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AZNAR VS. COMELEC [G.R. No.

83820, May 25, 1990] FACTS: In the case at bar, petitioner challenged respondents right to hold public office on the ground that the latter was an alien. Respondent maintains that he is a son of a Filipino, was a holder of a valid subsisting passport, a continuous resident of the Philippines and a registered voter since 1965. He was, however, also a holder of an alien registration certificate. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is an alien. HELD: No, because by virtue of his being a son of a Filipino, it is presumed that he was a Filipino and remained Filipino until proof could be shown that he had renounced or lost his Philippine citizenship. In addition, possession of an alien registration certificate unaccompanied by proof of performance of acts whereby Philippine citizenship had been lost is not adequate proof of loss of citizenship. BENGZON VS. HRET [357 SCRA 545; G. R. No. 142840; 7 May 2001] Facts: Respondent Teodoro Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San Clemente, Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then applicable was the 1935 Constitution. On November 5, 1985, however, respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States. As a Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63, section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, "rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country. He was naturalized in US in 1990. On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the May 11, 1998 elections. He won over petitioner Antonio Bengson III, who was then running for reelection.

Issue: Whether or Not respondent Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines in view of the constitutional requirement that "no person shall be a Member of the House of Representative unless he is a natural-born citizen.

Held: Respondent is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization, repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippine and registering said oath in the Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino. CO vs. HRET Facts: The HRET declared that respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar for voting purposes. The congressional election for the second district of NorthernSamar was held. Among the candidates who vied for the position of representative in the second legislativedistrict are the petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and

the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr. RespondentOng was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the second district of Northern Samar. The petitioners filed election protests on the grounds that Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born citizen of thePhilippines and not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar. Issue: Whether or not Jose Ong, Jr. is a citizen of the Philippines. Held: Yes. In the year 1895, the private respondents grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the Philippines fromChina and established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar. The father of the private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in China in 1905 but was brought by Ong Te to Samar in the year 1915, he filed withthe court an application for naturalization and was declared a Filipino citizen.In 1984, the private respondent married a Filipina named Desiree Lim. For the elections of 1984 and1986, Jose Ong, Jr. registered himself as a voter of Laoang, Samar, and voted there during those elections.Under the 1973 Constitution, those born of Filipino fathers and those born of Filipino mothers with analien father were placed on equal footing. They were both considered as natural born citizens. Besides, privaterespondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in thePhilippines.On the issue of residence, it is not required that a person should have a house in order to establish hisresidence and domicile. It is enough that he should live in the municipality or in a rented house or in that of afriend or relative. To require him to own property in order to be eligible to run for Congress would be tantamountto a property qualification. The Constitution only requires that the candidate meet the age, citizenship, votingand residence requirements FRIVALDO vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. 87193, June 23, 1989] Facts: Petitioner Juan G. Frivaldo was proclaimed governor-elect and assume office in due time. The League of Municipalities filed with the COMELEC a petition for annulment of Frivaldos election and proclamation on the ground that he was not a Filipino citizen, having been naturalized in the United States. Frivaldo admitted the allegation but pleaded the special and affirmative defenses that his naturalization was merely forced upon himself as a means of survival against the unrelenting prosecution by the Martial Law Dictators agent abroad. Issue: Whether or not Frivaldo was a citizen of the Philippines at the time of his election. Held: No. Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that a qualified voter must be, among other qualifications, a citizen of the Philippines, this being an indispensable requirement for suffrage under Article V, Section 1, of the Constitution. Even if he did lose his naturalized American citizenship, such forfeiture did not and could not have the effect of automatically restoring his citizenship in the Philippines that he had earlier renounced. Qualifications for public office are continuing requirements and must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but during the officers entire tenure. Frivaldo declared not a citizen of the Philippines and therefore disqualified from serving as a Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. IN RE: MALLARE [Adm. Case No. 533. September 12, 1974]

FACTS: Florencio Mallare was admitted to the Philippine Bar on March 5, 1962. Apparently, both his parents were Chinese. A complaint was filed by the then Acting Immigration Commissioner, the purpose of which is to determine whether Mallare should be stricken from the roll of persons authorised to practice law in the Philippines. Consequently, Mallare was declared excluded from the practice of law and his admission to the bar was revoked. Mallare moved for reconsideration of the decision but was denied by the Court. Mallare then petitioned that the case be opened for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidences which would alter the decision previously promulgated by the Court. The evidence consisted of an entry in the registry of baptism of the Immaculate Concepcion Church purporting to show Esteban Mallare, the petitioner's father, to be the natural son of Ana Mallare, a Filipina; and testimonies of certain persons who had known Esteban Mallare and his mother during their lifetime. In its resolution dated July 31, 1969, the Court resolved to set aside its previous decision and granted the new trial prayed for. ISSUE: Whether or not Esteban Mallare, the petitioners father, is a Filipino, thus making petitioner Florencio Mallare also a Filipino citizen, and therefore should be included back in the Roll of Attorneys. Held: The Court found sufficient grounds to warrant a definite setting aside of its previous decision, and a definite declaration that Florencio Mallare is a Filipino citizen and therefore with qualification and right to continue the practice of law. The petitioner's evidence shows that his father was born out of wedlock and that his grandmother is a Filipina who resided in Macalelon, Quezon, affirmed by the testimonies of the natives of Macalelon, who had personal knowledge of the person, birth and residency of both Ana Mallare and her son, Esteban. Petitioner's father is therefore a Filipino, and no other act would be necessary to confer on him all the rights and privileges attached to Philippine citizenship; and even assuming that Ana Mallare were legally married to an alien, Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he come of age, constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. Jacot vs. Dal [G.R. No. 179848, November 27, 2008]

