election digested cases

July 26, 2017 | Author: Nikko Darlette Villanueva Ladrido | Category: Commission On Elections (Philippines), Elections, Jurisdiction, Appeal, Judiciaries
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FACTS: Several candidates including Tomarong were defeated in the 1994 Barangay Elections in Siquijor. They all filed an election protest before the respective MCTC’s. The winning candidates filed their answers praying that the petitions be dismissed based on the affirmative defense that the protestants failed to attach to their petitions the required certification on non-forum shopping as provided for in SC-AC No. 04-94. The MCTC initially ruled to dismiss but deferred t o the Secretary of Justice who then deferred to the Court Administrator who ruled that the certification on nonforum shopping should be required in elections contests before the MTC’s. Thus this petition under Rule 65. HELD: The requirement of the certification of non-forum shopping is required for election contests. Yes. The Court, citing Loyola v. Court of Appeals, said that: “We do not agree that SC-AC No. 04-94 is not applicable to election cases. There is nothing in the Circular that indicates that it does not apply to election cases. On the contrary, it expressly provides that the requirements therein, which are in addition to those in pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court and existing circulars, ‘shall be strictly complied with in the filing of complaints, petitions, applications or other initiatory pleadings in all courts and agencies other the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.’ Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguire debemus.” In this case, the petitioners filed the required certification 18 days after filing their petitions. It cannot be considered substantial compliance with the requirements of the Circular. Quite obviously, the reglementary period for filing the protest had, by then, already expired. Petition dismissed. Note: There can be substantial compliance even after a motion to dismiss has been filed on the ground of lack of certificate of non-forum shopping but it must be done asap (the next day) otherwise the value of the SC Circular would lose its value.


FACTS: ⊥ May 1994. Barangay Elections in Bislig, Tanauan, Leyte ⊥ Election protest filed by Arnulfo Santillano, Egonio as protestee, Beegan as intervenor ⊥ About revision of three ballot boxes completed in October 1994, Revision Committee presented its report to the Court November 3, 1994 ⊥ Problem arises when the abovementioned ballots were reopened for Xeroxing purposes for the perusal of the protestee’s counsel ⊥ Office and Court Administrator viewed acts of respondents in effecting the reopening of the ballot boxes and copying tantamount to misconduct in office ⊥ Balano (clerk of court) and Borja believed in good faith that they had the authority to allow such. HELD: Photocopying of ballots is not tantamount to misconduct in office. ⊥ ⊥ 18

As long as no tampering or alteration was manifest in Xeroxing/photocopying of court records, no liability attaches to anyone. Respondents are exonerated. FERMO V. COMELEC 328 SCRA 52 (VALDEZ)

FACTS: ⊥ LAXINA and FERMO- candidates for the position of Punong Brgy. in QC. (1997 elections) LAXINA was proclaimed winner ⊥ FERMO- filed election protest question results in 4 clustered precincts on ground of massive fraud and serious irregularities. ⊥ MTC: ruled FERMO won the contested post (in 1999) and granted a motion for execution pending appeal. COMELEC reversed on ground that the possibility that the term of contested seat might expire by the time appeal is decided—not a “good reason” to warrant execution pending appeal.

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HELD: A motion for executing pending appeal on ground of term expiration is not “good reason” for issuance. Sec. 2, Rule 39 Rules of Court: court while it has jurisdiction and possession of original record… in its discretion, order execution of judgment or final order even before expiration of the period to appeal ⊥ Exercise of discretion requires that it is based on “good reasons (combination of 2 or more will suffice): 1. PUBLIC INTEREST INVOLVED OR WILL OF ELECTORATE 2. SHORTNESS of remaining portion of term of contested office 3. LENGTH OF TIME that election contest has been PENDING ⊥ Shortness of remaining term- not good reason for execution of judgment pending appeal—RA 8524: extended term of office of Brgy. officials to 5 years (negates claim of FERMO ⊥ Upon nullification of writ of execution pending appeal, decision of FERMO’s proclamation as winner was stayed—status quo (last actual peaceful uncontested situation preceding the controversy) restored ⊥ LAXINA: entitled to discharge functions 19



1. 2.

3. 4.



FACTS: 1. SAQUILAYAN and JARO were candidates for the Office of Municipal Mayor of Imus, Cavite. 2. SAQUILAYAN was proclaimed winner. 3. JARO instituted an Election Protest Case before the RTC, contesting the results of all 453 election precincts. He alleges the ff: a. Votes in favor of JARO were considered stray b. Ballots and votes were misappreciated (considered null and void, or counted in favor of SAQUILAYAN) c. Votes that were void (containing stickers or markings) were counted in favor of SAQUILAYAN, etc.. 4. SAQUILAYAN filed a Motion to Dismiss, which was denied by the RTC. 5. Questioning the denial of his Motion to Dismiss, the COMELEC (Division) ruled in favor of SAQUILAYAN and ordered the dismissal of the election protest. It ruled that JARO’s allegations failed to state a cause of action, on the basis of Pena v. HRET.

* Pena v. HRET held that the bare allegations of massive fraud, widespread intimidation and terrorism, without specification and substantiation of where and how these occurrences took place, render the protest fatally defective. Upon reconsideration sought by JARO, the COMELEC En Banc, SAQUILAYAN’s Motion to Dismiss was again dismissed, and the Election Protest Case was ordered to proceed.


7. 20

The present case is similar to Miguel v. COMELEC, which the COMELEC En Banc used as basis in ordering the Election Protest Case to proceed. IN both cases, the protestants questioned all the precincts in their respective municipalities. As Miguel v. COMELEC is more recent than Pena v. HRET (as used by the COMELEC Division), then the former should prevail in case of a conflict. Furthermore, election contests involve public interest. Technicalities and procedural barriers should not be allowed to stand if they constituted an obstacle to the determination of the true will of the electorate. Laws governing election contests must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere technical objections. Allowing the election protest to proceed would be the best way of removing any doubt as to who was the real candidate chosen by the electorate. Decision of COMELEC En Banc affirmed. SANTOS V. COMELEC 399 SCRA 611 (PADLAN)


 Petitioner (SANTOS) and Respondent (PANULAYA) were both candidate for MAYOR of the Municipal of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental in the May 14, 2001 elections.

MUNICIPAL Board of Canvassers (MBC) proclaimed PANULAYA as Mayor.


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 RTC found that SANTOS obtained 76 votes more than PANULAYA. RTC declared SANTOS as winner. RTC voided MBC’s proclamation in favor of PANULAYA.


 PANULAYA APPEALED the RTC declaration in favor of SANTOS to the COMELEC.

COMELEC issued INJUNCTION against RTC to refrain from acting on motion for execution pending appeal.

 RTC APPROVED motion for execution pending appeal.  SANTOS took OATH of office and ASSUMED duties and functions of his office.


COMELEC ISSUED ORDER directing parties to MAINTAIN STATUS QUO ANTE, at the same time ENJOINING SANTOS from assuming functions of mayor. HELD: Mere filing of a notice of appeal does not divest the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and to resolve pending incidents such as motions for execution pending appeal. The following constitute good reasons and a combination of two or more of them will suffice to grant execution pending appeal: (1) public interest involved or will of the electorate; (2) the shortness of the remaining portion of the term of the contested office; and (3) the length of time that the election contest has been pending.


reasons to be stated in a special order." The rationale why such execution is allowed in election cases is to give as much recognition to the worth of a trial judge’s decision as that which is initially ascribed by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers. Why should the proclamation by the board of canvassers suffice as basis of the right to assume office, subject to future contingencies attendant to a protest, and not the decision of a court of justice? Indeed, when it is considered that the board of canvassers is composed of persons who are less technically prepared to make an accurate appreciation of the ballots, apart from their being more apt to yield to extraneous considerations, and that the board must act summarily, practically racing against time, while, on the other hand, the judge has benefit of all the evidence the parties can offer and of admittedly better technical preparation and background, apart from his being allowed ample time for conscientious study and mature deliberation before rendering judgment, one cannot but perceive the wisdom of allowing the immediate execution of decisions in election cases adverse to the protestees, notwithstanding the perfection and pendency of appeals therefrom, as long as there are, in the sound discretion of the court, good reasons therefor. To deprive trial courts of their discretion to grant execution pending appeal would bring back the ghost of the "grab-the-proclamation-prolong the protest" techniques so often resorted to by devious politicians in the past in their efforts to perpetuate their hold to an elective office. This would, as a consequence, lay to waste the will of the electorate. ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT 21


The trial in the RTC took more than a year, while the three-year term of the Office of the Mayor continued to run. The will of the electorate, as determined by the trial court in the election protest, had to be respected and given meaning.

FACTS: This is an original action filed before the SC acting as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

Between the determination by the trial court of who of the candidates won the elections and the finding of the Board of Canvassers as to whom to proclaim, it is the court’s decision that should prevail.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago (DS) ran for presidency in the 1992 National Elections. She lost, but filed this present protest against the winner, Pres. FV Ramos.

