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ARTICLE VII SECTION 2 CASE 221697 & 221698-700 OF MARCH 8, 2016 i.

i. Elamparo claimed that Poe fell short of the ten-year

POE-LLAMANZARES v. COMELEC residency requirement as her residence could only be
counted at the earliest from July 2006, when she
DOCTRINE: reacquired Philippine citizenship assuming she was a
Presumption for and burden of proof against foundlings will be in favor of the natural-born citizen at all.
same; Repatriation recovers original citizenship; 4. Basing on the contentions of Elamparo, COMELEC Second Division
promulgated a Resolution cancelling the CoC of Poe.
IMPORTANT RULING RELATED TO THE PROVISION/DOCTRINE: 5. G.R. 221698-700 contains 3 separate petitions from Francisco Tatad
The intent of the framers was to include foundlings or those children with (Tatad), Antonio Contreras (Contreras), and Amado D. Valdez
unknown parents, and the only reason why there was no amendment was (Valdez).
because the cases of such were too few to warrant the inclusion of a provision a. Tatad claimed that since our country adheres to the principle
in the Constitution to apply to them. of jus sanguinis, foundlings cannot be considered natural-born
If a candidate cannot be disqualified without a prior finding that such Filipino citizens since blood relationship is determinative of
candidate is suffering from a disqualification as “provided by law or the natural-born status.
Constitution”, neither can the candidate’s CoC be cancelled on grounds of b. Similar to to Elamparo, he claimed that Poe cannot avail of the
false representations without a prior authoritative finding that he or she is not option to reacquire Philippine citizenship under RA 9225.
qualified. c. Additionally, Tatad questioned Poe’s lack of intention to
abandon her U.S. domicile as evidenced by the fact that her
1. On October 15, 2015, Mary Grace Natividad S. Llamanzares-Poe (aka husband stayed thereat and her frequent trips to the U.S.
Tita Grace. JK Poe) filed her candidacy for the May 2016 Presidential d. Valdez alleged that her repatriation under R.A. 9225 did not
elections. bestow upon her the status of a natural-born citizen, because
2. In her CoC, she declared that she is a natural-born citizen, and that her of his belief that those who are repatriated will not revert to
residence in the Philippines up to the day before May 9, 2016, would their original status as natural-born citizens.
be 10 years and 11 months counted from May 24, 2005. e. Contreras, however, limited his attack to Poe’s residency
3. In G.R. 221697, Estrella Elamparo (Elamparo) filed a petition to cancel issue.
Poe’s CoC. i. He claimed that she did not possess the 10-year
a. Elamparo argued that Poe cannot be considered a natural- period of residency required for said candidacy and
born Filipino because she was a foundling. that she made a false entry in her CoC when she
i. Her claim was that international law does not provide stated that she is a legal resident of the Philippines for
natural-born status and Filipino citizenship on 10 years and 11 months by May 9, 2016.
foundlings. 6. COMELEC First Division concluded that Poe was not qualified for the
ii. As such, Poe should not be qualified to apply for position of President of the Republic of the Philippines.
reacquisition of Filipino citizenship under RA 9225 7. Hence, Poe filed a petition for certiorari with urgent prayer for the
for she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen to begin issurance of an ex parte TRO.
b. She also argued that there was material misrepresentation ISSUES:
when Poe stated she is a resident of the Philippines for at least 1. W/N COMELEC has the authority to decide on the qualification or
10 years and 11 months up to the day before the May 9, 2016 lack thereof of a candidate.
elections. 2. W/N Poe can be considered a natural-born citizen due to her status as
a foundling.
3. If so, W/N her repatriation would make her a natural-born citizen of false representations without a prior authoritative finding
the Philippines. that he or she is not qualified.
4. W/N Poe met the 10-year residency requirement to be a candidate for 2. Yes, because the Constitution has implied that foundlings are
the May 2016 Presidential Elections. considered as natural-born citizens.
a. To begin, burden of proof resides on the private respondents
to show that Poe is not a Filipino citizen. Burden of proof
would not shift to her because her status as a foundling does
RULING: not exclude the possibility that her parents are Filipinos,
1. No, the Constitution does not provide such authority to COMELEC. especially since, in the Statistics provided by Poe, there is a
a. Article IX, C, Section 2, lists down the following powers and high probability, if not certainty, that her parents are
functions COMELEC may exercise, none of which speak of Filipinos.
allowing them to judge the qualification or lack thereof of b. Moreover, despite the fact that 1935 Constitution was silent as
Presidential candidates to foundlings, there was no restrictive language which would
b. Moreover, Article VII, Section 4 of the same, provides that the exclude foundlings either.
Supreme Court shall be the sole judge of all contests relating c. To be clear, the intent of the framers was to include foundlings
to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President, the or those children with unknown parents, and the only reason
VP, Senators, and the Members of the HR. why there was no amendment was because the cases of such
c. Article IX, C, Section 2, par. 3, withholds from the COMELEC were too few to warrant the inclusion of a provision in the
even the power to decide cases involving the right to vote, Constitution to apply to them.
