CA disqualifies Lucio Tan's daughter as congressional bet in QC

April 22, 2010 7:23 pm 

MANILA, April 22 — The Court of Appeals (CA) on Thursday disqualified a daughter of businesman Lucio Tan as a congressional candidate in the first district of Quezon City as it affirmed a lower court ruling which said that she was not a Filipino citizen when she registered as a voter.

In a 20-page ruling issued by a special division of five in the Eighth Division and penned by Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro, the CA directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comply with the decision of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) to exclude Vivienne K. Tan from the voter's list of precinct 0853-A of Barangay Sto. Domingo, Quezon City.

The CA also banned the younger Tan from running for Congress in Quezon City.

Likewise, the CA assailed an earlier ruling issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 95 Judge Paul Inting which reversed the ruling of Quezon City MTC Judge Augustus Diaz.

"All told, the element of excess of jurisdiction is present at bench since the act of respondent RTC of ignoring plain, simple and obvious provisions of our laws is not a mere error of judgment but a gross application of the law, which amounts to grave abuse of discretion," the CA said.

Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Amelita Tolentino, Ramon Bato, Jr., Mario Lopez and Ruben Ayson.

The CA said that Tan's application for voter on Oct. 26, 2009 and its acceptance by the Comelec was invalid because she was not yet a Filipino citizen at that time.

"Prior to November 30, 2009, Tan was a naturalized American citizen and, thus, cannot be deemed as a Filipino citizen residing in the Philippines," the CA said.

Court records show that Tan, 42, daughter of Lucio Tan and Carmen Khao, lost her citizenship as a Filipino when she became a naturalized American citizen on Jan. 19, 1993.

Vivienne Tan stayed in the United States to finish her college studies and opened a business there.

Intent on running for a congressional seat in Quezon City, Tan registered as a voter on Oct. 26, 2009 but did not take her oath of allegiance to the Philippines, which is a vital requisite for a Filipino to re-acquire lost citizenship as provided for by Republic Act 9225, otherwise known as the Dual Citizenship Act. (PNA)



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