FOR failing to prove that he is a natural-born Filipino, the poll body ordered the nullification of the proclamation of Fernando Vallejo Gonzalez, winning congressman of Albay's Third Congressional District.

In an 11-page resolution, the commission en banc said Gonzalez insufficiently proved that he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Despite being born from a Spanish father and Filipina mother, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said: "It is clear that the respondent is still a Spanish citizen, hence, not qualified to be a candidate for any public position in the Philippines.”

The ruling, penned by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, noted Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that:

“No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election”.

Natural-born citizens are defined by law as those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.

Also, deemed as natural-born according to the Constitution are “those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority”.

It should be noted that Gonzalez had claimed that he swore to an Oath of Allegiance before the Justice of the Peace of Ligao, Albay on September 11, 1961 during his 21st birthday.

However, the Comelec said that the commission of Gonzalez of swearing-in to an Oath of Allegiance is not enough.

“In order to have a complete right to be a Filipino citizen, the respondent should register the oath of allegiance and sworn statement of election in the civil registry and must surrender for cancellation his Alien Certificate of Registration,” the ruling said.

But, the poll body said that Gonzalez can still serve his function as a member of the Lower House since his case may still be appealed to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). (FP/Sunnex)