Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 34

Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManila

EN BANC
G.R. No. L-63915 April 24, 1985
LORENZO M. TAADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO, and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD,
INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. [MABINI], petitioners, vs.HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive
Assistant to the President, HON. JOAQUIN VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President
, MELQUIADES P. DE LA CRUZ, in his capacity as Director, Malacaang Records Office, and FLORENDO S.
PABLO, in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Printing, respondents.

ESCOLIN, J.:
Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the
1973 Philippine Constitution, 1 as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the
Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public
officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of
instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.
Specifically, the publication of the following presidential issuances is sought:
a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 12, 22, 37, 38, 59, 64, 103, 171, 179, 184, 197, 200, 234, 265, 286, 298, 303, 312, 324, 325,
326, 337, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 368, 404, 406, 415, 427, 429, 445, 447, 473, 486, 491, 503, 504, 521, 528, 551, 566,
573, 574, 594, 599, 644, 658, 661, 718, 731, 733, 793, 800, 802, 835, 836, 923, 935, 961, 1017-1030, 1050, 1060-1061,
1085, 1143, 1165, 1166, 1242, 1246, 1250, 1278, 1279, 1300, 1644, 1772, 1808, 1810, 1813-1817, 1819-1826, 18291840, 1842-1847.
b] Letter of Instructions Nos.: 10, 39, 49, 72, 107, 108, 116, 130, 136, 141, 150, 153, 155, 161, 173, 180, 187, 188, 192,
193, 199, 202, 204, 205, 209, 211-213, 215-224, 226-228, 231-239, 241-245, 248, 251, 253-261, 263-269, 271-273, 275283, 285-289, 291, 293, 297-299, 301-303, 309, 312-315, 325, 327, 343, 346, 349, 357, 358, 362, 367, 370, 382, 385,
386, 396-397, 405, 438-440, 444- 445, 473, 486, 488, 498, 501, 399, 527, 561, 576, 587, 594, 599, 600, 602, 609, 610,
611, 612, 615, 641, 642, 665, 702, 712-713, 726, 837-839, 878-879, 881, 882, 939-940, 964,997,1149-1178,1180-1278.
c] General Orders Nos.: 14, 52, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64 & 65.
d] Proclamation Nos.: 1126, 1144, 1147, 1151, 1196, 1270, 1281, 1319-1526, 1529, 1532, 1535, 1538, 1540-1547, 15501558, 1561-1588, 1590-1595, 1594-1600, 1606-1609, 1612-1628, 1630-1649, 1694-1695, 1697-1701, 1705-1723, 17311734, 1737-1742, 1744, 1746-1751, 1752, 1754, 1762, 1764-1787, 1789-1795, 1797, 1800, 1802-1804, 1806-1807,
1812-1814, 1816, 1825-1826, 1829, 1831-1832, 1835-1836, 1839-1840, 1843-1844, 1846-1847, 1849, 1853-1858, 1860,
1866, 1868, 1870, 1876-1889, 1892, 1900, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1952, 1963, 1965-1966, 1968-1984, 1986-2028, 20302044, 2046-2145, 2147-2161, 2163-2244.
e] Executive Orders Nos.: 411, 413, 414, 427, 429-454, 457- 471, 474-492, 494-507, 509-510, 522, 524-528, 531-532,
536, 538, 543-544, 549, 551-553, 560, 563, 567-568, 570, 574, 593, 594, 598-604, 609, 611- 647, 649-677, 679-703, 705707, 712-786, 788-852, 854-857.
f] Letters of Implementation Nos.: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-22, 25-27, 39, 50, 51, 59, 76, 80-81, 92, 94, 95, 107, 120, 122, 123.
g] Administrative Orders Nos.: 347, 348, 352-354, 360- 378, 380-433, 436-439.
The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed outright on the ground that petitioners
have no legal personality or standing to bring the instant petition. The view is submitted that in the absence of any
showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the
presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus
proceeding, they are not being "aggrieved parties" within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which
we quote:

SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus.When any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of
an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another
from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper
court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant, immediately or
at some other specified time, to do the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the
damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant.
Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and its object is to
compel the performance of a public duty, they need not show any specific interest for their petition to be given due course.
The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 1910 case of Severino vs. Governor General, 3 this Court
held that while the general rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a private individual only in those cases
where he has some private or particular interest to be subserved, or some particular right to be protected, independent of
that which he holds with the public at large," and "it is for the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public
rights are to be subserved [Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question is one of public right
and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real party
in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or
special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the
laws [High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, 3rd ed., sec. 431].
Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, as a proper party to the
mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor General to call a special election for the position of municipal
president in the town of Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for this Court, Mr. Justice Grant T. Trent said:
We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition that the relator is a proper party to
proceedings of this character when a public right is sought to be enforced. If the general rule in America were otherwise,
we think that it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule
to a particular case without keeping in mind the reason for the rule, because, if under the particular circumstances the
reason for the rule does not exist, the rule itself is not applicable and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error'
No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by counsel for the respondent. The
circumstances which surround this case are different from those in the United States, inasmuch as if the relator is not a
proper party to these proceedings no other person could be, as we have seen that it is not the duty of the law officer of the
Government to appear and represent the people in cases of this character.
The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the aforementioned case apply
squarely to the present petition. Clearly, the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein is a public right recognized
by no less than the fundamental law of the land. If petitioners were not allowed to institute this proceeding, it would indeed
be difficult to conceive of any other person to initiate the same, considering that the Solicitor General, the government
officer generally empowered to represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in this case.
Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of
laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential
issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is
not indispensable for their effectivity. The point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code:
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it
is otherwise provided, ...
The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's construction of said article. In a long line of decisions,
4
this Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does
not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is
the fifteenth day following its publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect.
Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of
publication. Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the conclusion is easily reached that
said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the
date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows:

Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legisiative acts and resolutions of a public
nature of the, Congress of the Philippines; [2] all executive and administrative orders and proclamations, except such as
have no general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals as
may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be so published; [4] such documents or classes of documents
as may be required so to be published by law; and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the President of the
Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and legal effect, or which he may authorize so to
be published. ...
The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are
to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a
citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the publication of laws taken so vital
significance that at this time when the people have bestowed upon the President a power heretofore enjoyed solely by the
legislature. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the debates and deliberations in the Batasan
Pambansaand for the diligent ones, ready access to the legislative recordsno such publicity accompanies the lawmaking process of the President. Thus, without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential
decrees have actually been promulgated, much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and
texts of such decrees. As the Supreme Court of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden
tambien los reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordines dictadas de conformidad con las
mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad. 5
The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the Official Gazette ... ."
The word "shall" used therein imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the
Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern is to be given substance and reality. The law
itself makes a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette. Such listing, to our mind, leaves respondents with no
discretion whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication.
The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated by law. Obviously,
presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the
people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to
particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the
assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned. 6
It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a
requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and
specifically informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio Teehankee said in Peralta vs. COMELEC 7:
In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form part of the law of the land, the
requirement of due process and the Rule of Law demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository
promulgate and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and instructions so that the people may know where to obtain
their official and specific contents.
The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which have not been published, shall have
no force and effect. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision
might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published only during the
pendency of this petition, have put the question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had
been enforced or implemented prior to their publication. The answer is all too familiar. In similar situations in the past this
Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank 8 to wit:
The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having been found to be unconstitutional, was
not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the
challenged decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442; Chicago, 1. & L. Ry. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 566. It
is quite clear, however, that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken
with qualifications. The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and may have
consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect
of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects-with respect to particular conduct,
private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior determinations deemed to have
finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous

application, demand examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have engaged the
attention of courts, state and federal and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a
principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.
Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. Esteban 9 sustained the right of a party under the Moratorium
Law, albeit said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared unconstitutional by this Court.
Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is "an
operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new
judicial declaration ... that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified."
From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the presidential decrees sought by
petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette, only Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to 1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937
to 1939, inclusive, have not been so published. 10 Neither the subject matters nor the texts of these PDs can be
ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But whatever their subject matter may be, it is undisputed that none of
these unpublished PDs has ever been implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. Angeles, 11 the Court,
through Justice Ramon Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of [penal]
regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. " The cogency of this holding is
apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their comment that "the government, as a
matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws until the same shall have been published in the
Official Gazette or in some other publication, even though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect
immediately.
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished presidential
issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they shall have no binding force and effect.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURTManila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-20089

December 26, 1964

BEATRIZ P. WASSMER, plaintiff-appellee, vs.FRANCISCO X. VELEZ, defendant-appellant.


Jalandoni & Jamir for defendant-appellant.Samson S. Alcantara for plaintiff-appellee.
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
The facts that culminated in this case started with dreams and hopes, followed by appropriate planning and serious
endeavors, but terminated in frustration and, what is worse, complete public humiliation.
Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their mutual promise of love, decided to get married and set
September 4, 1954 as the big day. On September 2, 1954 Velez left this note for his bride-to-be:
Dear Bet
Will have to postpone wedding My mother opposes it. Am leaving on the Convair today.
Please do not ask too many people about the reason why That would only create a scandal.
Paquing
But the next day, September 3, he sent her the following telegram:
NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE MAMA PAPA LOVE .
PAKING
Thereafter Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again.
Sued by Beatriz for damages, Velez filed no answer and was declared in default. Plaintiff adduced evidence before the
clerk of court as commissioner, and on April 29, 1955, judgment was rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff
P2,000.00 as actual damages; P25,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages; P2,500.00 as attorney's fees; and the
costs.
On June 21, 1955 defendant filed a "petition for relief from orders, judgment and proceedings and motion for new trial and
reconsideration." Plaintiff moved to strike it cut. But the court, on August 2, 1955, ordered the parties and their attorneys to
appear before it on August 23, 1955 "to explore at this stage of the proceedings the possibility of arriving at an amicable
settlement." It added that should any of them fail to appear "the petition for relief and the opposition thereto will be
deemed submitted for resolution."
On August 23, 1955 defendant failed to appear before court. Instead, on the following day his counsel filed a motion to
defer for two weeks the resolution on defendants petition for relief. The counsel stated that he would confer with defendant
in Cagayan de Oro City the latter's residence on the possibility of an amicable element. The court granted two
weeks counted from August 25, 1955.
Plaintiff manifested on June 15, 1956 that the two weeks given by the court had expired on September 8, 1955 but that
defendant and his counsel had failed to appear.
Another chance for amicable settlement was given by the court in its order of July 6, 1956 calling the parties and their
attorneys to appear on July 13, 1956. This time. however, defendant's counsel informed the court that chances of settling
the case amicably were nil.

