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G.R. No. 119976. September 18, 1995

Kapunan, J.


Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of
the First District of Leyte, stating that she is 7-months resident in the said district. Montejo, incumbent
Representative and a candidate for the same position, filed a Petition for Cancellation and
Disqualification, alleging that Imelda did not meet the constitutional one-year residency requirement.
Imelda thus amended her COC, changing "seven" months to "since childhood." The provincial election
supervisor refused to admit the amended COC for the reason that it was filed out of time. Imelda, thus,
filed her amended COC with Comelec's head office in Manila.

On April 24, 1995, the Comelec Second Division declared Imelda not qualified to run and struck off the
amended as well as original COCs. The Comelec in division found that when Imelda 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. The Comelec en banc affirmed
this ruling.

During the pendency of the disqualification case, Imelda won in the election. But the Comelec suspended
her proclamation. Imelda thus appealed to the Supreme Court.

Imelda invoked Section 78 of B.P. 881 which provides that a petition seeking to deny due course or to
cancel a certificate of candidacy must be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than 15 days
before the election. Since the Comelec rendered the resolution on on April 24, 1995, fourteen (14) days
before the election, Comelec already lose jurisdiction over her case. She contended that it is the House
of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and not the Comelec which has jurisdiction over the election of
members of the House of Representatives.


Whether or not the petitioner was a resident, for election purposes, of the First District of Leyte for a
period of one year.


Residence is used synonymously with domicile for election purposes. The court are in favor of a
conclusion supporting petitioner’s claim of legal residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte despite
her own declaration of 7 months residency in the district for the following reasons:

A minor follows domicile of her parents. Tacloban became Imelda’s domicile of origin by operation of law
when her father brought them to Leyte;

Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of
abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and acts which correspond with the
purpose. In the absence and concurrence of all these, domicile of origin should be deemed to continue.

A wife does not automatically gain the husband’s domicile because the term “residence” in Civil Law
does not mean the same thing in Political Law. When Imelda married late President Marcos in1954, she
kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home and not domicilium necessarium.

Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired right to choose a new one
only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon returning to the country clearly indicated that she
chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice. To add, petitioner even 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. She even kept close ties by establishing residences in
Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important milestones.