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Election Law Reviewer (2012) 1

Election Law

Chapter One:
GENERAL PRINCIPLES


THEORY OF POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY

Sec 1, Art 2 of the Philippine Constitution:
The Philippines is a democratic and republican state. Sovereignty resides
in the people and all the government authority emanates from them.

Theoretically, the people combined represent the sovereign power of the
State. In practice, however, sovereignty is exercised by the electorate and
those chosen by them.

Republicanism in so far as it implies the adoption of a representative type
of government necessarily points out to the enfranchised citizens as the
ultimate source of established authority.

A democratic and a republican government derive all its powers, indirectly
or directly from the people at large. Its essence is indirect rule.

Actual sovereignty exercised by the people by means of suffrage

Suffrage the right and the obligation of qualified citizens to vote in the election of
certain national and local officers of the government and in the decision of
public questions submitted to the people

NATURE OF SUFFRAGE

1. not a natural right but merely a privilege given or withheld by the lawmaking
power subject to the Constitutional limitations
- granted upon the fulfillment of certain minimum conditions deemed
essential for the welfare of society
- not a necessary accompaniment of citizenship

2. not absolute
- nevertheless, only the serious grounds and upon clear and convincing
proof may a citizen be deemed to have forfeited his right of suffrage
3. as a right conferred by the Constitution, it is classified as a political right as
well as a bounden duty of every citizen
- enables him to participate in the process of the government to assure
that it truly derives powers solely on the consent of the governed
- principle: one man, one vote

4. based upon the theory that the people who bear the burden of the
government should share in the privilege of choosing the officials of the
government
- one man one vote

5. as a duty it is in the nature of public trust
- should be exercised in good faith and with intelligent zeal for the
general benefit and welfare of the State

SCOPE OF SUFFRAGE

1. Election the means by which the people choose their officials for definite
and fixed periods and to whom they entrust, for the time being as their
representatives, the exercise of powers of the government.
o Involves the selection or choice of a candidate by popular vote
o conduct of the polls

2. Plebiscite a vote of the people expressing their choice for or against a
proposed law or enactment submitted to them
o In the Philippines: it is applied to an election at which any proposed
amendment to, or revision of, the Constitution is submitted to the
people for ratification
o It is also required by the Constitution to secure the approval of the
people directly affected, before certain proposed affecting LGUs may
be affected

3. Referendum submission of a law passed by the national or local legislative
body to the registered voters at an election called for the purpose of their
ratification or rejection
o Mode for appealing from an elected body to the whole body of voters

4. Initiative process whereby the registered voters directly propose, enact or
amend laws, national or local, through an election called for that purpose
o Congress is mandated by the Constitution to provide a system of
initiative and referendum which have been declared as the people
power feature of the Constitution


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o Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed through an
initiative

5. Recall method by which a public officer may be removed from office during
his tenure or before the expiration of his term by a vote of the people after
registration of a petition signed by a required percentage of the qualified
votes

OBJECT OF SUFFRAGE

Main Object: continuity of government and the preservation of its benefits

Two-Fold Object:
(1) enable the people to choose their representatives to discharge
sovereign functions ( through elections)
(2) determine their will upon such questions submitted to them (through
a plebiscite, referendum, initiative or recall)

*Election laws regulate how the right of suffrage is to be exercised

**In case of doubt, political laws must be so construed as to give life and spirit to
the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot

POWER OF CONGRESS TO REGULATE SUFFRAGE

Congress can regulate the right of suffrage since it is not a natural right but
a political right. It is within the power of the State to prescribe the manner
in which the right shall be exercised.

Subject to constitutional restrictions, Congress has the power to:
o define qualifications of voters
o regulate elections
o prescribe form of official ballot
o provide for the manner in which candidates shall be chosen and the
names that shall be printed upon the ballot
o regulate the manner and conduct of elections
o exercise of police power

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS ON SUFFRAGE

ARTICLE V, Section 1 (Qualifications of voters)
1. must not be disqualified by any law
2. at least 18 years of age on the date of the election
3. must be a Filipino citizen
1


1
RA 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 / Dual Citizenship
Law)
- This declares that the former natural-born Filipino citizens who acquired foreign
citizenship through naturalization are deemed not to have lost their Philippine
citizenship under the conditions provided in the Act. Former Filipinos may
reacquire and retain their Philippine citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines.

How can one reacquire citizenship under this Act?
- As Section 3 of the Act provides, any provision of law to the contrary
notwithstanding, natural-born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as
citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine
citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines
- Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become
citizens of a forign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
aforesaid oath.

Can children of those who reacquired Filipino citizenship also become Filipino
citizens under this Act?
- According to Section 4 of this Act, the unmarried child, whether legitimate,
illegitimate or adopted, below 18 years of age who reacquire Philippine citizenship
upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines

What are the effects of this Act on civil and political rights?
- According to Section 5, those who retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship under
this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant
liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines under the
following conditions:
1. Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet the
requirements under Sec 1 Art 5 of the Constitutions, RA 9189, and other
existing laws
2. Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the
qualification for holding such public office and required by the Constitution
and existing laws and, at the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy,
make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship
before any public officer authorized to administer an oath
3. Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an
oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly
constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office; Provided, that
they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that
oath
4. Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply
with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such
practice; and
5. That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in
the Philippines cannot be exercised by, or extended to those who:


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4. resided:
a. in the Philippines for at least one year; and
b. in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least 6 months
immediately preceding the election
5. no literacy, property, or other substantive requirement may be imposed

*detention prisoners (those that are not yet convicted and disqualified under any
law) are not explicitly disqualified to vote but they can only vote if COMELEC will
held elections / provide voting facilities inside the detention facility

**Congress cannot add or alter such qualifications; the specification in the
Constitution is an implied prohibition against interference

***Congress may add disqualifications (by law)

ARTICLE V, Sec 2 Congress shall provide a:
1. system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballots
2. system for absentee voting for qualified Filipinos
a. RA 9189 (Absentee Voting Act of 2003)
2
Absentee voters may
vote for president, vice-president, senators, and party-list
representatives only)

a) Are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the
country of which they are naturalized citizens; and/or
b) They are in active service as commissioned or non-
commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country which
they are naturalized citizens

2
SUMMARY of RA 8189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003)
o This law ensures equal opportunity to all qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad
in the exercise of their right to participate in the election of President, Vice-
President, Senators, and Party-list Representatives

Absentee voting
o refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise
their right to vote


Who are covered?
o All citizen of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualified by law, at
least 18 years of age on the day of the elections.

Who are disqualified?
1. Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws
3. procedure for the disabled and illiterate to vote without the assistance of
other persons

SUBSTANTIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT OF
SUFFRAGE

1. Literacy was removed by the 1973 Constitution
*A Filipino does not cease to be a Filipino just because he is illiterate


2. Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have
pledged allegiance to a foreign country
3. Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or
tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than 1 year, including
those who have been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Art. 137 of the
RPC, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty;
Provided that the person disqualified according to this shall automatically reacquire
the right to vote upon the expiration of 5 years after service of sentence; provided,
further, that COMELEC may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign
courts of tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and
processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments
4. An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host
country, unless he/she executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the
purpose by COMELEC declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical
permanent residence in the Philippines not later than 3 years from approval of
his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has
not applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be the cause
for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the
National Registry of the Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to
vote in absentia
5. Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by
competent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippines
embassies, consulates or foreign service establishments concerned, unless such
competent authority subsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or
incompetent

How may a Filipino citizen become a registered overseas absentee voter?
o Filipino citizens abroad or Filipino citizens in the Philippines who will be abroad on
Election Day may become registered overseas absentee voters by filing an
application for registration or certification as overseas absentee voters

Is a registered overseas absentee voter automatically entitled to vote?
o No, a registered overseas absentee voter must have an approved application to
vote in absentia to be entitled to vote



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2. Property under the 1987 Constitution, Congress cannot impose property
requirement
(a) property ownership NOT a test of an individual capacity - the
ownership of property neither adds nor detracts from a mans
capacity to function fully and properly as a political being
(b) property requirement inconsistent with concept of republican
government presupposes equal opportunity
(c) property requirement inconsistent with social justice

3. Other Substantive Requirements Congress is prohibited by the
Constitution to impose additional substantive requirements for voting like
education, sex and taxpaying ability. (but Congress may add procedural
requirements by promulgation of the necessary laws)


Chapter Two:
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


PURPOSE OF THE COMELEC

To protect the sanctity of the ballot
purity of elections is one of the fundamental requisites of popular
government

To ensure free and honest expression of the popular will
Intention is to place it outside the influence of political parties and the
control of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the
government
By an independent office whose sole work is to enforce laws on elections.

COMPOSITION OF THE COMELEC

1 CHAIRMAN
6 COMMISISONERS

QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS

1. Natural-born citizens of the Philippines, at the time of their appointment;
2. At least 35 years of age;
3. College degree holders
4. Must nor have been candidates for any election immediately preceding the
election;
5. Majority, including the Chairman, are members of the bar, in practice for at
least 10 years
o reason for this is that the commission is a quasi-judicial agency

APPOINTMENT AND TERMS OF OFFICE OF MEMBERS

The chairman and the commissioners are appointed by the president with
consent of the Commission on Appointments;

For a term of seven (7) years without reappointment;
o Staggered term of 2 years interval

First appointed Commissioners (without reappointment):
o 3 shall hold office for 7 years


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o 2 for 5 years
o last members for 3 years

A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired
term to preserve the staggered terms of office;

Appointments in temporary or acting capacity in the commission are not
allowed;
o The commission is an independent body and to preserve its
independence, the members appointed to that position must
permanent;

That independence and impartiality may be shaken and destroyed by a
designation of a person or officer to act temporarily in the commission.

DISABILITIES OF MEMBERS

1. Cant hold any other office
2. Cant practice any other profession
3. Active management / control of any business which affects function of his
office prohibited;
4. Prohibited from being financially interested in any contracts with govt,
including GOCCs.

*The disabilities during their continuance in office are similar to those imposed on
the president and vice-president.

**Reason behind the prohibitions: fiduciary nature of public office

CONSTITUTIONAL POWER AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMELEC

As an independent body, it is clothed with the 3 powers of government:
1. Executive or administrative
o to enforce and administer election laws
2. Quasi-legislative
o to promulgate rules on all questions affecting the elections and its
rules of procedure
3. Quasi-judicial
o To exercise original and appellate jurisdiction over certain election
contests



The powers and functions of the comelec are spelled out in the Constitution, ART.
IX-C Section 2: (EARS J DD ARRF)

1. ENFORCE AND ADMINISTER laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of an ELECTION, PLEBISCITE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL;

2. REGISTER, political parties, orgs, and coalitions;

3. SUBMIT TO PRES. AND CONGRESS comprehensive report on conduct
of election, pleb, ref, recall.

4. JURISDICTION
o EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION over
Regional, provincial and city officials
All contests relating to elections, returns and qualifications
o APPELLATE JURISDICTION over
Municipal officials decided by courts of general jurisdiction
Barangay officials decided by courts of limited jurisdiction

5. DECIDE all questions affecting elections, including determination of the
number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials
and inspectors and registration of voters;

6. DEPUTIZE, with the concurrence of the president, law enforcement
agencies, including AFP, for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly
elections;

7. ACCREDIT, citizens arms of the comelec.

8. RECOMMEND TO CONGRESS measures to minimize election spending,
limitation of places for propaganda materials and prevent and penalize all
forms of election frauds, offenses and malpractice (improvements);

9. RECOMMEND TO THE PRESIDENT the removal of any officers or
employee deputized or for the imposition of disciplinary actions for
violations of election laws;

10. FILE, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters;
INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE cases of violations of election
laws





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ENFORCE AND ADMINISTER LAWS RELATIVE TO THE CONDUCT OF
ELECTIONS, ETC.

