCaballero,thecandidatefailedtoshowthathisresidencehadbeenformorethana
yearpriortotheMay2013elections.Onthecontrary,headmittedthathehadonly9months"actualstay"inUyugan,Batanes.
Thus,theCourthadnochoicebuttoreckontheresidencyoftheconcernedcandidatesinCoquilla,Jopzon,andCaballeroeitherfromthe
timetheyreacquiredtheircitizenshiporthetimetheyprocuredaresidentvisabecausetherewassimplyinsufficientproofofferedbythe
candidatesbeforesuchevent.ThesamecannotbesaidofSen.Poeintheinstantcase.
Aspreviouslydiscussed,Sen.PoepresentedoverwhelmingevidenceofherpermanentrelocationtothePhilippines,heractualresidence,
andintenttostayinthePhilippinessinceMay2005,i.e.,evenbeforeshetookheroathofallegianceunderRA9225inJuly2006.Hence,
Jalosjosv.CommissiononElections[10]isthebetterprecedent.InJalosjos,theCourtreckonedthecandidate'sdomicileinthePhilippines
even before he reacquired his citizenship under RA 9225, without mentioning the need for a residence visa, because he was able to
satisfactorilyprovethathehadlivedwithhisbrotherpriortotakinghisoathofallegiance.TheCourtheld,thus:

ButitisclearfromthefactsthatQuezonCitywasJalosjos'domicileoforigin,theplaceofhisbirth.Itmaybetakenforgranted
that he effectively changed his domicile from Quezon City to Australia when he migrated there at the age of eight, acquired
Australiancitizenship,andlivedinthatcountryfor26years.Australiabecamehisdomicilebyoperationoflawandbychoice.
On the other hand, when he came to the Philippines in November 2008 to live with his brother in Zamboanga
Sibugay,itisevidentthatJalosjosdidsowithintenttochangehisdomicileforgood.HeleftAustralia,gaveuphis
Australiancitizenship,andrenouncedhisallegiancetothatcountry.Inaddition,hereacquiredhisoldcitizenshipbytakingan
oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, resulting in his being issued a Certificate of Reacquisition of Philippine
CitizenshipbytheBureauofImmigration.Byhisacts,JalosjosforfeitedhislegalrighttoliveinAustralia,clearlyprovingthat
hegaveuphisdomicilethere.AndhehassincelivednowhereelseexceptinIpil,ZamboangaSibugay.
ToholdthatJa!osjoshasnotestablishanewdomicileinZamboangaSibugaydespitethelossofhisdomicileoforigin(Quezon
City)andhisdomicileofchoiceandbyoperationoflaw(Australia)wouldviolatethesettledmaximthatamanmusthavea
domicileorresidencesomewhere.[11]

Yet,ithasalsobeenadvancedthatSen.PoehasnotpositivelyshownanintenttoabandontheUS,oranimusnonrevertendi,priortoher
formal renunciation of her American citizenship in October 2010. To this is added that she even acquired a house in the US in 2008 as
proofofherallegedintentnottoabandonthatcountry.ProponentsofthisargumentciteReyesv.CommissiononElections.[12]However,
Reyeswasonastarklydifferent
factual milieu. Unlike Sen. Poe, the petitioner therein had not reacquired her Philippine citizenship under RA 9225 or renounced her
Americancitizenship.[13]Infact,theonlyproofsheofferedofherresidencywasherserviceasaprovincialofficerforseven(7)months.
TheallegedfactthatSen.PoeacquiredahouseintheUSin2008,cannotbetakenasanargumentagainstheranimusnonrevertendivis
avis the evidence of her manifest intent to stay, and actual stay, in the Philippines. Certainly, the element of intent to abandon an old
domiciledoesnotrequireacompleteandabsoluteseveranceofallphysicallinkstothatcountry,oranyothercountryforthatmatter.Itis
simplytooarchaictostate,atatimewhereairtravelisthenorm,thatownershipofasecondaryabodeforatemporaryvisitorholiday
negatesanintenttoabandonaforeigncountryasalegaldomicile.
OnCitizenship

ThereisnoquestionthatSen.PoehasnoknownbiologicalparentsandwasfoundonSeptember3,1968inJaro,Iloilowhenshewasbut
anewborn.ShewasthenadoptedbyspousesRonaldAllanKellyandJesusaSonoraPoeinMay1974.Thenaggingquestionis:IsSen.Poe
anaturalbornFilipinocitizen?
ArticleIV,Section1ofthe1935Constitutionmerelyprovides:

Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:

1.ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
2.ThoseborninthePhilippineIslandsofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionofthisConstitution,hadbeenelectedto
publicofficeinthePhilippineIslands.
3.ThosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
4.ThosewhosemothersarecitizensofthePhilippinesand,uponreachingtheageofmajority,electPhilippinecitizenship.
5.Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw.

Theterm"naturalborn"Filipinodoesnotevenappearintheabovequotedprovision.ThisCourt,however,hasconstruedthetermtorefer
tothosefallingunderitemsonetofourofthesection,asopposedtothosewhounderwentnaturalizationunderitemnumber5.ButSen.
Poe was not born before the adoption of the 1935 Constitution so that the first item is inapplicable. That being said, her status as a
foundlingdoesnotforeclosethelikelihoodthateitherorbothofherbiologicalparentswereFilipinosrenderingheranaturalbornFilipino
underitems3and/or4ofSection1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution.
Indeed, while it is not denied that Sen. Poe was abandoned by her biological parents, her abandonment on the date and specific place
aboveindicateddoesnotobliteratethefactthatshehadbiologicalparentsandtheprivaterespondentshadnotshownanyproofthatthey
werenotFilipinocitizens.
Section1,Rule131oftheRulesofCourtprovidesthattheburdenofproofisthedutyofapartytoprovethetruthofhisclaimordefense,
oranyfactinissuebytheamountofevidencerequiredbylaw.Theprivaterespondentshadnotpresentedevenaniotaofprooftoshow
thatSen.PoewasnotborntoFilipinoparents.Thus,itwasgraveabuseofdiscretionfortheCOMELECtoconcludethatSen.Poewasnot
anaturalbornFilipinoandhaddeliberatelymisrepresentedsuchfact.
To shift the burden of proof to foundlings like, Sen. Poe, to prove the citizenship of their parents who had abandoned them is as
preposterous as rubbing salt on an open bleeding wound it adds insult to injury. The State cannot allow such unconscionable
interpretation of our laws. Instead, the judiciary, as the instrumentality of the State in its role of parenspatriae, must ensure that the
abandonedchildren,thefoundlings,thosewhowereforcedintoanunfavorablepositionaredulyprotected.
As pointed out by petitioner, the same view was shared by the framers of the 1935 Constitution. A delegate to the 1934 Constitutional
Convention, Sr. Nicolas Rafols, proposed to explicitly include "children of unknown parentage" in the enumeration of jus sanguinis
PhilippineCitizensinSection1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution.Thesuggestion,however,wasnotacceptedbutnotonthegroundthat
these children are not Philippine citizens. Rather, that the cases of foundlings are "few and far in between," as pointed out by delegate
ManuelRoxas,andthatcitingasimilarSpanishLaw,theyarealreadypresumedtohavebeenborntoFilipinos.[14]
Analternativeconstructionofthe1935,nottosaythepresentConstitution,presentsdireconsequences.Insuchascenario,abandoned
children with no known parents will be considered stateless. This violates the rights of a child to immediate registration and nationality
after birth, as recognized in the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of a Child. Thus, I cannot subscribe to the proposal that
foundlings,likeSen.Poe,arenotnaturalbornFilipinocitizens.

[1]Black'sLawDictionary,9thEd.,fortheiPhone/iPad/iPodtouch.Version2.1.2(B13195),p.883citingJohnSalmond,Jurisprudence378

(GlanvilleL.Williamsed.,10thed.1947).
[2]G.R.No.191938,July2,2010andOctober19,2010.
[3]G.R.No.193261,April24,2012.
[4]Mitra,supra.
[5]JusticeDelCastillo'sOpinion.
[6]Gallegov.Vera,73Phil.453,459(1941)citedinFernandezv.HRET,G.R.No.187478,December21,2009.
[7]G.R.No.151914,July31,2002.385SCRA607.
[8]G.R.No.209835,September22,2015.
[9]G.R.No.180088,January19,2009,596SCRA354.
[10]G.R.No.191970,April24,2012.
[11]Emphasissupplied.
[12]G.R.No.207264,June25,2013,699SCRA522.
[13]Regina0.ReyesadmittedinhersubmissionsunderoathbeforetheCOMELECinSPA13053thatRA9225doesnotapplytoheras

she claims to be a dual citizen of the United States of America and the Philippines by virtue of her marriage to a US citizen. Belatedly,
ReyesattemptedtoshowthatsheavailedofRA9225,inavolteface,beforetheCourtinG.R.No.207264,entitledReyesv.COMELEC,by
presentingaquestionableIdentificationCertificateallegedlyissuedbytheBureauofImmigration.

[14]PertheinterpellationofDelegateRupertoMontinola.

SEPARATEDISSENTINGOPINION

LEONARDODECASTRO,J.:
I begin this Dissenting Opinion by outrightly e){pressing my view that the opinion of Honorable Justice Jose P. Perez on the issue of
naturalborncitizenshipwhichwasjoinedbysix(6)otherJusticesincludingtheHonorableChiefJusticeMa.LourdesP.A.Sereno,ifnot
overturned,willwreakhavoconourconstitutional'systemofgovernment.
By their opinion, the seven (7) Justices would amend the 1935 Constitution which was in effect when petitioner was born, to add
"foundlingsfoundinthePhilippineswhoseparentsareunknown"intheenumerationofnaturalborncitizen,asfollows:

ARTICLEIV
CITIZENSHIP
(1935Constitution)
Section1.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines.
(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
(2) Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to
publicofficeinthePhilippineIslands.
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines [and foundlings found in the Philippines whose parents are
unknown].
(4)ThosewhosemothersarecitizensofthePhilippinesanduponreachingtheageofmajority,electPhilippinecitizenship.
(5)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewiththelaw.(Emphasessupplied.)

ThisamendmentoftheConstitutionbythejudicialopinionputforthbytheseven(7)Justicesisbasedmainlyonextralegalgroundsanda
misreadingofexistinglaws,whichwillhaveunimaginablegraveandfarreachingdireconsequencesinourconstitutionalandlegalsystem
andnationalinterestwhichthisDissentingOpinionwillexplainbelow.
Fortheabovereasonandotherreasons,IdissenttothePonenciaofMr.JusticeJoseP.Perezthatthefourconsolidatedpetitionsseeking
the annulment and setting aside of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) December 1, 2015 and December 23, 2015 Resolutions in
SPANos.15001(DC)and,theDecember11,2015andDecember23,2015Resolutionsin15002(DC),15007(DC),and15139(DC)
shouldbegranted.
It is my humble submission that petitioner Senator Mary Grace Natividad S. PoeLlamanzares (Poe for brevity) failed to show that the
COMELECEnbancgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninaffirmingitsSecondDivision'sDecember1,2015anditsFirstDivision'sDecember11,
2015 Resolutions, both denying due course to and/or cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of President of the
RepublicofthePhilippines,particularlywithrespecttothefindingthatshemadethereinmaterialrepresentationsthatwerefalserelating
tohernaturalborncitizenshipandtenyearperiodofresidenceinthePhilippinesthatwarrantthecancellationofherCOC.
Ingist,thebasesformydissentinthedispositionofthecases,whichwillbediscussedinseriatim,areasfollowscontrarytothefindings
inthePonencia:
OntheProcedural/TechnicalIssues

I.ThereviewpowerofthisCourtrelativetothepresentpetitionsfiledunderRule64visavisRule65bothoftheRules
ofCourt,asamended,islimitedtothejurisdictionalissueofwhetherornottheCOMELECactedwithoutorinexcessof
itsjurisdiction,orwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction
II.Petitioner Poe failed to satisfactorily show that the COMELEC was so grossly unreasonable in its appreciation and
evaluationofthepiecesofevidencesubmittedbythepartiesastotransgressthelimitsofitsjurisdiction
III.Allthefourpetitionsfiled,inclusiveoftheTatadPetition,subjectoftheassailedresolutionsoftheCOMELEC,adduced
ultimatefactsestablishingthecauseofactionforapetitionbasedonSection78oftheOmnibusElectionCode(OEC)
IV.TheCOMELECcorrectlyconsideredtheallegationscontainedintheTatadPetitionasonefiledunderSection78ofthe
OEC

V.The COMELEC did not encroach upon the jurisdiction of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal when it took cognizance of
thepetitionstodenyduecoursetoorcanceltheCOCofpetitionerPoethedistinctionbetweenjurisdictionsofthetwo
tribunals has already been settled in Tecson v. COMELEC, the jurisdiction of the PET can only be invoked after the
electionandproclamationofaPresidentorVicePresidentandthequestionofqualificationsofcandidatesforPresident
orVicePresidentproperlybelongstotheCOMELEC
VI.Section8,Rule23oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedureisavalidexerciseoftherulemakingpowersoftheCOMELEC,
which is not inconsistent and can be harmonized with its constitutional mandate to promulgate rules of procedure to
expeditethedispositionsofelectioncases
VII.The COMELEC has the power to determine petitioner Poe's citizenship notwithstanding the decision of the Senate
ElectoralTribunalwhichisstillpendingappealandwhichdealswithdifferentissuesand

OntheSubstantive/FocalIssues

I.Sections1and2,ArticleIVofthe1987Constitutionclearlyandcategoricallydefinewhoarenaturalborncitizens:they
arecitizensfrombirthwithbloodrelationshiptoaFilipinofatherormother,followingthe"jussanguinis"principle
II.SalientRulesofInterpretationand/orConstructionoftheConstitutiondictatethattheclearandunambiguousletterof
theConstitutionmustbeobeyed
III.Statutes,TreatiesandInternationalCovenantsorInstrumentsmustconformtotheprovisionsoftheConstitution
IV.PursuanttotheConstitution,naturalborncitizenshipisanindispensablerequirementforeligibilitytoconstitutionally
identifiedelectivepositionslikethePresidency
V.RepublicActNo.9225,otherwiseknownasthe"CitizenshipRetentionandReacquisitionActof2003,"makesnatural
borncitizenshipanindispensablerequirementfortheretentionand/orreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipinother
words, the right to avail of dual citizenship is only available to naturalborn citizens who have earlier lost their
Philippinecitizenshipbyreasonofacquisitionofforeigncitizenship
VI.PetitionerPoeobtaineddualcitizenshipunderRepublicActNo.9225bymisrepresentingtCJtheBureauofImmigration
that she is the biological child of a Filipino father and Filipino mother such that the Bureau was misled into believing
that"[petitionerPoe]wasaformercitizenoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesbeingborntoFilipinoparents,"whichisa
falsefactualavermentnotanerroneouslegalconclusionand(it)thesaidorderwasnotsignedbytheCommissioner
oftheBIasrequiredbyDepartmentofJustice(DOJ)Regulation
VII.As a consequence of petitioner Poe's abovestated misrepresentations, the July 18, 2006 Order of the Bureau of
ImmigrationgrantingpetitionerPoe'sapplicationfordualcitizenshiporthereacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipwas
clearlyinvalidandhertakingofanoathofallegiancetotheRepublicdidnotresultinherreacquisitionofPhilippine
citizenshipand
VIII.Nothavingvalidlyreacquirednaturalborncitizenship,sheisnoteligibletorunforthePresidencypursuanttoSection
2,ArticleVIIofthe1987Constitutionandevenassumingarguendothatshehasreacquirednaturalborncitizenship
underRepublicActNo.9225,petitionerPoehasfailedtoestablishherchangeofdomicilefromtheUnitedStates,her
domicileofchoicetothePhilippinesthroughclearandunmistakableevidence.

TheProceduralIssues

Petitioner Poe seeks the annulment of the December 1, 2015 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division and December 23, 2015
ResolutionoftheCOMELECEnbanc,inSPANos.15001(DC)andtheDecember11,2015ResolutionoftheCOMELECFirstDivisionand
December 23,2015 Resolution of the COMELEC En banc, in SPA Nos. 15002 (DC), 15007 (DC) and 15139 (DC) via the instant
consolidated petitions for certiorari under Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.[1] This mode of review is based on the
limitedgroundofwhethertheCOMELECactedwithoutorinexcessofjurisdiction,orwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamounting
tolackorexcessofjurisdiction.TheCourtheldinJaloverv.Osmea[2]that:

"Grave abuse of discretion" defies exact definition generally, it refers to "capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is
equivalenttolackofjurisdiction"theabuseofdiscretionmustbepatentandgrossastoamounttoanevasionofapositive
duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power is
exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough it
mustbegrave.Wehaveheld,too,thattheuseofwrongorirrelevantconsiderationsindecidinganissueissufficienttotainta
decisionwmaker'sactionwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.
Closelyrelatedwiththelimitedfocusofthepresentpetitionisthecondition,underSection5,Rule64oftheRulesofCourt,
thatfindingsoffactoftheCOMELEC,supportedbysubstantialevidence,shallbefinalandnonreviewable.Substantialevidence
is that degree of evidence that a reasonable mind might accept to support a conclusion. In light of our limited authority to

reviewfindingsoffact,wedonotordinarilyreviewinacertioraricasetheCOMELEC'sappreciationandevaluationofevidence.
AnymisstepbytheCOMELECinthisregardgenerallyinvolvesanerrorofjudgment,notofjurisdiction.
Inexceptionalcases,however,whentheCOMELEC'sactionontheappreciationandevaluationofevidenceoverstepsthelimits
of its discretion to the point of being grossly unreasonable, the Court is not only obliged, but has the constitutional duty to
intervene. When grave abuse of discretion is present, resulting errors arising from the grave abuse mutate from error of
judgmenttooneofjurisdiction.(Citationsomitted.)

TheCOMELEC'sappreciationandevaluationoftheevidenceadducedbypetitionerPoeissaidtobetaintedwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.
PetitionerPoefailedtohurdlethebarsetbythisCourtinMitrav.CommissiononElections[3] and Sabili v. Commission on Elections,[4]
whichistoprovethattheCOMELECwassogrosslyunreasonableinitsappreciationandevaluationofevidenceastoamounttoanerrorof
jurisdiction.Petitioner
Poe's insistence that the COMELEC utterly disregarded her "overwhelming and unrefuted evidence" is baseless. As stated in Mitra,
substantialevidenceisnotasimplequestionofnumber.Theemphasismustbeonwhatthepiecesofevidenceareabletosubstantiate
andwhattheycannot.IfindthattheCOMELEC'sassessmentoftheevidenceislogicalandwellfounded.Theconclusionsitreachedare
adequatelysupportedbyevidenceandarewellinaccordwiththeapplicablelawsandsettledjurisprudenceonthematter.
The petitions filed by respondents Elamparo, Contreras, and Valdez sufficiently alleged the ultimate facts constituting the cause(s) of
action for a petition under Section 78 of the OEC, that petitioner Poe falsely represented in her COC that she is a naturalborn Filipino
citizenandthatshecompliedwiththetenyearresidencyrequirement.Also,theyaverredthatsuchfalserepresentationsweremadewith
intenttodeceivetheelectorate.
With respect to the petition of private respondent Tatad, the COMELEC properly relied on the allegation of said petition instead of its
captionasapetitionfordisqualificationunderRule25oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedure.Clearly,privaterespondentTatadsquarelyput
inissuethetruthfulnessofthedeclarationsofpetitionerPoeinherCOC.Specifically,heallegedthatpetitionerPoelackednaturalborn
citizenshipandfailedtomeetthetenyearresidencyrequirement,whicharegroundsforthecancellationofherCOCunderSection78.
AstothejurisdictionoftheCOMELECvisavisthatofthePresidentialElectoralTribunal's(PET),Istronglydisagreeintheconclusionthat
the COMELEC, in ruling on the four Section 78petitions, usurped the jurisdiction of the PET. Petitioner Poe espouses that due to the
absenceofafalsematerialmisrepresentationinherCOC,theCOMELECshouldhavedismissedthepetitionsoutrightforbeingpremature
astheyareinthenatureofpetitionsforquowarranto,whichiswithinthesoleandexclusivejurisdictionofthePET.Thisisplainerror.The
jurisdiction of the PET over election contests attaches only after the President or the VicePresident concerned had been elected and
proclaimed.Tecsonv.CommissiononElections[5]clearlylaidoutthat:

Ordinary usage would characterize a "contest" in reference to a postelection scenario. Election contests consist of either an
electionprotestoraquowarrantowhich,althoughtwodistinctremedies,wouldhaveoneobjectiveinview,i.e.,todislodgethe
winningcandidatefromoffice.xxx.
xxxx
The rules [Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal] categorically speak of the jurisdiction of the tribunal over contests
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the "President" or "Vice President," of the Philippines, and not of
"candidates"forPresidentorVicePresident.Aquowarrantoproceedingisgenerallydefinedasbeinganactionagainsta
personwhousurps,intrudesinto,orunlawfullyholdsorexercisesapublicoffice.Insuchcontext,theelectioncontestcanonly
contemplate a postelection scenario. In Rule 14, only a registered candidate who would have received either the second or
thirdhighestnumberofvotescouldfileanelectionprotest.Thisruleagainpresupposesapostelectionscenario.
ItisfairtoconcludethatthejurisdictionoftheSupremeCourt,definedbySection4,paragraph7,ofthe1987Constitution,
would not include cases directly brought before it, questioning the qualifications of a candidate for the presidency or vice
presidencybeforetheelectionsareheld.(Emphasessupplied,citationomitted.)

Section4,ArticleVIIofthe1987Constitutionsustainsthisabovequotedruling.ThegrantofjurisdictiontothePETfollowstheprovisions
onthepreparationsofthereturnsandcertificatesofcanvassforeveryelectionforPresidentandVicePresidentandtheproclamationof
thepersonwhoobtainedthehighestnumberofvotes.

SECTION4.ThePresidentandtheVicePresidentshallbeelectedbydirectvoteofthepeopleforatermofsixyearswhichshall
begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six
years thereafter. The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has
servedassuchformorethanfouryearsshallbequalifiedforelectiontothesameofficeatanytime.
No VicePresident shall serve for more than two successive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time
shallnotbeconsideredasaninterruptioninthecontinuityoftheserviceforthefulltermforwhichhewaselected.
Unlessotherwiseprovidedbylaw,theregularelectionfor
PresidentandVicePresidentshallbeheldonthesecondMondayofMay.

ThereturnsofeveryelectionforPresidentandVicePresident,dulycertifiedbytheboardofcanvassersofeachprovinceorcity,
shallbetransmittedtotheCongress,directedtothePresidentoftheSenate.Uponreceiptofthecertificatesofcanvass,the
PresidentoftheSenateshall,notlaterthanthirtydaysafterthedayoftheelection,openallthecertificatesinthepresenceof
theSenateandtheHouseofRepresentativesinjointpublicsession,andtheCongress,upondeterminationoftheauthenticity
anddueexecutionthereofinthemannerprovidedbylaw,canvassthevotes.
Thepersonhavingthehighestnumberofvotesshallbeproclaimedelected,butincasetwoormoreshallhaveanequaland
highestnumberofvotes,oneofthemshallforthwithbechosenbythevoteofamajorityofalltheMembersofbothHousesof
theCongress,votingseparately.
TheCongressshallpromulgateitsrulesforthecanvassingofthecertificates.
The Supreme Court, sitting enbanc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the President or VicePresident, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose. (Emphasis,
supplied.)

InhisseparateopinioninTecson,retiredChiefJusticeReynatoS.PunowasuncompromisingaboutthejurisdictionofthePET,towit:

The word "contest" in the provision means that the jurisdiction of this Court can only be invoked after the election and
proclamation of a President or Vice President. There can be no "contest" before a winner is proclaimed.[6]
(Emphasissupplied.)

Andlikewiseinaseparateopinioninthesamecase,retiredJusticeAliciaAustriaMartinezemphasizedthat

The Supreme Court, as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) and House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) are electoral tribunals, each specifically and exclusively clothed with jurisdiction by
the Constitution to act respectively as "sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications" of the
President and VicePresident, Senators, and, Representatives. In a litany of cases, this Court has long recognized that
these electoral tribunals exercise jurisdiction over election contests only after a candidate has already been
proclaimed winner in an election. Rules 14 and 15 ofthe Rules ofthe Presidential Electoral Tribunal provide that, for
President or VicePresident, election protest or quowarranto may be filed after the proclamation of the winner.[7] (Emphasis
supplied,citationsomitted.)

