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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 86564 August 1, 1989 RAMON L. LABO, JR.

, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS COMELEC! EN BANC AN" LUIS L. LAR"I#ABAL, respondents Estelito P. Mendoza for petitioner. Rillera and Quintana for private respondent.

CRU#, J.: The petitioner asks this Court to restrain the Commission on Elections from lookin into the !uestion of his citi"enship as a !ualification for his office as Ma#or of Ba uio Cit#. The alle ation that he is a forei ner, he sa#s, is not the issue. The issue is $hether or not the public respondent has %urisdiction to conduct an# in!uir# into this matter, considerin that the petition for quo warranto a ainst him $as not filed on time. &t is note$orth# that this ar ument is based on the alle ed tardiness not of the petition itself but of the pa#ment of the filin fee, $hich the petitioner contends $as an indispensable re!uirement. The fee is, curiousl# enou h, all of P'((.(( onl#. This brin s to mind the popular verse that for $ant of a horse the kin dom $as lost. )till, if it is sho$n that the petition $as indeed filed be#ond the re lementar# period, there is no !uestion that this petition must be ranted and the challen e abated. The petitioner*s position is simple. +e $as proclaimed ma#or,elect of Ba uio Cit#, on -anuar# .(, /011. The petition for quo warranto $as filed b# the private respondent on -anuar# .2, /011, but no filin fee $as paid on that date. This fee $as finall# paid on 3ebruar# /(, /011, or t$ent#,one da#s after his proclamation. As the petition b# itself alone $as ineffectual $ithout the filin fee, it should be deemed filed onl# $hen the fee $as paid. This $as done be#ond the re lementar# period provided for under )ection .4' of the 5mnibus Election Code readin as follo$s6 )EC. .4'. Petition for quo warranto. An# voter contestin the election of a Member of the Batasan Pambansa, re ional, provincial, or cit# officer on the round of ineli ibilit# or of dislo#alt# to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a s$orn petition for quo warranto $ith the Commission $ithin ten da#s after the proclamation of the result of the election. The petitioner adds that the pa#ment of the filin fee is re!uired under Rule '2, )ection 4, of the Procedural Rules of the C5ME7EC providin that 8 )ec. 4. No petition for quo warranto shall be iven due course $ithout the pa#ment of a filin fee in the amount of Three +undred Pesos 9P'((.((: and the le al research fee as re!uired b# la$.

and stresses that there is abundant %urisprudence holdin that the pa#ment of the filin fee is essential to the timeliness of the fillin of the petition itself. +e cites man# rulin s of the Court to this effect, specificall# Manchester v. Court of Appeals. 1 3or his part, the private respondent denies that the filin fee $as paid out of time. &n fact he sa#s, it $as fliedahead of time. +is point is that $hen he filed his ;Petition for <uo =arranto $ith Pra#er for &mmediate Annulment of Proclamation and Restrainin 5rder or &n%unction; on -anuar# .2, /011, the C5ME7EC treated it as a pre,proclamation controvers# and docketed it as )PC Case No. 11,.11. No docket fee $as collected althou h it $as offered. &t $as onl# on 3ebruar# 1, /011, that the C5ME7EC decided to treat his petition as solel# for quo warranto and re,docketed it as EPC Case No. 11,/0, servin him notice on 3ebruar# /(, /011. +e immediatel# paid the filin fee on that date. The private respondent ar ues further that durin the period $hen the C5ME7EC re arded his petition as a pre,proclamation controvers#, the time for filin an election protest or quo warranto proceedin $as deemed suspended under )ection .>1 of the 5mnibus Election Code. $ At an# rate, he sa#s, Rule '2, )ection 4, of the C5ME7EC Rules of Procedure cited b# the petitioner, became effective onl# on November /4, /011, seven da#s after publication of the said Rules in the 5fficial ?a"ette pursuant to )ection >, Rule >> thereof. % These rules could not retroact to -anuar# .2,/011, $hen he filed his petition $ith the C5ME7EC. &n his Repl#, the petitioner ar ues that even if the 5mnibus Election Code did not re!uire it, the pa#ment of filin fees $as still necessar# under Res. No. /002 and, before that, Res. No. />4( of the respondent C5ME7EC, promul ated on -anuar# /., /011, and 3ebruar# .2, /01(, respectivel#. To this, the private respondent counters that the latter resolution $as intended for the local elections held on -anuar# '(, /01(, and did not appl# to the /011 local elections, $hich $ere supposed to be overned b# the first, mentioned resolution. +o$ever, Res. No. /002 took effect onl# on March ', /011, follo$in the lapse of seven da#s after its publication as re!uired b# RA No. 22>2, other$ise kno$n as the Electoral Reform 7a$ of /01@, $hich became effective on -anuar# 4, /011. &ts )ection '( provides in part6 )ec. '(. Effectivity of Regulations and rders of the Co!!ission . 8 The rules and re ulations promul ated b# the Commission shall take effect on the seventh da# after their publication in the 5fficial ?a"ette or in at least 9.: dail# ne$spapers of eneral circulation in the Philippines. The Court has considered the ar uments of the parties and holds that the petition for quo warranto $as filed on time. =e a ree $ith the respondents that the fee $as paid durin the ten,da# period as eAtended b# the pendenc# of the petition $hen it $as treated b# the C5ME7EC as a pre,proclamation proceedin $hich did not re!uire the pa#ment of a filin fee. At that, $e reach this conclusion onl# on the assumption that the re!uirement for the pa#ment of the fees in quo warranto proceedin s $as alread# effective. There is no record that Res. No. />4( $as even publishedB and as for Res. No. /002, this took effect onl# on March ', /011, seven da#s after its publication in the 3ebruar# .4, /011 issues of the Manila Chronicle and the Philippine Cail# &n!uirer, or after the petition $as filed. The petitioner for ets "a#$ada v. "uvera 4 $hen he ar ues that the resolutions became effective ;immediatel# upon approval; simpl# because it $as so provided therein. =e held in that case that publication $as still necessar# under the due process clause despite such effectivit# clause. &n an# event, $hat is important is that the filin fee $as paid, and $hatever dela# there ma# have been is not imputable to the private respondent*s fault or ne lect. &t is true that in the Manchester Case, $e re!uired the timel# pa#ment of the filin fee as a precondition for the timeliness of the filin of the case itself. &n %un &nsurance ffice' (td. v. Asuncion , 5 ho$ever this Court, takin into account the special circumstances of that case, declared6

