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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

SUPREME COURT
MANILA
EN BANC
MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S.
POE-LLAMANZARES,
Petitioner,
- versus -

G.R. NO. 221697

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
and ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO,
Respondents.
x----------------------x
MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S.
POE-LLAMANZARES,
Petitioner,
- versus -

G.R. NO. 221698-700

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
FRANCISCO
S.
TATAD,
ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS and
AMADO D. VALDEZ,
Respondents.
x----------------------x

MEMORANDUM
(FOR PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS)
PUBLIC RESPONDENT, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
(COMELEC), by counsel, in compliance with the order for the submission
of memoranda by the parties, respectfully submits this Memorandum.
PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
Article VII, Section 2, of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Section 2. No person may be elected President
unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines,

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a registered voter, able to 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 immediately
preceding such election.

Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines


from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their
Philippine citizenship.1
WHY NATURAL-BORN?
The rationale behind requiring that only naturalborn citizens may hold certain high public offices is to
insure that the holders of these high public offices grew
up knowing they were at birth citizens of the Philippines.
In their formative years they knew they owed from birth
their allegiance to the Philippines. In case any other
country claims their allegiance, they would be faithful
and loyal to the Philippines of which they were citizens
from birth. This is particularly true to the President who is
the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The
President of the Philippines must owe, from birth,
allegiance to the Philippines and must have grown up
knowing that he was a citizen of the Philippines at birth.
Xxx.2

WHY RESIDENCY REQUIRED?


The Constitution and the law requires residence
as a qualification for seeking and holding elective public
office, in order to give candidates the opportunity to be
familiar with the needs, difficulties, aspirations, potentials
for growth and all matters vital to the welfare of their
constituencies; likewise, it enables the electorate to
evaluate the office seekers qualifications and fitness for
the job they aspire for.3

We shall address in this memorandum the basic issue as to


whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to

Article IV, Section 2, 1987 Philippine Constitution.


J. Carpio, Dissenting Opinion in Tecson v. Comelec, G.R. No. 161434, March 3, 2004.
3
Torayno, Sr. v. Comelec, G.R. No. 137329, August 9, 2000.
2

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lack or excess of jurisdiction as to call for the exercise by this Honorable
Court of its review power under Article VIII, Section 1, of the
Constitution.4
Likewise, we shall discuss the issues set forth in the Advisory for
the Oral Arguments, as well as the questions that were directed, during
the hearings of these consolidated cases, to be addressed in the parties
memoranda, notably the following:
1. May not foundlings be presumed as natural-born Philippine
citizens under the Silence of the Constitution precept, or in light of
its provisions on the Family, Social Justice, and Human Rights, and
considering
further
the
adverse
consequences
of
a
5
decision disqualifying petitioner from running for President in the
May 9, 2016 elections to other foundlings in the country allegedly
numbering close to 4,000 in all?
2. Should not the COMELEC have made factual findings on
whether
(a) Poe is natural-born based on the probability of her parentage
being
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

Both parents Filipinos;


Father Filipino; mother alien;
Father alien; mother Filipino;
Both parents aliens.6

(b) Poe is natural-born Filipino based on her height of 52, color


brown, eyes brown, hair black;
(c) Poe is natural-born because of the probability her parents
were Filipinos considering that
(i)
4

Roughly 90% of Iloilo residents are Filipinos;

Id.; Article VIII, Section 1, provides:

The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.
5

Petitioner Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares shall be referred to, interchangeably, as petitioner or as
Poe, for brevity.
6
Other scenarios such as Both parents foundlings were not mentioned.

4
(ii)

The place where she was found abandoned, viz.,


doorstep of Jaro church, points to the likelihood that
it must have been a Roman Catholic Filipino father
or mother or couple who brought and left her there.

3. Can there be a material misrepresentation on a novel


question of law, i.e. whether or not a foundling is a natural-born
Filipino citizen?

I - THE MATERIAL DATES


1.1. On 23 December 2015, COMELEC En Banc promulgated its
Resolutions on SPA No. 15-001(DC) (Elamparo Case) and the
consolidated SPA No. 15-002 (DC) (Tatad Case), SPA No. 15-007
(DC) (Valdez Case) and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) (Contreras Case),
hereinafter referred to, collectively, as the Assailed Resolutions.
1.2. On 28 December 2015, Petitioner filed with this Honorable
Court the above-captioned Petitions for Certiorari.
1.3. On 28 December 2015, TRO was issued by the Honorable
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court restraining the COMELEC from
implementing the Assailed Resolutions, and ordering COMELEC to file
its comment on the Petitions within a non-extendible period of 10 days
from receipt of said TRO.
1.4. On 7 January 2016, the COMELEC filed its Comment on the
Petition in SPA No. 15-002 (DC) (Tatad Case), SPA No. 15-007 (DC)
(Valdez Case), and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) (Contreras Case) docketed
as G.R. No. 221698-700.
1.5. On 11 January 2016, the COMMELEC filed a Motion to Admit
Comment, with attached Comment, on the Petition in SPA No. 15001(DC) (Elamparo Case) docketed as G.R. No. 221697.
1.6. At the conclusion of the hearing on 16 February 2016, the
parties were ordered to file their respective memorandum within a nonextendible period of 5 days or until 22 February 2016 (due date, 21
February 2016, being a Sunday).
1.7. This Memorandum for public respondent COMELEC is
respectfully filed within the required period.

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II - THE CASE
2.1. These are consolidated special civil actions for certiorari
under Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
as amended by A.M. 07-7-12-SC.
2.2. In G.R. No. 221697 entitled MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S.
POE-LLAMANZARES vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and
ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO, petitioner seeks to nullify and set aside the
Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC En Banc in SPA
No. 15-001(DC) (Elamparo Case), the dispositive portion of which
states:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Verified Motion for
Reconsideration of Respondent is hereby DENIED and the
Motion for Partial Reconsideration of Petitioner is hereby
GRANTED.
ACCORDINGLY, the Resolution dated 1 December 2015 of
the COMELEC Second Division is hereby AFFIRMED WITH
MODIFICATION. Respondents Certificate of Candidacy for
President in the 9 May 2016 National Local and ARMM
Elections contains material misrepresentations as to both her
citizenship and residency.
THEREFORE, the Certificate of Candidacy for President in
the 9 May 2016 National, Local and ARMM elections filed by
Respondent Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares
is hereby CANCELLED.
FURTHER, the Urgent Motion to Exclude of Petitioner is
hereby DENIED.
SO ORDERED.
2.3. In G.R. Nos. 221698-700 entitled Mary Grace Natividad S.
Poe-Llamanzares vs. Commission on Elections, Francisco S. Tatad,
Antonio P. Contreras, and Amado D. Valdez, Petitioner seeks to nullify
and set aside the Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC
En Banc in the consolidated cases of SPA No. 15-002 (DC) (Tatad
Case), SPA No. 15-007 (DC) (Valdez Case), and SPA No. 15-139
(DC) (Contreras Case), the dispositive portion of which states:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Commission
RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES to DENY the
Verified

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Motion for Reconsideration of SENATOR MARY GRACE
NATIVIDAD
SONORA
POE-LLAMANZARES.
The
Resolution dated 11 December 2015 of the Commission First
Division is affirmed.
SO ORDERED.

III - THE FACTS


3.1. On 3 September 1968, Petitioner was found abandoned in a
church in Jaro, Iloilo City, by one Edgardo Militar.
3.2. Three days after, or on 6 September 1968, Edgardo Militar
reported to the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo City that Petitioner
was found on 3 September 1968. She was given the name Mary Grace
Natividad Contreras Militar in her Certificate of Live Birth. She was also
issued a foundling certificate.
3.3. On 13 May 1974, the Municipal Court of San Juan, Rizal,
granted the petition for adoption of Petitioner by actors Susan Roces
(Jesusa Sonora Poe) and Fernando Poe Jr. (Ronald Allan Kelley Poe).
Thus, Petitioners name was changed to Mary Grace Natividad Sonora
Poe.
3.4. Sometime in 1988, Petitioner went to Boston College in the
United States (US) to study. She graduated with a degree of Bachelor
of Arts in Political Studies.
3.5. On 27 July 1991, Petitioner married Teodoro Misael Daniel V.
Llamanzares, an American citizen.
3.6. On 29 July 1991, Petitioner left the Philippines to live with her
husband in the US, along with her three children: Brian (born in 1992 in
the US), Hanna MacKenzie (born in 1998 in the Philippines), and Jesusa
Anika (born in 2004 in the Philippines).
3.7. On 18 October 2001, Petitioner became a citizen of the
United States of America (USA) by naturalization. On 19 December
2001, the USA Passport Agency in Washington issued USA Passport
No. 017037793 to Petitioner.

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3.8. On 11 December 2004, Petitioners adoptive father, the actor
Fernando Poe Jr., was stricken ill and admitted at the St. Lukes Medical
Center in Quezon City. He eventually slipped into a coma.
3.9. When Petitioner learned of her fathers condition, she went
back to the Philippines on 13 December 2004. The following day,
Petitioners father died. Petitioner stayed in the country to comfort her
grieving mother and to assist in taking care of the funeral arrangements
and in the settlement of her fathers estate.
3.10. Petitioner stayed in the Philippines until 3 February 2005.
3.11. Petitioner claims that as a result of the untimely death of her
father and her need to continue giving moral support and comfort to her
mother, she and her husband decided to return to the Philippines for
good sometime in the first quarter of 2005. Petitioner further alleges that
she had already resigned from work in 2004. In early 2005, Brians and
Hannas schools in the US were informed that they would be transferring
to the Philippines for the next semester. Petitioner and her husband also
began negotiating with property movers in order to arrange the relocation
of their household goods, furniture, and cars from the US to the
Philippines. They also inquired with Philippine authorities as to the
procedure for bringing their dogs into the country.
3.12. Petitioner returned to the Philippines on 24 May 2005.
Petitioners husband however stayed in the USA to finish pending
projects and arrange the sale of their family home.
3.13. Meanwhile, Petitioner and her children lived with her mother
in San Juan City. Petitioner enrolled Brian in Beacon School in Taguig
City in 2005 and Hanna in Assumption College in Makati City in 2005.
Anika was enrolled in Learning Connection in San Juan in 2007, when
she was already old enough to go to school.
3.14. In the second half of 2005, Petitioner and her husband
acquired Unit 7F of One Wilson Place Condominium in San Juan.
Petitioner and her family lived in Unit 7F until the construction of their
family home in Corinthian Hills was completed.
3.15. In April 2006, Petitioners husband resigned from his work in
the US. He returned to the Philippines on 4 May 2006 and began
working for a Philippine company in July 2006.

8
3.16. Also in 2006, Petitioner and her husband acquired a vacant
lot in Corinthian Hills, where they eventually built their family home.
3.17. On 7 July 2006, Petitioner took her Oath of Allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225 or the
Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (R.A. No. 9225).
3.18. On 10 July 2006, Petitioner filed with the Bureau of
Immigration and Deportation (BID) a petition for the reacquisition of her
Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225. Simultaneously, Petitioner
also filed petitions for derivative citizenship on behalf of her three
children who were all below 18 years old.
3.19. On 18 July 2006, the BID issued an Order granting
Petitioners petition to reacquire Philippine citizenship. The same Order
likewise declared that Petitioners children were deemed citizens of the
Philippines.
3.20. On 31 July 2006, the BID issued Identification Certificates or
ICs for Petitioner and her three (3) children.
3.21. On 31 August 2006, the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) registered Petitioner as a voter of Brgy. Santa Lucia, San
Juan City.
3.22. On 13 October 2009, Petitioner secured from the Department
of Foreign Affairs (DFA) her new Philippine Passport with No.
XX4731999.
3.23. On 6 October 2010, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
appointed Petitioner as Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review
and Classification Board (MTRCB).
3.24. On 20 October 2010, Petitioner executed an Affidavit of
Renunciation of Allegiance to the USA and Renunciation of American
Citizenship before a notary public in Pasig City.
3.25. On 21 October 2010, Petitioner submitted to the BID the
notarized Affidavit of Renunciation. She then took her oath as
Chairperson of the MTRCB before President Aquino on that same date
(21 October 2010).

9
3.26. On 12 July 2011, Petitioner executed before the Vice Consul
at the US Embassy in Manila an Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of
Nationality of the United States.
3.27. On 9 December 2011, the US Vice Consul issued to
Petitioner a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States,
wherein it was stated that Petitioner expatriated herself on 21 October
2010, the same date shown in Petitioners US passport.
3.28. Per the Petitioners travel log from the BID, it appears that
Petitioner travelled and used her US passport on 26 July 2006, 11
September 2006, 01 November 2006, 20 July 2007, 23 July 2007, 31
October 2007, 05 October 2008, 20 April 2009, 21 May 2009, 31 July
2009, 03 August 2009, 15 November 2009, and 27 December 2009.
3.29. On 02 October 2012, Petitioner filed with the COMELEC her
COC for Senator of the Philippines, and wherein she answered under
oath 6 years and 6 months to the question Period of residence in the
Philippines before May 13, 2013.
3.30. On 16 May 2013, Petitioner was proclaimed as Senator of
the Philippines after topping the 2013 senatorial elections.
3.31. On 19 December 2013, Petitioner was issued a diplomatic
passport.
3.32. On 18 March 2014, Petitioner was issued a regular Philippine
passport.
3.33. On 16 September 2015, Petitioner announced her candidacy
for President of the Philippines in the May 2016 elections.
3.34. On 15 October 2015, Petitioner filed her COC for President of
the Republic of the Philippines.
3.35. Petitioner attached to her COC for President an Affidavit
Affirming Renunciation of USA Citizenship subscribed and sworn to
before a notary public in Quezon City on 14 October 2015.
3.36. In her COC for President, Petitioner declared that she is a
natural-born Filipino citizen and that her residence in the Philippines
up to the day before May 9, 2016 is 10 years and 11 months.

10
3.37. On 16 October 2015, Private Respondent Elamparo filed a
Verified Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of
Candidacy of the petitioner. On 19 October 2015, Private Respondent
Tatad filed a Verified Petition for the Disqualification of Petitioner. On 20
October 2015, Private Respondent Contreras filed a Petition for the
Cancellation of Petitioners COC. On 9 November 2015, Private
Respondent Valdez filed a Petition to Deny Due Course to and/or Cancel
the COC of Petitioner.
3.38. Clarificatory hearing for the Elamparo Petition was held
before the COMELEC Second Division on 10 November 2015.
Clarificatory hearing for the Tatad, Valdez, and Contreras Petitions was
conducted before the COMELEC First Division on 25 November 2015.
The parties were directed to file their respective memorandum.
3.39. On 23 November 2015, the parties filed their respective
Memorandum with Formal Offer of Evidence for SPA No. 15-001 (DC).
3.40. On 3 December 2015, the parties filed their respective
Memorandum with Formal Offer of Evidence for the consolidated
petitions under SPA No. 15-002 (DC), SPA No. 15-007 (DC), and SPA
No. 15-139 (DC).
3.41. The petitions were submitted for resolution upon the filing of
the required memoranda.
3.42. The foregoing facts appear as findings of facts of the
COMELEC En Banc in the Assailed Resolutions, based on the evidence
on record, the submissions of the parties and their admitted/stipulated
facts during the preliminary conference and during the clarificatory
hearings.
3.43. On 01 December 2015, the COMELEC Second Division
issued its Resolution in SPA No. 15-001 (DC) finding that Petitioner
committed material misrepresentation in her COC for President when
she declared therein that she would have been a resident of the
Philippines for 10 years and 11 months up to the day before the 9 May
2016 elections.
3.44. On 11 December 2015, the COMELEC First Division issued
its Resolution in the consolidated petitions under SPA No. 15-002 (DC),
SPA No. 15-007 (DC), and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) finding Petitioner had
committed material misrepresentation when she declared therein that
she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines for
10 years and 11 months up to the day before the 9 May 2016 elections.

11

3.45. On 07 December 2015, Petitioner filed her Motion for


Reconsideration of the COMELEC Second Division Resolution dated
01 December 2015. Private respondent Elamparo also filed a Motion for
Partial Reconsideration of said Resolution on the same date.
3.46. On 16 December 2015, Petitioner filed her Motion for
Reconsideration of the 11 December 2015 Resolution of the COMELEC
First Division.
3.47. On 23 December 2015, the COMELEC En Banc issued its
Resolution affirming with modifications the COMELEC Second Divisions
1 December 2015 Resolution. The COMELEC En Banc found the
Petitioners COC for President contains material misrepresentations as
to both her citizenship and residency.
3.48. On the same date, the COMELEC En Banc issued its
Resolution affirming the COMELEC First Divisions 11 December 2015
Resolution finding material misrepresentations in Petitioners COC as to
both her citizenship and residency.
3.49. On 28 December 2015, Petitioner filed the instant Petitions,
challenging the Assailed Resolutions before this Honorable Court.
3.50. On 28 December 2015, the Supreme Court through the
Honorable Chief Justice issued a TRO restraining the COMELEC from
implementing its Resolutions, and directed COMELEC to file its comment
on the Petition within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of
the TRO.
3.51. On 07 January 2016, the COMELEC filed its Comment on
the Petition in G.R. No. 221698-700.
3.52. On 11 January 2016, the COMMELEC filed a Motion to Admit
Comment, with attached Comment, on the Petition in G.R. No. 221697.
3.53. On 13 January 2016, the Supreme Courts Clerk of Court
issued an Advisory on the Order of Presentation and Arguments,
enumerating the issues to be covered in the oral arguments, thusly:

12
A.

PROCEDURAL ISSUES:
1.
Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction over the
Petitions to Deny Due Course or Cancel Certificate of
Candidacy (COC) filed by Elamparo, Valdez and
Contreras and the Petition for Disqualification filed by
Tatad.
2.
Whether the COMELEC should have dismissed
and not entertained the Petition filed by Tatad against
Poe:
i.

