Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comelec promulgates 1st Div Resolution Cancelling the COC of Regina O. Reyes

COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr.
Noong Marso 27, 2013, nagdesisyon ang Comelec First Division na kanselahin ang certificate of candidacy (CoC) ni Regina O. Reyes. Napatunayan na ang respondent na si Regina O. Reyes ay isang American citizen na hindi nare-acquire ang kanyang Philippine citizenship sa ilalim ng batas ng Pilipinas, ang R.A. 9225.

Noong Abril 6, 2013, umapela si Reyes sa Comelec sa pamamagitan ng pag-file ng motion for reconsideration sa Resolusyon ng First Division at nilahad niya dito ang isang kakatwang teyorya – na siya daw ay isang dual citizen dahil sa kanyang pagpapakasal sa isang U.S. citizen. Wala naman siyang iprinisintang ebidensya o legal na basehan sa sinabi niyang ito.



Bahagi ng COMELEC EN BANC RESOLUTION on CANCELLATION OF REYES' COC


Promulgated na ang COMELEC EN BANC RESOLUTION NA NAGKAKANSELA SA KANDIDATURA NI REGINA. O. REYES sa En Banc Resolution SPA NO.13-053 (DC)  na may petsang May 14, 2013. Pirmado ng lahat ng COMELEC Commissioners kabilang na si COMELEC Commissioner SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR. at Commissioners LUCENITO N. TAGLE, ELIAS R. YUSOPH, CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM, MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA, AL A. PARRENO at LUIE TITO F. GUIA, 



Ang petitioner sa kaso, ay naghain naman ng kanyang komento sa motion ni Reyes at inilahad ang mga kaukulang mga batas ng U.S. at Pilipinas hinggil sa pagkuha, pagkawala, at pag-reacquire ng U.S. at Filipino citizenships. Napatunayan na ang respondent ay hindi isang dual citizen ng America at Pilipinas dahil nawala ang kanyang Philippine citizensip ng siya ay maging isang American citizen sa pamamagitan ng naturalization, at hindi naman siya nakakuhang muli ng Philippine citizenship sa ilalim ng sinasaad sa R.A. 9225.

Ipinaliwanag ng Comelec First Division sa Resolusyon ng Marso 27, 2013 na ang respondent ay isang American citizen na nabigong makakuhang muli ng Philippine citizenship. Ang sabi nito:

“xxx it is evident that for respondent to reacquire her Filipino citizenship and become eligible for public office, the law requires that she must have accomplished the following acts: (1) take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Consul-General of the Philippine Consulate in the USA; and (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.

“In the case at bar, there is no showing that respondent complied with the aforesaid requirements. Early on in the proceeding, respondent hammered on petitioner’s lack of proof regarding her American citizenship, contending that it is petitioner’s burden to present a  case. She, however, SPECIFICALLY DENIED THAT SHE HAS BECOME EITHER A PERMANENT RESIDENT OR NATURALIZED CITIZEN OF THE USA.

Due to petitioner’s submission of newly-discovered evidence thru a Manifestation dated February 7, 2013, however, establishing the fact that respondent is a holder of an American passport which she continues to use until June 30, 2012, petitioner was able to substantiate his allegations. The burden now shifts to respondent to present substantial evidence to prove otherwise. This, the respondent utterly failed to do, leading to the conclusion inevitable that respondent falsely misrepresented in her COC that she is a natural-born citizen. Unless and until she can establish that she had availed of the privileges of RA 9225 by becoming a dual Filipino-American citizen, and thereafter, made a valid sworn renunciation of her American citizenship, she remains to be an American citizen and is, therefore, ineligible to run for and hold any elective public office in the Philippines.”

Naipaliwanag din ng COMELEC First Division na si Reyes ay hindi residente ng Municipality of Boac, Marinduque dahilan nga sa pagkawala ng kanyang Philippine citizenship: Ipinaliwanag ng First Division na:

“We now go to respondent’s representation in her COC that she is a resident of brgy. Lupac, Boac, Marinduque for a period of thirty-six (36) years and two (2) months before the May 13, 2013 elections.

“Petitioner’s allegation as to respondent’s non-residence in Brgy. Lupac, Boac, Marinduque rests on the theory that she is married to Cong. Mandanas, who is a resident of 135 J,P. Rizal, Brgy. Maligaya, Quezon City or Bauan, Batangas. It has already been shown, however, that respondent is not legally married tng. Mandanas. Accordingly, the more appropriate issue is whether respondent had regained her domicile of origin in the Municipality of Boac, Marinduque after she lost the same when she became a naturalized American citizen.

Japson v. Comelec elucidated, to wit:

                “A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place where the child’s parents reside and continues until the same is abandoned by acquisition of a new domicile (domicile of choice). In Coquilla, the Court already acknowledged that for an individual to acquire American y himself admitted that he became a naturalized American citizen, then he must have necessarily abandoned the Municipality of General Macarthur, Eastern Samar, Philippines, as his domicile of origin; and transferred to the USA, as hid domicile of choice.

                “As already been previously discussed by this Court herein, Ty’s reacquisition of his Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 had no automatic impact for effect on his residence/domicile. He could still retain his domicile in the USA, and he did not necessarily regain his domicile in the Municipality of General Macarthur, Eastern Samar, Philippines, said place becoming his domicile of choice. The length of his residence therein shall be determined from the time he made it his domicile of choice and it shall not retroact to the time of his birth.”   (Emphasis ours)

COMELEC EN BANC RESOLUTION PROMULGATED MAY 14, 2013 DENYING REYES MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND AFFIRMING COMELEC FIRST DIVISION RESOLUTION OF MARCH 27, 2013.

Ipinatupad naman ng COMELEC EN BANC na may epekto Mayo 14, 2013, ang Resolusyon ng First Division ng Comelec bilang resulta ng masusing ebaluwasyon ng mga argumentong iprinisinta ng magkabilang panig hinggil sa kasong ito. Sabi ng Comelec En Banc: Matapos ang ebaluwasyon ng mga argumentong inilahad, ang Commission (First Division) ay nagdeklara na ang COC ng respondent ay KANSELADO. Ito, ay hindi na NAMIN magagawang gambalain pa.”

“xxx 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.

“SO ORDERED.”

Nilagdaan:

SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR, Chairman
LUCENITO N. TAGLE, Commissioner
ELIAS R. YUSOPH, Commissioner
CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM, Commissioner
MARIA GRACIA CIELO M. PADACA, Commissioner
AL A. PARRENO, Commissioner
LUIE TITO F. GUIA, Commissioner

"CERTIFICATION

‘THIS IS TO CERTIFY that the conclusions in the above resolution were reached in consultation among the members of the Commission before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Commission (En Banc).

Nilagdaan:

SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR., Chairman”

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