Facts: Petitioner Nestor Jacot assails the Resolution of COMELEC disqualifying him from running for the position of Vice-Mayor of Catarman, Camiguin, in the 14 May 2007 National and Local Elections, on the ground that he failed to make a personal renouncement of US citizenship. He was a natural born citizen of the Philippines, who became a naturalized citizen of the US on 13 December 1989. He sought to reacquire his Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225. ISSUE: Did Nestor Jacot effectively renounce his US citizenship so as to qualify him to run as a vice-mayor? HELD: No. It bears to emphasize that the oath of allegiance is a general requirement for all those who wish to run as candidates in Philippine elections; while the renunciation of foreign citizenship is an additional requisite only for those who have retained or reacquired Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 and who seek elective public posts, considering their special circumstance of having more than one citizenship. MERCADO VS.MANZANO [307 SCRA 631, May 26, 1999]

FACTS: In the case at bar, petitioner was seeking the disqualification of respondent to hold elective office on the ground that he is a dual citizen, having been born in the United States of Filipino parents. Pursuant to Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160), those with dual citizenship are disqualified from running any elective local position. ISSUE: Whether or not dual citizenship is a ground for disqualification. HELD: No, because dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. What is inimical is not dual citizenship per se, but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Hence, the phrase dual citizenship in RA 7160 must be understood as referring to dual allegiance. Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Mo Ya Lim Yao vs. Commissioner of Immigration [GR L-21289, 4 October 1971] Facts: On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as a nonimmigrant, for a temporary visitor's visa to enter the Philippines. She was permitted to come into the Philippines on 13 March 1961. On the date of her arrival, Asher Y, Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her authorized period of stay in this country or within the period as in his discretion the Commissioner of Immigration. After repeated extensions, she was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February 1962. On 25 January 1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim an alleged Filipino citizen. Because of the contemplated action of the Commissioner of Immigration to confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation, after the expiration of her authorized stay, she brought an action for injunction with preliminary injunction. The Court of First Instance of Manila (Civil Case 49705) denied the prayer for preliminary injunction. Moya Lim Yao and Lau Yuen Yeung appealed. Issue: Whether Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a Filipino citizen. Held: Under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law. Likewise, an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4. Whether the alien woman requires to undergo the naturalization proceedings, Section 15 is a parallel provision to Section 16. Thus, if the widow of an applicant for naturalization as Filipino, who dies during the proceedings, is not required to go through a naturalization proceedings, in order to be considered as a Filipino citizen hereof, it should follow that the wife of a living Filipino cannot be denied the same privilege. Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensible in a judicial or administrative case, Whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered as res adjudicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again as the occasion may demand. Lau Yuen Yeung,

was declared to have become a Filipino citizen from and by virtue of her marriage to Moy Ya Lim Yao al as Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim, a Filipino citizen of 25 January 1962. Tecson Vs. Comelec [G.R. No. 161434 March 3, 2004] Facts: Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent. Issue: Whether or Not FPJ is a natural born Filipino citizen. Held: It is necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. LABO VS. COMELEC [GR No. 86564, August 1, 1989] FACTS: Herein petitioner, claiming for recognition as a Philippine citizen is a mayor-elect who, through his marriage with an Australian national, was naturalized and took an oath of allegiance as an Australian citizen. Said marriage was found to be bigamous and therefore was annulled. Petitioner claims that his naturalization made him only a dual national and did not divest him of his Philippine citizenship. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner was divested of his Philippine citizenship. HELD: Yes, because Commonwealth Act No. 63 clearly stated that Philippine citizenship may be lost through naturalization in a foreign country; express renunciation of citizenship; and by oath of allegiance to a foreign country, all of which are applicable to the petitioner.