Scope of power:
The Constitution gave the COMELEC all the necessary and incidental
powers for it to achieve the holding of free, orderly, honest, and peaceful,
and credible elections
Has investigatory and prosecution power under the Constitution and the
Omnibus Elections Code.
Great latitude is given to the COMELEC in adopting means and methods
to ensure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was
created
Not strictly bound by the rules on evidence
The choice and means of the COMELEC will not be interfered with unless
these are clearly illegal or arbitrary
As an independent body created by the Constitution, it is on a level higher
than statutory administrative organs

*The enforcement and administration of all election laws by the COMELEC does
not include the power to annul an election which may not have been free, orderly,
and honest, as such power is merely preventive, and not curative. If it fails to
accomplish that purpose, it is not for such body to cure or remedy the resulting evil
but some other agencies of the government. (Abes v COMELEC this ruling will
now apply to elections involving the President, VP, and Members of Congress)

Specific powers include:
Power to annul or cancel illegal registry of list of voters and to order
preparation of a new one
To cancel the canvass of election returns and annul an illegal proclamation
To suspend the proclamation of winning candidates pending an inquiry
into irregularities brought to its intention
To direct the board of canvasser to include in the canvass returns from
questioned precincts
To review the actuations of the board of canvassers even to the extent of
inquiring beyond the election records of the voting centers in question

When proclamations have been made:
Any alteration or amendment in any statements of election, or in any
contradiction or discrepancy appearing therein cannot be made without the
intervention of a competent court
But it can order a new canvass even after the proclamation where its valid
order directing the suspension of the proclamation has been violated

DECIDE ELECTION CONTESTS

Election contests
- refers to the adversary proceedings by which matters involving the title or
claim to an elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is
settled whether or not the contestant is claiming the office in dispute
- in case of elections of barangay officials, the term is restricted to proceedings
after the proclamation of the winner as no pre-proclamation controversies are
allowed
- neither a civil nor a criminal proceeding; it is a summary proceeding of a
political character (Rule 20 COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

The power of COMELEC to decide election contests includes the power to
determine the validity or nullity of votes

COMELEC is also vested with the power of the prosecutor to conduct
preliminary investigation and the prosecution of election offenses
punishable under the election law before a competent court

LOCAL ELECTIVE POSITIONS
ELECTION CONTESTS
involving
Jurisdiction
Finality of
Decisions
3

Regional, provincial, and city
officials
Exclusive jurisdiction of
COMELEC
May be appealed to
the SC
Municipal and barangay
officials
Under RTC and MTC
subject to appeal to
COMELEC (appellate)
Final, executory,
and not appealable
Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)
officials
DILG has direct control and
supervision

NATIONAL ELECTIVE POSITIONS
ALL CONTESTS relating
to the election returns,
and qualifications
4
of
Jurisdiction
Finality of
Decisions
Members of the Lower
House
House of Representative
Electoral Tribunal


3
Does not divest SC of jurisdiction to resolve questions of law
4
Phrase refers to all matters affecting the validity of the contestees title


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Senate (Upper House) Senate Electoral Tribunal
President / VP
Supreme Court, sitting en
banc, as Presidential
Electoral Tribunal


COMELEC and SC have CONCURRENT jurisdiction to issue writs of
certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus over decisions of trial courts of
general jurisdiction.

COMELEC has authority to issue the extraordinary writs only in aid of its
appellate jurisdiction

DECIDE ALL QUESTIONS AFFECTING ELECTIONS

Election may refer to the conduct of the polls including the listing of voters, the
holding of the electoral campaign, and the election of officers in the Katipunan ng
mga Barangay

The jurisdiction of COMELEC is over popular elections, the elected
officials of which are determined through the will of the electorate.

COMELEC has the inherent power to amend or control its processes and
orders before they become final and executor. The Rules of Court apply
suppletorily.

COMELEC has no jurisdiction over questions involving the right to vote.

DEPUTIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

COMELEC, with the concurrence of the President, may deputize law
enforcement agencies to perform some of its functions.

The officers and agencies deputized by COMELEC are subject to the
authority, control, and supervision of the COMELEC in respect of the
particular functions covered by such deputation.
o Under the Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC may relieve any officer
or employee deputized by it, and, upon its recommendation, the
corresponding authority shall suspend or remove from office any or all
such officers or employees who may, after due process, be found
guilty of such violation or failure.
o It may only recommend to the President the suspension or removal
and it is the President who will impose such. President may or may
not follow the recommendation of COMELEC.
o BUT as to officers and employees appointed by the COMELEC, it can
remove them for cause.

REGISTER POLITICAL PARTIES, ETC. AND ACCREDIT ITS CITIZENS ARMS -
COMELEC WILL DENY REGISTRATION OF:

1. Political parties which
a. have no platform or program of government;
b. seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means;
c. refuse to uphold and adhere to the Constitution; OR
d. are supported by any foreign government
2. Religious denominations and sects
3. Partisan and non-neutral citizens arms

*Acceptance of financial contributions from foreign governments and their
agencies related to elections is a ground for the cancellation of registration of a
political party or organization. Such contributions are declared as constituting
interference in our internal affairs.

FILE PETITIONS, INVESTIGATE, PROSECUTE

It can exercise these powers on its own initiative even in the absence of
any complaint.

COMELEC can conduct preliminary investigations in cases involving
election offenses for the purpose of helping the court determine probable
cause and for filing an information in court. This power is EXCLUSIVE.
Ombudsman or Prosecutor can only perform such power if they have been
duly delegated / deputized by COMELEC.

SUBMIT REPORT

Report should contain a description on how a previous election, plebiscite,
initiative, referendum, or recall was conducted and what laws or
regulations, if any, were violated.

COMELEC may also submit recommendations with respect to the flaws or
defects it has discovered in the enforcement of election laws.



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Without the constitutional mandate to submit reports, COMELEC may
refuse to submit such to other branches of the government.

COMELEC HAS POWER TO PUNISH FOR CONTEMPT

COMELEC has the power to hear and decide any controversy that may be
submitted to it in connection with the elections. As an incident of such
power, it may also punish for contempt (Rule 64 of RoC). This power is
judicial in character.
BUT in the exercise of its ADMINISTRATIVE functions, it may not hold a
person in contempt.
o What are these admin matters?
Contracts
Distribution of ballots etc.

HEARING OF ELECTION CASES (CONSTITUTION ART. IX, SECTION 3)

2 tiered organizational and functional structure:
o Election cases including pre-proclamation controversies (except
those relating to election, returns, and qualifications of members of
Congress which are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
respective Electoral Tribunal of each house) and appeals from trial
courts must first be heard and decided by a Division of
COMELEC.
Mandatory and jurisdictional
COMELEC sitting en banc does not have the authority to
hear the case at first instance
o When the exercise of quasi-judicial powers are involved,
COMELEC is mandated to decide cases first in divisions of 3, and
then, upon motion for reconsideration, en banc.

COMELEC sitting en banc
o Can act directly on matters falling within the administrative powers
o Can only act on MR only of decisions of a division of the
COMELEC
o The review of the COMELEC sitting en banc is mandatory before
the decision may be brought to the SC on certiorari
o There is a presumption of regularity and factual findings are
binding upon the regular courts
o When COMELEC en banc reviews and evaluates a partys
petition, a partys answer and the supporting papers attached
thereto, the same is tantamount to a fair hearing
o Technical rules of evidence are not rigoriously applied
Congress, may, by legislation, fix a period for the rendition of decisions for
election cases.
o Under the 1973 Constitution, all election cases shall be decided in
90 days from the date of their submission for decision
o Under Sec 257 of the Omnibus Election Code, election cases
brought before COMELEC shall be decided within 90 days from
the date of submission for decision.
Adherence to this is not strictly required since a very strict
construction might allow the procedural flaws to subvert
the will of the electorate and would amount to
disenfranchisement of voters in numerous cases.

Sec 258 of the Omnibus Election Code on the preferential disposition of
election contests applies only to cases before the courts and not those
before COMELEC

REGULATION OF PUBLIC ENTITIES (CONSTITUTION ART. IX-C, SECTION 4)

COMELEC, during election period, may
o Supervise and regulate
The enjoyment or utilization of any franchises or permits
for the operation of transportation and other public utilities,
Media communication or information
All grants, special privileges or concessions granted

This is to ensure equal opportunity, time, and space for public information
campaigns and for a among candidates in connection with the objective of
holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections

The provision seeks to place all candidates on more or less equal footing
in making known their qualifications and platforms and their stand on
public issues and thereby equalize their opportunities of winning at the
polls

PARDON, ETC. OF VIOLATORS OF ELECTION LAWS (CONSTITUTION ART.
IX0C, section 4)

NO pardon, amnesty, parole or suspension of sentence for violation of
election laws, rules and regulations shall be granted by the President
without the favorable recommendation of the COMELEC

PURPOSE: to avoid the possibility of the president granting pardon etc.
who may belong to his party or for political reasons.


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ELECTION AND CAMPAIGN PERIODS

Election period: 90 days before election and 30 days thereafter (CONSTITUTION
ART. IX-C, section 6)

The Constitutional provision pertains only to the election period and not to
the campaign period

The COMELEC or Congress, in special cases, may change the duration of
the election period.

The limitation is designed to minimize partisan political activities and
expensive election contests.

Campaign period: maximum of 90 days before the election
- part of which is intended for the COMELEC to prepare for the
election, the printing, and distribution of forms, appointment of
members in registrations boards, etc., and other preparatory acts
- fixed by law (may be less than 90 days) and covers only the
period before the day of the election
- it is unlawful to engage in an election campaign or partisan
political activity outside the campaign period

ELECTION PERIOD NOT SAME WITH CAMPAIGN PERIOD;
o Election period includes 30 days after election as election period;
o While campaign period can only include the 90 days prior to
election day;

REDITION OF DECISION AND JUDICIAL REVIEW
(CONSTITUTION ART. IX-A, section 7)

Comelec shall decide by majority vote of all members any case

Within 60 days from date of its submission for decision or resolution;
o Deemed submitted for decision upon filing of the last pleading,
brief, memorandum, required by rules;

Orders and rules of COMELEC sitting en banc subject to review by SC
under certiorari (Rule 65), unless otherwise provided by Constitution
o Only election disputes before COMELEC en banc in the exercise
of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers involving elective
regional, provincial, and city officials, may be brought to the
SC under certiorari
o MR of an en banc decision is not allowed except in election cases.
Only recourse would be certiorari to SC under Rule 65
o An MR when not pro forma suspends the running of the period to
elevate the matter to the SC

SC has no power of supervision over the COMELEC and review is limited
only to questions involving grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction
o Grounds:
Grave abuse of discretion amounting to patent and
substantial denial of due process committed n the
exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers
There is absolutely no evidence or no substantial
evidence in support of the findings
Erroneous estimation of the evidence presented
Question of law
o REASON:
independence of COMELEC to secure free, orderly,
honest, and peaceful elections

Execution pending appeal can only be allowed:
o on the basis of good reasons to be stated in a special order
o the reasons must be of such urgency as to outweigh the injury or
damage of the losing party should the latter secure a reversal of
the judgment on appeal; and
o there must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the
adverse party

Execution pending appeal
o allowed by Section 2 Rule 39 of the Rules of Court is an exception
to the general rule that only final judgments may be executed;
o This is strictly construed.