Section 2(2), Article IX of the 1987 Constitution which expressly vests upon the COMELEC exclusive original jurisdiction and appellate
jurisdictionoverelection"contests"involvinglocalofficialsisconsistentwiththisdoctrine.Election"contests"hasadefinitemeaningunder
theConstitution,whichinvolvethequalificationofproclaimedwinningcandidatesinanelection.
Ontheotherhand,Section2,ArticleIX(C)ofthe1987ConstitutionprovidingthattheCOMELECshallhavethepowerto:

(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative,
referendum,andrecall.(Emphasissupplied.)

issufficientbasistoentrusttotheCOMELECallissuesrelativetothequalificationsofall"candidates"toruninNationalorLocalElections.
ImplementingtheaforementionedprovisionisBatasPambansaBilang881,orthe"OmnibusElectionCodeofthePhilippines"(OEC),which
providesforthecancellationofacandidate'sCertificateofCandidacyongroundsstatedinSection78thereof.Acontraryconstructionof
theConstitutionwillresultinemasculatingtheConstitutionalmandateoftheCOMELECtoensurefair,honestandcredibleelections.The
overbroad interpretation of the power of the PET under the Constitution will prohibit the COMELEC from even disqualifying nuisance
candidatesforPresident.
Hence,itisbeyondcavilthatitistheCOMELEC,notthePET,whichhasjurisdictionoverthepetitionsforthecancellationoftheCOCof
petitionerPoewhoisstillacandidateatthistime.
With the foregoing, I cannot but register my strong dissent to the opinion in the Ponencia that "[t]he exclusivity of the ground (that
petitionerPoemadeinthecertificateafalsematerialrepresentation)shouldhedgeinthediscretionoftheCOMELECandrestrainitfrom
goingintotheissuesofthequalificationsofthecandidatefortheposition,if,asinthiscase,suchissueisyetundecidedorundetermined
by the proper authority. The COMELEC cannot itself, in the same cancellation case, decide the qualification of lack thereof of the
candidate."ThisopinioniscontrarytotherulingpennedbyJusticePerezhimselfinReyesv.COMELEC.[8]
AccordingtothePonencia,theCOMELECcannot,inaSection78petition,lookintothequalificationofthecandidate(forRepresentative,
Senator,VicePresidentandPresident)simplybecauseperitsperusalofthe1987Constitution,thelatterfailedtocategoricallystatethat
the COMELEC was granted the power to look into the qualifications of candidates for President, VicePresident, Senator and
Representatives. It is insisted that the specific provisions of the same giving the PET, SET and HRET jurisdiction over the "election,

returns,andqualifications"ofthePresident,VicePresident,SenatorandRepresentativesaresurefireevidencethattheCOMELECdoesnot
have the authority to look into the qualification of said candidates prior to a determination in a prior proceeding by an authority with
properjurisdictiontolookintothesame.Simplyput,thePonenciawouldhavethefactofaPresidential,VicePresidential,Senatorialor
Congressional candidate's qualification established in a prior proceeding that may be by statute, executive order, or judgment by a
competentcourtortribunal,beforeher/hisCOCcanbecancelledordeniedduecourseongroundsoffalsematerialrepresentationsasto
her/hisqualifications.
ThePonencia's analysis is utterly incorrect. As shown above, such analysis disregards existing jurisprudence stating that these electoral
tribunalsexercisejurisdictionoverelectioncontestsonlyafteracandidatehasalreadybeenproclaimedwinnerinanelection.
If the Ponencia's analysis is allowed to become the leading jurisprudence on the matter, the Court is as good as amending the OEC by
deletingtheSection78thereoftherecannolongerbeapetitionfordenialofduecoursetoorcancellationofCOCbecausetheCOMELEC
hasnowbeendisallowedtolookintothewhetherornotacandidatehasmadeafalseclaimastoher/hismaterialqualificationsforthe
electiveofficethatshe/heaspiresfor.ThataSection78petitionwouldnaturallylookintothecandidate'squalificationisexpectedofthe
natureofsuchpetition.AselucidatedinFerminv.COMELEC,[9]towit:

Afterstudyingthesaidpetitionindetail,theCourtfindsthatthesameisinthenatureofapetitiontodenyduecoursetoor
cancelaCoCunderSection78oftheOEC.Thepetitioncontainstheessentialallegationsofa"Section78"petition,namely:(1)
thecandidatemadearepresentationinhiscertificate(2)therepresentationpertainstoamaterialmatterwhichwouldaffect
thesubstantiverightsofthecandidate(therighttorunfortheelectionforwhichhefiledhiscertificate)and(3)thecandidate
madethefalserepresentationwiththeintentiontodeceivetheelectorateastohisqualificationforpublicofficeordeliberately
attemptedtomislead,misinform,orhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderhimineligible.Itlikewiseappropriatelyraises
a question on a candidate's eliaibilitv for public office, in this case, his possession of the oneyear residency
requirementunderthelaw.
Lestitbemisunderstood,thedenialofduecoursetoorthecancellationoftheCoCisnotbasedonthelackofqualificationsbut
onafindingthatthecandidatemadeamaterialrepresentationthatisfalse,whichmayrelatetothequalificationsrequiredof
thepublicofficehe/sheisrunningfor.Itisnotedthatthecandidatestatesinhis/herCoCthathe/sheiseligibleforthe
officehe/sheseeks.Section78oftheOEC,therefore,istobereadinrelationtotheconstitutionalandstatutory
provisions on qualifications or eligibility for public office. If the candidate subsequently states a material
representation in the CoC that is false, the COMELEC, following the law, is empowered to deny due course to or
cancel such certificate. Indeed, the Court has already likened a proceeding under Section 78 to a quo warranto
proceeding under Section 253 of the OEC since they both deal with the eligibility or qualification of a candidate,
withthedistinctionmainly.inthefactthata"Section78"petitionisfiledbeforeproclamation,whileapetitionfor
quowarrantoisfiledafterproclamationofthewinningcandidate.
Atthispoint,wemuststressthata"Section78"petitionoughtnottobeinterchangedorconfusedwitha"Section68"petition.
They are different remedies, based on different grounds, and resulting in different eventualities. Private
respondent's insistence, therefore, that the petition it filed before the COMELEC in SPA No. 07372 is in the nature of a
disqualificationcaseunderSection68,asitisinfactcaptioneda"PetitionforDisqualification,"doesnotpersuadetheCourt.

ButthePonenciamisconstruestheaboveclearimportofFermin.Itusesthelattercaseasitsauthoritytopushitserroneousviewthatthe
COMELEChasnojurisdictionorpowertolookintotheeligibilityofcandidatesintheabsenceofaspecificlawtothateffect.
Further, with all due respect to the Ponente, I submit that his position that it is only the PET/SETIHRET that has jurisdiction over the
qualifications of candidates for President, VicePresident, Senator, or Representative runs counter to this Court's pronouncement in its
ResolutioninG.R.No.20724,Reyes v. Commission on Elections and Joseph Socorro B. Tan[10],of which he was also the Ponente,
that

Contrarytopetitioner'sclaim,however,theCOMELECretainsjurisdictionforthefollowingreasons:
First,theHRETdoesnotacquirejurisdictionovertheissueofpetitioner'squalifications,aswellasovertheassailedCOMELEC
Resolutions,unlessapetitionisdulyfiledwithsaidtribunaLPetitionerhasnotaverredthatshehasfiledsuchaction.
Second,thejurisdictionoftheHRETbeginsonlyafterthecandidateisconsideredaMemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives,as
statedinSection17,ArticleVIofthe1987Constitution:

Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the
solejudgeofallcontestsrelatingtotheelection,returns,andqualificationsoftheirrespectiveMembersxxx.

As held in Marcos v. COMELEC, the HRET does not have jurisdiction over a candidate who is not a member of the House of
Representatives,towit:

As to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal's supposed assumption of jurisdiction over the issue of
petitioner'squalificationsaftertheMay8,1995elections,sufficeittosaythatHRET'sjurisdictionasthesolejudge
of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of members of Congress begins only after a

candidatehasbecomeamemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives.Petitionernotbeingamemberofthe
HouseofRepresentatives,itisobviousthattheHRETatthispointhasnojurisdictionoverthequestion.
(Emphasissupplied.)

And,interestingly,itwasheldthat

AstotheissueofwhetherpetitionerfailedtoproveherFilipinocitizenship,aswellasheroneyearresidencyin
Marinduque,sufficeittosaythattheCOMELECcommittednograveabuseofdiscretioninfindingherineligiblefor
thepositionofMemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives.

Withtheindulgenceofmycolleagues,toemphasizetheincongruityofthepositiontakenbythemajorityinthiscaseledbythePonente,
allowmetoquoteverbatimtherelevantfactsandfindingsoftheCourtinReyesaswrittenbythePonenteofthiscase,towit:

Let us look into the events that led to this petition: In moving for the cancellation of petitioner's COC, respondent submitted
records of the Bureau of Immigration showing that petitioner is a holder of a US passport, and that her status is that of a
"balikbayan."Atthispoint,theburdenofproofshiftedtopetitioner,imposinguponherthedutytoprovethatsheisanatural
bornFilipinocitizenandhasnotlostthesame,orthatshehasreacquiredsuchstatusinaccordancewiththeprovisionsofR.A.
No.9225.Asidefromthebareallegationthatsheisanaturalborncitizen,however,petitionersubmittednoprooftosupport
suchcontention.NeitherdidshesubmitanyproofastotheinapplicabilityofR.A.No.9225toher.
xxxx
Thesecircumstances,takentogether,showthatadoubtwasclearlycastonpetitioner'scitizenship.Petitioner,however,failed
toclearsuchdoubt.
xxxx
Allinall,consideringthatthepetitionfordenialandcancellationoftheCOCissummaryinnature,theCOMELECis
given much discretion in the evaluation and admission of evidence pursuant to its principal objective of
determiningofwhetherornottheCOCshouldbecancelledxxx.
Here,thisCourtfindsthatpetitionerfailedtoadequatelyandsubstantiallyshowthatgraveabuseofdiscretionexists.

Withtheabove,IamatalosshowtheCourt,throughthemajority,couldrulethewayitdidinthiscasewhennotsolongagoittookthe
oppositepositionanddismissedthepetitionofReyes.
Section8,Rule23oftheCOMELECRulesofProcedure,asamended,whichreads:

SEC.8.EffectifPetitionUnresolved.IfaPetitiontoDenyDueCoursetoorCancelaCertificateofCandidacyisunresolvedby
finaljudgmentonthedayofelections,thepetitionermayfileamotionwiththeDivisionorCommissionEnBanc,asmaybe
applicable,tosuspendtheproclamationofthecandidateconcerned,providedthattheevidenceforthegroundsfordenialtoor
cancel certificate of candidacy is strong. For this purpose, at least three (3) days prior to any election, the Clerk of the
CommissionshallpreparealistofpendingcasesandfurnishallCommissionerscopiesofthesaidlist.
A Decision or Resolution is deemed final and executory if, in case of a Division ruling, no motion for reconsideration is filed
withinthereglementaryperiod,orincasesofrulingsoftheCommissionEnBanc,norestrainingorderisissuedbytheSupreme
Courtwithinfive(5)daysfromreceiptofthedecisionorresolution.(Emphasissupplied.)

doesnotviolateSection7,ArticleIXAofthe1987Constitution,whichstatesthat

SEC.7.EachCommissionshalldecidebyamajorityvoteofallitsMembersanycaseormatterbroughtbeforeitwithinsixty
daysfromthedateofitssubmissionfordecisionorresolution.Acaseormatterisdeemedsubmittedfordecisionorresolution
uponthefilingofthelastpleading,brief,ormemorandumrequiredbytherulesoftheCommissionorbytheCommissionitself.
UnlessotherwiseprovidedbythisConstitutionorbylaw,anydecision,order,orrulingofeachCommissionmaybebroughtto
the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof. (Emphasis
supplied.)

Section8,Rule23oftheCOMELECRulesisavalidexerciseoftherule makingpowersoftheCOMELECnotwithstandingSection7,Article
IX of the 1987 Constitution. The condition "[u]nless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law" that is mentioned in the latter
provisiongivestheCOMELECtheflexibilitytofixashorterperiodforthefinalityofitsdecisionanditsimmediateexecutioninconsonance
with the necessity to speedily dispose of election cases, but without prejudice to the continuation of the review proceedings before this
Court. Certainly, this is not inconsistent with Commission's constitutional mandate to promulgate its own rules of procedure to expedite

thedispositionsofelectioncases,viz.:

ARTICLEIX
CONSTITUTIONALCOMMISSION
C.THECOMMISSIONONELECTIONS
SEC.3.TheCommissiononElectionsmaysitenbancorintwodivisions,andshallpromulgateitsrulesofprocedureinorderto
expedite disposition of election cases, including preproclamation controversies. All such election cases shall be heard and
decidedindivision,providedthatmotionsforreconsiderationofdecisionsshallbedecidedbytheCommissionenbanc.

TheSubstantiveIssues

TheissueiswhetherornottheCOMELECEnbancactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictionwhenit
cancelledtheCOCforPresidencyofPetitionerPoeonthesubstantivegroundsoflackofcitizenshipandresidencyqualifications.
Iholdthatitdidnot.
GroundforPetitionfor
CancellationofCOCunder
Section78oftheOEC
Section78oftheOECprovidesthat

SECTION 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. A verified petition seeking to deny .due
course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material
representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time
notlaterthantwentyfivedaysfromthetimeofthefilingofthecertificateofcandidacyandshallbedecided,afterduenotice
andhearing,notlaterthanfifteendaysbeforetheelection.(Emphasissupplied.)

Inrelationthereto,Section74alsooftheOECrequires:

SECTION74.Contentsofcertificateofcandidacy.Thecertificateofcandidacyshallstatethatthepersonfilingitisannouncing
hiscandidacyfortheofficestatedthereinandthatheiseligibleforsaidofficeifforMemberoftheBatasangPambansa, the
province, including its component cities, highly urbanized city or district or sector which he seeks to represent the political
party to which he belongs civil status his date of birth residence his post office address for all election purposes his
profession or occupation that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and
allegiancetheretothathewillobeythelaws,legalorders,anddecreespromulgatedbythedulyconstitutedauthoritiesthat
he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country that the obligation imposed by his oath is assumed
voluntarily,withoutmentalreservationorpurposeofevasionandthatthefactsstatedinthecertificateofcandidacyaretrue
tothebestofhisknowledge.
Unlessacandidatehasofficiallychangedhisnamethroughacourtapprovedproceeding,acertificateshalluseinacertificate
of candidacy the name by which he has been baptized, or if has not been baptized in any church or religion, the name
registeredintheofficeofthelocalcivilregistraroranyothernameallowedundertheprovisionsofexistinglawor,inthecase
ofaMuslim,hisHadjinameafterperformingtheprescribedreligiouspilgrimage:Provided,Thatwhentherearetwoormore
candidatesforanofficewiththesamenameandsurname,eachcandidate,uponbeingmadeawareofsuchfact,shallstatehis
paternalandmaternalsurname,excepttheincumbentwhomaycontinuetousethenameandsurnamestatedinhiscertificate
of candidacy when he was elected. He may also include one nickname or stage name by which he is generally or popularly
knowninthelocality.
The person filing a certificate of candidacy shall also affix his latest photograph, passport size a statement in duplicate
containinghisbiodataandprogramofgovernmentnotexceedingonehundredwords,ifhesodesires.

Inher2016COCforPresident,muchlikeinher2013COCfor
Senator,petitionerPoemadethefollowingverifiedrepresentations,viz.:

7.PERIODOFRESIDENCEINTHEPHILIPPINESUPTOTHEDAYBEFOREMAY09,2016:
10No.ofYears11No.ofMonths
8.IAMANATURALBORNFILIPINOCITIZEN.

xxxx
9.IAMELIGIBLEFORTHEOFFICEISEEKTOBEELECTEDTO.[11]

MaterialityoftheRepresentation

Withrespecttotheissueofmaterialityoftherepresentation,asabovediscussed,Mitrahassettledthat"criticalmaterialfactsarethose
that refer to a candidate's qualifications for elective office, such as his or her citizenship and residence" thus, the materiality of the
representationsoncitizenship,residenceand/oreligibilityisnolongerinissue.
FalsityoftheRepresentation

Butthetruthfulnessofthematerialrepresentationremainsanissuetoberesolved.
CitizenshipRequirement

Inthepresentcase,IsubmitthatpetitionerPoe'srepresentationthatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizen,hence,eligibletorunforand
holdthepositionofPresident,isfalse.Mypositionisanchoredonthefollowingreasons:
UndertheConstitution,natural
bornFilipinocitizenshipisbased
onbloodrelationshiptoaFilipino
fatherormotherfollowingthe
"jussanguinis"principle
PetitionerPoebeingafoundling,doesnotcomewithinthepurviewofthisconstitutionallyordainedprinciple.
DuringtheeffectivityoftheSpanishCivilCodeinthePhilippinesonDecember8,1889,thedoctrinesofjussoli and jussanguinis were
adoptedastheprinciplesofattributionofnationalityatbirth.[12]
Upon approval of the TydingsMcDuffie Act (Public Act No. 127), a Constitutional Convention was organized in 1934. The Constitution
proposedforadoptionbythesaidConventionwasratifiedbythePhilippineelectoratein1935afteritsapprovalbythePresidentofthe
UnitedStates.[13]
It was in the 1935 Constitution that the Philippines adopted the doctrine of jus sanguinis, literally translated to right by blood, or the
acquisitionofcitizenshipbybirthtoparentswhoarecitizensofthePhilippines.Thedoctrineofjussanguinisconsidersbloodrelationship
toone'sparentsasasounderguaranteeofloyaltytothecountrythanthedoctrineofjussoli,ortheattainmentofacitizenshipbythe
placeofone'sbirth.[14]ThecaseofTecsonv.CommissiononElectionstracedthehistory,significance,andevolutionofthedoctrineofjus
sanguinisinourjurisdictionasfollows:

Whiletherewas,atonebrieftime,divergentviewsonwhetherornotjussoliwasamodeofacquiringcitizenship,the1935
Constitution brought to an end to any such link with common law, by adopting, once and for all, jus sanguinis or blood
relationshipasbeingthebasisofFilipinocitizenship

"Section1,ArticleIII,1935Constitution.ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines
(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippineIslandsatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution
(2)ThoseborninthePhilippineIslandsofforeignparentswho,beforetheadoptionofthisConstitution,hadbeen
electedtopublicofficeinthePhilippineIslands.
(3)Thosewhosefathers[ormothers]arecitizensofthePhilippines.
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine
citizenship.
(5)Thosewhoarenaturalizedinaccordancewithlaw."

Subsection(4),ArticleIII,ofthe1935Constitution,takentogetherwithexistingcivillawprovisionsatthetime,whichprovided
that women would automatically lose their Filipino citizenship and acquire that of their foreign husbands, resulted in
discriminatorysituationsthateffectivelyincapacitatedthewomenfromtransmittingtheirFilipinocitizenshiptotheirlegitimate
childrenandrequiredillegitimatechildrenofFilipinomotherstostillelectFilipinocitizenshipuponreachingtheageofmajority.
Seekingtocorrectthisanomaly,aswellasfullycognizantofthenewlyfoundstatusofFilipinowomenasequalstomen,the

framersofthe1973ConstitutioncraftedtheprovisionsofthenewConstitutiononcitizenshiptoreflectsuchconcerns

"Section1,ArticleIII,1973ConstitutionThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
(2)ThosewhosefathersormothersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
(3) Those who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of nineteen hundred and
thirtyfive.
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedmaccordancewithlaw."

Forgoodmeasure,Section2ofthesamearticlealsofurtherprovidedthat

"A female citizen of the Philippines who marries an alien retains her Philippine citizenship, unless by her act or
omissionsheisdeemed,underthelawtohaverenouncedhercitizenship."

The1987ConstitutiongenerallyadoptedtheprovlSlonsofthe1973Constitution,exceptforsubsection(3)thereofthataimed
tocorrecttheirregularsituationgeneratedbythequestionableprovisointhe1935Constitution.

"Section1,ArticleIV,1987Constitutionnowprovides:
ThefollowingarecitizensofthePhilippines:
(1)ThosewhoarecitizensofthePhilippinesatthetimeoftheadoptionofthisConstitution.
(2)ThosewhosefathersormothersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
(3)ThosebornbeforeJanuary17,1973ofFilipinomothers,whoelectPhilippinecitizenshipuponreachingtheageof
majorityand
(4)Thosewhoarenaturalizedmaccordancewithlaw."

TheCaseOfFPJ
Section2,ArticleVII,ofthe1987Constitutionexpresses:

NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,ableto
readandwrite,atleastfortyyearsofageonthedayoftheelection,andaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleastten
yearsimmediatelyprecedingsuchelection.

The term "naturalborn citizens," is defined to include 'those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to
performanyacttoacquireorperfecttheirPhilippinecitizenship.'
Thedate,monthandyearofbirthofFPJappearedtobe20August1939duringtheregimeofthe1935Constitution.Through
itshistory,fourmodesofacquiringcitizenshipnaturalization,jussoli,resjudicataandjussanguinishadbeeninvogue.Only
two,i.e.,jussoliandjussanguinis,couldqualifyapersontobeinga"naturalborn"citizenofthePhilippines.Jussoli,perRoa
vs.CollectorofCustoms(1912),didnotlastlong.Withtheadoptionofthe1935ConstitutionandthereversalofRoain Tan
Chong vs. Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship would now become the primary basis of
citizenshipbybirth.[15](Emphasissupplied.)

The changes in the provisions on citizenship was done to harmonize the Article on Citizenship with the State policy of ensuring the
fundamentalequalitybeforethelawofwomenandmenunderSection14,ArticleIIofthe1987Constitution.
Thus, contrary to the insistence of petitioner Poe that there is nothing in our Constitutions that enjoin our adherence to the principle of
"jussanguinis"or"byrightofblood,"saidprincipleis,inreality,well entrenchedinourconstitutionalsystem.Oneneedsonlytoreadthe
1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions and the jurisprudence detailing the history of the well deliberated adoption of the jus sanguinis
principleasthebasisfornaturalbornFilipinocitizenship,tounderstandthatitssignificancecannotbelightlyignored,misconstrued,and
trivialized.

NaturalbornCitizenshipbyLegal
FictionorPresumptionofLawis
ContrarytotheConstitutionunder
SalientRulesofInterpretationof
theConstitution
In this case, petitioner Poe's original birth certificate stated that she was a foundling, or a child of unknown father or mother, found in
Jaro,Iloilo,onSeptember3,1968.TheConstitutionineffectthenwasthe1935Constitution.Toreiterate,itenumeratedthe"citizensof
thePhilippines"inSection1,ArticleIV,whichincludedthefollowing:

(3)ThosewhosefathersarecitizensofthePhilippines.
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine
citizenship.

Petitioner Poe would want this Court to look beyond the abovequoted enumeration and apply the disputable or rebuttable presumption
broughtaboutbytheprinciplesofinternationallawand/orcustomaryinternationallaw.However,theabovequotedparagraphs(3)and
(4)ofArticleIVareclear,unequivocalandleavenoroomforanyexception.
RuleofVerbaLegis
Basicinstatutoryconstructionistheprinciplethatwhenwordsandphrasesofastatuteareclearandunequivocal,theirmeaningmustbe
determinedfromthelanguageemployedandthestatutemustbetakentomeanexactlywhatitsays.Thisplainmeaningorverba legis
rule, expressed in the Latin maxim "verba legis non est recedendum," dictates that "from the words of a statute there should be no
departure."[16]
Undeniably,petitionerPoedoesnotcomewithinthescopeofFilipinocitizenscoveredbyparagraphs(3)and(4).Fromaliteralmeaningof
thesaidprovisions,shecannotbeconsideredanaturalborncitizen.Paragraphs3and4,Section1,ArticleIVofthe1935Constitution,
the organic law in effect during the birth of petitioner Poe, were clear and unambiguous, it did not provide for any exception to the
applicationoftheprincipleof"jussanguinis"orbloodrelationshipbetweenparentsandchild,suchthatnaturalborncitizenshipcannotbe
presumedbylawnorevenbelegislatedbyCongresswherenobloodtiesexist.
FunctionofExtrinsicAidSuchas
theDeliberationsofthe1934
ConstitutionalConvention
Petitioner Poe claims that "foundlings" were intended by the delegates of the 1934 Constitutional Commission to be considered natural
born citizens. Specifically, she maintains that during the debates on this provision, Delegate Rafols proposed an amendment to include
foundlings as among those who are to be considered naturalborn citizens that the only reason that there was no specific reference to
foundlings in the 1935 Philippine Constitution was because a delegate mentioned that foundlings were too few to warrant inclusion in a
provisionoftheConstitutionandtheircitizenshipisdealtwithbyinternationallaw.
Theaboveinferenceorconclusiondrawnfromthedebatesadvertedtoisnotaccurate.
Firstly,thedeliberationsdidnotevincethecollectiveintentofthemembersofthe1934ConstitutionalConventiontoinclude"foundlings"
inthelistofFilipinocitizensintheArticleonCitizenship.Moreover,therewasnomentionatallofgrantingthemnaturalborncitizenship.
Areviewofthetranscriptofthedeliberationsofthe1934ConstitutionalConventionactuallyprovedprejudicialtopetitionerPoe'scause.
The suggestion of Delegate Rafols to include in the list of Filipino citizens children of unknown parentage was voted down by the
delegateswhentheamendmentand/orsuggestionwasputtoavote.Inotherwords,themajoritythereofvotednottoapproveDelegate
Rafol'samendment.
Secondly. Petitioner Poe's use of the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Convention to expand or amend the provision of the
Constitutionisunwarranted.
The Constitution is the basis of government. It is established by the people, in their original sovereign capacity, to promote their own
happiness,andpermanentlytosecuretheirrights,property,independence,andcommonwelfare.Whenthepeopleassociate,andenter
intoacompact,forthepurposeofestablishinggovernment,thatcompact,whatevermaybeitsprovisions,orinwhateverlanguageitmay
be written, is the Constitution of the state, revocable only by people, or in the manner they prescribe. It is by this instrument that
governmentisinstituted,itsdepartmentscreated,andthepowerstobeexercisedbyitconferred.[17]
Thus,intheconstructionoftheConstitution,theCourtisguidedbytheprinciplethatit(constitution)isthefundamentalandparamount
lawofthenation,anditissupreme,imperious,absolute,andunalterableexceptbytheauthorityfromwhichitemanates.[18]
InCivilLibertiesUnionv.ExecutiveSecretary,[19]thisCourtenunciatedthat

While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to
arriveatthereasonandpurposeoftheresultingConstitution,resorttheretomaybehadonlywhenotherguidesfailas
said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. Debates in the

constitutionalconvention"areofvalueasshowingtheviewsoftheindividualmembers,andasindicatingthereasonsfortheir
votes,buttheygiveusnolightastotheviewsofthelargemajoritywhodidnottalk,muchlessofthemassofour
fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. We think it safer to
construetheconstitutionfromwhatappearsuponitsface."Theproperinterpretationthereforedependsmoreonhowitwas
understoodbythepeopleadoptingitthanintheframer'sunderstandingthereof.(Emphasessupplied,citationsomitted.)

