"BURDEN of proof" is the legal phrase being tossed back and forth between complainant Rajeni Dy of LDP and BOPK's Margot Osmeña and Ronald Cuenco, two of his rivals in the Cebu City south councilors race.

Dy has asked Comelec to disqualify Margot and Ronald for alleged falsehood in declaring in their COCs that they're not permanent US residents.

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Burden of proof means "the duty of a party to litigation to prove a fact or facts in issue." As complainant, Dy has the burden of proof. Since Margot and Ronald are legally presumed to be qualified, Dy has to prove they actually are not.

Has Dy done that? No, Margot and Ronald say, Dy's petition didn't include proof they're still green-card holders.

Margot and Ronald, in reply to the lawsuit, submitted documents called "Abandonment of Permanent Resident Status," which Dy now calls flawed for being mere applications, "uncertified, and unauthenticated."

Burden of proof, originally Dy's, seems to have shifted to Margot and Ronald.

What's going on here? If Dy hasn't proven his claim, why then did Margot and Ronald submit proof of their status?

The plain issue

Legal mumbo-jumbo aside, the issue is plain: Did Margot and Ronald still retain US permanent-resident status when they filed COCs?

Apparently, Dy doesn't have immigration or embassy records as he could've included certified copies in his petition. Margot and Ronald may not have them too; otherwise, they wouldn't have submitted incomplete papers.

Contending parties could've saved everyone the trouble by simply showing the right and complete documents.