On the ground of failure to state the cause


of action;

ii.
For invoking grounds for a petition to cancel
or deny due course to a COC under Section 78 of
the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) in relation to
Rule 23 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure
(COMELEC Rules);
3.
Whether Rule 23, section 8 of the COMELECs
Rules of Procedure violates Article IX-A, Section 7 of
the 1987 Constitution or whether it is contrary to
Section 3, Rule 64 of the Rules of Court.
4.
Whether the COMELEC usurped the jurisdiction
of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal when it ruled on
Poes eligibility to run as President, particularly with
respect to her citizenship and residence.
5.
Whether the COMELEC is precluded from
determining whether Poe is a natural-born Filipino
citizen considering the SETs November 17, 2015
Decision in Case No. 001-15.
6.
Whether the COMELECs ruling on Poes
citizenship effectively revoked the July 18, 2006 Order
of the Bureau of Immigration declaring Poe to be
presumptively natural-born Filipino and approving her
petition to re-acquire natural-born Filipino citizenship.

13
B.

SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES:
I.

ON CITIZENSHIP.
Did Poe commit material misrepresentation under
Section 78 of the OEC in relation to Section 74 of
the OEC and Rule 23 of the COMELEC Rules, when
she stated in her COC that she is a natural-born
Filipino citizen?
i. Who has the burden of proof in proving that
Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen?
ii. Did Poe intend to mislead the electorate by
stating in her COC that she is a natural-born
Filipino citizen?
iii. Is Poe considered as a natural-born Filipino
citizen under Section 1, Article IV of the 1935
Constitution?
iv. Assuming that Poe is a natural-born Filipino
citizen, what is the effect when: (a) she
renounced the same and took allegiance to the
US; and (b) when she availed of the benefits of
repatriation under Republic Act No. 9225?
v. Did Poe in any manner recant her Oath of
Renunciation of her US citizenship?
vi. What is the role of international law on the
matter of citizenship

II.

ON RESIDENCY.
Did Poe commit material misrepresentation,
under Section 78 of the OEC in relation to
Section 74 of the OEC and Rule 23 of the
COMELEC Rules, by stating in her COC that

14

her period of residency up to the day before


the May 9, 2016 election is 10 years and 11
months?
i. Was Poe able to prove that she re-established
her domicile in the Philippines on May 24,
2005?
ii. Is the Courts ruling in Romualdez-Marcos vs.
COMELEC applicable to Poes case such that
the decisive factor in determining whether she
has met the residency requirement is the fact
of residence and not the statement under oath
in her COC?
iii. Is Poe bound by the entry in her 2012 COC
that her period of residence in the Philippines
before the May 13, 2013 elections was 6 years
and 6 months?
iv. Can the period of residence of Poe in the
Philippines prior to her reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship/renunciation of her US
citizenship be used to satisfy the 10-year
residency requirement under the Constitution?

3.54. On 14 January 2016, the preliminary conference was


conducted.
3.55. Thereafter, the case was set for hearing, and oral arguments
were held on 19 January 2016, 26 January 2016, 02 February 2016, 09
February 2016, and 16 February 2016.
3.57. At the conclusion of the hearing on 16 February 2016, the
Honorable Court ordered the parties to file their respective memorandum
within a non-extendible period of 5 days.

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IV - THE ISSUES
PROCEDURAL:
A.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COMELEC ACTED
WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR IN EXCESS OF
JURISDICTION WHEN IT ISSUED THE
ASSAILED RESOLUTIONS CANCELLING THE
COC OF PETITIONER ON THE GROUND OF
MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION AS TO
HER RESIDENCY AND NATURAL-BORN
STATUS.
B.
WHETHER
THE
COMELEC
HAS
JURISDICTION OVER THE PETITIONS TO
DENY
DUE
COURSE
OR
CANCEL
CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY (COC) FILED
BY ELAMPARO, VALDEZ AND CONTRERAS
AND THE PETITION FOR DISQUALIFICATION
FILED BY TATAD.
C.
WHETHER THE COMELEC SHOULD HAVE
DISMISSED AND NOT ENTERTAINED THE
PETITION FILED BY TATAD AGAINST POE ON THE
GROUND OF FAILURE TO STATE THE CAUSE OF
ACTION AND FOR INVOKING GROUNDS FOR A
PETITION TO CANCEL OR DENY DUE COURSE TO
A COC UNDER SECTION 78 OF THE OMNIBUS
ELECTION CODE (OEC) IN RELATION TO RULE 23
OF THE COMELEC RULES OF PROCEDURE
(COMELEC RULES).
D.
WHETHER THE COMELEC IS PRECLUDED FROM
DETERMINING WHETHER POE IS A NATURALBORN FILIPINO CITIZEN CONSIDERING THE SETS
NOVEMBER 17, 2015 DECISION IN CASE NO. 00115.

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E.
WHETHER THE COMELEC USURPED THE
JURISDICTION
OF
THE
PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL WHEN IT RULED ON
PETITIONERS
ELIGIBILITY
TO
RUN
AS
PRESIDENT, PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO
HER CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCE.
F.
WHETHER RULE 23, SECTION 8 OF THE
COMELECS RULES OF PROCEDURE VIOLATES
ARTICLE IX-A, SECTION 7 OF THE 1987
CONSTITUTION OR WHETHER IT IS CONTRARY TO
SECTION 3, RULE 64 OF THE RULES OF COURT.
G.
WHETHER
THE
COMELECS
RULING
ON
PETITIONERS
CITIZENSHIP
EFFECTIVELY
REVOKED THE JULY 18, 2006 ORDER OF THE
BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION DECLARING POE TO
BE PRESUMPTIVELY NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO
AND APPROVING HER PETITION TO RE-ACQUIRE
NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP.

SUBSTANTIVE:
H.
ON CITIZENSHIP
DID
POE
COMMIT
MATERIAL
MISREPRESENTATION UNDER SECTION 78 OF
THE OEC IN RELATION TO SECTION 74 OF THE
OEC AND RULE 23 OF THE COMELEC RULES,
WHEN SHE STATED IN HER COC THAT SHE IS A
NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZEN?
i. Who has the burden of proof in proving
that Poe is a natural-born Filipino
citizen?

17

ii. Did Poe intend to mislead the electorate


by stating in her COC that she is a
natural-born Filipino citizen?
iii. Is Poe considered as a natural-born
Filipino citizen under Section 1, Article
IV of the 1935 Constitution?
iv. Assuming that Poe is a natural-born
Filipino citizen, what is the effect when:
(a) she renounced the same and took
allegiance to the US; and (b) when she
availed of the benefits of repatriation
under Republic Act No. 9225?
v. Did Poe in any manner recant her Oath
of Renunciation of her US citizenship?
vi. What is the role of international law on
the matter of citizenship?

I
ON RESIDENCY
i. Did
Poe
commit
material
misrepresentation, under Section 78 of the
OEC in relation to Section 74 of the OEC
and Rule 23 of the COMELEC Rules, by
stating in her COC that her period of
residency up to the day before the May 9,
2016 election is 10 years and 11 months?
ii. Was Poe able to prove that she reestablished her domicile in the Philippines
on May 24, 2005?
iii. Is the Courts ruling in Romualdez-Marcos
vs. COMELEC applicable to Poes case
such that the decisive factor in determining
whether she has met the residency
requirement is the fact of residence and not
the statement under oath in her COC?

18
iv. Is Poe bound by the entry in her 2012
COC that her period of residence in the
Philippines before the May 13, 2013
elections was 6 years and 6 months?
v. Can the period of residence of Poe in the
Philippines prior to her reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship/renunciation of
her US citizenship be used to satisfy the
10-year residency requirement under the
Constitution?

ARGUMENTS AND DISCUSSION


A
THE COMELEC DID NOT ACT WITH GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO
LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN
IT ISSUED THE ASSAILED RESOLUTIONS
CANCELLING THE COC OF PETITIONER ON
THE
GROUND
OF
MATERIAL
MISREPRESENTATION
AS
TO
HER
RESIDENCY AND NATURAL-BORN STATUS.
4.1 In Robert E. Olanola vs. Commission on Elections and
Celso A. Tizon,7 the Supreme court clarified the concept of grave abuse
of discretion as one which entails caprice and arbitrariness in the
exercise of discretion, a willful and unreasoning action amounting to an
evasion of positive duty, thus:
The term "grave abuse of discretion", in its juridical sense,
connotes, as Litton Mills Inc. Inc. vs. Galleon Trader, Inc.,
and a host of other cases teach, capricious, despotic,
oppressive or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent
to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse must be of such degree as
to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to
perform a duty enjoined by law, as where the power is
exercised in an arbitrary and capricious manner by reason of
passion and hostility. The word "capricious", usually used
in tandem with

G.R. No. 165491, 31 March 2005.

19

the term "arbitrary", conveys the notion of willful and


unreasoning action. Thus, when seeking the corrective hand
of certiorari, a clear showing of caprice and arbitrariness in
the exercise of discretion is imperative.

4.2 Grave abuse of discretion, therefore, which justifies the


annulment of the Resolutions of the COMELEC, requires more than just
a showing of mere abuse of discretion. Rather, it demands a clear
showing of caprice, arbitrariness, and despotic manner in the resolution
of the cases raised before the COMELEC.8
4.3 In Engineer Leonardo C. Leyaley vs. COMELEC et al.,9 the
Supreme Court underscored that the remedy of certiorari has a very
limited function. A writ of certiorari is issued only to correct errors of
jurisdiction, and not errors of judgment or errors in connection with
the legal soundness or wisdom of a decision:
Note, further, that the function of the remedy of certiorari is
very limited. In People v. Court of Appeals, the Court expounded
thus:
As observed in Land Bank of the Philippines v. Court of
Appeals, et al. "the special civil action for certiorari is a
remedy designed for the correction of errors of jurisdiction
and not errors of judgment. The raison d'etre for the rule is
when a court exercises its jurisdiction, an error
committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the
jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed.
If it did, every error committed by a court would deprive it of
its jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment would be a
void judgment. In such a scenario, the administration of
justice would not survive. Hence, where the issue or
question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness
of the decision not the jurisdiction of the court to
render said decision the same is beyond the province
of a special civil action for certiorari. x x x10

4.4 Thus in Rudolfo I. Beluso vs. COMELEC et al.,11 when the


legal issue ultimately aims to correct the wisdom or legal soundness of
the decision, and not the jurisdiction of the court to render said decision,
the same is beyond the province of a petition for certiorari.

8
9
10
11

Bartolome Balingit vs. COMELEC et al., G.R. No. 170300, 9 February 2007.
G.R. No. 160061, 11 October 2006
Emphasis supplied.
G.R. No. 180711, 22 June 2010.

20
4.5 In both Assailed Resolutions, the COMELEC did not act with
caprice and whimsicality characteristic of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The Assailed Resolutions
were rendered by the COMELEC in accordance with its constitutional
and statutory mandate to resolve elections cases and controversies,
including petitions to cancel and/or deny due course to a COC on the
ground of material representation of facts which are false as specifically
provided for in Sectiion 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. The Petitioner
was given an opportunity to be heard. She submitted her pleadings and
supporting evidence, which were duly considered by the COMELEC.
The COMELEC acted within the purview of its jurisdiction and powers.
Petitioners right to due process was not violated.
4.6 Record shows that before issuing the Assailed Resolutions,
the COMELEC conducted hearings, required the parties to file
memoranda which were exhaustive on both sides, considered and
deliberated on the arguments presented by the parties, and thoroughly
reviewed and studied the respective allegations and the evidence
adduced by the parties. The Petitioner did not present any witness but
submitted documentary evidence,12 which were all considered by the
COMELEC.
4.7 When the COMELEC decided the petitions before it, it did so
based on the facts as established by evidence and as shown in the
records of the cases.
4.8 Verily, the requirements of administrative due process as
reiterated in Solid Homes v. Laserna13 were fully met. Petitioner was
afforded the right to be heard; she was allowed to present evidence to
support her case, and the COMELEC considered all the evidence
presented. The Assailed Resolutions are based not only on such
evidence, but also on relevant constitutional and statutory
pronouncements. The evidence on which these Resolutions are based
are substantial. The COMELEC En Banc indeed undertook an
independent consideration of all the facts, evidence, and laws relevant to
this case. The Assailed Resolutions were rendered in such a manner
that the parties were able to discern the various issues involved and
the reason for the
12

13

See Petitioners Formal Offer of Evidence, which includes Petitioners Foundling Certificate,
Decision of the Municipal Court on the adoption of Petitioner, Birth Certificate, Petitioners
Philippine and US Passports, Official Transcript of Records of Petitioners children, e-mail
exchanges, Condominium Certificate of Title, Declaration of Real Property, Transfer
Certificate of Title, Petition for Reacquisition, Oath of Allegiance, Order dated 18 July 2006 if
the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, Affidavit of Renunciation of Allegiance, Petitioners
Certificate of Candidacy for Senator, Stub of Petitioners application form for registration as
voter, among other documents.
G.R. No. 166051, 08 April 2008, 550 SCRA 613.

21
disposition. Indeed, the Assailed Resolutions expressed therein clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which they were based.14
4.9 That there was no categorical ruling on the probability of
petitioner being a natural-born Filipino citizen on the basis of her physical
appearance or height or complexion or color of hair or the circumstances
surrounding her being found (such as the distance of Jaro from the
nearest international airport, etc.) does not mean that a violation of
administrative due process occurred. Firstly, these facts - petitioners
height of 52, fair skin, brown eyes, black hair, etc. - were undisputed
by private respondents. Being undisputed, there was no need to
ascertain their existence. Secondly, and this is the more important
consideration, these facts by and of themselves did not and could not
show bloodline to a Filipino parent as required under jus sanguinis.
These facts could not establish that petitioner as a foundling was a
natural-born Filipino citizen. It would not have mattered at all if petitioner
was shown to be 53 instead of 52 or she was dark complexioned
instead of fair skinned.
4.10 That Petitioner is a foundling is shown by her Birth
Certificate, openly admitted in her Verified Answers, even stipulated
upon by both sides, and reiterated in open hearing before the COMELEC
by her counsel. She put up the affirmative defense that as a foundling
she is natural-born. Therefore, it was incumbent upon her to prove her
affirmative defense that as a foundling she is natural-born which she has
failed to do.
4.11 The circumstances on physical features of the petitioner or
the circumstances surrounding her being found were not ignored by the
COMELEC. Instead, they were rejected by the COMELEC as insufficient
to support the conclusion that as a foundling she is a natural-born
Filipino citizen born of a Filipino parent. The COMELEC found and ruled
thusly:
Contrary to Respondents argument, the probability that she
might be born of a Filipino parent is not sufficient to prove her
case. It is Respondents duty to prove that she is a naturalborn Filipino. The Constitution is unequivocal: unless one is
born of a Filipino parent, he or she cannot be regarded a
natural-born Filipino citizen. Respondent cannot shroud her
failure to meet this qualification by hiding behind the cloak of
probability. The burden of proof rests on her; any doubt as to
the question of her natural-born status is resolved against
her. Respondent cannot invoke any presumption of naturalborn citizenship.15
14

Article VIII, Section 14, 1987 Philippine Constitution provides: No decision shall be rendered by any court
without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.
15
See COMELEC First Division Resolution in Tatad, et al.

22
4.12 Grave abuse of discretion cannot be ascribed to the
COMELEC for its purported failure to enumerate and discuss in detail in
its Assailed Resolutions each and every factual allegation made by the
parties. A judge is not required to set forth and discuss each and every
allegation and evidence adduced by the parties to a case.
4.13 Article VIII, Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution requires only
that the factual and legal bases of the COMELECs decision are clearly
and distinctly laid down in its Resolution, thus:
Section 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court
without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and
the law on which it is based.
No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a
decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied
without stating the legal basis therefor.

4.14 In Civil Service Commission vs. Juliana E. Ledesma,16 this


Honorable Court explained the requirement laid down by Section 14,
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution in this wise:
Clearly, the Court of Appeals did not simply ignore the charge
of dishonesty, as the CSC alleges. Rather, the appellate
court found that the evidence did not support the charges
enumerated, including that of dishonesty. The appellate court
appreciated the evidence presented and the facts of the case
differently from the CSC. The Court of Appeals discussed at
length in its 15-page Decision the factual and legal basis for
its verdict of simple misconduct. The appellate court Decision
thus sufficiently complied with Section 14, Article VIII of the
Constitution, which requires only that a courts decision be
clear on why either party prevailed under the law applicable
to the facts as proved. The constitutional provision does
not require a point-by-point refutation of the CSCs
Resolutions so long as the basis for the Court of Appeals
decision modifying the former is clear.