On July 20, 1956 the court issued an order denying defendant's aforesaid petition. Defendant has appealed to this Court.
In his petition of June 21, 1955 in the court a quo defendant alleged excusable negligence as ground to set aside the
judgment by default. Specifically, it was stated that defendant filed no answer in the belief that an amicable settlement was
being negotiated.
A petition for relief from judgment on grounds of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence, must be duly supported
by an affidavit of merits stating facts constituting a valid defense. (Sec. 3, Rule 38, Rules of Court.) Defendant's affidavit of
merits attached to his petition of June 21, 1955 stated: "That he has a good and valid defense against plaintiff's cause of
action, his failure to marry the plaintiff as scheduled having been due to fortuitous event and/or circumstances beyond his
control." An affidavit of merits like this stating mere conclusions or opinions instead of facts is not valid. (Cortes vs. Co Bun
Kim, L-3926, Oct. 10, 1951; Vaswani vs. P. Tarrachand Bros., L-15800, December 29, 1960.)
Defendant, however, would contend that the affidavit of merits was in fact unnecessary, or a mere surplusage, because
the judgment sought to be set aside was null and void, it having been based on evidence adduced before the clerk of
court. In Province of Pangasinan vs. Palisoc, L-16519, October 30, 1962, this Court pointed out that the procedure of
designating the clerk of court as commissioner to receive evidence is sanctioned by Rule 34 (now Rule 33) of the Rules of
Court. Now as to defendant's consent to said procedure, the same did not have to be obtained for he was declared in
default and thus had no standing in court (Velez vs. Ramas, 40 Phil. 787; Alano vs. Court of First Instance, L-14557,
October 30, 1959).
In support of his "motion for new trial and reconsideration," defendant asserts that the judgment is contrary to law. The
reason given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code authorizing" an action for breach of promise to marry. Indeed,
our ruling in Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals (L-14628, Sept. 30, 1960), as reiterated in Estopa vs. Biansay (L-14733,
Sept. 30, 1960), is that "mere breach of a promise to marry" is not an actionable wrong. We pointed out that Congress
deliberately eliminated from the draft of the new Civil Code the provisions that would have it so.
It must not be overlooked, however, that the extent to which acts not contrary to law may be perpetrated with impunity, is
not limitless for Article 21 of said Code provides that "any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner
that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage."
The record reveals that on August 23, 1954 plaintiff and defendant applied for a license to contract marriage, which was
subsequently issued (Exhs. A, A-1). Their wedding was set for September 4, 1954. Invitations were printed and distributed
to relatives, friends and acquaintances (Tsn., 5; Exh. C). The bride-to-be's trousseau, party drsrses and other apparel for
the important occasion were purchased (Tsn., 7-8). Dresses for the maid of honor and the flower girl were prepared. A
matrimonial bed, with accessories, was bought. Bridal showers were given and gifts received (Tsn., 6; Exh. E). And then,
with but two days before the wedding, defendant, who was then 28 years old,: simply left a note for plaintiff stating: "Will
have to postpone wedding My mother opposes it ... " He enplaned to his home city in Mindanao, and the next day, the
day before the wedding, he wired plaintiff: "Nothing changed rest assured returning soon." But he never returned and was
never heard from again.
Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry. As stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an
actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the above-described preparation and publicity, only to
walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to
good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21 aforesaid.
Defendant urges in his afore-stated petition that the damages awarded were excessive. No question is raised as to the
award of actual damages. What defendant would really assert hereunder is that the award of moral and exemplary
damages, in the amount of P25,000.00, should be totally eliminated.
Per express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable in the cases mentioned
in Article 21 of said Code. As to exemplary damages, defendant contends that the same could not be adjudged against
him because under Article 2232 of the New Civil Code the condition precedent is that "the defendant acted in a wanton,
fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." The argument is devoid of merit as under the above-narrated
circumstances of this case defendant clearly acted in a "wanton ... , reckless [and] oppressive manner." This Court's
opinion, however, is that considering the particular circumstances of this case, P15,000.00 as moral and exemplary
damages is deemed to be a reasonable award.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, with the above-indicated modification, the lower court's judgment is hereby affirmed, with
costs.

Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManila


EN BANC
G.R. No. 86564 August 1, 1989
RAMON L. LABO, JR., petitioner, vs.THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC) EN BANC AND LUIS L.
LARDIZABAL, respondents
Estelito P. Mendoza for petitioner.
Rillera and Quintana for private respondent.

CRUZ, J.:
The petitioner asks this Court to restrain the Commission on Elections from looking into the question of his citizenship as
a qualification for his office as Mayor of Baguio City. The allegation that he is a foreigner, he says, is not the issue. The
issue is whether or not the public respondent has jurisdiction to conduct any inquiry into this matter, considering that the
petition for quo warranto against him was not filed on time.
It is noteworthy that this argument is based on the alleged tardiness not of the petition itself but of the payment of the filing
fee, which the petitioner contends was an indispensable requirement. The fee is, curiously enough, all of P300.00 only.
This brings to mind the popular verse that for want of a horse the kingdom was lost. Still, if it is shown that the petition was
indeed filed beyond the reglementary period, there is no question that this petition must be granted and the challenge
abated.
The petitioner's position is simple. He was proclaimed mayor-elect of Baguio City, on January 20, 1988. The petition for
quo warranto was filed by the private respondent on January 26, 1988, but no filing fee was paid on that date. This fee
was finally paid on February 10, 1988, or twenty-one days after his proclamation. As the petition by itself alone was
ineffectual without the filing fee, it should be deemed filed only when the fee was paid. This was done beyond the
reglementary period provided for under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code reading as follows:
SEC. 253. Petition for quo warranto. Any voter contesting the election of a Member of the Batasang Pambansa,
regional, provincial, or city officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a
sworn petition for quo warranto with the Commission within ten days after the proclamation of the result of the election.
The petitioner adds that the payment of the filing fee is required under Rule 36, Section 5, of the Procedural Rules of the
COMELEC providing that
Sec. 5. No petition for quo warranto shall be given due course without the payment of a filing fee in the amount of Three
Hundred Pesos (P300.00) and the legal research fee as required by law.
and stresses that there is abundant jurisprudence holding that the payment of the filing fee is essential to the timeliness of
the filling of the petition itself. He cites many rulings of the Court to this effect, specifically Manchester v. Court of Appeals.
1

For his part, the private respondent denies that the filing fee was paid out of time. In fact he says, it was flied ahead of
time. His point is that when he filed his "Petition for Quo Warranto with Prayer for Immediate Annulment of Proclamation
and Restraining Order or Injunction" on January 26, 1988, the COMELEC treated it as a pre-proclamation controversy and
docketed it as SPC Case No. 88-288. No docket fee was collected although it was offered. It was only on February 8,
1988, that the COMELEC decided to treat his petition as solely for quo warranto and re-docketed it as EPC Case No. 8819, serving him notice on February 10, 1988. He immediately paid the filing fee on that date.
The private respondent argues further that during the period when the COMELEC regarded his petition as a preproclamation controversy, the time for filing an election protest or quo warranto proceeding was deemed suspended under
Section 248 of the Omnibus Election Code. 2 At any rate, he says, Rule 36, Section 5, of the COMELEC Rules of
Procedure cited by the petitioner, became effective only on November 15, 1988, seven days after publication of the said

Rules in the Official Gazette pursuant to Section 4, Rule 44 thereof.


when he filed his petition with the COMELEC.

These rules could not retroact to January 26,1988,

In his Reply, the petitioner argues that even if the Omnibus Election Code did not require it, the payment of filing fees was
still necessary under Res. No. 1996 and, before that, Res. No. 1450 of the respondent COMELEC, promulgated on
January 12, 1988, and February 26, 1980, respectively. To this, the private respondent counters that the latter resolution
was intended for the local elections held on January 30, 1980, and did not apply to the 1988 local elections, which were
supposed to be governed by the first-mentioned resolution. However, Res. No. 1996 took effect only on March 3, 1988,
following the lapse of seven days after its publication as required by RA No. 6646, otherwise known as the Electoral
Reform Law of 1987, which became effective on January 5, 1988. Its Section 30 provides in part:
Sec. 30. Effectivity of Regulations and Orders of the Commission. The rules and regulations promulgated by the
Commission shall take effect on the seventh day after their publication in the Official Gazette or in at least (2) daily
newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
The Court has considered the arguments of the parties and holds that the petition for quo warranto was filed on time. We
agree with the respondents that the fee was paid during the ten-day period as extended by the pendency of the petition
when it was treated by the COMELEC as a pre-proclamation proceeding which did not require the payment of a filing fee.
At that, we reach this conclusion only on the assumption that the requirement for the payment of the fees in quo warranto
proceedings was already effective. There is no record that Res. No. 1450 was even published; and as for Res. No. 1996,
this took effect only on March 3, 1988, seven days after its publication in the February 25, 1988 issues of the Manila
Chronicle and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, or after the petition was filed.
The petitioner forgets Ta;ada v. Tuvera 4 when he argues that the resolutions became effective "immediately upon
approval" simply because it was so provided therein. We held in that case that publication was still necessary under the
due process clause despite such effectivity clause.
In any event, what is important is that the filing fee was paid, and whatever delay there may have been is not imputable to
the private respondent's fault or neglect. It is true that in the Manchester Case, we required the timely payment of the filing
fee as a precondition for the timeliness of the filing of the case itself. In Sun Insurance Office, Ltd. v. Asuncion, 5 however
this Court, taking into account the special circumstances of that case, declared:
This Court reiterates the rule that the trial court acquires jurisdiction over a case only upon the payment of the prescribed
filing fee. However, the court may allow the payment of the said fee within a reasonable time. In the event of noncompliance therewith, the case shall be dismissed.
The same idea is expressed in Rule 42, Section 18, of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure adopted on June 20, 1988,
thus:
Sec. 18. Non-payment of prescribed fees. If the fees above prescribed are not paid, the Commission may refuse to
take action thereon until they are paid and may dismiss the action or the proceeding. (Emphasis supplied.)
The Court notes that while arguing the technical point that the petition for quo warranto should be dismissed for failure to
pay the filing fee on time, the petitioner would at the same time minimize his alleged lack of citizenship as "a futile
technicality," It is regrettable, to say the least, that the requirement of citizenship as a qualification for public office can be
so demeaned. What is worse is that it is regarded as an even less important consideration than the reglementary period
the petitioner insists upon.
This matter should normally end here as the sole issue originally raised by the petitioner is the timeliness of the quo
warranto proceedings against him. However, as his citizenship is the subject of that proceeding, and considering the
necessity for an early resolution of that more important question clearly and urgently affecting the public interest, we shall
directly address it now in this same action.
The Court has similarly acted in a notable number of cases, thus:
From the foregoing brief statement of the nature of the instant case, it would appear that our sole function in this
proceeding should be to resolve the single issue of whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the motion for
new trial of the GSIS in question should indeed be deemed pro forma. But going over the extended pleadings of both
parties, the Court is immediately impressed that substantial justice may not be timely achieved, if we should decide this
case upon such a technical ground alone. We have carefully read all the allegations and arguments of the parties, very