AndaseloquentlyobservedbyCharlesP.Curtis,Jr.
TheintentionoftheframersoftheConstitution,evenassumingwecoulddiscoverwhatitwas,whenitisnotadequatelyexpressedin
theConstitution,thatistosay,whattheymeantwhentheydidnotsayit,surelythathasnobindingforceuponus.Ifwelookbehind
or beyond what they set down in the document, prying into what else they wrote and what they said, anything we may find is only
advisory.Theymaysitinatourcouncils.Thereisnoreasonwhyweshouldeavesdropontheirs.[20]
Synthesizedfromtheaforequoted,itisapparentthatdebatesandproceedingsofconstitutionalconventionslackbindingforce.Hence

Ifatall,theyonlyhavepersuasivevalueastheymaythrowausefullightuponthepurposesoughttobeaccomplishedorupon
themeaningattachedtothewordsemployed,ortheymaynot.Andthecourtsareatlibertytoavailthemselvesofanylight
derivablefromsuchsources,butarenotboundtoadoptitasthesolegroundoftheirdecision.[21]

Moreover, while the opinions of the members of the constitutional convention on the article on citizenship of the 1935 Philippine
Constitutionmayhaveapersuasivevalue,itis,torepeat,notexpressiveofthepeople'sintent.Torecap:

TheproceedingsoftheConventionarelessconclusiveontheproperconstructionofthefundamentallawthanarelegislative
proceedingsoftheproperconstructionofastatute,forinthelattercaseitistheintentofthelegislaturethecourtsseek,while
in the former, courts seek to arrive at the intent of the people through the discussions and deliberations of their
representatives. The conventional wisdom is that the Constitution does not derive its force from the convention
whichframedit,butfromthepeoplewhoratifiedit,theintenttobearrivedatisthatofthepeople.[22]

In the present case, given that the language of the third and fourth paragraphs of the article on citizenship of the 1935 Philippine
Constitutionclearlyfollowonlythedoctrineofjussanguinis,itis,therefore,neithernecessarynorpermissibletoresorttoextrinsicaids,
liketherecordsoftheconstitutionalconvention.Afoundling,whoseparentageand/orplaceofbirthisobviouslyunknown,doesnotcome
withintheletterorscopeofthesaidparagraphsoftheConstitution.ConsideringthesilenceoftheConstitutiononfoundlings,thepeople
who approved the Constitution in the plebiscite had absolutely no idea about the debate on the citizenship of foundlings and therefore,
theycouldnotbeboundbyit.
RulethatSpecificProvisionsof
LawPrevailsOverGeneral
Provisions
The specific provision of Article IV of the Constitution prevails over the general provisions of Section 21, Article III of the Constitution.
GeneralinternationallawprinciplescannotoverturnspecificallyordainedprinciplesintheConstitution.
Section2,ArticleIIofthe1987Constitutionprovides:

SECTION2.ThePhilippinesrenounceswarasaninstrumentofnationalpolicy,adoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesof
internationallawaspartofthelawofthelandandadherestothepolicyofpeace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,
andamitywithallnations.(Emphasissupplied.)

Generally accepted principles of international law "may refer to rules of customary law, to general principles of law x x x, or to logical
propositions resulting from judicial reasoning on the basis of existing international law and municipal analogies."[23] And it has been
observedthat,certainly,itisthisjudicialreasoningthathasbeentheanchorofPhilippinejurisprudenceonthedeterminationofgenerally
acceptedprinciplesofinternationallawandconsequentapplicationoftheincorporationclause.[24]
Petitioner Poe would like to apply to her situation several international law conventions that supposedly point to her entitlement to a
naturalbornFilipinocitizenship,notwithstandingherlackofbiologicaltiestoaFilipinofatherormother.Ineffect,shewantstocarvean
exception to the "jus sanguinis" principle through that generally accepted principles of international law which, under the theory of
incorporation,isconsideredbytheConstitutionaspartofthelawoftheland.[25]
Basicistheprincipleinstatutoryconstructionthatspecificprovisionsmustprevailovergeneralones,towit:

Aspecialandspecificprovisionprevailsoverageneralprovisionirrespectiveoftheirrelativepositionsinthestatute.Generalia
specialibusnonderogant.Wherethereisinthesamestatuteaparticularenactmentandalsoageneralonewhichinitsmost

comprehensive sense would include what is embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the
generalenactmentmustbetakentoaffectonlysuchcaseswithinitsgenerallanguageasarenotwithintheprovisionsofthe
particularenactment.

Hence,thegeneralprovisionofSection2,ArticleIIoftheConstitutionon"DeclarationofPrinciplesandStatePolicies"cannotsupersede,
amendorsupplementtheclearprovisionsofArticleIVon"Citizenship."
InternationalLawInstruments/
Conventionsarenotselfexecuting
Petitioner Poe cannot find succor in the provisions of the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of
NationalityLawsandthe1961ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness,inclaimingnaturalbornFilipinocitizenshipprimarilyforthe
followingreasons:firstly,thePhilippineshasnotratifiedsaidInternationalConventionssecondly,theyespouseapresumptionbyfiction
oflawwhichisdisputableandnotbasedonthephysicalfactofbiologicaltiestoaFilipinoparentthirdly,saidconventionsarenotself
executing as the Contracting State is granted the discretion to determine by enacting a domestic or national law the conditions and
manner by which citizenship is to be granted and fourthly, the citizenship, if acquired by virtue of such conventions will be akin to a
citizenshipfallingunderSection1(4),ArticleIVofthe1987Constitution,recognizingcitizenshipbynaturalizationinaccordancewithlaw
orbyaspecialactofCongress.
Thecitedinternationalconventionsareasfollows:

(a)1930HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws
(b)1961ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness(c)1989UNConventionontheRightsoftheChild
(d)1966InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRightsand
(e)1947UNDeclarationonHumanRights

Noticemustbemadeofthefactthatthetreaties,conventions,covenants,ordeclarationsinvokedbypetitionerPoearenotselfexecuting,
i.e.,theinternationalinstrumentsinvokedmustcomplywiththe"transformationmethod"whereby"aninternationallaw[mustfirst]be
transformedintoadomesticlawthroughaconstitutionalmechanismsuchaslocallegislation."[26]
Each of the aforementioned recognizes the need for its respective provisions to be transformed or embodied through an enactment of
Congressbeforeitformspartofthedomesticormunicipallaw,viz.:
(a)The1930HagueConventiononCertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLaws,whichprovides:

Article14.

A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child's parentage is
established,itsnationalityshallbedeterminedbytherulesapplicableincaseswheretheparentageisknown.
Afoundlingis,untilthecontraryisproved,presumedtohavebeenbornontheterritoryoftheStateinwhichitwas
found.
Article15.

WherethenationalityofaStateisnotacquiredautomaticallybyreasonofbirthonitsterritory,achildbornontheterritoryof
thatStateofparentshavingnonationality,orofunknownnationality,mayobtainthenationalityofthesaidState.Thelawof
thatStateshalldeterminetheconditionsgoverningtheacquisitionofitsnationalityinsuchcases.

(b)The1961ConventionontheReductionofStatelessness,provides:

Article1

1.AContractingStateshallgrantitsnationalitytoapersonborninitsterritorywhowouldotherwisebestateless.
Suchnationalityshallbegranted:
(a)Atbirth,byoperationoflaw,or
(b) Upon an application being lodged with the appropriate authority, by or on behalf of the person concerned, in the
mannerprescribedbythenationallaw.Subjecttotheprovisionsofparagraph2ofthisarticle,nosuchapplicationmaybe

rejected.
AContractingStatewhichprovidesforthegrantofitsnationalityinaccordancewithsubparagraph(b)ofthisparagraphmay
alsoprovideforthegrantofitsnationalitybyoperationoflawatsuchageandsubjecttosuchconditionsasmay
beprescribedbythenationallaw.
xxxx
Article2

AfoundlingfoundintheterritoryofaContractingStateshall,intheabsenceofprooftothecontrary,beconsideredto
havebeenbornwithinthatterritoryofparentspossessingthenationalityofthatState.

Conspicuously,thePhilippineshasneitheraccedednorratifiedanyoftheaboveconventions.
The other international instruments to which the Philippines has acceded, require initially conversion to domestic law via the
transformationmethodofimplementinginternationalinstruments.Theyare:
(a)The1989UNConventionontheRightsoftheChild,ratifiedbythePhilippinesonAugust21,1990,providingthat:

Article7

1.Thechildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhavetherightfrombirthtoaname,therighttoacquirea
nationalityandasfaraspossible,therighttoknowandbecaredforbyhisorherparents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their
obligationsundertherelevantinternationalinstrumentsinthisfield,inparticularwherethechildwouldotherwisebestateless.

(b)The1966InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,whichthePhilippinesratifiedonOctober23,1986providingthat:

Article24

1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin,
propertyorbirth,therighttosuchmeasuresofprotectionasarerequiredbyhisstatusasaminor,onthepartofhisfamily,
societyandtheState.
2.Everychildshallberegisteredimmediatelyafterbirthandshallhaveaname.
3.Everychildhastherighttoacquireanationality.

(c)The1947UniversalDeclarationonHumanRights.

Article15

(1)Everyonehastherighttoanationality.
(2)Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedofhisnationalitynordeniedtherighttochangehisnationality.

The foregoing international conventions or instruments, reqmrmg implementing national laws to comply with their terms, adhere to the
conceptofstatehoodandsovereigntyoftheState,whichareinviolableprinciplesobservedinthecommunityofindependentStates.The
primaryobjectiveofsaidconventionsorinstrumentsistoavoidstatelessnesswithoutimpairingStatesovereignty.Hence,theContracting
State has the discretion to determine the conditions and manner by which the nationality or citizenship of a stateless person, like a
foundling, may be acquired. Neither do they impose a particular type of citizenship or nationality. The child of unknown parentage may
acquire the status of a mere "national." Nowhere in the identified international rules or principles is there an obligation to accord the
statelesschildacitizenshipthatisofa"naturalborn"character.Moreover,evenifitsoprovided,itcannotbeenforcedinourjurisdiction
becauseitwouldgoagainsttheprovisionsoftheConstitution.
StatutesandTreatiesor
InternationalAgreementsor
Conventionsareaccordedthe

SameStatusinRelationto
theConstitution
IncaseofconflictbetweentheConstitutionandastatute,theformeralwaysprevailsbecausetheConstitutionisthebasiclawtowhichall
other laws, whether domestic or international, must conform to. The duty of the Court under Section 4(2), Article VIII is to uphold the
Constitution and to declare void all laws, and by express provisions of said Section treaties or international agreements that do not
conformtoit.[27]Inacatenaofcases,theSupremeourtfurtherinstructedthat:

InSocialJusticeSocietyv.DangerousDrugsBoard,theCourtheldthat,"Itisbasicthatifalaworanadministrativerule
violatesanynormoftheConstitution,thatissuanceisnullandvoidandhasnoeffect.TheConstitutionisthebasic
lawtowhichalllawsmustconformnoactshallbevalidifitconflictswiththeConstitution."InSabiav.Gordon,the
Court held that, "the Constitution is the highest law of the land. It is the 'basic and paramount law to which all
other laws must conform." In Atty. Macalintal v. Commission on Elections, the Court held that, "The Constitution is the
fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private
rights must be determined and all public authority administered.Laws that do not conform to the Constitution shall be
strickendownforbeingunconstitutional."InManilaPrinceHotelv.GovernmentServiceInsuranceSystem,theCourtheld
that:

Underthedoctrineofconstitutionalsupremacy,ifalaworcontractviolatesanynormoftheconstitutionthat
laworcontractwhetherpromulgatedbythelegislativeorbytheexecutivebranchorenteredintobyprivate
personsforprivatepurposesisnullandvoidandwithoutanyforceandeffect.Thus,sincetheConstitution
isthefundamental,paramountandsupremelawofthenation,itisdeemedwrittenineverystatuteand
contract.[28](Emphasessuppliedcitationsomitted.)

Citizenshipby"Naturalization"
underInternationalLaw
CitizenshipisnotautomaticallyconferredundertheinternationalconventionscitedbutwillentailanaffirmativeactionoftheState,bya
nationallaworlegislativeenactment,sothatthenatureofcitizenship,ifeveracquiredpursuantthereto,iscitizenshipbynaturalization.
There must be a law by which citizenship can be acquired by a foundling. By no means will this citizenship can be considered that of a
naturalborn under the principle of jus sanguinis, which is based on the physical existence of blood ties to a Filipino father or Filipino
mother.Itwillbeakintocitizenshipbynaturalizationifconferredbyfictioncreatedbyaninternationalconvention,whichisoflegalstatus
equaltoastatuteorlawenactedbyCongress.
Probabilities/PossibilitiesBasedon
Statistics
TheSolicitorGeneralarguesforPetitionerPoecitingtheratioofchildrenborninthePhilippinesofFilipinoparentstochildrenborninthe
Philippinesofforeignparentsduringspecificperiods.Heclaimsthatbasedonstatistics,thestatisticalprobabilitythatanychildbornin
thePhilippineswouldbeanaturalbornFilipinoiseither99.93%or99.83%,respectively,duringtheperiodbetween2010to2014and
1965to1975.Thisargument,tosaytheleast,isfallacious.
Firstly, we are determining blood ties between a child and her/his parents. Statistics have never been used to prove paternity or
filiation.Withmorereason,itshouldnotbeusedtodeterminenaturalborncitizenship,asaqualificationtoholdpublicoffice,whichisof
paramount importance to national interest. The issue here is the biological ties between a specific or named foundling and her parents,
whichmustbesupportedbycredibleandcompetentevidence.Wearenotdealingwiththeentirepopulationofourcountrythatwilljustify
ageneralizedapproachthatfailstotakeintoaccountthatthecircumstancesunderwhichafoundlingisfoundmayvaryineachcase.
Secondly,theplaceofbirthofthefoundlingisunknownbuttheargumentisbasedonthewrongpremisethatafoundlingwasborninthe
place where he/she was found. The age of the foundling may indicate if its place of birth is the place where he or she is found. If the
foundlingisanewlybornbaby,theassumptionmayhavesolidbasis.Butthismaynotalwaysbethecase.Itdoesnotappearfromthe
documents on record that petitioner Poe was a newborn baby when she was found. There is no evidence as to her place of birth. The
Solicitor General cannot, therefore, use his statistics of the number of children born to Filipino parents and to alien parents in the
Philippinessincetheplacesofbirthoffoundlingsareunknown.
Naturalborncitizenship,asaqualificationforpublicoffice,mustbeanestablishedfactinviewofthejussanguinisprincipleenshrinedin
theConstitution,whichshouldnotbesubjectedtouncertaintynorbebasedinstatisticalprobabilities.Adisputablepresumptioncanbe
overcomeanytimebyevidencetothecontraryduringthetenureofanelectiveofficial.Resorttothisinterpretationhasagreatpotentialto
prejudicetheelectoratewhomayvoteacandidateindangerofbeingdisqualifiedinthefutureandtocauseinstabilityinpublicservice.
AFoundlingdoesnotMeetthe
DefinitionofaNaturalborn
FilipinoCitizenunderSection2,
ArticleIVofthe1987Constitution
OtherthanthosewhosefathersormothersareFilipinos,Section2,ArticleIVoftheConstitutionfurtherdefines"naturalborncitizens"to
cover "those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform an act to acquire or perfect their
Philippinecitizenship."
A foundling is one who must first go through a legal process to obtain an official or formal declaration proclaiming him/her to be a

foundlinginordertobegrantedcertainrightsreservedtoFilipinocitizens.Thiswillsomehowpreventopeningthefloodgatestothedanger
foreseen by Justice del Castillo that nonFilipinos may misuse a favorable ruling on foundlings to the detriment of national interest and
security. Stated otherwise, the fact of being a foundling must first be officially established before a foundling can claim the rights of a
Filipino citizen. This being the case, a foundling does not meet the abovequoted definition of a naturalborn citizen who is such "from
birth".
Toillustrate,RepublicActNos.8552and9523,provide,respectively:
Section5ofRepublicActNo.8552:

SECTION5.LocationofUnknownParent(s).ItshallbethedutyoftheDepartmentorthechildplacingorchildcaringagency
whichhascustodyofthechildtoexertalleffortstolocatehis/herunknownbiologicalparent(s).Ifsucheffortsfail,thechild
shallberegisteredasafoundlingandsubsequentlybethesubjectoflegalproceedingswherehe/sheshallbedeclared
abandoned.

Section2ofRepublicActNo.9523:

SECTION2.DefinitionofTerms.AsusedinthisAct,thefollowingtermsshallmean:
xxxx
(3) Abandoned Child refers to a child who has no proper parental care or guardianship, or whose parent(s) have deserted
him/herforaperiodofatleastthree(3)continuousmonths,whichincludesafoundling.
xxxx
SECTION4.ProcedurefortheFilingofthePetition.ThepetitionshallbefiledintheregionalofficeoftheDSWDwherethe
childwasfoundorabandoned.
The Regional Director shall examine the petition and its supporting documents, if sufficient in form and substance and shall
authorizethepostingofthenoticeofthepetitioninconspicuousplacesforfive(5)consecutivedaysinthelocalitywherethe
childwasfound.
TheRegionalDirectorshallactonthesameandshallrenderarecommendationnotlaterthanfive(5)workingdaysafterthe
completion of its posting. He/she shall transmit a copy of his/her recommendation and records to the Office of the Secretary
withinfortyeight(48)hoursfromthedateoftherecommendation.
SECTION 5. Declaration of Availability for Adoption. Upon finding merit in the petition, the Secretary shall issue a
certification declaring the child legally available for adoption within seven (7) working days from receipt of the
recommendation.
Said certification, by itself, shall be the sole basis for the immediate issuance by the local civil registrar of a
foundling certificate. Within seven (7) working days, the local civil registrar shall transmit the foundling certificate to the
NationalStatisticsOffice(NSO).
SECTION8.ThecertificationthatachildislegallyavailableforadoptionshallbeissuedbytheDSWDinlieuofajudicialorder,
thus,makingtheentireprocessadministrativeinnature.
The certification, shall be, for all intents and purposes, the primary evidence that the child is legally available in domestic
adoptionproceeding,asprovidedinRepublicActNo.8552andinanintercountryadoptionproceeding,asprovidedinRepublic
ActNo.8043.

Theabovelaws,thoughpertainingtoadoptionofaFilipinochild,clearlydemonstratethatafoundlingfirstundergoesalegalprocesstobe
consideredasonebeforehe/sheisaccordedrightstobeadoptedavailableonlytoFilipinocitizens.Whenthefoundlingisaminor,itisthe
Stateundertheconceptof"parenspatriae" which acts for or on behalf of the minor, but when the latter reaches majority age, she/he
must,byherself/himself,takethenecessarysteptobeofficiallyrecognizedasafoundling.Priortothis,theerrorofoutrightlyinvoking
the"disputablepresumption"ofalleged"naturalborncitizenship"isevidentastherecanbenopresumptionofcitizenshipbeforethereis
an official determination of the fact that a child or person is a foundling. It is only after this factual premise is established that the
inferenceorpresumptioncanarise.[29]
That being so, a foundling will not come within the definition of a naturalborn citizen who by birth right, being the biological child of a
Filipinofatherormother,doesnotneedtoperformanyacttoacquireorperfecthis/hercitizenship.
Itshouldalsobeemphasizedthatouradoptionlawsdonotconfer"naturalborncitizenship"tofoundlingswhoareallowedtobeadopted.
Toreadthatqualificationintotheadoptionlawswouldamounttojudiciallegislation.Thesaidlawsoflimitedapplicationwhichallows
theadoptionofafoundling,cannotalsobeusedasabasistojustifythenaturalborncitizenshipofafoundlingwhohasreachedmajority
age like petitioner Poe who applied to reacquire her citizenship under R.A. No. 9225. The opinion of the seven (7) Justices if pursued,
therewillbenoneedforafoundlingtomisrepresenthimselforherselfasabiologicalchildofheradoptiveparentslikewhatpetitioner

Poedid,andinstead,afoundlingcanbetruthfulandjustsubmitaFoundlingCertificatetobeentitledtothebenefitsofR.A.No.9225.
Sincefromtheirpointofviewafoundlingneednotperformanyacttobeconsideredanaturalborncitizen,saidfoundlingneednotprove
the veracity of the Foundling Certificate. This will include a Foundling Certificate in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) prepared list of
evidenceofnaturalborncitizenship.Thisispureandsimplejudiciallegislation.FoundlingsarenotevenmentionedatallinR.A.No.9225.
Pursuing this logic further, will one who wish to take the Bar Examinations or to be appointed to the Judiciary need to submit only a
FoundlingCertificatetotheSupremeCourtandtheJudicialBarCounciltoprovehis/herqualificationasanaturalborncitizen?Thesame
question can be raised in other situations where naturalborn citizenship is required, not only by law, but most especially by the
Constitution.Dotheseven(7)Justicesintendthatthequestionbeansweredintheaffirmative?Ifso,myhumblesubmissionisthat,apart
fromviolatingtheConstitution,itwillbearecklesspositiontotakeasaFoundlingCertificateshouldnotautomaticallyconfernaturalborn
citizenshipasitcaneasilybeobtainedbyimpostorswhopretendtohavefoundachildofunknownparents.
TheJuly18,2006Orderofthe
BureauofImmigrationapproving
petitionerPoe'sapplicationfor
dualcitizenshipwasnotvalid.
First, petitioner Poe's claim to a dual citizenship by virtue of R.A. No. 9225 is invalid for the simple reason that the said law limits its
application to naturalborn Filipino citizens only. In other words, the right to avail of dual citizenship is only available to naturalborn
citizens who have earlier lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of acquisition of foreign citizenship. Second, petitioner Poe obtained
dualcitizenshipunderRepublicActNo.9225bymisrepresentingtotheBIthatsheisthebiologicalchildofaFilipinofatherandFilipino
mothersuchthattheBureauwasmisledintobelievingthat"[petitionerPoe]wasaformercitizenoftheRepublicofthePhilippinesbeing
borntoFilipinoparents.Third,thesaidorderwasnotsignedbytheCommissioneroftheBIasrequiredbyimplementingregulations.And
her reacquisition of Philippine citizenship being clearly invalid, petitioner Poe's acceptance and assumption to public office requiring
naturalborncitizenshipasconditionsinequanonislikewiseinvalid.
Republic Act No. 9225 (the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003)[30] governs the reacquisition or retention of Philippine
citizenship by a naturalborn Filipino who acquired citizenship in a foreign country. Under Section 3 thereof, naturalborn citizens of the
PhilippineswhohavelosttheirPhilippinecitizenshipbyreasonoftheirnaturalizationascitizensofaforeigncountryaredeemedtohave
reacquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines specifically stated therein.[31]The
foregoing point is reiterated under the Bureau of Immigration's Memorandum Circular No. AFF. 05002 (Revised Rules Governing
PhilippineCitizenshipunderRepublicActNo.9225andAdministrativeOrderNo.91,Seriesof2004),particularlySection1thereof,itis
categoricallyprovidedthat

Section 1. Coverage. These rules shall apply to naturalborn citizens of the Philippines as defined by Philippine law and
jurisprudence,whohavelosttheirPhilippinecitizenshipbyreasonoftheirnaturalizationascitizensofaforeigncountry.

Hence, given my preceding discussion on the citizenship of petitioner Poe, I submit that she could not have validly repatriated herself
undertheprovisionsofRepublicActNo.9225forpurposesof"reacquiring"naturalbornFilipinocitizenship.
Another point that I wish to emphasize is the fact that in her Petition for Retention and/or Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship filed
beforetheBIonJuly10,2006,petitionerPoeknowinglycommittedafalserepresentationwhenshedeclaredunderoaththatshewas"a
former naturalborn Philippine citizen, born on Sept. 3, 1968 at Iloilo City to Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, a Filipino citizen and Jesusa
SonoraPoe,aFilipinocitizen[.]"[Emphasissupplied.]
In so answering the blank form of the petition, petitioner Poe plainly represented that she is the biologicalchild of the spouses Ronald
AllanKellyPoeandJesusaSonoraPoetherebyeffectivelyconcealingthefactthatshewasafoundlingwhowassubsequentlyadoptedby
thesaidspouses.
This false representation paved the way for the issuance by the BI of the Order dated July 18, 2006 that granted Poe's petition, which
declaredthatshe"wasaformercitizenoftheRepublicofthePhilippines,beingborntoFilipinoparentsandispresumedtobeanatural
bornPhilippinecitizen[.]"
Another point worthy of note is the fact that the said Order was not signed by the Commissioner of the BI as required under the
aforementionedMemorandumCircularNo.AFF.05002,towit:

Section10.Complianceandapprovalprocedures.Allpetitionsmuststrictlycomplywiththeprecedingrequirementspriorto
filingattheOfficeoftheCommissioneroratnearestPhilippineForeignPost,asthecasemaybexxx.
If the petition is found to be sufficient in form and in substance, the evaluating officer shall submit the findings and
recommendationtotheCommissionerofImmigrationorConsulGeneral,asthecasemaybexxX.
[T]he Commissioner of Immigration, x x x, or the Consul General, x x x, shall issue, within five (5) days from receipt
thereof, an Order of Approval indicating that the petition complies with the provisions of R.A. 9225 and its IRR, and the
correspondingIC,asthecasemaybe.(Emphasissupplied.)