4.15 Likewise in Re: Verified Complaint of Engr. Oscar L.


Ongjoco, Chairman of the Board/CEO of FH-GYMN Multi-Purpose and
Transport Service Cooperative, against Hon. Juan Q. Enriquez Jr., Hon
Ramon M. Bato Jr., and Hon. Florito S. Macalino, Associate Justices,
Court of Appeals,17 the Supreme Court reiterated the import of Section
14, Article VIII of the Constitution, thusly:

16
17

G.R. No. 154521, 30 September 2005.


A.M. OCA IPI No. 11-184-CA-J, 21 January 2012.

23
The insistence of Ongjoco is unfounded. The essential
purpose of the constitutional provision is to require that a
judicial decision be clear on why a party has prevailed under
the law as applied to the facts as proved; the provision
nowhere demands that a point-by-point consideration and
resolution of the issues raised by the parties are
necessary.18[12] Cogently, the Court has said in Tichangco
v. Enriquez,19[13] to wit:
This constitutional provision deals with the disposition of
petitions for review and of motions for reconsideration. In
appellate courts, the rule does not require any
comprehensive statement of facts or mention of the
applicable law, but merely a statement of the legal
basis for denying due course.
Thus, there is sufficient compliance with the
constitutional requirement when a collegiate appellate
court, after deliberation, decides to deny a motion;
states that the questions raised are factual or have
already been passed upon; or cites some other legal
basis. There is no need to explain fully the courts
denial, since the facts and the law have already been
laid out in the assailed Decision.

4.16 Both the Assailed Resolutions of the COMELEC clearly and


distinctly set forth therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law
upon which the rulings were made.
4.17 Necessarily, therefore, the COMELEC acted only in
accordance with its mandate and pursuant to the parameters defined by
the Constitution and relevant laws. No abuse of discretion, much less
grave in character, can be ascribed to the COMELEC.
4.18 Notably, Petitioner did not offer to present any witness,
during the hearing of the petitions. The proceedings before the
COMELEC under Section 78 are summary in nature; however, Petitioner
may present such witnesses as she may deem necessary, but she did
not. Nevertheless, due process, as defined by the Constitution and
required of administrative bodies performing quasi-judicial functions, has
been fully complied with.
4.19 In the case of Ellan Marie P. Cipriano vs. COMELEC et al.,20
this Honorable Court affirmed the summary nature of the proceedings
before the COMELEC and defined due process thus:
It is therefore clear that the law mandates that the candidate must be
notified of the petition against him and

20

Supra.

24
he should be given the opportunity to present evidence
in his behalf. This is the essence of due process. Due
process demands prior notice and hearing. Then after
the hearing, it is also necessary that the tribunal shows
substantial evidence to support its ruling. In other words,
due process requires that a party be given an
opportunity to adduce his evidence to support his side of
the case and that the evidence should be considered in
the adjudication of the case. In a petition to deny due
course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy, since the
proceedings are required to be summary, the parties
may, after due notice, be required to submit their
position papers together with affidavits, counteraffidavits, and other documentary evidence in lieu of oral
testimony. When there is a need for clarification of
certain matters, at the discretion of the Commission en
banc or Division, the parties may be allowed to crossexamine the affiants.

4.20 The Assailed Resolutions were issued based on findings of


facts, and the relevant law and jurisprudence, and upon consideration of
all the evidence offered and presented and on the facts admitted and
stipulated upon by the parties before the COMELEC.
4.21 In the case of Jaramilla vs. COMELEC et al.,21 the Supreme
Court held that the findings of facts by the COMELEC shall be binding
and conclusive when supported by substantial evidence, thus:
The Court reiterates that factual findings of the COMELEC
based on its own assessments and duly supported by
evidence, are given conclusive weight in the absence of
arbitrariness or grave abuse of discretion.

4.22 In Dagaloc vs. COMELEC et al.,22 this Honorable Court


reiterated that findings of facts of administrative agencies will not be
disturbed by the courts, unless absolutely no evidence or no substantial
evidence supports such findings. This Honorable Court in the same case
further declared that the same rule applies with more force in the case of
the COMELEC. This is because the COMELEC is an independent
Constitutional organ that is on a level higher than statutory administrative
organs, thus:
The rule that factual findings of administrative bodies will
not be disturbed by courts of justice except when there is
absolutely no evidence or no substantial evidence in
support of such findings should be applied with
greater
21
22

G.R. No. 155717, 23 October 2003.


G.R. Nos. 154442-47, 10 December 2007.

25
force when it concerns the COMELEC, as the framers of
the Constitution intended to place the COMELEC -created and explicitly made independent by the
Constitution itself on a level higher than statutory
administrative organs. The factual finding of the
COMELEC En Banc is therefore binding on the Court.

4.23 The same rule is found in Section 5, Rule 64 of the Rules of


Court, which provides that the findings of facts of the COMELEC, when
supported by substantial evidence, are non-reviewable:
Section 5. Form and contents of petition. The petition
shall be verified and filed in eighteen (18) legible copies. The
petition shall name the aggrieved party as petitioner and shall
join as respondents the Commission concerned and the
person or persons interested in sustaining the judgment, final
order or resolution a quo. The petition shall state the facts
with certainty, present clearly the issues involved, set forth
the grounds and brief arguments relied upon for review, and
pray for judgment annulling or modifying the questioned
judgment, final order or resolution. Findings of fact of the
Commission supported by substantial evidence shall be
final and non-reviewable.23

4.24 The COMELECs findings of fact in the Assailed Resolutions


are supported by substantial evidence culled from the records of the
cases.
4.25 Having committed no grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction, the COMELECs Assailed Resolutions are
therefore beyond this Honorable Supreme Courts limited certiorari
jurisdiction under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65, Rules of Court.
B.
THE COMELEC HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE
PETITIONS TO DENY DUE COURSE TO OR
CANCEL CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY (COC)
FILED BY ELAMPARO, VALDEZ, AND CONTRERAS
AND THE PETITION FOR DISQUALIFICATION FILED
BY TATAD.
4.26 Section 2, paragraph 1, and Section 3 of Article IX-C of the
1987 Constitution vest upon the COMELEC broad powers in the (a)
enforcement and administration of all laws and regulations relative to the

23

Bold and underlining supplied.

26
conduct of elections and the (b) resolution and determination of election
controversies, thus:
SECTION 2. The Commission on Elections shall
exercise the following powers and functions:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations
relative to the conduct of an election, 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, and city
officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests
involving elective municipal officials decided by trial
courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective
barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited
jurisdiction.
Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on
election contests involving elective municipal and
barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not
appealable.
(3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all
questions affecting elections, including determination of
the number and location of polling places, appointment
of election officials and inspectors, and registration of
voters.
xxx
SECTION 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en
banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of
procedure in order to expedite disposition of election
cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such
election cases shall be heard and decided in division,
provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions
shall be decided by the Commission en banc.

4.27 In connection with the foregoing, Section 78 of the Omnibus


Election Code (OEC) further vests upon the COMELEC the power to
deny due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of a
candidate for an elective position on the ground of false material
representation of any information required under Section 74 of the OEC:
Sec. 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

27
any material representation contained therein as
required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition
may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five
days from the time of the filing of the certificate of
candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and
hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.

4.28 The jurisdiction of the COMELEC to cancel the COC of a


candidate for President or for any elective office is a settled matter in
jurisprudence. In Ellan Marie P. Cipriano vs. COMELEC et al.,24 this
Honorable Court affirmed the power of the COMELEC to cancel and
deny due course to a COC pursuant to its statutory mandate enshrined
under Section 78 of the OEC, thus:
The Constitution has also vested it [the COMELEC] with
quasi-judicial powers when it was granted exclusive
original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the
elections, returns and qualifications of all elective
regional, provincial and city officials; and appellate
jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal
officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or
involving elective barangay officials decided by trial
courts of limited jurisdiction.
Aside from the powers vested by the Constitution,
the Commission also exercises other powers
expressly provided in the Omnibus Election Code,
one of which is the authority to deny due course to
or to cancel a certificate of candidacy. The exercise
of such authority, however, must be in accordance with
the conditions set by law.

4.29 Likewise in Nardo M. Velasco vs. Commission on Elections


and Mozart P. Panlaqui,25 the Supreme Court without equivocation
upheld the COMELECs jurisdiction over the cancellation and/or denial of
a candidates COC, thus:
The remedies available in the two proceedings likewise
differ. Velasco's remedy from the adverse decision in his
petition for inclusion as voter is as provided under
Section 138 of the OEC quoted above. From the MTC,
the recourse is to the RTC whose decision is final and
executory, correctible by the Court of Appeals only
by
2424
25

G.R. No. 158830, 10 August 2004.


G.R. No. 180051, 24 December 2008.

28
a writ of certiorari based on grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. On the other hand, the
approval of a certificate of candidacy or its denial is
a matter directly cognizable by the COMELEC, with
the decision of its Division reviewable by the
COMELEC en banc whose decision is in turn
reviewable by this Court under Rule 64 of the Rules
of Court and Section 7, of Article IX-A of the 1987
Constitution.26

4.30 In the consolidated cases of Tecson v. COMELEC,27 the


Supreme Court upheld the jurisdiction of the COMELEC to take
cognizance of petitions for cancellation and/or denial of COC filed
against Fernando Poe Jr., then a candidate for President.
4.31 In the Tecson case, the Supreme Court recognized the
COMELECs jurisdiction to cancel and/or deny COC under Section 78 of
the OEC, subject to review by the Supreme Court under Rule 64, in
relation to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, thus:
In seeking the disqualification of the candidacy of FPJ
and to have the COMELEC deny due course to or
cancel FPJs certificate of candidacy for alleged
misrepresentation of a material fact (i.e., that FPJ was a
natural-born citizen) before the COMELEC, petitioner
Fornier invoked Section 78 of the Omnibus Election
Code . . .
xxx
in consonance with the general powers of COMELEC
expressed in Section 52 of the Omnibus Election Code .
.
xxx
and in relation to Article 69 of the Omnibus Election
Code which would authorize "any interested party" to file
a verified petition to deny or cancel the certificate of
candidacy of any nuisance candidate.
Decisions of the COMELEC on disqualification cases
may be reviewed by the Supreme Court per Rule 64 in
an action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised
Rules of Civil Procedure. x x x
26

Bold supplied.
Tecson v. COMELEC, supra. (Bold supplied).

27

29

It is sufficiently clear that the petition brought up in


G. R. No. 161824 was aptly elevated to, and could
well be taken cognizance of by, this Court. . . .28

4.32 In contrast, this Honorable Court in Tecson dismissed the


petitions of Maria Jeanette C. Tecson, et al. and Zoilo Antonio Velez,
for
having been filed directly with the Supreme Court or for want of
jurisdiction. This Honorable Court explained in the said case that the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as PET does not include cases directly
brought before it, questioning the qualifications of a candidate for
President . . . :
The rules categorically speak of the jurisdiction of the
tribunal over contests relating to the election, returns
and qualifications of the "President" or "VicePresident", of the Philippines, and not of
"candidates" for President or Vice-President. . . . In
such context, the election contest can only
contemplate a post-election scenario. . . .
It is fair to conclude that the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court, defined by Section 4, paragraph 7,
of the 1987 Constitution, would not include cases
directly brought before it, questioning the
qualifications of a candidate for the presidency or
vice-presidency before the elections are held.
Accordingly, G. R. No. 161434, entitled "Maria Jeanette
C. Tecson, et al., vs. Commission on Elections et al.,"
and G. R. No. 161634, entitled "Zoilo Antonio Velez vs.
Ronald Allan Kelley Poe a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr." would
have to be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

4.33 Clearly, the COMELEC has jurisdiction to cancel and/or deny


COC of any candidate for any elective office, including the President, on
the ground of material misrepresentation under Section 78 of the OEC.
4.34 All four Petitions are grounded on Petitioner Poes false
declaration as to her material qualifications, and her deliberate attempt to
mislead the electorate by stating in her COC that she is natural born
Filipino and/or she has 10 years and 11 months residency in the
Philippines as of the day before the 9 May 2016 Elections.

28

Id., Bold supplied.

30
4.35 Furthermore, all 4 Petitions were filed within the 25-day
reglementary period prescribed under Section 78 of the OEC for a
petition to deny due course to and/or cancel certificate of candidacy:
Sec. 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 not
later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of
the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due
notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the
election.

4.36 In the consolidated cases of Mike A. Fermin vs. Commission


on Elections and Umbra Ramil Bayam Dilangalen,29 this Honorable Court
clarified:
Having thus determined that the Dilangalen petition is
one under Section 78 of the OEC, the Court now
declares that the same has to comply with the 25-day
statutory period for its filing. Aznar v. Commission on
Elections and Loong v. Commission on Elections give
ascendancy to the express mandate of the law that "the
petition may be filed at any time not later than twentyfive days from the time of the filing of the certificate
of candidacy." Construed in relation to reglementary
periods and the principles of prescription, the dismissal
of "Section 78" petitions filed beyond the 25-day period
must come as a matter of course.

4.37 Necessarily, therefore, the COMELEC properly acquired and


exercised jurisdiction over all petitions for cancellation and/or denial of
due course of Petitioners certificate of candidacy.
C.
THE COMELEC DID NOT COMMIT GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT TOOK
COGNIZANCE OF THE TATAD PETITION
UNDER SECTION 78 OF THE OMNIBUS
ELECTION CODE.
4.38 While the Tatad Petition is denominated as a Petition for
Disqualification, a perusal of the Petition and other pleadings submitted
in the said case - including the Formal Offer of Evidence and records of
the
29

G.R. No. 179695 and G.R. No. 182369, 18 December 2008.

31
hearings for the said case - reveals that the grounds invoked are proper
grounds for the cancellation and/or denial of due course of the Certificate
of Candidacy of Petitioner under Section 78 of the OEC, not one for
disqualification under Section 68 of the OEC.
4.39 The Petition impugns the claims of Petitioner in her COC with
respect to her qualifications and eligibility, specifically that she is a
natural-born citizen and has 10 years and 11 months of residency up to
the day before 9 May 2016. What the Tatad Petition actually assailed
was the truthfulness of Petitioners statements in her COC that she
possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications as
candidate for President of the Republic of the Philippines.
4.40 A perusal of the Tatad Petition easily reveals that the issue
as to Petitioners lack of citizenship and residency requirements and her
false statement in her COC with respect thereto was properly raised. The
Petition made the following allegations, among others:
a. Petitioner is utterly disqualified to run for President in
the coming elections on ground/s of lack of
citizenship and residency qualifications.30
b. Petitioner possesses no jus sanguinis citizenship.31
c. Petitioners COC for Senator shows a declaration as
to Petitioners period of residence in the Philippines
which if computed as of the day before the May
2016 Elections, would reveal Petitioners noncompliance with the residency requirement.32
d. Petitioner was never repatriated under Republic Act
9225 because she is not a natural-born Filipino.33
e. Petitioner was a foundling;34
f. Petitioner was subsequently adopted by spouses
Ronald Allan Poe and Jesusa Sonora;35
g. Petitioner was naturalized as an American citizen in
2001;36
30
31
32
33
34
35
36

See page 9, Private Respondent Tatads Petition filed before the COMELEC First Division.
See page 14, ibid.
See page 21, ibid.
See page 23, ibid.
See page 6, ibid.
See page 7, ibid.
Ibid.

32
The Petition likewise made a general prayer for such other just and
equitable reliefs, thus:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully
prayed of the Honorable Commission to (1)
DISQUALIFY Respondent Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares
as a candidate for President in the coming elections; and
(2) GRANT such other reliefs a[s] may be deemed just
and equitable in the premises.37

In addition, the Memorandum with Offer of Evidence dated 2


December 2015 of Private Respondent Tatad offered in evidence
Petitioners 2015 COC to show Petitioners attempt to mislead the
authorities with respect to her qualifications, thus:
To prove that Respondent evidently contradicted herself
in declaring that before the May 9, 2016 elections, she
has resided in the Philippines for 10 years and 11
months. To further prove that there is a deliberate
attempt on her part to mislead the authorities as regards
her lack of residency qualification.38

Furthermore, during the 25 November 2015 clarificatory hearing


before the COMELEC First Division, Private Respondent Tatad, through
his counsel, Atty. Manuelito R. Luna, argued that Petitioner
misrepresented her qualifications when she deliberately changed the
computation of her residence so as to make it appear that she met the
10-year residency requirement:
The records are very clear and I would like also the
Commission to take judicial notice of respondents
Certificate of Candidacy for President wherein she
deliberately change[d] the computation to reflect that
before the May 9, 2016 election she will complete a
period of residence of ten (10) years and eleven (11)
months.
That
is
obviously
Your
Honor
a
misrepresentation because she is bound by her previous
declaration in the 2012 COC for Senator. No person can
be allowed much less a candidate to make a mockery of
the election law.39

4.41 Clearly, notwithstanding the use of the caption Verified


Petition For: Disqualification in Accordance with Rule 25, COMELEC
Rules of Procedures and
a
mistaken
reference
to
a
disqualification
37
38
39

See pages 24 and 25, ibid.


