200085-2016-Poe-Llamanzares_v._Commission_on_Elections - EN BANC[G.R No 221697 March 8 2016 MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S POE-LLAMANZARES petitioner vs

200085-2016-Poe-Llamanzares_v._Commission_on_Elections - EN...

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EN BANC [G.R. No. 221697. March 8, 2016.] MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES, petitioner , vs. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO COMMISSION ON ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO , respondents . [G.R. Nos. 221698-700. March 8, 2016.] MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. POE-LLAMANZARES, petitioner , vs. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, ANTONIO P. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS AND AMADO D. VALDEZ CONTRERAS AND AMADO D. VALDEZ, respondents . CONCURRING OPINION CONCURRING OPINION JARDELEZA, J. : The Philippine Constitution requires that a person aspiring for the presidency must be a natural-born Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding the election. 1 The question is whether the petitioner, as a foundling and former resident citizen of the United States (US), satis=es these requirements. I I first consider the issue of jurisdiction raised by the parties. A Petitioner Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares (Poe) contends that in the absence of any material misrepresentation in her certi=cate of candidacy (COC), the public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) had no jurisdiction to rule on her eligibility. She posits that the COMELEC can only rule on whether she intended to deceive the electorate when she indicated that she was a natural-born Filipino and that she has been a resident for 10 years and 11 months. For the petitioner, absent such intent, all other attacks on her citizenship and residency are premature since her quali=cations can only be challenged through the post-election remedy of a petition for quo warranto . On the other hand, the COMELEC argues that since citizenship and residency are material representations in the COC affecting the quali=cations for the of=ce of President, it necessarily had to rule on whether Poe's statements were true. I agree with the COMELEC that it has jurisdiction over the petitions to cancel or deny due course to a COC. As a consequence, it has the authority to determine therein the truth or falsity of the questioned representations in Poe's COC. Section 78 2 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) allows a person to =le a veri=ed petition seeking to deny due course to or cancel a COC exclusively on the ground that any of the material representations it contains, as required under Section 7 4 , 3 is false. The representations contemplated by Section 78 generally refer to qualifications for elective office, 4 such as age, residence and citizenship, or possession CD Technologies Asia, Inc. © 2016 cdasiaonline.com
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of natural-born Filipino status. 5 It is beyond question that the issues affecting the citizenship and residence of Poe are within the purview of Section 78. There is also no dispute that the COMELEC has jurisdiction over Section 78 petitions. Where the parties disagree is on whether intent to deceive is a constitutive element for the cancellation of a COC on the ground of false material representation.
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