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POLI - #46

Reyes v. COMELEC (2013)


Doctrine:
Under the Constitution, the HRET is the sole judge of all contests relating
to the election, returns and qualifcations of House Members
Thus, the C!ME"EC#s jurisdiction ends and the HRET#s begins onl$ after
%inners become House Members, that is, after the$ ha&e '() been
*roclaimed, '+) ta,en their oath of o-ce, and
'.) assumed o-ce on /une .0 of the $ear follo%ing their election, %hen
the$ start ser&ing their term
Facts:
Regina O. Reyes fled her candidacy as representative of the lone district of
Marinduque for the 2013 elections. Her candidacy was questioned y !an" a voter
and resident of the district.
Her candidacy was questioned on the grounds that she lied aout her civil status"
her irthday" her residence" and her citi#enship. !an rought the case to the
$o%%ission on &lections.
On March 2'" 2013" the $o%elec (irst )ivision cancelled Reyes* certifcate of
candidacy +$O$, for representative of Marinduque. -y such cancellation" Reyes
ceased to e a candidate.
!he (irst )ivision held that y her %arriage to an .%erican" Reyes lost her natural/
orn (ilipino citi#enship and" thus" was not qualifed to e a law%a0er. $ontrary to
her clai%" she did not regain her citi#enship ecause she failed to +1, to ta0e an
oath of allegiance to the 1hilippines" and +2, to renounce her .%erican citi#enship"
as required y 1hilippine law.
On May 12" the $OM&3&$ en anc" voting 4/1" a5r%ed the (irst )ivision*s ruling.
!he a5r%ation eca%e fnal and e6ecutory on May 17.
)espite such cancellation" Reyes" whose na%e was printed on the auto%ated allot"
gathered the highest nu%er of votes" with 3ord .llan 8elasco placing second. On
May 19" the -O$ proclai%ed her the winner. On :une ;" she too0 her oath of o5ce.
Reyes sued the $OM&3&$ in the <upre%e $ourt" accusing the poll ody of
e6ceeding its =urisdiction in cancelling her $O$. <he also argued that after she was
proclai%ed winner" the $OM&3&$ lost its =urisdiction over her.
On :une 2;" the $ourt" voting '/2" issued its questioned resolution" penned y
:ustice :ose 1ortugal 1ere#" upholding the $OM&3&$.
Reyes then fled a Motion for Reconsideration.
Issue/s:
1. >hether or not petitioner is ineligile to run for o5ce
2. >hether or not $OM&3&$ is without =urisdiction over 1etitioner who is a duly
proclai%ed winner and who has already ta0en her oath of o5ce for the
position of Me%er of the House of Representatives
e!"/Rat#$:
1. 1etitioner is ineligile
?n %oving for the cancellation of petitioner@s $O$" respondent su%itted
records of the -ureau of ?%%igration showing that petitioner is a holder of a
A< passport" and that her status is that of a ali0ayan.
.t this point" the urden of proof shifted to petitioner" i%posing upon her the
duty to prove that she is a natural/orn (ilipino citi#en and has not lost the
sa%e" or that she has re/acquired such status in accordance with the
provisions of R... Bo. 722;.
.side fro% the are allegation that she is a natural/orn citi#en" however"
petitioner su%itted no proof to support such contention. Beither did she
su%it any proof as to the inapplicaility of R... Bo. 722; to her.
2. $OM&3&$ has =urisdiction
Ander the $onstitution" the HR&! is the sole =udge of all contests relating to
the election" returns and qualifcations of House Me%ers.
!hus" the $OM&3&$*s =urisdiction ends and the HR&!*s egins only after
winners eco%e House Me%ers" that is" after they have +1, een
proclai%ed" +2, ta0en their oath of o5ce" and
+3, assu%ed o5ce on :une 30 of the year following their election" when they
start serving their ter%.
$onsequently" the $OM&3&$ still had =urisdiction to rule on Reyes*
qualifcations when the co%%ission issued its decision on May 12" which
eca%e fnal on May 17.
)igested yC .&ROB -. H.3O<