See page 5 of the Memorandum with Offer of Evidence of Private Respondent Tatad.
Transcript of Stenographic Notes, page 5, 21 November 2015 Hearing of the COMELEC First
Division.

33
petition, the Tatad Petition is essentially a petition for cancellation and/or
denial of COC under Section 78 of the OEC.
4.42 This Honorable Court has ruled in a plethora of cases that
the COMELEC possesses the power to determine and rule on the cases
before it on the merits based on the true nature of the case, by
examining the allegations contained in the petition and in every pleading
filed. Petitions are determined by their allegations, rather than by their
caption and/or the prayer contained therein. Thus, in the case of Dela
Llana v. COMELEC,40 this Honorable Court declared:
The Constitution has vested to the COMELEC broad
powers, involving not only the enforcement and
administration of all laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of elections, but also the resolution and
determination of election controversies. It also granted
the COMELEC the power and authority to promulgate its
rules of procedure, with the primary objective of ensuring
the expeditious disposition of election cases.
Concomitant to such powers is the authority of the
COMELEC to determine the true nature of the cases
filed before it. Thus, it examines the allegations of
every pleading filed, obviously aware that in
determining the nature of the complaint or petition, its
averments, rather than its title/caption, are the proper
gauges.
xxx
The fact that petitioner prayed for annulment of
respondents proclamation in his petition is immaterial
and does not change the nature of the instant petition.
The prayer in a pleading does not constitute an
essential part of the allegations determinative of the
jurisdiction of a court. The question of jurisdiction
depends largely upon the determination of the true
nature of the action filed by a party which, in turn,
involves the consideration of the ultimate facts alleged
as constitutive of the cause of action therein. The prayer
for relief, although part of the complaint, cannot
create a cause of action, hence it cannot be
considered a part of the allegations on the nature of
the cause of action.41
40
41

G.R. No. 152080, 28 November 2003.


Emphases supplied.

34
4.43 Moreover, in Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. et al. vs. Juan Jose
Jordana,42 this Honorable Court further explained:
Generally, the court takes into account only the material
allegations of the complaint, without considering
extraneous facts and circumstances. In some cases,
however, the court may also consider -- in addition
to the complaint -- annexes or documents appended
to it, other pleadings of the plaintiff, or admissions
in the record. It must then bear in mind that the facts
proving the existence of a cause of action do not have to
be established or alleged by the complaint and/or the
other pleadings at the outset but, under exceptional
circumstances, even during the trial on the merits of the
case.43

4.44 Corollary to the above disquisitions, the COMELEC is


furthermore granted vast powers by the Constitution. In the case of
Bedol v. Comelec,44 the Supreme Court ruled:
The above-quoted provision should be construed
broadly to give effect to the COMELECs constitutional
mandate as enunciated in Loong v. Commission on
Elections, which held:
xxx. Section 2(1) of Article IX(C) of the Constitution gives
the COMELEC the broad power to enforce and
administer all laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum
and recall. Undoubtedly, the text and intent of this
provision is to give COMELEC all the necessary and
incidental powers for it to achieve the objective of
holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible
elections. Congruent to this intent, this Court has not
been niggardly in defining the parameters of powers of
COMELEC in the conduct of our elections.45

4.45 In this regard, the COMELEC may liberally construe, or even


suspend, its rules of procedure in the interest of justice and speedy
disposition of all matters pending before it.46 In the case of Pacanan v.
COMELEC,47 the Supreme Court ruled:
42
43
44
45
46
47

G.R. No. 152526, 25 November 2004.


Emphases supplied.
G.R. No. 179830, 3 December 2009.
Emphases supplied.
Quintos v. Comelec, G.R. No. 149800, 21 November 2002.
G.R. No. 186224, 25 August 2009.

35
[T]he Comelec Rules of Procedure are subject to a liberal
construction. This liberality is for the purpose of promoting the
effective and efficient implementation of the objectives of
ensuring the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and
credible elections and for achieving just, expeditious and
inexpensive determination and disposition of every action
and proceeding brought before the Comelec.

4.46 Consistent with the aforequoted ruling of this Honorable


Court, the COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides for the rule on the
construction and suspension of its rules:
Sec. 3. Construction. - These rules shall be liberally
construed in order to promote the effective and efficient
implementation of the objectives of ensuring the holding
of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections
and to achieve just, expeditious and inexpensive
determination and disposition of every action and
proceeding brought before the Commission.
Sec. 4. Suspension of the Rules. - In the interest of
justice and in order to obtain speedy disposition of all
matters pending before the Commission, these rules or
any portion thereof may be suspended by the
Commission.

4.47 This Honorable Court has ruled petitions for disqualification


as petitions for cancellation and/or denial of due course of COC upon
proper determination of the real nature of the petitions. In Fermin vs.
COMELEC,48 the Supreme Court determined that the petition filed by
private respondent Dilangalen, captioned and referenced as a Petition
for Disqualification, was in reality a proper Section 78 petition. This
Honorable Court thus proceeded to resolve the said petition under
Section 78 of the OEC:
After studying the said petition in detail, the Court finds
that the same is in the nature of a petition to deny due
course to or cancel a CoC under Section 78 of the OEC.
The petition contains the essential allegations of a
"Section 78" petition, namely: (1) the candidate made a
representation in his certificate; (2) the representation
pertains to a material matter which would affect the
substantive rights of the candidate (the right to run for
the election for which he filed his certificate); and (3) the
candidate made the false representation with the
intention to deceive the electorate as to his qualification
for public office or deliberately attempted to mislead,
misinform, or
48

Supra.

36
hide a fact which would otherwise render him ineligible.
It likewise appropriately raises a question on a
candidates eligibility for public office, in this case, his
possession of the one-year residency requirement under
the law.

4.48 The Supreme Court further rejected private respondent


Dilangalens insistence that the petition filed against petitioner Fermin
was a petition for disqualification pursuant to Rule 25 of the COMELEC
Rules of Procedure:
In support of his claim that he actually filed a "petition for
disqualification" and not a "petition to deny due course to
or cancel a CoC," Dilangalen takes refuge in Rule 25 of
the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, specifically Section
1 thereof, to the extent that it states, "[a]ny candidate
who does not possess all the qualifications of a
candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by
existing law x x x may be disqualified from continuing as
a candidate" . . .

4.49 The Supreme Court eventually dismissed the Dilangalen


Petition in the Fermin case upon reaching the conclusion that Fermin
was able to comply with the 1-year residency requirement.
4.50 Additionally, in the consolidated cases of Alfais T. Munder vs.
COMELEC et al.49 and Atty. Tago R. Sarip vs. Alfais T. Munder et al.,50 a
petition for disqualification was filed against Munder on the ground that
the latter was not a registered voter in the municipality where he sought
to be elected. The Supreme Court, upon examination of the pleadings,
ruled that the petition was in reality a petition to deny due course to
and/or cancel certificate of candidacy under Section 78.
We agree with Munder as to the nature of the petition
filed by Sarip. The main ground of the said petition is
that Munder committed dishonesty in declaring that he
was a registered voter of Barangay Rogero, Bubong,
Lanao del Sur, when in fact he was not. This ground is
appropriate for a Petition to Deny Due Course or to
Cancel Certificate of Candidacy.

4.51 This Honorable Court finally determined that the petition filed
by Sarip should have been dismissed for failure to comply with the 25day reglementary period for the filing of a Section 78 petition.
49
50

G.R. No. 194076, 19 October 2011.


G.R. No. 194160, 19 October 2011.

37
4.52 Clearly in the above-cited cases, the Supreme Court
determined the real nature of the petitions based on the pleadings filed
and the allegations made in the petitions. Having determined these
petitions to be for cancellation and/or denial of COC, this Honorable
Court proceeded to properly resolve the same under Section 78 of the
OEC.
4.53 The COMELEC committed no grave abuse of discretion
when it took cognizance of the Tatad Petition as a petition for
cancellation of COC or denial of due course under Section 78 of the
OEC.
D.
THE COMELEC IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM
DETERMINING WHETHER PETITIONER POE IS A
NATURAL-BORN
FILIPINO
CITIZEN
NOTWITHSTANDING THE SENATE ELECTORAL
TRIBUNALS 17 NOVEMBER 2015 DECISION IN
S.E.T. CASE NO. 001-15.
4.54 The COMELEC is not bound by the 17 November 2015
Decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunals (SET) finding that Petitioner
is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. It is likewise not precluded
from making a contrary determination as to the natural-born citizenship
status of Petitioner vis--vis the issue of material misrepresentation in
her COC under Section 78, OEC.
4.55 While the SET and COMELEC cases are similar on the issue
of natural-born citizenship, the fact remains that these cases are
independent of each other: one is a petition for quo warranto against an
incumbent Senator, which falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
SET, while the other is a petition to deny due course to or cancel the
certificate of candidacy of Petitioner as candidate for President in the 9
May 2016 elections, which is within COMELECs exclusive jurisdiction
under Section 78, OEC.
4.56 Furthermore, the decision of the SET does not constitute a
legal precedent. It is an established rule that only decisions rendered by
the Supreme Court form part of the law of the land and constitute stare
decisis binding upon the COMELEC. Article 8 of the New Civil Code
which relates to decisions of the High Court, provides:
Article 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the
laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal
system of the Philippines.

38
4.57 The Supreme Court in Fermin v. People categorically
explained that only decisions of the Supreme Court constitutes a binding
legal precedent, thus:
The doctrine of stare decisis enjoins adherence to
judicial precedents. It requires courts in a country
to follow the rule established in a decision of the
Supreme Court thereof. That decision becomes a
judicial precedent to be followed in subsequent
cases by all courts in the land. The doctrine of stare
decisis is based on the principle that once a question
of law has been examined and decided, it should be
deemed settled and closed to further argument.

4.58 The COMELECs independent determination of the issue as


to Petitioners citizenship vis-a-vis the exercise of its mandate under
Sectiion 78, OEC, is consistent with its character as a constitutionally
created body independent and separate from the SET. Article IX(A),
Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution decrees the independence of the
COMELEC:
Section 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall
be independent, are the Civil Service Commission, the
Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit.

4.59 Necessarily, the COMELEC must decide and determine the


issues brought before it independently in the exercise of its adjudicatory
powers.
4.60 Moreover, the SET case and the instant cases have different
reliefs. Also, the SET decision is not yet final and pends before this
Honorable Court.
4.61 The Supreme Court, in Dela Llana vs. Commission on
Elections,51 declared:
The Constitution has vested to the COMELEC broad
powers, involving not only the enforcement and
administration of all laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of elections, but also the resolution and
determination of election controversies.

4.62 Clearly, to argue that the SET ruling precludes the


COMELEC from making a contrary finding is to encroach upon the
independence of
51

GR No. 152080, 28 November 2003. Emphasis supplied.

39
the COMELEC and impede the performance of its duty to determine and
settle election cases and controversies including petitions brought under
Section 78, OEC.
4.63 In Go v. Ramos52, it was held:
Citizenship proceedings are a class of its own, in that, unlike
other cases, res judicata 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 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 judicata; hence,
it has to be threshed out again and again as the occasion
may demand. Res judicata may be applied in cases of
citizenship only if the following concur:
1. a persons citizenship must be raised as a material issue in a
controversy where said person is a party;
2. the Solicitor General or his authorized representative took
active part in the resolution thereof; and

3. the finding or citizenship is affirmed by this Court.53


4.64 It is therefore clear from the foregoing that the COMELEC
committed no grave abuse of discretion when it made an independent
determination of the issue as to Petitioners natural-born citizenship vis-vis its mandate under Section 78, OEC, separate and independent
from the SET ruling.
E.
THE COMELEC DID NOT USURP THE JURISDICTION
OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
WHEN IT RULED ON PETITIONERS ELIGIBILITY TO
RUN
AS
PRESIDENT,
PARTICULARLY
WITH
RESPECT TO HER CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCE.
4.65 Petitioner argues in her Petition that by cancelling her COC
for President despite the supposed absence of any false material
representation therein and before the conduct of the 9 May 2016
elections, the COMELEC effectively passed upon her eligibility for the
Presidency.54

52
53
54

G.R. No. 167569, 4 September 2009.


Underscoring supplied.
Petition, p. 197, par. 266; underscoring omitted.

40
4.66 Petitioner relies on Section 4, Article VII, of the 1987
Constitution to support her claim that the petitions filed before the
COMELEC properly belong to the exclusive jurisdiction of the PET.
SECTION 4. The President and the Vice-President shall
be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six
years which shall 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 served
as such for more than four years shall be qualified for
election to the same office at any time.
xxx
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the President or Vice- President, and
may promulgate its rules for the purpose.

4.67 In Fermin vs. COMELEC et al.,55 this Honorable Court ruled


that a Section 78 Petition, or a petition to deny due course to or cancel
COC, involves and relates to the qualifications of a candidate for elective
office. This Honorable Court further affirmed the appropriateness of
setting up the qualification or eligibility of the candidate under a Section
78 Petition as an issue, thus:
After studying the said petition in detail, the Court finds
that the same is in the nature of a petition to deny due
course to or cancel a COC under Section 78 of the OEC.
The petition contains the essential allegations of a
"Section 78" petition . . . It likewise appropriately
raises a question on a candidates eligibility for
public office, in this case, his possession of the one-year
residency requirement under the law.
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 finding that the candidate made a
material representation that is false, which may relate to
the qualifications required of the public office he/she is
running for. . . . Section 78 of the OEC, therefore, is to
be read in relation to the constitutional and statutory
provisions on qualifications or eligibility for public
office.
55

Supra.

41

4.68 This Honorable Court further explained in Fermin that a


Section 78 Petition is similar to a quo warranto proceeding because both
deal with the eligibility or qualification of a candidate, thus:
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, with the distinction mainly in the
fact that a "Section 78" petition is filed before proclamation,
while a petition for quo warranto is filed after proclamation of
the wining candidate.56

4.69 Petitioners ratiocination that the question as to her


citizenship and residency qualifications may be raised only before the
PET deserves scant consideration. The case of Atty. Romulo B.
Macalintal vs. Presidential Electoral Tribuunal57 is instructive: the
jurisdiction of the PET as sole judge sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns, and qualifications of the President begins only
after the proclamation of the winning candidate. This Honorable Court
ruled, thusly:
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
Vice-President, 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 of the Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal
provide that, for President or Vice-President,
election protest or quo warranto may be filed after
the proclamation of the winner.

4.70 The consolidated cases of Maria Jeanette C. Tecson et al.


vs. Commission on Elections58 likewise clarified that the jurisdiction of
the PET pertains to post-election scenario, or after proclamation of the
winning candidate, thus:
56

Ibid.
G.R. No., 191618, 23 November 2010.
58
Supra.
57

42
Ordinary usage would characterize a "contest" in
reference to a post-election scenario. Election contests
consist of either an election protest or a quo warranto
which, although two distinct remedies, would have one
objective in view, i.e., to dislodge the winning candidate
from office. A perusal of the phraseology in Rule 12,
Rule 13, and Rule 14 of the "Rules of the Presidential
Electoral Tribunal," promulgated by the Supreme Court
en banc on 18 April 1992, would support this premise . .
.
xxx
The rules 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" for President or Vice-President. A quo
warranto proceeding is generally defined as being
an action against a person who usurps, intrudes
into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office.
In such context, the election contest can only
contemplate a post-election scenario. In Rule 14, only
a registered candidate who would have received either
the second or third highest number of votes could file an
election protest. This rule again presupposes a postelection scenario.59

4.71 This Honorable Court held in Tecson that the jurisdiction of


the PET does not include cases questioning the qualification of a
candidate for the presidency, a clear ruling that debunks Petitioners
contrary claim.
It is fair to conclude that the jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court, defined by Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987
Constitution, would not include cases directly
brought before it, questioning the qualifications of a
candidate for the presidency or vice-presidency before
the elections are held.

4.72 As similarly explained in the Tecson case, this Honorable


Supreme Court ruled in Ongsiako-Reyes vs. COMELEC et al.60 that the
exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET over all contests relating to the
elections, returns, and qualifications of the members of the House
Representatives begins only after election, upon valid proclamation,
oath, and assumption of office.
59
60

Ibid. Emphasis supplied.


G.R. No. 207264, 25 June 2013.

43
Contrary to petitioners claim, however, the COMELEC
retains jurisdiction for the following reasons:
First, the HRET does not acquire jurisdiction over the
issue of petitioners qualifications, as well as over the
assailed COMELEC Resolutions, unless a petition is
duly filed with said tribunal. Petitioner has not averred
that she has filed such action.
Second, the jurisdiction of the HRET begins only after
the candidate is considered a Member of the House of
Representatives, as stated in Section 17, Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution. x x x
From the foregoing, it is then clear that to be considered
a Member of the House of Representatives, there must
be a concurrence of the following requisites: (1) a valid
proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of
office.
Indeed, in some cases, this Court has made the
pronouncement that once a proclamation has been
made, COMELECs jurisdiction is already lost and, thus,
its jurisdiction over contests relating to elections, returns,
and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction
begins. However, it must be noted that in these cases,
the doctrinal pronouncement was made in the context of
a proclaimed candidate who had not only taken an oath
of office, but who had also assumed office.

4.73 It is therefore clear that prior to proclamation, oath, and


assumption of office of the winning candidate for President, jurisdiction
with respect to material misrepresentation in the COC vis--vis the
qualifications or eligibility of the candidate belongs to the COMELEC.

