SC okays ouster of American town mayor in Pangasinan | Inquirer News

SC okays ouster of American town mayor in Pangasinan

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 12:06 AM January 05, 2016

THE SUPREME Court has affirmed the Commission on Elections’ ouster of the winner of the 2013 mayoral race in Basista, Pangasinan province, who was found to have used his American passport after renouncing his United States citizenship.

The Supreme Court, in a resolution dated Nov. 10, 2015 and released recently by clerk of court Felipa Anama, dismissed the petition of Mayor Manolito de Leon for his failure “to show that the Comelec en banc committed grave abuse of discretion in [rendering its verdict.]”


“After a judicious review of the records, the Court resolves to dismiss the instant petition and affirm the resolution dated Oct. 9, 2015 of the [Comelec en banc],” the high court said.

In its ruling, the poll body, backing the complaint filed by De Leon’s rival Jocelyn Perez, held that De Leon was deemed to have repudiated his renunciation of his American citizenship when he used his American passport on Sept. 10, 2011 and June 26, 2012.


Backing Comelec, the Supreme Court said this had rendered De Leon ineligible to run for public office in the 2013 elections. The poll body had

also said that De Leon’s use of his American passport meant he had reverted to his earlier status of being a dual citizen.

The Supreme Court cited its earlier ruling in the 2013 case of Maquiling v. Comelec, wherein it was ruled that a candidate who used his American passport after renouncing his American citizenship was deemed to have recanted the oath of renunciation that he took.

The high court also cited that Section 40 (d) of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code applied to De Leon’s situation, thus disqualifying him from holding the subject local elective office as he could not have been even considered as a candidate for the local elections at all.

The Supreme Court also defended its application of the Maquiling case in De Leon’s situation, saying the doctrine laid down by the court in the case was being applied prospectively.

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TAGS: citizenship issue, Comelec, Manolito de Leon, News, Politics, Regions, Supreme Court
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