This Court reiterates the rule that the trial court ac!uires %urisdiction over a case onl# upon the pa#ment of the prescribed filin fee. +o$ever, the court ma# allo$ the pa#ment of the said fee $ithin a reasonable time. &n the event of non,compliance there$ith, the case shall be dismissed. The same idea is eApressed in Rule >., )ection /1, of the C5ME7EC Rules of Procedure adopted on -une .(, /011, thus6 )ec. /1. )on*pay!ent of prescri+ed fees. 8 &f the fees above prescribed are not paid, theCo!!ission !ay refuse to ta,e action thereon until they are paid and !ay dis!iss the action or the proceeding. 9Emphasis supplied.: The Court notes that $hile ar uin the technical point that the petition for quo warranto should be dismissed for failure to pa# the filin fee on time, the petitioner $ould at the same time minimi"e his alle ed lack of citi"enship as ;a futile technicalit#,; &t is re rettable, to sa# the least, that the re!uirement of citi"enship as a !ualification for public office can be so demeaned. =hat is $orse is that it is re arded as an even less important consideration than the re lementar# period the petitioner insists upon. This matter should normall# end here as the sole issue ori inall# raised b# the petitioner is the timeliness of thequo warranto proceedin s a ainst him. +o$ever, as his citi"enship is the sub%ect of that proceedin , and considerin the necessit# for an earl# resolution of that more important !uestion clearl# and ur entl# affectin the public interest, $e shall directl# address it no$ in this same action. The Court has similarl# acted in a notable number of cases, thus6 3rom the fore oin brief statement of the nature of the instant case, it $ould appear that our sole function in this proceedin should be to resolve the sin le issue of $hether or not the Court of Appeals erred in rulin that the motion for ne$ trial of the ?)&) in !uestion should indeed be deemed pro for!a. But oin over the eAtended pleadin s of both parties, the Court is immediatel# impressed that substantial %ustice ma# not be timel# achieved, if $e should decide this case upon such a technical round alone. =e have carefull# read all the alle ations and ar uments of the parties, ver# abl# and comprehensivel# eApounded b# evidentl# kno$led eable and unusuall# competent counsel, and $e feel $e can better serve the interests of %ustice b# broadenin the scope of our in!uir#, for as the record before us stands, $e see that there is enou h basis for us to end the basic controvers# bet$een the parties here and no$, dispensin , ho$ever, $ith procedural steps $hich $ould not an#$a# affect substantiall# the merits of their respective claims. 6 AAA =hile it is the fault of the petitioner for appealin to the $ron court and thereb# allo$in the period for appeal to lapse, the more correct procedure $as for the respondent court to for$ard the case to the proper court $hich $as the Court of Appeals for appropriate action. Considerin , ho$ever, the len th of time that this case has been pendin , $e appl# the rule in the case of Cel Castillo v. -a#malin, 9//. )CRA 2.0: and follo$ the principle enunciated in Al er Electric, &nc. v. Court of Appeals, 9/'4 )CRA '@: $hich states6 ... it is a cherished rule of procedure for this Court to al$a#s strive to settle the entire controvers# in a sin le proceedin leavin no root or branch to bear the seeds of future liti ation. No useful purpose $ill be served if this case is remanded to the trial court onl# to have its decision