F.
RULE 23, SECTION 8, OF THE COMELEC RULES
OF PROCEDURE DOES NOT VIOLATE ARTICLE IXA, SECTION 7, OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION AND
IS NOT CONTRARY TO SECTION 3, RULE 64, OF
THE RULES OF COURT.
4.74 Article IX-C, Section 3 and Article IX-A, Section 6 of the
Constitution grant the COMELEC the power to promulgate its own rules.
Section 3, Article IX-C, provides:

44
SECTION 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en
banc or in two divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of
procedure in order to expedite disposition of election
cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All such
election cases shall be heard and decided in division,
provided that motions for reconsideration of decisions
shall be decided by the Commission en banc.

Section 6, Article IX-A, further vests upon the COMELEC the


power to determine and promulgate its own rules regarding pleadings
and practice before it.
SECTION 6. Each Commission en banc may promulgate
its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it
or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not
diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.

4.75 Section 8, Rule 23, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, as


amended,61 provides that the decision of the COMELEC En Banc
becomes final and executory upon the lapse of five (5) days from receipt
of the decision. Only a restraining order from the Supreme Court can
stay the finality of the said decision of the COMELEC En Banc:
Section 8. Effect if Petition Unresolved. If a Petition to
Deny Due Course to or Cancel a Certificate of
Candidacy is unresolved by final judgment on the day of
elections, the petitioner may file a motion with the
Division or Commission En Banc, as may be applicable,
to suspend the proclamation of the candidate concerned,
provided that the evidence for the grounds for denial due
course to or cancel certificate of candidacy is strong. For
this purpose, at least three (3) days prior to any election,
the Clerk of the Commission shall prepare a list of
pending cases and furnish all Commissioners copies of
the
said
list.
A Decision or Resolution is deemed final and executory
if, in case of a Division ruling, no motion for
reconsideration is filed within the reglementary period, or
in cases of rulings of the Commission En Banc, no
restraining order is issued by the Supreme Court within
five (5) days from receipt of the decision or resolution.

4.76 It is beyond question that Section 8, Rule 23, of the


COMELEC Rules of Procedure is in the due exercise of the COMELECs
constitutionally granted rule-making power.
61

As amended by COMELEC Resolution No. 9523.

45
4.77 The power of the COMELEC to promulgate its own rules is
settled in jurisprudence. This Honorable Court in Brilliantes Jr.
vs. Yorac62 upheld this constitutionally granted rule-making power of the
COMELEC in this wise:
Article IX-A, Section 1, of the Constitution expressly
describes all the Constitutional Commissions as
"independent." Although essentially executive in nature,
they are not under the control of the President of the
Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions.
Each of these Commissions conducts its own
proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules
and in the exercise of its own discretion. Its decisions,
orders and rulings are subject only to review on certiorari
by this Court as provided by the Constitution in Article
IX-A, Section 7.

4.78 Furthermore, the decision of the COMELEC is subject to


certiorari as a mode of review under Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65, not
as a mode of appeal under Rule 45, Rules of Court.
4.79 Under both Rule 64 and Rule 65, a petition for certiorari
does not stay the execution of the judgment or final order or resolution
sought to be reviewed unless the Supreme Court issues a restraining
order.
4.80 Section 8 of Rule 64 expressly provides:
Section 8. Effect of filing. The filing of a petition for
certiorari shall not stay the execution of the judgment or
final order or resolution sought to be reviewed, unless
the Supreme Court shall direct otherwise upon such
terms as it may deem just.

4.81 Section 7 of Rule 65 also states:


Section 7. Expediting proceedings; injunctive relief.
The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders
expediting the proceedings, and it may also grant a
temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary
injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties
pending such proceedings. The petition shall not
interrupt the course of the principal case unless a
temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary
injunction has been issued against the public respondent
from further proceeding in the case.
62

G.R. No. 93867, 18 December 1990.

46
4.82 Clearly, Section 8, Rule 23, of the COMELEC Rules of
Procedure does not contravene the Constitution or the Rules of Court.
The petition for certiorari does not automatically suspend and toll the
finality of the COMELEC En Banc decision sought to be reviewed. It
does not shorten or modify the 30-day period to file a petition for
certiorari before the Supreme Court.
4.83 This Honorable Court has recognized the 5-day rule on the
finality of the decision of the COMELEC En Banc. In the case of
Ongsiako-Reyes vs. COMELEC et al., it was held:
To prevent the assailed Resolution dated 14 May 2013
from becoming final and executory, petitioner should
have availed herself of Section 1, Rule 37 of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure or Rule 64 of the Rules
of Court by filing a petition before this Court within the 5day period, but she failed to do so. She would file the
present last hour petition on 10 June 2013. Hence, on 5
June 2013, respondent COMELEC rightly issued a
Certificate of Finality.

G.
THE COMELEC DID NOT EFFECTIVELY REVOKE
THE 18 JULY 2006 ORDER OF THE BUREAU OF
IMMIGRATION DECLARING PETITIONER TO BE
PRESUMPTIVELY NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO AND
APPROVING HER PETITION TO RE-ACQUIRE
FILIPINO CITIZENSHIP.
4.84 Citizenship cases are sui generis. In Go vs. Ramos,63 citing
Frivaldo v. Commission on Elections,64 this Honorable Court ruled that
decisions declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern
a persons future status with finality:
This is because a person may subsequently reacquire,
or for that matter, lose his citizenship under any of the
modes recognized by law for the purpose. Indeed, if the
issue of ones citizenship, after it has been passed upon
by the courts, leaves it still open to future adjudication,
then there is more reason why the government should
not be precluded from questioning ones claim to
Philippine citizenship, especially so when the same has
never been threshed out by any tribunal.
63
64

Supra.
Juan G. Frivaldo vs. COMELEC et al., G.R. No. 120295, 28 June 1996; Raul R. Lee vs.
COMELEC et al., G.R. No. 123755, 28 June 1996.

47
4.85 It is worth noting that the basis of the 18 July 2006 BID order
granting Petitioners application to re-acquire Philippine citizenship was
not on any finding that she was a foundling and as such, is a naturalborn Filipino citizen. The BID Order was based on Petitioners
misrepresentation in her application that she was born to Filipino
parents, Susan Roces and Fernando Poe Jr., notwithstanding that they
were only her adoptive parents.
4.86 The BID Order does not bind the COMELEC not being res
judicata. As earlier pointed out, there can be no res judicata on the issue
of citizenship unless (a) such issue was raised in a case where the
person concerned was himself a party, (b) the Solicitor General or his
authorized representative actively participated in the proceeding, and (c)
the ruling on citizenship was affirmed by the Supreme Court.65
4.87 It is respectfully submitted that the COMELEC may not be
prevented from discharging its mandate under the Constitution and
relevant laws by the subject BID Order as it would negate the
COMELECs constitutionally granted independence and exclusive
jurisdiction over petitions to deny due course to and/or cancel a
certificate of candidacy under the OEC, particularly Section 78 thereof.

H.
PETITIONER
COMMITTED
MATERIAL
MISREPRESENTATION UNDER SECTION 78 OF
THE OEC IN RELATION TO SECTION 74 OF THE
OEC AND RULE 23 OF THE COMELEC RULES,
WHEN SHE STATED IN HER COC THAT SHE IS A
NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZEN
4.88 Section 78, OEC, provides:
Sec. 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 not later than twentyfive days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy
and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than
fifteen days before the election.66
65
66

Go v. Ramos, supra.
Emphasis supplied.

48
4.89. Section 74 of the OEC states:
Sec. 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy. The certificate of
candidacy shall state that the person filing it is announcing his
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 allegiance thereto; that
he will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by
the duly constituted authorities; that he is not a permanent
resident or immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation
imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental
reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated in the
certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge. xxx67

4.90. Section 1, Rule 23, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure


prescribes:
Section 1. Grounds for Denial of Certificate of Candidacy. A
petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy
for any elective office may be filed with the Law Department of the
Commission by any citizen of voting age or a duly registered
political party, organization, or coalition or political parties on the
exclusive ground that any material representation contained
therein as required by law is false.68

4.91. COMELEC Resolution No. 9523 provides:


Rule 23 - Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificates of
Candidacy
Section 1. Ground for Denial or Cancellation of Certificate of
Candidacy. - 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 any material representation contained therein as
required by law is false.69

67

Ibid.
Id.
69
Id.
68

49
4.92. Poes statement in her COC for President that 8. I AM A
NATURAL BORN FILIPINO CITIZEN.70, is a material representation
that is false, as will be shown in the following discussion.
H.1. - Petitioner has the burden of proof in proving
natural-born Filipino citizenship.
4. 93. The gravamen of the petitions decided by the COMELEC
was for private respondents, as petitioners therein, to show that Poe was
not eligible for the office of President of the Philippines based on
residency and citizenship requirements under the Constitution.
4.94. Among Petitioners arguments is that private respondents
failed to prove her not being a natural-born Filipino citizen by showing
that her parents were actually foreigners.71
4.95. However, petitioners categorical and unqualified declaration
that she is a foundling carried with it the admission that she is of
unknown parentage. Her unknown parentage, following the jus sanguinis
principle, rendered her citizenship indemonstrable or undetermined.72
Thus, private respondents need not have proved that petitioners parents
were foreigners. The burden was now upon petitioner to prove that as a
foundling she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, which she has failed to do.
Once the plaintiff has established his case, the burden of
evidence shifts to the defendant, who, in turn, has the burden to
establish his defense.73

4.96 Having admitted that she is a foundling, the burden of


evidence shifted to the petitioner to prove that her representation in her
COC that she is eligible to run for President is not false. It then
became incumbent for the petitioner to first, prove that she is a naturalborn Filipino citizen, and second, that she has been residing in the
Philippines for at least ten (10) years up to the day before 09 May
2016.74
4.97 The petitioner, however, failed to discharge said burden of
proving her natural-born Filipino status. The Assailed Resolution
correctly stated, thus:
The burden of proving that she is a natural-born
Filipino citizen is upon respondent (petitioner herein). That
there is nothing in the 1987 Constitution, or in any law or
70

Please see Petitioners 2015 Certificate of Candidacy for President.


Petition, at pp. 97 109.
72
P. 3, par. 5 of Elamparo petition in SPA No. 15-001 (Annex D of Petition).
73
De Leon v. Bank of the Philippines, G.R. No. 184565, 20 November 2013; 710 SCRA 443,
453-454 (2013).
74
Verified Answer in SPA No. 15-001, Annex G of Petition.
71

50
jurisprudence for that matter, which states that a foundling
is not a natural-born Filipino citizen does not mean We
are the ones constrained to conclude that she is, in fact,
such citizen.75

4.98 Neither is petitioners reliance on presumptions to discharge


her burden of evidence tenable. As pointed out in the Assailed
Resolution:
Respondents argument that there is a need to rely
on presumptions and that a foundlings parents are
presumed to be citizens of the country where she was
found should likewise be brushed aside for the same
reasons the Second Division refused to apply the 1961
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The
presumption invoked by Respondent is found in Article 2
of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of
Statelessness. It reads:
Article 2
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.
We affirm the finding of the Second Division that
the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
cannot be considered in deciding this case. The
Philippines is not a signatory to the said convention. Its
terms, therefore, cannot bind the Philippines. Considering
that the presumption cannot be applied, it is now clear
that Respondents argument that it is the burden of
Petitioner to prove that Respondents father and mother
are both aliens is equally untenable.76

H.2. Petitioner Poe intended to mislead the


electorate by stating in her COC that she is a
natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.99 A valid Certificate of Candidacy (COC) rests at the very
core of the electoral process77. Candidates for the Presidency are
mandated to comply with the qualifications prescribed under
Article
78
VII, Section 2 of the Constitution.
75
76
77
78

Assailed Resolution in Elamparo dated December 23, 2015, at p. 26 thereof.


Ibid., at pp. 27-28.
Miranda v. Abaya, 370 Phil. 642, 658 (1999). See also Bautista v. Commission on Elections,
359 Phil. 1 (1998).
Section 2. No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of

51
Any material representation in the COC that is false affects ones
qualifications or eligibility for the position and makes a mockery of the
electoral process.
4.100 In this case, the records show that Poe was abandoned
and found on 03 September 1968. Thus, she is governed by the 1935
Constitution. Under the 193579 Constitution, Poe can only be considered
a natural-born citizen if she was born of a Filipino father. However, as
borne by the records, she admitted that she was found by Emilio Militar
abandoned in the parish church of Jaro, Iloilo. Being a foundling whose
parents are unknown, she cannot be considered natural-born as she
cannot trace a bloodline to a Filipino parent, which is required under the
jus sanguinis principle underlying the 1935 Constitution (as well as the
1973 and 1987 Constitutions).
4.101. It was incumbent upon Poe to adduce evidence of blood
relation to a Filipino father which she was unable to do. A candidate
cannot just allege that he possesses all the qualifications required by the
office concerned; if said representation be false, it is COMELECs
mandated duty to deny due course to or cancel said COC under Section
78, OEC.
4.102 The fact that she is not a natural-born citizen could not
have eluded Poe considering her educational background and the official
positions that she occupied prior to the filing of her present COC, which
positions require as a qualification that she be a natural-born citizen.
4.103 Poes intention to mislead and misinform the electorate of
her natural-born Filipino citizenship can be inferred from the following:
1) She graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies
from the Boston College in Massachusetts, U.S.A. She should,
therefore, be presumed to be cognizant of the provisions of the
1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions relative to those who are
considered natural-born citizens of the Philippines;
2) On 10 July 2006, Poe indicated in her sworn Petition for
Reacquisition of Philippine Citizenship under RA 9225 that her birth
parents were Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces Poe. This is
despite her knowledge that they are not her biological parents. She
knew that the identities of her birth parents are unknown and that
she was only adopted by the Poe spouses when she was 5 years
old;

79

the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding
such election.
Article IV of the 1935 Constitution
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
Xxx
xxx
xxx
(3) Those whose father are citizens of the Philippines
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of
majority, elect Philippine citizenship.

52
3) The untruthful information in her sworn Petition for Reacquisition of
Philippine Citizenship regarding her relationship to the Poes and
her natural-born Filipino status misled then Immigration
Commissioner Alipio Fernandez, Jr. into granting the petition in an
Order dated 18 July 2006, thus:
A careful review of the documents submitted in support of
the instant petition indicated that the petitioner was a
former citizen of the Republic of the Philippines being
born to Filipino parents and is presumed to be a natural
born Philippine citizen; thereafter, became an American
citizen and is now a holder of an American passport; was
issued an ACR and ICR and has taken her oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on July 7,
2006 and so thereby deemed to have re-acquired her
Philippine Citizenship.80

4) After securing a Philippine passport on 06 October 2010, Poe was


appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as Chairperson of the
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB),
a position that requires natural-born Filipino citizenship;
5) Subsequently, on 02 October 2012, Poe filed her COC for her
senatorial candidacy in the 13 May 2013 Elections, a position that
also requires natural-born Filipino citizenship. Again, she indicated
such eligibility information in her COC. On 16 May 2013, Poe was
proclaimed as Senator;
6) Poe is now running for President in the coming 2016 Elections. For
this purpose, she filed her COC where she again declared herself
to be eligible in accordance with constitutional requirements, one of
which is that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.104 At the time of the filing of her presidential COC, and even
prior thereto, Poe had been fully aware of her status as a foundling yet
she purposely stated in her Petition for Reacquisition of Philippine
Citizenship under RA 9225 that she was born to the Poe Spouses. She
thereafter succeeded in being declared by the BID to have re-acquired
her Philippine citizenship on the strength of her misrepresentation that
she was a former natural-born Filipino born to Filipino parents. The
misrepresentation in the BID was repeated in the DFA when she
obtained a Philippine passport and repeated once again when she
accepted the chairmanship of MTRCB and repeated yet again when she
ran for the Senate. The intent to mislead was repeated yet again when
she filed her present COC declaring herself eligible, as natural-born, for
the position of President. The pattern of misrepresentation on her
citizenship status is unmistakably clear.
80

See Bureau of Immigration Office Order No. AFF-06-9133 dated July 18, 2006 copy of which
was attached as Annex D and Annex 22 of the Petition and Verified Answer.

53
The Commission, thus, correctly exercised its power, and mandate,
under Section 7881 in relation to Section 7482 of the OEC and denied due
course to her COC when it found her to have committed material
representation therein which is false.
4.105 Nevertheless, in Tagolino vs. HRET,83 it was ruled that
the deliberateness of misrepresentation, much less ones intent to
defraud, is of bare significance in a Section 78 Petition as it is
enough that the persons declaration of material qualification in the
COC is false. The disqualification under Section 78 hinges primarily not
on the deliberate intent to defraud but on the candidates declaration of a
material qualification that is false. Therefore, good faith on the part of the
petitioner would be immaterial. What is important is that petitioner made
a false representation in her COC that she is eligible to run for President
despite the fact that she is a foundling who is not a natural-born Filipino
citizen and is actually ineligible for the position.
4.106 The Commission, therefore, did not commit grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it denied due
course to the petitioners COC pursuant to Section 78 of the OEC. The
record is abound with substantial evidence that Poe made a material
representation that is false regarding her eligibility as a candidate.