CAASI vs. COMELEC [191 SCRA 229, 1990] Facts: Private respondent Merito Miguel was elected as municipal mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan during the local elections of January 18, 1988. His disqualification, however, was sought by herein petitioner, Mateo Caasi, on the ground that under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code private respondent was not qualified because he is a green card holder, hence, a permanent resident of the United States of America, not of Bolinao. Issues: 1. Whether or not a green card is proof that the holder is a permanent resident of the United States. 2. Whether respondent Miguel had waived his status as a permanent resident of or immigrant to the U.S.A. prior to the local elections on January 18, 1988. Held: The Supreme Court held that Miguels application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U.S. and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent resident of the U.S. despite his occasional visits to the Philippines. The waiver of such immigrant status should be as indubitable as his application for it. Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered his green card to the appropriate U.S. authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao in the local election on January 18, 1988, the Courts conclusion is that he was disqualified to run for said public office, hence, his election thereto was null and void. Adormeo vs COMELEC [76 SCRA 90; GR 147927; February 4, 2002] (Municipal Corporation: Interruption, Recall Exception to the 3 term limit) Facts: Petitioner and private respondent incumbent mayor were the only candidates who filed their COC for mayor of Lucena City in the May 2001 elections. Private respondent was elected mayor in May 1992, where he served the full term. Again, he was re-elected in May 1995, where he again served the full term. In the election of 1998, he lost to Bernard G. Tagarao. In the recall election of May 2000, he again won and served only the unexpired term of Tagarao after having lost to the latter in the 1998 election. Petitioner filed a petition to cancel COC and/or disqualification of the respondent in the ground that the latter was elected and had served as city mayor for 3 consecutive terms contending that serving the unexpired term of office is considered as 1 term. Private respondent maintains that his service as city mayor of Lucena is not consecutive. He lost his bid for a second re-election in 1998 and during Tagaraos incumbency, he was a private citizen, thus he had not been a mayor for 3 consecutive terms. Section 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that the term of office of elective 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 service for the full term for which the elective official concerned was elected. Section 43(b) of RA 7160 (Local Government Code) provides that no local elective 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 concerned was elected.

Issue: WON private respondent had already served 3 consecutive term for mayor of Lucena City. Held: No. Private respondent was not elected for 3 consecutive terms. For nearly 2 years, he was a private citizen. The continuity of his term as mayor was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections. Neither can respondents victory in the recall election be deemed a voluntary renunciation for clearly it is not. Voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three term limit; conversely, involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service (Lonzanida vs COMELEC). Hence, being elected in a recall election interrupts the 3 consecutive term limit. Note: Recall a petition designed to remove an official from office by reason of lack of confidence. It is initiated only in the middle of the year. Aldovino, Jr. vs. Comelec [G.R. No. 184836 December 23, 2009] Interruption of the three term limit Facts: The respondent Wilfredo F. Asilo (Asilo) was elected councilor of Lucena City for three consecutive terms: for the 1998-2001, 2001-2004, and 2004-2007 terms, respectively. In September 2005 or during his 20042007 term of office, the Sandiganbayan preventively suspended him for 90 days in relation with a criminal case he then faced. This Court, however, subsequently lifted the Sandiganbayans suspension order; hence, he resumed performing the functions of his office and finished his term. Issue: Is the preventive suspension of an elected public official an interruption of his term of office for purposes of the three-term limit rule under Section 8, Article X of the Constitution and Section 43(b) of Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160, or the Local Government Code)? Ruling: General requisites for the application of the three term limit 1. that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post; and 2. that he has fully served three consecutive terms Construction of the three term limit Although the election requisite was not actually present, the Court still gave full effect to the three-term limitation because of the constitutional intent to strictly limit elective officials to service for three terms. By so ruling, the Court signalled how zealously it guards the three-term limit rule. Effectively, these cases teach us to strictly interpret the term limitation rule in favor of limitation rather than its exception. Construction of the word interruption The interruption of a term exempting an elective official from the three-term limit rule is one that involves no less than the involuntary loss of title to office. The elective official must have involuntarily left his office for a length of time, however short, for an effective interruption to occur. This has to be the case if the thrust of Section 8, Article X and its strict intent are to be faithfully served, i.e., to limit an elective officials continuous

stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms, using voluntary renunciation as an example and standard of what does not constitute an interruption. Nature of preventive suspension Notably in all cases of preventive suspension, the suspended official is barred from performing the functions of his office and does not receive salary in the meanwhile, but does not vacate and lose title to his office; loss of office is a consequence that only results upon an eventual finding of guilt or liability. Ruling of the Court in the case at bar Strict adherence to the intent of the three-term limit rule demands that preventive suspension should not be considered an interruption that allows an elective officials stay in office beyond three terms. A preventive suspension cannot simply be a term interruption because the suspended official continues to stay in office although he is barred from exercising the functions and prerogatives of the office within the suspension period. The best indicator of the suspended officials continuity in office is the absence of a permanent replacement and the lack of the authority to appoint one since no vacancy exists. LOONG VS COMELEC [G.R. No. 133676, April 14, 1999] FACTS: Automated elections systems was used for the May 11, 1998 regular elections held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which includes the Province of Sulu. Atty. Jose Tolentino, Jr. headed the COMELEC Task Force to have administrative oversight of the elections in Sulu. On May 12, 1998, some election inspectors and watchers informed Atty. Tolentino, Jr. of discrepancies between the election returns and the votes cast for the mayoralty candidates in the municipality of Pata. To avoid a situation where proceeding with automation will result in an erroneous count, he suspended the automated counting of ballots in Pata and immediately communicated the problem to the technical experts of COMELEC and the suppliers of the automated machine. After the consultations, the experts told him that the problem was caused by misalignment of the ovals opposite the names of candidates in the local ballots. They found nothing wrong with the automated machines. The error was in the printing of the local ballots, as a consequence of which, the automated machines failed to read them correctly. Atty. Tolentino, Jr. called for an emergency meeting of the local candidates and the military-police officials overseeing the Sulu elections. Among those who attended were petitioner Tupay Loong and private respondent Abdusakar Tan and intervenor Yusop Jikiri (candidates for governor.) The meeting discussed how the ballots in Pata should be counted in light of the misaligned ovals. There was lack of agreement. Some recommended a shift to manual count (Tan et al) while the others insisted on automated counting (Loong AND Jikiri). Reports that the automated counting of ballots in other municipalities in Sulu was not working well were received by the COMELEC Task Force. Local ballots in five (5) municipalities were rejected by the automated machines. These municipalities were Talipao, Siasi, Tudanan, Tapul and Jolo. The ballots were rejected because they had the wrong sequence code. Before midnight of May 12, 1998, Atty. Tolentino, Jr. was able to send to the COMELEC en banc his report and recommendation, urging the use of the manual count in the entire Province of Sulu. 6 On the same day, COMELEC issued Minute Resolution No. 98-1747 ordering a manual count but only in the municipality of Pata.. The next day, May 13, 1998, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 98-1750 approving, Atty. Tolentino, Jr.s recommendation and the manner of its implementation. On May 15, 1998, the COMELEC en banc issued Minute Resolution No. 98-1796 laying down the rules for the manual count. Minute Resolution 98-1798 laid down the procedure for the counting of votes for Sulu at the PICC. COMELEC started the manual count on May 18, 1998.

ISSUE: 1. Whether or not a petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is the appropriate remedy to invalidate the disputed COMELEC resolutions. 2. Assuming the appropriateness of the remedy, whether or not COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in ordering a manual count. (The main issue in the case at bar) 2.a. Is there a legal basis for the manual count? 2.b. Are its factual bases reasonable? 2.c. Were the petitioner and the intervenor denied due process by the COMELEC when it ordered a manual count? 3. Assuming the manual count is illegal and that its result is unreliable, whether or not it is proper to call for a special election for the position of governor of Sulu. HELD: The petition of Tupay Loong and the petition in intervention of Yusop Jikiri are dismissed, there being no showing that public respondent gravely abused its discretion in issuing Minute Resolution Nos. 98-1748, 98-1750, 98-1796 and 98-1798. Our status quo order of June 23, 1998 is lifted. (1.) Certiorari is the proper remedy of the petitioner. The issue is not only legal but one of first impression and undoubtedly suffered with significance to the entire nation. It is adjudicatory of the right of the petitioner, the private respondents and the intervenor to the position of governor of Sulu. These are enough considerations to call for an exercise of the certiorari jurisdiction of this Court. (2a). A resolution of the issue will involve an interpretation of R.A. No. 8436 on automated election in relation to the broad power of the COMELEC under Section 2(1), Article IX(C) of the Constitution to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election , plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall. Undoubtedly, the text and intent of this provision is to give COMELEC all the necessary and incidental powers for it to achieve the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. The order for a manual count cannot be characterized as arbitrary, capricious or whimsical. It is well established that the automated machines failed to read correctly the ballots in the municipality of Pata The technical experts of COMELEC and the supplier of the automated machines found nothing wrong the automated machines. They traced the problem to the printing of local ballots by the National Printing Office. It is plain that to continue with the automated count would result in a grossly erroneous count. An automated count of the local votes in Sulu would have resulted in a wrong count, a travesty of the sovereignty of the electorate In enacting R.A. No. 8436, Congress obviously failed to provide a remedy where the error in counting is not machine-related for human foresight is not all-seeing. We hold, however, that the vacuum in the law cannot prevent the COMELEC from levitating above the problem. . We cannot kick away the will of the people by giving a literal interpretation to R.A. 8436. R.A. 8436 did not prohibit manual counting when machine count does not work. Counting is part and parcel of the conduct of an election which is under the control and supervision of the COMELEC. It ought to be self-evident that the Constitution did not envision a COMELEC that cannot count the result of an election. It is also important to consider that the failures of automated counting created post election tension in Sulu, a province with a history of violent elections. COMELEC had to act desively in view of the fast deteriorating peace and order situation caused by the delay in the counting of votes (2c) Petitioner Loong and intervenor Jikiri were not denied process. The Tolentino memorandum clearly shows that they were given every opportunity to oppose the manual count of the local ballots in Sulu. They were orally heard. They later submitted written position papers. Their representatives escorted the transfer of the ballots and the automated machines from Sulu to Manila. Their watchers observed the manual count from beginning to end. 3. The plea for this Court to call a special election for the governorship of Sulu is completely off-line. The plea can only be grounded on failure of election. Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code tells us when there is a failure of election, viz:

Sec. 6. Failure of election. If, on account of force majeure, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes, the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election, not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. There is another reason why a special election cannot be ordered by this Court. To hold a special election only for the position of Governor will be discriminatory and will violate the right of private respondent to equal protection of the law. The records show that all elected officials in Sulu have been proclaimed and are now discharging their powers and duties. These officials were proclaimed on the basis of the same manually counted votes of Sulu. If manual counting is illegal, their assumption of office cannot also be countenanced. Private respondents election cannot be singled out as invalid for alikes cannot be treated unalikes. The plea for a special election must be addressed to the COMELEC and not to this Court. Borja vs COMELEC [295 SCRA 157; GR 133495, September 3, 1998] (Municipal Corporation, Disqualification, Succession Exception to the 3 term limit) Facts: Private respondent Jose T. Capco, Jr. was elected vice-mayor of Pateros on January 18, 1988 for a term ending June 30, 1992. On September 2, 1989, he became mayor, by operation of law, upon the death of the incumbent, Cesar Borja. For the next two succeeding elections in 1992 and 1995, he was again re-elected as Mayor. On March 27, 1998, private respondent Capco filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Pateros relative to the May 11, 1998 elections. Petitioner Benjamin U. Borja, Jr., who was also a candidate for mayor, sought Capcos disqualification on the theory that the latter would have already served as mayor for three consecutive terms by June 30, 1998 and would therefore be ineligible to serve for another term after that. The Second Division of the Commission on Elections ruled in favor of petitioner and declared private respondent Capco disqualified from running for reelection as mayor of Pateros but in the motion for reconsideration, majority overturned the original decision. Issue: WON Capco has served for three consecutive terms as Mayor? Held: No. Article X, Sec. 8 of the Constitution provides that the term of office of elective local officials shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three 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. This provision is restated in par. 43(b) of the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160) which states that no local elective official shall serve for more than three (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 concerned was elected. The term served must therefore be one for which [the official concerned] was elected. The purpose of this provision is to prevent a circumvention of the limitation on the number of terms an elective official may serve. Conversely, if he is not serving a term for which he was elected because he is simply continuing the service of the official he succeeds, such official cannot be considered to have fully served the term not withstanding his voluntary renunciation of office prior to its expiration.

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. Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office, he must also have been elected to the same position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. CODILLA SR. VS DE VENECIA (as Speaker) FACTS: Codilla (Mayor of Ormoc) and Locsin (incumbent Representative) are both candidates for the Representative of the 4th District of Leyte in the 2001 elections. A registered voter then filed a petition for Disqualification against Codilla indirect solicitation of votes1, prohibited by section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. COMELEC (Division) delegated the hearing and reception of the evidence of such case to the Regional Director. Election time came, and yet still no hearing from the Regional Director. When it was apparent that Codilla garnered the most votes, Locsin intervened in the DQ case, and filed an urgent motion to suspend proclamation. Codilla was not served with the Motion. COMELEC (D) issued an order suspending the proclamation due to the seriousness of the allegations. Again, Codilla was not served with a summons to air his side and provide contrary evidences. Although Codilla filed a petition to lift the suspension, COMELEC (D) nevertheless issued a Resolution finding Codilla guilty of indirect solicitation. As a result, COMELEC (D) disqualified Codilla and considered votes cast for him as stray even though such resolution is still not yet final. Locsin was proclaimed the winner and assumed her seat in Congress as the Representative. Codilla then seasonably filed an MR to COMELEC (En banc), which reversed the Division Resolution. Locsin then questioned jurisdiction of COMELEC (E), stating that it was the HRET who has jurisdiction over the case now that she has assumed the post. De Venecia concurs with COMELEC (E), but since Locsin said in one of her privilege speeches that she will not obey the COMELEC (E) reversal, he said that it was up to the SC to decide on the matter. Thus, the petition for Mandamus and Quo Warranto. ISSUE: W/N proclamation divested the COMELEC en banc of jurisdiction to review its validity. NO! Held:Division Proclamation not yet Final The validity of the respondents proclamation was a core issue in the MR filed by the petitioner. And since the MR was seasonably filed, the COMELEC (E) was not divested of its jurisdiction to review the validity of the COMELEC (D) Resolution. The legal basis for this is Section 3, Article IX-C2, which empowers the COMELEC en banc to review, on motion for reconsideration, decisions or resolutions decided by a division. HRET no jurisdiction to review resolutions of COMELEC decisions Locsin argued for HRET jurisdiction, raising section 17 of Article VI 3 as her basis. But stemming from the previous ratio, HRET doesnt have jurisdiction as the issue on the validity of the COMELEC (D) Resolution