All that was required for a valid exercise of the discretion to allow execution pending appeal was that the immediate execution should be based "upon good

Subsequently however, she ran for Senator in the 1995 Senatorial elections. She won and assumed office as Senator in 1995. Considering this factual milieu, the issues revolve on whether this present electoral protest would still be valid, even after the

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protestant has already assumed office as Senator, noting that should she win this protest, her term as president would coincide with her term as senator, which she is now in. Now, in 1996, the SC as PET decides the case. HELD: There was abandonment of protest.


parties participating in the system to obtain at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party list system to be entitled to a party-list seat. Congress wanted to ensure that only those parties having a sufficient number of constituents deserving of representation are actually represented in Congress. **NOTES: determination of total number of party-list representatives=

Yes. DS filed her certificate of candidacy to run for senator without qualification or reservation. In doing so, she entered into a political contract with the electorate, that, if elected, she would assume the office as senator. This is in accord with the constitutional doctrine that a public office is a public trust. In assuming the office of Senator, she has effectively abandoned her determination to pursue this present protest. Such abandonment operates to render this protest moot. Also, the PET issued a resolution ordering the protestant to inform the PET within 10 days if after the completion of the revision of the ballots from her pilot areas, she still wishes to present evidence. Since DS has not informed the Tribunal of any such intention, such is a manifest indication that she no longer intends to do so.

#d is tr ic tr e p r e s e n ta tiv e s .8 0

additional representatives of first party= additional seats for concerned party= 23



FACTS: Respondent proclaimed 14 party-list representatives from 13 parties which obtained at least 2% of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system as members of the House of Representatives. Upon petition for respondents, who were party-list organizations, it proclaimed 38 additional party-list representatives although they obtained less than 2% of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system on the ground that under the Constitution, it is mandatory that at least 20% of the members of the House of Representatives come from the party-list representatives. HELD: It is not mandatory. It merely provides a ceiling for the party-list seats in the House of Representatives. The Constitution vested Congress with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representatives. In the exercise of its constitutional prerogative, Congress deemed it necessary to require

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FACTS: The Omnibus Resolution No. 3785 issued by the COMELEC is challenged insofar as it approves the participation of 154 organizations and parties in the 2001 party-list elections. Petitioners seek the disqualification of private respondents as the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented and not the mainstream political parties. The COMELEC received several petitions for registration filed by sectoral parties, etc. for the 2001 elections. The COMELEC allege that verifications for the qualifications of these parties take a long process and as a result the 2 divisions promulgated a separate Omnibus Resolution and individual resolution on political parties only on February 10, 2001. Before the February 12, 2001 deadline, the registered parties and organizations filed their Manifestations, stating their intention to participate in the party-list elections. The COMELEC approved the Manifestations of 154 parties and organizations but denied those of several others. ACAP filed before the COMELEC a petition praying that the names of some respondents be deleted from the Certified List of Political Parties…Participating in the Party List System for the May 14, 2001 Elections. It also prayed that the votes

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cast for the said respondents be not counted or canvassed and that the latter’s nominees not be proclaimed. Bayan Muna and Bayan Muna-Youth also filed a similar petition against some of the respondents. ISSUE 1: WON political parties may participate in the party-list elections The SC held that under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. Sec. 7 and 8, Article IX-C provides that political parties may be registered under the partylist system. In the ConCom deliberations, Com. Monsod stated that the purpose of the party-list provision was to open up the system, in order to give a chance to parties that consistently place 3rd or 4th in congressional district elections to win a seat in Congress. Sec. 3 of RA 7941 provides that a “party” is “either a political party or a sectoral party or a collation of parties”. Sec. 11 of the same Act leaves no doubt as to the participation of political parties in the party-list system. Indubitable, political parties – even the major ones-may participate in the party-list elections. ISSUE 2: WON the party-list system is exclusive to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations For political parties to participate in the party-list elections their requisite character must be consistent with the purpose of the party-list system in the Constitution and RA 7941. The purpose of the party-list system is to give “genuine power to our people” in Congress. However, the constitutional provision is not self-executory, hence RA 7941 was enacted. Proportional representation does not refer to the number of people in a particular district, because the party-list election is national in scope. It refers to the representation of the marginalized and underrepresented as exemplified in Section 5 of the Act. The party-list organization must factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies. The persons nominated to the party-list system must also belong to the underrepresented and marginalized sectors, organizations and parties. Lack of well-defined constituency refers to the absence of a traditionally identifiable electoral group. It points to those with disparate interests defined with the marginalized and underrepresented. In the end, the COMELEC’s role is to see to it that only those Filipinos who are marginalized and underrepresented become members of Congress under the party-list system. Not all sectors can be represented under the party-list system. The law crafted to address the peculiar disadvantages of


Payatas hovel dwellers cannot be appropriated by the mansion owners of Forbes Park. While the mega-rich are numerically speaking, a minority, they are neither marginalized nor underrepresented. It is illogical to open the system to those who have long been within it – those privileged sectors that have long dominated the congressional district elections. The SC held that it cannot allow the party-list system to be sullied and prostituted by those who are neither marginalized nor underrepresented. Mendoza, dissenting: The text of Art. VI, Sec. 5(1)(2) provides for a party-list system of registered, regional and sectoral parties or organizations, and not for sectoral representation. It provides for no basis for petitioner’s contention that whether it is sectoral representation or party-list system the purpose is to provide exclusive representation for marginalized sectors. The Record of the ConCom speaks clearly against the petitioner’s assertion. Two proposals for additional representation in the House of Representatives were submitted namely, sectoral representation and party-list system. These two are not the same. In the end, the ConCom chose the party-list system. In choosing this system, the ConCom did not intend to reserve the party-list system to the marginalized or underrepresented. In fact, the party-list system mandates the opposite. Furthermore, Justice Mendoza holds that the majority misapprehended the meaning of Section 2 of RA No. 7941. The provision states that the purpose of the party-list system is to promote promotional representation in the election of representatives in the House of Representatives. To this end, a full, free and open party system is guaranteed to obtain the broadest possible representation of a party, sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives. While the representation of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors is a basic purpose of the law, it is not its only purpose. ISSUE 3: WON the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. 3785 The SC held that it is proper to remand the case to the COMELECT to determine whether the 154 parties and organizations allowed to participate in the party-list elections comply with the requirements of the law. In light of this, the SC provides for guidelines to assist the COMELEC in its work. (1) The political party…must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941, (2) Even if major political parties are allowed to participate in the partylist system, they must comply with the declared statutory policy of enabling Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors to be elected to the

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House of Representatives, (3) a party or an organization must not be disqualified under Section 6 of the Act which enumerates the grounds for disqualification, (4) the party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by the government, (5) party must not comply with the requirements of the law, (6) not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors, so also must its nominees, (7) the nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole. 24


FACTS: The COMELEC issued a TRO against the proclamation of APEC, CIBAC and AMIN because they failed to meet the 8-point guidelines set forth by this Court. The COMELEC found that APEC was merely an arm of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PHILRECA) and that it did not truly represent the marginalized sectors of society, CIBAC was reported to be merely an extension of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) religious movement and did not represent the interest of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of society and that Anak Mindanao (AMIN) was listed as having obtained only 1.6865% of the total votes cast for the party-list system, not sufficient to meet the 2% required no. of votes. ISSUE: WON APEC, CIBAC and AMIN should be proclaimed winners aside from those already validly proclaimed by the earlier Resolutions of the SC. RULING: AMIN did not get more than two percent of the votes cast. APEC and CIBAC have sufficiently met the 8-point guidelines of his Court and have sufficient votes to entitle them to seats in Congress. Issues are factual in character, Commission’s findings are adopted, absent any patent arbitrariness or abuse or negligence in its action. No substantial proof that CIBAC is merely an arm of JIL, or that APEC is an extension of PHILRECA. The OSG explained the these are separate entities with separate memberships. Although APEC’s nominees are all professionals, its membership is composed not only of professionals but also of peasants, elderly, youth and women. APEC addresses the issues of job creation, poverty alleviation and lack of electricity. CIBAC is composed of he underrepresented and marginalized and is concerned with their welfare. CIBAC is


particularly interested in the youth and professional sectors. TRO partially lifted with regard to APEC and CIBAC. 25

ANG BAGONG BAYANI V. COMELEC GR 147589, APRIL 10, 2002 (ENRIQUEZ—ang bagong bayani ng 2D!)

