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					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                 GLOBAL FILIPINOS URGES IMMIGRANTS TO REGISTER


       Global a Filipinos, a coalition of overseas Filipinos and leaders, urges

immigrants to or permanent residents other countries to register to vote for the

2004 elections and sign the affidavit to return to the Philippines. Global Filipinos

says that there are many ways by which an immigrant or permanent resident

can demonstrate complying with the requirement to return to the Philippines.

       Given the many ways one can satisfy the stipulation to return to the

Philippines, immigrants or permanent residents should feel comfortable with

signing the required affidavit to return to the Philippines. In its meeting held on

August 9, 2003 in Metro Manila, the Global Council of Global Filipinos heard the

testimony of Atty. Alberto Agra, the Lead Attorney of the Agra Law Office, a

professor of Election Law at the Ateneo Law School, a practicing Election Law

specialist and Counsel of Global Filipinos.

       Atty. Agra noted that “ Domicile at birth or domicile of origin remains as

the domicile of a person until that is abandoned by the acquisition of another

domicile. Although a person may change domicile (domicile of choice), he or

she can have only one domicile at any given time.            Absence from one’s

domicile of birth/origin, no matter how long, will not mean abandonment or

acquisition of another domicile for as long as intent to return to one domicile of

birth/origin is established.”

       Atty. Agra went on to state in a paper prepared for Global Filipinos that : “

Proving intent to return (to one’s domicile of origin/ birth), intent to abandon

(one’s domicile of origin/ birth) and/ or intent to stay in a new place (domicile of




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

choice) can be established by one’s acts, activities and utterances. Overcoming

this presumption is, therefore, a matter of evidence.”

      The acts, activities and utterances that serve to establish one’s domicile

include the following, among others: ownership, lease or renting of property

whether real or personal; payment of any form of national or local tax; annually

paying the community tax certificate (cedula); operating a business in the

country; remittances to families and relatives in the Philippines; being a

registered voter and participation in Philippine electoral exercises; being a

holder of an insurance plan or memorial plan; having retirement and burial plans

in the Philippines; execution of a will affirming one’s domicile, intent to return;

regular or occasional visits to one’s hometown, relatives, children; keeping one’s

ancestral home; affiliation and maintaining ties with local organizations, clubs

and schools; participating in family activities, celebrations and reunions; and

statements made in official documents, letters, publications, among others.

      The Global Council of Global Filipinos also noted that most of the

members of the Philippines Congress live in Metro Manila, which is outside their

declared domiciles, and that there is no provision in law or any ruling that

stipulates the minimum number of days they should be in their stated domiciles.

      The exclusion by Comelec of an immigrant voter from future elections

requires court action. Comelec would need considerable resources to take legal

action against a hundred voters, let alone hundreds of thousands of voters,

Global Filipinos added,




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


GUIDELINES ON ESTABLISHING INTENT TO RETURN OR
NON-ABANDONMENT OF PHILIPPINE DOMICILE
Atty. Alberto C. Agra1

Domicile at birth or domicile of origin remains as the domicile of a person
until that is abandoned by the acquisition of another domicile. Although a
person may change domicile (domicile of choice), he or she can have
only one domicile at any given time. Absence from one’s domicile of
birth/origin, no matter how long, will not mean abandonment or
acquisition of another domicile for as long as intent to return to one
domicile of birth/origin is established.

Proving intent to return (to one’s domicile of origin/ birth), intent to
abandon (one’s domicile of origin/ birth) and/ or intent to stay in a new
place (domicile of choice) can be established by one’s acts, activities
and utterances. Overcoming this presumption is, therefore, a matter of
evidence.

The execution of the affidavit under Section 5(d) of the Philippine
Overseas Voting Act of 2003stating that he/ she will “resume actual
physical permanent resident in the Philippines not later than three (3)
years from approval of his/ her registration” establishes the intent to return.

The intent to return to one’s domicile of birth/origin (i.e. the Philippines)
and compliance with the requirement under the above-stated affidavit
may be also be established from any of the following acts, activities and
utterances, among others:

       Ownership, lease or renting of property whether real or personal in
        the Philippines;
       Payment of any form of national or local tax in the Philippines;
       Annually paying the community tax certificate (cedula);
       Operating a business in the country;
       Remittances to families and relatives in the Philippines;
       Being a registered voter and participation in Philippine electoral
        exercises;
       Holder of an insurance plan or memorial plan in the Philippines;
       Having retirement and burial plans in the Philippines;
       Execution of a will affirming one’s domicile, intent to return;
       Regular or occasional visits to one’s hometown, relatives, children;

1Atty. Alberto Agra is the Lead Attorney of the Agra Law Office, a professor of Election
Law at the Ateneo Law School, a practicing Election Law specialist and Counsel of
Global Filipinos.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


     Keeping one’s ancestral home;
     Affiliation and maintaining ties with local organizations, clubs and
      schools;
     Participating in family activities, celebrations and reunions; and
     Statements made in official documents, letters, publications,
      among others.

See also: www.philippineupdate.com/Register&Vote.doc




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