has not yet been resolved by the COMELEC en banc. The issue was still within the exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC en banc to resolve. Adding to the fact that jurisprudence has held that HRET has no jurisdiction to review resolutions of COMELEC decisions, whether issued by a (D) or (E). FRANCIS G. ONG vs. JOSEPH STANLEY ALEGRE and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS [G.R. No. 163295 January 23, 2006] FACTS: Alegre and Ong were candidates who filed certificates of candidacy for mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte in the May 10, 2004 elections. Francis was then the incumbent mayor. On January 9, 2004, Alegre filed the petition to disqualify Ong which was predicated on the three-consecutive term rule. Francis ran in the May 1995, May 1998, and May 2001 mayoralty elections and have assumed office as mayor and discharged the duties thereof for three (3) consecutive full terms corresponding to those elections. The May 1998 elections, both Alegre and Ong ran for the office of mayor, with Ong was proclaimed winner. Alegre filed an election protest. In it, the RTC declared Alegre as the duly elected mayor in that 1998 mayoralty contest, but the decision came out only when Francis had fully served the 1998-2001 mayoralty term and starting to serve the 2001-2004 term as mayor-elect. Acting on Alegres petition to disqualify and to cancel Francis certificate of candidacy for the May 10, 2004 elections, the First Division of the COMELEC rendered on March 31, 2004 a resolution dismissing the said petition of Alegre. Alegre filed a motion for reconsideration. The COMELEC en banc issued, a resolution reversing the resolution of the COMELECs First Division and thereby (a) declaring Francis "as disqualified to run for mayor in the May 10, 2004" ; (b) ordering the deletion of Francis name from the official list of candidates; and (c) directing the concerned board of election inspectors not to count the votes cast in his favor. The following day, May 8 at about 5:05 p.m. of the very same day - which is past the deadline for filing a certificate of candidacy, Rommel Ong filed his own certificate of candidacy for the position of mayor, as substitute candidate for his brother Francis. However, it is recommended that the substitute certificate of candidacy of Rommel Ong should be denied due course and the election officer be directed to delete his name from the list of candidates. ISSUE: a) whether or not petitioner Franciss assumption of office for the mayoralty term 1998 to 2001 should be considered as full service for the purpose of the three-term limit rule. b) whether the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in declaring petitioner Francis as disqualified to run c) whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied due course to Rommels certificate of candidacy in the same mayoralty election as substitute for his brother Francis. HELD: a) Respondent COMELEC resolved the question in the affirmative. The three-term limit rule for elective local officials is found in Section 8, Article X of the 1987 Constitution. For the three-term limit for elective local government officials to apply, two conditions or requisites must concur, to wit: (1) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local government post, and (2) that he has fully served three (3) consecutive terms. The disqualifying requisites are present herein, thus effectively barring petitioner Francis from running for mayor. His proclamation by the Municipal Board of Canvassers of San Vicente as the duly elected mayor in the 1998 mayoralty

election coupled by his assumption of office and his continuous exercise of the functions thereof from start to finish of the term, should legally be taken as service for a full term in contemplation of the three-term rule. b) The ascription of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC en banc when it disqualified Francis from running in the May 10, 2004 elections for the mayoralty post cannot be sustained. c) A person without a valid certificate of candidacy cannot be considered a candidate in much the same way as any person who has not filed any certificate of candidacy at all can not, by any stretch of the imagination, be a candidate at all. WHEREFORE , the instant petitions are DISMISSED and the assailed en banc Resolution dated May 7,2004 of the COMELEC, in SPA No. 04-048 AFFIRMED Socrates vs Comelec FACTS: G.R. No. 154512 Petitioner Socrates seeks to nullify the COMELEC en banc resolution dated August14, 2002 in E.M. No. 02-010 (RC) which gave due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduled the recall election on September 7, 2002. Socrates alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in upholding the Recall Resolution. Socrates cites the following circumstances as legal infirmities attending the convening of the PRA and its issuance of the Recall Resolution: (1) not all members of the PRA were notified of the meeting to adopt the resolution; (2) the proof of service of notice was palpably and legally deficient; (3) the members of the PRA were themselves seeking a new electoral mandate from their respective constituents; (4) the adoption of the resolution was exercised with grave abuse of authority; and (5) the PRA proceedings were conducted in a manner that violated his and the publics constitutional right to information. G.R. No. 154683 Petitioner Vicente S. Sandoval, Jr. seeks to annul COMELEC Resolution No. 5673dated August 21, 2002 insofar as it fixed the recall election on September 7,2002, giving the candidates only a ten-day campaign period. He prayed that the COMELEC be enjoined from holding the recall election on September 7, 2002 and that a new date be fixed giving the candidates at least an additional 15 days to campaign. In a resolution dated September 3, 2002, the Court en banc enjoined the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. 5673 insofar as it fixed the date of the recall election on September 7, 2002. The Court directed the COMELEC to give the candidates an additional fifteen 15 days from September 7, 2002 within which to campaign. Accordingly, on September 9, 2002, the COMELEC en banc issued Resolution No. 5708 giving the candidates an additional 15 days from September 7, 2002 within which to campaign. Thus, the COMELEC reset the recall election to September 24, 2002. G.R. Nos. 155083-84 Petitioners Adovo, Gilo and Ollave assail the COMELECs resolutions dated September 20, 2002 and September 23, 2002 in SPA Nos. 02-492 and 02-539 declaring Hagedorn qualified to run for mayor in the recall election. They likewise prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin the proclamation of the winning candidate in the recall election. Petitioners argue that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in upholding Hagedorns qualification to run for mayor in the recall election despite the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against a fourth consecutive term for elective local officials. In a resolution dated September 24, 2002, the Court ordered the COMELEC to desist from proclaiming any winning candidate in the recall election until further orders from the Court. Petitioners were required to post a P20,000 bond. On September 27, 2002, Socrates filed a motion for leave to file an attached petition for intervention seeking the same reliefs as those sought by Adovo, Gilo and Ollave. In the meantime, Hagedorn garnered the highest number of votes in the recall election with 20,238 votes. Rival candidates Socrates and Sandoval obtained 17,220 votes and 13,241 votes, respectively. Hagedorn filed motions to lift the order restraining the COMELEC from proclaiming the winning candidate and to allow him to assume office to give effect to the will of the electorate. On October 1, 2002, the Court granted Socrates motion for leave to file a petition for intervention. ISSUES: 1. In G.R. No. 154512, whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in giving due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduling the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa.