The COMELEC determined that the following party-list participants, despite their having obtained at least 2% of the total votes cast, have failed to meet the 8-point guidelines set forth in our Decision: Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), Veterans Federation Party (VFP), Abag Promdi (PROMDI), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Lakas NUCD-UMDP, and Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC). The OSG, acting on behalf of the Comelec, in its Consolidated Reply dated October 15, 2001 and in a Manifestation dated December 5, 2001, modified its position and recommended that APEC and CIBAC be declared as having complied with the 8point guidelines ELECTION OF LOCAL OFFICIALS 26


FACTS: ⊥ Samuel Occena filed a petition for prohibition to declare as unconstitutional the provisions in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP 222) which prohibited: o any candidate in the 1982 barangay election from representing himself as a member of a political party; o the intervention of political parties in a candidate's nomination and filing of his certificate of candidacy; and o the giving of aid or support of political parties for or against a candidate's campaign ⊥ Occena prayed that the 1982 elections be declared null and void, and new barangay elections held without the ban on the involvement of political parties

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⊥ ⊥

In 1982 the court considered the Comments of the Solicitor General as an Answer Note that the decision in the case was delayed because all the Justices resigned on May 1982 (*SC trivia: over allegations that the bar exam results of Justice Ericta's son were changed in his favor - there was predecoding of his grades before official decoding and publication)

HELD: The ban on the intervention of political parties in the election of barangay officials is NOT violative of the constitutional guarantee of the right to form associations and societies for purposes not contrary to law. Under the Barangay Election Act of 1982, the right to organize is intact. Political parties may freely be formed although there is a restriction on their activities, i.e., their intervention in the election of barangay officials on May 17, 1982 is prescribed. But the ban is narrow, not total. It operates only on concerted or group action of political parties. The ban against the participation of political parties in the barangay election is an appropriate legislative response to the unwholesome effects of partisan bias in the impartial discharge of the duties imposed on the barangay and its officials as the basic unit of our political and social structure. It would definitely enhance the objective and impartial discharge of their duties for barangay officials to be shielded form political party loyalty. Some reasons for the restriction: - "the barangay is the basic unit not only of our social structure but also of our political structure. It would be a more prudent policy to insulate the barangays from the influence of partisan politics. The barangays, although it is true they are already considered regular units of our government, are non-partisan; they constitute the base of the pyramid of our social and political structure, and in order that base will not be subject to instability because of the influence of political forces, it is better that we elect the officials thereof through a non-partisan system." (Deliberations on Parliamentary Bill 2125 which later became BP Blg. 222) - The Barangay Captain and the Barangay Council, apart from their legislative and consultative powers, also act as an agency for neutral community action such as the distribution of basic foodstuff and as an instrument in conducting plebiscites and referenda. - The Barangay Captain, together with the members of the Lupon Tagapayapa appointed by him, exercises administrative supervision over the barangay conciliation panels in the latter's work of settling local disputes. The Barangay Captain himself settles or helps settle local controversies within the barangay either


through mediation or arbitration. The case of Imbong v. COMELEC also involved the restriction as that prescribed in Sec. 4 of BP 222. In upholding the constitutionality of what was then Sec. 8(a) of Republic Act No. 6132, the court said that "While it may be true that a party's support of a candidate is not wrong per se, it is equally true that Congress in the exercise of its broad law-making authority can declare certain acts as mala prohibita when justified by the exigencies of the times." The primary purpose of the prohibition was to avoid the denial of the equal protection of the laws. The sponsors of the provision emphasized that under this provision, the poor candidate has an even chance as against the rich candidate. Equality of chances may be better attained by banning all organization support. The ban was to assure equal chances to a candidate with talent and imbued with patriotism as well as nobility of purpose, so that the country can utilize their services if elected. Fernando's Concurring Opinion: Test of the permissible limitation on freedom of association: How should the limitation 'for purposes not contrary to law' be interpreted? It is submitted that it is another way of expressing the clear and present danger rule for unless an association or society could be shown to create an imminent danger to public safety, there is no justification for abridging the right to form associations or societies." Teehankee's Dissenting Opinion: The restriction denies "non-political" candidates the very freedoms of effectively appealing to the electorate through the public media and of being supported by organized groups that would give them at least a fighting chance to win against candidates of the political kingpins. The political bigwigs are meanwhile left to give their "individual" blessings to their favored candidates, which in actuality is taken by all as the party's blessings. 27


FACTS: Petitioner Amilhamja Kandum and respondent Hadji Gapur Ballaho were candidates for Punong Barangay in Barangay Look Bisaya, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan in the 1997 barangay elections. Petitioner garnered 61 votes over respondent's 59 votes. When petitioner was proclaimed the winner by the BBC, respondent filed an election protest in the MCTC and secured a favorable decision.

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Petitioner appealed the decision to the RTC. But when the RTC dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, petitioner filed a notice of appeal to the COMELEC through the MCTC .


the duly elected SK Chairman. MCTC nullified Buhisan's proclamation and declared Gorospe as the SK Chairman.

The COMELEC issued a resolution dismissing the appeal for having been filed out of time. (Appeal was filed 37 days after petitioner received copy of the decision of the MCTC)

Buhisan appealed with the COMELEC. Electoral Contests Adjudication Department of COMELEC returned the appeal. A motion for reconsideration was filed. Also, Buhisan re-filed with the COMELEC her appellant's brief insisting that public respondent take cognizance of her appeal.

HELD: RTC doesn't have jurisdiction over election protests involving barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.

COMELEC dismissed the appeal and informed Buhisan that the MCTC decision in the election protest may only be elevated to the Commission en banc via a petition for review and not by ordinary appeal.

Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective barangay officials decided by courts of limited jurisdiction (the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts) lies with the COMELEC, not the RTC.

HELD: The COMELEC didn't commit any grave abuse of discretion with dismissing the appeal due a mere technicality.

Under paragraph (2), Section 2, subdivision C, Article IX of the Constitution, Sec. 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the following powers and functions: xxx (2) Exercise exclusive . . . appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction. 28


FACTS: Petitioner Jane Buhisan and private respondent Gordon Gorospe were candidates for the position of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman of Barangay Poblacion, San Juan, Siquijor during the May 6, 1996 elections. Buhisan garnered 35 votes against Gorospe's 34 votes. Buhisan was proclaimed by the Board of Election Tellers as the duly elected SK Chairman. On May 13 Gorospe filed before the MCTC of Lazi, Siquijor an election protest which seeks the annulment of the proclamation of Buhisan and to declare the former

Section 49 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2824 dated February 6, 1996, governing the conduct of Sangguniang Kabataan elections provides: Sec.49. Finality of Proclamation.-The proclamation of the winning candidate shall be final. However, the Metropolitan Trial Courts/Municipal Trial Courts/Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall have original jurisdiction over all election protest cases, whose decision shall be final. The Commission en banc in meritorious cases may entertain a petition for review of the decision of the MeTC/MTC/MCTC in accordance with the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. An appeal bond of P2,000.00 shall be required, which shall be refundable if the appeal is found meritorious. Also, the COMELEC may entertain such petitions only on meritorious gronds. By prescribing a specific mode to be adopted in assailing the MCTC's decision, COMELEC is afforted opportunity to examine the allegations on the face jof the petition if there is a prima facie showing that the MCTC committed an error of fact or law or gravely abused its discretion to warrant reversal or modification of the decision. In other words, this manner of appeal is discretionary on the part of the election tribunal. It is essential that a prior determination be made regarding the existence of meritorious reasons for the petition. Unlike in ordinary appeals, acceptance of the petition is not a matter of course. Here an appeal is obviously not the proper remedy allowed by the COMELEC Rules Accordingly, public respondent cannot be faulted for grave abuse of discretion in dismissing petitioner’s appeal 29


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expectancy of holding public office

FACTS: ⊥ MONTESCLAROS (petitioners), all 20 y.o. claims being in danger of disqualification to vote and be voted for in the SK elections should it be postponed from original date (MAY 02) to NOV 02 ⊥ RP Pres. Signed the bill into law postponing the elections ⊥ During pendency of petition Congress enacted RA 9164- synchronization of brgy. and SK elections on JUL 02; provides that voters and candidates for SK elections must be at least 15 but less than 18 on the day of election HELD: The subject law doesn't disfranchise the petitioners. It also doesn't deprive them of any property right. ⊥

SK: youth organization originally established by PD 684 as KABATAANG BARANGAY (KB)—composed of all brgy. residents less than 18 y.o. o LGC renamed KB to SK and limited membership to youths at least 15 but not more than 21 yo o SK tasked to enhance social, political, economic, cultural,… dev’t. of youth No vested right to the permanence of age requirement under LGC; every law passed is always subject of amendment or repeal o Court cannot restrain Congress from amending or repealing law; power to make laws includes power to change laws; Court cannot direct COMELEC to allow over-aged voters to vote or be voted in an election limited under RA 9164 o Congress has power to prescribe qualifications PETITIONERS: no personal and substantial interest in the SK elections— seeking to enforce right which has been already limited with the passage of RA 9164—ceased to be members of SK and no longer qualified to participate o Only those who qualify can contest, based on a statutory authority, any act disqualifying them—membership in the SK is mere statutory right conferred by law No one has vested right to any public office, much less vested right to an





FACTS: ⊥ This is a petition for Certiorari seeking to annul the Comelec’s resolution cancelling Kaiser Recabo’s certificate of candidacy for Vice-Mayor in Surigao Del Norte ⊥ Kaiser Recabo claimed to be LAKAS NUCD-UMDP’s official candidate to the aforementioned position, substituting his mother Candelaria Recabo ⊥ Kaiser Recabo’s certificate of candidacy was only signed by Governor Matugas, and not jointly with Robert Barbers (space left blank) as intended by the certificate of nomination ⊥ On the other hand Respondent Reyes’ certificate of nomination for Vicemayor was signed by no other than Fidel V. Ramos (National Chairman LAKAS) and Jose De Venecia (Secretary General LAKAS) HELD: The certificate of candidacy of petitioner and that of his mother who he substituted as candidate for Vice Mayor DID NOT substantially complied with the requirements of being official candidates of the LAKAS party. ⊥

To allow Recabo to run would put the election process in mockery for we would in effect be allowing an anomalous situation where a single political party may field in multiple candidate for a singe election position Lakas designated 2 party officers to issue certificates of nomination, petitoner’s nomination was signed only by one, while respondents signed by Ramos and JDV

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⊥ ⊥


Comelec declared petitioner’s mother as and independent candidate on account of the invalidity of her nomination, thus there can be no valid substitution by petitioner for an invalid nomination Besides, petitioner filed his candidacy out of time for an independent candidate (although w/n prescriptive period of a substituted candidate, useless because already adjudged as an invalid nomination and substitution) Well-settled certificate filed beyond deadline not valid But Reyes’ motion to be declared winner, garnering the second highest number of votes to Recabo can not be granted, wound be tantamount to substitution of judgment for the mind of the voter BAUTISTA V. COMELEC 414 SCRA 299 (AQUINO, T.)

