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CA bars Lucio Tan daughter from running for House seat

April 22, 2010 10:09pm
The daughter of business tycoon Lucio Tan has been disqualified from running for congresswoman in the first district of Quezon City in the May 10 elections for not being a natural-born Filipino.

This was after the Court of Appeals, in a 20-page decision, granted the petition filed by QC Rep. Vincent “Bingbong" Crisologo seeking a reversal of the QC Regional Trial Court’s ruling granting Vivienne Tan’s application as a voter and candidate.

The CA ordered the Comelec to remove Tan from the voter’s list of Precinct 0853-A of Barangay Sto. Domingo.

“Not being a Filipino citizen at the time of her application to be registered as a voter on October 26, 2009 or at the time when her said application was approved by the [Commission on Elections] on November 16, 2009, Tan’s inclusion in the voter’s list of Precinct 0853-A, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City, is therefore, highly irregular and downright invalid," the CA ruled.

The appellate court said the QC court erred in allowing Tan to run.

“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," a portion of the decision read.

According to the CA, Tan’s application to vote on October 26, 2009 and its acceptance by the Comelec on November 16, 2009 was invalid because she was not yet a Filipino citizen at that time. It also said that prior to November 30, 2009, Tan was a naturalized American citizen.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan certified that Tan re- acquired her Filipino citizenship only on December 1.

Based on court records, Tan, 42, daughter of Lucio Tan and Carmen Khao, migrated to the United States and became a naturalized American citizen on Jan. 19, 1993. She returned to the Philippines in 1996 and has resided here since.

Tan, in her defense, said she already renounced her American citizenship in 1996 when she started to live permanently in the Philippines. She took employment with the family-owned Philippine Airlines and established the Thames International School Greenhills Inc. - KBK, GMANews.TV