*Jurisdiction of the SC to review questions of law will not be affected

RULES OF PROCEDURE

The COMELEC en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning
pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices
o Liberal construction of rules
o May suspend its Rules or any portion thereof in the interest of
justice
o Rules of Court applies suppletorily


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Such rules shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights;
o Substantive rights rights which substantive law declares or rights
concerning life, liberty or property (bill of rights)
o Procedural rights refer to the remedies or means by which an
aggrieved party, whose rights have been violated, may bring his
case to suit, trial, and judgment.

VOTES REQUIRED FOR RENDITION OF DECISION

ART. IX-A, SECTION 7 COMELEC shall decide by a MAJORITY VOTE
of all its members any case or matter brought before it;

QUORUM of a DIVISION TWO members shall constitute a quorum for
the transaction of the official business of the division.

DECISION OF A DIVISION UNANIMOUS concurrence of all three
commissioners; such decision shall be considered as a decision of the
commission;

DIVISION; IF REQUIRED VOTES NOT OBTAINED in case there is a
dissenting opinion, the case may be appealed to the commission en banc,
in which case the vote of the majority thereof shall be the decision of the
Commission;

ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS AS MAY BE PROVIDED BY THE LAW
(CONSTITUTION ART. IX-A, Section 8)

COMELEC shall perform such other functions as may be provided by law

Congress cannot diminish the powers and functions granted by the
Constitution to COMELEC

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS UNDER THE OMNIBUS ELETION CODE

1. Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and
local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law
enforcement agency; may also deputize ROTC cadets;
2. Promulgate rules and regulations implementing the provisions of the this
code or other laws; and require the payment of legal fees for business
done by comelec;
3. Summons parties to controversy, issue subpoena and subpoena duces
tecum, take testimony and investigate, conduct hearing, issue warrant of
arrest;
4. Avail assistance of any national or local law enforcement agency to
execute under its direct and immediate supervision any of its final
decisions;
5. Punish contempt;
6. Enforce and execute decisions which shall have precedence over those
emanating from other authority, except SC and habeas corpus;
7. Prescribe forms to be used un election, plebiscite and referendum;
8. Procure any supplies and equipment for elections etc.
9. Prescribe use or adoption of latest technological and electronic devices;
10. Carry out a continuing and systematic campaign through newspaper of
general circulation, radios and other media to educate public;
11. Enlist non-partisan groups or organization of citizens from civic, youth,
professional, educational, business or labor sectors known for their
probity, impartiality and integrity and integrity with the membership and
capability to undertake a coordinated operation and activity to assists it in
the implementation of the provisions of the code and the resolutions,
orders and instructions of the commission;
12. Conduct hearings on controversies;
13. Fix other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements in order
that voters shall not be deprived of their right of suffrage and certain
groups of rights granted them in the code.

*Unless indicated in the Code, COMELEC is authorized to fix the appropriate
period for the various prohibited acts enumerated therein.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 11
Chapter Three:
REQUIREMENTS BEFORE ELECTION

A. Registration
5


Registration of voters means of determining the qualifications of voters, and of
regulating the exercise of the right to vote through statutes requiring the names
of those entitled to vote to be previously recorded by the officers provided for
that purpose

Registration Laws statutes requiring names of those entitled to vote to be
previously recorded

Registration - act of listing the names; the act of accomplishing and filing of a
sworn application for registration by a qualified voter before the election officer
of the city or municipality wherein he resides and including the same in the
book of registered voters upon approval by the Election Registration Board

Registration Record refers to an application for registration duly approved by
the Election Registration Board

System of continuing registration of voters the personal filing of application of
registration of voters shall be conducted daily in the office of the Election Officer
during regular office hours. No registration shall however, be conducted during
the period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a
special election

The Constitution, by carefully prescribing the qualification of voters, necessarily
requires that an examination of the claims of persons to vote, on the ground of
possessing these qualifications, must at some time be had by those who are to
decide on them.

The requirements of offering and proving that one is entitled to vote, that their
names must appear in an alphabetical list or register of voters, is highly
reasonable and useful in promoting the mandate of COMELEC. It is not a new
qualification that is added by COMELEC to those prescribed in the Constitution
but is reasonable and convenient regulation of the mode of exercising the right
of voting


5
Refer to Sections 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of RA 8189 (Voters Registration Act of 1996) for
the detailed list and procedure for voter registration
NECESSITY OF REGISTRATION

It is essential to the exercise of the right of suffrage, not the possession
thereof. It is part of the right to vote and an indispensable element in the
election process.

Unless excused by some fact which the law itself deems sufficient, the
voter must register if he would exercise his privilege

The fact that a voter is qualified to vote must be evidenced by the proper
registration, and where it is not so evidenced the failure must, where the
opportunity for registration is afforded, be attributed to the voters own fault
or neglect.


Akbayan Youth v COMELEC

W/N SC can compel COMELEC by mandamus to conduct special registration of
new voters beyond the time period provided for by law.

NO, COMELEC cannot be compelled by mandamus by the SC. As the sole
institution tasked by the Constitution to enforce all laws and regulations relative to
the conduct of an election, it exercises a prerogative that chiefly pertains to it and
one which squarely falls within the proper sphere of its constitutionally mandated
power.

Furthermore, COMELEC did not act gravely when it denied the request. It can be
seen that because of the circumstances and the laws available, it was prudent for
it to deny the petition. Granting the petition may lead to a creation of a voters list
that is erroneous and doubtful since by law it can no longer be checked by the
necessary organs within the period requested by the petitioners. (the period to
question and examine the list has already lapsed on the day that the special
registration was requested to be held)

The right to vote is not absolute and must be exercised w/in the framework of the
Constitution and applicable laws providing for procedural and substantive
requirements. One of the indispensable procedural requirements is registration.








Election Law Reviewer (2012) 12
REGISTRATION WITH ELECTION REGISTRATION BOARD

Election Registration Board (ERB) there shall be in each city and municipality
as many Election Registration Boards as there are election officers therein to act
on all applications for registration in thickly populated cities/municipalities

Composition:
1. Election Officer (EO) as the Chairman
In case of disqualification, COMELEC shall designate an
acting Election Officer
2. Members Public School Official most senior in rank and the
Local Civil Registrar or in his absence, the city or municipal
treasurer
In case of disqualification of unavailability of the Local
Civil Registrar or the Municipal Treasurer, COMELEC
shall designate any other appointive civil service official
from the same locality as substitute

NOTE: The Election Officer is the highest official or authorized
representative of the Commission in the municipality or city.

Illiterate or disabled applicants refer to persons who cannot by themselves
prepare an application for registration because of their physical disability and/or
inability to read and write

An illiterate person may register with the assistance of the Election Officer
or any member of an accredited citizens arm
o HOW?
The EO shall place such person under oath and ask him
questions and record the answers given in order to
accomplish the application form.
This form will then be subscribed by the applicant in the
presence of the Board by means of a thumbmark or any
other customary mark and shall be subscribed and
attested to also by the majority of the Board.

A physically disabled persons application may be prepared by any relative
within the 4
th
civil degree of consanguinity or affinity or by the Election
Officer or any member of an accredited citizens arm using the data
supplied by the applicant

The fact of illiteracy or disability shall be so indicated in the application

Change of Residence or address any registered voter who has transferred
residence to another city or municipality may apply with the EO of his new
residence for the transfer of his registration book

Application for transfer of registration shall be subject to the requirements
of notice and hearing and the approval of the ERB

After approval and notice, the EO shall transmit by registered mail the
voters registration record to the EO of the voters new residence

If the change involved a change in precinct, the Board shall transfer his
registration record to the precinct book of voters of his new precinct and
notify the voter of his new precinct.

All changes of address shall be reported to the office of the provincial
election supervisor and the Commission in Manila

Notice and hearing of applications Upon receipt of application for reg, the EO
shall set them for hearing, notice will be posted in the city or municipal bulletin
board and in his office for at least one (1) week before the hearing

Challenges to right to register any voter, candidate or representative of a
registered political party may challenge in writing any application for registration,
stating the grounds therefore.

The challenge shall be under oath and be attached to the application,
together with the proof of notice of hearing to the challenger and to the
applicant

The oppositions to the challenge must, in all cases, be filed not later than
the second Monday of the month in which the same is scheduled to be
heard or processed by the ERB. If this day will fall on a non-working
holiday, oppositions may be filed on the next following working day.

The hearing shall be heard on the third Monday of the month and the
decision shall be rendered before the end of the month

Approval and disapproval of the application the EO shall submit to the Board
all applications for registration filed and by majority vote, approve or disapprove
the applications

upon approval, the EO shall assign a voters ID number and issue the
corresponding ID card to the registered voter


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 13
if disapproved, the applicant shall be furnished with a certificate of
disapproval stating the ground therefore

in any case, any aggrieved party may file a petition for exclusion or
inclusion with the proper MTC or Metropolitan TC

Publication of action on application for registration - Within 5 days from the
approval/disapproval of application, the Board shall post a notice in the bulletin
board of the city or municipal hall

PRESERVATION OF VOTERS REGISTRATION RECORD

The EO shall compile the original copies of the approved application for
registration per precinct and arrange the same alphabetically according to
surname.
o He shall preserve the book of voters and ensure its integrity

Provincial file consist of duplicate copies of all registration records in
each precinct of every city or municipality in the province
o Shall be in the custody of the Provincial Election Supervisor

National Central File under the custody of the Commission in Manila
consisting of the 3
rd
copies of all the approved voter registration records

IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS

Voters Identification Card (VIC) issued to the registered voter which
shall serve as a document for his ID
o In case of loss or destruction, no copy may be issued except to
the registered voter himself or only upon the authority of the
Commission
o Design should be as much as possible tamper proof

Voters Identification Number (VIN) consists of three parts, each
separated by a dash
o Part 1: Current Address of the Voter (4 digits)
First 2 digits correspond to the province
Last 2 digits correspond to the city, district, or municipality
o Part 2: Current Precinct Assignment of the Voter (4 digits +1 letter)
First 4 digits correspond to the precinct number
Letter indicates whether it is a mother or daughter precinct
o Part 3: Permanent Birth and Name Code Unique to the Voter

DEACTIVATION, REACTIVATION AND CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION

Deactivation of registration ERB shall deactivate the registration and remove
the registration records of the following persons:

