(Question VII, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)
The 2016 mayoralty race in the City of Ardania included Arnaldo and Anacleto as contenders.
Arnaldo filed a petition with the Comelec to cancel Anacleto’s Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for misrepresenting himself as a Filipino citizen. Arnaldo presented as evidence a copy of Anacleto’s Spanish passport and a certification from the Bureau of Immigration (Bl) showing that Anacleto used the same passport several times to travel to and from Manila and Madrid or Barcelona.
In his Comment, Anacleto claimed that, a year prior to filing his CoC, he had complied with all the requirements of R.A. No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003) to reacquire his Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance and executing a sworn renunciation of his Spanish citizenship. He defended the use of his Spanish passport subsequent to taking his oath of allegiance to the Philippines as a practical necessity since he had yet to obtain his Philippine passport despite reacquiring his Philippine citizenship. Even after he secured his Philippine passport, he said he had to wait for the issuance of a Schengen visa to allow him to travel to Spain to visit his wife and minor children.
(a) Based on the allegations of the parties, is there sufficient ground to cancel Anacleto’s CoC? (2.5%)
(b) In case Anacleto’s CoC is properly cancelled, who should serve as mayor of Ardania City: Arnaldo, who obtained the second highest number votes, or Andrea, the duly-elected Vice Mayor of the City? (2.5%)
(a) Yes. Answer
Under jurisprudence, the use of foreign passport after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship; it does not divest Filipino citizenship regained by repatriation but it recants the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position. Rule
In the case at bar, Anacleto used his foreign passport after renunciation of his foreign citizenship. Accordingly, he disqualified himself as such act amounted to recantation of his oath of renunciation. Apply
Thus, there is sufficient ground to cancel Anacleto’s certificate of candidacy. Conclusion
(b) Arnaldo should serve as the Mayor. Answer
Under jurisprudence, in cases of vacancies caused by those with void ab initio certificates of candidacy, the person legally entitled to the vacant position would be the candidate who garnered the next highest number of votes among those eligible. Rule
In the case at bar, Arnaldo is entitled to serve as Mayor as he garnered the second highest number of votes. Apply
Thus, Arnaldo should serve as the Mayor of Ardania City. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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