A perusal of the said order will show that an indecipherable signature or autograph is written above the type written name of then
Commissioner Alipio F. Fernandez, Jr. (Fernandez). The said writing was not made by Commissioner Fernandez as the word "for" was

similarlywrittenbesidethenameofthelatterindicatingthatthesaidsignature/autographwasmadeinlieuofthenamedperson'sown
signature/autograph.Whosesignature/autographitwas,andunderwhoseauthorityitwasmade,arenotevidentfromthedocument.
Onthebasisoftheaboveundisputedfacts,IsubmitthattheJuly18,2006OrderoftheBIgrantingpetitionerPoe'sapplicationforthe
reacquisitionofhersupposedlylostnaturalborncitizenshipwasnotonlyimprovidentlyissued,butmoreimportantly,itwasnullandvoid.
The nullity stemmed from her concealment or misrepresentation of a material fact, not an error of law, regarding the identity of her
biological parents. The unlawful product of this concealment was carried over in her pursuit of high government positions
requiring naturalborn citizenship as a qualification. Therefore, the same could not be the source of her reacquisition of all the
attendantcivilandpoliticalrights,includingtherightsandresponsibilitiesunderexistinglawsofthePhilippines,grantedtonaturalborn
Filipinocitizens.
PetitionerPoe'sreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipwasnotvalidlyapprovedasitwasbasedonanerroneousfindingoffactbasedon
thefalserepresentationbypetitionerPoeastoherparentage.
TheResidencyRequirement

The assailed COMELEC resolutions uniformly held that petitioner Poe falsely claimed in her COC that she had been a resident of the
Philippines for ten years and eleven months up to the day before the May 9, 2016 elections. Assuming petitioner Poe may be validly
repatriatedunderRepublicActNo.9225,theCOMELECruledthatitwasonlywhenshereacquiredherFilipinocitizenshiponJuly18,2006
thatshecouldhavereestablishedherdomicileinthePhilippines.
BeforethisCourt,petitionerPoeprimarilyarguesthattheCOMELEC"actedwhimsicallyandcapriciously,ignoredsettledjurisprudenceand
disregarded the evidence on record in ruling that she made a false material representation in her COC for President when she stated
therein that her 'period of residence in the Philippines up to the day before May 09, 2016' would be '10' years and '11' months."[32]
Petitioner Poe contends that she reestablished her domicile of choice in the Philippines as early as May 24, 2005, even before she
reacquiredherFilipinocitizenshipunderRepublicActNo.9225.
Section2,ArticleVIIofthe1987ConstitutionprovidesforthequalificationsforthepositionofPresident,towit:

ARTICLEVII
EXECUTIVEDEPARTMENT

SECTION2.NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,ableto
read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten
yearsimmediatelyprecedingsuchelection.(Emphasissupplied.)

Forelectionpurposes,thetermresidenceistobeunderstoodnotinitscommonacceptationasreferringtodwellingorhabitation.[33]In
contemplationofelectionlaws,residenceissynonymouswithdomicile.Domicileistheplacewhereapersonactuallyorconstructivelyhas
hispermanenthome,wherehe,nomatterwherehemaybefoundatanygiventime,eventuallyintendstoreturnandremain.Itconsists
not only in the intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such
intention.[34]
In Domino v. Commission on Elections,[35] the Court stressed that domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, whenever
absent for business, pleasure, or some other reasons, one intends to return. It is a question of intention and circumstances. In the
considerationofcircumstances,threerulesmustbeborneinmind,namely:(1)thatamanmusthavearesidenceordomicilesomewhere
(2)whenonceestablisheditremainsuntilanewoneisacquiredand(3)amancanhavebutoneresidenceordomicileatatime.
Domicileisclassifiedinto:(1)domicileoforigin,whichisacquiredbyeverypersonatbirth(2)domicileofchoice,whichisacquiredupon
abandonment of the domicile of origin and (3) domicile by operation of law, which the law attributes to a person independently of his
residenceorintention.[36]Toacquireanewdomicileofchoice,thefollowingrequirementsmustconcur:(1)residenceorbodilypresence
inthenewlocality(2)anintentiontoremainthereand(3)anintentiontoabandontheolddomicile.Theremustbeanimusmanendi
coupledwithanimusnonrevertendi.Thepurposetoremaininoratthedomicileofchoicemustbeforanindefiniteperiodoftimethe
changeofresidencemustbevoluntaryandtheresidenceattheplacechosenforthenewdomicilemustbeactual.[37]
In Coquilla v. Commission on Elections,[38] the Court held in no uncertain terms that naturalization in a foreign country results in the
abandonmentofdomicileinthePhilippines.
Thereafter,inJapzonv.CommissiononElections,[39]theCourtconstruedtherequirementofresidenceunderelectionlawsvisavisthe
provisionsofRepublicActNo.9225.Therespondentinsaidcase,JaimeS.Ty,wasanaturalbornFilipinowhobecameanAmericancitizen.
He later reacquired his Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 and ran for Mayor of the Municipality of General Macarthur,
EasternSamar.ManuelB.Japzon,arivalcandidate,questionedTy'sresidencyinsaidplace.TheCourtruledthat

ItbearstopointoutthatRepublicActNo.9225governsthemannerinwhichanaturalbornFilipinomayreacquireorretainhis
Philippinecitizenshipdespiteacquiringaforeigncitizenship,andprovidesforhisrightsandliabilitiesundersuchcircumstances.
AclosescrutinyofsaidstatutewouldrevealthatitdoesnotatalltouchonthematterofresidenceofthenaturalbornFilipino
takingadvantageofitsprovisions.RepublicActNo.9225imposesnoresidencyrequirementforthereacquisitionor

retention of Philippine citizenship nor does it mention any effect of such reacquisition or retention of Philippine
citizenshiponthecurrentresidenceoftheconcernednaturalbornFilipino.Clearly,RepublicActNo.9225treats
citizenship independently of residence. This is only logical and consistent with the general intent of the law to allow for
dual citizenship. Since a natural born Filipino may hold, at the same time, both Philippine and foreign citizenships, he may
establishresidenceeitherinthePhilippinesorintheforeigncountryofwhichheisalsoacitizen.
ResidencyinthePhilippinesonlybecomesrelevantwhenthenaturalbornFilipinowithdualcitizenshipdecidestorunforpublic
office.
Section5(2)ofRepublicActNo.9225reads:

SEC.5.CivilandPoliticalRightsandLiabilities.
ThosewhoretainorreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipunderthisActshallenjoyfullcivilandpoliticalrightsandbe
subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following
conditions:
xxxx
(2)ThoseseekingelectivepublicofficeinthePhilippinesshallmeetthequalificationsforholdingsuchpublicofficeas
requiredbytheConstitutionandexistinglawsand,atthetimeofthefilingofthecertificateofcandidacy,makea
personalandswornrenunciationofanyandallforeigncitizenshipbeforeanypublicofficerauthorizedtoadminister
anoath.

Breakingdowntheaforequotedprovision,foranaturalbornFilipino,whoreacquiredorretainedhisPhilippinecitizenshipunder
Republic Act No. 9225, to run for public office, 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
foreigncitizenshipsbeforeanypublicofficerauthorizedtoadministeranoath.
xxxx
AshasalreadybeenpreviouslydiscussedbythisCourtherein,Ty'sreacquisitionofhisPhilippinecitizenshipunderRepublicAct
No.9225hadnoautomaticimpactoreffectonhisresidence/domicile.HecouldstillretainhisdomicileintheUSA,andhedid
not necessarily regain his domicile in the Municipality of General Macarthur, Eastern Samar, Philippines. Ty merely had the
optiontoagainestablishhisdomicileintheMunicipalityofGeneralMacarthur,EasternSamar,Philippines,saidplacebecoming
his new domicile of choice. The length of his residence therein shall be determined from the time he made it his domicile of
choice,anditshallnotretroacttothetimeofhisbirth.[40](Citationsomittedemphasissupplied.)

Applyingtheforegoingdisquisitiontotheinstantcases,itisbeyondquestionthatpetitionerPoelostherdomicileinthePhilippineswhen
shebecameanaturalizedAmericancitizenonOctober18,2001.Fromthenon,sheestablishedhernewdomicileofchoiceintheU.S.
Thereafter, on July 7, 2006, petitioner Poe took her oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines under Republic Act No. 9225.
Again,ontheassumptionthatpetitionerPoecanvalidlyavailherselfoftheprovisionsofsaidlaw,shewasdeemedtohavereacquiredher
Philippinecitizenshipunderthelatterdate.Subsequently,onOctober20,2010,petitionerPoeexecutedanAffidavitofRenunciationof
AllegiancetotheUnitedStatesofAmericaandRenunciationofAmericanCitizenship(AffidavitofRenunciation).
Following Japzon, petitioner Poe's reacquisition of her Philippine citizenship did riot automatically make her regain her residence in the
Philippines. She merely had the option to again establish her domicile here. The length of petitioner Poe's residence herein shall be
determinedfromthetimeshemadethePhilippinesherdomicileofchoice.WhetherpetitionerPoecompliedwiththetenyearresidency
requirementforrunningforthepositionofthePresidentofthePhilippinesisessentiallyaquestionoffactthatindeedrequiresthereview
andevaluationoftheprobativevalueoftheevidencepresentedbythepartiesbeforetheCOMELEC.
On this note, I concur with the ruling in Justice Del Castillo's Dissenting Opinion that the evidence[41] submitted by petitioner Poe was
insufficienttoestablishherclaimthatwhenshearrivedinthePhilippinesonMay24,2005,herphysicalpresencewasimbuedwithanimus
manendi.Atthatpointintime,petitionerPoe'sstatuswasmerelythatofanonresidentalien.
Notably, when petitioner arrived in the Philippines on May 24, 2005, the same was through a visafree entry under the Balikbayan
Program.[42]UnderRepublicActNo.6768(AnActInstitutingaBalikbayanProgram), [43] as amended by Republic Act No. 9174,44 the
saidprogramwasinstituted"toattractandencourageoverseasFilipinostocomeandvisittheirmotherland."[45]
UnderSection3oftheabovementionedlaw,petitionerPoewasmerelyentitledtoavisafreeentrytothePhilippinesforaperiodofone
(1)year.[46]Thus,herstaytheninthePhilippineswascertainlynotforanindefiniteperiodoftime.[47]Thisonlyprovesthatpetitioner
Poe's stay was not impressed with animus manendi, i.e., the intent to remain in or at the domicile of choice for an indefinite period of
time.
InCoquilla v. Commission on Elections,[48] We disregarded the period of a candidate's physical presence in the Philippines at the time
whenhewasstillanonresidentalien.Inthiscase,TeoduloM.CoquillalosthisdomicileoforigininOras,EasternSamarwhenhejoined
theU.S.Navyin1965andhewassubsequentlynaturalizedasaU.S.citizen.OnOctober15,1998,hecametothePhilippinesandtook
outaresidentcertificate.Afterwards,hestillmadeseveraltripstotheU.S.Coquillalaterappliedforrepatriationandtookhisoathasa
citizen of the Philippines on November 10, 2000. Coquilla thereafter filed his COC for the mayorship of Oras, Eastern Samar. A rival

candidatesoughtthecancellationofCoquilla'sCOCasthelatterhadbeenaresidentofOrasforonlysixmonthsafterhetookhisoathasa
Filipinocitizen.
The Court ruled that Coquilla indeed lacked the requisite period of residency. While he entered the Philippines in 1998 and took out a
residence certificate, he did so as a visafree balikbayan visitor whose stay as such was valid for only one year. He then entered the
countryatleastfourmoretimesusingthesamevisafreebalikbayanentry.From1965untilhisreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipon
November10,2000,Coquilla'sstatuswasheldtobethatof"analienwithoutanyrighttoresideinthePhilippinessaveasourimmigration
lawsmayhaveallowedhimtostayasavisitororasaresidentalien."TheCourtalsoexplainedthat:

The status of being an alien and a nonresident can be waived either separately, when one acquires the status of a resident
alien before acquiring Philippine citizenship, or at the same time when one acquires Philippine citizenship. As an alien, an
individualmayobtainanimmigrantvisaunder13[49]ofthePhilippineImmigrationActof1948andanImmigrantCertificate
of Residence (ICR) and thus waive his status as a nonresident. On the other hand, he may acquire Philippine citizenship by
naturalizationunderC.A.No.473,asamended,or,ifheisaformerPhilippinenational,hemayreacquirePhilippinecitizenship
byrepatriationorbyanactofCongress,inwhichcasehewaivesnotonlyhisstatusasanalienbutalsohisstatusasanon
residentalien.[50](Citationsomitted.)

TheCourt,thus,foundthatCoquillacanonlybeheldtohavewaivedhisstatusasanalienandasanonresidentonlyonNovember10,
2000upontakinghisoathasacitizenofthePhilippines.TheCourtarrivedatthesamerulingintheearliercaseofUjanov.Republic[51]
andCaasiv.CourtofAppeals.[52]
In the cases at bar, petitioner Poe similarly failed to prove that she waived her status as a nonresident alien when she entered the
PhilippinesonMay24,2005asavisafreebalikbayanvisitor.Herstatusonlychangedwhensheostensiblytookheroathofallegianceto
theRepublicunderRepublicActNo.9225onJuly7,2006.
Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9225,[53] the entitlement to the full civil and political rights concomitant with the reacquired
citizenship shall commence only when the requirements in the said law have been completed and the Philippine citizenship has been
acquired. It is only then that that Filipinos who have reacquired their citizenship can be said to gain the right to exercise their right of
suffrageortoseekelectivepublicoffice,subjecttothecompliancewiththerequirementslaiddownintheConstitutionandexistinglaws.
Thus,itisthetakingoftheoathofallegiancetotheRepubliconJuly7,2006presumablyconferreduponpetitionerPoenotonlyPhilippine
citizenshipbutalsotherighttostayinthePhilippinesforanunlimitedperiodoftime.Itwasonlythenthatshecanclaimsubjecttoproof,
that her physical presence in the Philippines was coupled with animus manendi. Any temporary stay in the Philippines prior to the
aforesaid date cannot fall under the concept of residence for purposes of elections. The animus manendi must be proven by clear and
unmistakableevidencesinceadualcitizencanstillfreelyenjoypermanentresidentstatusinher/hisdomicileofchoiceifsaidstatusisnot
givenuporofficiallywaived.
Anentthepiecesofevidence[54]thatpetitionerPoesubmittedtoproveheranimusnonrevertenditoherdomicileintheU.S.,Iagreewith
thedissentofJusticeDelCastillothatlittleweightcanlikewisebeproperlyascribedtothesame,giventhattheyreferredtoactsorevents
thattookplaceafterMay24,2005.Assuch,theywerealsoinsufficienttoestablishpetitioner'sclaimthatshechangedherdomicileasof
May24,2005.PetitionerPoe'sevidencewasinsufficienttoproveanimusnonrevertendipriortoherrenunciationofherU.S.citizenshipon
October20,2010.Beforetherenunciation,itcannotbesaidthattherewasaclearandunmistakableintentonthepartofpetitionerPoeto
abandonherU.S.domicile.Tobeclear,onecannothavetwodomicilesatanygiventime.ItwasthusincumbentuponthepetitionerPoe
toprovebypositiveactsthatherphysicalpresenceinthePhilippineswascoupledwiththeintenttorelinquishherdomicileintheU.S.
AspointedoutbyJusticeDelCastillo,thecontinueduseofherAmericanpassportinhertravelstotheU.S.,aswellasherownershipand
maintenanceoftworesidentialhousesinthesaidcountryuntilthepresenttime,onlyservedtoweakenherstancethatsheactuallyand
deliberatelyabandonedherdomicileintheU.S.whenshecamehereonMay24,2005.Thisisbecauseshecontinuedtorepresentherself
as an American citizen who was free to return to the said country whenever she wished. Moreover, although petitioner Poe supposedly
reacquired her Philippine citizenship on July 7, 2006, she was issued a Philippine passport only three years thereafter on October 13,
2009.Thus,IconcurwiththefindingofthePonenciathatpetitionerPoe'saffidavitofrenunciationofU.S.citizenshipwastheonlyclear
andpositiveproofofherabandonmentofherU.S.domicile.
Given the above findings, the petitioner's evidence fails to substantiate her claim that she had established her domicile of choice in the
PhilippinesstartingonMay24,2005.
By stating in her COC that she had complied with the required ten year residency when she actually did not, petitioner made a false
materialrepresentationthatjustifiedtheCOMELEC'scancellationofherCOC.
Themajorityopinion,however,reachedadissimilarconclusionandruledthatCoquilla,Japzon,CaballeroandReyesareinapplicabletothe
case at bar. The maj?rity posited that, unlike in the aforesaid cases where the evidence presented on residency was sparse, petitioner
Poe'sevidenceisoverwhelmingandunprecedented.Themajorityfurthermoreassertedthatthereisnoindicationinthesaidcasesthat
theCourtintendedtohaveitsrulingthereinapplytoasituationwherethefactsaredifferent
Istronglybegtodiffer.
Butofcourse,thefactualmilieuofthesecasesisdifferentfromthoseofCoquilla,Japzon,CaballeroandReyes.Notwocasesareexactly
thesame.However,therearenosubstantialdifferencesthatwouldpreventtheapplicationhereoftheprinciplesenunciatedinthesaid
decidedcases.Moreover,absolutelynowhereinthesaidcasesdidtheCourtexpresslysaythattherulingsthereinonlyapplyprohacvice

(meaning,"forthisoneparticularoccasion").[55]Onthecontrary,thedoctrineslaiddowninsaidcasesarecitedinacatenaofelection
cases,whichsimilarlyinvolvetheresidencyrequirementforelectivepositions.Simplyput,thejurisprudentialdoctrinesandguidelinesset
outinsaidcases,alongwithothercasesdealingwiththesamesubjectmatter,serveasthestandardsbywhichthepiecesofevidenceof
apartyinaspecificcasearetobemeasured.EvenpetitionerPoeherselfadvertstoourrulinginJafzon,CoquillaandCaballero,albeitina
mannerthattendstosuithercause.[56]
InrelationtotheapplicationofCoquillatothesecasesrelativetopetitionerPoe'sutilisationofthevisafreebalikbayanentry,themajority
opinesthatunderRepublicActNo.6768,asamended,balikbayansarenotordinarytransientsinviewofthelaw'saimof"providingthe
opportunity to avail of the necessary training enable the balikbayan to become economically selfreliant members of society upon their
return to the country" in line with the government's "reintegration program." The majority, thus, concluded that the visafree period is
obviously granted to allow a balikbayan to reestablish his life and reintegrate himself into the community before he attends to the
necessaryformalandlegalrequirementsofrepatriation.
Onthispoint,themajorityapparentlylostsightofthefactthatthetrainingprogramenvisionedinRepublicActNo.6768,asamended,
that is to be pursued in line with the government's reintegration program does not apply to petitioner Poe. It applies to another set of
balikbayanswhoareFilipinooverseasworkers.Section6ofthelawexpresslystatesthat:

SEC.6.TrainingPrograms.TheDepartmentofLaborandEmployment(DOLE)throughtheOWWA,incoordinationwith
the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),
livelihoodcorporationandotherconcernedgovernmentagencies,shallprovidethenecessaryentrepreneurialtrainingand
livelihoodskillsprogramsandmarketingassistancetoabalikbayan,includinghisorherimmediatefamilymembers,who
shall avail of the kabuhayan program in accordance with the existing rules on the government's reintegration
program.
InthecaseofnonOFWbalikbayan,theDepartmentofTourismshallmakethenecessaryarrangementwiththeTLRCandother
traininginstitutionsforpossiblelivelihoodtraining.(Emphasissupplied.)

Indeed,theOverseasWorkersWelfareAdministration(OWWA)isagovernmentagencythatisprimarilytaskedtoprotecttheinterestand
promotethewelfareofoverseasFilipinoworkers(OFWs).[57]AmongthebenefitsandservicesitrendersisaReintegrationProgram,which
definesreintegrationas"awayofpreparingforthereturnofOFWsintothePhilippinesociety."[58]NotbeinganOFW,petitionerPoeisnot
thebalikbayanthatisenvisionedtobetherecipientoftheabovereintegrationprogram.
Ifsheindeedwantedtoreestablishherlifehere,petitionerPoeshouldhaveappliedforaReturningFormerFilipinoVisa,insteadavailing
herselfofavisafreebalikbayanentry.ThisvisamaybeappliedforbyanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,whohasbeennaturalized
inaforeigncountry,andisreturningtothePhilippinesforpermanentresidence,includinghis/herspouseandminorchildren.Bythisvisa,
shewouldbeallowed,interalia,tostayinthePhilippinesindefinitely,establishabusiness,andallowedtoworkwithoutsecuringanalien
employmentpermit.ThiswouldhavedefinitelyestablishedherintenttoremaininthePhilippinespermanently.Unfortunatelyforpetitioner
Poe,shedidnotapplyforthisvisa.
The majority opinion also ascribes grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC for giving more weight to the 2013 COC of
petitioner Poe instead of looking into the many pieces of evidence she presented in order to see if she was telling the truth that she
already established her domicile in the Philippines from May 24, 2005. The majority points out that when petitioner Poe made the
declarationinher2013COCthatshehasbeenaresidentforaperiodofsix(6)yearsandsix(6)monthscounteduptotheMay13,2013
elections,shenaturallyhadasreferencetheresidencyrequirementsforelectionasSenator,whichwassatisfiedbyherdeclaredyearsof
residence.Themajorityevenbelaborstheobviousfactthatthelengthofresidencerequiredofapresidentialcandidateisdifferentfrom
thatofasenatorialcandidate.
TothisIlikewisetakeexception.
It bears pointing out that the COMELEC did not tum a blind eye and deliberately refused to look at the evidence of petitioner Poe. A
readingoftheassailedCOMELECresolutionsrevealsthatthepiecesofevidenceofthepetitionerwereindeedconsidered,piecebypiece,
butthesamewereadjudgedinsufficienttoprovethepurposeforwhichtheywereoffered.Torepeat,theemphasismustbeontheweight
of the pieces of evidence, not the number thereof. The COMELEC, perforce, arrived at an unfavorable conclusion. In other words,
petitionerPoe'sevidencehadactuallybeenweighedandmeasuredbytheCOMELEC,butsamewasfoundwanting.
Moreover,Idonotfindsignificantthedistinctionmadeontheresidencyrequirementforapresidentialcandidateandthatofasenatorial
candidate for purposes of these cases. The truth of a candidate's statement on the fact of her residency must be consistent and
unwavering.Changesinacandidate'sassertionoftheperiodofresidencyinthePhilippinesshallnotinspirebelieforwillnotbecredible.
Deceit

As to the view that the material representation that is false should be "made with an intention to deceive the electorate as to one's
qualificationsforpublicoffice,"[59]Icannotbutdeviatetherefrom.
Again,Section78oftheOEC,providesthat

SECTION78.Petitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelacertificateofcandidacy.Averifiedpetitionseekingtodenyduecourse
ortocancelacertificateofcandidacymaybefiledbyanypersonexclusivelyonthegroundthatanymaterialrepresentation

containedthereinasrequiredunderSection74hereofisfalse.Thepetitionmaybefiledatanytimenotlaterthantwentyfive
daysfromthetimeofthefilingofthecertificateofcandidacyandshallbedecided,afterduenoticeandhearing,notlaterthan
fifteendaysbeforetheelection.(Emphasessupplied.)