1. Any person sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not
less than 1 year automatically regains the right to vote after 5 years
of service of sentence
2. Any person adjudged by final judgment by a competent court or
tribunal of having caused/committed any crime involving disloyalty to
the duly constituted government automatically regains right to vote 5
years after service of sentence
3. Any person declared by competent authority to be insane or
incompetent subsequently removed by a declaration of a proper
authority
4. Any person who did not vote in the 2 successive preceding regular
elections
5. Any person whose registration has been ordered excluded by the
court
6. Any person who has lost his Filipino citizenship

The corresponding clerk of court has the duty to furnish the Election
Officer of the necessary list which contains the persons disqualified (as
enumerated above) at the end of each month

COMELEC may request a certified list of those who have lost their Filipino
citizenship or have been declared as insane / incompetent from other
government agencies

EO must post a certified list of deactivated voters and send a copy to the
corresponding local head, central file, provincial file, and the voter
concerned

Reactivation of registration any voter whose registration is deactivated may file
with the EO a sworn application for reactivation of his registration in the form of an
affidavit stating that the grounds for the deactivation no longer exist

May not file for reactivation 120 days before a regular election and 90 days
before a special election

EO must submit the application to the ERB for appropriate action



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 14
If approved, EO must retrieve the inactive record and send necessary
notices to persons and agencies concerned

Cancellation of Registration the Board shall cancel the registration of those
who have died as certified by the Local Civil Registrar

Local Civil Registrar has the duty of sending monthly lists of persons who
died during the previous month to the EO of the place where the deceased
is registered
o In the absence of proof of place of registrations, must be send to
the EO of the place of residence
o In all cases, a list must be send to the national central file and the
proper provincial file

EO shall post a certified list in the bulletin board of his office and furnish
copies thereof to the local heads concerned, national central file, and the
provincial file

LIST OF VOTERS PER PRECINCT

List of Voters enumeration of names of registered voters in a precinct
duly certified by the ERB for use in the election

Permanent list of voters consists of all registered voters residing within
the territorial jurisdiction of every precinct indicated by the precinct maps
o Accompanied by an addition/deletion list for the purpose of
updating the list
o Not be changed or altered or transferred to another precinct
without the express written consent of the voter

Computerization computer printouts of the list of voters duly certified by
the Board are official documents and shall be used for voting and other
election related purposes as well as for legitimate research need

Preparation and posting of the certified list of voters must be
prepared 90 days before a regular election and 60 days before a special
election and copies must be furnished to the provincial, regional, and
national central files





BOOK OF VOTERS

Books of voters compilation of all registration records in a precinct

Sealing ERB shall notify within 15 days before the start of the campaign
period representatives of all registered political parties and members of the
Board of Election inspectors to inspect and verify the completeness of the
voters registration records
o After verification and certification, the Board shall seal the book of
voters in the presence of the Board inspectors at the start of the
campaign period and take custody of the same until their
distribution to the Board on the day of the election
o EO must deliver the sealed precinct book of voters to the
Chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors

Annulment COMELEC, upon verified petition of any voter or election
officer or duly registered political party and after notice and hearing, annul
any book of voters that is not prepared in accordance with RA 8189 or was
prepared through fraud, bribery, forgery, impersonation, intimidation, forcer
or any similar irregularity, or which contains data that are statistically
improbable

INCLUSION, EXCLUSION AND CORRECTION OF NAMES OF VOTERS

Judicial proceedings:
o petition for inclusion or correction of names of voters filed during
office hours;
o notice of the place, date and time of the hearing served on the
members of the ERB and the challenged voter upon filing of
petition
o petition shall refer only to one (1) precinct and implead the Board
as respondent;
o no costs shall be assessed against any party in these proceedings
except when the court shall find that the application has been filed
solely to harass the adverse party and cause him to incur
expenses;
o any voter, election official or political party may intervene and
present his evidence;





Election Law Reviewer (2012) 15
Jurisdiction in inclusion and exclusion cases MTC and Metropolitan
TC shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases of
inclusion and exclusion of voters in their respective cities or municipalities
o May be appealed to the RTC within 5 days from notice
RTC must decide within 10 days
RTC decision shall immediately become final and
executory
No MR shall be entertained
o No appeal after 5 days, it will become final and executory

Petition for inclusion of voters in the list any person whose
application has been disapproved or whose name has been stricken out
from the list may file with the court a petition to include his name
o May not be filed 105 days prior to a regular election or 75 days
prior to a special election
o Must be supported by a certificate of disapproval of application
and proof of service of notice of his petition upon the Board
o Shall be decided within 15 days from filing

Petition for exclusion of voters in the list any registered voter,
representative, of a political party or the Election Officer, may file with the
court a sworn petition for the exclusion of a voter from the permanent list
o May not be filed 100 days prior to a regular election or 65 days
prior to a special election
o Must be accompanied by a proof of notice to the Board and to the
challenged voter
o Must be decided within 10 days from filing

Verification of list of registered voters the EO shall file exclusion
proceedings when necessary and verify the list of the registered voters of
any precinct by regular mail or house to house canvass
o COMELEC may enlist the help of NGOs, etc. and deputize them
to assist in the verification

Voter excluded through inadvertence or registered with an erroneous
or misspelled name
o Voter may file on any date with the proper MTC or Metropolitan
TC a petition for an order directing that the voters name be
entered or corrected in the list
o Must attach the necessary documents and proof of notice
o The citizenship of a person to be stricken out may be decided in
the exclusion proceedings

INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION PROCEEDINGS SUMMARY IN CHARACTER

The summary character of an exclusion case makes the decision that a
court may render thereon even if final and unappealable does not acquire
the nature of res judicata.
o Exception: in cases where the right to remain in the list of voters or
for being excluded therefrom for the particular election in
relation to which the proceedings had been held acquires the
nature of res judicata

Factual findings and conclusions of TC are not conclusive on COMELEC

The authority to order the inclusion in or exclusion from the list of voters
necessarily carries with it the power to inquire into and settle all matters
essential to the exercise of said authority

The jurisdiction of lower court is limited only to determining the right of the
voter to remain in the list if voters or to exclude him/her. The lower court
has no jurisdiction to order the change or transfer or registration from one
place of residence to another.

QUALIFICATIONS OF A VOTER (provided for by the Constitution)

Citizenship by birth or naturalization

Age a person may be registered as a voter although he is less than 18
years at the time of registration if he will be at least 18 at the time of the
election

Residence

RESIDENCE QUALIFICATION OF VOTER / CANDIDATE

as used in 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
o Place of his domicile or legal residence
o That place where the elector makes his permanent or true home,
his principal place of business, and his family residence, if he has
one; where he intends to remain indefinitely, and without a present
intention to depart, when he leaves it he intends to return to it, and
after his return he deems himself at home



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 16
Residence is a matter of intention may be inferred from his acts,
activities, and utterances

Once acquired in a certain place, it will be deemed to continue there until a
new one has been acquired

In order to acquire a new domicile by choice (VOLUNTARY), there must
concur:
o residence or bodily presence in the new locality;
o intention to remain there;
o intention to abandon the old domicile
In other words, there must be basically animus manendi coupled with
animus non rivertendi.

The mere absence of an individual from his permanent residence without
the intention to abandon it does not result in the loss or change of domicile

Registration and voting by a person in another place do not by themselves
constitute abandonment of the legal residence, where the stay in the
former cannot be considered as voluntary but a necessity in order to
continue his studies

Absence from the residence of origin to practice a profession does not
constitute loss of residence

Not necessary that a person should have a house in order to establish his
residence and domicile in a municipality

There is nothing wrong in an individual changing residences so he could
run for an elective post, for as long as he is able to prove with reasonable
certainty that he has effected a change of residence for election law
purposes for the period required by law.


Romualdez-Marcos v COMELEC

Residence, for election purposes, is used synonymously with domicile.

It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which ought
to be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the
Constitutions residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes
material only when there is or appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead,
misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It
would be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to deliberately and knowingly make a
statement in a certificate of candidacy which would lead to his or her
disqualification.

A minor follows the domicile of his parents.

The presumption that the wife automatically gains the husbands domicile by
operation of law upon marriage cannot be inferred from the use of the term
residence in Art 110 of the Civil Code because the Civil Code is one area where
the two concepts are well delineated. What the wife acquires upon marriage is
actual residence and she is not deemed to have lost her domicile of origin.

Padilla, J ., dissenting:

There must also be actual presence in the place and not just mere intent to
retain it as the domicile of origin. This is in line with the view that the house
representatives / elective officials must be familiar with the environment and
problems of the locality where he intends to run. (one cannot be that familiar with
the locality without actual presence)

Regalado, J ., dissenting:

Three types of domicile:
1. by origin or birth
2. by choice
3. by operation of law

Davide, J r., J ., dissenting:

Wife does not automatically regain domicile of origin upon the death of the
husband. Upon death, the wife is given a chance to elect a domicile, but failing to
elect such will lead to the conclusion that she will retain the domicile of the
deceased husband.


DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM VOTING:

The following shall be disqualified from voting:
(2) Any person sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not
less than one (1) year, such disability not having been removed by
plenary pardon or granted amnesty;
(3) Adjudged by final judgment of having committed any crime involving
disloyalty to the duly constituted government;


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 17
o Automatically reacquire right to vote upon
expiration of 5 years after service of sentence
(applies to (1) also)
(4) Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority
unless subsequently declared as otherwise

B. PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES

ELECTION PRECINCT basic unit of territory established by the COMELEC for
the purpose of voting

(1) Establishment The COMELEC shall draw updated maps of all the
precincts nationwide.

o Precinct maps sketch or drawing of a geographical area
stated in terms of streets or streets blocks or sitios the
residence of which would belong to a particular precinct
o No territory comprising an election precinct shall be altered or
a new precinct be established at the start of the election period
o Splitting of an original precinct or merger of two or more
original precincts shall not be allowed without redrawing the
precinct map/s 120 days before election day

(2) Arrangement Every barangay shall have at least 1 precinct which in turn
shall have no more than 200 voters and shall comprise of contiguous and
compact territories

o A precinct shall be allowed to have less than 200 registered
voters under the following conditions:
(1) As soon as the 200-limit for every precinct has been
reached, a spin-off or daughter precinct shall be
automatically created to accommodate voters residing
within the territorial jurisdiction of the original precinct
(2) An island or group of islands with less than 200 voters
may comprise 1 original precinct
NOTE: In view of the automated elections, COMELEC had to cluster the precincts
to only about 76,000 each having around 1,000 votes.

PUBLICATION OF MAPS OF PRECINCTS

When? At least 5 days before the 1
st
registration day preceding a regular or
special election or a referendum or a plebiscite
How? Posting in the city hall or municipal building and in 3 conspicuous places in
the city or municipality

POLLING PLACES AND THEIR DESIGNATION

Polling Place building or place where the board of election inspectors conducts
its proceedings and where the voters cast their votes

Voting Center building or place where the polling place is located
(1) Size and location of polling place As far as practicable, ground floor,
sufficient size to accommodate 40 voters at one time outside the guard rail
for the board of election inspectors
(2) Modes for intimidating change of location
a. Written petition of the majority of the voters
b. Agreement of all the political parties
c. Resolution of the COMELEC after notice and hearing (*It is the
COMELEC which determines whether a change is necessary after
notice and hearing.)