raised a ain to the &ntermediate Appellate Court and from there to this Court. 9p. >': 5nl# recentl# in the case of -eautifont' &nc.' et al. v. Court of Appeals' et al. 9?.R. No. 4(/>/, -anuar# .0, /011:, $e stated that6 ... But all those relevant facts are no$ before this Court. And those facts dictate the rendition of a verdict in the petitioner*s favor. There is therefore no point in referrin the case back to the Court of Appeals. The facts and the le al propositions involved $ill not chan e, nor should the ultimate %ud ment. Considerable time has alread# elapsed and, to serve the ends of %ustice, it is time that the controvers# is finall# laid to rest. 9)ee )otto v. )amson, 4 )CRA @''B Republic v. Paredes, /(1 Phil. 4@B 7ian a 7umber Co. v. 7ian a Timber Co., &nc., @2 )CRA /0@B Erico v. +eirs of Chi as, 01 )CRA 4@4B 3rancisco v. Cit# of Cavao, /. )CRA 2.1B Dalencia v. Mabilan an, /(4 Phil. /2.:. l.wph/0.#1t )ound practice seeks to accommodate the theor# $hich avoids $aste of time, effort and eApense, both to the parties and the overnment, not to speak of dela# in the disposal of the case 9cf. 3ernande" v. ?arcia, 0. Phil. 40., 40@:. A marked characteristic of our %udicial set,up is that $here the dictates of %ustice so demand ... the )upreme Court should act, and act $ith finalit#.* 27i )iu 7iat v. Republic, ./ )CRA /('0, /(>2, citin )amal v. CA, 00 Phil. .'( and E.). v. ?imene", '> Phil. @>:. &n this case, the dictates of %ustice do demand that this Court act, and act $ith finalit#. & AAA Remand of the case to the lo$er court for further reception of evidence is not necessar# $here the court is in a position to resolve the dispute based on the records before it. 5n man# occasions, the Court, in the public interest and the eApeditious administration of %ustice, has resolved actions on the merits instead of remandin them to the trial court for further proceedin s, such as $here the ends of %ustice $ould not be subserved b# the remand of the case or $hen public interest demands an earl# disposition of the case or $here the trial court had alread# received all the evidence of the parties. 8 This course of action becomes all the more %ustified in the present case $here, to repeat for stress, it is claimed that a forei ner is holdin a public office. =e also note in his Repl#, the petitioner sa#s6 &n adoptin private respondent*s comment, respondent C5ME7EC implicitl# adopted as ;its o$n; private respondent*s repeated assertion that petitioner is no lon er a 3ilipino citi"en. &n so doin , has not respondent C5ME7EC effectivel# dis!ualified itself, b# reason of pre%ud ment, from resolvin the petition for !uo $arranto filed b# private respondent still pendin before itF 9 This is still another reason $h# the Court has seen fit to rule directl# on the merits of this case. ?oin over the record, $e find that there are t$o administrative decisions on the !uestion of the petitioner*s citi"enship. The first $as rendered b# the Commission on Elections on Ma# /., /01., and found the petitioner to be a citi"en of the Philippines. 1' The second $as rendered b# the Commission on &mmi ration and Ceportation on )eptember /', /011, and held that the petitioner $as not a citi"en of the Philippines. 11 The first decision $as penned b# then C5ME7EC Chi as, Dicente )antia o, -r., $ith Commissioners Pabalate )avellano and 5pinion concurrin in full and Commissioner Bacun an concurrin in the dismissal of the petition ;$ithout pre%udice to the issue of the respondent*s citi"enship bein raised ane$

