A new word has come to people’s consciousness this week, “ANIMUS REVERTENDI”.
The word became hot topic for netizens after UNA Interim President and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco came out in media showing Sen. Grace Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy in the 2013 Senatorial Elections pointing on her period of residency. Tiangco claims that Poe who is perceived to be VP Binay’s rival in the coming 2016 elections is un-qualified to run for higher office in 2016 because she fails the required years of residency for a candidate running for President or Vice President.
In Poe’s COC presented by Tiangco, the lady Senator indicated her years of residency as 6 years and 6 months, which will be short of the 10-year prescribed minimum residency requirement for the running President or Vice President. This posed Tiangco to said “If honesty is so important to her, why is she not honest enough to tell us that she is not qualified to run for president or even vice president for 2016?”.
But Tiangco’s shining moment didn’t last even for a day. Moments after his revelation, several law experts debunks Tiangco’s claim that Poe is not qualified stating the doctrine of “ANIMUS REVERTENDI”. Animus Revertendi is a latin phrase which means “With intention to return”.
Ateneo Law Dean Tony Lavina was one of the first to quash Tiangco’s claim saying the representative might have forgot the settled doctrine of Animus Revertendi. In a Facebook post sharing GMA News article on Tiangco’s press-con, Lavina mentioned the doctrine of Animus Revertendi which can be used as Poe’s defense on the residency issue.
Sen. President Franklin Drilon also cited the principle of Animus Revertendi saying “If Senator Grace Poe can prove her intention to return to the Philippines while in the United States, her stay in the US could still be counted to the 10-year residency requirement for president or vice president”. He also added “As long as may balak kayong bumalik, at may intensiyon kayong bumalik sa inyong lugar na inyong pinanggalingan, yaan po ay bilang duon sa inyong residency”.
In the doctrine of Animus Revertendi, residency is not defined by the actual or physical presence in the habitat or address but rather the intention to return to your domicile origin.
With this move from Toby Tiangco, it seemed that UNA’s camp is scrambling in finding ways to remove Sen. Poe in the list of possible candidates for President in 2016. What’s more funny about his latest antics is that, even some of the members of UNA denied knowledge on Tiangco’s revelation. Very evident that they are not one inside the party and that everyone is doing their own move to salvage the falling numbers of their annointed Vice President Binay.
If moves like this continues in UNA, I will not be surprised if Binay’s number will go down deeper and his Presidential ambition be sealed in coffin forever.