Note: No location shall be changed within 45 days before a regular election and 30
days before a special election or a referendum or plebiscite except in case it
is destroyed or it cannot be sued.

ARRANGEMENTS AND CONTENTS OF POLLING PLACES

(1) During the voting, there shall be in each polling place a booth for every 20
voters registered in the precinct.
a. Post a list containing the list of all the candidates or the issues or
questions to be voted for

(2) There shall be a guard rail between the voting booths and the table for the
board of election inspectors which shall have separate entrance and exit.

(3) On the day of the voting, a ballot box one side of which shall be
transparent which shall be set in a manner visible to the voting public
containing two compartments, namely, the compartment for valid ballots and
the compartment for spoiled ballots

(4) There shall be at least 10 voting booths of such size, specifications and
materials as the Commission may provide to enable voters to fill out their
ballots secretly,



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 18
FURNISHING OF BALLOT BOXES, FORMS, and STATIONARIES AND
MATERIALS FOR ELECTION

(1) The COMELEC shall prepare and furnish the ballot boxes, forms,
stationeries and materials necessary for the registration of voters and the
holding of elections.
(2) The provincial, city and municipal treasurers shall have custody of such
election paraphernalia, supplies and materials.

REQUISITION, PRINTING, AND DISTRIBUTION OF OFFICIAL BALLOTS AND
ELECTION RETURNS

(1) The official ballots and election returns shall be printed upon orders of the
COMELEC.

(2) It shall be printed by the Government Printing Office and/or the Central
Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control
of the Commission

NAME OF WATCHERS

The ruling party and the dominant opposition party or their respective duly
authorized representatives shall submit the names of their respective watchers.

FORM AND CONTENTS OF BALLOTS

(1) It shall be uniform in size and shall be provided by the Commission
Printed in black ink on white security paper with distinctive, clear and
legible watermarks that will readily distinguish it from ordinary paper
It shall be in the shape of a strip with stub and detachable coupon
containing the serial number of the ballot and a space for the thumb mark
of the voter on the detachable coupon
It shall bear at the top of the middle portion the coat-of-arms of the
Republic of the Philippines, the words Official Ballot, the name of the
city or municipality and province in which the election is to be held, the
date of the election and the following notice in English: Fill out this ballot
secretly inside the voting booth. Do not put any distinctive mark on any
part of this ballot.

(2) It shall contain the names of all the offices to be voted for in the election,
allowing sufficient space with horizontal lines where the voter may write the
name of the individual candidates voted for by him

(3) There shall not be anything printed or written at the back of the ballot
except as provided in Section 24 of R.A. No. 7166

NOTE: In the May 10, 2010 automated elections, the voters, instead of manually
writing the names of candidates, shaded the oval indicated in the ballot next to the
name of the candidate of their choice.

SIGNATURE OF THE CHAIRMAN AT BACK OF EVERY BALLOT The
Chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors in the presence of the voter shall
affix his signature at the back of his ballot

Failure to do so shall be noted in the minutes of the board of election inspectors
and shall constitute an election offense

PUBLICATION OF OFFICIAL BALLOTS, ETC. At least 10 days before an
election in a newspaper of general circulation certified data on the number of
official ballots and election returns and the names and addresses of the printers
and the number printed by each.

C. Certificates of Candidacy

CANDIDATE any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who
has filed a certificate or candidacy by himself or through an accredited political
party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties.

NOTE: Any person who files his CoC within the period for filing shall only be
considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his
CoC.

FILING OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY (CoC)

(1) No person shall be eligible for any elective public office unless he files a
sworn CoC within the period fixed by the Omnibus Election Code.

(2) No person shall be eligible for more than 1 office to be filled in the same
election.

(3) If he files his CoC for more than 1 office, he shall not be eligible for any of
them. Provided that before the expiration of the period to file a CoC, the person
who has filed such may declare under oath the office which he desires to be
eligible and cancel the CoC for the other office/s.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 19
(4) Any vote in favor of a person who has not filed a CoC or in favor of a
candidate for any office for which he did not present himself is void and
counted as a stray vote but DOES NOT INVALIDATE the whole ballot.

(5) COMELEC or its designated officer has the ministerial duty to receive and
acknowledge receipt of the CoC but has jurisdiction over a petition to deny due
course to or cancel CoC provided due process is observed.

TIME AND PLACE OF FILING

Under RA 7166 which provides for synchronized national and local elections, the
CoCs shall be filed in 5 legible copies with the COMELEC not later than the day
before the date legally fixed for the beginning of his campaign period.

(1) CoCs for President, Vice-President and Senators COMELEC main office
in Manila

(2) CoCs for Members of the House of Representatives provincial election
supervisor of the province concerned


(3) CoCs for provincial offices provincial election supervisor concerned


(4) CoCs for city and municipal offices city or municipal election registrar
concerned

NOTE: A CoC filed beyond the deadline is not valid.
o A CoC shall be filed by the candidate personally or by his duly
authorized representative.

PRINTING OF CANDIDATES NAMES IN ELECTION RETURNS

(1) Names of registered candidates for local position shall be printed in the
election returns.
(2) If a candidate has been disqualified or declared a nuisance candidate, it shall
be the duty of the COMELEC to instruct without delay the appropriate election
officials to delete the name of said candidate as printed in the election return.





IMPORTANCE OF A VALID CoC

(1) Requirement absolutely mandatory
(2) The evident purposes of the law in requiring the filing of CoCs and in fixing the
time limit therefor are:
a. To enable the voters to know, at least 60 days before the regular
election, the candidates
b. To avoid confusion and inconvenience in the tabulation of the
votes cast

WITHDRAWAL OF THE CoC

How? By submitting, prior to the election, to the office concerned a written
declaration under oath which shall not affect whatever criminal, civil or
administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred.

Effect The withdrawal of a CoC does not necessarily render the CoC void ab
initio. Once filed, the permanent legal effects produced thereby remain
even if the certificate itself be subsequently withdrawn.

AUTOMATIC RESIGNATION

(1) Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active
members of the AFP, and officers and employees in GOCC shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his CoC.
(2) Forfeiture is automatic and permanently effective upon the filing of the CC
for another office. Only the moment and act of filing are considered.
(3) The automatic and permanent loss of office by any elective official makes
no exception for officials under suspension when they file CC for another
office.
(4) An official who is considered as resigned upon the filing of his CC is not
restored to his position by withdrawal of the same.

[Flores v. COMELEC] Under R.A. No. 6679, the person who wins the highest
number of votes as kagawad becomes by operation of law the punong barangay.
In the particular case of the petitioner, it should be noted that he was in fact not
even elected in 1982 as one of the six councilmen but separately as the barangay
captain. He was thus correctly deemed resigned upon his filing of a certificate of
candidacy for kagawad in 1989, as this was not the position he was holding, or
was incumbent in, at the time he filed such certificate.





Election Law Reviewer (2012) 20
CERTIFIED LIST OF CANDIDATES

The COMELEC shall cause to be printed a certified list of candidates containing
the names of all the registered candidates for each office to be voted for in each
city or province or municipality immediately followed by the nickname or stage
name of each candidate duly registered in his CoC and his political party affiliation,
if any.

CANDIDATES IN CASE OF DEATH, DISQUALIFICATION OR WITHDRAWAL
OF ANOTHER

(1) If after the last day for the filing of the CC, an official candidate of a
registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any
cause, only a person belonging to, and certified by, the same political party
may file a CoC to replace the candidate.

(2) The substitute candidate nominated by the political party concerned may
file his CoC for the office affected not later than mid-day of the day of the
election.

(3) If it occurs between the day before the election and mid-day of election
day, said CoC may be filed with any board of election inspectors in the political
subdivision where his is a candidate.

(4) The substitute candidate need not be a member of the political party
concerned prior to his nomination as its official candidate.

VOTES CAST FOR SUBSTITUTED CANDIDATES

(1) In case of valid substitutions after the official ballots have been printed, the
votes cast for the substituted candidates shall be considered as stray votes but
shall not invalidate the whole ballot. For this purpose the official ballots shall
provide spaces where the voters may write the name of the substitute
candidates if they are voting for the latter.
(2) If the substitute candidate has the same family name, the above rule shall not
apply.

NOTE: Under the new law (Automated and Election System Act), in case of valid
substitutions after the official ballots shall have been printed, the votes cast for the
substituted candidates shall be considered votes for the substitutes.



PETITION TO DENY DUE COURSE TO OR CANCEL A CoC

Who may file? Any person exclusively on the ground that any material
representation contained therein as required is false.

When? At any time not later than 25 days from the time of the filing of the CoC and
shall be decided, after due process and hearing, not later than 15 days
before the election.

CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE BY COMMISSION

The COMELEC may motu propio or upon verified petition of an interested party,
refuse to give due course to or cancel a CoC if the following situations are extant:
(1) If it is shown that the CoC has been filed to put an election process in
mockery or disrepute;
(2) If CoC was filed to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of
the names of the registered candidate;
(3) If there are any other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that
the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office which the
CoC has been filed and thus prevent faithful determination of the true will
of the electorate.

Note: A cancelled CoC cannot give rise to a valid candidacy, and much less to
valid votes. Where, however, the ruling is not yet final on election day, the
duty of the court is to ascertain the will of the electorate under the factual
circumstances of the case. (COMELEC decisions in pre-proclamation
controversies and petitions to deny course to or to cancel CoC shall become
final and executory after the lapse of 5 days from their promulgation.)

VOTES FOR CANDIDATES WITH DISQUALIFICATION CASE

(1) Candidates who are disqualified by final judgment before the election shall
not be voted for and the votes cast for them shall not be counted.
(2) Those against whom no final judgment of disqualification had been
rendered may be voted for and proclaimed, unless on motion of the
complainant, the COMELEC suspends their proclamation because the
grounds for their disqualification or cancellation of their CoCs are strong.

MATERIAL AND FALSE REPRESENTATION The false representation must be
made with the intention to deceive the electorate as to the would-be candidates
qualifications for public office.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 21
RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT OF A CANDIDATE COMELEC cannot base its
decisions solely on very personal assessment standards.

SIMILARITY/DIFFERENCE OF PROCEEDING WITH QUO WARRANTO
PROCEEDING

(1) SC has likened a proceeding under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election
Code to a quo warranto proceeding since they both deal with the
qualifications of a candidate.
(2) The petition questioning the qualifications of a registered candidate to run
for the office for which his CoC was filed can be raised (a) before the
election and (b) after the election.

SECTION 78 SECTION 253
Deals with the qualifications of a
candidate
Deals with the qualifications of a
candidate
Time of filing: Before the election After the election
Grounds: Misrepresentation Ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic
of the Philippines
*Petition for quo warranto not barred
by failure to file petition to disqualify

REMEDY WHERE CANDIDATE HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED

If winning candidate is NOT eligible because of failure to file properly his CoC
as required by law contest his election after he has been duly proclaimed.

It has been held that the defects of the CoC should be questioned on or before
the election and not after the will of the people has been expressed through the
ballots.

