Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comelec En Banc Resolution affirming Cancellation of Regina O. Reyes' Certificate of Candidacy (COC)


Text of the COMELEC Resolution:

"RESOLUTION

"Subject for resolution is the motion for reconsideration filed by respondent Atty. Regina Ongsiako Reyes assailing the March 27, 2013 Resolution of the Commission (First Division), pertinent portions of which are reproduced hereunder:

"Thus, a Filipino citizen who becomes naturalized elsewhere effectively abandoned his domicile of origin. Upon re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225, he must still show that he chose to establish his domicile in the Philippines through positive acts, and the period of his residency shall be counted from the time he made it his domicile of choice.

"In this case, there is no showing whatsoever that respondent had already re-acquired her Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 so as to conclude that she has regained her domicile in the Philippines. There being no proof that respondent had renounced her American citizenship, it follows that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA.

"only proof presented by respondent to show that she has met the one-year residency requirement of the law and never abandoned her domicile of origin in Boac, Marinduque is her claim that she served as Provincial Administrator of the province from January 18, 2011 to July 13, 2011. But such fact alone is not sufficient to prove her one-year residency. For, respondent has never regained her domicile in Marinduque as she remains to be an American citizen. No amount of her stay in the said locality can substitute the fact that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA.

"The requirement of Philippine citizenship is indispensable for a person seeking for an elective public office. Thus, strict compliance with the requirements of RA 9225 is vital and finds even more application to a former Filipino citizen who aspired to re-acquire his Filipino citizenship and enjoys full civil and political rights therein, including the right to be voted for. It is a requisite which shoud be dealt with more scrutiny, if only to ensure that no person owing allegiance to other nation is actually permitted to govern our people.

Xxx

"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Certificate of Candidacy of respondent REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES is hereby CANCELLED.

"In her motion for reconsideration, the respondent argues that the assailed Resolution was rendered contrary to the facts and established jurisprudence as the petitioner failed to establish sufficient evidence to make for a prima facie case against her. We deem this to the contrary.

"There is no cogent reason to reverse the findings of the Commission (First Division).
The motion for reconsideration is a reiteration of the various pleadings submitted by the respondent on the issue, a mere rehash and recycling of the claims she has raised prior to the promulgation of the resolution. The Supreme Court in the case of Roque v. Comelec did not cast a favorable eye on arguments that were reiterated:

"Petitioners’ above contention, as well as the arguments, citations, and premises holding it together, is a rehash of their previous position articulated in their memorandum I support of their petition. They have been considered, squarely addressed, and found to be without merit in the Decision subject heeof. The Court is not inclined to embark on another extended discussion of the same issue again.

"The Resolution by the First Division of this Commission is a result of a tedious evaluation of the claims and defenses brought about by the two contending parties in the case at bar. After an evaluation of the arguments presented, the Commission (First Division) declared the COC of the respondent as cancelled. This, We dare not disturb.

"WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The March 27, 2013 Resolution of the Commission (First Division) is hereby AFFIRMED.” 





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