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LLB 2-1
G.R. No. 195649

April 16, 2013


Arnado was a natural born Filipino citizen, but lost his citizenship upon naturalization as
citizen of United States of America. Sometime on 2008 and 2009, his repatriation was
granted and he subsequently executed an Affidavit of Renunciation of foreign citizenship.
On November 2009, Arnando filed for a certificate of candidacy and won the said
election. But prior from his declaration as winner, a pending action for disqualification
was filed by Balua, one of the contenders for the position. Balua alleged that Arnando
was not a citizen of the Philippines, with a certification issued by the Bureau of
Immigration that Arnandos nationality is USA-American and a certified true copy of
computer-generated travel record that he has been using his American passport even
after renunciation of American citizenship. A division of the COMELEC ruled against
Arnando but this decision was reversed by the COMELEC en Banc stating that continued
use of foreign passport is not one of the grounds provided for under Section 1 of
Commonwealth Act No. 63 through which Philippine citizenship may be lost. Meanwhile,
Maquiling petition that should be declared winner as he gained the second highest
number of votes.

Whether or not continued use of a foreign passport after renouncing foreign citizenship
affects ones qualifications to run for public office.

Yes. The use of foreign passport after renouncing ones foreign citizenship is a positive
and voluntary act of representation as to ones 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 which makes him dual citizen.
Citizenship is not a matter of convenience. It is a badge of identity that comes with
attendant civil and political rights accorded by the state to its citizens. It likewise
demands the concomitant duty to maintain allegiance to ones flag and country. While


LLB 2-1


those who acquire dual citizenship by choice are afforded the right of suffrage, those
who seek election or appointment to public office are required to renounce their foreign
citizenship to be deserving of the public trust. Holding public office demands full and
undivided allegiance to the Republic and to no other. It is a continuing requirement that
must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or election or assumption of
office but during the officer's entire tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is
lost, his title may be seasonably challenged. Therefore, the Court held Arnando
disqualified for any local elective position as provided by express disqualification under
Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code. Popular vote does not cure this ineligibility
of the candidate. Otherwise, substantive requirements set by the Constitution are
Furthermore, there is no second-placer to speak of because as reiterated in the case of
Jalosjos v. COMELEC, when the ineligibility was held to be void ab initio, no legal effect is
produced. Hence among the qualified candidates for position, Maquiling who garnered
the highest votes should be declared as winner.