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Residence Qualification Case #1: GALLEGO vs.

VERA Facts: This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the CA affirming the decision of the CFI of Leyte, which declared illegal the petitioners election to the office of the municipal mayor of Abuyog, Leyte in the election of Dec. 1940, on the ground that he did not meet the residence qualification. Gallego is a native of Abuyog, Leyte. After his studies, he was employed as a school teacher in Catarman, Samar, as well as in some municipalities in Leyte. In 1937, he ran as municipal mayor in Abuyog, Leyte, but lost. In June 1938, he worked in Malaybalay Bukidnon in a plantation of the Bureau of Forestry to make up for the financial drawback caused by his loss in the previous election, and stayed there until he resigned in Sept. 1940. Gallego registered himself as an elector in Bukidnon and voted there in the election for assemblymen held in Dec. 1938, and in Jan. 1940, He obtained and paid for his residence cert. from the municipal treasurer of Malaybalay, in which certificate it was stated that he had resided in the said municipality for 1.5 yrs. The CA declared that Gallego lost his domicile in Abuyog Leyte at the time he was elected mayor there on the grounds that: 1. He registered as a voter in Malaybalay, Bukidnon 2. He voted in Malaybalay in the 1938 election for assemblymen 3. He obtained a residence cert from the municipality of Malaybalay ISSUE/S: Whether or not Gallego lost his domicile of origin in Abuyog, Leyte and acquired a new domicile in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. HELD: Yes. Gallego did not lose his domicile in Abuyog by working in Malaybalay as an employee, registering as voter there and securing his residence certificate there for 1940. The decision of the CA is reversed. RATIO: In the definition of residence in the election law under the 1935 Constitution, it states that in order to acquire a domicile by choice, there must concur: 1. Residence or a bodily presence in the new locality 2. An intention to remain there 3. An intention to abandon the old domicile The purpose to remain in the domicile should be for an INDEFINITE period of time. The court believed that Gallego had no intention to stay in Malaybalay indefinitely because: 1. When he was employed as a teacher in Samar, he always returned in Abuyog and even resigned when he ran for office in 1937

2. His departure was only for the purpose of making up for the financial drawback caused by his loss in the election 3. He did not take his wife and children to Malaybalay with him 4. He bought a piece of land in Abuyog and did not avail of the land in the plantation offered to him by the government 5. He visited his family no less than three times despite the great distance between Abuyog, Leyte and Malaybalay Bukidnon The court said that the manifest intent of the law in fixing a residence qualification is to: exclude a stranger or a newcomer, unacquainted with the conditions and needs of a community and not identified with the latter, from an elective office to serve that community. And the petitioner was a native there, had run for the same office before, and was now elected with a majority of 800 votes in a 3rd class municipality.