ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS vs COMELEC, G.R. No. 119976 case brief summary
September 18, 1995
Facts: Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte providing the information “RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ELECTION: __________ Years and seven Months.” Private respondent Montejo filed a Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification with the COMELEC on the grounds that she did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency as evidence by her voter’s registration record and certificate of candidacy. Petitioner filed an Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy, changing the entry "seven" months to "since childhood" but was informed by the Provincial Election Supervisor that they cannot receive or accept the aforementioned Certificate of Candidacy on the ground that it is filed out of time. Consequently, petitioner filed the Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy with the COMELEC's Head Office in Intramuros, Manila on March 31, 1995
Her Answer to private respondent's petition stated that the seven in her original Certificate of Candidacy was the result of an "honest misinterpretation" which she sought to rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or residence.
On April 24, 1995, COMELEC came up with a resolution finding the Petition for Disqualification meritorious, striking of petitioner's Corrected/Amended Certificate of Candidacy, canceling her original Certificate of Candidacy. Records showed that prior to her registration in Tolosa, she was in fact a registered voter of San Juan, Metro Manila. The accuracy of the 7 months residency can be taken from the 3 documents she filed, voter’s registration in Tolosa, letter of request for cancellation of registration from San Juan, Metro Manila so that it can be transferred to Tolosa and Certificate of Candidacy, show the respondent's consistent conviction that she has transferred her residence to Olot, Tolosa, Leyte from Metro Manila that will only sum up to 7 months.
The COMELEC en banc denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration. On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC issued a Resolution directing that the proclamation of petitioner be suspended in the event that she obtains the highest number of votes.
The petitioner was the winner of the elections based on the canvass. On account of the Resolutions disqualifying petitioner and the public respondent's Resolution suspending her proclamation, petitioner files for relief to the Supreme Court.
1. Petitioner’s Qualification
Whether or not petitioner was a resident, for election purposes, of the First District of Leyte for a period of one year at the time of the May 9, 1995 elections.
2. Jurisdictional Issue
(Before Election):Whether or not the COMELEC properly exercised its jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioner outside the period mandated by the Omnibus Election Code for disqualification cases under Article 78 of the said Code.
(After Election):Whether or not the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal assumed exclusive jurisdiction over the question of petitioner's qualifications after the May 8, 1995 elections.