Where a candidate has received popular mandate, overwhelmingly and clearly
expressed, all possible doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidates
eligibility for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of the people. (The true will of
the electorate should be paramount.)

DISQUALIFICATIONS

(1) Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or
incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion,
insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced
to a penalty of more than 18 months or for a crime involving moral
turpitude.
(2) Any candidate who, in action or protest in which he is a party, is declared
by final decision guilty of or found by COMELEC of having:
a. Given money or other material consideration to influence, induce
or corrupt the voters of 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 the allowed
d. Solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under the
Omnibus Election Code
(3) Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign
country, unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident
or immigrant of a foreign country

NOTE: The Dual Citizenship Act of 2003 expressly provides for the conditions
before those who re-acquired Filipino citizenship may run for a public office in the
Philippines. (At the time of the filing of a CoC, made a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized
to administer an oath.)

RULES GOVERNING CASES OF DISQUALIFICATIONS BEFORE THE
ELECTION

(1) Complaint filed before election The complaint shall be inquired into by
the Commission for the purpose of determining whether the acts
complained of have in fact been committed. Where the inquiry results in a
finding that the respondent candidate did in fact commit the acts
complained, COMELEC shall order the disqualification of the respondent
candidate from continuing as such candidate.
(2) Complaint not resolved before election COMELEC may motu propio or
on motion of any of the parties refer the complaint to the Law Department
of the Commission.
(3) Complaint filed after election and proclamation of winner The complaint
shall be dismissed as a disqualification case. However, the complaint shall
be referred for preliminary investigation to the Law Department.
(4) Complaint filed after election but before proclamation of winner The
complaint shall be dismissed as a disqualification case. However, the
complaint shall be referred for preliminary investigation to the Law
Department. If the Law Department make a prima facie finding of guilt and
the corresponding information has been filed with the trial court, the
complainant may file a petition for suspension of the proclamation of the
respondent.
(5) Submission of recommendation to Commission en banc The Law
Department shall terminate the preliminary investigation within 30 days


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 22
from receipt of the referral and shall submit its study, report and
recommendation to the Commission en banc within 5 days from the
conclusion of the preliminary investigation. If it makes a prima facie finding
of guilt, it shall submit with such study the Information for filing with the
appropriate court.


Bagatsing v. COMELEC

There is a difference between a disqualification case filed before and after an
election. Why there is a difference between a petition for disqualification filed
before and after the election proceeds from the fact that before the election, the
question of disqualification is raised as an issue before the electorate and those
who vote for the candidate assume the risk that should said candidate be
disqualified after the election, their votes would be declared stray or invalid votes.
Such would not be true in the case of one filed after the electorate has already
voted.

The mere filing of a petition for disqualification is not a ground to suspend the
proclamation of the winning candidate. In the absence of an order suspending the
proclamation, the winning candidate who is sought to be disqualified is entitled to
be proclaimed as a matter of law.


EFFECTS OF DISQUALIFICATION

(1) After final judgment The candidate shall not be voted for, and the votes
cast for him shall not be counted.

(2) Before final judgment The Court or Commission shall continue with the trial
and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and upon motion of the
complainant or any intervenor, may, during the pendency thereof, order the
suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of
his guilt is strong.

(3) Candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes if the
candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later disqualified, this
does not mean that the one who obtained the 2
nd
highest number of vote will
be declared as the elective officer.
o Sound public policy dictates that the public offices are filled by
those who have received the highest number of votes


Chapter Four:
ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND EXPENDITURES

A. CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION PROPAGANDA

Election Campaign or Partisan Political Activity an act designed to promote the
election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office.

Election Period Commences 90 days before the day of the election and ends 30
days thereafter

Campaign Period
1. President, Vice-President and Senators 90 days before the day of the
election
2. Members of the House of Representatives and elective provincial, city and
municipal officials 45 days before the day of the election

What does it include?
1. Forming organizations or group of persons
2. Holding political caucuses, meetings, rallies, or other similar assemblies;
3. Making speeches or commentaries; and
4. Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials for the purposes
of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda to
support or oppose the election of any candidate.

What it DOES NOT include?
1. Public expressions of opinions or discussions of probable issues in a
forthcoming election;
2. Attributes or criticisms of probable candidates proposed to be nominated
in a forthcoming political party convention.

PROHIBITED ACTS

1. It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or
for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign
or partisan political activity, except during the campaign period.
2. It shall be unlawful for any foreigner, whether juridical or natural person, to
aid any candidate or political party, directly or indirectly, or take part in or
influence in any manner any election, or to contribute or make any
expenditure in connection with any election campaign or partisan political
activity.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 23
3. It shall be unlawful for any person during the campaign period to remove,
destroy, obliterate, or in any manner deface or tamper with, or prevent the
distribution of lawful election propaganda.
4. It shall be unlawful for any candidate, political party, organization, or any
person to give or accept, free or charge, directly or indirectly,
transportation, food or drinks or things of value during the 5 hours before
and after a public meeting, on the day preceding the election, and on the
day of the election; or to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or
things of value for such purpose.

LAWFUL ELECTION PROPAGANDA

1. Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed
materials of a size not more than 8 inches in width and 14 inches in
length.
2. Handwritten or printed letter urging voters to vote for or against any
particular political party or candidate;
3. Cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area
not exceeding 2x3 feet;
Except: At the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally, or in
announcing the holding of said meeting or rally, streamers not exceeding
3x8 feet in size shall be allowed.
However, said streamers may not be displayed except one week before
the date of meeting or rally that it shall be removed within 72 hours after
said meeting or rally; or
4. All other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by the Omnibus
Election Code as the COMELEC may authorize after due notice to all
interested parties and hearing where all the interested parties were given
an opportunity to be heard. The Commissions authorization shall be
published in two newspapers of general circulation throughout the nation
for at least twice within one week after authorization has been granted.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLISHED OR PRINTED ELECTION PROPAGANDA

1. Any newspaper, newsletter, newsweekly, gazette or magazine and
advertising, posters, pamphlets, circulars, handbills, bumper stickers,
streamers, sample list of candidates or any published or printed political
matter for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public
offices shall be bear and be identified by the word paid for by followed by
the true and correct name and address of the payor and by the words
printed by followed by the true and correct name and addresses of the
printer.
2. If the broadcast is given free of charge, it shall be identified by the words
airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by followed by the
true and correct name and address of the broadcast entity.
3. Print, broadcast, or outdoor advertisements donated to the candidate or
political party shall not be printed, published, broadcast or exhibited
without the written acceptance by the said candidate or political party.

ELECTION SURVEYS

Elections surveys measurement of opinions and perceptions of the voters as
regards a candidates popularity, qualifications, platforms or a matter of public
discussion in relation to the election.

- Surveys affecting national shall not be published 15 days before an
election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published 7
days before an election.

EQUAL ACCESS TO MEDIA TIME AND SPACE

All registered parties and bona fide candidates shall have equal access to media
time and space.
1. Print advertisements Not exceed page in broadsheet and page in
tabloids, 3x a week per newspaper, magazine or other publications
2. TV and radio advertisements Not more than 120 minutes for TV and 180
minutes for radio whether by purchase or donation (national candidates
and registered political parties)
3. TV and radio advertisements Not more than 60 minutes for TV and 90
minutes for radio whether by purchase or donation (local candidates and
registered political parties)
4. All mass media entities shall furnish the COMELEC with a copy of all
contracts for advertising within 5 days after its signing.
5. No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be
granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.
6. The COMELEC shall ensure that radio or television or cable television
broadcasting entities shall not allow the scheduling of any program or
permit any sponsor to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political
party. However, in all instances the right of said broadcast entities to air
accounts of significant news or news worthy events and view on matters of
public interest.
7. All members of media, television, radio, or print shall scrupulously report
and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts nor to
distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 24
8. Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air
correspondent or personality who is a candidate for any elective public
office or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any
capacity by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned, if so
required by their employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her
work as such during the campaign period.
9. No movie, cinematograph or documentary portraying the life or biography
of a candidate shall be publicly exhibited during the campaign period.
10. No movie, cinematograph or documentary portrayed by an actor or movie
personality who is himself a candidate shall likewise be publicly exhibited
during the campaign period.

NOTE: Right to Reply All registered parties and bona fide candidates shall have
the right to reply to charges published against them. The reply shall be given
publicly by the newspaper, television and/or radio station which first printed or
aired the charges with the same prominence or in the same page or section or in
the same time slot as the first statement.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BY THE COMELEC

1. COMELEC shall procure the print space upon payment of just
compensation from at least 3 national newspapers of general circulation
wherein candidates for national office can announce their candidacies free
of charge equally and impartially.
2. COMELEC shall procure free airtime from at least 3 national television
networks and 3 national radio networks free of charge equally and
impartially among all candidates for national office.
3. COMELEC may require national television and radio networks to sponsor
at least 3 national debates among presidential candidates and at least 1
national debate among vice-presidential candidates.
4. COMELEC shall promulgate rules and regulations for holding such
debates.

REGULATION OF ELECTION PROPAGANDA THROUGH MASS MEDIA

1. The COMELEC shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the sale
of air time for partisan political purposes during the campaign period to
insure that equal time as to duration and quality is available to all
candidates for the same officer or political parties at the same rates or
given free of charge.
2. All contracts for advertising in any newspaper, magazine, periodical or any
form of publication promoting or opposing the candidacy of any person for
public office shall, before its implementation, be registered by said
newspaper, magazine, periodical or publication with the Commission. In
every case, it shall be signed by the candidate concerned or by the duly
authorized representative of political party.
3. No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be
granted or issued, suspended for cancelled during the election period.
4. Any radio or television station, including that owned or controlled by the
government, shall give free of charge equal time and prominence to an
accredited political party or its candidates if it gives free for charge air time
to an accredited political party or its candidates for political purposes.
5. In all instances the COMELEC shall supervise the use and employment of
press, radio and television facilities as to give candidates equal
opportunities under equal circumstances to make known their
qualifications and their stand on public issues within the limits set forth in
the Code for election spending.

RULES, MEETINGS, AND OTHER POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

1. Subject to the requirements of local ordinances on the issuances of
permits, any political party supporting official candidates or any candidate
individually or jointly with other aspirants may hold peaceful political rallies,
meetings, and other similar activities during the campaign period.
2. Any political party or candidate shall notify the election registrar concerned
of any public rally said political party or candidate intends to organize and
hold in the city of municipality, and within 7 working days thereafter submit
to the election registrar a statement of expenses incurred in connection
therewith.

COMELEC SPACE, POSTER AREA, TIME, AND INFORMATION BULLETIN

1. COMELEC SPACE The COMELEC shall procure space in at least one
newspaper of general circulation in every province or city. In the absence
of said newspaper, publication shall be done in any other magazine or
periodic in said province or city, wherein candidates can announce their
candidacy. Said space shall be allocated, free of charge, equally and
impartially by the COMELEC among all candidates within the area in
which the newspaper is circulated.

The use of COMELEC space is personal to the candidate. He cannot
delegate or transfer the use to any other person.

2. The COMELEC shall designate common poster areas in strategic public
places such as markets, barangay center and the like wherein candidates


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 25
can post, display, or exhibit election propaganda to announce further their
candidacy.