2. In G.R. Nos.155083-84, whether Hagedorn is qualified to run for mayor in the recall election of Puerto Princesa on September 24, 2002. In G.R. No. 154683, the issue of whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in fixing a campaign period of only 10 days has become moot. Our Resolution of September 3, 2002 and COMELEC Resolution No. 5708 granted an additional 15 days for the campaign period as prayed for by petitioner. HELD: First Issue: Validity of the Recall Resolution. Petitioner Socrates argues that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in upholding the Recall Resolution despite the absence of notice to 130 PRA members and the defective service of notice to other PRA members. The COMELEC, however, found that On various dates, in the month of June 2002, the proponents for the Recall of incumbent City Mayor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates sent notices of the convening of the PRA to the members thereof pursuant to Section 70 of the Local Government Code. Copies of the said notice are in Volumes I and II entitled Notices to PRA. Likewise, Proof of Service for each of the said notices were attached to the Petition and marked as Annex G of Volumes II and III of the Petition. Notices were likewise posted in conspicuous places particularly at the Barangay Hall. Notices of the convening of the Puerto Princesa PRA were also sent to the following: [a list of 25 names of provincial elective officials, print and broadcast media practitioners, PNP officials, COMELEC city, regional and national officials, and DILG officials].This Court is bound by the findings of fact of the COMELEC on matters within the competence and expertise of the COMELEC, unless the findings are patently erroneous. Thus, we rule that the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in upholding the validity of the Recall Resolution and in scheduling the recall election on September 24, 2002. Second Issue: Hagedorns qualification to run for mayor In summary, we hold that Hagedorn is qualified to run in the September 24, 2002 recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa because: 1. Hagedorn is not running for immediate reelection following his three consecutive terms as mayor which ended on June 30, 2001; 2. Hagedorns continuity of service as mayor was involuntarily interrupted from June 30, 2001 to September 24, 2002 during which time he was a private citizen; 3. Hagedorns recall term from September 24, 2002 to June 30, 2004 cannot be made to retroact to June 30, 2001 to make a fourth consecutive term because factually the recall term is not a fourth consecutive term; and 4. Term limits should be construed strictly to give the fullest possible effect to the right of the electorate to choose their leaders

LATASA vs. COMELEC FACTS: Petitioner Arsenio A. Latasa, was elected mayor of the Municipality of Digos, Davao del Sur in the elections of 1992, 1995, and 1998. During petitioners third term, the Municipality of Digos was declared a component city, to be known as the City of Digos. A plebiscite conducted on September 8, 2000 ratified Republic Act No. 8798 entitled, An Act Converting the Municipality of Digos, Davao del Sur Province into a Component City to be known as the City of Digos or the Charter of the City of Digos. This event also marked the end of petitioners tenure as mayor of the Municipality of Digos. However, under Section 53, Article IX of the Charter, petitioner was mandated to serve in a hold-over capacity as mayor of the new City of Digos. Hence, he took his oath as the city mayor.