ably and comprehensively expounded by evidently knowledgeable and unusually competent counsel, and we feel we can
better serve the interests of justice by broadening the scope of our inquiry, for as the record before us stands, we see that
there is enough basis for us to end the basic controversy between the parties here and now, dispensing, however, with
procedural steps which would not anyway affect substantially the merits of their respective claims. 6
xxx
While it is the fault of the petitioner for appealing to the wrong court and thereby allowing the period for appeal to lapse,
the more correct procedure was for the respondent court to forward the case to the proper court which was the Court of
Appeals for appropriate action. Considering, however, the length of time that this case has been pending, we apply the
rule in the case of Del Castillo v. Jaymalin, (112 SCRA 629) and follow the principle enunciated in Alger Electric, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals, (135 SCRA 37) which states:
... it is a cherished rule of procedure for this Court to always strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding
leaving no root or branch to bear the seeds of future litigation. No useful purpose will be served if this case is remanded to
the trial court only to have its decision raised again to the Intermediate Appellate Court and from there to this Court. (p.
43)
Only recently in the case of Beautifont, Inc., et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al. (G.R. No. 50141, January 29, 1988), we
stated that:
... But all those relevant facts are now before this Court. And those facts dictate the rendition of a verdict in the petitioner's
favor. There is therefore no point in referring the case back to the Court of Appeals. The facts and the legal propositions
involved will not change, nor should the ultimate judgment. Considerable time has already elapsed and, to serve the ends
of justice, it is time that the controversy is finally laid to rest. (See Sotto v. Samson, 5 SCRA 733; Republic v. Paredes, 108
Phil. 57; Lianga Lumber Co. v. Lianga Timber Co., Inc., 76 SCRA 197; Erico v. Heirs of Chigas, 98 SCRA 575; Francisco
v. City of Davao, 12 SCRA 628; Valencia v. Mabilangan, 105 Phil. 162).lwph1.t Sound practice seeks to accommodate
the theory which avoids waste of time, effort and expense, both to the parties and the government, not to speak of delay in
the disposal of the case (cf. Fernandez v. Garcia, 92 Phil. 592, 597). A marked characteristic of our judicial set-up is that
where the dictates of justice so demand ... the Supreme Court should act, and act with finality.' (Li Siu Liat v. Republic, 21
SCRA 1039, 1046, citing Samal v. CA, 99 Phil. 230 and U.S. v. Gimenez, 34 Phil. 74). In this case, the dictates of justice
do demand that this Court act, and act with finality. 7
xxx
Remand of the case to the lower court for further reception of evidence is not necessary where the court is in a position to
resolve the dispute based on the records before it. On many occasions, the Court, in the public interest and the
expeditious administration of justice, has resolved actions on the merits instead of remanding them to the trial court for
further proceedings, such as where the ends of justice would not be subserved by the remand of the case or when public
interest demands an early disposition of the case or where the trial court had already received all the evidence of the
parties. 8
This course of action becomes all the more justified in the present case where, to repeat for stress, it is claimed that a
foreigner is holding a public office.
We also note in his Reply, the petitioner says:
In adopting private respondent's comment, respondent COMELEC implicitly adopted as "its own" private respondent's
repeated assertion that petitioner is no longer a Filipino citizen. In so doing, has not respondent COMELEC effectively
disqualified itself, by reason of prejudgment, from resolving the petition for quo warranto filed by private respondent still
pending before it? 9
This is still another reason why the Court has seen fit to rule directly on the merits of this case.
Going over the record, we find that there are two administrative decisions on the question of the petitioner's citizenship.
The first was rendered by the Commission on Elections on May 12, 1982, and found the petitioner to be a citizen of the
Philippines. 10 The second was rendered by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation on September 13, 1988, and
held that the petitioner was not a citizen of the Philippines. 11

The first decision was penned by then COMELEC Chigas, Vicente Santiago, Jr., with Commissioners Pabalate Savellano
and Opinion concurring in full and Commissioner Bacungan concurring in the dismissal of the petition "without prejudice to
the issue of the respondent's citizenship being raised anew in a proper case." Commissioner Sagadraca reserved his
vote, while Commissioner Felipe was for deferring decision until representations shall have been made with the Australian
Embassy for official verification of the petitioner's alleged naturalization as an Australian.
The second decision was unanimously rendered by Chairman Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Commissioners Alano and
Geraldez of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation. It is important to observe that in the proceeding before the
COMELEC, there was no direct proof that the herein petitioner had been formally naturalized as a citizen of Australia. This
conjecture, which was eventually rejected, was merely inferred from the fact that he had married an Australian citizen,
obtained an Australian passport, and registered as an alien with the CID upon his return to this country in 1980.
On the other hand, the decision of the CID took into account the official statement of the Australian Government dated
August 12, 1984, through its Consul in the Philippines, that the petitioner was still an Australian citizen as of that date by
reason of his naturalization in 1976. That statement 12 is reproduced in full as follows:
I, GRAHAM COLIN WEST, Consul of Australia in the Philippines, by virtue of a certificate of appointment signed and
sealed by the Australian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 19 October 1983, and recognized as such by Letter of
Patent signed and sealed by the Philippines Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs on 23 November 1983, do hereby provide
the following statement in response to the subpoena Testificandum dated 9 April 1984 in regard to the Petition for
disqualification against RAMON LABO, JR. Y LOZANO (SPC No. 84-73), and do hereby certify that the statement is true
and correct.
STATEMENT
A) RAMON LABO, JR. Y LOZANO, date of birth 23 December 1934, was married in the Philippines to an Australian
citizen. As the spouse of an Australian citizen, he was not required to meet normal requirements for the grant of
citizenship and was granted Australian citizenship by Sydney on 28 July 1976.
B) Any person over the age of 16 years who is granted Australian citizenship must take an oath of allegiance or make an
affirmation of allegiance. The wording of the oath of affirmation is: "I ..., renouncing all other allegiance ..." etc. This need
not necessarily have any effect on his former nationality as this would depend on the citizenship laws of his former
country.
C) The marriage was declared void in the Australian Federal Court in Sydney on 27 June 1980 on the ground that the
marriage had been bigamous.
D) According to our records LABO is still an Australian citizen.
E) Should he return to Australia, LABO may face court action in respect of Section 50 of Australian Citizenship Act 1948
which relates to the giving of false or misleading information of a material nature in respect of an application for Australian
citizenship. If such a prosecution was successful, he could be deprived of Australian citizenship under Section 21 of the
Act.
F) There are two further ways in which LABO could divest himself of Australian citizenship:
(i) He could make a declaration of Renunciation of Australian citizenship under Section 18 of the Australian Citizenship
Act, or
(ii) If he acquired another nationality, (for example, Filipino) by a formal and voluntary act other than marriage, then he
would automatically lose as Australian citizenship under Section 17 of the Act.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MAY HAND AND SEAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY, MANILA,
THIS 12th DAY OF APRIL 1984. DONE AT MANILA IN THE PHILIPPINES.
(Signed) GRAHAM C. WEST Consul
This was affirmed later by the letter of February 1, 1988, addressed to the private respondent by the Department of
Foreign Affairs reading as follows: 13

Sir:
With reference to your letter dated 1 February 1988, I wish to inform you that inquiry made with the Australian
Government through the Embassy of the Philippines in Canberra has elicited the following information:
1) That Mr. Ramon L. Labo, Jr. acquired Australian citizenship on 28 July 1976.
2) That prior to 17 July 1986, a candidate for Australian citizenship had to either swear an oath of allegiance or make an
affirmation of allegiance which carries a renunciation of "all other allegiance.
Very truly yours, For the Secretary of Foreign Affairs: (SGD) RODOLFO SEVERINO, JR. Assistant Secretary
The decision also noted the oath of allegiance taken by every naturalized Australian reading as follows:
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
I, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her
Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully
observe the laws of Australia and fulfill my duties as an Australian citizen. 14
and the Affirmation of Allegiance, which declares:
AFFIRMATION OF ALLEGIANCE
I, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will be faithful and bear true
allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I
will faithfully observe the Laws of Australia and fulfill my duties as an Australian citizen. 15
The petitioner does not question the authenticity of the above evidence. Neither does he deny that he obtained Australian
Passport No. 754705, which he used in coming back to the Philippines in 1980, when he declared before the immigration
authorities that he was an alien and registered as such under Alien Certificate of Registration No. B-323985. 16 He later
asked for the change of his status from immigrant to a returning former Philippine citizen and was granted Immigrant
Certificate of Residence No. 223809. 17 He also categorically declared that he was a citizen of Australia in a number of
sworn statements voluntarily made by him and. even sought to avoid the jurisdiction of the barangay court on the ground
that he was a foreigner. 18
The decision of the COMELEC in 1982 quaintly dismisses all these acts as "mistakes" that did not divest the petitioner of
his citizenship, although, as earlier noted, not all the members joined in this finding. We reject this ruling as totally
baseless. The petitioner is not an unlettered person who was not aware of the consequences of his acts, let alone the fact
that he was assisted by counsel when he performed these acts.
The private respondent questions the motives of the COMELEC at that time and stresses Labo's political affiliation with
the party in power then, but we need not go into that now.
There is also the claim that the decision can no longer be reversed because of the doctrine of res judicata, but this too
must be dismissed. This doctrine does not apply to questions of citizenship, as the Court has ruled in several cases. 19
Moreover, it does not appear that it was properly and seasonably pleaded, in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, having
been invoked only when the petitioner filed his reply 20 to the private respondent's comment. Besides, one of the requisites
of res judicata, to wit, identity of parties, is not present in this case.
The petitioner's contention that his marriage to an Australian national in 1976 did not automatically divest him of Philippine
citizenship is irrelevant. There is no claim or finding that he automatically ceased to be a Filipino because of that marriage.
He became a citizen of Australia because he was naturalized as such through a formal and positive process, simplified in
his case because he was married to an Australian citizen. As a condition for such naturalization, he formally took the Oath
of Allegiance and/or made the Affirmation of Allegiance, both quoted above. Renouncing all other allegiance, he swore "to
be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia ..." and to fulfill his duties "as
an Australian citizen."
The petitioner now claims that his naturalization in Australia made him at worst only a dual national and did not divest him

