by John Lloyd Macunat

MARCOS YRA v. MAXIMO ABAÑO, GR No. 30187, 1928-11-15

Facts:

These are proceedings in the nature of quo warranto... petitioner, Marcos Yra... challenges the right of the respondent, Maximo Abaño, the municipal president elect of Meycauayan, to the position to which elected on the ground that the respondent is ineligible.

he decision in the lower court,... was in favor of the respondent

Abaño is a native of

Bulacan... he transferred to Manila to complete his education. While temporarily residing in Manila, Abaño registered as a voter there.

after qualifying as a member of the bar... and after the death of his father, Abaño returned to Meycauayan to live.

When the 1928 elections were approaching, he made an application for cancellation of registration in Manila... but this application was rejected by the city officials

Nevertheless Abaño presented himself as a candidate for municipal president of Meycauayan in the 1928 elections... and... was elected by popular vote to that office.

assail the eligibility of the respondent because it is alleged that he had not been a resident of Meycauayan for at least one year previous... to the election.

it is sufficient to point out that the question of residence is largely one of... intention.

Issues:

non-eligibility of the respondent to hold a municipal office for the reason that he was not a "qualified voter in his municipality" not a "qualified elector... therein."... baño was registered as a voter in Manila and not in Meycauayan in June, 1928, when the election was held. Is this sufficient to nullify his election?

Ruling:

the election of Honorable Fernando Ma. Guerrero as a member of the Assembly from Manila was contested on... the ground that he was not registered in his electoral district. The Committee of the Philippine Assembly reached the conclusion that the words "qualified elector" meant a person who had all of the qualifications provided by law to be a voter and not a person registered in the... electoral list

So also the Executive Bureau has been of the opinion that the term "qualified" when applied to a voter does not necessarily mean that a person must be a registered voter

One, of the qualifications required by law of a person who announces his candidacy is that he must be a duly qualified elector.

To become a qualified candidate a person does not need to register as an elector. It is sufficient that he possesses all the qualifications prescribed in section 431 and none of the disqualifications prescribed in section 432

The fact that a candidate failed... to register as an elector in the municipality does not deprive him of the right to become a candidate and to be voted for."

Registration regulates the exercise of the right of suffrage. It is not a qualification for such right.

It should not be forgotten that the people of Meycauayan have spoken and their choice to be their local chief executive is the respondent. The will of the electorate should be respected.

we conclude that the decision rendered in the lower court should pe sustained.

Principles: