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Mendoza vs COMELEC and Pagdanganan Facts: Mendoza and Pagdanganan were candidates for the May 14, 2007

Elections as Governors of Bulacan to which Mendoza won. Pagdanganan filed an election protest with COMELEC and revision of the ballots followed after which both parties presented their evidences formally. COMELEC approved the parties' formal offer of evidence and thus they were asked to present their respective memoranda, after receiving the memoranda the case was submitted for resolution. The Bulacan ballot boxes, including those involved in the provincial election contest, to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) in connection with the protest filed by Aquilino Pimentel III against Juan Miguel Zubiri. Mendoza moved to suspend the proceedings but was denied by COMELEC's Order of May 26, 2009 that COMELEC has plenary powers to find alternative methods to facilitate the resolution of the election protest as well as his move to reconsider the order. Mendoza's counsel wrote to SET about the action taken on the provincial election contest that he was not informed about and SET's secretary wrote in a reply letter that the proceedings were authorized by the Acting Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Antonio Carpio upon the request of the Office of the Commissioner Lucenito Tagle. Hence, this petition. Mendoza asserts that the proceedings of the election protest is of a public interest since it involves him and the people of Bulacan. He cited the commentaries of Fathe Joaquin Bernas regarding the strictures of judicial due process, the opportunity to be heard and that judgment be rendered only after lawful hearing to be applicable to his protest. He went further and cited Justice Isagani Cruz who wrote that a litigant has a right to be notified of every incident of the proceeding and to be present at every stage to be able to be heard along with his counsel for the protection of his interest. He also asserts that an important element of due process is that the judicial body should have jurisdiction fo the property that is the subject of the judicial proceedings. Citing the case of Cabagnot v COMELEC involving a transfer of venue of the revision of ballots where the court denounced COMELEC's deviation from usual practice. He also states that COMELEC's 2nd Division does not have authority to promulgate the rules of procedure as COMELEC en banc solely has the power to do so. A Status Quo Order was issued. COMELEC for its part in its Extremely Urgent Motion to Life/Status Quo Ante asserting that the "proceeding" Mendoza referred to was the decision-making of the COMELEC and 2nd Division has the internal procedure of appreciating the ballots. There was no revision as it has been finished and so what was undertaken in the SET's premises is a unilateral COMELEC action that is confidential. There was no violation of due process. Pagdanganan asserts that Mendoza has been notified of every happening in the proceedings from the revision up to the submitting of memoranda so his (Mendoza) right to due process was satisfied. Pagdanganan moves for SC to hold Mendoza in contempt for not being truthful in his submissions. Lastly, the petition was filed out of time and so these reasons constitutes the lifting of the Status Quo Order and this petition's dismissal while COMELEC claims that the petition is without basis in fact and ought to be dismissed outright. Furthermore, COMELEC is already in its decisionmaking as the election protest has already been submitted for resolution and not conducting proceedings as what Mendoza alleged which accords him due process wherein he is given the opportunity to intervene in all stages of the proceedings.

Issues: Whether or not COMELEC violated due process by conducting proceedings without givin notice to Mendoza. Ruling: Appropriate due process standards that apply to COMELEC were established in Ang Tibay v CIR are: a) right to a hearing and present his evidence; b) the evidence must be considered; c) the decision must be supported by evidence so that there is no nullity (a decision without supporting evidence); d) the supporting evidence must be substantial; e) the must be rendered on evidence presented at the hearing or that were disclosed to the parties; The essence of due process is the right to be heard. Mendoza does not dispute that he participated in the proceedings of the protest until it was deemed submitted for resolution. These proceedings has satisfied the opportunity to be heard. COMELEC, in coordinating with SET is simply resolving the protest case before it. In forwarding the ballot boxes, COMELEC was only turning it over to SET since SET needs to do revision on the ballot regarding the election protest filed by Pimentel against Zubiri and nothing more as this petition was already submitted for resolution. The petition is dismissed and the status quo order is lifted.