Romualdez-Marcos v. Commission on Elections

G.R. No. 119976, September 18, 1995

FACTS:

On March 23,1995, Cirilo Roy Montejo, filed a petition for cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that Imelda-Romualdez Marcos did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. On March 29, 1995, Marcos filed a corrected certificate of candidacy changing the entry “seven” months to “since childhood”. The COMELEC en banc denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration declaring her not qualified to run for the position of the member of the House of Representatives for the First District of Leyte. In a supplemental petition, Marcos averred that she was the overwhelming winner of the election.

ISSUE:

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.

RULING:

Yes, it was determined that the petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications.

“Residence” is used to indicate a place of abode, whether permanent or temporary, while “domicile” denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, one has the intention of returning.

Residence is used synonymously with domicile for election purposes. The court are in favor of a conclusion supporting petitoner’s claim of legal residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte despite her own declaration of 7 months residency in the district for the following reasons:

1. A minor follows domicile of her parents.

2. Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual removal or change of domicile or abandonment.

3. A wife does not automatically gain the husband’s domicile.

4. Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired right to choose a new one only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon returning to the country clearly indicated that she chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile of choice.

* Case digest by Gretchen Rina A. Lim, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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