H.3.
POE IS NOT CONSIDERED A NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO
CITIZEN UNDER SECTION 1, ARTICLE IV OF THE 1935
CONSTITUTION.
81

82

83

Sec. 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 not later than
twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided,
after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.
Sec. 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy. - The certificate of candidacy shall state that
the person filing it is announcing his 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 allegiance thereto; that he
will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities;
that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation
imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion;
and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge.
Silverio R. Tagolino vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Lucy Marie TorresGomez, G.R. No. 202202, March 19, 2013.

54
4.107.
It is undisputed that Poe is a foundling. She declared
so, and admitted it no less. Hence, it is beyond question that the identity
and necessarily the citizenship of her biological parents are unknown.
4.108.
Section 2 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution requires
that the President must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, thus:
Section 2. No person may be elected President unless
he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered
voter, able to 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 immediately preceding such election.84
4.109.
Section 2 of Article IV of the 1987 Constitution defines
a natural-born citizen as follows:
Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are
citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to
perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine
citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in
accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be
deemed natural-born citizens.85
4.110.
In this regard, Section 1 of Article IV of the 1935
Constitution the Constitution in effect and applicable to Petitioner
having been born in 1968 enumerates who are citizens of the
Philippines:
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
1. Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time
of the adoption of this Constitution.
2. Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who,
before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to
public office in the Philippine Islands.
3. Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
4. Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and,
upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine
citizenship.
5. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

4.111
Verba legis non est recedendum from the words of
a statute, there should be no departure. Section 1 of the 1935
Constitution is clear in its enumeration of who are Philippine citizens. As
held by the Supreme Court in Republic v. Carlito Lacap:86
84
85
86

Emphasis supplied.
Id.
G.R. No. 158253, 2 March 2007.

55
The plain meaning rule or verba legis in statutory
construction is that if the statute is clear, plain, and free from
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without
interpretation.

4.112.
Petitioner claims that the Constitution does not
categorically exclude foundlings from the enumeration of who are Filipino
citizens.87 The said enumeration, however, is exclusive only those
specifically stated in the list are considered natural-born Filipinos. As
pithily held in the COMELEC Second Division Resolution dated 1
December 2015:
What is not within the plain language of the Constitution is
simply not there!88

4.113
In Mario Salinias v. Commission on Elections, at al., the
Supreme Court declared:
It is a settled rule of statutory construction that the express
mention of one person, thing, or consequence implies the
exclusion of all others. The rule is expressed in the familiar
maxim, expressio unius est exclusio alterius.
The rule of expressio unius est exclusio alterius is formulated in a
number of ways. One variation of the rule is the principle that
what is expressed puts an end to that which is
implied. Expressium facit cessare tacitum. Thus, where a
statute, by its terms, is expressly limited to certain matters, it
may not, by interpretation or construction, be extended to
other matters.
xxx
The rule of expressio unius est exclusio alterius and its variations
are canons of restrictive interpretation. They are based on the
rules of logic and the natural workings of the human mind. They
are predicated upon ones own voluntary act and not upon that of
others. They proceed from the premise that the legislature
would not have made specified enumeration in a statute had
the intention been not to restrict its meaning and confine its
terms to those expressly mentioned.89 (emphasis supplied)
87
88
89

See Page 110 of the Petition for Certiorari.


See Page 26 of the Resolution dated 1 December 2015 issued by the Commission on Elections, Second
Division.
Ruben E. Agpalo, Statutory Construction, (1990), pp. 160-161, citing the cases of Canlas vs. Republic,
103 Phil. 712 (1958); Lao Oh Kim vs. Reyes, 103 Phil. 1139 (1958); People vs. Aquino, 83 Phil. 614
(1949); Escribano vs. Avila, 85 SCRA 245 (1978); People vs.Lantin, 30 SCRA 81 (1969); Manila
Lodge No. 761 vs. Court of Appeals, 73 SCRA 162 (1976); Santos vs. Court of Appeals, 96 SCRA 448
(1980); Lerum vs. Cruz, 87 Phil. 652 (1950); Velasco vs. Blas, 115 SCRA 540 (1982).

56
4.114.
A foundling is not among those enumerated in the
Constitution as to who are citizens of the Philippines.
4.115.
The petitioner cannot possibly fall under Section 1,
paragraph 1 of Article IV of the 1935 Constitution -- persons who were
citizens at the time of the adoption of said Constitution simply because
she was born in 1968 and therefore after the adoption of the 1935
Constitution.
4.116.
Petitioner cannot likewise fall under Section 1,
paragraph 2 one born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who,
before the adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office
there being no proof, much less any allegation to that effect.
4.117.
Neither will petitioner fall under Section 1, paragraphs
3, 4, and 5. Only those falling under Section 1 (3) or those whose
fathers are citizens of the Philippines can be considered as naturalborn citizens of the Philippines under the 1935 Constitution. Those falling
under Section 1(4) and (5) cannot be considered as natural-born citizens
of the Philippines because they still have to perform an act in order to
acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.
4.118.
Simply put, under the 1935 Constitution the
Constitution in effect when Petitioner was born in 1968, only those
whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines were natural-born
Filipino citizens.
4.119.
In an attempt to clutch at straws, Petitioner pounded on
the alleged intent of the framers of the 1935 Constitution to consider a
foundling a natural-born Filipino citizen. Petitioner attached to her
Petitions the transcript of deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional
Convention supposedly showing that the intent of the framers of the
1935 Constitution was to include foundlings in the enumeration of who
are Filipino citizens.
4.120.

Said claim was soundly refuted, thusly:

A closer look at the records of the 1934 Constitutional


Convention will ferret out the truth that while Delegate Rafols
intended to include natural children of unknown parentage in the
enumeration of who are citizens of the Philippines, his proposed
amendment was eventually put to a vote by the Convention and
was eventually struck down by his fellow delegates. Respondent
does not dispute this fact. In short, the framers, by voting to reject
the suggestion made by Delegate Rafols, evinced their collective
decision to exclude foundlings from the enumeration of who are
Filipino citizens. In a word, both the letter and spirit of the

57
Constitution, as well as the intent of its framers, support the
position that the 1935 Constitution adopted the principle of jus
sanguinis.90

4.121.
Furthermore, it is already settled in our jurisprudence
that Petitioner cannot invoke any presumption of natural-born citizenship.
In Tecson, et al. v. COMELEC,91 the Supreme Court held:
The constitutional requirement of a natural-born citizen,
being an express qualification for election as President, must be
complied with strictly as defined in the Constitution. As the Court
ruled in Paa v. Chan:
It is incumbent upon a person who claims
Philippine citizenship to prove to the satisfaction
of the Court that he is really a Filipino. No
presumption can be indulged in favor of the
claimant of Philippine citizenship, and any doubt
regarding citizenship must be resolved in favor of
the State. 92

4.122.
The Supreme Court likewise reiterated the above
holding in Paa in the case of Carlos T. Go, Sr. v. Luis T. Ramos.93
4.123.
Petitioner admits that her parentage is unknown.
Necessarily, she cannot, no matter how she presents it, truthfully claim
that her father, or for that matter, her mother, is a citizen of the
Philippines. Since a foundling cannot determinatively point a blood
relation to a Filipino father or mother, there is simply no factual or legal,
let alone constitutional, basis to consider her as a natural-born Filipino
citizen.
4.124.
Despite this undeniable fact, Petitioner nevertheless
claimed under oath that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen qualified to
run for President of the Philippines.
4.125.
To reiterate, natural-born citizens are those who are
citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any
act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.94

90
91
92
93
94

Pages 26-27 of the Resolution dated 01 December 2015 issued by the Commission on Elections,
Second Division, in Elamparo.
Supra.
Emphasis supplied.
G.R. No. 167569, 4 September 2009..
Section 2, Article IV, 1987 Constitution.

58
H.4
Assuming that Poe is a natural-born Filipino
citizen, what is the effect when: (a) she
renounced the same and took allegiance to the
US; and (b) when she availed of the benefits of
repatriation under Republic Act No. 9225?
4.126.
By renouncing her Philippine citizenship and
swearing to an oath of allegiance to the United States, Poe lost her
Philippine citizenship. Her naturalization in the U.S. on 18 October
2001 is one of the recognized modes for losing Philippine
citizenship.
4.127.
When Poe availed of the benefits of repatriation
under RA 9225, she did not reacquire her former natural-born
status (a status assumed in the formulated question); she
reacquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization in that she had to
perform several acts to acquire or perfect her Philippine citizenship,
notably: (a) She took an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines on 07 July 2006; (b) She filled up and filed an
application with the BID on 10 July 2006 for her repatriation.
Without said acts, she could not have reacquired Philippine
citizenship. Thus, she could not be considered as natural-born
upon repatriation.
4.128. The following exchange is recorded in the transcript of the
hearing on 02 February 2016:
JUSTICE CARPIO:
Okay. Lets go to what you said earlier. I was intrigued. You were
defining, theres a definition of a natural-born...

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
... citizen under the 1987 Constitution. What does it say?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Section 2 of Article IV says that a natural-born citizen is one who
is a Filipino citizen from birth.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
Okay. What is the meaning of from birth? It implies continuity in
time, from birth, correct?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.

59

JUSTICE CARPIO: So you must be a Filipino from birth...


COMMISSIONER LIM: Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE CARPIO:
... up to now. It precludes a break, correct?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
It doesnt say you are a Filipino at birth, at birth specific time. You
need not be a Filipino after that, correct?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
From up to the present, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes. So you must be a Filipino from birth without having
performing an act to acquire or perfect citizenship?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
So if you are applying for reacquisition of your citizen (sic), you
are a former natural-born and you apply...

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
What kind of citizenship do you reacquire?

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Philippine citizenship only not natural-born because the
natural-born status was broken, Your Honor.

JUSTICE CARPIO:
Yes, it was broken.

COMMISSIONER LIM:
Yes, Your Honor.95

95

Transcript of Stenographic Notes, Oral Arguments on 02 February 2016, Pages 143-145; emphasis
supplied.

60
4.129. Fr. Joaquin A. Bernas, a recognized legal luminary and
constitutionalist, and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, has
posited, thusly:96
If a natural-born Filipino citizen loses his citizenship by
renunciation or by any other mode recognized by law, would he
still be considered natural-born if he subsequently reacquires
citizenship? It is submitted that, whether under the 1973 or 1987
provision, such person would not be a natural-born Filipino. 97

H.5.
DID POE IN ANY MANNER RECANT HER OATH OF
RENUNCIATION OF HER U.S. CITIZENSHIP?
4.130.
No evidence was presented before the COMELEC that
Poe had used her U.S. passport after she renounced her U.S. citizenship
on 20 October 2010.
H.6
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW ON THE
MATTER OF CITIZENSHIP?
4.131.
As early as the 1912 case of Roa vs. Collector of
98
Customs the Supreme Court held that it is the inherent right of every
independent nation to determine for itself and according to its own
constitution and laws what classes of persons shall be entitled to its
citizenship.
4.132.
Citizenship therefore is a matter of municipal law, not
international law.
4.133.
In this connection, it may be pointed out that the 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the 1966 International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the 1989 UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) cited by Petitioner do
not and cannot vest upon her the status of a natural-born Filipino citizen.

96

Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary, 2003
Ed., p. 621.
97
Emphasis supplied.
98
G.R. No. L-7011, 30 October 1912.

61
4.134.
Only the right to acquire nationality is recognized and
granted by the UDHR, ICCPR and UNCRC. Their provisions
cannot be overstretched so as to consider Petitioner, admittedly a
foundling, as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.135. Article 15 of the UDHR reads:
Everyone has a right to nationality.

4.136.

Article 7 of the UNCRC provides:


The child shall be registered immediately after birth and
shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to
acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to
know and be cared of by his parents.

4.137. Article 24 of the ICCPR states:


Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to
race, color, sex, language, religion, national or social
original, property or birth, the right, to such measure of
protection as are required by his status as a minor, on
the part of his family, society and the State.

4.138. There is simply no conferment upon a foundling of the


status of a natural-born citizen of the country where said foundling is
found.
4.139. The above-quoted provisions are self-explanatory. They do
not vest upon Petitioner the status of being a natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.140. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that these conventions
impliedly declare a foundling as a natural-born citizen of the country
where he or she is found, these cannot supplant or override the
Constitution which requires a bloodline to a Filipino parent to confer the
status of being a natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.141.
Likewise, the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain
Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws and the 1961
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness do not legitimize
Petitioners claim that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.
4.142. The Hague Convention provides:
Article 14
A child whose parents are both unknown shall have
the nationality of the country of birth. If the childs
parentage is established, its nationality shall
be

62
determined by the rules applicable in cases where the
parentage is known.
A foundling is, until the contrary is proved,
presumed to have been born on the territory of the
State in which it was found.
Article 15
Where the nationality of a State is not acquired
automatically by reason of birth on its territory, a child
born on the territory of that State of parents having no
nationality, or of unknown nationality, may obtain the
nationality of the said State. The law of that State
shall determine the conditions governing the
acquisition of its nationality in such cases.
(Emphasis, underscoring supplied.)

4.143. The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness


reads:
Article 1
A Contracting State shall grant its nationality
to a person born in its territory who would
otherwise be stateless. Such nationality shall be
granted:
(a)

at birth, by operation of law, or

(b) Upon an application being lodged with the


appropriate authority, by or on behalf of the
person concerned, in the manner prescribed by
the national law. Subject to the provisions of
paragraph 2 of this article, no such application
may be rejected.
Article 2
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, underscoring supplied.)

4.144. The 1930 Hague Convention and the 1961 Convention on


Reduction of Statelessness do not apply the Philippines not being a
signatory thereto. There is nothing in these conventions that vest upon
petitioner a natural-born status as a foundling. Assuming they do, the
Philippine Constitution, which adopts jus sanguinis, is paramount being
the fundamental law of the land.

63
Petitioners counsel admitted during the oral arguments on 19
January 2016 that the Philippines is not a party to the Hague
Convention99.
4.145.
Assuming arguendo that the terms of the conventions
apply to the Philippines notwithstanding that it did not sign or accede to
said Conventions, they do not state in unequivocal terms that a
foundling found in the Philippines is a natural-born Filipino citizen. Its
declaration that a child whose parents are both unknown shall have the
nationality of the country of birth merely asserts a childs right to
nationality.
4.146. Moreover, the said conventions refer to a Contracting
State. Since the Philippines is not a Contracting State, it follows that its
terms do not apply to the Philippines. Assuming that its terms may apply
in our jurisdiction, and that said terms declare a foundling found in the
Philippines as a natural-born Filipino citizen, said conventions cannot
supplant or override the Philippine Constitution which follows jus
sanguinis.

I
ON RESIDENCY
I.1
Petitioner committed material misrepresentation,
under Section 78 of the OEC in relation to
Section 74 of the OEC and Rule 23 of the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure, by stating in her
COC that her period of residency up to the day
before the May 9, 2016 election is 10 years and
11 months.
4.147. In Footnote Nos. 83 and 84 on p. 53 of this Memorandum,
we already quoted Section 78, as well as Section 74, OEC.
4.148.

Poes statement in her COC for President that:

7. PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES UP TO


THE DAY BEFORE MAY 09, 2016: 10 Years, 11 Months,100
is a material representation that is false, as we shall fully show below.
99
100

See TSN dated 19 January 2016, pp. 36-37.


Please see Petitioners 2015 Certificate of Candidacy for President.

64
I.2
Petitioner was unable to prove that she reestablished her domicile in the Philippines on
May 24, 2005.
4.149 Petitioner claims to have re-established her domicile in the
Philippines on 24 May 2005. Is this correct?
4.150. It is incorrect based on petitioners own submissions which
are conflicting.
4.151. In her COC for Senator in the May 2013 election filed in
October 2012, Poe stated:
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES BEFORE
MAY 13, 2013 - 6 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS.

The above sworn entry in her COC for Senator meant that Poe
had been a Philippine resident only since November 2006.
4.152.
She later claimed that the COMELEC form confused her,
that actually that entry of 6 years and 6 months was meant to be up to
the date of filing of said COC in October 2012. Assuming this to be
correct, and applying the 6 years and 6 months as up to October 2012,
this means that Poe had been a Philippine resident only since April
2006.
4.153. In her present COC for President in the May 2016 elections,
her sworn entry on residency is 10 years and 11 months up to the day
before May 9, 2016 which would be a residency since June 2005.
4.154.

So which is which?