HELD: Hagedorn is qualified to run in the recall election ⊥

⊥ ⊥






FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner is mayor of Puerto Princesa, who was removed from office thru a recall proceeding initiated by the majority of the incumbent barangay officials of the city ⊥ Petitioner filed a motion to nullify the recall resolution but was dismissed by the Comelec for lack of merit ⊥ Comelec set date for conducting the recall election; former 3 term mayor Edward Hagedorn files his certificate of candidacy ⊥ Petitioner Adovo and Gilo files petition before Comelec to disqualify Hagedorn claiming that he is disqualified from running for a 4th term; petition was dismissed

⊥ ⊥ ⊥ ⊥ ⊥ ⊥

Art. X Sec. 8 of 1987 Constitution: the term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be 3 years and no such official shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Sec. 43 (b) RA 7160: Term of office – no local official shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected These constitutional and statutory provisions have 2 parts The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve ore than 3 consecutive terms The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the 3term limit rule The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms After 3 consecutive terms, an elective local official cannot seek immediate reelection for a fourth term The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same office following the end of the third consecutive term Any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition for two reasons First, a subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate reelection after three consecutive terms Second, the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service Clearly, the constitution prohibits immediate reelection for a fourth term

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⊥ ⊥


following three consecutive terms The constitution, however, does not prohibit a subsequent reelection for a fourth term as long as the reelection is not immediately after the end of the third consecutive term A recall election midway in the term following the third consecutive term is a subsequent election but not an immediate reelection after the third term Neither does the constitution prohibit one barred from seeking immediate reelection to run in any other subsequent election involving the same term of office What the constitution prohibits is a consecutive fourth term The prohibited election referred to by the framers of the constitution is the immediate reelection after the third term, not any other subsequent election The framers expressly acknowledged that the prohibited election refers only to the immediate reelection, and not to any subsequent election, during the 6 year period following the two term limit The framers of the constitution did not intend “the period of rest” of an elective official who has reached his term limit to be the full extent of the succeeding term ADORMEO V. COMELEC 376 SCRA 90 (HOSAKA)


Adormeo contended that Talaga’s candidacy as Mayor was a violation of Sec 8 Art X of the Constitution--Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be 3 years and no such official shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Talaga claims that he only served for 2 consecutive terms and that his service from May 2000 was not a full term because he only served Tagarao’s unexpired term by virtue of the recall election. He cites the case of Lonzanida giving 2 conditions for the disqualification 1) that the official has been elected for 3 consecutive terms in the same local govt post; and 2) that he has fully served 3 consecutive terms. Comelec division ruled in favor of Adormeo. Comelec en banc reversed, hence this petition. HELD: Talaga is qualified to run for mayor. Talaga was not elected for 3 consecutive terms having lost his 3rd bid in the May 11, 1998 elections, said defeat is an interruption in the continuity of his service as city mayor of Lucena. The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position.

FACTS: Pet Raymundo Adormeo and private resp Ramon Talaga were the only candidates who filed the certificates of candidacy for mayor of Lucena City in the May 14, 2001 elections. Talaga was then the incumbent mayor.

Talaga was not elected for 3 consecutive terms and for nearly 2 years he was a private citizen. The continuity of his mayorship was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections. It was only by virtue of the recall that he served Tagarao’s unexpired term. This did not amount to a third full term.

Adormeo filed a with the Provincial Election Supervisor a Petition To Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and or Disqualification of Talaga on the ground that the latter was elected and had served as city mayor for 3 consecutive terms as follows: 1) election of May 1992 where he served the full term; 2) election of May 1995, again he served a full term; and 3) in the recall election of May 12, 2000 where he served only the unexpired term of Tagarao after having lost to Tagarao in the 1998 election.

Fr. Bernas’ comment that “if one is elected representative to serve the unexpired term of another, that unexpired term, no matter how short, will be considered one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms allowed” only pertains to the members of the House of Representatives and not to local govt officials. Neither can Talaga’s victory in the recall election be deemed as “voluntary renunciation” under the Constitution.

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presence in the ambulance makes her guilty of the acts of terrorism in violation of the Omnibus Election Code.


FACTS: Petitioner Maimona Diangka filed a petition for certiorari questioning the decision of COMELEC in disqualifying her as candidate for Mayor of Ganassi, Lanao del Sur. Petitioner was the wife of the incumbent Mayor. Ali Balindong, the other mayoralty candidate, filed a special action for disqualification against Diangka and her husband alleging that they committed 2 acts of terrorism: * First, that they loaded the ballot boxes into an ambulance then subsequently, through force and threats, made the watchers of Balindong go down from the vehicle. * Second, that Diangka’s husband went to the voting areas and caused a commotion that prevented voters from voting. In the results of the elections, Diangka emerged the winner. COMELEC ordered the board of canvassers to cease and desist from declaring Diangka as mayor, but that order came in late and still Diangka was declared mayor. In the hearing for the disqualification, only Balindong and lawyer appeared, hence COMELEC disqualified Diangka. Diangka now assails the decision via certiorari, meanwhile vice-mayor elect Macapodi assumed the mayor position. HELD: Diangka can be held liable for the two acts of terrorism of her husband thus, she could be disqualified by the COMELEC.

Note: Grounds for Disqualification (Section 68 of Omnibus Election Code): a) Giving money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions; b) Committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy; c) Spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed d) Solicited, received or made any contribution which are prohibited 36


FACTS: Petitioner (SOLLER) and respondent (SAULONG) were both candidates for mayor of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro. Municipal board of canvassers proclaimed SOLLER duly elected mayor. SAULONG filed two actions: a. b.

COMELEC: “petition for annulment proclamation/exclusion of election return” RTC: election protest against SAULONG



SOLLER filed motion to dismiss—COMELEC granted, RTC denied

1. COMELEC determined that Diangka was at the front seat beside the driver in the ambulance when the watchers of Balindong were made to go down via threats. Her excuse that she did not know nor was she in collusion with her husband can not hold water. First, she admitted that she requested that the driver, after they threatened the watchers, drop her off at the school. Such shows she had control over the driver. Second, her mere presence in the ambulance shows that she acquiesced to her husbands acts and hence guilty also.

The denial by RTC of SOLLER’s motion to dismiss was questioned via petition for certiorari with COMELEC. This certiorari was dismissed by the COMELEC en banc.

2. COMELEC determined that it was actually Diangka’s husband who caused the commotion which prevented the voters from voting. While it was not actually Diangka who committed the acts, she did not prove that her running was not a mere alter ego of her husband who is in his 3 term as mayor. This together with her

YES. The decision of the COMELEC en banc is null and void. The authority to resolve petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest falls within the division of the COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en banc. The COMELEC en banc does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election

HELD: 1. W/N COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in not ordering the dismissal of SAULONG’s election protest.

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cases including pre-proclamation controversies in the first instance. Any decision by it in the first instance is null and void. If the principal case, once decided on the merits, is cognizable on appeal by a division of the COMELEC, then, there is no reason why petitions for certiorari relating to incidents of election protest should not be referred first to a division of the COMELEC for resolution.


