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Title: Valles vs COMELEC Name of Digester: Fred Bucu

G.R. No. 137000 Date: Aug. 9, 2000 Ponente:

Subject / Syllabus Topic: Citizenship


Petitioner: Cirilo R. Valles Respondent: Commission on Elections and Rosalind Ybasco
Lopez
Doctrine: Jus Sanguinis

Recit Summary:
 Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. Then she ran for governor in
Davao Oriental in 1998 but Cirilo R. Valles filed a petition for her disqualification, contesting her Filipino citizenship due to
her Australian background and that she had renounced her Philippine citizenship as she was a holder of an Australian
passport and had an alien certificate of registration. The Supreme Court decided that Rosalind Ybasco Lopez is eligible to
run for governor on the grounds that she had always been Filipino due to her father’s citizenship as Filipino, in accordance
with the doctrine of Jus Sanguinis, and at most she had dual citizenship- she was an Australian and a Filipino. The petition
is dismissed and Rosalind Ybasco Lopez is adjudged qualified to run for governor.
Facts:
 Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother.
 In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she later married a Filipino
and has since then participated in the electoral process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well.
 In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor in Davao Oriental but Valles filed a petition for her disqualification as
candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.

Issue/s: Ruling:
 Whether or not Rosalind is Filipino  Petition is DISMISSED. Private respondent Rosalind
Ybasco Lopez is hereby adjudged qualified to run for
governor of Davao Oriental.
Holding:
 Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, having a Filipino father, is also a Filipino citizen, in accordance with the doctrine of Jus Sanguinis.
Also, her birthplace in Australia allows her to claim Australian citizenship because Australia follows the doctrine of Jus Soli,
resulting to her possession of dual citizenship. The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis.
Thereunder, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed
to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship on the basis of place of birth.
 The mere fact that private respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was a holder of an Australian passport and had an alien
certificate of registration are not acts constituting an effective renunciation of citizenship and do not militate against her
claim of Filipino citizenship. They were mere acts of assertion of her Australian citizenship before she effectively renounced
the same. Thus, at the most, private respondent had dual citizenship- she was an Australian and a Filipino, as well.

Notes:
 Article IV, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution on dual allegiance. Court explained that dual citizenship as a disqualification
must refer to citizens with dual allegiance. The fact that the private respondent had dual citizenship did not automatically
disqualify her from running for a public office.