Whenever feasible, common billboards may be installed by the COMELEC
and/or non-partisan private or civic organizations which the COMELEC
may authorize whenever available, after due notice and hearing, in
strategic places where it may be readily seen or read, with the heaviest
pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic in the city or municipality.

The space in such a common poster area or billboards shall be allocated
free of charge, if feasible, equitably and impartially among the candidates
in the province, city, or municipality.

3. COMELEC TIME The COMELEC shall procure radio and television time,
which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates
within the areas of coverage of said radio and television stations. For this
purpose, the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television stations are
hereby amended so as to require, radio or television time, free of charge,
during the period of the campaign.

4. COMELEC BULLETIN The COMELEC shall cause the printing and
supervise the dissemination of bulletins, which shall be of such size as to
adequately contain the picture, bio-data and program of government of
every candidate. Said bulletin shall be disseminated to the voters or
displayed in such places as to give due prominence thereto. Any
candidate may reprint at his expense, any COMELEC bulletin upon prior
authority of the Commission. Said reprint shall be the exact replica of the
original and shall near the name of the candidate causing the reprint and
the name of the printer.

PUBLIC FORUM

The COMELEC shall encourage non-political, non-partisan private or civic
organizations to initiate and hold in every city and municipality, public for at which
all registered candidates for the same office may simultaneously and personally
participate to present, explain, and/or debate in their campaign platforms and
programs and other like issues.

The Commission shall promulgate the rules and regulations for the holding of such
to assure its non-partisan character and the equality of access thereto by all
candidates.

MASS MEDIA ADVERTISING FOR CANDIDATES

- R.A. NO. 9006 repealed Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 6646 which declares
unlawful for any newspaper, radio broadcasting or television station, or
other mass media, or any person making use of the mass media to sell or
to give free of charge print space or air time for campaign or other political
purposes except to the Commission as provided under Sections 90 and 92
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Any mass media columnist, commentator,
announcement or personality who is a candidate for any elective public
office shall take a leave of absence from his work as such during the
campaign period.
- The ban on mass media advertising for candidate was meant to prevent
well-funded candidates from unfairly dominating the use of mass media
through paid advertisements at the expense of candidates from less
affluent strata of society.

NOTE: The experiences in the 1992, 1995 and 1998 elections have shown that the
ban on media advertisement diminished the chances of unknown candidates to get
elected.


National Press Club v. COMELEC

The objective which animates Section 11(b) is the equalizing as far as practicable,
the situations of rich and poor candidates by preventing the former from enjoying
the undue advantage offered by huge campaign war chests.

The objective is not only a concededly legitimate one; it has also been given
constitutional status by the terms of Article IX(C)(4) of the 1987 Constitution.

Section 11 (b) is limited in the duration of its applicability and enforceability. By
virtue of the operation of Article IX (C) (4) of the Constitution, Section 11 (b) is
limited in its applicability in time to election periods. Section 11 (b) does not purport
in any way to restrict the reporting by newspapers or radio or television stations of
news or news worthy events relating to candidates, their qualifications, political
parties and programs of government. Moreover, Section 11 (b) does not reach
commentaries and expressions of belief or opinion by reporters or broadcasters or
editors or commentators or columnists in respect of candidates, their qualifications,
and programs and so forth, so long at least as such comments, opinions and
beliefs are not in fact advertisements for particular candidates covertly paid for. In
sum, Section 11 (b) is not to be read as reaching any report or commentary other
coverage that, in responsible media, is not paid for by candidates for political
office. Section 11 (b) as designed to cover only paid political advertisements of
particular candidates.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 26

The limiting impact of Section 11 (b) upon the right to free speech of the
candidates themselves is not unduly repressive or unreasonable.



Adiong v COMELEC

The COMELEC promulgated Res. No. 2347 w/c provides that decals and posters
may only be posted on authorized posting areas such as campaign
headquarters, candidates residences, common posted areas, etc. It also prohibits
the exhibition of stickers and decals in mobile places such as vehicles. The
regulation unduly infringes upon a citizens right to free speech. There is no
adequate government interest endangered that would justify the curtailment; there
is no clear and present danger. It likewise strikes at the freedom of the individual to
express his preference and support and sweeps too broadly invading the area of
protected freedoms. It is also too loosely worded such that even posting in ones
residence (non-candidate) or car is illegal. It infringes upon the lawful use of
private property. That the law intends to equalize the playing field in favor of the
poorer candidates is immaterial as it is merely of a marginal significance.



Osmena v. COMELEC

Republic Act 7056, which provides that: 1) all incumbent provincial, city and
municipal officials shall hold over beyond June 30, 1992 and shall serve until their
successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, 2) shortens the term or
tenure of office of local officials to be elected on the 2nd Monday of November,
1992, 3) different campaign periods for Presidential, Vice-Presidential and
Senatorial elections contravenes Article XVIII, Sections 2 and 5 of the 1987
Constitution which provides for the synchronization of national and local elections.
The said law, on the other hand, provides for the de-synchronization of election by
mandating that there be two separate elections in 1992. The term of
synchronization in the mentioned constitutional provision was used
synonymously as the phrase holding simultaneously since this is the precise intent
in terminating their Office Tenure on the same day or occasion. This common
termination date will synchronize future elections to once every three years.

R.A. No. 7056 also violated Sec. 2, Art. XVIII of the 1987 Constitution which
provides that the local official first elected under the Constitution shall serve until
noon of June 30, 1992. But under Sec. 3 of RA 7056, these incumbent local
officials shall hold over beyond June 30, 1992 and shall serve until their
successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. The Supreme Court,
quoting Corpus JurisSecundum, states that it is not competent for the legislature
to extend the term of officers by providing that they shall hold over until their
successors are elected and qualified where the constitution has in effect or by
clear implication prescribed the term and when the Constitution fixes the day on
which the official term shall begin, there is no legislative authority to continue the
office beyond that period, even though the successors fail to qualify within the
time.

R.A. No. 7056 also violated the clear mandate of Sec. 8, Art. X of 1987
Constitution which fixed the term of office of all elective local officials, except
barangay officials, to three (3) years. If the local election will be held on the second
Monday of November 1992 under RA 7056, those to be elected will be serving for
only two years and seven months, that is, from November 30, 1992 to June 30,
1995, not three years.

The law was also held violative of Sec. 9, Article IX of the Constitution by changing
the campaign period. RA 7056 provides for a different campaign period, as follows:
(a) For President arid Vice-Presidential elections one hundred thirty (130) days
before the day of election.
(b) For Senatorial elections, ninety (90) days before the day of the election, and
(c) For the election of Members of the House of Representatives and local
elective provincial, city and municipal officials forty-five (45) days before the day of
the elections.


Posting of campaign materials:
The COMELEC may authorize political parties and party-lost groups to
erect common poster areas for their candidates in not more than 10 public
places (plazas, markets, barangay centers, etc) where candidates can
post, display or exhibit election propaganda.
The poster shall no exceed 12 x 16 ft. or it equivalent.
Independent candidates can also do so, poster size shall be 4 x 6 ft or its
equivalent
Candidates may post any lawful propaganda on private property as long at
the owner consents.

Public Forum:
The COMELEC shall encourage non-political, non-partisan private or civic
organizations to initiate and hold in every city and municipality, public for at
which all registered candidates for the same office may simultaneously and


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 27
personally participate to present, explain, and/or debate in their campaign
platforms and programs and other like issues.

The Commission shall promulgate the rules and regulations for the holding of such
to assure its non-partisan character and the equality of access thereto by all
candidates.

B. ELECTORAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

What is contribution?

As used in the Omnibus Election Code, the term contribution includes a
gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything
of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or
not illegally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results
of the elections.

It shall include the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons,
the money value of which can assessed based on the rates prevailing in
the area.

What does contribution NOT include?

Services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a
portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party.

What is expenditure?

As used in the Omnibus Election Code, the term expenditure includes the
payment or delivery of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise
or agreement to make an expenditure for the purpose of influencing the
results to the election.

It shall also include the use of facilities owned by the candidate, the money
value of the use of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in
the area.

What are prohibited contributions?

Contributions that are made, directly or indirectly by any of the following:

1. Public or private financial institutions.

Exception: They are not prohibited from making any loan to a
candidate or political party if they are legally in the business of lending
money, and that the loan is made in accordance with laws and
regulations in the ordinary course of business;

2. Natural and juridical persons:

a. Operating a public utility or in possession of or exploiting any
natural resources of the nation;
b. Who holds contracts or subcontracts to supply the government or
any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities, with goods
and services or to perform construction or other works;
c. Who have been granted franchises, incentives, exemptions,
allocations or similar privileges or concessions by the government
or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities, including
GOCC;
d. Who, within one year prior to the date of the election, have been
granted loans in excess of P25,000 by the government, any of its
divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities including GOCC.

3. Educational institutions which have received grants of public funds
amounting to no less than P100,000;

4. Officials or employees in the Civil Service, or members of the AFP; and

5. Foreigners and foreign corporations.

What are prohibited soliciting of contributions?

1. It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive any contribution from
any of the person or entities enumerated above;

2. It shall be unlawful for any person, including a political party or public or
private entity to solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or
contribution of whatever form or nature from any foreign national,
government or entity for the purpose of influencing the results of the
election.








Election Law Reviewer (2012) 28
What are prohibited raising of funds?

It shall be unlawful:

1. For any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing
bouts, beauty contests, or other performances for the purpose of
raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate
from the commencement of the election period up to and including election
day; or

2. For any purpose or organization, whether civic or religious, directly or
indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any candidate for public office, or
from his campaign manager, agent or representative, or any person acting
in their behalf, any gift, food, transportation, contribution or donation in
cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and
including the election day.

What are excluded from the prohibitions?

Normal and customary religious stipend, titles, or collection on Sundays
and/or other designated collection days.

What are the LIMITATIONS upon expenses?

The aggregate amount that a candidate or registered political party may spend for
election campaign shall be as follows:

For candidates for every voter currently registered in the constituency
where he filed his certificate of candidacy:
a. President and Vice-President Ten pesos;
b. For other candidates Three pesos;
c. Candidate without any political party and without support
from any political party Five pesos;

For political parties Five pesos for every voter current registered in the
constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, any contribution in cash or in
kind to any candidate or political party or coalition of parties for campaign
purposes, duly reported to the Commission shall not be subject to the payment of
any gift tax.


What are prohibited donations by candidate?

Who are prohibited: Candidate, his or her spouse or any relative within
the 2
nd
degree of consanguinity or affinity, or his campaign manager,
agent, or representative. The prohibition applies to treasurers, agents or
representatives of any political party.

When does the prohibition apply: During the campaign period, on the
day before and on the day of the election.

What are EXCLUDED from prohibited donations: Direct or indirect
donation, contribution or gift in cash or kind, or undertake or contribute to
the construction or repair of roads, bridges, schoolhouses, puericulture
centers, pavements, or any structure for public use or the use of any
religious or civic organizations, such as religious stipends, titles or
collections on Sundays or other designated collection days, as well as
periodic payments for legitimate scholarships established and school
contributions habitually made before the prohibited period.

