The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified Regina Reyes, daughter of Marinduque Governor Carmencita Reyes, from running as congresswoman in next month's midterm elections.
Reyes is running as representative of the lone congressional district in Marinduque.
In its 13-page decision, the Comelec First Division ruled that Reyes is not eligible to run for public office in the province for being an American citizen.
The ineligible candidate was declared as such also for her failure to meet the one-year residency requirement for candidates.
"Thus, a Filipino citizen who becomes naturalized elsewhere effectively abandons his domicile of origin," the Comelec said in a resolution signed by Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Christian Robert Lim of the First Division.
"In this case, there is no showing whatsoever that respondent (Reyes) had already re-acquired her Filipino citizenship... so as to conclude that she has regained her domicile in the Philippines. There being no proof that respondent had renounced her American citizenship, it follows that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the United States of America," the poll body stressed.
The Comelec ruled that the American citizenship of Reyes was evident based on her previous travels to the US from October 14, 2005 to June 30 2012, using her United States passport No. 306278853.
The Comelec decision stemmed from the petition filed by Joseph Tan, a resident of Torrijos, Marinduque, to cancel Reyes' certificate of candidacy for making several false representations in her COC.
Tan claimed that Reyes stated in her COC that she was born June 3, l964, when some pertinent records showed that her date of birth was July 8, 1959, while others stated that she was born on July 3, 1960.
The petitioner added that Reyes failed to renounce her American citizenship.
He said Reyes violated Section 6, Article VI of the Constitution and Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) since a candidate seeking for a congressional post must be a natural-born Filipino citizen.
He pointed out that "Reyes did not apply for dual citizenship, and even if she did, there is no record that she renounced her US citizenship."
The Liberal Party fielded Reyes as its candidate for representative of Marinduque against incumbent congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco of National Unity Party. She is the daughter of Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes and sister of Toll Regulatory Board Executive Director Edmundo Reyes, Jr.