of his Philippine citizenship. Such a specious argument cannot stand against the clear provisions of CA No. 63, which
enumerates the modes by which Philippine citizenship may be lost. Among these are: (1) naturalization in a foreign
country; (2) express renunciation of citizenship; and (3) subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or
laws of a foreign country, all of which are applicable to the petitioner. It is also worth mentioning in this connection that
under Article IV, Section 5, of the present Constitution, "Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and
shall be dealt with by law."
Even if it be assumed that, as the petitioner asserts, his naturalization in Australia was annulled after it was found that his
marriage to the Australian citizen was bigamous, that circumstance alone did not automatically restore his Philippine
citizenship. His divestiture of Australian citizenship does not concern us here. That is a matter between him and his
adopted country. What we must consider is the fact that he voluntarily and freely rejected Philippine citizenship and
willingly and knowingly embraced the citizenship of a foreign country. The possibility that he may have been subsequently
rejected by Australia, as he claims, does not mean that he has been automatically reinstated as a citizen of the
Philippines.
Under CA No. 63 as amended by PD No. 725, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress, by
naturalization, or by repatriation. It does not appear in the record, nor does the petitioner claim, that he has reacquired
Philippine citizenship by any of these methods. He does not point to any judicial decree of naturalization as to any statute
directly conferring Philippine citizenship upon him. Neither has he shown that he has complied with PD No. 725, providing
that:
... (2) natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship through
repatriation by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. 270, and, if their
applications are approved, taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, after which they
shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. The Commission on Immigration and Deportation shall
thereupon cancel their certificate of registration. (Emphasis supplied.)
That is why the Commission on Immigration and Deportation rejected his application for the cancellation of his alien
certificate of registration. And that is also the reason we must deny his present claim for recognition as a citizen of the
Philippines.
The petitioner is not now, nor was he on the day of the local elections on January 18, 1988, a citizen of the Philippines. In
fact, he was not even a qualified voter under the Constitution itself because of his alienage. 21 He was therefore ineligible
as a candidate for mayor of Baguio City, under Section 42 of the Local Government Code providing in material part as
follows:
Sec. 42. Qualifications. An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-three years of age
on election day, a qualified voter registered as such in the barangay, municipality, city or province where he proposes to
be elected, a resident therein for at least one year at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy, and able to read
and write English, Filipino, or any other local language or dialect.
The petitioner argues that his alleged lack of citizenship is a "futile technicality" that should not frustrate the will of the
electorate of Baguio City, who elected him by a "resonant and thunderous majority." To be accurate, it was not as loud as
all that, for his lead over the second-placer was only about 2,100 votes. In any event, the people of that locality could not
have, even unanimously, changed the requirements of the Local Government Code and the Constitution. The electorate
had no power to permit a foreigner owing his total allegiance to the Queen of Australia, or at least a stateless individual
owing no allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, to preside over them as mayor of their city. Only citizens of the
Philippines have that privilege over their countrymen.
The probability that many of those who voted for the petitioner may have done so in the belief that he was qualified only
strengthens the conclusion that the results of the election cannot nullify the qualifications for the office now held by him.
These qualifications are continuing requirements; once any of them is lost during incumbency, title to the office itself is
deemed forfeited. In the case at bar, the citizenship and voting requirements were not subsequently lost but were not
possessed at all in the first place on the day of the election. The petitioner was disqualified from running as mayor and,
although elected, is not now qualified to serve as such.
Finally, there is the question of whether or not the private respondent, who filed the quo warranto petition, can replace the
petitioner as mayor. He cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the
election, he was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio city.

The latest ruling of the Court on this issue is Santos v. Commission on Elections 22 decided in 1985. In that case, the
candidate who placed second was proclaimed elected after the votes for his winning rival, who was disqualified as a
turncoat and considered a non-candidate, were all disregarded as stray. In effect, the second placer won by default. That
decision was supported by eight members of the Court then 23 with three dissenting 24 and another two reserving their
vote. 25 One was on official leave. 26
Re-examining that decision, the Court finds, and so holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier case of
Geronimo v. Ramos, 27 Which represents the more logical and democratic rule. That case, which reiterated the doctrine
first announced in 1912 in Topacio vs. Paredes 28 was supported by ten members of the Court 29 without any dissent,
although one reserved his vote, 30 another took no part 31 and two others were on leave. 32 There the Court held:
... it would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate
who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a
constituency, the majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not choose him.
Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in
the election for that office, and it is a fundamental Idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared
elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in
the election. (20 Corpus Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676.)
The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for
the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the second highest number of
votes to be declared the winner of the elective office. The votes cast for a dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may
not be valid to vote the winner into office or maintain him there. However, in the absence of a statute which clearly asserts
a contrary political and legislative policy on the matter, if the votes were cast in the sincere belief that the candidate was
alive, qualified, or eligible, they should not be treated as stray, void or meaningless.
It remains to stress that the citizen of the Philippines must take pride in his status as such and cherish this priceless gift
that, out of more than a hundred other nationalities, God has seen fit to grant him. Having been so endowed, he must not
lightly yield this precious advantage, rejecting it for another land that may offer him material and other attractions that he
may not find in his own country. To be sure, he has the right to renounce the Philippines if he sees fit and transfer his
allegiance to a state with more allurements for him. 33 But having done so, he cannot expect to be welcomed back with
open arms once his taste for his adopted country turns sour or he is himself disowned by it as an undesirable alien.
Philippine citizenship is not a cheap commodity that can be easily recovered after its renunciation. It may be restored only
after the returning renegade makes a formal act of re-dedication to the country he has abjured and he solemnly affirms
once again his total and exclusive loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. This may not be accomplished by election to
public office.
WHEREFORE, petitioner Ramon J. Labo, Jr. is hereby declared NOT a citizen of the Philippines and therefore
DISQUALIFIED from continuing to serve as Mayor of Baguio City. He is ordered to VACATE his office and surrender the
same to the Vice-Mayor of Baguio City, once this decision becomes final and executory. The temporary restraining order
dated January 31, 1989, is LIFTED.
Fernan, (C.J.), Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes, Gri;o-Aquino
Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., concur.

Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManila


EN BANC

G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995


IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS, petitioner, vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and CIRILO ROY MONTEJO,
respondents.

KAPUNAN, J.:
A constitutional provision should be construed as to give it effective operation and suppress the mischief at which it is
aimed. 1 The 1987 Constitution mandates that an aspirant for election to the House of Representatives be "a registered
voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately
preceding the election." 2 The mischief which this provision reproduced verbatim from the 1973 Constitution seeks to
prevent is the possibility of a "stranger or newcomer unacquainted with the conditions and needs of a community and not
identified with the latter, from an elective office to serve that community." 3
Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First
District of Leyte with the Provincial Election Supervisor on March 8, 1995, providing the following information in item no. 8:
4

RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE


ELECTION: __________ Years and seven Months.
On March 23, 1995, private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent Representative of the First District of Leyte and
a candidate for the same position, filed a "Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification" 5 with the Commission on
Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. In his petition, private
respondent contended that Mrs. Marcos lacked the Constitution's one year residency requirement for candidates for the
House of Representatives on the evidence of declarations made by her in Voter Registration Record 94-No. 3349772 6
and in her Certificate of Candidacy. He prayed that "an order be issued declaring (petitioner) disqualified and canceling
the certificate of candidacy." 7
On March 29, 1995, petitioner filed an Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy, changing the entry "seven" months to
"since childhood" in item no. 8 of the amended certificate. 8 On the same day, the Provincial Election Supervisor of Leyte
informed petitioner that:
[T]his office cannot receive or accept the aforementioned Certificate of Candidacy on the ground that it is filed out of time,
the deadline for the filing of the same having already lapsed on March 20, 1995. The Corrected/Amended Certificate of
Candidacy should have been filed on or before the March 20, 1995 deadline. 9
Consequently, petitioner filed the Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy with the COMELEC's Head Office in
Intramuros, Manila onMarch 31, 1995. Her Answer to private respondent's petition in SPA No. 95-009 was likewise filed
with the head office on the same day. In said Answer, petitioner averred that the entry of the word "seven" in her original
Certificate of Candidacy was the result of an "honest misinterpretation" 10 which she sought to rectify by adding the words
"since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City
as her domicile or residence. 11 Impugning respondent's motive in filing the petition seeking her disqualification, she noted
that:
When respondent (petitioner herein) announced that she was intending to register as a voter in Tacloban City and run for
Congress in the First District of Leyte, petitioner immediately opposed her intended registration by writing a letter stating
that "she is not a resident of said city but of Barangay Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. After respondent had registered as a voter in
Tolosa following completion of her six month actual residence therein, petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC to
transfer the town of Tolosa from the First District to the Second District and pursued such a move up to the Supreme
Court, his purpose being to remove respondent as petitioner's opponent in the congressional election in the First District.