in a proper case.; Commissioner )a adraca reserved his vote, $hile Commissioner 3elipe $as for deferrin decision until representations shall have been made $ith the Australian Embass# for official verification of the petitioner*s alle ed naturali"ation as an Australian. The second decision $as unanimousl# rendered b# Chairman Miriam Cefensor,)antia o and Commissioners Alano and ?eralde" of the Commission on &mmi ration and Ceportation. &t is important to observe that in the proceedin before the C5ME7EC, there $as no direct proof that the herein petitioner had been formall# naturali"ed as a citi"en of Australia. This con%ecture, $hich $as eventuall# re%ected, $as merel# inferred from the fact that he had married an Australian citi"en, obtained an Australian passport, and re istered as an alien $ith the C&C upon his return to this countr# in /01(. 5n the other hand, the decision of the C&C took into account the official statement of the Australian ?overnment dated Au ust /., /01>, throu h its Consul in the Philippines, that the petitioner $as still an Australian citi"en as of that date b# reason of his naturali"ation in /0@2. That statement 1$ is reproduced in full as follo$s6 &, ?RA+AM C57&N =E)T, Consul of Australia in the Philippines, b# virtue of a certificate of appointment si ned and sealed b# the Australian Minister of )tate for 3orei n Affairs on /0 5ctober /01', and reco ni"ed as such b# 7etter of Patent si ned and sealed b# the Philippines Actin Minister of 3orei n Affairs on .' November /01', do hereb# provide the follo$in statement in response to the subpoena Testificandum dated 0 April /01> in re ard to the Petition for dis!ualification a ainst RAM5N 7AB5, -R. G 75HAN5 9)PC No. 1>,@':, and do hereb# certif# that the statement is true and correct. )TATEMENT A: RAM5N 7AB5, -R. G 75HAN5, date of birth .' Cecember /0'>, $as married in the Philippines to an Australian citi"en. As the spouse of an Australian citi"en, he $as not re!uired to meet normal re!uirements for the rant of citi"enship and $as ranted Australian citizenship +y %ydney on .1 -ul# /0@2. B: An# person over the a e of /2 #ears $ho is ranted Australian citi"enship !ust ta,e an oath of allegiance or !a,e an affir!ation of allegiance . The $ordin of the oath of affirmation is6 ;& ..., renouncin all other alle iance ...; etc. This need not necessaril# have an# effect on his former nationalit# as this $ould depend on the citi"enship la$s of his former countr#. C: The marria e $as declared void in the Australian 3ederal Court in )#dne# on .@ -une /01( on the round that the marria e had been bi amous. C: According to our records (Ais still an Australian citizen.

E: )hould he return to Australia, 7AB5 ma# face court action in respect of )ection 4( of Australian Citi"enship Act /0>1 $hich relates to the ivin of false or misleadin information of a material nature in respect of an application for Australian citi"enship. &f such a prosecution $as successful, he could be deprived of Australian citi"enship under )ection ./ of the Act. 3: There are t$o further $a#s in $hich 7AB5 could divest himself of Australian citi"enship6 9i: +e could make a declaration of Renunciation of Australian citi"enship under )ection /1 of the Australian Citi"enship Act, or

9ii: &f he ac!uired another nationalit#, 9for eAample, 3ilipino: b# a formal and voluntar# act other than marria e, then he $ould automaticall# lose as Australian citi"enship under )ection /@ of the Act. &N =&TNE)) =+ERE53, & +ADE +EREENT5 )ET MAG +ANC ANC )EA7 53 T+E AE)TRA7&AN EMBA))G, MAN&7A, T+&) /.th CAG 53 APR&7 /01>. C5NE AT MAN&7A &N T+E P+&7&PP&NE). 9)i ned: ?RA+AM C. =E)T Consul This $as affirmed later b# the letter of 3ebruar# /, /011, addressed to the private respondent b# the Cepartment of 3orei n Affairs readin as follo$s6 1% )ir6 =ith reference to #our letter dated / 3ebruar# /011, & $ish to inform #ou that in!uir# made $ith the Australian ?overnment throu h the Embass# of the Philippines in Canberra has elicited the follo$in information6 /: That Mr. Ramon 7. 7abo, -r. ac!uired Australian citi"enship on .1 -ul# /0@2. .: "hat prior to 03 4uly 0567' a candidate for Australian citizenship had to either swear an oath of allegiance or !a,e an affir!ation of allegiance which carries a renunciation of 8all other allegiance. Der# trul# #ours, 3or the )ecretar# of 3orei n Affairs6 9)?C: R5C5735 )EDER&N5, -R. Assistant )ecretar# The decision also noted the oath of alle iance taken b# ever# naturali"ed Australian readin as follo$s6 5AT+ 53 A77E?&ANCE &, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, s$ear b# Almi ht# ?od that & $ill be faithful and bear true alle iance to +er Ma%est# Eli"abeth the )econd, <ueen of Australia, +er heirs and successors accordin to la$, and that & $ill faithfull# observe the la$s of Australia and fulfill m# duties as an Australian citi"en. 14 and the Affirmation of Alle iance, $hich declares6 A33&RMAT&5N 53 A77E?&ANCE &, A.B., renouncing all other allegiance, solemnl# and sincerel# promise and declare that & $ill be faithful and bear true alle iance to +er Ma%est# Eli"abeth the )econd, <ueen of Australia, +er heirs and successors accordin to la$, and that & $ill faithfull# observe the 7a$s of Australia and fulfill m# duties as an Australian citi"en. 15 The petitioner does not !uestion the authenticit# of the above evidence. Neither does he den# that he obtained Australian Passport No. @4>@(4, $hich he used in comin back to the Philippines in /01(, $hen he declared before the immi ration authorities that he $as an alien and re istered as such under Alien Certificate of Re istration No. B,'.'014. 16 +e later asked for the chan e of his status from immi rant to a returnin former Philippine citi"en and $as ranted &mmi rant Certificate of Residence No. ..'1(0. 1& +e also cate oricall# declared that he $as a citi"en of Australia in a number of s$orn statements voluntaril#