On February 28, 2001, petitioner filed his certificate of candidacy for city mayor for the May 14, 2001 elections. He stated therein that he is eligible therefor, and likewise disclosed that he had already served for three consecutive terms as mayor of the Municipality of Digos and is now running for the first time for the position of city mayor. On March 1, 2001, private respondent Romeo M. Sunga, also a candidate for city mayor in the said elections, filed before the COMELEC a Petition to Deny Due Course, Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and/ or For Disqualification against petitioner Latasa. Respondent Sunga alleged therein that petitioner falsely represented in his certificate of candidacy that he is eligible to run as mayor of Digos City since petitioner had already been elected and served for three consecutive terms as mayor from 1992 to 2001. On March 5, 2001, petitioner Latasa filed his answer, arguing that he did not make any false representation in his certificate of candidacy since he fully disclosed therein that he had served as mayor of the Municipality of Digos for three consecutive terms. Moreover, he argued that this fact does not bar him from filing a certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 2001 elections since this will be the first time that he will be running for the post of city mayor. Both parties submitted their position papers on March 19, 2001. On April 27, 2001, respondent COMELECs First Division issued a Resolution, the dispositive portion of which reads, as follows: Wherefore, premises considered, the respondents certificate of candidacy should be cancelled for being a violation of the three (3)-term rule proscribed by the 1987 Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991. Petitioner filed his Motion for Reconsideration dated May 4, 2001,which remained unacted upon until the day of the elections, May 14, 2001. On May 16, 2001, private respondent Sunga filed an Ex Parte Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order Enjoining the City Board of Canvassers From Canvassing or Tabulating Respondents Votes, and From Proclaiming Him as the Duly Elected Mayor if He Wins the Elections.[6] Despite this, however, petitioner Latasa was still proclaimed winner on May 17, 2001, having garnered the most number of votes. Consequently, private respondent Sunga filed, on May 27, 2001, a Supplemental Motion[7] which essentially sought the annulment of petitioners proclamation and the suspension of its effects. On July 1, 2001, petitioner was sworn into and assumed his office as the newly elected mayor of Digos City. It was only on August 27, 2002 that the COMELEC en banc issued a Resolution denying petitioners Motion for Reconsideration. ISSUE :whether or not petitioner Latasa is eligible to run as candidate for the position of mayor of the newly-created City of Digos immediately after he served for three consecutive terms as mayor of the Municipality of Digos. HELD: As a rule, in a representative democracy, the people should be allowed freely to choose those who will govern them. Article X, Section 8 of the Constitution is an exception to this rule, in that it limits the range of choice of the people. Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three 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. An elective local official, therefore, is not barred from running again in for same local government post, unless two conditions concur: 1.) that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms to the same local government post, and 2.) that he has fully served three consecutive terms. In the present case, petitioner states that a city and a municipality have separate and distinct personalities. Thus they cannot be treated as a single entity and must be accorded different treatment consistent with specific provisions of the Local Government Code. He does not deny the fact that he has already served for

three consecutive terms as municipal mayor. However, he asserts that when Digos was converted from a municipality to a city, it attained a different juridical personality. Therefore, when he filed his certificate of candidacy for city mayor, he cannot be construed as vying for the same local government post as seen in the aforementioned provisions (Section 450 (Requisites for Creation), Sec 7 (Creation and Conversion) of the Local Government Code and Sections 2 and 53 of the Charter of the City of Digos), the Court noted that the delineation of the metes and bounds of the City of Digos did not change even by an inch the land area previously covered by the Municipality of Digos. This Court also notes that the elective officials of the Municipality of Digos continued to exercise their powers and functions until elections were held for the new city officials. True, the new city acquired a new corporate existence separate and distinct from that of the municipality. This does not mean, however, that for the purpose of applying the subject Constitutional provision, the office of the municipal mayor would now be construed as a different local government post as that of the office of the city mayor. As stated earlier, the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Digos is the same as that of the municipality. Consequently, the inhabitants of the municipality are the same as those in the city. These inhabitants are the same group of voters who elected petitioner Latasa to be their municipal mayor for three consecutive terms. These are also the same inhabitants over whom he held power and authority as their chief executive for nine years. It is evident that in the cases of Borja, Jr. v. COMELEC, Socrates vs COMELEC, Lonzanida vs COMELEC, and Adormeo vs. COMELEC, there exists a rest period or a break in the service of the local elective official. In Lonzanida, petitioner therein was a private citizen a few months before the next mayoral elections. Similarly, in Adormeo and Socrates, the private respondents therein lived as private citizens for two years and fifteen months respectively. Indeed, the law contemplates a rest period during which the local elective official steps down from office and ceases to exercise power or authority over the inhabitants of the territorial jurisdiction of a particular local government unit. This Court reiterates that the framers of the Constitution specifically included an exception to the peoples freedom to choose those who will govern them in order to avoid the evil of a single person accumulating excessive power over a particular territorial jurisdiction as a result of a prolonged stay in the same office. To allow petitioner Latasa to vie for the position of city mayor after having served for three consecutive terms as a municipal mayor would obviously defeat the very intent of the framers when they wrote this exception. Should he be allowed another three consecutive terms as mayor of the City of Digos, petitioner would then be possibly holding office as chief executive over the same territorial jurisdiction and inhabitants for a total of eighteen consecutive years. This is the very scenario sought to be avoided by the Constitution, if not abhorred by it.