He also filed a bill, along with other Leyte Congressmen, seeking the creation of another legislative district to remove the
town of Tolosa out of the First District, to achieve his purpose. However, such bill did not pass the Senate. Having failed
on such moves, petitioner now filed the instant petition for the same objective, as it is obvious that he is afraid to submit
along with respondent for the judgment and verdict of the electorate of the First District of Leyte in an honest, orderly,
peaceful, free and clean elections on May 8, 1995. 12
On April 24, 1995, the Second Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), by a vote of 2 to 1, 13 came up with a
Resolution 1) finding private respondent's Petition for Disqualification in SPA 95-009 meritorious; 2) striking off petitioner's
Corrected/Amended Certificate of Candidacy of March 31, 1995; and 3) canceling her original Certificate of Candidacy. 14
Dealing with two primary issues, namely, the validity of amending the original Certificate of Candidacy after the lapse of
the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy, and petitioner's compliance with the one year residency requirement, the
Second Division held:
Respondent raised the affirmative defense in her Answer that the printed word "Seven" (months) was a result of an
"honest misinterpretation or honest mistake" on her part and, therefore, an amendment should subsequently be allowed.
She averred that she thought that what was asked was her "actual and physical" presence in Tolosa and not residence of
origin or domicile in the First Legislative District, to which she could have responded "since childhood." In an
accompanying affidavit, she stated that her domicile is Tacloban City, a component of the First District, to which she
always intended to return whenever absent and which she has never abandoned. Furthermore, in her memorandum, she
tried to discredit petitioner's theory of disqualification by alleging that she has been a resident of the First Legislative
District of Leyte since childhood, although she only became a resident of the Municipality of Tolosa for seven months. She
asserts that she has always been a resident of Tacloban City, a component of the First District, before coming to the
Municipality of Tolosa.
Along this point, it is interesting to note that prior to her registration in Tolosa, respondent announced that she would be
registering in Tacloban City so that she can be a candidate for the District. However, this intention was rebuffed when
petitioner wrote the Election Officer of Tacloban not to allow respondent since she is a resident of Tolosa and not
Tacloban. She never disputed this claim and instead implicitly acceded to it by registering in Tolosa.
This incident belies respondent's claim of "honest misinterpretation or honest mistake." Besides, the Certificate of
Candidacy only asks for RESIDENCE. Since on the basis of her Answer, she was quite aware of "residence of origin"
which she interprets to be Tacloban City, it is curious why she did not cite Tacloban City in her Certificate of Candidacy.
Her explanation that she thought what was asked was her actual and physical presence in Tolosa is not easy to believe
because there is none in the question that insinuates about Tolosa. In fact, item no. 8 in the Certificate of Candidacy
speaks clearly of "Residency in the CONSTITUENCY where I seek to be elected immediately preceding the election."
Thus, the explanation of respondent fails to be persuasive.
From the foregoing, respondent's defense of an honest mistake or misinterpretation, therefore, is devoid of merit.
To further buttress respondent's contention that an amendment may be made, she cited the case of Alialy v. COMELEC (2
SCRA 957). The reliance of respondent on the case of Alialy is misplaced. The case only applies to the "inconsequential
deviations which cannot affect the result of the election, or deviations from provisions intended primarily to secure timely
and orderly conduct of elections." The Supreme Court in that case considered the amendment only as a matter of form.
But in the instant case, the amendment cannot be considered as a matter of form or an inconsequential deviation. The
change in the number of years of residence in the place where respondent seeks to be elected is a substantial matter
which determines her qualification as a candidacy, specially those intended to suppress, accurate material representation
in the original certificate which adversely affects the filer. To admit the amended certificate is to condone the evils brought
by the shifting minds of manipulating candidate, of the detriment of the integrity of the election.
Moreover, to allow respondent to change the seven (7) month period of her residency in order to prolong it by claiming it
was "since childhood" is to allow an untruthfulness to be committed before this Commission. The arithmetical accuracy of
the 7 months residency the respondent indicated in her certificate of candidacy can be gleaned from her entry in her
Voter's Registration Record accomplished on January 28, 1995 which reflects that she is a resident of Brgy. Olot, Tolosa,
Leyte for 6 months at the time of the said registration (Annex A, Petition). Said accuracy is further buttressed by her letter
to the election officer of San Juan, Metro Manila, dated August 24, 1994, requesting for the cancellation of her registration
in the Permanent List of Voters thereat so that she can be re-registered or transferred to Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. The
dates of these three (3) different documents show the respondent's consistent conviction that she has transferred her
residence to Olot, Tolosa, Leyte from Metro Manila only for such limited period of time, starting in the last week of August
1994 which on March 8, 1995 will only sum up to 7 months. The Commission, therefore, cannot be persuaded to believe
in the respondent's contention that it was an error.

xxx xxx xxx


Based on these reasons the Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy cannot be admitted by this Commission.
xxx xxx xxx
Anent the second issue, and based on the foregoing discussion, it is clear that respondent has not complied with the one
year residency requirement of the Constitution.
In election cases, the term "residence" has always been considered as synonymous with "domicile" which imports not only
the intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in-that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such
intention. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like
reasons, one intends to return. (Perfecto Faypon vs. Eliseo Quirino, 96 Phil 294; Romualdez vs. RTC-Tacloban, 226
SCRA 408). In respondent's case, when she returned to the Philippines in 1991, the residence she chose was not
Tacloban but San Juan, Metro Manila. Thus, her animus revertendi is pointed to Metro Manila and not Tacloban.
This Division is aware that her claim that she has been a resident of the First District since childhood is nothing more than
to give her a color of qualification where she is otherwise constitutionally disqualified. It cannot hold ground in the face of
the facts admitted by the respondent in her affidavit. Except for the time that she studied and worked for some years after
graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in Manila. In 1959, after her husband was elected Senator, she lived
and resided in San Juan, Metro Manila where she was a registered voter. In 1965, she lived in San Miguel, Manila where
she was again a registered voter. In 1978, she served as member of the Batasang Pambansa as the representative of the
City of Manila and later on served as the Governor of Metro Manila. She could not have served these positions if she had
not been a resident of the City of Manila. Furthermore, when she filed her certificate of candidacy for the office of the
President in 1992, she claimed to be a resident of San Juan, Metro Manila. As a matter of fact on August 24, 1994,
respondent wrote a letter with the election officer of San Juan, Metro Manila requesting for the cancellation of her
registration in the permanent list of voters that she may be re-registered or transferred to Barangay Olot, Tolosa, Leyte.
These facts manifest that she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her
certificate of candidacy because she became a resident of many places, including Metro Manila. This debunks her claim
that prior to her residence in Tolosa, Leyte, she was a resident of the First Legislative District of Leyte since childhood.
In this case, respondent's conduct reveals her lack of intention to make Tacloban her domicile. She registered as a voter
in different places and on several occasions declared that she was a resident of Manila. Although she spent her school
days in Tacloban, she is considered to have abandoned such place when she chose to stay and reside in other different
places. In the case of Romualdez vs. RTC (226 SCRA 408) the Court explained how one acquires a new domicile by
choice. There must concur: (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality; (2) intention to remain there; and (3)
intention to abandon the old domicile. In other words there must basically be animus manendi with animus non revertendi.
When respondent chose to stay in Ilocos and later on in Manila, coupled with her intention to stay there by registering as a
voter there and expressly declaring that she is a resident of that place, she is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban City,
where she spent her childhood and school days, as her place of domicile.
Pure intention to reside in that place is not sufficient, there must likewise be conduct indicative of such intention.
Respondent's statements to the effect that she has always intended to return to Tacloban, without the accompanying
conduct to prove that intention, is not conclusive of her choice of residence. Respondent has not presented any evidence
to show that her conduct, one year prior the election, showed intention to reside in Tacloban. Worse, what was evident
was that prior to her residence in Tolosa, she had been a resident of Manila.
It is evident from these circumstances that she was not a resident of the First District of Leyte "since childhood."
To further support the assertion that she could have not been a resident of the First District of Leyte for more than one
year, petitioner correctly pointed out that on January 28, 1995 respondent registered as a voter at precinct No. 18-A of
Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. In doing so, she placed in her Voter Registration Record that she resided in the municipality of Tolosa
for a period of six months. This may be inconsequential as argued by the respondent since it refers only to her residence
in Tolosa, Leyte. But her failure to prove that she was a resident of the First District of Leyte prior to her residence in
Tolosa leaves nothing but a convincing proof that she had been a resident of the district for six months only. 15
In a Resolution promulgated a day before the May 8, 1995 elections, the COMELEC en banc denied petitioner's Motion
for Reconsideration 16 of the April 24, 1995 Resolution declaring her not qualified to run for the position of Member of the
House of Representatives for the First Legislative District of Leyte. 17 The Resolution tersely stated:

After deliberating on the Motion for Reconsideration, the Commission RESOLVED to DENY it, no new substantial matters
having been raised therein to warrant re-examination of the resolution granting the petition for disqualification. 18
On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC issued a Resolution allowing petitioner's proclamation should the results of the canvass
show that she obtained the highest number of votes in the congressional elections in the First District of Leyte. On the
same day, however, the COMELEC reversed itself and issued a second Resolution directing that the proclamation of
petitioner be suspended in the event that she obtains the highest number of votes. 19
In a Supplemental Petition dated 25 May 1995, petitioner averred that she was the overwhelming winner of the elections
for the congressional seat in the First District of Leyte held May 8, 1995 based on the canvass completed by the
Provincial Board of Canvassers on May 14, 1995. Petitioner alleged that the canvass showed that she obtained a total of
70,471 votes compared to the 36,833 votes received by Respondent Montejo. A copy of said Certificate of Canvass was
annexed to the Supplemental Petition.
On account of the Resolutions disqualifying petitioner from running for the congressional seat of the First District of Leyte
and the public respondent's Resolution suspending her proclamation, petitioner comes to this court for relief.
Petitioner raises several issues in her Original and Supplemental Petitions. The principal issues may be classified into two
general areas:
I. The issue of Petitioner's qualifications
Whether or not petitioner was a resident, for election purposes, of the First District of Leyte for a period of one year at the
time of the May 9, 1995 elections.
II. The Jurisdictional Issue
a) Prior to the elections
Whether or not the COMELEC properly exercised its jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioner outside the period mandated by
the Omnibus Election Code for disqualification cases under Article 78 of the said Code.
b) After the Elections
Whether or not the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal assumed exclusive jurisdiction over the question of
petitioner's qualifications after the May 8, 1995 elections.
I. Petitioner's qualification
A perusal of the Resolution of the COMELEC's Second Division reveals a startling confusion in the application of settled
concepts of "Domicile" and "Residence" in election law. While the COMELEC seems to be in agreement with the general
proposition that for the purposes of election law, residence is synonymous with domicile, the Resolution reveals a
tendency to substitute or mistake the concept of domicile for actual residence, a conception not intended for the purpose
of determining a candidate's qualifications for election to the House of Representatives as required by the 1987
Constitution. As it were, residence, for the purpose of meeting the qualification for an elective position, has a settled
meaning in our jurisdiction.
Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile
of natural persons is their place of habitual residence." In Ong vs. Republic 20 this court took the concept of domicile to
mean an individual's "permanent home", "a place to which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to
return, and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent." 21 Based on the foregoing,
domicile includes the twin elements of "the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place" and animus manendi, or
the intention of returning there permanently.
Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. It is the physical
presence of a person in a given area, community or country. The essential distinction between residence and domicile in
law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends.
One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a person's intent be to remain, it becomes
his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. 22 It is thus, quite perfectly normal