2. W/N RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in failing to dismiss respondent’s election protest. Yes. Close scrutiny of the receipts show that respondent failed to pay the filing fee of P300. Thus, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over respondent’s election protest. COMELEC erred in not ordering the dismissal of respondent’s protest case. Errors in the payment of filing fees in election cases is no longer excusable. The protest should have also been dismissed for lack of proper verification (tantamount to filing an unsigned pleading), and for failure to comply with the required certification against forum shopping. This requirement is mandatory, and cannot be excused by the fact that a party has not actually resorted to forum shopping. Good faith is not an excuse. Moreover, respondent’s petition was a pre-proclamation case, which may no longer be entertained by the COMELEC after the winning candidates have been proclaimed. By resorting to the wrong remedy, respondent may be claimed to have abandoned the pre-proclamation case that he filed. PETITION GRANTED. 37

HELD: Petitioner shouldn't be disqualified. ⊥


FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner Papandayan and respondent Balt were contending candidates for mayor of Tubaran, Lanao del Sur in the May 14, 2001 elections. ⊥ COMELEC 2nd Division issued a resolution declaring petitioner to be disqualified based on affidavits submitted by respondent as evidence; ordered petitioner’s name to be stricken off the list of candidates and all votes cast in his favor not to be counted but considered as stray votes. ⊥ On election day, petitioner was voted by the electorate as municipal mayor. The following day, he received a telegram from the COMELEC

notifying him that the COMELEC en banc denied his MR. Petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC 1st Division seeking the issuance of an order directing the Board of Election Inspectors to count and tally the ballots cast in his favor during the elections pursuant to COMELEC Resolution 4116. Resolution provides that if the disqualification case has not become final and executory on the day of the election, BEI shall tally and count the votes of the candidate declared disqualified. Respondent filed pre-proclamation case; COMELEC issued an order suspending the proclamation of petitioner but despite said order, Municipal Board of Canvassers still proclaimed petitioner as winner. Upon motion of respondent, COMELEC 1st Division set aside petitioner’s proclamation; COMELEC en banc sustained annulment of proclamation of petitioner

# At the time the elections were held in May 14, 2001, the assailed resolution, had not become final and executory. Hence, the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) was duty bound to tally and count the votes cast in favor of petitioner. # COMELEC Resolution 4116 pertains to the finality of decisions or resolutions of the Commission en banc or division, particularly on Special Actions (Disqualification cases) # Sec. 13, paragraphs (b) and (c) of said resolution provide: (b) In Special Actions and Special cases, a decision or resolution of the Commission en banc shall become final and executory after five (5) days from its promulgation unless restrained by the Supreme Court. (c) Unless a motion for reconsideration is seasonably filed, a decision or resolution of a Division shall become final and executory after the lapse of five (5) days in Special Actions and Special cases and after fifteen (15) days in all other actions or proceedings, following its promulgation.” # COMELEC Resolution 4116 further provides that: 3. where the ground for the disqualification case is by reason of non-residence, citizenship, violation of election laws and other analogous cases and on the day of the

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election the resolution has not become final and executory, the BEI shall tally and count the votes of such disqualified candidate. # Respondent, therefore, is in error in assuming that the issuance of a temporary restraining order by this Court within five (5) days after the date of the promulgation of the assailed resolution is the operative act that prevents it from attaining finality. # With due regard for the expertise of the COMELEC, we find the evidence to be insufficient to sustain its resolution. Petitioner has duly proven that, although he was formerly a resident of the Municipality of Bayang, he later transferred residence to Tangcal in the Municipality of Tubaran as shown by his actual and physical presence therein for 10 years prior to the May 14, 2001 elections. # The principle of animus revertendi has been used to determine whether a candidate has an “intention to return” to the place where he seeks to be elected. Corollary to this is a determination whether there has been an “abandonment” of his former residence which signifies an intention to depart therefrom. # Caasi v. Court of Appeals: respondent’s immigration to the United States in 1984 constituted an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. Being a green card holder was proof that he was a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States. # Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives: this Court, citing Faypon v. Quirino, applied the concept of animus revertendi or “intent to return,” The fact that respondent made periodical journeys to his home province in Laoang revealed that he always had animus revertendi. # Romualdez v. RTC, Br. 7, Tacloban City: The term “residence,” as used in the election law, imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. “Domicile” denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. # The Court explained that in order to acquire a new domicile by choice, there must concur (1) residence or bodily presence in the new locality, (2) an intention to remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be



for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. # The record shows that when petitioner and his wife Raida Guina Dimaporo got married in 1990, they resided in Tangcal, Tubaran. From then on, there was manifest intention on the part of petitioner to reside in Tubaran, which he deemed to be the place of his conjugal abode with his wife. The fact that he and his wife transferred residence from Bayang to Tubaran shows that petitioner was relinquishing his former place of residence in Bayang and that he intended Tubaran to be his place of domicile. Although petitioner worked as a private secretary of the mayor of Bayang, he went home to Tubaran everyday after work. This is proof of animus manendi. # It is the fact of residence that is the decisive factor in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the Constitution’s residency qualification requirement. # When the evidence of the alleged lack of residence qualification of a candidate for an elective position is weak or inconclusive and it clearly appears that the purpose of the law would not be thwarted by upholding the victor’s right to the office, the will of the electorate should be respected. MAGNO V. COMELEC 390 SCRA 495 (GO)

FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner Nestor Magno ran for MAYOR of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija in 2001. ⊥ Private Respondent filed a petition for disqualification of Magno because he was convicted by the Sandiganbayan of 4 counts of Direct Bribery and sentenced. Magno applied for probation and was discharged on March of 1998. ⊥ COMELEC disqualified petitioner based on a provision of BP 881 (Omnibus Election Code) disqualifying a candidate convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude until after the lapse of 5 years from the service of sentence.

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Magno claims Sec 40 (a) RA7160 (Local Government Code) should apply instead of BP 881: A person convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude may run after the lapse of 2 years after the service of sentence. Sonia Isidro was declared Mayor while the case was pending.

HELD: First, Direct bribery is a crime involving moral turpitude. Not every criminal act involves moral turpitude. Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as ‘an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men or society in general…’ Direct bribery contemplates taking advantage of his position and is a betrayal of the trust reposed to him by the public. Second, he is not qualified. RA 7160 should apply. First, RA 7160 is the more recent law. It impliedly repeals BP 881 should there be any inconsistencies. Second, RA 7160 is a special law applying specifically to local government units. BP 881 applies for the election of any public office. Special law prevails. Since he was discharged on March 1998, Magno’s disqualification ceased on March 2000. *Court declared that it could not rule on Magno’s prayer for his proclamation as winner of the mayoralty race, it being outside its jurisdiction. 39



issued a resolution disqualifying petitioner and declaring the immediate proclamation of the candidate who received the highest number of votes. The votes of petitioner were declared stray. Respondent was proclaimed elected and she assumed office. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. The COMELEC en banc nullified the proclamation of respondent and ordered the proclamation of petitioner. Respondent didn’t appeal from the decision. She argued that since she assumed office, the COMELEC doesn’t have jurisdiction to annul her proclamation. HELD: Petitioner was not notified of the petition for his disqualification through the service of summons nor of the Motions to suspend his proclamation. The records of the case do not show that summons was served on the petitioner. They do not contain a copy of the summons allegedly served on the petitioner and its corresponding proof of service. Furthermore, private respondent never rebutted petitioner's repeated assertion that he was not properly notified of the petition for his disqualification because he never received summons.71 Petitioner claims that prior to receiving a telegraphed Order from the COMELEC Second Division on May 22, 2001, directing the District Board of Canvassers to suspend his proclamation, he was never summoned nor furnished a copy of the petition for his disqualification. He was able to obtain a copy of the petition and the May 22 Order of the COMELEC Second Division by personally going to the COMELEC Regional Office on May 23, 2001. Thus, he was able to file his Answer to the disqualification case only on May 24, 2001. More, the proclamation of the petitioner was suspended in gross violation of section 72 of the Omnibus Election Code which provides:

FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were opposing candidates for representative. A voter filed with the COMELEC a petition to disqualify petitioner on the ground that petitioner, who was then a mayor, violated Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code by distributing gravel and sand to voters to induce them to vote for him. The COMELEC delegated the hearing to the Regional Director. On election day, no hearing has been done yet. Petitioner won. Respondent intervened in the disqualification case and prayed for the suspension of the proclamation of petitioner. Petitioner was not furnished a copy of the motion. COMELEC suspended the proclamation because of the seriousness of the allegations against petitioner. Petitioner has not been served any summons. Petitioner filed his answer. He alleged that the repair of the roads was undertaken without his authority. After a hearing on the motion to suspend the proclamation of petitioner, the COMELEC

"Sec. 72. Effects of disqualification cases and priority.- The Commission and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the election in which the disqualification is sought. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. Nevertheless, if for any reason, a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office." (emphases supplied) In the instant case, petitioner has not been disqualified by final judgment when the

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elections were conducted on May 14, 2001. The Regional Election Director has yet to conduct hearing on the petition for his disqualification. After the elections, petitioner was voted in office by a wide margin of 17,903. On May 16, 2001, however, respondent Locsin filed a Most Urgent Motion for the suspension of petitioner's proclamation. The Most Urgent Motion contained a statement to the effect that a copy was served to the petitioner through registered mail. The records reveal that no registry receipt was attached to prove such service.72 This violates COMELEC Rules of Procedure requiring notice and service of the motion to all parties. Respondent's Most Urgent Motion does not fall under the exceptions to notice and service of motions. First, the suspension of proclamation of a winning candidate is not a matter which the COMELEC Second Division can dispose of motu proprio. Second, the right of an adverse party, in this case, the petitioner, is clearly affected. Given the lack of service of the Most Urgent Motion to the petitioner, said Motion is a mere scrap of paper. Under section 6 of R.A. No. 6646, the COMELEC can suspend proclamation only when evidence of the winning candidate's guilt is strong. In the case at bar, the COMELEC Second Division did not make any specific finding that evidence of petitioner's guilt is strong. Its only basis in suspending the proclamation of the petitioner is the "seriousness of the allegations" in the petition for disqualification. Absent any finding of evidence that the guilt is strong, then clearly, there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of COMELEC. REGISTRATION OF VOTERS; PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES; BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS; WATCHERS; OFFICIAL BALLOTS AND ELECTION RETURNS; CASTING AND COUNTING OF VOTES 40