May 24, 2005 as the date she claims to have re-established


her Philippine domicile?
Or is it April 2006 as she also claims relative to her 2012
senatorial COC reckoned up the date of its filing in October 2012?
Or is it November 2006 which is the plain import of her
sworn entry in her senatorial COC?
Or is it June 2005 which would be the reckoning date per her
2015 COC for President in the May 2016 elections?
4.155.
What does this tell us? These conflicting dates show
ambivalence or uncertainty in re-establishing domicile.
These
conflicting

65
dates bolster the finding that her sworn entry in her present COC for
President of 10 years and 11 months of residency up to the day before
May 9, 2016 material representation that is false.
4.156. No other conclusion lends itself for acceptance to the
unbiased mind.
4.157. The principle that whoever asserts that a claim is false must
prove its falsity independent of the prior inconsistent claim does not apply
for the reason that the admission made the petitioner in her 2012 COC is
presumed to be true being the best evidence which affords the greatest
certainty of the fact in dispute.101 Petitioner had the burden of showing,
which she failed to do, that her sworn entry in her 2012 COC is false if
her aim is to prove that that inconsistent statement in her 2015 COC is
the true statement.
4.158. The Assailed Resolutions duly considered all the evidence
submitted by parties. However, inasmuch as the petitioners evidence
only tended to prove that she allegedly re-established her residency
PRIOR to her reacquisition of Filipino citizenship, and there was no
waiver by her of her non-resident status, both Assailed Resolutions
reached the conclusion that based on the evidence presented in the
case, the earliest possible date in which petitioner became a resident of
the Philippines was when her application for repatriation was approved
by the BID in July 18, 2006 or when she registered as a voter on 31
August 2006.
4.159.
stated:

The Assailed Resolution in SPA Case No. 15-001 (DC)


Foremost, the Commission is not convinced that
the Second Division chose to rely on a single
piece of evidence respondents 2013 COC, to
the exclusion of all others, in resolving the issue of
residence. It does not persuade us that as the
Second Division entirely omitted to mention the
evidence
of
respondent
enumerated
in
Respondents Motion, it did not consider them at
all. A judge is not bound to mention in his decision
every bit of evidence on record. He is presumed to
have regularly discharged his duty to consider and
weigh all evidence formally offered by the parties
which are admissible.
xxx
xxx

101

Section 26, Rule 130, Rules of Court.

66
To indulge respondent, however, the Commission
now looks, one by one on the pieces of evidence
allegedly ignored by the Second Division which
are, along with their purpose for offer, are
enumerated
in
Respondents
Motion.
Unfortunately, an examination of these evidence
leads to but one crucial and fatal conclusion: that
all of them were executed before July 2006,
and/or are offered to prove that she can reckon
her residency before July 2006 - the date of
reacqusition by respondent of her Filipino
citizenship. This is fatal because, following the
cases of Coquilla v. COMELEC, Japzon v.
COMELEC, and Caballero v. COMELEC, the
earliest possible date that respondent could have
re-established her residence in the Philippines is
when she re-acquired her Filipino Citizenship on
July 2006. Yes, on this finding, we affirm the
Second Division for the reasons that follow.102

4.160.
In the Tatad, Contreras, and Valdez Petitions, the
COMELEC held:
Respondent
insists
that
she
has
presented
overwhelming evidence to prove that her residency
already began in 24 May 2005. Respondent adverted to
acts she allegedly undertook in 2005 and 2006, before
her supposed repatriation under R.A. 9225, as indicative
of her intent to establish her domicile in the Philippine
and abandon her domicile in the United States. These
acts include transferring her children to Philippine
schools, purchasing a condominium unit in San Juan
City, causing the construction of a house in Corinthian
Hills, Quezon City, informing the US Postal Service in
2006 of their abandonment of their US address, among
others.
xxx

xxx

xxx

It bears emphasizing that Respondent was only


repatriated under R.A. No. 9225 by BID Order dated 18
July 2006, and this is still assuming arguendo she can
be repatriated under the said law. Therefore, as correctly
held by the First Division, all the arrangements referred
to by Respondent cannot be given credence.103
xxx
102
103

xxx

xxx

COMELEC En Banc Resolution in Elamparo.


COMELEC En Banc Resolution in Tatad, et al.

67
To emphasize, Respondent entered the Philippines in
May 2005 not as an alien immigrant or a resident alien
but as a foreign visitor. Respondent admitted in her
Memorandum that she did not have a permanent
resident visa from 24 May 2005 to 7 July 2006.
Respondent therefore could not have acquired the status
of a resident alien because she did not acquire the
requisite authorization from the BID in order to
permanently reside in the Philippines as an alien.

4.161.
Coquilla v. COMELEC laid down the rule that loss of
Philippine citizenship likewise carries with it loss of Philippine residency:
[The] fact is that, by having been naturalized abroad, he
lost his Philippine citizenship and with it his residence in
the Philippines. Until his reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship on November 10, 2000, petitioner did not
reacquire his legal residence in this country.104

4.162. Japzon v. COMELEC, upon the other hand, held that


reacquisition of Philippine citizenship does not automatically result in
the re-establishment of Philippine domicile, inasmuch as a person
who re-acquires Philippine citizenship can still retain his foreign
domicile even after repatriation.
As has already been previously discussed by this Court
herein, Tys reacquisition of his Philippine citizenship
under Republic Act No. 9225 had no automatic impact or
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. Ty merely had the option
to again establish his domicile in the Municipality of
General Macarthur, Eastern Samar, Philippines, said
place becoming his new 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.105

4.163. While Caballero v. COMELEC definitively instructs


that in the case of a candidate who reacquires Philippine
citizenship under R.A. 9225 (such as petitioner herein), Philippine
residency can only be re-established at the earliest time upon
reacquisition of citizenship.
Hence, petitioners retention of his Philippine citizenship
under RA No. 9225 did not automatically make him
regain
104
105

G.R. No. 151914, 31 July 2002.


G.R. No. 180088, 19 January 2002.

68
his residence in Uyugan, Batanes. He must still prove
that after becoming a Philippine citizen on September
13, 2012, he had reestablished Uyugan, Batanes as his
new domicile of choice which is reckoned from the time
he made it as such. The COMELEC found that petitioner
failed to present competent evidence to prove that he
was able to reestablish his residence in Uyugan within a
period of one year immediately preceding the May 13,
2013 elections. It found that it was only after
reacquiring his Filipino citizenship by virtue of RA
No. 9225 on September 13, 2012 that petitioner can
rightfully claim that he re-established his domicile in
Uyugan, Batanes, if such was accompanied by
physical presence thereat, coupled with an actual
intent to reestablish his domicile there. However, the
period from September 13, 2012 to May 12, 2013 was
even less than the one year residency required by
law.106 (Emphasis, underscoring supplied.)

I.3
Is the Courts ruling in Romualdez-Marcos vs.
COMELEC applicable to Poes case such that the
decisive factor in determining whether she has
met the residency requirement is the fact of
residence and not the statement under oath in
her COC?
4.164. Petitioner insists that her representation in her COC in
regard to the period of her residence was not a deliberate
misrepresentation but an honest mistake on a difficult question of law,
thus, invoking Romualdez-Marcos.107
4.165. Petitioner errs. Romuladez-Marcos case does not apply to
her case.
4.166. In Romualdez-Marcos, Mrs. Marcos indicated a shorterperiod of residence, i.e., seven months, which would technically lead to
her outright disqualification. Here, Petitioner indicated a longer period
than that required, i.e., 10 years and 11 months, to make it appear that
she complied with the residency requirement.
4.167. Thus, in Romualdez-Marcos, the Supreme Court ruled that
by indicating a shorter period of residence, Mrs. Marcos statement
was

106
107

G.R. No. 209835, 22 September 2015.


See TSN dated 19 January 2016, p. 10.

69
not material but an honest mistake because it would plainly be ridiculous
for a candidate to deliberately and knowingly make a statement in a COC
which would lead to her disqualification. The Supreme Court, therefore,
used the fact of actual residence and not Mrs. Marcos statement in her
COC as the decisive factor in determining whether she has complied
with the residency requirement.
4.168. Here, Petitioners sworn entry in her 2015 COC of a longer
period of 10 years and 11 months was intended to make it appear that
she is compliant with the residency requirement when actually she is not
as heretofore discussed. Assuming, arguendo, that the actual fact of
residence as enunciated in Romualdez-Marcos applies to Petitioner,
she still failed to comply with the 10 year residency requirement, in that:
(a) Residence, for election purposes, is considered synonymous
with domicile;
(b) When Poe became a naturalized American citizen on 18
October 2001, she lost not only her Philippine citizenship but her
Philippine domicile as well;
(c) It is now her burden to prove that she has re-established her
domicile in the Philippines by proving (i) actual bodily presence
in the Philippines, (ii) intention to remain or animus manendi,
and (iii) abandonment of her former domicile in the U.S.A or
animus non revertendi.
4.169. Now, what evidence did she proffer to prove that she had
re-established her Philippine domicile? She presented evidence tending
to prove the following:
(a) Her children arrived in the latter half of 2005, and two of them
enrolled in Philippine schools;
(b) During the second half of 2005, Poe purchased a condominium
unit in San Juan; she also bought a lot though she was still an
alien;
(c) E-mail exchanges were made with the moving company for the
transport of their belongings to the Philippines;
(d) Poe started the construction of their house in Corinthian Hills;
(e) Poe informed the U.S. Postal Service in the later part of 2006 of
their abandonment of their U.S. address.
4.170. After consideration by the COMELEC of all of the foregoing,
one important matter stood out: All of these acts were done while Poe
remained a U.S. citizen, without her waiving her non-resident status,
with

70
her sojourning in the country as a visa-free Balikbayan visitor, and before
she repatriated on 18 July 2006.
4.171. All of said acts could be done by any other non-resident
alien without any intent to re-establish Philippine domicile, hence, those
were acts do not satisfy the test of substantial evidence showing that
Poe had in fact decided to re-establish her domicile or residence in the
Philippines, and further highlighted by the fact that: (a) she never
applied for an ICR; (b) she remained an American citizen all that time; (c)
she never waived her non-resident status before her repatriation on 18
July 2006; and (d) she was sojourning in the country only as a temporary
Balikbayan visitor.
4.172. Since a person can only have one domicile at any given
time, it stands to reason that when Poe performed all of those acts prior
to 18 July 2006, she was and remained a resident of the USA.
4.173. In a very real sense, it can be said that from May 24, 2005
when she arrived in the Philippines to 18 July 2006 when she finally and
decisively crossed the Rubicon by repatriating on said date, she was just
testing the waters, weighing her options, and the evidence showed that it
was an agonizing moment for her - whether or not to give up that prized
U.S. citizenship - as she renounced her American citizenship only on 20
October 2010. She remained an American citizen for more than 4 years
after her repatriation.
.
4.174. The totality of the evidence therefore militated strongly
against a finding that she had re-established her domicile in the
Philippines on May 24, 2005.
4.175.
In Coquilla108 the Supreme Court pointed out that
residence in the U.S.A. is a requirement for naturalization there. Also in
the same case, it was held that naturalization in a foreign country results
in an abandonment of domicile in the Philippines.
4.176. In Japzon109 the Supreme Court tells us that reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship does not automatically result in the reestablishment of Philippine domicile, inasmuch as a person who reacquires Philippine citizenship can still retain his foreign domicile even
after reacquisition.
4.177. Caballero110 is definitively instructive that in the case of a
candidate who reacquires Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9225, (such
108
109
110

G.R. No. 151914, 31 July 2002.


G.R. No. 180088, 19 January 2002.
G.R. No. 209835, 22 September 2015.

71
as herein petitioner) Philippine residency can only be re-established at
the earliest time upon reacquisition of citizenship. Thus, it was held:
Hence, petitioners retention of his Philippine citizenship
under RA No. 9225 did not automatically make him
regain his residence in Uyugan, Batanes. He must still
prove that after becoming a Philippine citizen on
September 13, 2012, he had reestablished Uyugan,
Batanes as his new domicile of choice which is reckoned
from the time he made it as such. The COMELEC found
that petitioner failed to present competent evidence to
prove that he was able to reestablish his residence in
Uyugan within a period of one year immediately
preceding the May 13, 2013 elections. It found that it
was only after reacquiring his Filipino citizenship by
virtue of RA No. 9225 on September 13, 2012 that
petitioner can rightfully claim that he re-established
his domicile in Uyugan, Batanes, if such was
accompanied by physical presence thereat, coupled
with an actual intent to reestablish his domicile
there. However, the period from September 13, 2012 to
May 12, 2013 was even less than the one year
residency required by law. (Emphasis, underscoring
supplied.)

4.167.
Following settled jurisprudence, Petitioners physical
presence in the Philippines between 24 May 2005 and 18 July
2006 and her having purchased real estate and enrolled her
children in Philippine schools during that time were not adequate to
re-establish her residence in the Philippines because the animus
non-revertendi was sorely lacking.
I.4
POE IS BOUND BY THE ENTRY IN HER 2012 COC THAT
HER PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES
BEFORE THE MAY 13, 2013 ELECTIONS WAS 6 YEARS
AND 6 MONTHS.
4.168 .
Poes sworn entry in her 2012 COC for Senator that her
period of residence in the Philippines before the May 13, 2013 elections
was 6 years and 6 months is an admission against interest, and fully
binding upon her.
4.169 .
Atty. Alexander Poblador, counsel for Poe, admitted
said entry to be an admission against interest.

72
JUSTICE PERALTA:
... When she declared in her COC that she was only a resident for 6
years and 6 months, is that not an admission against interest?

ATTY. POBLADOR:
It is an... it may be an admission against interest and it may be admitted
as such...111

4.170. Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides:


Section 26. Admission of a party. The act, declaration or
omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence
against him.

4.171. Poes declaration as to the relevant fact of her period


of residence in the Philippines, as she herself indicated under
oath in her 2012 COC, may be given in evidence against her
being the best evidence which affords the greatest certainty
of the fact in dispute.
4.172.

As held in Heirs of Bernardo Ulep v. Ducat:112

Being an admission against interest, the documents are 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 anything against
himself unless such declaration was true. Thus, it is fair to
presume that the declaration corresponds to the truth, and it
is his fault if it does not.

4.173. Respondents representation in her 2012 COC for Senator


that she had been a resident of the Philippines for a period of 6 years
and 6 months by May 13, 2013 is an admission or declaration which may
be given in evidence against her. After all, she should not have declared
it under oath if such declaration was not true, and it is his fault if it is
false.
4.174. Poe alleged she was confused and did not know that the
use of the phrase Period of Residence in the Philippines before May 13,
2013 in her COC for Senator actually referred to the period immediately
preceding 13 May 2013, and that her entry of 6 years and 6 months
was meant up the date she submitted her COC in October 2012.
4.175. However, even if we were to accept said allegation and
concede that when Poe wrote 6 years and 6 months as the period of
her
111
112

Transcript of Stenographic Notes, 19 January 2016, Page 101.


G.R. No. 159284, January 27, 2009; Bold and underlining supplied.

73
residency, it was intended to be reckoned from the day she filed her
COC in October 2012, still it would contradict her sworn declaration in
her 2015 COC for President.
4.176.
If it were to be believed that in October 2012, Poes
residence in the country was 6 years and 6 months, she would have
been a resident of the country since April 2006, which, as earlier noted,
would contradict Poes 2015 COC which stated that she was a resident
for 10 years and 11 months up to the day before May 9, 2016, putting
her period of residency in the Philippines as commencing in June 2005.
4.177.
Interestingly, April 2006 and June 2005 are both at
variance with her claim that she re-established her residency in the
Philippines in May 2005.
4.178. So which is which? May 2005? June 2005? April 2006?
November 2006?
4.179. The only logical explanation for these conflicting dates
would be that the answers or entries were conveniently dictated by the
prevailing circumstances at the given time. Thus, the 6 years and 6
months in her 2012 COC was intended to be compliant with the 2-year
residency requirement for the position of Senator. Realizing that for
purposes of the Presidency that would be 6 months short of the required
10-year residency she then stated in her 2015 COC a residency of 10
years and 11 months up to May 9, 2016. As if by magic, she now
represented herself as more than compliant with the 10-year residency
requirement for the Office of President of the Philippines.
4.180. Nothing can be a clearer case of material misrepresentation.

I.5
Can the period of residence of Poe in the
Philippines prior to her reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship/renunciation of her US
citizenship be used to satisfy the 10-year
residency requirement under the Constitution?
4.181.
No, her period of stay in the Philippines prior to her
repatriation on 20 July 2006 cannot be used to satisfy the 10-year
residency requirement under the Constitution. However, having reestablished Philippine domicile upon her repatriation as it was
coupled

74

with bodily presence and animus manendi as of 20 July 2006, her period
of residence since that date (20 July 2006) up to her renunciation of her
U.S. citizenship on 20 October 2010 would already be counted and can
be used to satisfy the said 10-year residency requirement.
4.182. Poes stay in the Philippines from 24 May 2005 up to her
application for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under R.A. No.
9225 was visa-free under the Balikbayan Program provided in R.A. No.
9174.113 Section 3 thereof grants a visa-free entry to the Philippines for
a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception
of restricted nationals.
4.183. Thus, the character of petitioners stay in the Philippines
from 24 May 2005 up to her repatriation on 18 July 2006 was explicitly
temporary in nature. As previously stated, petitioner did not waive her
non-resident status as a U.S. citizen and U.S. resident. Hence, her
period of residence in the Philippines prior to her reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship on 18 July 2006 cannot be used to satisfy the 10year residency requirement under the Constitution.