for an individual to have different residences in various places. However, a person can only have a single domicile, unless,
for various reasons, he successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of choice. In Uytengsu vs.
Republic, 23 we laid this distinction quite clearly:
There is a difference between domicile and residence. "Residence" is used to indicate a place of abode, whether
permanent or temporary; "domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, one has the intention of
returning. A man may have a residence in one place and a domicile in another. Residence is not domicile, but domicile is
residence coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited time. A man can have but one domicile for the same
purpose at any time, but he may have numerous places of residence. His place of residence is generally his place of
domicile, but it is not by any means necessarily so since no length of residence without intention of remaining will
constitute domicile.
For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by the peculiar criteria of political laws. As
these concepts have evolved in our election law, what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact that residence for
election purposes is used synonymously with domicile.
In Nuval vs. Guray, 24 the Court held that "the term residence. . . is synonymous with domicile which imports not only
intention to reside in a fixed place, but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such
intention." 25 Larena vs. Teves 26 reiterated the same doctrine in a case involving the qualifications of the respondent
therein to the post of Municipal President of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Faypon vs. Quirino, 27 held that the absence
from residence to pursue studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter other than in the place where one is
elected does not constitute loss of residence. 28 So settled is the concept (of domicile) in our election law that in these and
other election law cases, this Court has stated that the mere absence of an individual from his permanent residence
without the intention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of domicile.
The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the residence qualification for certain elective positions have placed beyond
doubt the principle that when the Constitution speaks of "residence" in election law, it actually means only "domicile" to
wit:
Mr. Nolledo: With respect to Section 5, I remember that in the 1971 Constitutional Convention, there was an attempt to
require residence in the place not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the elections. So my question is:
What is the Committee's concept of residence of a candidate for the legislature? Is it actual residence or is it the concept
of domicile or constructive residence?
Mr. Davide: Madame President, insofar as the regular members of the National Assembly are concerned, the proposed
section merely provides, among others, "and a resident thereof", that is, in the district for a period of not less than one
year preceding the day of the election. This was in effect lifted from the 1973 Constitution, the interpretation given to it was
domicile. 29
xxx xxx xxx
Mrs. Rosario Braid: The next question is on Section 7, page 2. I think Commissioner Nolledo has raised the same point
that "resident" has been interpreted at times as a matter of intention rather than actual residence.
Mr. De los Reyes: Domicile.
Ms. Rosario Braid: Yes, So, would the gentleman consider at the proper time to go back to actual residence rather than
mere intention to reside?
Mr. De los Reyes: But we might encounter some difficulty especially considering that a provision in the Constitution in the
Article on Suffrage says that Filipinos living abroad may vote as enacted by law. So, we have to stick to the original
concept that it should be by domicile and not physical residence. 30
In Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, 31 this Court concluded that the framers of the 1987
Constitution obviously adhered to the definition given to the term residence in election law, regarding it as having the
same meaning as domicile. 32
In the light of the principles just discussed, has petitioner Imelda Romualdez Marcos satisfied the residency requirement
mandated by Article VI, Sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution? Of what significance is the questioned entry in petitioner's

Certificate of Candidacy stating her residence in the First Legislative District of Leyte as seven (7) months?
It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which ought to be decisive in determining whether
or not and individual has satisfied the constitution's residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes
material only when there is or appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would
otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It would be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to deliberately and knowingly make a
statement in a certificate of candidacy which would lead to his or her disqualification.
It stands to reason therefore, that petitioner merely committed an honest mistake in jotting the word "seven" in the space
provided for the residency qualification requirement. The circumstances leading to her filing the questioned entry
obviously resulted in the subsequent confusion which prompted petitioner to write down the period of her actual stay in
Tolosa, Leyte instead of her period of residence in the First district, which was "since childhood" in the space provided.
These circumstances and events are amply detailed in the COMELEC's Second Division's questioned resolution, albeit
with a different interpretation. For instance, when herein petitioner announced that she would be registering in Tacloban
City to make her eligible to run in the First District, private respondent Montejo opposed the same, claiming that petitioner
was a resident of Tolosa, not Tacloban City. Petitioner then registered in her place of actual residence in the First District,
which is Tolosa, Leyte, a fact which she subsequently noted down in her Certificate of Candidacy. A close look at said
certificate would reveal the possible source of the confusion: the entry for residence (Item No. 7) is followed immediately
by the entry for residence in the constituency where a candidate seeks election thus:
7. RESIDENCE (complete Address): Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte
POST OFFICE ADDRESS FOR ELECTION PURPOSES: Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte
8. RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I SEEK TOBE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE
ELECTION:_________ Years and Seven Months.
Having been forced by private respondent to register in her place of actual residence in Leyte instead of petitioner's
claimed domicile, it appears that petitioner had jotted down her period of stay in her legal residence or domicile. The
juxtaposition of entries in Item 7 and Item 8 the first requiring actual residence and the second requiring domicile
coupled with the circumstances surrounding petitioner's registration as a voter in Tolosa obviously led to her writing down
an unintended entry for which she could be disqualified. This honest mistake should not, however, be allowed to negate
the fact of residence in the First District if such fact were established by means more convincing than a mere entry on a
piece of paper.
We now proceed to the matter of petitioner's domicile.
In support of its asseveration that petitioner's domicile could not possibly be in the First District of Leyte, the Second
Division of the COMELEC, in its assailed Resolution of April 24,1995 maintains that "except for the time when (petitioner)
studied and worked for some years after graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in Manila." The Resolution
additionally cites certain facts as indicative of the fact that petitioner's domicile ought to be any place where she lived in
the last few decades except Tacloban, Leyte. First, according to the Resolution, petitioner, in 1959, resided in San Juan,
Metro Manila where she was also registered voter. Then, in 1965, following the election of her husband to the Philippine
presidency, she lived in San Miguel, Manila where she as a voter. In 1978 and thereafter, she served as a member of the
Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro Manila. "She could not, have served these positions if she had not been a
resident of Metro Manila," the COMELEC stressed. Here is where the confusion lies.
We have stated, many times in the past, that an individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained
residences in different places. Residence, it bears repeating, implies a factual relationship to a given place for various
purposes. The absence from legal residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a
temporary or semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. Thus, the assertion by the COMELEC that
"she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of candidacy
because she became a resident of many places" flies in the face of settled jurisprudence in which this Court carefully
made distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for election law purposes. In Larena vs. Teves, 33 supra, we
stressed:
[T]his court is of the opinion and so holds that a person who has his own house wherein he lives with his family in a
municipality without having ever had the intention of abandoning it, and without having lived either alone or with his family
in another municipality, has his residence in the former municipality, notwithstanding his having registered as an elector in
the other municipality in question and having been a candidate for various insular and provincial positions, stating every

time that he is a resident of the latter municipality.


More significantly, in Faypon vs. Quirino, 34 We explained that:
A citizen may leave the place of his birth to look for "greener pastures," as the saying goes, to improve his lot, and that, of
course includes study in other places, practice of his avocation, or engaging in business. When an election is to be held,
the citizen who left his birthplace to improve his lot may desire to return to his native town to cast his ballot but for
professional or business reasons, or for any other reason, he may not absent himself from his professional or business
activities; so there he registers himself as voter as he has the qualifications to be one and is not willing to give up or lose
the opportunity to choose the officials who are to run the government especially in national elections. Despite such
registration, the animus revertendi to his home, to his domicile or residence of origin has not forsaken him. This may be
the explanation why the registration of a voter in a place other than his residence of origin has not been deemed sufficient
to constitute abandonment or loss of such residence. It finds justification in the natural desire and longing of every person
to return to his place of birth. This strong feeling of attachment to the place of one's birth must be overcome by positive
proof of abandonment for another.
From the foregoing, it can be concluded that in its above-cited statements supporting its proposition that petitioner was
ineligible to run for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC was obviously referring to
petitioner's various places of (actual) residence, not her domicile. In doing so, it not only ignored settled jurisprudence on
residence in election law and the deliberations of the constitutional commission but also the provisions of the Omnibus
Election Code (B.P. 881). 35
What is undeniable, however, are the following set of facts which establish the fact of petitioner's domicile, which we lift
verbatim from the COMELEC's Second Division's assailed Resolution: 36
In or about 1938 when respondent was a little over 8 years old, she established her domicile in Tacloban, Leyte (Tacloban
City). She studied in the Holy Infant Academy in Tacloban from 1938 to 1949 when she graduated from high school. She
pursued her college studies in St. Paul's College, now Divine Word University in Tacloban, where she earned her degree
in Education. Thereafter, she taught in the Leyte Chinese School, still in Tacloban City. In 1952 she went to Manila to work
with her cousin, the late speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez in his office in the House of Representatives. In 1954, she married
ex-President Ferdinand E. Marcos when he was still a congressman of Ilocos Norte and registered there as a voter. When
her husband was elected Senator of the Republic in 1959, she and her husband lived together in San Juan, Rizal where
she registered as a voter. In 1965, when her husband was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines, she lived
with him in Malacanang Palace and registered as a voter in San Miguel, Manila.
[I]n February 1986 (she claimed that) she and her family were abducted and kidnapped to Honolulu, Hawaii. In November
1991, she came home to Manila. In 1992, respondent ran for election as President of the Philippines and filed her
Certificate of Candidacy wherein she indicated that she is a resident and registered voter of San Juan, Metro Manila.
Applying the principles discussed to the facts found by COMELEC, what is inescapable is that petitioner held various
residences for different purposes during the last four decades. None of these purposes unequivocally point to an intention
to abandon her domicile of origin in Tacloban, Leyte. Moreover, while petitioner was born in Manila, as a minor she
naturally followed the domicile of her parents. She grew up in Tacloban, reached her adulthood there and eventually
established residence in different parts of the country for various reasons. Even during her husband's presidency, at the
height of the Marcos Regime's powers, petitioner kept her close ties to her domicile of origin by establishing residences in
Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important personal milestones in her home province, instituting wellpublicized projects for the benefit of her province and hometown, and establishing a political power base where her
siblings and close relatives held positions of power either through the ballot or by appointment, always with either her
influence or consent. These well-publicized ties to her domicile of origin are part of the history and lore of the quarter
century of Marcos power in our country. Either they were entirely ignored in the COMELEC'S Resolutions, or the majority
of the COMELEC did not know what the rest of the country always knew: the fact of petitioner's domicile in Tacloban,
Leyte.
Private respondent in his Comment, contends that Tacloban was not petitioner's domicile of origin because she did not
live there until she was eight years old. He avers that after leaving the place in 1952, she "abandoned her residency (sic)
therein for many years and . . . (could not) re-establish her domicile in said place by merely expressing her intention to live
there again." We do not agree.
First, minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile, once acquired is retained until a new one is gained, it follows
that in spite of the fact of petitioner's being born in Manila, Tacloban, Leyte was her domicile of origin by operation of law.