InTagolinov.HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal,[60]theCourthadtheoccasiontoenlightenthat"thedeliberatenessofthe
misrepresentation,muchlessone'sintenttodefraud,isofbaresignificanceinaSection78petitionasitisenoughthatthe
person's declaration of a material qualification in the CoC he false." The Court therein further acknowledged that "an express
findingthatthepersoncommittedanydeliberatemisrepresentationisoflittleconsequenceinthedeterminationofwhetherone'sCoC
shouldbedeemedcancelledornot"[61]andconcludedthat"[w]hatremainsmaterialisthatthepetitionessentiallyseekstoden
duecoursetoand/orcanceltheCoConthebasisoineligibilityandthatthesamehegrantedwithoutanyqualification."[62]
The above standard is in keeping with the tenor of Section 78 of the OEC. The said law used the phrase material representation
qualifiedbythetermfalseandnotmisrepresentationperse.Thisdistinction,Ibelieve,isquitesignificant.
AdeeperanalysisandresearchontheimportandmeaningofthelanguageofSection78,ledtotheconclusionthatasopposedtotheuse
oftheterm"misrepresentation" which, colloquially is understood to mean a statement made to deceive or mislead,[63] the qualifying
term "false" referring to the phrase "material representation" is said to have "two distinct and wellrecognized meanings. It
signifies (1) intentionally or knowingly, or negligently untrue, and (2) untrue by mistake, accident, or honestly after the exercise of
reasonable care."[64] Thus, the word "false" does not necessarily imply an intention to deceive. What is important is that an untrue
materialrepresentationismade.
RelatingtothedisqualificationunderSection78oftheOEC,therequirementofthesaidlaw(thatacancellationofacandidate'sCOCbe
exclusively grounded on the presence of any VS. contained therein that is required under Section 74 of the same isfalse) should only
pivot on the candidate's declaration of a material qualification that is false, and not on the deliberate intent to defraud. With this, good
faithonthepartofthecandidatewouldbeinconsequential.
Inthesepresentcases,thereisnoneedtogointothematterofquestioningpetitionerPoe'sintentinmakingamaterialrepresentation
thatisfalseItisenoughthatshesignifiedthatsheiseligibletorunforthePresidencynotwithstandingthefactthatsheappearedtoknow
thelegalimpedimenttoherclaimofnaturalbornFilipinocitizenship,asborneoutbyherconcealmentofhertruepersonalcircumstances,
andthatsheislikewiseawareofthefactthatshehasnotfulfilledthetenyearresidencyrequirementasshownbyherinconsistentand
ambivalentstandastothestartofherdomicileinthePhilippines.Apparently,sheiscognizantofthefactthatsheisactuallyineligiblefor
theposition.
However, that while an intent to deceive in petitioner Poe's actions is not an indispensable element under a Section 78 Petition, the
COMELEC'saffirmativefindingontheexistenceofdeceitisnotwithoutbasis.TheCOMELECobserved,andIquote:

ThesimplicityandclarityofthetermsusedinourConstitutionandlawsoncitizenship,thefactthat[petitionerPoe]isahighly
educatedwomanandallothercircumstancesfoundbytheHonorableSecondDivisiontobepresentinthiscase,wouldleave
littledoubtastotheintentionof[petitionerPoe]whenshemadethefalserepresentationsintheCertificatesxxxthatis,to
mislead[the]peopleintothinkingthatshewasthenaFilipino.
TheCommissionisespeciallybotheredby[petitionerPoe's]representationinthePetitionforRetentionand/orReacquisitionof
PhilippineCitizenshipthatshewasBORNTOheradoptiveparents.Torecall,itwasthisPetition,grantedbytheBID,that
ledto[petitionerPoe]supposedacquisitionofFilipinocitizenshipinJuly2006underRA9225alawwhichlimitsitsapplication
onlytonaturalbornFilipinoswholosttheircitizenships.Thedesigntomisleadinordertosatisfytherequirementsofthelawis
evident,reminiscentoftheintenttomisleadinthe2016COC,putinissueinthepresentcase.
All told, the foregoing misrepresentations may be for different purposes, but all seems to have been deliberately done. It is,
therefore,hardtothink,giventheaforementionedpatternofbehavior,thattherepresentationin[petitionerPoe's]2016COC
forPresidentthatshewasanaturalborncitizenwasnotadeliberateattempttomislead,misinform,orhideafactthatwould
otherwiserenderherineligiblefortheofficethatsheseekstobeelectedto.[65]

Onthematterofherresidencyrequirement,petitionerPoeconcedesthatsheindicatedinher2013COCthather"periodofresidencein
thePhilippinesbeforeMay13,2013"was"6yearsand6months."Consequently,herresidenceinthePhilippinescouldhaveonlybegun
onNovember2006,suchthatbyMay9,2016,heraggregateperiodofresidenceinthePhilippineswasapproximatelyonly9yearsand6
months,whichisshortoftheperiodofresidencerequiredforpresidentialcandidates.
PetitionerPoeexplains,however,thatshemadetheabovestatementasan"honestmisunderstanding"ofwhatwasbeingaskedofher.
[66]Shecontendsthatshedidnotfullycomprehendthatthephrase"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippinesbeforeMay13,2013"inher

2013COCactuallyreferredtotheperiodofresidenceonthedayrightbeforetheMay13,2013elections.Sheallegedlyconstrueditto
meanher"periodofresidenceinthePhilippinesasofthesubmissionofCOCsinOctober2012(whichistechnicallyalsoaperiod'before
May 13, 2013')."[67] Thus, she counted backwards from October 2012, instead from May 13, 2013 and in so doing she brought herself
backto"MarchApril2006,"whichwastheperiodwhenherhouseintheU.S.wassoldandwhenherhusbandresignedfromhisjobin
theU.S.[68]Shearguesthatthatwastheperiodsheindicated,albeititwasamistakeagainonherpartasitshouldhavebeenMay24,
2005.
Petitioner Poe's ambivalent or varying accounts do not inspire beliefs of the truthfulness of her latest allegation of the period of her

residenceinthePhilippines.
Itisindeedincredibleofsomeoneofherstaturetogravelymisinterpretthephrase"PeriodofResidenceinthePhilippinesbeforetheMay
13, 2013" in the 2012 COC. At any rate, having been informed as early as June 2015 of this supposedly honest mistake, it is quite
perplexing that the same was not immediately rectified. As it were, the above mentioned explanations that were belatedly given even
muddled the issue further. Petitioner Poe can hardly blame the COMELEC for casting a suspicious and skeptic eye on her contentions
regardingherresidency.
PetitionerPoe'sclaimofgoodfaith,thus,standsonveryshakygrounds.AsfoundbytheCOMELECEnbanc:

x x x worthy of note are certain arguments raised such as [petitioner Poe's] claim that she never hid from the public her
supposed mistake in the 2013 COC, as evinced by the following: 1.) she publicly acknowledged the same in an interview in
June 2015, after the issue of compliance with the residency requirement for President was raised by Navotas City
RepresentativeandthenUnitedNationalistAllianceSecretaryGeneralTobiasTiangcoand2.)thatasearlyasSeptember1,
2015,inherVerifiedAnswerfiledbeforetheSenateElectoralTribunal
(hereinafter"SET")inSETCaseNo.00115,shealreadymadeitofrecordthatasofMay13,2013,shehadbeenresidingin
thePhilippines"formorethansix(6)yearsandsix(6)months."
While the two statements were indeed made before respondent filed her 2016 COC, it was nonetheless delivered at a time
when,attheveryleast,thepossibilityof[petitionerPoe]runningforPresidentofthecountryin2016,wasalreadyamatterof
publicknowledge.Bythen,[petitionerPoecouldhavealreadybeenawarethatshecannotmaintainherdeclarationinthe2013
COCasitwouldbeinsufficienttomeetthe10yearresidencyrequirementforPresident.
Indeed,theCommissionfindsithardtobelievethatawomanaseducatedas[petitionerPoe],whowasthenalreadyahigh
ranking public official with, no doubt, a competent staff and a band of legal advisers, and who is not herself entirely
unacquaintedwithPhilippinepoliticsbeingthedaughterofaformerhighprofilepresidentialaspirant,wouldnotknowhowto
correctlyfillupaproformaCOCin2013.Wearenotconvincedthatthesubjectentrythereinwasanhonestmistake.

Conclusion

TheforegoingdiscussionpointstothefailureofpetitionerPoetoprovehercases.Therefore,IsubmitthatthetwoassailedCOMELECEn
banc Resolutions dated December 23, 2015, separately affirming the December 1, 2015 Resolution of the Second Division and the
December 11, 2015 Resolution of the First Division are not tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
Petitioner Poe implores this Court not to allow the supposed disenfranchisement of the sovereign people by depriving them of "of
somethingrightfullytheirs:theconsiderationofpetitionerasaviableandvalidchoiceforPresidentinthenextelections."[69]
But the Constitution itself is the true embodiment of the supreme will of the people. It was the people's decision to require in the
Constitution, which they approved in a plebiscite, that their President be a naturalborn Filipino citizen. The people did not choose to
disenfranchisethemselvesbutrathertodisqualifythosepersons,whodidnotdescendbybloodfromFilipinoparents,fromrunninginan
electionforthePresidency.
Thewilloftheelectoratewillnevercuretheviceofineligibility.AssoeloquentlyremindedbythenJusticeIsaganiA.CruzinFrivaldov.
CommissiononElections[70]:

The qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed
throughtheballotcannotcuretheviceofineligibility,especiallyiftheymistakenlybelieved,asinthiscase,thatthecandidate
wasqualified.Obviously,thisrulerequiresstrictapplicationwhenthedeficiencyislackofcitizenship.

WHEREFORE,Ivoteto(i)DISMISSthefourpetitionsforcertiorarifiledbypetitionerMaryGraceNatividadS.PoeLlamanzaresand(ii)
LIFTthetemporaryrestrainingorderissuedbythisCourtonDecember28,2015.

[1]Section2,Rule64oftheRulesofCourtstates:

SEC.2. Mode of review. A judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit may be
broughtbytheaggrievedpartytotheSupremeCourtoncertiorariunderRule65,exceptashereinafterprovided.
[2]G.R.No.209286,September23,2014,736SCRA267,279280.
[3]636Phil.753(2010).
[4]686Phil.649(2012).

[5]468Phil.421,461462(2004).
[6]Id.at518.
[7]Id.at562563.
[8]G.R.No.20724,June25,2013.
[9]595Phil.449(2008).
[10]June25,2013.
[11]Annex"B"ofthePetitioninG.R.No.221697.
[12] Irene R. Cortes and Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla, Nationality and International Law from the Philippine Perspective, published in the

PhilippineLawJournal,VolumeLX,March1985,UniversityofthePhilippines(UP)CollegeofLaw,p.7.citingArt.17(1and2)Spanish
CivilCode.
[13]Id.at10.
[14]Id.
[15]Tecsonv.CommissiononElections,supranote5at469471.
[16]Garciav.CommissiononElections,G.R.No.216691,July21,2015.
[17]WordsandPhrases,Vol.2,p.1462CitingMcKoanvs.Devries,3Barb.,196,198[quoting1Story,Const.,Sees.338,339]Church

vs.Kelsey,7Sup.Ct.,897,898121U.S.,28230L.ed.,960,andBatesvs.Kimball[Vt.],2D.Chip.,77,84.
[18]ManilaPrinceHotelv.GovernmentServiceInsuranceSystem,335Phil.82,101(1997).
[19]272Phil.147,169170(1991).
[20]CharlesP.Curtis,LIONSUNDERTHETHRONE2,HoughtonMifflin,1947.
[21]DennisB.Funa,CannonsofStatutoryConstruction(2012Edition)CitingHenryCampbellBlack,Handbook on the Construction and

InterpretationoftheLaws,p.30,quotingCityofSpringfieldv.Edwards,84IlL626.
[22] Retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno's Separate Opinion in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, 392 PhiL 618, 668669

(2000).
[23]SeparateOpinionofJ.CarpioMoralesinRubrico v. MacapagalArroyo, 627 Phil. 37, 80 (2010) citing IAN BROWNLIE, Principlesof

PublicInternationalLaw,SixthEd.,18(2003).
[24]Id.
[25]1987Constitution,ArticleII,Section2.
[26]PharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssociationofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,561Phil.386,398(2007).
[27]TawangMultiPurposeCoopetativev.LaTrinidadWaterDistrict,661Phil.390(2011).
[28]Id.at402403.
[29]Martinv.CourtofAppeals,supra.
[30]ApprovedonAugust29,2003.
[31]Section3ofRepublicActNo.9225states:

SEC. 3. RetentionofPhilippineCitizenship. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, naturalborn citizens of the Philippines
whohavelosttheirPhilippinecitizenshipbyreasonoftheirnaturalizationascitizensofaforeigncountryareherebydeemedtohavere
acquiredPhilippinecitizenshipupontakingthefollowingoathofallegiancetotheRepublic:

"I_________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the
PhilippinesandobeythelawsandlegalorderspromulgatedbythedulyconstitutedauthoritiesofthePhilippinesandIhereby

declarethatIrecognizeandacceptthesupremeauthorityofthePhilippinesandwillmaintaintruefaithandallegiancethereto
andthatIimposethisobligationuponmyselfvoluntarilywithoutmentalreservationorpurposeofevasion."

Naturalborn citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their
Philippinecitizenshipupontakingtheaforesaidoath.
[32]Petitioner'sMemorandum,p.241.
[33]Coquillav.CommissiononElections,434Phil.861,871(2002).
[34]Ugdoracion,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,575Phil.253,263(2008).
[35]369Phil.798,818(1999).
[36]Ugdoracion,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,supra.at263.
[37]Papandayan,Jr.v.CommissiononElections,430Phil.754,770(2002).
[38]Supra.at872.
[39]596Phil.354(2009).
[40]Id.at367370.
[41]Inpetitioner'sMemorandum,shecitedthefollowingpiecesofevidencetoproveheranimusmanendi,orintenttostaypermanentlyin

thePhilippines,amongothers:
(a) Petitioner's travel records, which show that whenever she was absent for a trip abroad, she would consistently return to the
Philippines
(b)AffidavitofMs.JesusaSonoraPoe,attestingto,interalia,thefactthataftertheirarrivalinthePhilippinesinearly2005,petitionerand
her children first lived with her at 23 Lincoln St., Greenhills West, San Juan City, which even necessitated a modification of the living
arrangementsatherhousetoaccommodatepetitioner'sfamily
(c)Schoolrecordsofpetitioner'schildren,whichshowthattheyhadbeenattendingPhilippineschoolscontinuouslysinceJune2005
(d)Petitioner'sTINI.D.,whichshowsthatshortlyafterherreturninMay2005,sheconsideredherselfataxableresidentandsubmitted
herselftothePhilippines'taxjurisdictionand
(e)CCTforUnit7FandaparkingslotatOneWilsonPlace,purchasedinearly2005,anditscorrespondingDeclarationsofRealProperty
forrealpropertytaxpurposes,whichclearlyestablishintenttoresidepermanentlyinthePhilippines.
[42]Petitioner'sMemorandum,pp.249250.
[43]ApprovedonNovember3,1989.
[44]ApprovedonNovember7,2002.
[45]TherelevantportionofSectionlofRepublicActNo.9174states:

SEC.I.Section1ofRepublicActNo.6768isherebyamendedtoreadasfollows:
"Section 1. BalikbayanProgram. ABalikbayan Program is hereby instituted under the administration of the Department of Tourism to
attractandencourageoverseasFilipinostocomeandvisittheirmotherland.Thisisinrecognitionoftheircontributiontotheeconomyof
thecountrythroughtheforeignexchangeinflowandrevenuesthattheygenerate."
[46]Section3ofRepublicActNo.9174states:

SEC.3.Section3ofthe[RepublicActNo.6768]isherebyamendedtoreadasfollows:
"Sec. 3 Benefits and Privileges of the Balikbayan. The balikbayan and his or her family shall be entitled to the following benefits and
privileges:
xxxx
(c)VisafreeentrytothePhilippinesforaperiodofone(1)yearforforeignpassportholders,withtheexceptionofrestrictednationals[.]"
[47] The one year period may be extended for another one (1), two (2) or six (6) months, subject to specific requirements.

[http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visainquiry/balikbayanprevilege.Lastaccessed:February27,2016.]
[48]Supranote33.
[49]Thepertinentportionsofthisprovisionstates:

"UndertheconditionssetforthinthisAct,theremaybeadmittedinthePhilippines
immigrants,termed"quotaimmigrants"notinexcessoffifty(50)ofanyonenationalityorwithoutnationalityforanyonecalendaryear,
exceptthatthefollowingimmigrants,termed"nonquotaimmigrants,"maybeadmittedwithoutregardtosuchnumericallimitations.
ThecorrespondingPhilippineConsularrepresentativeabroadshallinvestigateandcertifYtheeligibilityofaquotaimmigrantpreviousto
hisadmissionintothePhilippines.QualifiedanddesirablealienswhoareinthePhilippinesundertemporarystaymaybeadmittedwithin
thequota,subjecttotheprovisionsofthelastparagraphofSection9ofthisAct.
xxxx
(g) A naturalborn citizen of the Philippines, who has been naturalized in a foreign country, and is returning to the Philippines for
permanent residence, including the spouse and minor children, shall be considered a nonquota immigrant for purposes of entering the
Philippines(AsamendedbyRep.ActNo.4376,approvedJune19,1965)."
[50]Coquillav.CommissiononElections,supranote33at873875.
[51]17SCRA147.
[52]191SCRA229.
[53]Section5ofRepublicActNo.9225states:

SECTION5.CivilandPoliticalRightsandLiabilities.ThosewhoretainorreacquirePhilippinecitizenshipunderthisActshallenjoyfullcivil
and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following
conditions:
(1)ThoseintendingtoexercisetheirrightofsuffragemustmeettherequirementsunderSection1,ArticleVoftheConstitution,Republic
ActNo.9189,otherwiseknownas"TheOverseasAbsenteeVotingActof2003"andotherexistinglaws
(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the
Constitutionandexistinglawsand,atthetimeofthefilingofthecertificateofcandidacy,makeapersonalandswornrenunciationofany
andallforeigncitizenshipbeforeanypublicofficerauthorizedtoadministeranoath
(3)ThoseappointedtoanypublicofficeshallsubscribeandsweartoanoathofallegiancetotheRepublicofthePhilippinesanditsduly
constitutedauthoritiespriortotheirassumptionofoffice:Provided,Thattheyrenouncetheiroathofallegiancetothecountrywherethey
tookthatoath
(4)ThoseintendingtopracticetheirprofessioninthePhilippinesshallapplywiththe
properauthorityforalicenseorpermittoengageinsuchpracticeand
(5)ThatrighttovoteorbeelectedorappointedtoanypublicofficeinthePhilippinescannotbeexercisedby,orextendedto,thosewho:
(a)arecandidatesfororareoccupyinganypublicofficeinthecountryofwhichtheyarenaturalizedcitizensand/or
(b) are in active service as commissioned or noncommissioned officers in the armed forces ofthe country which they are naturalized
citizens.
[54]Inpetitioner'sMemorandum,shecitedthefollowingpiecesofevidencetoproveheranimusnonrevertendi,orintenttoabandonher

U.S.A.domicile,amongothers:
(a) Affidavit of Ms. Jesusa Sonora Poe, attesting to, among others, the reasons which prompted the petitioner to leave the U.S.A. and
returnpermanentlytothePhilippines
(b)Affidavitofpetitioner'shusband,Mr.TeodoroV.Llamanzares,corroboratingthepetitioner'sstatementandexplaininghowheandthe
petitionerhadbeenactivelyattendingtothelogisticsoftheirpermanentrelocationtothePhilippinessinceMarch2005
(c)Thepetitionerandherhusband'sdocumentedconversationswithpropertymoversregardingtherelocationoftheirhouseholdgoods,
furniture, and cars, then in Virginia, U.S.A., to the Philippines, which show that they intended to leave the U.S.A. for good as early as
March2005
(d)Relocationoftheirhouseholdgoods,furniture,cars,andotherpersonalpropertytheninVirginia,U.S.A.,tothePhilippines,whichwere
packedandcollectedforstorageandtransporttothePhilippinesonFebruaryandApril2006
(e)Petitioner'shusband'sactofinformingtheU.S.A.PostalServiceoftheirabandonmentoftheirformerU.S.A.addressonMarch2006

(f)Petitionerandherhusband'sactofsellingtheirfamilyhomeintheU.S.A.onApril27,2006
(g)Petitioner'shusband'sresignationfromhisworkintheU.S.A.inApril2006and
(h)ThereturntothePhilippine'sofpetitioner'shusbandonMay4,2006.
[55]PartidoNgManggagawav.CommissiononElections,519Phil.644,671(2006).
[56]SeePetitioner'sMemorandum,pp.268,271,272.
[57]OverseasWorkersWelfareAdministrationv.Chavez,551Phil.890,896(2007).
[58]http://www.owwa.gov.ph/?q=node/23/#reintegration.LastaccessedonMarch11,2016at1:52p.m.
[59]Salcedov.CommissiononElections.371Phil.377,390(1999).
[60]G.R.No.202202,March19,2013.
[61]Tagolinov.HouseofRepresentativesElectoralTribunal,citingMirandav.Abaya,370Phil.642.
[62]Id.
[63]Black'sLawDictionary,6thEd.
[64]MetropolitanLifeIns.Co.v.Adams,D.C.Mun.App.,37A.2d345,350.
[65]COMELECDecisioninSPANo.15001(DC),pp.3031.
[66]Petitioner'sMemorandum,p.285.
[67]Petitioner'sMemorandum,p.285.
[68]Petitioner'sMemorandum,pp.286287.
[69]PetitioninG.R.No.221697,p.1rollo,p.1.
[70]G.R.No.87193,[June23,1989],255PHIL934947.

DISSENTINGOPINION

BRION,J.:
IwritethisDISSENTINGOPINIONtoexpressmydisagreementswiththeponenciaofmyesteemedcolleague,Mr.JusticeJOSEP.PEREZ,
whowrotethemajorityopinionofthisCourt.
TheponenciaisbasedontheexclusivegroundthattheCOMELECcommitted"graveabuseofdiscretion"in"denyingduecourseto
and/or cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy for the President for the May 9, 2016 elections for false material
representationastohercitizenshipandresidency."
I write as well to offer help to the general public so that they may be enlightened on the issues already darkened by political and self
interested claims and counterclaims, all aired by the media, paid and unpaid, that only resulted in confusing what would otherwise be
fairlysimpleandclearcutissues.
I respond most especially to the appeal of our President Benigno C. Aquino for this Court to rule with clarity for the sake of the voting
public. Even a Dissent can contribute to this endeavor. Thus, I write with utmost frankness so that everyone may know what really
transpiredwithintheCourt'sveiledchambers.
ForasystematicandorderlyapproachinpresentingmyDissent,Ishall:
Firstsummarizetheponenciaandthevotesoftherulingmajority(PartA)
Thenproceedtomymorespecificobjectionstotheponencia'segregiousclaims(PartB)and
quotetheportionsofmyoriginalSeparateConcurringOpinionthatspecificallydisputethemajority'sruling(PartC).

Inthismanner,Icanshowhowmistakenandmisplacedthemajority'srulinghadbeen,andhowitdishonoredourConstitutionthroughits
slantedreadingthatallowsonewhodoesnotqualifytoserveasPresident,tobeacandidateforthisoffice.
Shornoftheglamorandpufferythatpaidadvertisingandmediacanprovide,thiscaseisaboutanexpatriateapopularonewhonow
wants to run for the presidency after her return to the country. Her situation is not new as our jurisprudence is replete with rulings on
similarsituations.Asearlyas1995,agreatjuristJusticeIsaganiCruz[1](nowdeceasedbutwhosereputationfortheenergeticdefense
of and respect and love for the Constitution still lives on) gave his "take" on this situation in his article Return of the Renegade. He
wrote:

"...SeveralyearsagoapermanentresidentoftheUnitedStatescamebacktothePhilippinesandwaselectedtoa
localoffice.Aprotestwaslodgedagainsthimonthegroundoflackofresidence.Theevidencesubmittedwashis
greencard,anditwasirrefutable.TheSupremeCourtruledthathispermanentandexclusiveresidencewasinthe
UnitedStatesandnotinthemunicipalitywherehehadrunandwon.Hiselectionwasannulled.
Where a former Filipino citizen repents his naturalization and decides to resume his old nationality, he must
manifestabecomingcontrition.Hecannotsimplyabandonhisadoptedcountryandcomebacktothiscountryasif
hewerebestowingagiftofhimselfuponthenation.Itisnotaseasyasthat.Heisnotadonorbutasupplicant.
Inasense,heisanapostate.HehasrenouncedPhilippinecitizenshipbyaknowingandaffirmativeact.Whenhe
pledged allegiance to the adopted country, he also flatly disavowed all allegiance to the Philippines. He cannot
erasetheinfidelitybysimplyestablishinghisresidenceshereandclaimingthestatushehaslost.
TheremorsefulFilipinoturnedalienbyhisownchoicecannotsaythathesoughtnaturalizationinanothercountry
onlyforreasonsofconvenience.Thatpretextisitselfabadgeofbadfaithandinsincerity.Itreflectsonhismoral
character and suggests that he is not an honest person. By his own admission, he deceived his adopted country
whenhepretendedunderoathtoembraceitswayoflife."[Emphasesandunderscoringsupplied]

Ofcourse,thisisonlyonesideofthestoryandcannotrepresentthetotaltruthofthereturningcitizensituation.Still,itwouldbebestto
remembertherenegade,lestweforgetthishiddenfacetofthiscaseaswehearmanyimpassionedpleasforjusticeandfairness,among
them for foundlings, within and outside the Court. What should be before us should be one whole story with all the pieces woven
together, both for and against the parties' respective sides. Part of this story should be the general public whose interests should be
foremostinourminds.Inconsideringthem,weshouldconsidermostofalltheConstitutionthatthattheyapprovedintheexercise
oftheirsovereignpower.
PARTA
SUMMARYOFTHEponencia'SVOTES&POSITIONS

Ofthenine(9)membersoftheCourtsupportingtheponencia,four(4)amongthem,JusticesBenjaminCaguioa,FrancisJardeleza,and
MarioVictorM.V.F.Leonen,aswellasChiefJusticeMariaLourdesP.A.Serenoherselfsubmittedtheirrespectiveopinionstoexplaintheir
ownvotesasreasonsforsupportingtheponencia'sconclusions.
Whiletheyofferedtheirrespectiveviews(particularlyonPoe'sclaimednaturalborncitizenstatus,tenyearresidency,andtheCOMELEC's
conclusionoffalserepresentations),theyfullyconcurred(bynotqualifyingtheirrespectiveconcurrences)withtheponencia'sbasicreason
inconcludingthatgraveabuseofdiscretionattendedtheCOMELEC'schallengedrulings.
Ontheotherhand,theotherfour(4)memberswhovotedwiththemajorityfullyconcurredwithoutqualificationwiththeponencia,thus
fullyjoinedit.
IngrantingPoe'scertioraripetitions,theponenciaruledthat

" .. .[t]he procedure and the conclusions from which the questioned Resolutions emanated are tainted with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. [Poe] is a QUALIFIED CANDIDATE for President in the May 9, 2016 National
Elections."[2][emphasisandunderscoringsupplied]

Underthetermsofthisgrant,theponenciaconfirmeditspositionthattheCOMELECrulingwasattendedbygraveabuseofdiscretionand
thiswasthesolebasisfortheCourtdecisionthatCOMELECrulingshouldbenullifiedandsetaside.
The ponencia gave the following explanations, which I quote for specific reference (as I do not wish to be accused of maliciously
misreadingtheponencia):

"TheissuebeforetheCOMELECiswhetherornottheCOCof[Poe]shouldbedeniedduecourseorcancelled'ontheexclusive
ground' that she made in the certificate a false material representation. The exclusivity of the ground should hedge in the
discretionoftheCOMELECandrestrainitfromgoingintotheissueofthequalificationsofthecandidatefortheposition,if,as
in this case, such issue is yet undecided or undetermined by the proper authority. The COMELEC cannot itself, in the same

cancellationcase,decidethequalificationorlackthereofofthecandidate.
xxxx

xxxaspresentlyrequired,todisqualifyacandidatetheremustbeadeclarationbyafinaljudgmentofacompetentcourtthat
the candidate sought to be disqualified 'is guilty of or found by the Commission to be suffering from any disqualification
providedbylawortheConstitution.[3]
xxxThefactsofqualificationmustbeforehandbeestablishedinapriorproceedingbeforeanauthorityproperlyvestedwith
jurisdiction.Thepriordeterminationofqualificationmaybebystatute,byexecutiveorderorbyjudgmentofacompetentcourt
ortribunal."[4]
Ifacandidatecannotbedisqualifiedwithoutpriorfindingthatheorsheissufferingfromadisqualification'providedbylawor
the Constitution, ' neither can the [CoC] be cancelled or denied due course on grounds of false material representations
regardinghisorherqualifications,suchpriorauthoritybeingthenecessarymeasurebywhichfalsityofrepresentationcanbe
found. The only exception that can be made conceded are selfevident facts of unquestioned or unquestionable veracity and
judicial confessions xx x [which] are equivalent to prior decisions against which the falsity of representation can be
determined".[5]

To summarize all these in a more straightforward format, the ponencia concluded that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in
cancellingPoe'sCoCbecause:

(1) the Comelec did not have the authority to rule on Poe's citizenship and residency qualifications as these
qualificationshavenotyetbeendeterminedbytheproperauthority.
(2)sincethereisnosuchpriordeterminationastoPoe'squalifications,thereisnobasisforafindingthatPoe's
representationsarefalse
(3)whileacandidate'sCoCmaybecancelledwithoutpriordisqualificationfindingfromtheproperauthority,the
issues involving Poe's citizenship and residency do not involve self evident facts of unquestioned or
unquestionableveracityfromwhichthefalsityofrepresentationcouldhavebeendeterminedand
(4) The COMELEC's determinations on Poe's citizenship and residency are acts of grave abuse of discretion
because:
(a)Poe's naturalborn citizenship is founded on the intent of the framers of the 1935 Constitution, domestically
recognizedpresumptions,generallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw,andexecutiveandlegislativeactions
and
(b) Poe's residency claims were backed up not only by jurisprudence, but more importantly by overwhelming
evidence.

Justice Caguioa additionally offered the view that the requirement of "deliberate intent to deceive" cannot be disposed of by a simple
finding that there was false representation of a material fact. Rather, there must also be a showing of the candidate's intent to deceive
animatedthefalsematerialrepresentation.[6]
J. Caguioa also pointed out that the COMELEC shifted the burden to Poe to prove that she had the qualifications to run for President
instead of requiring the private respondents (as the original petitioners in the petitions before the COMELEC) to prove the three (3)
elementsrequiredinaSection78proceeding.Itfailedtoappreciatethattheevidenceofbothpartiesrested,attheleast,atequipoise,
andshouldhavebeenresolvedinfavorofPoe.
A.1.TheponenciaonPoe'scitizenship

First, on Poe's citizenship, i.e, that Poe was not a naturalborn Philippine citizen the ponencia essentially ruled that
althoughsheisafoundling,herbloodrelationshipwithaFilipinocitizenisdemonstrable.[7]
J.Leonenagreedwiththispointandadded[8]thatallfoundlingsinthePhilippinesarenaturalbornbeingpresumptivelyborntoeithera
Filipinobiologicalfatherormother,unlesssubstantialprooftothecontraryisshown.Thereisnorequirementthatthefatherormother
shouldbeidentified.Therecanbeproofofareasonablebeliefthatevidencepresentedinarelevantproceedingsubstantiallyshowsthat
eitherthefatherorthemotherisaFilipinocitizen.
Forhispart,J.Caguioasubmittedthatifindeedamistakehadbeenmaderegardingherrealstatus,thiscouldbeconsideredamistakeon
adifficultquestionoflawthatcouldbethebasisofgoodfaith.[9]
Second, more than sufficient evidence exists showing that Poe had Filipino parents since Philippine law provides for presumptions

regardingpaternity.[10]Poe'sadmissionthatsheisafoundlingdidnotshifttheburdenofprooftoherbecauseherstatusdidnotexclude
thepossibilitythatherparentsareFilipinos.[11]
The factual issue is not who the parents of Poe are, as their identities are unknown, but whether such parents were Filipinos.[12] The
followingcircumstantialevidenceshowthatPoewasanaturalbornFilipino:(1)statisticalprobabilitythatanychildborninthePhilippines
atthetimeofPoe'sbirthisnaturalbornFilipino(2)theplaceofPoe'sabandonmentand(3)Poe'sFilipinophysicalfeatures.[13]
Third,theframersofthe1935ConstitutionandthepeoplewhoadoptedthisConstitutionintendedfoundlingstobecoveredbythelistof
Filipino citizens.[14] While the 1935 Constitution's enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no restrictive language that would
definitelyexcludefoundlings.[15]
Thusviewed,theponenciabelievesthatPoeisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippinesbycircumstantialevidence,bypresumption,andby
implicationfromthesilenttermsoftheConstitution.
TheponenciaalsoclarifiedthattheRafolsamendmentpointedoutbyPoewasnotcarriedinthe1935Constitutionnotbecausetherewas
anyobjectiontotheirinclusion,butbecausethenumberoffoundlingsatthetimewasnotenoughtomeritspecificmention.[16]
More than these reasons, the inclusion of foundlings in the list of Philippine citizens is also consistent with the guarantee of equal
protectionofthelawsandthesocialjusticeprovisionsintheConstitution.[17]
J. Jardeleza particularly agreed with these reasons and added that in placing foundlings at a disadvantaged evidentiary position at the
startofthehearingandimposinguponthemahigherquantumofevidence,theCOMELECeffectivelycreatedtwoclassesofchildren:(1)
those with known biological parents and (2) those whose biological parents are unknown. This classification is objectionable on equal
protection grounds because it is not warranted by the text of the Constitution. In doing so, the COMELEC effectively subjected her to a
higherstandardofproof,thatofabsolutecertainty.[18]
Fourth, the domestic laws on adoption and the Rule on Adoption support the principle that foundlings are Filipinos as these include
foundlingsamongtheFilipinochildrenwhomaybeadopted.[19]
Insupportofthisposition,J.Leonenadditionallypointedoutthatthelegislaturehasprovidedstatutesessentiallybasedonapremisethat
foundlingsarePhilippinecitizensatbirth,citingtheJuvenileJusticeandWelfareActof2006andthatthePhilippinesalsoratifiedtheUN
ConventionontheRightsoftheChildandthe1966InternationalConventiononCivilandPoliticalRights,whicharelegallyeffectiveand
bindingbytransformation.
J. Leonen further argued that the executive department had, in fact, also assumed Poe's naturalborn status when she reacquired
citizenship pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003, hereinafter RA 9225) and when she
wasappointedastheChairpersonoftheMovieandTelevisionReviewandClassificationBoard(MTRCB).[20]Hernaturalbornstatuswas
recognized, too, by the people when she was elected Senator and by the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) when it affirmed her
qualificationstorunforSenator.[21]
TheChiefJusticeadded,onthispoint,thattheSETdecisionisanotherdocumentthatshowsthatshewasnotlyingwhensheconsidered
herselfanaturalbornFilipino.Attheveryleast,itisaprimafacieevidencefindingofnaturalborncitizenshipthatPoecanrelyon.The
SETrulingnegatedtheelementofdeliberateattempttomislead.[22]
Fifth.theissuanceofafoundlingcertificateisnotanacttoacquireorperfectPhilippinecitizenshipthatmakesafoundlinganaturalized
Filipino at best. "Having to perform an act" means that the act must be personally done by the citizen. In the case of foundlings, the
determinationofhis/herfoundlingstatusisnotdonebyhimself,butbytheauthorities.[23]
Sixth,foundlingsarePhilippinecitizensunderinternationallaw,i.e.,theUniversalDeclarationonHumanRights(UDHR),UnitedNations
Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), all obligate the
Philippinestograntthemnationalityfrombirthandtoensurethatnochildisstateless.Thisgrantofnationalitymustbeatthetimeof
birthwhichcannotbeaccomplishedbytheapplicationofourpresentNaturalizationLaws.[24]
The principle that the foundlings are presumed to have the nationality of the country of birth, under the 1930 Hague Convention on
CertainQuestionsRelatingtotheConflictofNationalityLawsandthe1961UnitedNationsConventionontheReductionofStatelessness
is a generally accepted principle of international law. "Generally accepted principles of international law" are based not only on
internationalcustom,butalsoon"generalprinciplesoflawrecognizedbycivilizednations."[25]
TherequirementofopinioJurissivenecessitatesinestablishingthepresumptionofthefoundingState'snationalityinfavoroffoundlings
underthe1930HagueConventionandthe1961ConventiononStatelessnessasgenerallyacceptedprincipleofinternationallawwas,in
fact,establishedbythevariousexecutiveandlegislativeactsrecognizingfoundlingsasPhilippinecitizens,i.e.,bytheexecutivethrough
theDepartmentofForeignAffairsinauthorizingtheissuanceofpassportstofoundlings,andbytheLegislature,viatheDomesticAdoption
Act.Adoptingtheselegalprinciplesinthe1930HagueConventionandthe1961ConventiononStatelessnessisrationalandreasonable
andconsistentwiththejussanguinisregimeinourConstitution.[26]
Lastly,theCOMELECdisregardedsettledjurisprudencethatrepatriationresultsinthereacquisitionofnaturalbornPhilippinecitizenship.
[27]Poe'srepatriationunderRANo.9225didnotresultinherbecominganaturalizedFilipino,butrestoredherstatusasanaturalborn

Philippine citizen. Repatriation is not an act to "acquire or perfect one's citizenship" nor does the Constitution require the naturalborn
statustobecontinuousfrombirth.[28]

A.2.TheponenciaonPoe'sresidency
The ponencia ruled that the COMELEC gravely erred on the residency issue when it blindly applied the ruling in Coquilla, Japzon, and
Caballero reckoning the period of residence of former naturalborn Philippine citizens only from the date of reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship,andreliedsolelyinherstatementinher2012CoCastotheperiodofherresidenceinthePhilippines.TheCOMELECreached
theseconclusionsbydisregardingtheimportofthevariouspiecesofevidencePoepresentedestablishingheranimusmanendiandanimus
nonrevertendi.[29]
Poe,infact,hadshownmorethansufficientevidencethatsheestablishedherPhilippineresidenceevenbeforerepatriation.Thecasesof
Coquilla,Japzon,Caballero,andReyesarenotapplicabletoPoe'scasebecauseinthesecases,thecandidatewhoseresidencyqualification
was questioned presented "sparse evidence"[30] on residence which gave the Court no choice but to hold that residence could only be
countedfromtheacquisitionofapermanentresidentvisaorfromreacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenship.Underthisreasoning,Poeshowed
overwhelmingevidencethatshedecidedtopermanentlyrelocatetothePhilippinesonMay24,2005,orbeforerepatriation.[31]
J.Leanen,onthispoint,addedthattheCOMELEC'sdogmaticrelianceonformalpreconceivedindicatorshasbeenrepeatedlydecriedby
theCourtasgraveabuseofdiscretion.Worse,theCOMELECreliedonthewrongformalindicatorsofresidence.[32]
Astheponenciadid,J.LeanenstressedthattheCOMELECdisregardedPoe'sevidenceofreestablishmentofPhilippineresidencepriorto
July 2006 when it merely invoked Poe's status as one who had not reacquired Philippine citizenship. To him, the COMELEC relied on a
manifestlyfaultypremisetojustifythepositionthatallofPoe'sevidencebeforeJuly2006deservednoconsideration.[33]
Second,PoemayreestablishherresidencenotwithstandingthatshecarriedabalikbayanvisainenteringthePhilippines.Theoneyear
visafreeperiodallowsabalikbayantoreestablishhisorherlifeandtoreintegratehimselforherselfintothecommunitybeforeattending
totheformalandlegalrequirementsofrepatriation.Thereisnooverridingintentunderthebalikbayanprogramtotreatbalikbayansas
temporaryvisitorswhomustleaveafteroneyear.[34]
Third,Poecommittedanhonestmistakeinher2012CoCdeclarationonherresidenceperiod.[35]Followingjurisprudence,itisthefactof
residence and not the statement in a CoC which is decisive in determining whether the residency requirement has been satisfied. The
COMELEC,infact,acknowledgedthatthequeryontheperiodofresidenceintheCoCformfortheMay2013electionswasvaguethus.it
changed the phrasing of this query in the current CoC form for the May 9, 2016 elections. It was grave abuse of discretion for the
COMELECtotreatthe2012CoCasbindingandconclusiveadmissionagainstPoe.
Fourth,assumingthatPoe'sresidencystatementinher2015CoCiserroneous,Poehadnodeliberateintenttomisleadortohideafactas
shownbyherimmediatedisclosureinpublicofhermistakeinthestatedperiodofresidenceinher2012CoCforSenator.[36]
PARTB
SPECIFICREFUTATIONOFTHEponencia'SOUTSTANDINGERRORS
MyoriginalSeparateConcurringOpinion(totheoriginalponenciaofJusticeMarianodelCastillo)dealswithmost,ifnotall,ofthepositions
that the majority has taken. My Separate Concurring Opinion is quoted almost in full below (with some edits for completeness) as my
detailedrefutationoftheponencia.
Nevertheless, I have incorporated Part B in this Opinion to address the ponencia's more egregious claims that, unless refuted, would
drastically change the constitutional and jurisprudential landscape in this country, in order only to justify the candidacy of one popular
candidate. As I repeated often enough in my Separate Concurring Opinion, the Court operates outside of its depth and could possibly
succeedindrowningthisnationifitaddsto,detractsfrom,negates,enlargesormodifiesthetermsoftheConstitutionasapprovedbythe
sovereignpeopleofthePhilippines.
B.1.TheponenciaontheComelec'slackofjurisdiction
Theponencia presented two arguments in concluding that the COMELEC lacked the jurisdiction to determine Poe's eligibility to become
Presidentinthecourseofasection78proceedingagainsther:
First, Article IXC of the 1987 Constitution on the COMELEC's jurisdiction had no specific provision regarding the qualification of the
President,VicePresident,SenatorsandMembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives,whileArticleVI,Section17andArticleVII,Section4of
the1987ConstitutionspecificallyincludedcontestinvolvingthequalificationsofSenatorsandMembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives,
andofthePresidentandVicePresident,tothejurisdictionoftheSenateElectoralTribunal(SET),theHouseofRepresentativesElectoral
Tribunal(HRET)andthePresidentialElectoralTribunal(PET)respectively.[37]
Second,Ferminv.Comelec,[38]citingtheSeparateOpinionofJusticeVicenteV.MendozainRomualdezMarcosv.Comelec,[39]notedthat
"thelackofprovisionfordeclaringtheineligibilityofcandidates,however,cannotbesuppliedbyamererule."[40]Thisviewwasadopted
intherevisionoftheCOMELECRulesofProcedurein2012,asreflectedinthechangesmadeinthe2012Rulesfromthe1993Rulesof
Procedure,[41]asfollows:
1993RulesofProcedure:
Section1.GroundsforDisqualification.Anycandidatewhodoesnotpossessallthequalificationsofacandidateasprovidedforbythe
Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from
continuingasacandidate.

2012RulesofProcedure:
Rule 25, Section 1. Grounds, Any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a party, is declared by final decision of a
competentcourt,guiltyof,orfoundbytheCommissiontobesufferingfromanydisqualificationprovidedbylawortheConstitution.
APetitiontoDisqualifyaCandidateinvokinggroundsforaPetitiontoDenyortocancelaCertificateofCandidacyorPetitiontoDeclarea
CandidateasaNuisanceCandidate,oracombinationthereof,shallbesummarilydismissed.
TheponenciareadFerminandthe2012RulesofProceduretomeanthatthereisnoauthorizedproceedingtodeterminethequalifications
ofacandidatebeforethecandidateiselected.Todisqualifyacandidate,theremustbeadeclarationbyafinaljudgmentofacompetent
court that the candidate sought to be disqualified "is guilty of or found by the Commission to be suffering from any disqualification
providedbylawortheConstitution."[42]
Thus, the ponencia held that a certificate of candidacy "cannot be cancelled or denied due course on grounds of false representations
regarding his or her qualifications without a prior authoritative finding that he or she is not qualified, such prior authority being the
necessarymeasurebywhichthefalsityoftherepresentationcanbefound.Theonlyexceptionthatcanbeconcededareselfevidentfacts
ofunquestionedorunquestionableveracityandjudicialconfessions."[43]
TheargumentsinmyoriginalSeparateConcurringOpinionregardingtheCOMELEC'sjurisdictiontoruleonSection78casesaddressthe
ponencia'sarguments,asfollows:
a)TheCOMELEC'squasijudicialpowerinresolvingaSection78proceedingincludesthedeterminationofwhetheracandidatehasmadea
falsematerialrepresentationinhisCoC,andthedeterminationofwhethertheeligibilityherepresentedinhisCoCistrue.
b) In Tecson v. COMELEC"[44] the Court has recognized the COMELEC's jurisdiction in a Section 78 proceeding over a presidential
candidate.
c)Fermin'squotationofJusticeMendoza'sSeparateOpinioninRomualdezMarcosshouldbetakenincontext,asFerminitselfclarified:
Lest it be misunderstood, the denial of due course to or the cancellation of the CoC is not based on the lack of qualifications but on a
findingthatthecandidatemadeamaterialrepresentationthatisfalse,whichmayrelatetothequalificationsrequiredofthepublicoffice
he/sheisrunningfor.Itisnotedthatthecandidatestatesinhis/herCoCthathe/sheiseligiblefortheofficehe/sheseeks.Section78of
theOEC,therefore,istobereadinrelationtotheconstitutionalandstatutoryprovisionsonqualificationsoreligibilityforpublicoffice.If
the candidate subsequently states a material representation in the CoC that is false, the COMELEC, following the law, is empowered to
deny due course to or cancel such certificate. Indeed, the Court has already likened a proceeding under Section 78 to a quo warranto
proceedingunderSection253oftheOECsincetheybothdealwiththeeligibilityorqualificationofacandidate,withthedistinctionmainly
in the fact that a "Section 78" petition is filed before proclamation, while a petition for quo warranto is filed after proclamation of the
winningcandidate.[45][underscoringsupplied]
Asidefromthesearguments,Ipointoutthat:
d)Theponente'sconclusioncontradictshisownrecentaffirmationoftheCOMELEC'sjurisdictiontodeterminetheeligibilityofacandidate
throughaSection78proceedinginOngsiakoReyesv.COMELEC(G.R.No.207264,June25,2013)andinCeraficav.COMELEC(G.R.No.
205136December2,2014).
InOngsiakoReyesv.COMELEC,theCourt,speakingthroughJ.Perez,affirmedtheCOMELEC'scancellationofOngsiakoReyes'CoCand
affirmeditsdeterminationthatOngsiakoReyesisneitheraPhilippinecitizennoraresidentofMarinduque.
The Court even affirmed the COMELEC's capability to liberally construe its own rules of procedure in response to OngsiakoReyes'
allegationthattheCOMELECgravelyabuseditsdiscretioninadmittingnewlydiscoveredevidencethathadnotbeentestifiedon,offered
andadmittedinevidence.TheCourtheld:
Allinall,consideringthatthepetitionfordenialandcancellationoftheCoCissummaryinnature,theCOMELECisgivenmuchdiscretion
in the evaluation and admission of evidence pursuant to its principal objective of determining of whether or not the CoC should be
cancelled.WeheldinMasturav.COMELEC:
Therulethatfactualfindingsofadministrativebodieswillnotbedisturbedbycourtsofjusticeexceptwhenthereisabsolutelynoevidence
ornosubstantialevidenceinsupportofsuchfindingsshouldbeappliedwithgreaterforcewhenitconcernstheCOMELEC,astheframers
oftheConstitutionintendedtoplacetheCOMELECcreatedandexplicitlymadeindependentbytheConstitutionitselfonalevelhigher
thanstatutoryadministrativeorgans.TheCOMELEChasbroadpowerstoascertainthetrueresultsoftheelectionbymeansavailabletoit.
Fortheattainmentofthatend,itisnotstrictlyboundbytherulesofevidence.[46][emphasis,italicsandunderscoringsupplied]
In Cerafica, the Court, again speaking through J. Perez, held that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in holding that Kimberly
Cerafica(acandidateforcouncilor)didnotfileavalidCoCandsubsequentlycannotbesubstitutedbyOliviaCerafica.Kimberly'sCoCis
consideredvalidunlessthecontentstherein(includinghereligibility)isimpugnedthroughaSection78proceeding.AsKimberly'sCoChad
not undergone a Section 78 proceeding, then her CoC remained valid and she could be properly substituted by Olivia. In so doing, the
CourtquotedandreaffirmeditspreviousrulinginLunav.COMELEC:[47]
"IfHansRogermadeamaterialmisrepresentationastohisdateofbirthorageinhiscertificateofcandidacy,hiseligibilitymayonlybe
impugnedthroughaverifiedpetitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancelsuchcertificateofcandidacyunderSection78oftheElectionCode."
[48][italicssupplied]

e) The ponencia's conclusion would wreak havoc on existing jurisprudence recognizing the COMELEC's jurisdiction to determine a
candidate'seligibilityinthecourseofdecidingaSection78proceedingbeforeit.
TheponenciadisregardedthefollowingcaseswhereitrecognizedtheCOMELEC'sjurisdictiontodetermineeligibilityaspartofdetermining
false material representation in a candidate's CoC. Cases involving Section 78 since the year 2012 (the year the COMELEC amended its
RulesofProcedure)areshowninthetablebelow:

Case
Arateav.Comelec
C.R.No.195229
October9,2012

Ponente,Division
Carpio,J.Enbanc

MaquilingV.Comelec, Sereno,CJ,Enbanc
G.R. No. 195649,
April16,2013
Ongsiako Reyes v. Perez,J.,EnBanc
Comelec, G.R. No.
207264, June 25,
2013

Ruling:
The Court affirmed the Comelec's determination that Lonzanida
has served for three terms already and therefore misrepresented
his eligibility to run for office this, according to the Court, is a
groundforcancellingLonzanida'sCoCunderSection78.
The Court reversed the Comelec's determination of the Arnado's
qualification to run for office because of a recanted oath of
allegiance,andthuscancelledhisCoeandproclaimedMaquilingas
the winner. The Court, in reviewing the Comelec's determination,
didnotdisputeitscapacitytodetermineArnado'squalifications.
The Court affirmed the Comelec's evaluation and determination
that OngsiakoReyes is not a Philippine citizen and a resident of
thePhilippines.

