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Mar 29, 2009

G.R. No. 162759, Aug. 4, 2006

  • RA 9225 provides for another exception to the residency requirement in exercising the right to vote


Petitioners, after having successfully applied for reacquisition of their Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, pray that they be allowed to avail themselves of the mechanism provided under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003. Comelec denied their request on the ground that the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 was not enacted for their benefit and that they are considered as regular voters, as such required to comply with all the requirements, including residence.

  • Whether or not dual citizens are allowed to vote as absentee voters


In a nutshell, the aforequoted Sec. 1 prescribes residency requirement as a general eligibility factor for the right to vote. On the other hand, Sec. 2 authorizes Congress to devise a system wherein an absentee may vote, implying that a non-resident may, as an exception to the residency proscription in the preceding section, be allowed to vote.


There is no provision in the dual citizenship law – RA 9225 – requiring “duals” to actually establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary, RA 9225, in implicit acknowledgment that “duals” are most likely non-residents, grants under its Sec. 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under RA 9189. It cannot be overemphasized that RA 9189 aims, in essence, to enfranchise as much as possible all overseas Filipinos who, save for the residency requirements exacted of an ordinary voter under ordinary conditions, are qualified to vote.


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