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Mar 31, 2009

G.R. No. 137000, Aug. 9, 2000

  • Principle of jus sanguinis
  • How Philippine citizenship is acquired
  • Effect of filing certificate of candidacy: express renunciation of other citizenship


Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born on May 16, 1934 in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. In 1949, at the age of fifteen, she left Australia and came to settle in the Philippines, where she later married a Filipino and has since then participated in the electoral process not only as a voter but as a candidate, as well. In the May 1998 elections, she ran for governor but Valles filed a petition for her disqualification as candidate on the ground that she is an Australian.

  • Whether or not Rosalind is an Australian or a Filipino


The Philippine law on citizenship adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis. Thereunder, a child follows the nationality or citizenship of the parents regardless of the place of his/her birth, as opposed to the doctrine of jus soli which determines nationality or citizenship on the basis of place of birth.

Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born a year before the 1935 Constitution took into effect and at that time, what served as the Constitution of the Philippines were the principal organic acts by which the United States governed the country. These were the Philippine Bill of July 1, 1902 and the Philippine Autonomy Act of Aug. 29, 1916, also known as the Jones Law.

Under both organic acts, all inhabitants of the Philippines who were Spanish subjects on April 11, 1899 and resided therein including their children are deemed to be Philippine citizens. Private respondents father, Telesforo Ybasco, was born on Jan. 5, 1879 in Daet, Camarines Norte.... Thus, under the Philippine Bill of 1902 and the Jones Law, Telesforo Ybasco was deemed to be a Philippine citizen. By virtue of the same laws, which were the laws in force at the time of her birth, Telesforo’s daughter, herein private respondent Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is likewise a citizen of the Philippines.

The signing into law of the 1935 Philippine Constitution has established the principle of jus sanguinis as basis for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship, xxx

So also, the principle of jus sanguinis, which confers citizenship by virtue of blood relationship, was subsequently retained under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, the herein private respondent, Rosalind Ybasco Lopez, is a Filipino citizen, having been born to a Filipino father. The fact of her being born in Australia is not tantamount to her losing her Philippine citizenship. If Australia follows the principle of jus soli, then at most, private respondent can also claim Australian citizenship resulting to her possession of dual citizenship.


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