It even upheld the Comelec's cognizance of "newlydiscovered


evidence"andheldthattheComeleccanliberallyconstrueitsown
rulesofprocedureforthespeedydispositionofcasesbeforeit.
Cerafica v. Comelec, Perez, J. En Banc The Court held that the Comelec gravely abused its discretion in
G.R.
No.
205136 Decision
holding that Kimberly did not file a valid CoC and subsequently
December2,2014
cannotbesubstitutedbyOliviainsodoing,theCourtquotedand
reaffirmeditspreviousrulinginLunavComelec,thus:

Lunav.Comelec, G.R. Carpio,J.EnBanc


No. 165983 April 24,
2007
(cited
as
reference
to
its
affirmation
in
Cerafrica)

"If Hans Roger made a material misrepresentation as to his date


of birth or age in his certificate of candidacy, his eligibility may
onlybeimpugnedthroughaverifiedpetitiontodenyduecourseto
or cancel such certificate of candidacy under Section 78 of the
ElectionCode."
Since Hans Roger withdrew his certificate of candidacy and the
COMELEC found that Luna complied with all the procedural
requirements for a valid substitution, Luna can validly substitute
forHansRoger.
xxx
IfHansRogermadeamaterialmisrepresentationastohisdateof
birthorageinhiscertificateofcandidacy,hiseligibilitymayonly
be impugned through a verified petition to deny due course to or
cancel such certificate of candidacy under Section 78 of the
ElectionCode.
Inthiscase,therewasnopetitiontodenyduecoursetoorcancel
the certificate of candidacy of Hans Roger. The COMELEC only
declared that Hans Roger did not file a valid certificate of
candidacy and, thus, was not a valid candidate in the petition to
deny due course to or cancel Luna's certificate of candidacy. In
effect, the COMELEC, without the proper proceedings, cancelled
HansRoger'scertificateofcandidacyanddeclaredthesubstitution
byLunainvalid.

f)Rules23ofthe2012COMELECRulesofProceduredoesnotlimittheCOMELEC'sjurisdictionindeterminingtheeligibility
ofacandidateinthecourseofrulingonaSection78proceeding.
ThesecondparagraphinRule23delineatesthedistinctionbetweenaSection78cancellationproceedingandaSection68
disqualificationproceedingtoavoidthemuddlingormixingofthegroundsforeachremedy,theCOMELECoptedtoprovide
thatpetitionsthatcombineorsubstituteoneremedyfortheothershallbedismissedsummarily.
Naturally, the text of this second paragraph also appears in Rule 25, which provides for the grounds for a petition for
disqualification.
Rule23provides:

Section1.GroundforDenialorCancellationofCertifcateofCandidacy.
A verified Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy for any elective office may be filed by any
registered voter or a duly registered political party, organization, or coalition of political parties on the exclusive ground that
anymaterialrepresentationcontainedthereinasrequiredbylawisfalse.

APetitiontoDenyDueCoursetoorCancelCertificateofCandidacyinvokinggroundsotherthanthosestatedaboveorgrounds
fordisqualification,orcombininggroundsforaseparateremedy,shallbesummarilydismissed

Thus,Rule23recognizesmaterialmisrepresentationintheCoCasthesolegroundforSection78withoutamendingthedefinitionoffalse
materialrepresentationthatjurisprudencehasprovidedasearlyas1999inSalcedoIIv.COMELEC:[49]

The only difference between the two proceedings is that, under section 78, the qualifications for elective office are
misrepresentedinthecertificateofcandidacyandtheproceedingsmustbeinitiatedbeforetheelections,whereasapetitionfor
quowarrantoundersection253maybebroughtonthebasisoftwogrounds(1)ineligibilityor(2)disloyaltytotheRepublic
of the Philippines, and must be initiated within ten days after the proclamation of the election results. Under section 253, a
candidateisineligibleifheisdisqualifiedtobeelectedtooffice,[21]andheisdisqualifiedifhelacksanyofthequalifications
forelectiveoffice.
xxxx
Therefore, it may be concluded that the material misrepresentation contemplated by section 78 of the Code refer to
qualificationsforelectiveoffice.Thisconclusionisstrengthenedbythefactthattheconsequencesimposeduponacandidate
guiltyofhavingmadeafalserepresentationinhiscertificateofcandidacyaregravetopreventthecandidatefromrunningor,
ifelected,fromserving,ortoprosecutehimforviolationoftheelectionlaws.[23]Itcouldnothavebeentheintentionofthe
lawtodepriveapersonofsuchabasicandsubstantivepoliticalrighttobevotedforapublicofficeuponjustanyinnocuous
mistake:
xxxx
Aside from the requirement of materiality, a false representation under section 78 must consist of a deliberate attempt to
mislead,misinform,orhideafactwhichwouldotherwiserenderacandidateineligible.[25]Inotherwords,itmustbemade
withanintentiontodeceivetheelectorateastoonesqualificationsforpublicoffice.xxx

B.1.a.Effectoftheponencia'smisinterpretationof
Section78proceedingstotheCourt'scertiorari
jurisdictionoverthepresentcase
Ifweweretofollowtheponencia'slimitationontheCOMELEC'sfunctiontodeterminePoe'seligibilitytobecomePresidentinaSection78
proceeding, the logical result would be that even this Court itself cannot rule on Poe's citizenship and residence eligibilities in
thecourseofreviewingaSection78COMELECrulinganydeclarationregardingtheseissueswouldbeobiterdictum.
In practical terms, the Court's ruling only assured Poe the chance to run conceivably, if she wins, the Court, through the Presidential
ElectoralTribunal,willthenrulethatthepeoplehavespokenandthattheycannotbedeniedtheirvoiceaftertheelections.Basedonthe
presentcircumstances,thisisascenariothatcannotbeentirelyruledout.
Toreiterate,theponenciadeclaredthattheCOMELEChasnojurisdictiontodetermine,evenpreliminarily,theeligibilityofcandidatesprior
to an election under a Section 78 proceeding, except for disqualifications already or previously acted upon by the proper authorities or
where the facts are selfevident or of unquestioned or unquestionable veracity from which the falsity of representation could readily be
determined.
SincetheCOMELEClacksjurisdiction"toruleandcannotevenpreliminarilydeterminequestionsofeligibility,thentheissuesinvolvingthe
COMELEC's alleged grave abuse of discretion in ruling on Poe's eligibilities cannot effectively be resolved except through a ruling that,
given the lack of authority, it was grave abuse of discretion for COMELEC to rule as it did. And given the same lack of authority, the
reversalofthecancellationofherCoCmustfollowasaconsequence.Thus,herCoCeffectivelyremainsvalid.
TheconsequenceofrulingthattheCOMELECiswithoutjurisdictiontodetermineeligibilityaspartofaSection78proceedingisthatany
othersubsequentdiscussionsbythisCourtupholdingPoe'seligibilitieswouldbeobiterdicta,orpronouncementsthatarenotessentialto
theresolutionofacase.WiththeCOMELECstrippedofthejurisdictiontodetermine,evenpreliminarily,Poe'scitizenshipandresidence,
thenitsdeterminationsarenullandvoid,leadingtothefurtherconclusionthatthisCourtnolongerhasanyissuelefttoreviewandto
decideuponasneitherwoulditbenecessarytodeterminePoe'seligibilities.
Inotherwords,anypronouncementsoutsidetheCOMELEC'slimitedjurisdictioninSection78wouldonlybeexpressionsoftheCOMELEC's
opinionandwouldhavenoeffectinthedeterminationofthemeritsoftheSection78casebeforeit.Findingsofineligibilityoutsideofthe
limits do not need to be resolved or even be touched by this Court. Thus, in the present case, Poe can simply be a candidate for the
presidency,withhereligibilitiesopentopostelectionquestions,ifstillnecessaryatthatpoint.
B.1.b.Aruego'saccountofthedeliberations,
ascitedintheponencia
Ironically,theponencia'scitationofJoseM.Aruego'srecountingofthedeliberationsevenreinforcesmypositionthattheframersnever
intendedtoincludefoundlingswithinthetermsofthe1935Constitution'sparentageprovisions.Aruegoallegedlysaid:

Duringthedebatesonthisprovision,DelegateRafolspresentedanamendmenttoincludeasFilipinocitizensthe
illegitimate children with a foreign father of a mother who was a citizen of the Philippines, and also foundlings

but this amendment was defeated primarily because the Convention believed that the cases, being too few to
warrant the inclusion of a provision in the Constitution to apply to them, should be governed by statutory
legislation. Moreover, it was believed that the rules of international law were already clear to the effect that
illegitimate children followed the citizenship of the mother, and that foundlings followed the nationality of the
place where they were found, thereby making unnecessary the inclusion in the Constitution of the proposed
amendment.[50]

Aruego'saccountofthedeliberationsreinforcesmypositionforthefollowingreasons:
First,Aruegosaidthat"thisamendmentwasdefeatedprimarilybecausetheConventionbelievedthatthecases,beingtoofewtowarrant
theinclusionofaprovisionintheConstitutiontoapplytothem,shouldbegovernedbystatutorylegislation."
Insayingthis,Aruegoalsorecountedthatmany,ifnotmost,ofthemajorityofthosewhovotedagainsttheinclusionoffoundlingsinthe
1935Constitutionbelievedthatthematteroftheircitizenshipshouldbegovernedbystatutorylegislationbecausethecasesoffoundlings
aretoofewtobeincludedintheConstitution.
Thus,theprincipleofinternationallawonfoundlingsismerelysupportiveoftheprimaryreasonthatthemattershouldbegovernedby
statute,orisasecondaryreasontothemajority'sdecisionnottoincludefoundlingsinArticleIV,Section1ofthe1935Constitution.
Notably, both the text of the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Convention and the account of its member Jose Aruego do not
disclose that the intent behind the noninclusion of foundlings in Article IV, Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution was because they are
deemedalreadyincluded.
What deliberations show is that a member of the Convention thought that it would be better for a statute to govern the citizenship of
foundlings, which Aruego, in his subsequent retelling of what happened in the deliberations, described as the primary belief of the
majority.Attheveryleast,therewasnoclearagreementthatfoundlingswereintendedtobepartofArticleIV,Section1.
Theponencia'srulingthusdoesnotonlydisregardthedistinctionofcitizenshipbasedonthefatherorthemotherunderthe
1935 Constitution it also misreads what the records signify and thereby unfairly treats the children of Filipino mothers
under the 1935 Constitution who, although able to trace their Filipino parentage, must yield to the higher categorization
accordedtofoundlingswhodonotenjoysimilarroots.
Another drastic change appears to be coming for no clear and convincing legal reason in the present case: Section 78 would now be
emasculateddespiteestablishedrulingsbythisveryCourtonwhattheCOMELECcanundertakewithinitsSection78jurisdiction.
AclosereadingofOngsiakoReyesv.COMELEC,alsopennedbyJ.Perezasabovenoted,willshowthattheissuestheCOMELECdecided
there were practically the same issues in this cited case. Yet, the Court's majority in the present case holds that the COMELEC has no
jurisdictiontoruleontheissuesofacandidate'scitizenshipandresidencerequirementsinthecourseofaSection78proceeding,despite
its previous affirmation of the same COMELEC power in OngsiakoReyes also in a Section 78 proceeding. Have established precedents
beensacrificedtoachievedesiredresults?
ButtheworstimpactyetontheConstitutionisthediscoverythatthisCourtcanplayaroundevenwiththeexpresswordingsofthe
Constitution.Whilethismayalreadybeknowntothoseinthelegalprofession,therealitybecomesglaringandmaybeanewdiscovery
for the general public because of the recent EDCA case the present case and ruling may very well be considered another instance of
judicialtinkeringwiththeexpresstermsoftheConstitution.
B.1.c.BurdenofProof.

Acontestedissuethatsurfacedearlyoninthesecasesisthequestion:whocarriestheburdenofprovingthatthepetitionerisanatural
bornPhilippinecitizen?
Lest we be distracted by the substance of this question, let me clarify at the outset that the cases before us are petitions for certiorari
underRule64(inrelationtoRule65)oftheRulesofCourt.Inthesetypesofpetitions,thepetitionerchallengestherulings/smadebythe
respondent pursuant to Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution. Thus, it is the petitioner who carries the burden of showing that the
respondent,theCOMELECinthiscase,committedgraveabuseofdiscretion.
Ofcourse,inmakingthechallengedruling,theCOMELEChadawiderviewandhadtoconsidertheparties'respectivesituationsatthe
outset. The present private respondents were the petitioners who sought the cancellation of Poe's CoC and who thereby procedurally
carriedtheburdenofprovingtheclaimthatPoefalselyrepresentedhercitizenshipandresidencyqualificationsinherCoC.
Iwouldrefertothisastheproceduralaspectoftheburdenofproofissue.TheoriginalpetitionersbeforetheCOMELEC(therespondentsin
thepresentpetitions)fromtheperspectiveofprocedurecarriedtheburdenunderitsSection78cancellationofCoCpetition,toprove
thatPoemadefalsematerialrepresentationssheclaimedinherCoCthatsheisanaturalbornFilipinocitizenwhensheisnotshealso
claimed that she has resided in the Philippines for ten years immediately preceding the May 9, 2016 elections, when she had not. The
originalpetitionershadtoprovewhattheyclaimedtobefalserepresentations.
Thus viewed, the main issue in the case below was the false material representation, which essentially rested on the premises of
citizenshipandresidenceisPoeanaturalborncitizenassheclaimedandhadsheobservedtherequisitequalifyingperiodofresidence?
TheoriginalpetitionersundertookthetaskonthecitizenshipissuebyallegingthatPoeisafoundlingassuch,herparentsareunknown,
sothatsheisnotaPhilippinecitizenunderthetermsofthe1935Constitution.

Poerespondedbyadmittingthatindeedsheisafoundling,butclaimedthattheburdenisontheoriginalpetitionerstoprovethatsheisin
factaforeignerthroughproofthatherparentsareforeigners.
Since Poe indeed could not factually show that either of her parents is a Philippine citizen, the COMELEC concluded that the original
petitionersarecorrectintheirpositionthattheyhavedischargedtheiroriginalburdentoprovethatPoeisnotanaturalborncitizenofthe
Philippines.Toarriveatitsconclusion,theCOMELECconsideredandreliedonthetermsofthe1935Constitution.
With this original burden discharged, the burden of evidence then shifted to Poe to prove that despite her admission that she is a
foundling, she is in fact a naturalborn Filipino, either by evidence (not necessarily or solely DNA in character) and by legal arguments
supportingtheviewthatafoundlingfoundinthePhilippinesisanaturalborncitizen.
The same process was repeated with respect to the residency issue, after which, the COMELEC ruled that Poe committed false
representations as, indeed, she is not a naturalborn Philippine citizen and had not resided in the country, both as required by the
Constitution.
TheseweretheprocessesanddevelopmentsattheCOMELEClevel,basedonwhichthepresentCourtmajoritynowsaythattheCOMELEC
committedgraveabuseofdiscretionfornotobservingtherulesontheburdenofproofonthecitizenshipandtheresidencyissues.
SeparatelyfromthestrictlyproceduralaspectsofthecancellationofCoCproceedings,itmustbeconsideredthatthepetitioner,byfilinga
CoC, actively represents that she possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications for the office she is
runningfor.
Whenthisrepresentationisquestioned,particularlythroughproofofbeingafoundlingasinthepresentcase,theburdenshouldreston
thepresentpetitionertoprovethatsheisanaturalbornPhilippinecitizen,aresidentofthePhilippinesforatleasttenyearsimmediately
prior to the election, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a registered voter. This is the
opportunitythattheCOMELECgavePoetothefullest,andIseenoquestionofgraveabuseofdiscretiononthisbasis.
Fromthesubstantiveperspective,too,asovereignStatehastherighttodeterminewhoitscitizensare.[51]Byconferringcitizenshipona
person,theStateobligatesitselftograntandprotecttheperson'srights.Inthislightandasdiscussedmorefullybelow,thelistofFilipino
citizensundertheConstitutionmustbereadasexclusiveandexhaustive.
Thus,thisCourthasheldthatanydoubtregardingcitizenshipmustberesolvedinfavoroftheState.[52]Inotherwords,citizenship
cannotbepresumedthepersonwhoclaimsFilipinocitizenshipmustprovethatheorsheisinfactaFilipino.[53] It is only
uponproperproofthataclaimantcanbeentitledtotherightsgrantedbytheState.[54]
This was the Court's ruling in Paa v. Chan[55] where this Court categorically ruled that it is incumbent upon the person who claims
Philippinecitizenship,toprovetothesatisfactionofthecourtthatheisreallyaFilipino.Thisshouldbetrueparticularlyafterproofthat
theclaimanthasnotproven(andevenadmitsthelackofproven)Filipinoparentage.Nopresumptioncanbeindulgedinfavorofthe
claimantofPhilippinecitizenship,andanydoubtregardingcitizenshipmustberesolvedinfavoroftheState.
The Court further explained that the exercise by a person of the rights and/or privileges that are granted to Philippine citizens is not
conclusiveproofthatheorsheisaPhilippinecitizen.Aperson,otherwisedisqualifiedbyreasonofcitizenship,mayexerciseandenjoythe
rightorprivilegeofaPhilippinecitizenbyrepresentinghimselftobeone.[56]
Based on these considerations, the Court majority's ruling on burden of proof at the COMELEC level appears to be misplaced. On both
counts, procedural and substantive (based on settled jurisprudence), the COMELEC closely hewed to the legal requirements. Thus, the
Courtmajority'spositionsonwhereandhowtheCOMELECcommittedgraveabuseofdiscretionaretrulypuzzling.Withnograveabuseat
theCOMELEClevel,thepresentpetitioner'sownburdenofproofinthepresentcertiorariproceedingsbeforethisCourtmustnecessarily
fail.
PARTC
MYORIGINAL"SEPARATECONCURRINGOPINION"
TOTHEponenciaOF
JUSTICEMARIANODELCASTILLO
I am submitting this original Separate Concurring Opinion to refute in detail the ponencia 's main points that I disagree with. For
convenience,theoriginalnumberingsystemoftheoriginalhasbeenretainedandIhaveintroducededitsandsuppliedthefootnotesthat
weremissingwhenthisOpinionwascirculatedonMonday,March7,2016.
ThedeadlineforsubmissionofOpinionswasonMarch8,2016.ThedeliberationandthevotewereoriginallyscheduledforWednesday,
March9,2016toallowtheindividualJusticestoreadthroughallthesubmittedOpinions.Unfortunately,forreasonsnotfullydisclosedto
me,theactualdeliberationandvotingtookplaceonMarch8,2016(whenIwasonleaveformedicalreasons).
Thus, while my Separate Concurring Opinion was circulated, made available on time to all the Justices and accounted for in the Court's
countofvotes,Ididnothavethefullopportunitytoorallyexpoundonthem.Inthislight,thisDissentingOpinionismyopportunityto
covertheviewsIhavenotorallyaired.
I.
TheRelevantFactsandtheirLegalSignificance.

I.A.ThePetitionsforCancellationofCoC
andtheCOMELECruling
Four(4)petitionswerefiledwiththeCOMELECtocancelPoe'sCoCforthePresidencyunderSection78oftheOmnibusElectionCode
(OEC).
ThefirstpetitionbeforetheCOMELECwasthepetitionforcancellationfiledbyEstrella C. Elamparo,whichwasdocketedasG.R. No.
221697.
Theotherthree(3)petitionweresimilarlyforthecancellationofPoe'sCoCfiledbyseparatepartiesbyFranciscoS.Tatad,AmadoD.
Valdez,andAntonioP.ContrerasandarebeforethisCourtunderG.R.Nos.221298700.
The petitions before this Court all of them for the nullification of the COMELEC en banc rulings through a writ of certiorari were
consolidatedforhearingandhandlingbecausetheyalldealtwiththecancellationofPoe'sCoe.
Thesepetitionsessentiallyraisedtwogroundsasbasisforthecancellationprayedfor:
First,shefalselyrepresentedhercitizenshipinherCoCbecausesheisnotanaturalbornFilipinocitizenand
Second,shefalselyrepresentedtheperiodofherresidencypriortotheMay9,2016electionsasshehasnotresidedinthePhilippines
foratleastten(10)yearsbeforethedayoftheelection.
Theseissueswereraisedbasedontheconstitutionalcommandthat:

SECTION2.NopersonmaybeelectedPresidentunlessheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,aregisteredvoter,able
toreadandwrite,atleastfortyyearsofageonthedayoftheelection,andaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleasttenyears
immediatelyprecedingsuchelection.[ArticleVII,1987Constitution,emphasisandunderscoringsupplied]

TheCOMELECenbancintheappealthatPoefiledfromtheCOMELECDivisions'decisionsruledthatPoe'sCoCshouldbecancelledfor
thefalserepresentationsshemaderegardinghercitizenshipandresidency.Inthepetitionsbeforeus,PoeclaimsthattheCOMELECen
bancactedwithgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictionwhenitmadethisruling.
Thus,theissuebeforethisCourtisnotperseabouttheCOMELEC'slegalauthoritytoruleonthecancellationofPoe'sCoC,butaboutthe
mannertheCOMELECexerciseditsjurisdiction,itsallegedlyabusiveactsthatcausedittoexceeditsjurisdiction.
I say this under the view that the COMELEC's primary authority in this case is to pass upon the candidates' certificates of
candidacyandtoordertheircancellationifwarranted,forfalserepresentationonmaterialpoints.ButtheCOMELECcan,inthe
exerciseofthisauthority,preliminarily(andasanecessarilyincludedpower)passonthecorrectnessoftheclaimsmadeonthe
materialpointsofcitizenship,residency,andotherqualifications.Iexplainthispointmoreextensivelybelow.
I.B.TheCitizenshipTable
ThecitizenshipissuesrelatetoPoe'sstatusasacitizenofthePhilippinesandtothecharacterofthiscitizenship:whetherornotsheisa
Philippinecitizenifso,whetherornotsheisanaturalborncitizenastheConstitutionrequires.
TheissuesstartedbecauseoftheundisputedevidencethatPoeisafoundling,whichraisedthequestion:

(a) what is the status of a foundling under the 1935 Constitution given that this is the governing law when Poe
wasfoundinSeptemberof1968.

PoewaslikewisenaturalizedasanAmericancitizenandthereafterappliedforthereacquisitionofFilipinocitizenshipunderRANo.9225.
Thiscircumstancegaverisetothequestions:

(a) was she qualified to apply under RA No. 9225 given that the law specifically applies only to former natural
borncitizens
(b) even granting arguendo that she can be considered naturalborn, did she under RA 9225 reacquire her
naturalbornstatusorisshenowanaturalizedcitizeninlightoftheconstitutionaldefinitionofwhoisanatural
borncitizen?

The COMELEC, after considering the evidence and the surrounding circumstances, noted that Poe's citizenship claim was based on the
materialrepresentationthatsheisanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippineswheninfact,sheisnotthusherrepresentationonamaterial
pointwasfalse.Onthisbasis,theCOMELECresolvedtocancelPoe'sCoCbasedonhercitizenshipstatements.
The false material representation started in Poe's application for reacquisition of citizenship under RA No. 9225 which became the
foundation for the exercise of critical citizenship rights (such as the appointment to the Movie and Television Review and Classification
Board[MTRCB],hercandidacyandelectiontotheSenate,andherpresentcandidacyforthepresidency).

Had Poe early on identified herself as a foundling (i.e., one who cannot claim descent from a Filipino parent), then the Bureau of
Immigration and Deportation (BID) would have at least inquired further because this undisclosed aspect of her personal circumstances
touchesonherformernaturalborncitizenshipstatusthebasicirreplaceablerequirementfortheapplicationofRANo.9225.
Notably, the BID approval led the career of Poe to her appointment to the MTRCB and her subsequent election to the Senate. Both
positionsrequirethenaturalborncitizenshipstatusthattheBIDpreviouslyrecognizedinapprovingPoe'sRANo.9225application.
Foreasyandconvenientreferenceandunderstandingoftheessentialfactsandissues,separatetablesofthemajorincidentsinthelifeof
Poe,relevanttotheissuesraisedandbasedonthedulyfootnotedparties'evidence,areherebypresented.
TableI
CITIZENSHIPTABLE

DATE
September3,1968

Particular's(withlegalsignificance)
ThedatePoewasfoundherparentageaswellastheexactdateandactualplaceof
birthareunknown.
PoeclaimsthatshewasbornonthisdatewhenEdgardoMilitarfoundherattheJaro
IloiloCathedral.[57]
Legalsignificance:OurConstitutionrequiresaPresidenttobeanaturalborncitizen.
Poeadmittedthatsheisafoundling(i.e.,onebornofunknownparents)[58]andlater
claimedthatsheisanaturalborncitizen.[59]
She made her representation on the basis of a claimed presumption of Filipino
citizenship(apparently stemming from the circumstances under which she was found
[on September 3,1968in JaroIloilo])[60]and on the basis of international law which
allegedlygavehernaturalborncitizenshipstatus.