This domicile was not established only when her father brought his family back to Leyte contrary to private respondent's
averments.
Second, domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate:

37

1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;


2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and
3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.
In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin should be deemed to continue.
Only with evidence showing concurrence of all three requirements can the presumption of continuity or residence be
rebutted, for a change of residence requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one cannot have two legal
residences at the same time. 38 In the case at bench, the evidence adduced by private respondent plainly lacks the degree
of persuasiveness required to convince this court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a domicile of
choice indeed occurred. To effect an abandonment requires the voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former domicile
with an intent to supplant the former domicile with one of her own choosing (domicilium voluntarium).
In this connection, it cannot be correctly argued that petitioner lost her domicile of origin by operation of law as a result of
her marriage to the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1952. For there is a clearly established distinction between the
Civil Code concepts of "domicile" and "residence." 39 The presumption that the wife automatically gains the husband's
domicile by operation of law upon marriage cannot be inferred from the use of the term "residence" in Article 110 of the
Civil Code because the Civil Code is one area where the two concepts are well delineated. Dr. Arturo Tolentino, writing on
this specific area explains:
In the Civil Code, there is an obvious difference between domicile and residence. Both terms imply relations between a
person and a place; but in residence, the relation is one of fact while in domicile it is legal or juridical, independent of the
necessity of physical presence. 40
Article 110 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 110. The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But the court may exempt the wife from living with the
husband if he should live abroad unless in the service of the Republic.
A survey of jurisprudence relating to Article 110 or to the concepts of domicile or residence as they affect the female
spouse upon marriage yields nothing which would suggest that the female spouse automatically loses her domicile of
origin in favor of the husband's choice of residence upon marriage.
Article 110 is a virtual restatement of Article 58 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 which states:
La mujer esta obligada a seguir a su marido donde quiera que fije su residencia. Los Tribunales, sin embargo, podran con
justa causa eximirla de esta obligacion cuando el marido transende su residencia a ultramar o' a pais extranjero.
Note the use of the phrase "donde quiera su fije de residencia" in the aforequoted article, which means wherever (the
husband) wishes to establish residence. This part of the article clearly contemplates only actual residence because it
refers to a positive act of fixing a family home or residence. Moreover, this interpretation is further strengthened by the
phrase "cuando el marido translade su residencia" in the same provision which means, "when the husband shall transfer
his residence," referring to another positive act of relocating the family to another home or place of actual residence. The
article obviously cannot be understood to refer to domicile which is a fixed,fairly-permanent concept when it plainly
connotes the possibility of transferring from one place to another not only once, but as often as the husband may deem fit
to move his family, a circumstance more consistent with the concept of actual residence.
The right of the husband to fix the actual residence is in harmony with the intention of the law to strengthen and unify the
family, recognizing the fact that the husband and the wife bring into the marriage different domiciles (of origin). This
difference could, for the sake of family unity, be reconciled only by allowing the husband to fix a single place of actual
residence.
Very significantly, Article 110 of the Civil Code is found under Title V under the heading: RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE. Immediately preceding Article 110 is Article 109 which obliges the husband and wife to
live together, thus:
Art. 109. The husband and wife are obligated to live together, observe mutual respect and fidelity and render mutual
help and support.
The duty to live together can only be fulfilled if the husband and wife are physically together. This takes into account the
situations where the couple has many residences (as in the case of the petitioner). If the husband has to stay in or
transfer to any one of their residences, the wife should necessarily be with him in order that they may "live together."
Hence, it is illogical to conclude that Art. 110 refers to "domicile" and not to "residence." Otherwise, we shall be faced with
a situation where the wife is left in the domicile while the husband, for professional or other reasons, stays in one of their
(various) residences. As Dr. Tolentino further explains:
Residence and Domicile Whether the word "residence" as used with reference to particular matters is synonymous with
"domicile" is a question of some difficulty, and the ultimate decision must be made from a consideration of the purpose
and intent with which the word is used. Sometimes they are used synonymously, at other times they are distinguished
from one another.
xxx xxx xxx
Residence in the civil law is a material fact, referring to the physical presence of a person in a place. A person can have
two or more residences, such as a country residence and a city residence. Residence is acquired by living in place; on the
other hand, domicile can exist without actually living in the place. The important thing for domicile is that, once residence
has been established in one place, there be an intention to stay there permanently, even if residence is also established in
some otherplace. 41
In fact, even the matter of a common residence between the husband and the wife during the marriage is not an iron-clad
principle; In cases applying the Civil Code on the question of a common matrimonial residence, our jurisprudence has
recognized certain situations 42 where the spouses could not be compelled to live with each other such that the wife is
either allowed to maintain a residence different from that of her husband or, for obviously practical reasons, revert to her
original domicile (apart from being allowed to opt for a new one). In De la Vina vs. Villareal 43 this Court held that "[a]
married woman may acquire a residence or domicile separate from that of her husband during the existence of the
marriage where the husband has given cause for divorce." 44 Note that the Court allowed the wife either to obtain new
residence or to choose a new domicile in such an event. In instances where the wife actually opts, .under the Civil Code,
to live separately from her husband either by taking new residence or reverting to her domicile of origin, the Court has
held that the wife could not be compelled to live with her husband on pain of contempt. In Arroyo vs. Vasques de Arroyo 45
the Court held that:
Upon examination of the authorities, we are convinced that it is not within the province of the courts of this country to
attempt to compel one of the spouses to cohabit with, and render conjugal rights to, the other. Of course where the
property rights of one of the pair are invaded, an action for restitution of such rights can be maintained. But we are
disinclined to sanction the doctrine that an order, enforcible (sic) by process of contempt, may be entered to compel the
restitution of the purely personal right of consortium. At best such an order can be effective for no other purpose than to
compel the spouses to live under the same roof; and he experience of those countries where the courts of justice have
assumed to compel the cohabitation of married people shows that the policy of the practice is extremely questionable.
Thus in England, formerly the Ecclesiastical Court entertained suits for the restitution of conjugal rights at the instance of
either husband or wife; and if the facts were found to warrant it, that court would make a mandatory decree, enforceable
by process of contempt in case of disobedience, requiring the delinquent party to live with the other and render conjugal
rights. Yet this practice was sometimes criticized even by the judges who felt bound to enforce such orders, and in
Weldon v. Weldon (9 P.D. 52), decided in 1883, Sir James Hannen, President in the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty
Division of the High Court of Justice, expressed his regret that the English law on the subject was not the same as that
which prevailed in Scotland, where a decree of adherence, equivalent to the decree for the restitution of conjugal rights in
England, could be obtained by the injured spouse, but could not be enforced by imprisonment. Accordingly, in obedience
to the growing sentiment against the practice, the Matrimonial Causes Act (1884) abolished the remedy of imprisonment;
though a decree for the restitution of conjugal rights can still be procured, and in case of disobedience may serve in
appropriate cases as the basis of an order for the periodical payment of a stipend in the character of alimony.
In the voluminous jurisprudence of the United States, only one court, so far as we can discover, has ever attempted to
make a preemptory order requiring one of the spouses to live with the other; and that was in a case where a wife was
ordered to follow and live with her husband, who had changed his domicile to the City of New Orleans. The decision

referred to (Bahn v. Darby, 36 La. Ann., 70) was based on a provision of the Civil Code of Louisiana similar to article 56 of
the Spanish Civil Code. It was decided many years ago, and the doctrine evidently has not been fruitful even in the State
of Louisiana. In other states of the American Union the idea of enforcing cohabitation by process of contempt is rejected.
(21 Cyc., 1148).
In a decision of January 2, 1909, the Supreme Court of Spain appears to have affirmed an order of the Audiencia
Territorial de Valladolid requiring a wife to return to the marital domicile, and in the alternative, upon her failure to do so, to
make a particular disposition of certain money and effects then in her possession and to deliver to her husband, as
administrator of the ganancial property, all income, rents, and interest which might accrue to her from the property which
she had brought to the marriage. (113 Jur. Civ., pp. 1, 11) But it does not appear that this order for the return of the wife to
the marital domicile was sanctioned by any other penalty than the consequences that would be visited upon her in respect
to the use and control of her property; and it does not appear that her disobedience to that order would necessarily have
been followed by imprisonment for contempt.
Parenthetically when Petitioner was married to then Congressman Marcos, in 1954, petitioner was obliged by virtue of
Article 110 of the Civil Code to follow her husband's actual place of residence fixed by him. The problem here is that at
that time, Mr. Marcos had several places of residence, among which were San Juan, Rizal and Batac, Ilocos Norte. There
is no showing which of these places Mr. Marcos did fix as his family's residence. But assuming that Mr. Marcos had fixed
any of these places as the conjugal residence, what petitioner gained upon marriage was actual residence. She did not
lose her domicile of origin.
On the other hand, the common law concept of "matrimonial domicile" appears to have been incorporated, as a result of
our jurisprudential experiences after the drafting of the Civil Code of 1950, into the New Family Code. To underscore the
difference between the intentions of the Civil Code and the Family Code drafters, the term residence has been supplanted
by the term domicile in an entirely new provision (Art. 69) distinctly different in meaning and spirit from that found in Article
110. The provision recognizes revolutionary changes in the concept of women's rights in the intervening years by making
the choice of domicile a product of mutual agreement between the spouses. 46
Without as much belaboring the point, the term residence may mean one thing in civil law (or under the Civil Code) and
quite another thing in political law. What stands clear is that insofar as the Civil Code is concerned-affecting the rights and
obligations of husband and wife the term residence should only be interpreted to mean "actual residence." The
inescapable conclusion derived from this unambiguous civil law delineation therefore, is that when petitioner married the
former President in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium.
Even assuming for the sake of argument that petitioner gained a new "domicile" after her marriage and only acquired a
right to choose a new one after her husband died, petitioner's acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that
she not only impliedly but expressly chose her domicile of origin (assuming this was lost by operation of law) as her
domicile. This "choice" was unequivocally expressed in her letters to the Chairman of the PCGG when petitioner sought
the PCGG's permission to "rehabilitate (our) ancestral house in Tacloban and Farm in Olot, Leyte. . . to make them livable
for the Marcos family to have a home in our homeland." 47 Furthermore, petitioner obtained her residence certificate in
1992 in Tacloban, Leyte, while living in her brother's house, an act which supports the domiciliary intention clearly
manifested in her letters to the PCGG Chairman. She could not have gone straight to her home in San Juan, as it was in a
state of disrepair, having been previously looted by vandals. Her "homes" and "residences" following her arrival in various
parts of Metro Manila merely qualified as temporary or "actual residences," not domicile. Moreover, and proceeding from
our discussion pointing out specific situations where the female spouse either reverts to her domicile of origin or chooses
a new one during the subsistence of the marriage, it would be highly illogical for us to assume that she cannot regain her
original domicile upon the death of her husband absent a positive act of selecting a new one where situations exist within
the subsistence of the marriage itself where the wife gains a domicile different from her husband.
In the light of all the principles relating to residence and domicile enunciated by this court up to this point, we are
persuaded that the facts established by the parties weigh heavily in favor of a conclusion supporting petitioner's claim of
legal residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte.

Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManilaEN BANC


G.R. No. 78059 August 31, 1987
ALFREDO M. DE LEON, ANGEL S. SALAMAT, MARIO C. STA. ANA, JOSE C. TOLENTINO, ROGELIO J. DE LA
ROSA and JOSE M. RESURRECCION, petitioners, vs.HON. BENJAMIN B. ESGUERRA, in his capacity as OIC
Governor of the Province of Rizal, HON. ROMEO C. DE LEON, in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of
Taytay, Rizal, FLORENTINO G. MAGNO, REMIGIO M. TIGAS, RICARDO Z. LACANIENTA, TEODORO V. MEDINA,
ROSENDO S. PAZ, and TERESITA L. TOLENTINO, respondents.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents from replacing them from their
respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Municipality of Taytay,
Province of Rizal.
As required by the Court, respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition, and petitioner's their Reply to
respondents' Comment.
In the Barangay elections held on May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected Barangay Captain and
theother petitioners Angel S. Salamat, Mario C. Sta. Ana, Jose C. Tolentino, Rogelio J. de la Rosa and Jose M.
Resurreccion, as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise
known as the Barangay Election Act of 1982.
On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986 but signed by
respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8, 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as
Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of
the Minister of Local Government."
Also on February 8, 1987, respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum, antedated December 1, 1986 designating
respondents Remigio M. Tigas, Ricardo Z. Lacanienta Teodoro V. Medina, Roberto S. Paz and Teresita L. Tolentino as
members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and Municipality.
That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, the pertinent portions
of which read:
xxx xxx xxx
That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on March 20, 1986;
That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance of my duties thereof, I among others, have
signed as I did sign the unnumbered memorandum ordering the replacement of all the barangay officials of all the
barangay(s) in the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal;
That the above cited memorandum dated December 1, 1986 was signed by me personally on February 8,1987;
That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the following day, February 9. 1987.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE.
Pasig, Metro Manila, March 23, 1987.
Before us now, petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared null and void and that
respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively.
Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office
"shall be six (6) years which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their successors shall have elected
and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988. It is also their position that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution,
respondent OIC Governor no longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors.

On the other hand, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution, promulgated on March 25,
1986, which provided:
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in office until
otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their
successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February 25,1986.
By reason of the foregoing provision, respondents contend that the terms of office of elective and appointive officials were
abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the aforequoted provision and not because their term of six
years had not yet expired; and that the provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials
to six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the aforequoted provision of the
Provisional Constitution.
Examining the said provision, there should be no question that petitioners, as elective officials under the 1973
Constitution, may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the occurrence of any of the events mentioned.
Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no proclamation or executive order terminating the
term of elective Barangay officials. Thus, the issue for resolution is whether or not the designation of respondents to
replace petitioners was validly made during the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987.
Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that February 8, 1977, should be considered as the
effective date of replacement and not December 1,1986 to which it was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice.
But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the aforequoted provision in the Provisional
Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading.
SECTION 27. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date, therefore, the Provisional Constitution
must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become inoperative, respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely
on Section 2, Article III, thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners.
Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that the Barangay Election Act of
1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote the autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest
development as self-reliant communities. 2 Similarly, the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments
and of political subdivisions of which the barangays form a part, 3 and limits the President's power to "general supervision"
over local governments. 4 Relevantly, Section 8, Article X of the same 1987 Constitution further provides in part:
Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be
three years ...
Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore, the term of office of six (6) years
provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 5 should still govern.
Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six (6) years for elective Barangay
officials and the 1987 Constitution, and the same should, therefore, be considered as still operative, pursuant to Section 3,
Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, reading:
Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations letters of instructions, and other executive issuances
not inconsistent, with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked.
WHEREFORE, (1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8, 1987 designating respondents as
the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively, of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, are both declared to
be of no legal force and effect; and (2) the Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from
proceeding with the ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Without costs.
SO ORDERED.

CHAPTER I
EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS
Article 1. This Act shall be known as the "Civil Code of the Philippines." (n)
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in
the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after
such publication. (1a)
Art. 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)
Art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (3)
Art. 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void,
except when the law itself authorizes their validity. (4a)
Art. 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy,
morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. (4a)
Art. 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance
shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be
void and the latter shall govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not
contrary to the laws or the Constitution. (5a)
Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a
part of the legal system of the Philippines. (n)
Art. 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity
or insufficiency of the laws. (6)
Art. 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the
lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail. (n)
Art. 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be
countenanced. (n)
Art. 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. (n)
Art. 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that
years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four
hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.
If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which
they respectively have.
In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (7a)
Art. 14. Penal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who
live or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to the principles of public international law

and to treaty stipulations. (8a)


Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity
of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. (9a)
Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it
is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose
succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless
of the country wherein said property may be found. (10a)
Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be
governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed.
When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the
Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established by Philippine laws
shall be observed in their execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have, for their
object, public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws
or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign
country. (11a)
Art. 18. In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their
deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code. (16a)
CHAPTER 2
HUMAN RELATIONS (n)
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties,
act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.

Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another,
shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary
to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means,
acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or
legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another's property was not due to the
fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or
event he was benefited.
Art. 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a
disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness,
tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute
public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any
government or private charitable institution.
Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his
neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a
criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
P (1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence:
P (2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another;
P (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
P (4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life,
place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.
P
Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee
refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for
damages and other relief against he latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative
action that may be taken.
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor
through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or
highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers
damage.
Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt
has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or
omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon
motion of the defendant, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for
damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt, the court shall
so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of
the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.

Art. 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a criminal
offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case, a
preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove the act complained of.
Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or omission
complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal
proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly
obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights
and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
(1) Freedom of religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication;
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(5) Freedom of suffrage;
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public use;
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures;
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes not
contrary to law;
(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the government for
redress of grievances;
(14) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the
witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness
in his behalf;
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's self, or from being
forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make
such confession, except when the person confessing becomes a State witness;
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, unless the same
is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared
unconstitutional; and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts.
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant's act or
omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence
an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such
civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be
instituted), and mat be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be
adjudicated. The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge
unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal
statute.

Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil action for damages, entirely
separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
preponderance of evidence.
Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or
protection to any person in case of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be
primarily liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible
therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings,
and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.
Art. 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense, charges another with the
same, for which no independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special law, but the
justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed,
or the prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the complaint
may bring a civil action for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action may be
supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's motion, the court may
require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant in case the complaint should be
found to be malicious.
If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be presented by the
prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended until the termination of the criminal
proceedings.
Art. 36. Pre-judicial questions which must be decided before any criminal prosecution may be
instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by rules of court which the Supreme Court shall
promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this Code.

BOOK I
PERSONS
Title I. - CIVIL PERSONALITY
CHAPTER 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 37. Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, is inherent
in every natural person and is lost only through death. Capacity to act, which is the power to
do acts with legal effect, is acquired and may be lost. (n)
Art. 38. Minority, insanity or imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil
interdiction are mere restrictions on capacity to act, and do not exempt the incapacitated
person from certain obligations, as when the latter arise from his acts or from property
relations, such as easements. (32a)
Art. 39. The following circumstances, among others, modify or limit capacity to act: age,
insanity, imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, prodigality, family relations,
alienage, absence, insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of these circumstances are
governed in this Code, other codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. Capacity to act is
not limited on account of religious belief or political opinion.
A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, is qualified for all acts of civil life, except
in cases specified by law. (n)
CHAPTER 2
NATURAL PERSONS
Art. 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all
purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the
following article. (29a)
Art. 41. For civil purposes, the fetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely
delivered from the mother's womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of less than
seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete
delivery from the maternal womb. (30a)
Art. 42. Civil personality is extinguished by death.
The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by
contract and by will. (32a)
Art. 43. If there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each
other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall
prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is presumed that they died at the same time and
there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. (33)
CHAPTER 3
JURIDICAL PERSONS
Art. 44. The following are juridical persons:

P (1) The State and its political subdivisions;


P (2) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose, created by
law; their personality begins as soon as they have been constituted according to law;
P (3) Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose to which the
law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from that of each shareholder, partner
or member. (35a)
P
Art. 45. Juridical persons mentioned in Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding article are governed by
the laws creating or recognizing them.
Private corporations are regulated by laws of general application on the subject.
Partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose are governed by the provisions
of this Code concerning partnerships. (36 and 37a)
Art. 46. Juridical persons may acquire and possess property of all kinds, as well as incur
obligations and bring civil or criminal actions, in conformity with the laws and regulations of
their organization. (38a)
Art. 47. Upon the dissolution of corporations, institutions and other entities for public interest
or purpose mentioned in No. 2 of Article 44, their property and other assets shall be disposed
of in pursuance of law or the charter creating them. If nothing has been specified on this
point, the property and other assets shall be applied to similar purposes for the benefit of the
region, province, city or municipality which during the existence of the institution derived the
principal benefits from the same. (39a)
Title II. - CITIZENSHIP AND DOMICILE
Art. 48. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
(1) Those who were citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the
Constitution of the Philippines;
(2) Those born in the Philippines of foreign parents who, before the adoption of said
Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippines;
(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. (n)
Art. 49. Naturalization and the loss and reacquisition of citizenship of the Philippines are
governed by special laws. (n)
Art. 50. For the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of
natural persons is the place of their habitual residence. (40a)
Art. 51. When the law creating or recognizing them, or any other provision does not fix the
domicile of juridical persons, the same shall be understood to be the place where their legal
representation is established or where they exercise their principal functions. (41a)

THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
ARTICLE IV
CITIZENSHIP
P
P
P
P
P

Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:


[1] Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
[2] Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
[3] Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship
upon reaching the age of majority; and
[4] Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
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.
Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law.
Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act
or omission, they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced it.
Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law.
q
PREAMBLE
We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and
humane society, and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote
the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity,
the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice,
freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.