Mercado vs Manzano GR 135083 (May 26, 1999)

GR No. 135083

307 SCRA 630

May 26, 1999

FACTS

Petitioner Mercado and respondent Manzano were candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11, 1998 elections. Respondent received the highest votes from the election but his proclamation was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification filed by Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that respondent was not a Filipino citizen but a US citizen.

Manzano was born in San Francisco, California, USA and acquired US citizenship by operation of the US Constitution & laws under the principle of jus soli. However, he was also a natural born Filipino citizen as both his parents were Filipinos at the time of his birth. Judging from the foregoing facts, it would appear that respondent is both a Filipino and a US citien – a dual citizen.

Under Sec.40(d) of the LGC, those holding dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position.

ISSUE

Whether under our laws, respondent is disqualified from the position for which he filed his CoC and is thus disqualified from holding the office for which he has been elected.

HELD

Dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of 2 or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states.

Considering the citizenship clause (Art.IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens to possess dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli; (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their father’s country such children are citizens of the latter’s country; (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country, the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition.

The phrase “dual citizenship” in RA 7160, Sec.40(d) and in RA 7854, Sec.20 must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance”. Consequently, mere dual citizenship does not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it should suffice if, upon the filing of their CoC, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states.

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