made b# him and. even sou ht to avoid the %urisdiction of the baran a# court on the round that he $as a forei ner. 18 The decision of the C5ME7EC in /01. !uaintl# dismisses all these acts as ;mistakes; that did not divest the petitioner of his citi"enship, althou h, as earlier noted, not all the members %oined in this findin . =e re%ect this rulin as totall# baseless. The petitioner is not an unlettered person $ho $as not a$are of the conse!uences of his acts, let alone the fact that he $as assisted b# counsel $hen he performed these acts. The private respondent !uestions the motives of the C5ME7EC at that time and stresses 7abo*s political affiliation $ith the part# in po$er then, but $e need not o into that no$. There is also the claim that the decision can no lon er be reversed because of the doctrine of res 9udicata, but this too must be dismissed. This doctrine does not appl# to !uestions of citi"enship, as the Court has ruled in several cases. 19 Moreover, it does not appear that it $as properl# and seasonabl# pleaded, in a motion to dismiss or in the ans$er, havin been invoked onl# $hen the petitioner filed his repl# $' to the private respondent*s comment. Besides, one of the re!uisites of res 9udicata, to $it, identit# of parties, is not present in this case. The petitioner*s contention that his marria e to an Australian national in /0@2 did not automaticall# divest him of Philippine citi"enship is irrelevant. There is no claim or findin that he automaticall# ceased to be a 3ilipino because of that marria e. +e became a citi"en of Australia because he $as naturali"ed as such throu h a formal and positive process, simplified in his case because he $as married to an Australian citi"en. As a condition for such naturali"ation, he formall# took the 5ath of Alle iance andIor made the Affirmation of Alle iance, both !uoted above. Renouncin all other alle iance, he s$ore ;to be faithful and bear true alle iance to +er Ma%est# Eli"abeth the )econd, <ueen of Australia ...; and to fulfill his duties ;as an Australian citi"en.; The petitioner no$ claims that his naturali"ation in Australia made him at $orst onl# a dual national and did not divest him of his Philippine citi"enship. )uch a specious ar ument cannot stand a ainst the clear provisions of CA No. 2', $hich enumerates the modes b# $hich Philippine citi"enship ma# be lost. Amon these are6 9/: naturali"ation in a forei n countr#B 9.: eApress renunciation of citi"enshipB and 9': subscribin to an oath of alle iance to support the Constitution or la$s of a forei n countr#, all of $hich are applicable to the petitioner. &t is also $orth mentionin in this connection that under Article &D, )ection 4, of the present Constitution, ;Cual alle iance of citi"ens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt $ith b# la$.; Even if it be assumed that, as the petitioner asserts, his naturali"ation in Australia $as annulled after it $as found that his marria e to the Australian citi"en $as bi amous, that circumstance alone did not automaticall# restore his Philippine citi"enship. +is divestiture of Australian citi"enship does not concern us here. That is a matter bet$een him and his adopted countr#. =hat $e must consider is the fact that he voluntaril# and freel# re%ected Philippine citi"enship and $illin l# and kno$in l# embraced the citi"enship of a forei n countr#. The possibilit# that he ma# have been subse!uentl# re%ected b# Australia, as he claims, does not mean that he has been automaticall# reinstated as a citi"en of the Philippines. Ender CA No. 2' as amended b# PC No. @.4, Philippine citi"enship ma# be reac!uired b# direct act of Con ress, b# naturali"ation, or b# repatriation. &t does not appear in the record, nor does the petitioner claim, that he has reac!uired Philippine citi"enship b# an# of these methods. +e does not point to an# %udicial decree of naturali"ation as to an# statute directl# conferrin Philippine citi"enship upon him. Neither has he sho$n that he has complied $ith PC No. @.4, providin that6 ... 9.: natural,born 3ilipinos $ho have lost their Philippine citi"enship ma# reac!uire Philippine citi"enship throu h repatriation b# appl#in $ith the )pecial Committee on Naturali"ation created b# 7etter of &nstruction No. .@(, and, if their applications are