which essentially involves an inquiry into qualifications based d. Both domestic and international laws support this claim.
on age, residence, and citizenship of voters. i. Domestic laws on adoption support the principle that
i. Disqualification proceedings are for the purpose of foundlings are Filipinos: the adoptee must be a
barring an individual from becoming a candidate or Filipino in the first place to be adopted.
from continuing as a candidate for public office, either ii. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), UN
from the start or during its progress. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the
ii. Ineligibility, on the other hand, refers to the lack of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
qualifications prescribed in the Constitution or the (ICCPR), and the 1930 Hague Convention all provide
statutes for holding public office and the purpose of the for the right of every child to acquire a nationality,
proceedings for declaration of ineligibility is to remove and that foundlings are presumed to born of citizens
the incumbent from office. of the country where they were found.
d. There were attempts by COMELEC to provide itself 3. Yes, this was clearly provided for in previous jurisprudence.
authorization by creating rules that would allow them to rule a. In the case of Bengson v. HRET, repatriation was defined as
the qualifications of a candidate even during the election, but the recovery of the original nationality. As such, someone
such attempts were ultimately quelled because the who was originally natural-born citizen before he lost his
authorization does not lie within the COMELEC. Philippine citizenship, will be restored to his former status as
e. In conclusion, if a candidate cannot be disqualified without a a natural-born Filipino.
prior finding that such candidate is suffering from a b. The case also noted that there are only two types of citizens
disqualification as “provided by law or the Constitution”, under the 1987 Constitution: natural-born and naturalized
neither can the candidate’s CoC be cancelled on grounds of citizens. There is no third category for repatriated citizens.
4. Yes, because Poe’s claim of residency of 10 years and 11 months on majority will lead to absurd results, making a mockery of our
the day before the 2016 elections is true. national elections by allowing a presidential candidate with
a. Following Poe’s successful change of domicile back to the uncertain citizenship status to be potentially elected to the
Philippines provided by voluminous evidence such as Office of the President, an office expressly reserved by the
shipping 28,000 pounds of her household items from the U.S. Constitution exclusively for natural-born Filipino citizens.
to the Philippines, as well as shipping their family dog to the b. This means that the majority of this Court wants to resolve the
Philippines, such change of domicile is undisputed. citizenship status of petitioner after the elections, and only if
b. COMELEC disregarded the import of all the evidence petitioner wins the elections, despite petitioner having
presented by Poe on the basis that the earliest date Poe could already presented before the COMELEC all the evidence she
have started residence in the Philippines was in July 2006, wanted to present to prove her citizenship status. This will
when her application under RA 9225 was approved by the make a mockery of our election process if petitioner wins the
Bureau of Immigration (BI). elections but is later disqualified by this Court for not
i. COMELEC ruled that Poe’s claim of residence of 10 possessing a basic qualification for the Office of the President
years and 11 months by May 9, 2016 in her 2016 - that of being a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Presidential CoC was false because she put 6 years c. It cannot be denied that Poe has failed to prove that she is a
and 6 months as “period of residence before May 13, natural-born Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines
2013” in her 2012 Senatorial CoC. for at least ten years immediately preceding the 9 May 2016
c. Thus, according to COMELEC, she should have been a elections. Petitioner is not eligible to run for President of the
Philippine resident only in November 2006. It would mean Republic of the Philippines for lack of the essential
that she would have less than 10 years of residency up to May requirements of citizenship and residency under Section 2,
9, 2016. Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
d. Poe already explained that she misunderstood the date d. Petitioner's certificate of candidacy (COC), wherein she stated
required in the 2013 CoC as the period of residence as of the that she is qualified for the position of President, contains
day she submitted that CoC on 2012. It was from the advice false material representations, and thus, must be cancelled.
of her lawyers in 2015 that her residence could be counted e. Petitioner, not being a natural-born Filipino citizen, is also a
from May 25, 2005. nuisance candidate whose COC can motu proprio be
e. The 2012 CoC should not have been used by the COMELEC cancelled.
as a binding and conclusive admission against Poe, especially
since such mistake was overcome by evidence.
f. In conclusion, both the 2012 and 2015 CoC’s correctly state the
pertinent period of residency.
g. Poe had returned from the U.S. and was here to stay
permanently on May 24, 2005.
h. So, when she claimed to have been a resident for 10 years and
11 months, she could do so in good faith.

1. Carpio, J., Dissenting:
a. There is no majority of this Court that holds that Poe is a
natural-born Filipino citizen. This lack of ruling of the