Petitioner Eusebio Eugenio K. Lopez was a candidate for theposition of Chairman of Barangay Bagacay, San Dionisio, IloiloCity in the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang KabataanElections held on October 29, 2007.On October 25, 2007, respondent Tessie P. Villanueva filed apetition before the Provincial Election Supervisor of theProvince of Iloilo, praying for the disqualification of petitioner onthe ground that he is an American citizen, hence, ineligible fromrunning for any public office. In his Answer, petitioner arguedthat he is a dual citizen, a Filipino and at the same time anAmerican, by virtue of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225, otherwiseknown as the Citizenship Retention and Re- acquisition Act of2003. He returned to the Philippines and resided in BarangayBagacay. Thus, he said, he possessed all the qualifications torun for Barangay Chairman.After the votes for Barangay Chairman were canvassed,petitioner emerged as the winner.On February 6, 2008, COMELEC issued the assailedResolution granting the petition for disqualification. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner’s filing of a certificate of candidacyoperated as an effective renunciation of foreign citizenship.HELD: R.A. No. 9225 expressly provides for the conditions beforethose who re-acquired Filipino citizenship may run for a publicoffice in the Philippines. Section 5 of the said law states:Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. - Those whoretain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shallenjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendantliabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of thePhilippines and the following conditions:x x x x(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shallmeet the qualification for holding such public office as requiredby the Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of thefiling of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn18
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any publicofficer authorized to administer an oath. (Emphasis added)Petitioner re-acquired his Filipino citizenship under the citedlaw. This new law explicitly provides that should one seekelective public office, he should first "make a personal andsworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before anypublic officer authorized to administer an oath."Petitioner failed to comply with this requirement. We quote withapproval the COMELEC observation on this point:While respondent was able to regain his Filipino Citizenship byvirtue of the Dual Citizenship Law when he took his oath ofallegiance before the Vice Consul of the Philippine ConsulateGeneral's Office in Los Angeles, California, the same is notenough to allow him to run for a public office. The above-quotedprovision of law mandates that a candidate with dual citizenshipmust make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and allforeign citizenship before any public officer authorized toadminister an oath. There is no evidence presented that willshow that respondent complied with the provision of R.A. No.
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- Summer '19
- Dean Kent Evangelista