approved, takin the necessar# oath of alle iance to the Republic of the Philippines, after $hich the# shall be deemed to have reac!uired Philippine citi"enship. The Commission on &mmi ration and Ceportation shall thereupon cancel their certificate of re istration. 9Emphasis supplied.: That is $h# the Commission on &mmi ration and Ceportation re%ected his application for the cancellation of his alien certificate of re istration. And that is also the reason $e must den# his present claim for reco nition as a citi"en of the Philippines. The petitioner is not no$, nor $as he on the da# of the local elections on -anuar# /1, /011, a citi"en of the Philippines. &n fact, he $as not even a !ualified voter under the Constitution itself because of his aliena e. $1 +e $as therefore ineli ible as a candidate for ma#or of Ba uio Cit#, under )ection >. of the 7ocal ?overnment Code providin in material part as follo$s6 )ec. >.. Qualifications. 8 An elective local official must be a citi"en of the Philippines, at least t$ent#,three #ears of a e on election da#, a !ualified voter re istered as such in the baran a#, municipalit#, cit# or province $here he proposes to be elected, a resident therein for at least one #ear at the time of the filin of his certificate of candidac#, and able to read and $rite En lish, 3ilipino, or an# other local lan ua e or dialect. The petitioner ar ues that his alle ed lack of citi"enship is a ;futile technicalit#; that should not frustrate the $ill of the electorate of Ba uio Cit#, $ho elected him b# a ;resonant and thunderous ma%orit#.; To be accurate, it $as not as loud as all that, for his lead over the second,placer $as onl# about .,/(( votes. &n an# event, the people of that localit# could not have, even unanimousl#, chan ed the re!uirements of the 7ocal ?overnment Code and the Constitution. The electorate had no po$er to permit a forei ner o$in his total alle iance to the <ueen of Australia, or at least a stateless individual o$in no alle iance to the Republic of the Philippines, to preside over them as ma#or of their cit#. 5nl# citi"ens of the Philippines have that privile e over their countr#men. The probabilit# that man# of those $ho voted for the petitioner ma# have done so in the belief that he $as !ualified onl# stren thens the conclusion that the results of the election cannot nullif# the !ualifications for the office no$ held b# him. These !ualifications are continuin re!uirementsB once an# of them is lost durin incumbenc#, title to the office itself is deemed forfeited. &n the case at bar, the citi"enship and votin re!uirements $ere not subse!uentl# lost but $ere not possessed at all in the first place on the da# of the election. The petitioner $as dis!ualified from runnin as ma#or and, althou h elected, is not no$ !ualified to serve as such. 3inall#, there is the !uestion of $hether or not the private respondent, $ho filed the quo warranto petition, can replace the petitioner as ma#or. +e cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained onl# the second hi hest number of votes in the election, he $as obviousl# not the choice of the people of Ba uio cit#. The latest rulin of the Court on this issue is %antos v. Co!!ission on Elections $$ decided in /014. &n that case, the candidate $ho placed second $as proclaimed elected after the votes for his $innin rival, $ho $as dis!ualified as a turncoat and considered a non,candidate, $ere all disre arded as stra#. &n effect, the second placer $on b# default. That decision $as supported b# ei ht members of the Court then $% $ith three dissentin $4 and another t$o reservin their vote. $5 5ne $as on official leave. $6 Re,eAaminin that decision, the Court finds, and so holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier case of:eroni!o v. Ra!os' $& =hich represents the more lo ical and democratic rule. That case, $hich reiterated the doctrine first announced in /0/. in "opacio vs. Paredes $8 $as supported b# ten members of the Court $9 $ithout an# dissent, althou h one reserved his vote, %' another took no part %1 and t$o others $ere on leave. %$ There the Court held6