OTHER ISSUES
During the oral arguments other issues cropped up which the Court
directed the parties to address in their memorandum notably the
following:
1. May not foundlings be presumed as natural-born Philippine
citizens under the Silence of the Constitution precept, or in
light of its provisions on the Family, Social Justice, and Human
Rights, and considering
further
the
adverse
consequences of a decision disqualifying petitioner from
running for President in the May 9, 2016 elections to other
foundlings in the country allegedly numbering close to 4,000 in
all?
2. Should not the COMELEC have made factual findings
on whether

113

AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED 6768, ENTITLED, "AN ACT INSTITUTING A BALIKBAYAN
PROGRAM" BY PROVIDING ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES TO BALIKBAYAN AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES

75
(d) Poe is natural-born based on the probability of her
parentage being
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

Both parents Filipinos;


Father Filipino; mother alien;
Father alien; mother Filipino;
Both parents aliens.114

(e) Poe is natural-born Filipino based on her height of 52,


color brown, eyes brown, hair black;
(f) Poe is natural-born because of the probability her parents
were Filipinos considering that
(i)

Roughly 90% of Iloilo residents are Filipinos;

(ii)

The place where she was found abandoned,


viz., Jaro church, points to the likelihood that it
must have been a Roman Catholic Filipino
father or mother or couple who brought and
left her there.

3. Can there be a material misrepresentation on a


question of law, i.e. whether or not a foundling is a naturalborn Filipino citizen, which is a question of first impression?

Re: PRESUMPTION THAT FOUNDLINGS


ARE NATURAL-BORN FILIPINO CITIZENS?
Public respondent submits that there can be no presumption of
citizenship, not even in favor of foundlings as this would be contrary to
the clear language and meaning of the Constitution as well as to settled
jurisprudence.
The Constitution clearly enumerates those who are citizens of the
Philippines. It is a familiar rule of statutory construction that what is not
included in the enumeration is deemed excluded. The express mention
of one person, thing, or consequence implies the exclusion of all others.
Expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

114

The following 5th scenario was not mentioned during the interpellation: (e) Both parents foundlings.

76
The plain meaning rule or verba legis in statutory construction
mandates that a statute be given its plain and literal meaning if the
language therein is clear, plain and free from ambiguity.115
Section 1, Article IV, of the 1935 Constitution - the one applicable
to petitioner - enumerates in plain and simple language who are citizens
of the Philippines.
Foundlings are not included in the enumeration of Filipino citizens
under all our Constitutions and in the definition made in the 1973 and
1987 Constitutions as to who are natural-born. Foundlings cannot be
indirectly included therein by creating a presumption of citizenship in
their favor as this would amount to unwarranted judicial legislation that
would amend the Constitution. The mechanism for amending the
Constitution is set forth in the Constitution itself. Certainly, the power to
amend the Constitution is not included in the concept of judicial power or
under the power of judicial review in Section 1, Article VIII, of the 1987
Constitution.
Neither may such presumption of citizenship be indulged in favor
of foundlings under the so-called precept of silence of the Constitution.
Precisely, the Constitution is silent as to foundlings because foundlings
are not included in the enumeration therein as to who are citizens of the
Philippines. One may not hear voices out of that silence and use it as
license to embark on a subjective interpretation of the Constitution.
Indeed, if subjective interpretation were to be allowed on the pretext that
the silence of the Constitution is a justifying motivation for doing so,
then there can be as many interpretations as there are any given number
of people individually reading and interpreting the silence of the
Constitution.
Nor may a presumption of Filipino citizenship in favor of foundlings
be justified under the provisions of the 1987 Constitution on Social
Justice and Human Rights116 or the Family.117 All such provisions are
laudable in mandating the Congress to enact measures that protect and
enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social,
economic and political inequalities, and remove cultural iniquities by
equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good, and
in the State recognizing the Filipino family as the foundation of the
nation thereby

115

Republic v. Carlito Lacap, G.R. No. 158253, March 2, 2007.


Article XIII, 1987 Constitution.
117
Article XV, 1987 Constitution.
116

77
mandating the government to strengthen the familys solidarity and
actively promote its total development.
But nothing therein justify creating a presumption of Filipino
citizenship, least of all natural-born, in favor of foundlings.
During the hearing for oral arguments, reference was made to the
cases of Duncan v. CFI of Rizal118 and In Re: Adoption of Child Baptized
under the Name of Rose, Marvin G. Ellis and Gloria C. Ellis, petitionersappellees, Republic of the Philippines, oppositor-appellant.119
These cases do not justify creating a presumption of Filipino
citizenship, least of all natural-born, in favor of foundlings.
Duncan was an adoption case. It did not involve a foundling or the
issue of a foundlings citizenship. The issue there was whether Atty.
Corazon de Leon Velasquez, to whom the child was entrusted by its
known mother (known to Atty. Velasquez) and who in turn gave the child
to the Duncan spouses for them to adopt, was the proper person
required by law to give the consent to the adoption under Article 340 of
the Civil Code.120
The Supreme Court held:
This Court has previously declared that abandonment
imports any conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a
settled purpose to forego all parental claims to the child.
Applying this legal yardstick, the unidentified mother in this
case can be declared, as she is hereby declared, as having
abandoned her child with all legal consequences attached
thereto. xxx
The question now is whether or not Atty. Corazon de
Leon Velasquez, the undisputed custodian of the abandoned
waif may be considered as the guardian under Art. 340 or the
person standing in loco parentis of said infant contemplated in
Art. 349 of the Civil Code.
Xxx Since there had been no showing that the identity of
the natural mother was made known to the trial court or to the
herein petitioners, nor had said mother seen fit to
present

118

G.R. No. L-30576, February 10, 1976.


G.R. No. L-16922, April 30, 1963.
120
Article 340 of the Civil Code provides: Art. 340. The written consent of the following to adoption shall be
necessary: (1) The person to be adopted, if fourteen years of age or over; (2) The parents, guardian or person in
charge of the person to be adopted.
119

78
herself before the court despite the public notice given to the
proceedings as required by law, there clearly appears only
one person who could be considered as the guardian
exercising patria potestas over such abandoned child. Since
there was no guardian ad litem appointed by the court and the
child not being in the custody of an orphan asylum, childrens
home or benevolent society, there could not have been
anyone other than Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez who
could, with reason, be called the guardian of said infant. It
was she who had actual, physical custody of the infant and
who, out of compassion and motherly instinct, extended the
mantle of protection over the hapless and helpless infant
which otherwise could have suffered a tragic fate xxx xxx.

The High Court recognized Atty. Velasquez as de facto guardian


and ruled that the consent to the adoption given by her was proper.
Ellis also did not involve a foundling or any citizenship issue.
The
only issue in Ellis was whether, not being permanent residents in the
Philippines, petitioners were qualified to adopt Baby Rose under Article
335 of the Civil Code which relevantly provides that non-resident aliens
such as the petitioners Ellis spouses cannot adopt.
The Supreme Court ruled that the applicable legal provision
(Article 335, Civil Code) is too clear to require interpretation. No matter
how much we sympathize with the plight of Baby Rose and with the
good intentions of the petitioners herein, the law leaves us no choice but
to apply its explicit terms, which unqualifiedly deny to petitioners the
power to adopt anybody in the Philippines.121
Re: WAS THERE A NEED TO MAKE FACTUAL
FINDINGS ON POES PHYSICAL FEATURES
AND PERCENTAGE OF PROBABILITY ABOUT
HER PARENTAGE?
Anent this topic, the issue of fact before the COMELEC as
tendered by the petitioners therein was whether Poe was a foundling.
The respondent therein (Poe) admitted said factual submission. In her
Verified Answer, memorandum, and open court manifestations of her
counsel, Poe unqualifiedly admitted to being a foundling with parents
unknown albeit asserting that as a foundling she is allegedly a naturalborn Filipino citizen based on her interpretation of the deliberations of the
1934 Constitutional Convention and on the basis of international law
covenants and principles.
121

Ellis case, supra.

79
Such being the case, any effort to make factual findings on the
physical features of the petitioner such as her height, weight,
complexion, or hair color, eyes, and the like, would have been an
exercise in superfluity.122 It would not have made any difference at all if
after conducting a hearing to ascertain her physical features and
attributes, it was found that she is actually 53 instead of 52 or dark
skinned instead of brown. She would still remain a foundling with
parents unknown.
The issue of fact as to whether or not Poe was/is a foundling
having been settled, the next logical step was the application of the
citizenship provisions of the Constitution to answer the question as to
whether or not a foundling is a natural-born citizen under the
Constitution.
In discharging that task, the COMELEC conducted a preliminary
conference and clarificatory hearings, and considered all the
submissions and stipulations of the parties, their respective documentary
exhibits, as well as their exhaustive argumentations in their respective
memorandum.
It was also asserted that the COMELEC should have specifically
ruled on the issue of whether or not Poe is actually natural-born based
on the probability of her parentage being (i) Both parents Filipinos; (ii)
Father Filipino, Mother alien; (iii) Father alien; Mother Filipino; (v)
Both parents Aliens.
Firstly, other scenarios are missing in the equation, viz.: (a) Both
parents - foundlings; (b) Father foundling, Mother Filipino; (c) Mother
foundling, Father Filipino; (d) Father Alien, Mother foundling; (d)
Mother Alien, Father foundling.
Secondly, and this is the more important consideration, basing the
ruling or decision on the percentage of probabilities is to engage in
downright speculation. It is submitted that speculation, no matter how
attractive or plausible to the laymans mind, is not considered evidence in
law. Simply put, speculation cannot equate to substantial evidence
required in an administrative or quasi-judicial proceeding.
The same conclusion is unavoidable regarding the supposed
probability that petitioners parents were Filipinos considering that
roughly 90% of Iloilo residents are Filipinos, and the place where she
was found abandoned, viz., Jaro church, points to the likelihood that it
must have been a Roman Catholic Filipino father or mother or couple
who brought and left her there.
122

Sec. 4, Rule 130, Rules of Court provides: SEC. 4. Judicial admissions. - An admission, verbal or written,
made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be
contradicted only by a showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.

80
At least there is the recognition that not all Iloilo residents are
Filipino citizens so that in the absence of proof of zero possibility that the
father or mother or couple who abandoned petitioner in Jaro church did
not belong to the 10% non-Filipinos in Iloilo, there would still have
remained the probability that the said father or mother or couple was
actually an alien. But this, too, is speculation, pure and simple, and is
not evidence in law.
All told, not even the summary nature of a Section 78, OEC,
hearing will justify the COMELEC in engaging in pure speculation,
surmises and conjectures as basis for its decision.
Re: Can there be a material
misrepresentation on a question
of law?
If the law is clear there should be no dispute as to its meaning. To
give the law an interpretation contrary to its plain and simple meaning is
to misrepresent it.
In this case, there can be no question as to the following facts:
1. The Constitution enumerates those who are Filipino citizens;
2. The enumeration, be it in the 1935 or 1973 or 1987 Constitution,
is in plain and simple language;
3. The enumeration of Filipino citizens under the Constitution does
not include foundlings;
4. The definition in Section 2, Article IV, of the 1987 Constitution as
to who are natural-born does not include foundlings;
5. Here comes a foundling who is a Political Science graduate
from a reputable school in the United States, a Senator of the
Republic, with legal staff and assistance at her command;
6. She then filed a COC for President in the May 9, 2016 elections
and stated therein that she is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines.
Nothing can be a clearer case of a material misrepresentation.
But then there is the equally cogent principle that ignorance of the
law excuses no one from compliance therewith (ignorantia legis
neminem excusat).
May it be said that no one can really misrepresent the law because
everyone knows the law if we go by said legal maxim? And since
everyone knows the law how can it be misrepresented?

81
It is submitted that the maxim ignorantia legis neminem excusat
may not imply or require actual personal knowledge of the law. It only
means that one is presumed to know, and is bound, by law. But if the
law is clear like Section 1, Article IV of the Constitution, on citizenship,
and you are a Political Science graduate and legislator, knowledge
thereof is not just presumed but actual. To give it a contrary meaning is
to misrepresent it.
RELIEF
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, it is
respectfully prayed and reiterated that:
1. The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) dated December
28
28 and 29, 2015 be immediately LIFTED;
2. The COMELEC Resolution dated December 23, 2015 rendered
in COMELEC SPA No. 15-001 (DC) and the subject of G.R. No. 221697
be AFFIRMED;
3. The COMELEC Resolution dated December 23, 2015 in SPA
No. 15-002 (DC), SPA No. 15-007 (DC) and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) and
the subject of G.R. Nos. 221698-700 be AFFIRMED; and
4. The instant Petitions be DENIED DUE COURSE and
DISMISSED for lack of merit.
Other reliefs, just and equitable, are likewise prayed for.
Manila, Philippines: February 22, 2016.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Public Respondent
th
8 Floor, Palacio del Gobernador Building
Gen. Luna corner Postigo Streets
Intramuros, Manila

ARTHUR D. LIM
Roll No.: 23033
MCLE Compliance No.: IV-0017238/4.23.2013
IBP Life Member No.: 01609/Zambasulta
Commissioner and Counsel

82

MA. ROWENA AMELIA V. GUANZON


Roll No.: 33534
IBP Life Member No. 560998 5/16/02 Bacolod
MCLE Compliance IV - 0001943
Commissioner and Co-Counsel

VERIFIED CERTIFICATION
THE UNDERSIGNED, acting as counsel for the Commission on
Elections, respectfully manifest that, in accordance with the Efficient Use
of Paper Rule, submitted herewith is a Compact Disc (CD) containing an
electronic copy of the foregoing Memorandum, and I hereby certify that
the same is a complete and true copy of the foregoing pleading as filed
with the Honorable Court.
Manila, Philippines: February 22, 2016.

ARTHUR D. LIM

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this ____ day of


February 2016 by the affiant COMELEC Commissioner Arthur D. Lim
who exhibited to me his IBP Life Member ID No. 23033 as competent
proof of identity.
Affiant is personally known to me, being a
Commissioner of the Commission on Elections.

83
Copy Furnished :
POBLADOR BAUTISTA & REYES
Counsel for Petitioner
5th Floor, SEDCCO I Building
120 Rada cor. Legaspi Sts.
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Atty. Estrella C. Elamparo
Private Respondent
8th Floor, Pacific Star Building
Sen. Gil Puyat cor. Makati Ave.
Makati City
Atty. Amado D. Valdez
Valdez Law Offices
6A Vernida-1, 120 Amorsolo St.
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Atty. Manuelito R. Luna
Room 412, FEMI Building Annex
A. Soriano Jr. Ave.
Intramuros, Manila
Antonio P. Contreras
Unit F, Shorea Homes, Jose St.
Lopez Village, San Antonio
Los Banos, Laguna
Office of the Solicitor General
OSG Building
Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City

WRITTEN EXPLANATION ON SERVICE:


This Memorandum
will be personally filed with the Honorable Court but the other parties
shall be served their respective copy via registered mail due to time
constraints.

ARTHUR D. LIM

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE
I, ALLEN R. TOLEDO, Filipino, of legal age, and with address
at Law Department, Commission on Elections, 8th Floor, Palacio del
Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila, after having been sworn in
accordance with law, depose and say:
1.
That I am currently employed by the Commission on
Elections with office address above;
2.
That on 22 February 2016, I personally filed before the
Supreme Court a pleading entitled MEMORANDUM in the case
entitled Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe Llamanzares, petitioner,
versus Commission on Elections and Estrella C. Elamparo,
respondents, docketed as G.R. No. 221697, and Mary Grace
Natividad S. Poe Llamanzares, petitioner, versus Commission on
Elections and Francisco Tatad, et al., respondents, docketed as G.R.
No. 221698-700.
3.
That on the same date (22 February 2016), I likewise
served a copy of said pleading upon the following through registered
mail by depositing their respective copies at the Post Office in a
sealed envelope with postage fully pre-paid per Registry Receipt Nos.
as hereunder indicated and which I have attached to the original copy
filed before the Supreme Court, with instruction to the postmaster to
return said mail matter to sender after ten (10) days if the same shall
return undelivered:

POBLADOR BAUTISTA & REYES


Counsel for Petitioner
5th Floor, SEDCCO I Building
120 Rada corner Legaspi Streets
Legaspi Village, Makati City

Reg. No. __________

Atty. Estrella C. Elamparo


Private Respondent
8th Floor, Pacific Star Building
Sen. Gil Puyat cor. Makati Ave.
Makati City

Reg. No. __________

Office of the Solicitor General


OSG Building
Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City

Reg. No. __________

Atty. Manuelito R. Luna


Counsel for Francisco Tatad
Room 412, FEMI Building Annex
A. Soriano Jr. Avenue, Intramuros
Manila

Reg. No. __________

Amado D. Valdez
Valdez Law Office
64 Vernida-I, 120 Amorsolo Street
Legaspi Village, Makati City

Reg. No. __________

Dr. Antonio P. Contreras


Unit F Shorea Homes
Jose Street, Lopez Village
San Antonio, Los Baos, Laguna

Reg. No. __________

4.

That I am executing this affidavit to attest to the foregoing

facts.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature
this 22nd day of February 2016.

ALLEN R. TOLEDO
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES }
CITY OF MANILA
}S.S.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 22nd day of
February 2016, affiant having personally appeared and signed this
instrument in my presence and presented to me, as competent proof
of his identity, his COMELEC Identification Card No. 10-2532 issued
by the Commission on Elections and his Voters ID No. 3906-2086BJ0875ART10000. I have duly ascertained affiants identity through
competent means of identification.

Doc. No.: _______;


Page No.: _______;
Book No.: _______;
Series of 2016.