Comelec Second Division revokes Edu Manzano’s congressional bid
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division on Monday canceled the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of actor and San Juan City congressional candidate Edu Manzano because “he committed false material representation on his citizenship.”
“Wherefore, the petition is granted. Respondent Eduardo Luis B. Manzano’s Certificate of Candidacy is hereby declared cancelled and denied due course,” the Comelec Second Division, led by Presiding Commissioner Luie Tito Guia, said in its 15-page decision.
Guia, dissented from this ruling but he was outvoted by division members Socorro Inting and Antonio Kho Jr.
The petition against Manzano was filed by one Sophia Patricia Gil, who was represented by lawyer Maria Donnah Guia Lerona Camitan.
“It is undisputed that Respondent served in the US Armed Forces. Respondent, however, argues that he served in the US Armed Forces as a US citizen and at the same time retained his status as a natural born Filipino citizen. We do not agree,” the Comelec 2nd Division pointed out.
It added that Manzano “forfeited the priceless gift of Philippine citizenship” when he served in the US Armed Forces.
“Without direct proof of his oath of allegiance being registered in the local civil registry in the place where he resides, Respondent cannot be considered to have reacquired his Philippine citizenship under our laws. Hence, Respondent is not a Filipino citizen at the time he filed his COC for member of the House of Representatives for the lone district of San Juan City,” the panel also said.
“Considering that R.A. No. 2630 has already made it easy for a returning renegade to reacquire Philippine citizenship, to further relax compliance with the two simple requirements of R.A. No. 2630 is too much of a stretch and amounts to a disrespect of the value of being a Filipino,” it further said. /kga
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