⊥ ⊥

HELD: There was grave abuse of discretion in denying the inclusion as part of petitioner’s valid votes the Bautista stray votes that were separately tallied by the BEI and Board of Canvassers. ⊥

⊥ ⊥

FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner Cipriano “Efren” Bautista and private respondent were duly registered candidates for the position of Mayor of Navotas in the 1998 Elections. Aside from them, a certain Edwin “Efren” Bautista (Edwin Bautista) also filed a certificate of candidacy for the same position. ⊥ Petitioner filed a petition praying that Edwin Bautista be declared a

nuisance candidate. COMELEC declared Edwin Bautista as nuisance candidate and consequently ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy for the position of Mayor. MR was filed by Edwin Bautista; subsequently denied. Before final determination of Edwin Bautista’s MR, upon request of petitioner’s counsel, the Regional Election Director of NCR gave instructions to the BEI to tally separately either in some portion of the same election return not intended for votes for mayoralty candidates or in a separate paper the votes “Efren Bautista”, “Efren”, “E. Bautista” and “Bautista”, considered as stray votes. When the canvass of the election returns was commenced, the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Navotas refused to canvass as part of the valid votes of petitioner the separate tallies of votes on which were written “Efren Bautista”, “Efren”, “E. Bautista” and “Bautista”. Petitioner filed with COMELEC a Petition to Declare Illegal the Proceedings of the Municipal Board of Canvassers; dismissed for lack of merit.

# It must be emphasized that the case at bar involves a ground for disqualification which clearly affects the voter’s will and causes confusion that frustrates the same. # Election Laws give effect to, rather than frustrate, the will of the voter. Thus, extreme caution should be observed before any ballot is invalidated. # In the appreciation of ballots, doubts are resolved in favor of their validity. # Matters tend to get complicated when technical rules are strictly applied – technicalities should not be permitted to defeat the intention of the voter, especially so if that intention is discoverable from the ballot itself, as in this case. # Sec. 69 of the Omnibus Election Code – the COMELEC may motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, refuse to give due

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course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy 1) if it is shown that said certificate has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute, 2) or to cause confusion among voters by the similarity of the names of registered candidates; 3) or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that a candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate. # Fatual circumstances and logic dictate that the “Bautista” and “Efren” votes which were mistakenly deemed as stray votes refer only to one candidate, herein petitioner. Such votes, which represent the voice of approx. 21,000 electors could not have been intended for Edwin Bautista, allegedly known in Navotas as a tricycle driver and worse a drug addict, not known as “Efren” as stated in his certificate of candidacy, but Boboy” or “Boboy Tarugo” as his known appellation or nickname, and satisfactorily and finally shown as a candidate with no political line up, no personal funds that could have supported his campaign, and no accomplishments which may be noted band considered by the public, as against a known former public officer who had served the people of Navotas as Brgy. Official, councilor and vice mayor. # To rule otherwise will definitely result in the disenfranchisement of the will of the electorate, which is, as we mentioned, the situation that our election laws are enacted to prevent. PUNZALAN V. COMELEC 289 SCRA 702 (FERNANDEZ)

FACTS: ⊥ Manalastas, Meneses and Punzalan were among of the 4 candidates for mayor of the municipality of Mexico Pampanga ⊥ Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) proclaimed Meneses as the duly elected mayor ⊥ Manalastas and Punzalan separately siled election protests challenging the results of the elections; Meneses filed his answer to both with counter protests: ordered consolidated and jointly tried by the court ⊥ Election contests sought the nullification of the election of Meneses allegedly due to massive fraud, irregularities and other illegal electoral


practices during the registration and voting as well as during the counting of votes Because of irregularities (massive fraud, illegal electoral practices and serious anomalies; ballots, election returns and tally sheets disappeared under mysterious circumstances and filled up ballots with undetached lower stubs and groups of ballot with stubs cut out with scissors were found inside ballot boxes) found after hearing the protests, the trial court was constrained to examine the contested ballots and the handwritings appearing thereon and came up with the declaration that Punzalan was the winner in the elections various notices of appeal, motions for execution, petitions for certiorari, prohibition with prayer for issuance of temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction Comelec promulgated a resolution affirming the proclamation of Meneses

HELD: On the first issue… ⊥ While RA 7166 (An Act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and For Electoral Reforms) requires the BEI chairman to affix his signature at the back of the ballot, the mere failure to do so does not invalidate the same although it may constitute an election offense imputable to said BEI ⊥ Failure of the BEI chairman or any of the members of the board to comply with their mandated administrative responsibility should not penalize the voter with disenfranchisement ⊥ A ballot without BEI chairman's signature at the back is valid and not spurious ⊥ For as long as the ballot bears any one of the following authenticating marks, it is considered valid: o The Comelec watermark o Signature or initials or thumbprint of the Chairman of the BEI o Where the watermarks are blurred or not readily apparent to the naked eye, the presence of red or blue fibers in the ballots ⊥ Every ballot shall be presumed to be valid unless there is a clear and good reason to justify its rejection

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On the second issue… ⊥ The appreciation of the contested ballots and election documents involves a question of fact best left to the determination of the Comelec ⊥ The Comelec need not conduct an adversarial proceeding or a hearing to determine the authenticity of ballots or the handwriting found thereon; neither does it need to solicit the help of the handwriting experts in examining or comparing the handwriting; even evidence aliunde is not necessary to enable the Commission to determine the authenticity of the ballots and the genuineness of the handwriting on the ballots as an examination of the ballots themselves is already sufficient ⊥ Minor and insignificant variations in handwriting must be perceived as indicia of genuineness rather than of falcity ⊥ Carelessness, spontaneity, unpremeditation and speed in signing are evidence of genuineness DOCTRINE: ⊥ the laws and statues governing election contests especially appreciation of ballots must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the electorate in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by technical infirmities ⊥ an election protests is imbued with public interest so much so that the need to dispel uncertainties which becloud the real choice of the people is imperative


HELD: Petitioner should be held liable for failure to file his statement of contributions and expenditures.

⊥ Petitioner argues that he cannot be held liable for failure to file a statement

⊥ ⊥



FACTS: Petitioner Pilar filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Isabela. 3 days later, he withdrew his certificate of candidacy. COMELECimposed upon petitioner a fine of P10,000 for failure to file his statement of contributions and expenditures. Petitioner filed motion for reconsideration which was denied by COMELEC. Petitioner went to COMELEC en banc which denied the petition in its Resolution. Hence, this petition for certiorari.

of contribution and expenditures because he was a "non-candidate," having withdrawn his certificate of candidacy 3 days after its filing. Petitioner posits that "it is xxx clear from the law that the candidate must have entered the political contest, and should have either won or lost". Petitoner's argument is without merit. Section 14 of RA No. 7166 states that "every candidate" has the obligation to file his statement of contributions and expenditures. Where the law does not distinguish, courts should not distinguish. The term "every candidate" must be deemed to refer not only to a candidate who pursued his campaign, but also to one who withdrew his candidacy. Section 13 of Resolution No. 2348 of the COMELEC, in implementation of the provisions of RA 7166, categorically refers to "all candidates who filed their certificates of candidacy." Furthermore, Section 14 of the law uses the word "shall". Such implies that the statute is mandatory, particularly if public interest is involved— state has an interest in seeing that the electoral process is clean and expressive of the true will of the electorate. One way to attain such objective is to pass a legislation regulating contributions and expenditures, and compelling the publication of the same. It is not improbable that a candidate who withdrew his candidacy has accepted contributions and incurred expenditures, even in the short span of his campaign. The evil sought to be prevented by the law is not all too remote. Resolution No. 2348 also contemplates the situation where a candidate may not have received any contribution or made any expenditure. Such candidate is not excused from filing a statement. BP Blg. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code provides that "the filing or withdrawal of certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred." Petitioner's withdrawal of his candidacy did not extinguish his liability for the administrative fine.