... it $ould be eAtremel# repu nant to the basic concept of the constitutionall# uaranteed ri ht to suffra e if a candidate $ho has not ac!uired the ma%orit# or pluralit# of votes is proclaimed a $inner and imposed as the representative of a constituenc#, the ma%orit# of $hich have positivel# declared throu h their ballots that the# do not choose him. )ound polic# dictates that public elective offices are filled b# those $ho have received the hi hest number of votes cast in the election for that office, and it is a fundamental &dea in all republican forms of overnment that no one can be declared elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a ma%orit# or pluralit# of the le al votes cast in the election. 9.( Corpus -uris .nd, ) .>', p. 2@2.: The fact that the candidate $ho obtained the hi hest number of votes is later declared to be dis!ualified or not eli ible for the office to $hich he $as elected does not necessaril# entitle the candidate $ho obtained the second hi hest number of votes to be declared the $inner of the elective office. The votes cast for a dead, dis!ualified, or non,eli ible person ma# not be valid to vote the $inner into office or maintain him there. +o$ever, in the absence of a statute $hich clearl# asserts a contrar# political and le islative polic# on the matter, if the votes $ere cast in the sincere belief that the candidate $as alive, !ualified, or eli ible, the# should not be treated as stra#, void or meanin less. &t remains to stress that the citi"en of the Philippines must take pride in his status as such and cherish this priceless ift that, out of more than a hundred other nationalities, ?od has seen fit to rant him. +avin been so endo$ed, he must not li htl# #ield this precious advanta e, re%ectin it for another land that ma# offer him material and other attractions that he ma# not find in his o$n countr#. To be sure, he has the ri ht to renounce the Philippines if he sees fit and transfer his alle iance to a state $ith more allurements for him. %% But havin done so, he cannot eApect to be $elcomed back $ith open arms once his taste for his adopted countr# turns sour or he is himself diso$ned b# it as an undesirable alien. Philippine citi"enship is not a cheap commodit# that can be easil# recovered after its renunciation. &t ma# be restored onl# after the returnin rene ade makes a formal act of re,dedication to the countr# he has ab%ured and he solemnl# affirms once a ain his total and eAclusive lo#alt# to the Republic of the Philippines. This ma# not be accomplished b# election to public office. =+ERE35RE, petitioner Ramon -. 7abo, -r. is hereb# declared N5T a citi"en of the Philippines and therefore C&)<EA7&3&EC from continuin to serve as Ma#or of Ba uio Cit#. +e is ordered to DACATE his office and surrender the same to the Dice,Ma#or of Ba uio Cit#, once this decision becomes final and eAecutor#. The temporar# restrainin order dated -anuar# '/, /010, is 7&3TEC. ;ernan' 2C.4.<' )arvasa' Melencio*=errera' Paras' ;eliciano' :ancayco' Padilla' -idin' %ar!iento' Cortes' :ri#$o*Aquino Medialdea and Regalado' 44.' concur.

S()*+*t( O),-,o-s

GUTTIERRE#, JR., -.,concurrin 6 As in the case of ;rivaldo v. Co!!ission on Elections 9?. R. No. 1@/0', -une .', /010: and inspire of $hat $ould other$ise be insuperable procedural obstacles, & am constrained to concur in the Court*s decision so forcefull# and felicitousl# $ritten b# Mr. -ustice &sa ani A. Cru". & do so because & cannot see

ho$ the Court can countenance a citi"en of a forei n countr# or one $ho has renounced 3ilipino citi"enship sittin as the ma#or of one of the most important cities in the Philippines. =hat $as raised to the Court $as onl# the issue of the C5ME7EC*s %urisdiction to in!uire into the citi"enship of the petitioner. 5rdinaril#, $e $ould have limited ourselves to sustainin the %urisdiction of the C5ME7EC and remandin the case for further proceedin s and the rendition of a decision. Ender )ection @, Article &JA of the Constitution, a decision, order, or rulin of the C5ME7EC ma# be brou ht to the )upreme Court on certiorari b# the a rieved part# $ithin thirt# da# from receipt of a cop# thereof. No decision on the petitioner*s citi"enship has been rendered and no decision can, as #et, be elevated to us for revie$. &, therefore, reiterate m# statement in ;rivaldo that m# concurrence is limited onl# to cases involvin citi"enship and dislo#alt# but not to an# of the man# other rounds for dis!ualification cited in m# concurrin opinion. 5ur decision to dis!ualif# the petitioner is particularl# distressin to me because & am impressed b# the sin ular achievements in the beautification of Ba uio Cit#, in the peace and order situation, and in the resur ence of civic pride so visible to an#one $ho has one up to Ba uio since Mr. 7abo assumed the ma#orship. +o$ever, & see no other $a# this case can be resolved eAcept b# adoptin a pra matic approach. &t is be#ond dispute that a non,citi"en cannot be the ma#or of Ba uio Cit#. & %oin the rest of the Court. ;ernan' C.4.' )arvasa' Melencio*=errera' Paras' ;eliciano' :ancayco' Padilla' -idin' %ar!iento' Cortes' :ri#$o*Aquino Medialdea and Regalado' 44.' concur.

