Constitutional Law, Political Law

NICOLAS-LEWIS vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 162759 August 4, 2006 Dual Citizenship Law

FACTS:

In this petition for certiorari and mandamus, petitioners, referring to themselves as “duals” or dual citizens, pray that they and others who retained or reacquired Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, the Citizenship Retention and Re‑Acquisition Act of 2003, be allowed to avail themselves of the mechanism provided under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 1 (R.A. 9189) and that the COMELEC accordingly be ordered to allow them to vote and register as absentee voters under the aegis of R.A. 9189.

 

ISSUE:

Does RA 9225 require “duals” to actually establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote?

 

RULING:

No. There is no provision in the dual citizenship law requiring “duals” to actually establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary, R.A. 9225, in implicit acknowledgment that “duals” are most likely non-residents, grants under its Section 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under RA 9189. By the doctrine of necessary implication in statutory construction, the strategic location of Section 2 indicates that the Constitutional Commission provided for an exception to the actual residency requirement of Section 1 with respect to qualified Filipinos abroad. The same Commission has in effect declared that qualified Filipinos who are not in the Philippines may be allowed to vote even though they do not satisfy the residency requirement in Section 1, Article V of the Constitution.

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