2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 14

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Onofre, a natural born Filipino citizen, arrived in the United States in 1985. In 1990, he married Salvacion, a Mexican, and together they applied for and obtained American citizenship in 2001. In 2015, the couple and their children –Alfred, 21 years of age, Robert, 16, and Marie, 14, who were all born in the U.S. — returned to the Philippines on June 1, 2015. On June 15, 2015, informed that he could reacquire Philippine citizenship without losing his American citizenship, Onofre went home to the Philippines and took the oath of allegiance prescribed under R.A. No. 9225. On October 28, 2015, he filed a Certificate of Candidacy to run in the May 9, 2016 elections for the position of Congressman in his home province of Palawan, running against re-electionist Congressman Profundo.

[a] Did Onofre’s reacquisition of Philippine citizenship benefit his wife, Salvacion, and their minor children and confer upon them Filipino citizenship? Explain your answer. (2.5%)

[b] Before the May 9, 2016 elections, Profundo’s lawyer filed a Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy against Onofre. What grounds can he raise in his Petition to support it? Explain your answer. (2.5%)


  1. A. The derivative citizenship benefits only the child robert since among the three children he alone is the minor who can be considered a natural born filipino citizen. It does not benefit alfred because he is already of age at the time of the reacquisition. Neither will it benefit the marie although still a minor because she is not a natural born filipino citizen as her parents are american citizens at he time of her bbirth.

    B. Profundo’s lawyer may raise the grounds of residency requirements for the position of congressman which requires that one should be a resident of the philippines for at least one year immediately preceeding the election, and a registered voter in the place where he propose to vote.

  2. (a) Onofre’s reacquisition of Philippine citizenship benefited only his minor children Robert (16) and Marie (14) and conferred upon them Filipino citizenship based on RA 9225, Section 4. His eldest son Alfred (21) who is not a minor but considered as a natural-born citizen would not be in scope of RA 9225 because he is considered as having dual citizenship and is entitled to apply for a Philippine passport. With his foreign wife, Salvacion, RA 9225 also does not apply. His wife’s option if she wishes to permanently reside in the Philippines is to (a) apply for naturalization (b) apply for a permanent resident visa.

    (b) Profundo’s lawyer can raise in his petition the ground of lack of residency requirement for a House of Representative position for the cancellation of the Certificate of Candidacy of Onofre. Section 6, Article VI of the Constitution states that for a House of Representative position, the candidate should be a resident in the district in which he shall be elected for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. Onofre took the oath of allegiance on June 15, 2015 which can be inferred as the start date of his residency in the Philippines. Elections will be held on May 9, 2016 which makes it less than a year of residency which is not sufficient to meet the requirement for Onofre’s candidacy.

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