S()*+*t( O),-,o-s GUTTIERRE#, JR., -.,concurrin 6 As in the case of ;rivaldo v. Co!!ission on Elections 9?. R. No. 1@/0', -une .', /010: and inspire of $hat $ould other$ise be insuperable procedural obstacles, & am constrained to concur in the Court*s decision so forcefull# and felicitousl# $ritten b# Mr. -ustice &sa ani A. Cru". & do so because & cannot see ho$ the Court can countenance a citi"en of a forei n countr# or one $ho has renounced 3ilipino citi"enship sittin as the ma#or of one of the most important cities in the Philippines. =hat $as raised to the Court $as onl# the issue of the C5ME7EC*s %urisdiction to in!uire into the citi"enship of the petitioner. 5rdinaril#, $e $ould have limited ourselves to sustainin the %urisdiction of the C5ME7EC and remandin the case for further proceedin s and the rendition of a decision. Ender )ection @, Article &JA of the Constitution, a decision, order, or rulin of the C5ME7EC ma# be brou ht to the )upreme Court on certiorari b# the a rieved part# $ithin thirt# da# from receipt of a cop# thereof. No decision on the petitioner*s citi"enship has been rendered and no decision can, as #et, be elevated to us for revie$. &, therefore, reiterate m# statement in ;rivaldo that m# concurrence is limited onl# to cases involvin citi"enship and dislo#alt# but not to an# of the man# other rounds for dis!ualification cited in m# concurrin opinion. 5ur decision to dis!ualif# the petitioner is particularl# distressin to me because & am impressed b# the sin ular achievements in the beautification of Ba uio Cit#, in the peace and order situation, and in the resur ence of civic pride so visible to an#one $ho has one up to Ba uio since Mr. 7abo assumed the ma#orship. +o$ever, & see no other $a# this case can be resolved eAcept b# adoptin a pra matic approach. &t is be#ond dispute that a non,citi"en cannot be the ma#or of Ba uio Cit#. & %oin the rest of the Court.

.oot-ot(s / >0 )CRA 42.. )GC&P, )A7AHAR . )ec. .>1. Effect of filin petition to annul or suspend the proclamation. The filin $ith the Commission of a petition to annul or to suspend the proclamation of an# candidate shall suspend the runnin of the period $ithin $hich to file an election protest or !uo $arranto proceedin s. ' Rule >>, )ee. >. C5ME7EC Rules of Procedure, Effectivit#. These Rules shall be published in the 5fficial ?a"ette and shall take effect on the seventh da# follo$in its publication. Actuall#, the Rules became effective seven da#s after the official release of the 5fficial ?a"ette dated -une .@, /011 on November 1, /011. > />2 )CRA >>2. 4 ?.R. Nos. @00'@,'1, 3ebruar# /', /010. 2 Delasco v. Court of Appeals, 04 )CRA 2/2. )ee also 5rti as v. RE&H, />1 )CRA '.2B 3irst Asian Transport and )hippin A enc#, &nc. v. 5ple />. )CRA 4>.B <uisumbin v. Court of Appeals, /.. )CRA ('/ Cel Castillo v. -a#malin, //. )CRA 2.0B 3rancisco v. Cit#, of Cavao, /. )CRA 2.1. @ Te%ones v. ?ironella /40 )CRA /((. 1 7ian a Ba# 7o 0 Rollo, p. /40. /( &bid., pp. /1.A,/ 04. // &d., pp. 0>,/(@. /. &d. Emphasis supplied. /' &d. Emphasis supplied. /> &d. Emphasis supplied. /4 &d. Emphasis supplied. /2 &d. /@ &d. /1 9i: )tatement dated .4 November /0@2 that he is an ;Australian made before Cet. Aba#a. 9ii: )tatement affirmin that he is an Australian citi"en in the affidavit,complaint eAecuted on / -ul# /011 and in the complaint filed on /' -anuar# /01. $ith the Cit#, Court of Ba uio6 ;... bein an Australian citi"en the sub%ect of this complaint is one of $hich the Baran a# Court cannot take co ni"ance of.; in Co., &nc. v. CA, /4@ )CRA '4@.

/0 )oria v. Commissioner of &mmi ration, '@ )CRA ./'B 7ee v. Commissioner of &mmi ration, >. )CRA 42/B )ia Re#es v. Ceportation Board, /.. )CRA >@1. .( Rollo, pp. /40,/2(. ./ Art. D, )ec. /, /01@ Constitution. .. /'@ )CRA @>(. .' Cuevas, -., ponente, $ith Makasiar, Concepcion, -r., Escolin, Relova, Ce la 3uente, Alampa# and A!uino, --., concurrin . .> Teehankee, Actin C.-., Abad )antos and Melencio, +errera, .4 Plana and ?utierre", -r., --. .2 3ernando, C.-. .@ /'2 )CRA >'4. .1 .' Phil. .'1. .0 ?utierre", -r., -., ponente, $ith Teehankee, Abad )antos, Melencio,+errera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, Ce la 3uente, Cuevas and Alampa#, --., concurrin . '( Makasiar, -. '/ A!uino, -. '. 3ernando, C.-. and Concepcion, -r., C.-. '' EAcept in times of $ar, under CA No. 2'.