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-No. There are two ways through which a complaint for election offenses may be initiated. It may be filed by the COMELEC motu proprio, or it may be filed via written complaint by any citizen of the Philippines, candidate, registered political party, coalition of political parties or organizations under the partylist system or any accredited citizens arms of the Commission


FACTS: ⊥ Hon. Bernardo P. Pardo sent a verified letter-complaint to Jose P. Balbuena charging Herman Tiu Laurel with "Falsification of Public Documents" and violation of [Section 74] of the Omnibus Election Code. ⊥ It alleged that both his father and mother were Chinese citizens but when petitioner filed a certificate of candidacy for the position of Senator he stated that his a natural-born Filipino citizen ⊥ An investigation was conducted by the COMELEC Law Department and a Report was made recommending the filing of Information. ⊥ During en banc, COMELEC resolved to file the necessary information against respondent and to file a criminal complaint against respondent for falsification ⊥ Director Balbuena filed an information for Violation of Section 74, in relation to Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code ⊥ Plaintiff filed a Motion for Inhibition, seeking the inhibition of the entire COMELEC because of its bias in rendering a resolution. ⊥ Plaintiff filed on 07 May 1996 a Motion to Quash alleging lack of jurisdiction and lack of authority on the part of Director Balbuena to file the information. ⊥ Court denied. ⊥ Petitioner then filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. ⊥ The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court and ruled that the proper procedure was followed by the COMELEC but directed the trial court to remand the case to the COMELEC for reception of petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the COMELEC resolution dated January 25, 1996, which approved the filing of a criminal complaint against petitioner. HELD: 1. It was error for the Court of Appeals to hold there was no flaw in the procedure followed by the COMELEC in the conduct of the preliminary investigation.

- Motu proprio complaints may be signed by the Chairman of the COMELEC and need not be verified. On the other hand, complaints filed by parties other than the COMELEC must be verified and supported by affidavits and other evidence. - The complaint in question in this case is one filed by Pardo in his personal capacity and not as chairman of the COMELEC. - There is nothing in the rules that require that only the COMELEC en banc may refer a complaint to the Law Department for investigation. - There is no rule against the COMELEC chairman directing the conduct of a preliminary investigation, even if he himself were the complainant in his private capacity. 2. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that petitioner's protestations on COMELEC's having acted as complainant, investigator, prosecutor, judge and executioner in the conduct of the preliminary investigation ring hollow. -No. the records show that there is basis to at least find probable cause to indict the petitioner for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and it appears from the records that Chairman Pardo had no other participation in the proceedings which led to the filing of the Information. -The entire COMELEC cannot possibly be restrained from investigating the complaint filed against petitioner, as the latter would like the courts to do. The COMELEC is mandated by no less than the Constitution to investigate and prosecute, when necessary, violations of election laws. This power is lodged exclusively with the COMELEC. For the entire Commission to inhibit itself from investigating the complaint against petitioner would be nothing short of an abandonment of its mandate under the Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code. 44


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331 SCRA 429 (CRUZ) FACTS: Eugenio Faelnar filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of barangay chairman during the 1997 barangay elections in Cebu. One day after filing such certificate (april 9), a basketball tournament was held in the sports complex dubbed as, “2nd Jing-Jing Faelnar’s Cup” which lasted until April 30, 1997. This gave rise to a complaint for electioneering against petitioner and Gillamac filed by Antonio Luy. It was alleged that it was actually a form of campaign done outside the official campaign period which should start on May 1, 1997. 1. that there was a streamer bearing the name of petitioner placed at the façade of the venue. 2. petitioners name was repeatedly mentioned over the microphone. 3. it was widely published in the local news paper. 4. a raffle sponsored by Gillamac was held with home appliances as prize. It constituted an election offense. Initially, Comelec en banc in a Resolution resolved to dismiss the filing of the case in the RTC. Antonio Luy moved for reconsideration prompting the Comelec to proceed with the filing of the case against petitioner. Petitioner moved to quash on the basis that the previous dismissal of the Comelec en banc, was immediately final and executory. And that Luy’s motion for reconsideration was a prohibited pleading under Commission’s rules of procedure.

⊥ ⊥

HELD: A Motion for Reconsideration is allowed in election offense cases. Section 1, Rule 13 of Comelec’s Rules of Procedure states, “the following pleadings are not allowed, …(d) motion for reconsideration of an en banc ruling, resolution, order or decision except in election offense cases… It was also held that the Comelec en banc is the one that determines the existence of probable cause in an election offense. But it may also be delegated to the State Prosecutor or to the Provincial or City Fiscal but may still be reviewed by the Comelec. 45


HELD: Witnesses are exempt from criminal prosecution. ⊥

FACTS: ⊥ Florentino Bautista ran for the position of Mayor in Kawit Cavite ⊥ He filed a complaint against the incumbent Mayor Poblete

and others supported by affidavits of 44 witnesses attesting to vote- buying activities. The case was handled by a prosecutor of the COMELEC’s law department. A separate complaint was filed by Rodelas and Macapagal with the provincial prosecutor against the witnesses (voteselling) COMELEC en banc declared the resolution of the provincial prosecutor to institute criminal actions against the witnesses as null and void. COMELEC cited RA 6646 otherwise known as “The Electoral Reforms law of 1987” which grants immunity from criminal prosecution persons who voluntarily give information and willingly testify against those liable for vote-buying or vote-selling. Law department of COMELEC filed a motion to dismiss the case against the witnesses. This was denied by respondent judge TAGLE. According to Tagle, for the witnesses to be exempt to should have committed the overt act of divulging information regarding the vote buying

A free, orderly, honest , peaceful, and credible election is indispensable in a democratic society, as without it democracy would not flourish and would be a sham. One of the effective ways of preventing the commission of vote-buying and of prosecuting those committing it is the grant of immunity from criminal liability in favor of the party whose vote was bought. The COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same, as may be otherwise provided by law When the COMELEC nullifies a resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor which is the basis of the information for vote selling, it in effect, withdraws the deputation granted to the prosecutor.

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Where certain voters have already executed sworn statements attesting to the corrupt practice of vote-buying in a pending case, it cannot be denied that they had already given information in the vote- buying case. FAILURE OF ELECTION



Under the present state of our election laws, the COMELEC has been granted precisely the power to annul elections. Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7166, otherwise known as, "The Synchronized Elections Law of 1991," provides that the COMELEC sitting En Banc by a majority vote of its members may decide, among others, the declaration of failure of election and the calling of special elections as provided in Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code. The COMELEC may exercise such power motu proprio or upon a verified petition. The hearing of the case shall be summary in nature, and the COMELEC may delegate to its lawyers the power to hear the case and to receive evidence. FACTS: - This case stemmed from elections held in Sulu where LOONG and private respondent Tan ran for the position of Governor while pet. Tulawie and p.r. Estino ran for Vice-Governor * Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC) recommended to the COMELEC a recanvass of the election returns of Parang and Talipao. * COMELEC, accordingly, relieved all the regular members of the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) and ordered such recanvass by senior lawyers from the COMELEC office in Manila. During the re-canvass, private respondents objected to the inclusion in the canvass of the election returns of Parang. * The reconstituted MBC, however, merely noted said objections and forwarded the same to respondent PBC for resolution. * PBC denied the objections of private respondents and still included the election returns of Parang municipality. The canvass of respondent PBC showed petitioners to have overwhelmingly won in the municipality of Parang. - The private respondents filed petitions with the COMELEC regarding the inclusion of the questioned certificates of canvass and that there was failure of election in said municipality due to massive fraud


Petitioners, likewise filed for failure of elections in 5 other municipalities COMELEC ruled annulling the results of the elections in Parang as well as holding in abeyance the proclamation of the winning candidates for Governor and ViceGovernor until further orders from the Commission but dismissed other petitions for other municipalities where it was alleged that there were also badges of fraud HELD: COMELEC was incorrect in annulling elections of Parang, Sulu but not ordering for special elections in the same municipality. It was also incorrect in dismissing other petitions for failure of elections in other municipalities where there were also badges of fraud. We hold that, before the COMELEC can act on a verified petition seeking to declare a failure of election, two (2) conditions must concur: first, no voting has taken place in the precincts concerned on the date fixed by law or, even if there were voting, the election nevertheless resulted in a failure to elect; and, second, the votes not cast would affect the result of the election. We must add, however, that the cause of such failure of election should have been any of the following: force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes. This is an important consideration for, where the propriety of a pre-proclamation controversy ends, there may begin the realm of a special action for declaration of failure of elections. While the COMELEC is restricted, in pre-proclamation cases, to an examination of the election returns on their face and is without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind them and investigate election irregularities, the COMELEC is duty bound to investigate allegations of fraud, terrorism, violence and other analogous causes in actions for annulment of election results or for declaration of failure of elections, as the Omnibus Election Code denominates the same. Thus, the COMELEC, in the case of actions for annulment of election results or declaration of failure of elections, may conduct technical examination of election documents and compare and analyze voters' signatures and fingerprints in order to determine whether or not the elections had indeed been free, honest and clean. Needless to say, a pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action for annulment of election results or declaration of failure of elections The COMELEC is HEREBY ORDERED TO CONDUCT SPECIAL ELECTIONS IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF PARANG, SULU, and is DIRECTED TO SUPERVISE THE COUNTING OF THE VOTES AND THE CANVASSING OF THE RESULTS TO THE END THAT THE WINNING CANDIDATES FOR

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HELD: There was failure of elections. ⊥


FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner, Hadji Nor Basher L. Hassan, and Private Respondent, Mangondaya P. Hassan Buatan, were candidates for Vice-Mayor in Lanao del Sur ⊥ However, due to threats of violence and terrorism in the area, there was a failure of elections in six (6) out of twenty-four (24) precincts. In one of the precincts, the ballot boxes were burned, while in the other 5 precincts, the members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) failed to report to their respective polling places ⊥ The COMELEC team, headed by Garcillano, recommended the holding of special elections in said precincts and scheduled it ⊥ The members of the BEI again failed to report ⊥ The COMELEC team rescheduled the elections in Liangan Elementary School, which was 15 kilometers away from the designated polling places ⊥ The members of the BEI once more did not report for duty. This constrained the COMELEC team to appoint police/military personnel to substitute for the BEI ⊥ The result of the special election was in favor of the Private Respondent: Petitioner = 879, Respondent = 1,098 ⊥ Petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC assailing the validity of the re-scheduled special election ⊥ COMELEC en banc denied the petition for a declaration of failure of the elections and ordered the Board of Canvassers to proclaim Private Respondent as the winning vice-mayoralty candidate

Thus, the petition for certiorari


The concurrence of the following preconditions is necessary for declaring a failure of election: (1) that no voting has been held in any precinct or precincts because of force majeure, violence or terrorism, and (2) that the votes not cast therein suffice to affect the results of the elections. The COMELEC can not turn a blind eye to the fact that terrorism was so prevalent in the area. Elections had to be set for the third time because no members of the BEI reported for duty due to impending threats of violence in the area. This in fact prompted COMELEC to deploy military men to act as substitute members just so elections could be held; and to thwart these threats of violence, the COMELEC team, moreover, decided to transfer the polling places to Liangan Elementary School which was 15 kilometers away from the polling place. The peculiar situation of this case cannot be overstated. The notice given on the afternoon of the day before the scheduled special elections and transferring the venue of the elections 15 kilometers away from the farthest barangay/school was too short resulting to the disenfranchisement of voters. Out of the 1,546 registered voters in the five (5) precincts, only 328 actually voted. It was quite sweeping and illogical for the COMELEC to state that the votes uncast would not have in any way affected the results of the elections. While the difference between the two candidates is only 219 out of the votes actually cast, the COMELEC totally ignored the fact that there were more than a thousand registered voters who failed to vote. PASANDALAN V. COMELEC 384 SCRA 695 (MACASAET)

FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner Pasandalan and respondent Bai salamona L. Asum were candidates for mayor in the municipality of Lumbayanague, Lanao del

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sur- May 14, 2001 elections On May 23, Pasandalan filed for nullification of election results in certain barangays (Deromoyod, Lagin, Bualan etc) on the ground that, (1) while the election was ongoing, some Cafgu’s stationed near the schools indiscriminately fired their firearms causing the voters to panic and leave the voting centers without casting their votes, (2) failure to sign of BEIs to sign their initials on certain ballots and (3) taking advantage of the fist fights, the supporters of Asum took the ballots and filled them up with the name of Asum. Comelec’s ruling: No credence given to the allegations of Pasandalan. The 3 instances wherein a failure of election could be declared is not present (1) The election is not held – (election was still held), (2) the election is suspended- (it was not), and (3) the election results in the failure to elect (Asum was elected through the plurality of votes). The evidence presented by Pasandalan were only affidavits made by his own pollwatchers- thus considered as self serving and insufficient to annul the results. Hence the petition in this court

HELD: COMELEC didn't commit grave abuse of discretion in annulling electionm. ⊥

The irregularities alleged should have been raised as an election protest and not in a petition to declare the nullity of an election. Instances to declare a failure of election does not exist (1) the election in a polling place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, terrorism, violence or fraud, (2) the election was suspended on the same grounds in the 1st and (3) there was failure to elect still on the same grounds. The election was held in the precincts protested as scheduled, neither was it suspended (as proved by the testimony of one of the election officers) nor was there failure to elect. The alleged terrorism was not of that scale to justify declaration of failure of elections. Credibility of the affidavits questioned: (1) it was pre-typed, all that the poll watchers have to do is to fill it up and sign it. (2) identical statementshuman perception is different for each. Persons when asked about a same incident, although present in the incident, mat have different observations.




FACTS: ⊥ Petitioner Ampatuan and Respondent Candao were candidates for the position of Governor of Maguindanao during the 2001 elections ⊥ May 2001: respondents filed a petition with the comelec for the annulment of election results and/or declaration of failure of elections in several municipalities. They claimed that the elections were “completely sham and farcical”. The ballots were filled-up en masse by a few persons the night before the election day, and in some precincts, the ballot boxes, official ballots and other election paraphernalia were not delivered at all. ⊥ Comelec suspended proclamation of winning candidates ⊥ Petitioners filed a motion to lift suspension of proclamation. Comelec granted and proclaimed the petitioners s winners. ⊥ June 2001: Respondents filed with SC a petition to set aside Comelec order and prelim injunction to suspend effects of the proclamation of petitioners. ⊥ July 2001: Comelec ordered the consolidation of the respondents’ petition for declaration of failure of elections. ⊥ Sept 2001: Petitioners filed the present petition and claimed that by virtue of the proclamation, the proper remedy available to the respondents was not petition for declaration of failure of elections but an election protest. The former is heard summarily while the latter involves a full-blown trial. ⊥ Oct 2001: Comelec ordered the suspension of the 2 assailed orders (with regard to respondents’ petition fro failure of elections and directing the continuation of hearing and disposition of the consolidated SPAs on the failure of elections and other incidents related thereto) ⊥ Nov 2001: Comelec lifts the suspension order ⊥ SC issues TRO enjoining Comelec from lifting suspension ISSUE: W/N The Comelec was divested of its jurisdiction to hear and decide respondents’ petition for declaration for failure of elections after petitioners had been proclaimed HELD: No. Petition dismissed ⊥ The fact that a candidate proclaimed has assumed office does not deprive comelec of its authority to annul any canvas and illegal proclamation. ⊥ Validity of the proclamation may be challenged even after the irregularly

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⊥ ⊥

proclaimed candidate has assumed office. In the case at bar, the Comelec is duty-bound to conduct an investigation as to the veracity of respondents’ allegations of massive fraud and terrorism that attended the conduct of the May 2001 election. It is well to stress that the Comelec has started conducting the technical examination on Nov 2001. However, by an urgent motion for a TRO filed by the petitioners, in virtue of which we issued a TRO, the technical examination was held in abeyance until the present. In order not to frustrate the ends of justice, we lift the TRO and allow technical examination to proceed with deliberate dispatch.

Dissent: Justice Melo ⊥ Issue: is the declaration of failure of elections by the Comelec an executive-administrative function or a judicial function? ⊥ Held The authority given to Comelec to declare a failure of elections and to call for the holding and continuation of the failed election falls under its admin fxn. ⊥ There are only 3 instances where a failure of elections may be declared: 1) the election in any polling place has not been declared 2) election in any polling place had not been suspended 3) after voting and during transmission of ER, such election results in a failure to elect on the ground of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous cause ⊥ Under the circumstances of the present case and based on applicable law, an election protest is the appropriate remedy. Complex matters which necessarily entail the presentation of conflicting testimony should not be resolved in random, technical and summary proceedings 50


FACTS: Failure of elections in Barangay Maidan, Lanao del Sur was held twice (May and June 1997), and a special elections was scheduled for August 30. During the said election, voting started only around 9:00 pm because of the prevailing tension in the said locality. Election Officer Diana Datu-Imam claimed that the town mayor was too hysterical, yelled and threatened her to declare failure of election in Maidan as the armed followers pointed their guns at her and her military escorts responded in the same manner. With the arrival of additional troops, the election officer proceeded to Maidan to conduct the election starting at 9:00 pm until the early morning of the following day at the residence of the former mayor.


The tally sheet showed that respondent Ampatua got 250 votes; petitioner Basher got 15 votes and Razul got 10 votes. Respondent was proclaimed winner. Petitioner now assails the validity of the COMELEC Resolution dismissing the Petition to Declare Failure o Election and to Call Special Election in Precinct No. 12 Baranggay Maidan. HELD: There was a failure of election. This notwithstanding, there was an invalid postponement of election. First, the place where the voting was conducted was illegal. Omnibus Election Code provides that election tellers shall designate the public school or ay public building within the Barangay to be used as polling place, election was held in the residence of the former mayor which is located in Barangay Pandarianao. Second, the law provides that the casting of votes start at 7 am and end at 3 pm except when there are voters present within 30 meters in front of the polling place who have nor yet cast their votes. Election was held after 9:00 pm until the wee hours the following day, certainly such was not in accordance with the law. Third, Election Day was invalid because suspension of postponement of election is governed by law and it provides that when for any serious cause such as rebellion, insurrection, violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia and any analogous causes such nature that the free, orderly and honest election should become impossible the COMELEC moto proprio or upon written petition by 10 registered voter after summary proceedings shall suspend or postpone the proceedings. The election officer is without authority to declare a failure of election for it is only the COMELEC itself has legal authority to exercise such awesome power. Election Officer did not follow the procedure for he postponement or suspension or declaration of failure of election. She did not conduct any proceeding summary or otherwise to find out any legal grounds for the suspension or postponement or declaration of failure of election. Finally, the electorate was not given ample notice of the exact schedule and venue of the election, mere announcement over the mosque is insufficient.

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