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COQUILLA vs COMELEC

By: Jessa Mary Ann Cedeo


FACTS:
Coquilla was born on 1938 of
Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern
Samar. He grew up and resided
there until 1965, when he was
subsequently naturalized as a
U.S. citizen after joining the US
Navy.
In1998, he came to the
Philippines and took out a
residence certificate, although he
continued making several trips to
the United States.
Coquilla eventually applied for
repatriation under R.A. No. 8171
which was approved. Thus, on
November 10, 2000, he took his
oath as a citizen of the
Philippines.
On November 21, 2000, he
applied for registration as a voter
of Butnga, Oras, Eastern Samar
which was approved in 2001.
On February 27, 2001, he filed
his certificate of candidacy stating
that he had been a resident of
Oras,Eastern Samar for 2 years.
Oras incumbent mayor,
Neil Alvarez, who was running
for reelection sought to cancel
Coquillas certificate of candidacy
on the ground that his statement
as to the two year residency in
Oras was a material
representation as he only resided
therein for 6 months after his oath
as a citizen.
Before the COMELEC could
render a decision, elections
commenced and Coquillo was
proclaimed the winner.

On July 19, 2001, COMELEC


granted Alvarez petition and
ordered the cancellation of
petitioners certificate
of candidacy.

ISSUE:
Was COMELECs order of
cancellation of the certificate of
candidacy Teodulo M.
Coquilla proper?
HELD: YES
COMELEC properly ordered the
cancellation of CoquillaS COC.
COMELEC still had jurisdiction
over his case although he was
already proclaimed because RA
6646 provides that the
proceedings for disqualification of
candidates or for the cancellation
or denial of certificates of
candidacy, which have been
begun before the elections,
should continue even after such
elections and proclamation of the
winners.
In this case, the COC was
correctly cancelled because
Coquilla did not posses the legal
qualification of at least 1 year
residency.
The term "residence" is to be
understood as the "domicile" or
legal residence.
He has lost his domicile of origin
in Oras by becoming a U.S.
citizen and he has not reestablished his claimed domicile
in Oras by mere filing of taxes or
by obtaining a voters registration
as it only requires six-month
residency.
The material falsification he
committed merits the cancellation
of his COC.