By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections Second Division has denied the petition seeking to disqualify Alan Peter Cayetano from running as Member of House of Representatives for the 1st District of Taguig-Pateros in the May 13 midterm polls.
In a resolution, the Comelec Second Division denied the petition saying Cayetano did not commit any material misrepresentation in his Certificate of Candidacy.
Last November, petitioner Leonides Buac, filed separate petitions to deny due course or cancel the COCs of husband and wife Alan and Lani Cayetano, who are both running for congressman. Lani is running for Congress in the Second District of Taguig City.
Buac, thru his lawyer Emil Marañon, questioned the claim of Alan that he is a resident of Barangay Bagumbayan in the First District, as well as the claim of his wife Lani that she resides in Barangay Fort Bonifacio in the Second District, saying it is not in accordance with Article 69 of the Family Code.
In the resolution, the Comelec said it is clear that respondent did not commit any false material misrepresentation when he declared in his COC that his residence or domicile is still 209 Paso St., Brgy. Bagumbayan, Taguig City despite the transfer of their family home to 353-A Two Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
“His domicile remains to be that in Barangay Bagumbayan, which has been his domicile from 1991 up to the present,” read the resolution.
“A person may live and maintain residences in different places but it does not result to loss of domicile. That respondent and his wife established their conjugal dwelling or marital domicile in a place other than respondent’s domicile is of no moment and has no effect whatsoever to respondent’s domicile absent any intention to abandon the same,” it further read.
As to the question why Alan does not have the same declared residence as his wife, Lani Cayetano, as provided by the Family Code, the commission said the civil and election laws were never meant to be reconciled.
“Based on the foregoing, there should be no confusion, to begin with as to the Civil Code pertains to residence as mere actual residence and not domicile as it is understood in election law and as used to determine residency for qualification purposes… the Supreme Court recognizes that domicile is not lost by the establishment of matrimonial domicile elsewhere,” the resolution read.
“In view of the foregoing, Respondent not having abandoned his domicile in Barangay Bagumbayan, correctly declared that his residence is such address and no material misrepresentation that is false can be imputed for such action nor his act of declaring himself eligible for the office sought to be elected to as his domicile remains to be in Barangay Bagumbayan in the First District of Taguig-Pateros,” it further read.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the Commission (Second Division) resolves to deny the petition,” read the resolution.