September6,1968

November27,1968

1973
May13,1974

In2006

December13,1986

Poe never formally claimed that she is presumed a Filipino citizen under Philippine
adoptionlaws,althoughadoptionwasmentionedinpassinginherMemorandum.[61]
Emiliano reported Poe as a foundling with the Office I of the Civil Registrar (OCR) in
Jaro,Iloiloforregistration.[62]
Legalsignificance:officialrecordthatPoeisafoundling.Nolegalquestionhasbeen
raisedaboutthisdocument.
The OCR issued the foundling certificate under the name "Mary Grace Natividad
ContrerasMilitar."[63]
TheOriginalCertificateofLiveBirthdatedNovember27,1968containsthenotation
'foundling" and now appears to have erasures, to reflect apparently the subsequent
adoptionofPoebyRonaldAllanPoeandJesusaSonoraPoe.
WhenPoewasfiveyearsold,RonaldAllanPoeandJesusaSonoraPoefiledapetition
forPoe'sIadoption.[64]
TheCourtapprovedtheSpousesPoe'spetitionforadoption.Poe'snamewaschanged
to"MaryGraceSonoraPoe.[65]
LegalSignificance:Sheofficiallyassumedthestatusofalegitimatechildbyadoption
oftheSpousesPoe,buttheadoptiondidnotaffecthercitizenshipstatusunderP.D.
603 (The Child and Youth Welfare Code), the adopted child does not follow the
citizenshipoftheadoptingparents.[66]
Significantly,noquestionaroseregardingPoe'slegalcapacitytobeadoptedasthe
lawlikewisedoesnotbartheadoptionofanalien.[67]
Jesusa Sonora Poe registered Poe's birth and secured a birth certificate from the
NationalStatisticsOfficeonMay4,2006.Thecertificatedidnotreflectthatshewasa
foundling who had been adopted by the spouses Poe.[68] The changes were in
accordance with Adm. Order No. 1, Series of 1993, the Implementing Rules on the
CivilRegistryLaw,andP.D.603(TheChildandYouthWelfareCode)whichspecifically
allowstheconfidentialtreatmentoftheadoption.
TheComelecissuedavoter'sidentificationcardtoPoeforPrecinctNo.196,Greenhills,
SanJuan,MetroManila[69]
LegalSignificance:TherecordsofthecasedonotdisclosethedocumentsPoeused
to support her voter registration, but she must have surely claimed to be a Filipino
citizenotherwise,thevoter'sIDwouldnothavebeenissued.[70]

April4,1988

Poe Obtained her Philippine Passport No. F927287[71] from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs.
SherenewedherpassportonApril5,1993(PassportiNo.L881511)andonMay19,
1998(PassportNo.IDD155616).[72]

LegalSignificance:Shecouldhavebeengrantedapassportonlyifshehadapplied
as,andclaimedthatsheisaFilipinocitizen.[73]
Filipinocitizenshipisexpresslystatedonthefacesofthepassports.[74]

July29,1991

TheexerciseoftherightsofaFilipinocitizendoesnotripentonorcanitbethebasis
forclaimofFilipinocitizenship.[75]
Poe left for the U.S. after she married Daniel Llamanzares (an American citizen of
Filipinoextraction)inthePhilippinesonJuly27,1991.[76]
LegalSignificance:HerUS.residencystatusdidnotaffectthePhilippinecitizenship
status reflected in her passport and voter's ID, but affected her Philippine residency
status as soon as she applied for and was granted US. residency status. Specifically,
sheabandonedthePhilippinedomicilethatshehadfromthetimeshewasfound.[77]

October18,2001

PoebecameanaturalizedUnitedStates(US.)citizen.[78]
Legal significance: Poe lost whatever claim she had to Philippine citizenship
through"expressrenunciationofthecitizenship.[79]
U.S.citizenshipconfirmedherabandonmentofthePhilippinecitizenshipwhoserights
shehadbeenexercising,aswellasherPhilippineresidence.[80]
Note that in her oath to the U.S., she "absolutely and entirely renounce[d] and
abjure[d] all allegiance and fidelity ... to any state ... of whom or which I have
heretoforebeenasubjectorcitizen."(Thiswasthe"infidelity"thattheReturnofthe
Renegadequotation,above,referredto.)
SheturnedherbackonthePhilippinesundertheseterms.

December19,2001
October18,2001toJuly18,2006

PoeobtainedU.S.PassportNo.017037793,expiringonDecember18,2011.[81]
LegalSignificance:PartofherrightasaU.S.citizen.
Various travels of Poe to the Philippines before she applied for Philippine citizenship
under RA No. 9225. She used her U.S. Passport and entered the Philippines through
PhilippineBalikbayanvisas.[82]
DatesofArrival
December27,2001
January13,2002
November9,2003
April8,2004
December13,2004
May24,2005
September14,2005
January7,2006
March11,2006
July5,2006

Visa
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan
Balikbayan

Passport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport

LegalSignificance:Duringthisperiod,PoeanAmericancitizenwasavisitorwho
hadabjuredallallegianceandfidelitytothePhilippinesshewasnotaFilipinocitizen
oralegalresidentofthecountry.
July7,2006

Julyl0,2006

ShetookheroathofallegiancetothePhilippines.[83]
LegalSignificance:ThestartoftheprocessofreacquiringFilipinocitizenshipbyan
alien under RA No. 9225. The process assumes that the applicant was a
NATURALBORNPhilippinecitizenshipbeforeshelostthiscitizenship.
Poe filed with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) applications for: (a)
reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under Republic Act (RA) No. 9225 and (b)
derivativecitizenshipforherthreeminorchildren.[84]
LegalSignificance:RANo.9225isavailableonlytoformernaturalhornFilipino
citizens.[85] Thus, the validity of her RA No. 9225 reacquired Philippine citizenship
dependedonthevalidityofhernaturalborncitizenshipclaim.
ShefalselyrepresentedunderoathinherRANo.9225applicationthatshewasa
former naturalborn citizen of the Philippines and was the daughter of Ronald
andSusanPoe,therebyalsoconcealingthatshehadbeenafoundlingwhowas
adoptedbytheSpousesPoe,nottheirnaturalbornchild.Asanadoptedchild,she
couldnothavebeenanaturalborncitizenwhofollowedthecitizenshipoftheSpouses
Poeundertheruleofjussanguinis.
Thisfalsematerialrepresentationbecamethebasisforhersubsequentclaimtobea
naturalborn citizen, notably in her MTRCB appointment, her election to the Senate
and her present candidacy for President. The COMELEC 's ruling on Poe 's CoC for
Presidentisnowthesubjectofthepresentpetitions.

July18,2006

Despite the privilege under the adoption laws and rules[86] to keep the fact of
adoptionconfidential,shestillhadthedutytodiscloseherfoundlingstatusunderRA
No.9225becausethisismaterialinformationthatthelawmandatorilyrequirestobe
madeunderoathasaconditionfortheapplicationofthelaw.[87]
The BID approved Poe's application for Philippine citizenship and the applications for
derivativecitizenshipforherthreechildren.[88]
Legal Significance: The approval of Poe's RA No. 9225 application, on its face,
entitledhertoclaimdualcitizenshipstatusPhilippineandAmerican.[89]
To quote the BID Order approving Poe's application "the petitioner was a former
naturalborncitizenofthePhilippines,havingbeenborntoFilipinoparents...."This
OrderimmeasurablyfacilitatedPoe'ssubsequentclaimtonaturalbornstatus.
ThepresentcaseisnotthemediumtoquestionvalidityoftheBIDapproval,butstill
laysopenthequestionofwhetherPoecommittedfalsematerialrepresentationsinthe
application process a question of fact that the COMELEC ruled upon, [90] i.e., that
shefalselyrepresentedthatshehadbeenanaturalborncitizen.

August31,2006

The BID issued to Poe her Identification Certificate No. 0610918[91] pursuant to RA
No.9225inrelationwithAdministrativeOrderNo.91,seriesof2004andMemorandum
CircularNo.AFF2005.
PoeregisteredagainasvoterinBarangaySantaLucia,SanJuanCity.[92]

October31,2006

LegalSignificance:UnderRANo.9225,adualcitizencanvotebutcannotbevoted
upontoelectivepositionunlessarenunciationoftheothercitizenshipismade.[93]
PoeobtainedPhilippinePassportNo.XX473199.[94]

July31,2006

July18,2006October13,2009
(Thedateofthe
BID's approval, to the date of the
issuanceofPoe'sPhilippinepassport

LegalSignificance:ThepassportwasissuedaftertheapprovalofPoe'sRANo.9225
citizenshipandwasthereforeonthestrengthoftheapprovalmade.
PoetravelledabroadusingherU.S.passporttheBIDstampedtheentry"RC"and/or
"ICNo.0610918"forhertravelstoandfromthePhilippinesonthesedates:[95]
DatesofArrival
July21,2007
March28,2008
May8,2008
October2,2008
October5,2008
April20,2009
May21,2009
July31,2009

Visa
RC
RC
RC
RC
RC
RC
RC
RC

Passport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport
USPassport

October6,2010

October20,2010

LegalSignificance:TheBIDallowedPoetoenterandleavethecountryas"RC."Atty.
Poblador mentioned that "RC" means "resident citizen" to claim the marking as
evidenceofcontinuingresidency.
PoewasappointedChairoftheMTRCB.[96]
Legalsignificance:PoecouldhavebeenappointedasMTRCBChairpersononlyifshe
hadbeenanaturalborncitizen.[97]
Poe renounced her U.S. allegiance and citizenship to comply with RA No. 9225's
requirements.[98]
Legal Significance: Her renunciation of US. Citizenship complied with the
requirementsofRANo.9225andwouldhavemadehera"pure"Filipinocitizenifshe
hadvalidlyreacquiredPhilippinecitizenshipunderthislaw.[99]
A seldom noticed aspect of this renunciation is that Poe only renounced her U.S.
citizenshipbecauseitwasrequiredbyherappointmentandsubsequentassumptionto
officeattheMTRCB.[100]

October21,2010
October26,2010

PoetookherOathofOfficeforthepositionofMTRCBChairperson.[101]
Poe assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the MTRCB Chairperson.
[102]

Legalsignificance:PoecouldhavebeenappointedasMTRCBChairpersononlyifshe
hadbeenanaturalbornFilipinoCitizenship.[103]
U.S.governmentactionsontherenunciationofU.S.citizenshipthatPoemade.
TheU.S.immigrationnotedinPoe'spassportthatsherepatriatedherselfonthisdate.
[104]

July12,2011

Poe executed the Oath/ Affirmation of Renunciation of U.S. Nationality at the U.S.
EmbassyinManila.[105]

December9,2011
February3,2012

ShealsoexecutedaStatementofVoluntaryRelinquishmentofU.S.Citizenship.[106]
TheU.S.ViceConsulsignedaCertificateofLossofNationalityoftheU.S.[107]

February3,2012

TheU.S.ViceConsulsignedaCertificateofLossofNationalityoftheU.S.[107]
TheU.S.DepartmentofStateapprovedtheCertificateofLossofU.S.Nationality.[108]
Legal significance: Confirmatory renunciation, before U.S. authorities, of her
previousrenunciationunderRANo.9225.Upuntiltheseseriesofacts,Poewasadual
citizen.

October2,2012

Legally, this was the conclusive evidence that she had abandoned her U.S.
domicile,asatravelercarryingapurelyPhilippinepassport,shecouldnolongertravel
atwilltoandfromtheU.S..norresideinthatcountry.
PoefiledherCoCforSenatorfortheMay13,,2013Electionsshestatedthatsheisa
naturalbornFilipinocitizen.[109]
Legal Significance: This is another case involving the material representation of
being a naturalborn Filipino, having been born to Ronald Allan Poe and Jesusa
SonoraPoe.
She was elected Senator without any question about her citizenship being
raised.

November18,2015

TheSenateElectoralTribunal(SET)(voting5to4)issueditsDecision[110]dismissing
theQuoWarrantopetitionofRizalitoDavidwhichwasbasedontheclaimthatPoeis
notanaturalborncitizenofthePhilippines.
LegalSignificanceTheSETrulingdoesnotbindnorbartheCOMELECfromruling
onthecancellationofCoCpetitionsbecausethesetribunalsaredifferent,thecauseof
actionsbeforethemaredifferent,andthepartiesarelikewisedifferent.

October15,2015

Significantly,thedissentsattheSETwerewhollybasedonlegalconsiderationson
theConstitution,oninternationallaw,andPhilippinestatutes.TheSETmajorityruling
reliedmoreonpoliticalconsiderations.
PoefiledherCoC[111]forPRESIDENTfortheMay9,2016Electionsshesignedthe
statementunderoaththatsheisaNATURALBORNFILIPINOCITIZEN.
Legal Significance: This is the citizenship issue in the present case which posed to
theComelec2subissues:
First.IsPoeanaturalbornFilipinocitizen
Afterconsideringherfoundlingstatus,her
Acquisition of U.S. citizenship and the consequent loss of her claimed naturalborn
Philippinecitizenship,andherallegedreacquisitionunderRANo.9225?
Second . Since she claimed she was a naturalborn citizen, did she commit false
material representations in her CoC and in the official documents supporting her
claim? If she did, should this false material representation lead to the cancellation of
herCoC?
Given the succession of falsities that Poe made on her naturalborn status, may the
COMELECbefaultedwithGADforrulingasitdid?
Ironically, she claims in the present CoC cancellation case that the grant by the
Philippines of her right to vote, her passport, and her appointment to the MTRCB
should be considered evidence of government recognitions of her naturalborn
Philippine citizen status.[112] She thus wants her very own misdeeds to be the
evidenceofhernaturalbornstatus.
The previous false claims open the question: could they count as evidence of
naturalborn status if they have all been rooted on documents that were based on
misrepresentations?
Moreimportantly,couldherelectionorappointmenttopublicofficehaveworkedto
automaticallygrantorrestoreherPhilippinecitizenship?
While the fact of adoption is confidential information in the Amended Certificate of
LiveBirth(butmustappearintheRegistryofBirth),thegrantofconfidentialityisnot
an absolute shield against the disclosure of being a foundling nor a defense against
falserepresentation.WhileinRANo.9225,thenaturalbornrequirementisastatutory
onethatarguablystandsatthesamelevelandfootingastheconfidentialprivilegeon
the law on adoption, in the present case, the naturalborn requirement is a
constitutional one that stands on a very much higher plane than the
confidentiality privilege. In the latter case, national interest is already plainly
involvedinelectingthehighestofficialoftheland.
Note,too,thatinFrivaldov.COMELEC,[113]theCourtruledthattheelectionofa
former Filipino to office does not automatically restore Philippine citizenship, the
possessionofwhichisanindispensablerequirementforholdingpublicoffice."Thewill

of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility,
especiallyiftheymistakenlybelieved,asinthiscase,thatthecandidatewasqualified.
[114]

I.C.RESIDENCYTABLE
Theresidencyissuesmainlystemmedfromtwoevents(1)thenaturalizationofPoeasaU.S.citizenand(2)herapplicationfor
reacquisitionofPhilippinecitizenshipunderRANo.9225.
ThefirstmadeheradomiciliaryoftheU.S.,[115]whilethesecond(assumingtheclaimedreacquisitiontobevalid)gavehertherightto
reside in the Philippines and to be considered a domiciliary of the Philippines for the exercise of her political rights, i.e., for election
purposes, based on her compliance with the requisites for change of residence. Still assuming that she complied with the RA 9225
requisites,theconsolidatedpetitionsstillposethefollowingquestionstotheCOMELECandtothisCourt:
(a)WhethershebecamearesidentofthePhilippinesforelectionpurposesand
(b)Ifso,whendidshebecomearesident.
TheCOMELEC,afterconsideringtheevidenceandthesurroundingcircumstances,ruledthatsheengagedinfalsematerialrepresentations
in claiming her residency status in her CoC for the Presidency she tailorfitted her claim to the requirements of the position by
deviatingfromtheclaimshemadewhensheran/ortheSenate.
While she claimed that a mistake intervened in her Senate CoC, she failed to adduce evidence on the details and circumstances of the
mistake,thusmakingherclaimaselfservingone.Herclaim,too,wentagainstestablishedjurisprudencewhichholdsthatthecountingof
theperiodofresidencyforelectionpurposesstartsattheearliestfromtheapprovaloftheRANo.9225application.
Table2
THERESIDENCYTABLE

DATE
Particulars(withlegalsignificance)
Days prior to September 3, 1968 WithPoe'sparentageunknown,herresidencefromthetimeofherbirthuntilshewas
thedatePoewasfoundinJaro,Iloilo foundislikewiseunknown.

September3,1968[116]

LegalSignificance:Poe'scircumstancesofbirthhavebeenabigcipherfromthevery
beginning.
This is Poe's declared birthday, which is really the date Poe was found by Edgardo
MilitarattheJaroIloiloCathderal.ShewassubsequentlygiventothecareofEmiliano
Militarandhiswife,residentsofJaro,Iloilo.
LegalSignificance:ThespousesMilitarbecamePoe'sdefactoguardianshence,Poe
technicallybecamearesidentofJara,Iloilo

1973
May13,1974

RonaldAllanPoeandJesusaSonoraPoefiledapetitionforPoe'sadoption.[117]
ThecourtapprovedtheSpousesPoe'spetitionforadoption.Poe'snamewaschanged
to"MaryGraceSonoraPoe.[118]
Legal Significance: She officially assumed the status of a legitimate child after the
Spouses Poe adopted her. She then followed her adoptive parents' residence as her
domicileoforigin.

December13,1986

UndertheCivilCode,thegeneraleffectofadecreeofadoptionistotransfertothe
adoptive parents parental authority over the adopted child ... they must have the
sameresidence.[119]
The COMELEC issued a voter's identification card to Poe for Precinct No. 196,
Greenhills,SanJuan,MetroManila.[120]
Legal Significance: She could have been registered as a voter only if she had
representedthatshewasaFilipinocitizenandaresidentofthePhilippinesforatleast
oneyearandofGreenhills,SanJuan,MetroManilaforatleastsixmonthsimmediately
precedingtheelections.[121]
PoewenttotheU.S.tocontinuehertertiarystudiesattheBostonCollegeinChestnut
Hill,Massachusetts.[122]
Legal Significance: Poe remained a Philippine resident while studying in the US.
AbsencefromPhilippinedomiciletopursuestudiesoverseasdoesnotconstitutelossof
domicileorresidence.

1991

PoegraduatedfromBostonCollege.[123]
Legal significance. Absence from the domicile of origin to pursue studies does not
constitutelossofdomicileorresidence.
WhileastudentintheU.S.,Poe'spermanentresidenceremainedinthePhilippines,
there was intent to return to the Philippines or animusrevertendi.[124] There is no

evidenceorprovenintenttomakeBostonherfixedandpermanenthome.[125]
July29,1991

Thus,PoewasapermanentPhilippineresidentfor23years(1968to1991).
Poe left for the U.S. after she married Daniel Llamanzares (an American citizen of
.Filipinoextraction)inthePhilippinesonJuly27,1991.[126]
Legal Significance: Her initial US stay was presumably preparatory to being a
permanent resident of the U.S. for purposes of the U.S. citizenship that she
eventuallyclaimed.
Significantly,PoeadmitsthatshewillinglychosetolivewithherhusbandintheU.S.,
and thus left on July 29, 1991. Very clearly, Poe intended to abandon her
Philippine residence for a new residence in the U.S. when she went with her
husbandtotheU.S.[127]

19912001

Poe lived with her husband and children in the U.S.[128] They travelled frequently to
thePhilippinesbutonlytovisitfamilyandfriends.
Legal Significance: Poe remained a U.S. resident from the time she secured
permanent U.S. visa status. The permanent resident status confirmed her intent to
establishfamilylife,andthus,residence,intheU.S.[129]

October18,2001

PoebecameanaturalizedAmericanCitizen[130]
Legal significance: U.S. citizenship erased all doubts that Poe had completely
abandoned her Philippine residence.[131] It confirmed as well that she had been a
permanentresidentoftheU.S.beforeherapplicationforU.S.citizenship.
ThePhilippinedomicilesheabandonedwasthedomicileshehadfromthetimeshe
wasadoptedbythespousesPoe.[132]
ToqualifyforcitizenshipunderU.S.naturalizationlaws,itisrequiredthatonemust
have been a permanent resident for 3 {three) years or more if one is filing for
naturalizationasthespouseofaU.S.citizen.[133]

2004

Her subsequent acts of living and remaining in the U.S. for ten years until her
naturalizationin2001pointtotheconclusionthatatsomepointduringthistime(after
arrivalin1991),shewasalreadyaU.S.andcouldnolongerbeconsideredaPhilippine
resident.
Poe resigned from her work in the U.S. and allegedly never sought reemployment.
[134]

Legal Significance: Resignation from work had no immediate legal effect on


residence and is thus immaterial to Poe's claimed Philippine residency status. Poe
remainedaUSresidentandwasinfactaU.S.citizendomiciledinthatcountry.

April8,2004uptoJuly7,2004

Resignation from one's employment per se does not amount to abandonment of


residence.[135]
Poe travelled to the Philippines with her daughter, Hanna. Poe also wanted to give
birth to Anika in the Philippines and to give moral support to her parents during her
father'scampaignforthepresidency.[136]
Legalsignificance:PoeremainedaU.S.resident.
Poe's travels (to and from the U.S. and the Philippines) between April 2004 and
February2005didnotaffectherU.S.residencystatus.
The admitted purposes for these travels had nothing to do with any intent to re
establishPhilippineresidence.

July8,2004

PoereturnedtotheU.S.withhertwodaughters.[137]

Legalsignificance:ThisreturntripfurtherprovesthatPoeremainedaU.S.resident.
December 13, 2004 up to February Poe was in the Philippines when Fernando Poe, Jr. was hospitalized. She eventually
3,2005
tookcareofsettlinghisaffairsafterhedied.[138]
Legalsignificance:PoeremainedqU.S.resident.

FirstQuarterof2005

TheadmittedpurposesofherstayinthePhilippinesduringthisperiodhadnothing
todowiththereestablishmentofherresidenceinthePhilippines.
PoeandherhusbandallegedlydecidedtoreturntothePhilippinesforgood.[139]
Legal Significance: Poe did not abandon her US. Residence. Their (Poe and her
husband's) alleged intent are internal subjective acts that are meaningless without
external supporting action under the legal conditions that would allow a change of
domicile. Notably, Poe was in the Philippines during the year as a Visitor under a
Balikbayanvisa.[140]
Merechangeofresidenceintheexerciseofthecivilrighttochangeresidenceis
likewisedifferentfromachangeofdomicilefortheexerciseofthepoliticalrightto

be voted into public office. For the exercise of this political right, the candidate must
beaPhilippinecitizen.
US. residency which started in 1991 and which was later confirmed by Poe's
acquisitionofUS.citizenshipremaineduntilspecificallygivenup,foraslongas
therighttoresideintheU.S.subsisted.

Inearly2005

Note:PoearguesthathertravelstoandinitialstayinthePhilippineswerepreparatory
actsinthegoaltoestablishresidenceinthePhilippines.Evenassumingthattheywere
preparatory acts, they are not material to the issue of when Poe became a
Philippineresident(ascontemplatedbytheConstitutionandorelectionlaws).They
arenotalsoconclusiveonwhensheabandonedherU.S.residence.
Poe and her husband informed their children's schools that the children would be
transferringtoPhilippineschoolsinthenextsemester.[141]
Legal Significance: Poe remained a US. resident. This act establishes the intent to
transferschools,butdoesnot,byitself,conclusivelyprovetheintenttochangeorto
abandonherUS.residence.

May24,2005

AbsencefromherUS.residence(andpresenceinthePhilippines)topursuestudies
does not constitute loss of US. domicile and acquisition of a new domicile in the
Philippines.
Poe returned to the Philippines and allegedly decided to resettle here for good.[142]
Note that Poe was still under a Balikbayan visa and was thus a visitor to the
Philippines.[143]
PoearguesthatshereestablishedpermanentPhilippineresidenceatthispoint.Cana
US. citizen, on a Balikbayan visit to the Philippines, thereby establish residence for
purposesoftheexerciseofpoliticalrightsinthePhilippines?
Legal Significance: The evidence speak for themselves. Poe's Balikbayan visa does
notpointtoorconfirmanyintenttopermanentlysettleinthePhilippines.[144]
SincesheenteredthePhilippinesunderaBalikbayanvisaandwasthusatemporary
visitortothecountryunderSection13ofCA613(asamendedbyRANo.4376),her
allegedintentwasnotsupportedbyhercontemporaneousact.

March2005toNovember2006

Consider too from here on that from the perspective of change of domicile,
although Poe's acts may collectively show her intent to settle m the Philippines,
theydonotconclusivelytheintenttoabandonherU.S.domicile.Shewasatthis
pointstillaUS.citizenwhohadbeenapermanentresidentsince1991andwhocould
returnatwilltotheUS.asaresident.
Poe and her husband transacted with shipping agents for the transport of their
personal belongings and other personal property from the U.S. to the Philippines in
viewoftheirdecisiontoresettleinthePhilippines.[145]
LegalSignificance:PoeremainedaUS.ResidenttemporarilyinthePhilippinesher
visa status did not point to residence that could be credited as legal residence for
election purposes. She might have been physically present in the Philippines but
whatwasthenatureofherstayinthePhilippines?Shewaslegallyinthecountryfor
purposes only of a temporary stay and had no legally established basis to stay
beyondthis.[146]
Animportantpointtonoteisthatshewasnotexercisinganypoliticalrighttoreside
inthePhilippinesatthispoint.

August2005

Again,anobviousmissingelementwasherclearintenttoabandonherUS.domicile.
HerclaimedactsdonotclearlyshowPoe'sintenttoabandonherUS.Domicile.
PoeandherhusbandinquiredwiththePhilippineauthoritiesontheproceduretobring
theirpetdogfromtheU.S.A.tothePhilippines.[147]
Legal Significance: Poe's inquiry did not affect her residency at all she remained a
US. resident, and is totally worthless as she did not even show by subsequent
evidence that she actually brought the dog to the Philippines. This act, too, does not
proveabandonmentoftheirUS.residence.

June2005

PoeenrolledherchildrenmdifferentschoolsmthePhilippines.[148]
Legal Significance: This act does not prove Poe's intent to abandon their U.S.
domicile, Poe's children entered the Philippines for a temporary period under the
Balikbayan program. Note too, that the enrollment in schools is only for a period of
oneschoolyear.Atmost,thisshowsthatPoeandherchildrenwerephysicallypresent
inthePhilippinesatthistime.Notethatundercertainconditions,alienslikePoe,can
enrolltheirchildreninthePhilippines.[149]
AbsencefromherU.S.residence(andpresenceinthePhilippines)topursuestudies
does not conclusively point to the loss of U.S. domicile and acquisition of a new

July22,2005

Philippinedomicile.NotethatPoeherselfpreviouslystudiedintheU.S.withoutlosing
herPhilippineresidence.
Poe registered with and secured Tax Identification No. (TIN)[150] from the Bureau of
InternalRevenue(BIR).
Legal Significance: This act wa