Actor Edu Manzano’s congress dreams have been dashed away by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) who decided on Monday to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy (COC).
The 15-page decision by the poll body acted to grant a petition filed in November 2018 by San Juan City resident Sophia Patricia Gil to revoke Manzano’s COC for the May 13, 2019 elections. The petition claimed that Manzano misrepresented himself during his filing of candidacy and falsely declared that he was a Filipino citizen.
Manzano was a candidate for congressman for the lone district of the City of San Juan, NCR.
“Respondent is not a Filipino citizen at the time he filed his COC for member of the House of Representatives for the lone district of San Juan City,” the Comelec said in its ruling promulgated on May 6.
“We therefore find that the COC of the respondent must be denied due course and/or canceled because he committed false material representation on his citizenship,” it added.
According to Comelec, Manzano, who was born both a Filipino and an American citizen, had lost his Filipino citizenship when he served as a member of the United States Army from 1973 to 1977 under Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 63. By the time Manzano filed his COC in October last year, he did not reacquire his Filipino citizenship and thus would not be qualified to run.
“C.A. No. 63 is clear and explicit in stating that by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of a foreign country, a Filipino will lose his Philippine citizenship,” the Comelec said.
“In his submissions to this Commission (Second Division), respondent did not contest or dispute the allegations of Petitioner that he served in the United States Armed Forces. Hence, we therefore find that respondent automatically lost his Philippine citizenship when he served in the US Armed Forces pursuant to C.A. No. 63,” it added.
Manzano’s political career prior to this failed congressional bid included runs for vice mayor and mayor of Makati City in 1998 and 2001, respectively. The actor also participated in the vice presidential polls in 2010. In 2016, he was a senatorial candidate.