Statement of contributions and expenditures:

Time for filing Every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall,
within 30 days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices
of the Commission, full, true and itemized statements of all contributions
and expenditures in connection with the election.
It shall be the duty of every city or municipal election registrar to advise in
writing, by personal delivery or registered mail within 5 days from the date
of election all candidates residing in his jurisdiction to comply with their
obligation to file their statements of contributions and expenditures.

Effect of failure to file No person elected to any public office shall enter
upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions
and expenditures above required. The same prohibition shall apply if the
political party which nominated the winning candidate fails to file the
statement required within the period prescribed by the Act.

o Administrative fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 in the
discretion of the Commission, EXCEPT candidates for elective
barangay office.

o The fine shall be paid within 30 days from receipt of notice of such
failure; otherwise, it shall enforceable by a writ of execution issued
by the Commission against the properties of the offender;


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 29

o For the commission of a second or subsequent offense, the
administrative fine shall be from P2,000 to P60,000, in the
discretion of the Commission. In addition, the offender shall be
subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

C. POLITICAL PARTIES

What is the meaning of political party under the Code?

Political party or party means an organized group of persons pursuing the
same ideology, political ideas or platforms of government and includes its
branches and divisions. This requires that the group be joined in a party
corporate, articulate with the attributes of social personality, set of by-laws,
rules, or charter, or agreement as to how the group shall function, be
presided over and express its collective will.

A political party may refer to a local regional or national party existing and
duly registered and accredited by the COMELEC.

Registration of political parties:

To acquire juridical personality, qualify it for subsequent accreditation, and
entitle it to right and privileges granted to political parties, a political party
shall first be duly registered with the COMELEC.

Any registered political party that, singly or in coalition with other, fails to
obtain at least 10% of the votes cast in the Constituency in which it
nominated and supported a candidate or candidates in the election next
following its registration shall, after notice and hearing, be deemed to have
forfeited such status as a registered political party in such Constituency.

Any organized group of persons seeking registration as a national or
regional political party may file with the COMELEC a verified petition
attaching thereto its Constitution and by-laws, platforms or program of
government and such other relevant information as may be required by the
Commission. The Commission shall after due notice and hearing, resolve
the petition within 10 days from the date it is submitted for decision.

No religious sect shall be registered as a political party and no political
party which seeks to achieve its goal through violence shall be entitled to
accreditation.

The COMELEC shall require publication of the petition for registration or
accreditation in at least three newspapers of general circulation and shall,
after due notice and hearing, resolve the petition within 15 days from the
date it is submitted for decision.

Nomination and Selection of official candidates:

No political convention or meeting for the nomination or election of the
official candidates of any political party or organization or political groups
or coalition thereof shall be held earlier than the following periods:

o For President, Vice-President, and Senators 165 days before
the day of the election; and

o For members of the House of Representatives and elective
provincial, city or municipal official 75 days before the day of
the election

Disputes as to party nominations:
Decision as to which member shall be nominated as its candidate a
party concern; not cognizable by courts

A political party has the right to identify the people who constitute the
association and to select a standard bearer who represents their
ideologies and preference

Political parties are free to conduct their internal affairs free from judicial
supervision (judicial restraint)

No controlling statute or clear legal right = no jurisdiction of the court but
can leave the matter to the proper tribunals of the party itself or to the
electorate

In determining whether an irregularity in nomination of a winning candidate
prevented the free expression of public will, it must appear that
noncompliance with the law did not prevent a fair and free vote.

Intra-party leadership and membership disputes:

COMELEC may intervene only to exercise its constitutional powers
(incident to its power to register political parties)



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 30
o Ascertain identity of political party and it legitimate officers
responsible for it acts

o Register political parties determine who may act on its behalf

COMELEC cant intervene in the expulsion of a member

The party-list system

Constitutional provision Section 5(1) of Article VI of the Constitution:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more
than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by
law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned
among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in
accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on
the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as
provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of
registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations.

Implementing law RA 7941: Provides for the election of party-list
representatives through the party-list system and requires the Commission
to undertake various activities within the prescribed periods which
activities are difficult to accomplish within the periods prescribed therein.

Definition of terms Under RA 7941:

o Party-list system mechanism of proportional representation in
the election of representatives to the House of Representative
from national, regional, and sectoral parties, organizations and
coalitions thereof registered with the COMELEC. Component
parties or organizations of a coalition may participate
independently provided the coalition of which they from part does
not participate in the party-list system.

o Party either a political party or sectoral party or a coalition of
parties,

o Political party organized group of citizens advocating an
ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general
conduct of government and which, as the most immediate means
of securing their adoption regularly nominates and supports
certain of its leaders and members as candidates for public office.
i. National party when its constituency is spread over the
geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions.

ii. Regional party when its constituency is spread over the
geographical territory of at least a majority of the cities
and provinces comprising the region.

o Sectoral party organized group of citizens belonging to any of
the sectors enumerated in Section 2 of the Act hereof whose
principal advocacy pertains to the special interests and concerns
of their sector.

o Sectoral organization a group of citizens or a coalition of
groups of citizens who share similar physical attributes or
characteristics, employment, interests or concerns.

o Coalition aggrupation of duly registered, national, regional,
sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election
purposes.

Registration Under COMELEC Resolution No. 2847 (June 25, 1996)

o Any organized group of persons desiring to participate in the
party-list systems as a national, regional or sectoral party or
organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations may
register as a party, organization, or coalition, by filing with the
Commission, not later than 180 days before the election, a petition
verified by its president or secretary, attaching thereto its
Constitution, by-laws, platforms or program of government, list of
officers, coalition agreement and other relevant information as the
Commission may require.

o The sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women,
youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.

Petition and manifestation; filing fee Every petition or manifestation
shall be filed by any authorized representative of the political or sectoral
party, organization, coalition thereof with any of the following offices of the
Commission:

o Law department if the petition involves national Constituency;
or


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 31

o The Office of the Regional Election Director regional
Constituency.

No petition or manifestation shall be accepted without a filing fee of P1000 and
a research fee of P20.

Procedure:

o Upon receipt of the petition, the Law Department or the Regional
Election Director, as the case may be, shall determine whether the
petition is in due form and substance and thereafter shall verify the
existence of the petitioner in the Constituency and all matters
required, and within 7 days after such inquiry, submit the petition
and its supporting documents, filing fee, together with his findings
and recommendations to the Commission, through the Law
Department;

o The Commission shall, after due notice and hearing, resolve the
petition within 15 days from the date it was submitted for decision
but not later than 90 days before the election day.

Manifestation to participate in the party-list system Any party,
organization, or coalition already registered with the Commission need not
register anew. However, such party organization or coalition shall file with
the Commission, not later than 90 days before the election, a
manifestation of its desire to participate in the party-list system.

Removal and/or cancellation of registration Any Commission may
motuproprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or
cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national,
regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following
grounds:

1. It is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association
organized for religious purposes;
2. It advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal;
3. It is a foreign party or organization;
4. It is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign
political party, foundation, organization, whether directly or through
any of its officers or member or indirectly through third parties for
partisan election purposes;
5. It violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating
to elections;
6. It declares untruthful statements in its petition;
7. It has ceased to exist for at least 1 year; or
8. It fails to participate in the last 2 preceding elections for the
Constituency in which it was registered.

Certified list of registered parties The Commission shall, not later than
15 days before election, prepare a certified list of national, regional, or
sectoral parties, organizations or coalition which have applied or
manifested their desire to participate under the party list system and
distribute copies thereof to all precincts for posting in the polling places on
election day. The names of the party-list nominees shall not be shown on
the certified list.

Nomination of party-list representative Each registered party,
organization, or coalition shall submit to the Commission not later than 90
days before the election a list of names, not less than 5, from which party-
list representative shall be chosen in case it obtains the required number
of votes.

Limitations of party-list nominations:

o A party may be nominated by one party, organization/coalition in
one list only. Any person giving consent to be nominated more
than once shall be disqualified.

o Only persons who have given their consent in writing may be
named in the list;

o The list shall not include any candidate for any elective office in
the same election or a person who has not lost his bid for an
elective office in the immediately preceding elections;

o No change of name or alteration in the order of nominees shall be
allowed after the same has been submitted to the Commission
EXCEPT in cases where the nominee dies, his nomination is
withdrawn in writing and under oath, or become incapacitated, in
which case the name of the substitute nominee shall be placed
last in the list; and



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 32
o Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of
Representatives who are nominated in the party-list system shall
not be considered resigned.

Qualifications of party-list nominees:
1. A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
2. A registered voter;
3. A resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one year
immediately preceding the day of the election;
4. Able to read and write;
5. A bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to
represent for at least 90 days preceding the day of the election;
and
6. At least 25 years of age on the day of the election.
In a case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at
least be 25 but not more than 30 years of age on the day
of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who
attains the age of 30 during his term shall be allowed to
continue in the office until the expiration of his term.

Manner of voting Every voter shall be entitled to 2 votes. The first is a
vote for the candidate for member of the House of Representatives in his
legislative district, and the second, a vote for the party, organization or
coalition he wants represented in the House of Representatives.
A vote cast for a party, sectoral organization, or coalition not
entitled to be voted shall not be counted.

Number of party-list representative The party-list representatives shall
Constitute 20% of the total number of the members of the House of
Representative including those under the party-list.

In determining the allocation of seats for the second vote, the
following procedures shall be observed:

The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked
from the highest to the lowest based on the number of
votes they garnered during the elections; and

The parties, organizations receiving at least 2% of the
total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to
one seat. Those garnering more than 2% of the votes
shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their
total number of vote. However, each party, organization or
coalition shall be entitled to not more than 3 seats.

Procedure in allocating seats fir party-list representatives The
Commission shall tally all the votes for the parties, organizations, and
coalitions on a nationwide basis, rank them according to the number of
votes received and allocate a party-list representatives proportionately
according to the percentage of votes obtained by each party, organization,
and coalition as against the total nationwide votes cast for the party-list
system.

How party-list representatives are chosen According to their ranking
in said list.

Term of office they shall serve for a term of 3 years which shall begin,
unless otherwise provided for by law, at noon on the 30
th
day of June next
following their election. No party-list representative 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.

Change of affiliation;effect any selected party-list representative who
changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office
shall forfeit his seat. If he changes his political or sectoral affiliation within
6 months before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as
party-list representative under his new party or organization.

Vacancy the vacancy shall automatically filled by the next representative
from the list of nominees in the order submitted to the Commission by the
same party, organization, or coalition, such representative shall serve for
the unexpired term. If the list is exhauster, the party, organization, or
coalition shall submit additional nominees.

Rights of party-list representatives entitled to the same salaries and
emoluments as the regular members of the House of Representative.

Governing laws; other matters for purposes of the election of
Members of the House of Representative under the party-list system and
other matters in connection therewith which are not provided in the Act,
the relevant provisions of the Omnibus Election Code, as amended, shall
apply.




Election Law Reviewer (2012) 33

Ang Bagong Bayani v. COMELEC

SC laid down the following guidelines for screening party-list participants.

1. The political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent the
marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941. In
other words, it must show through its constitution, articles of incorporation,
bylaws, history, platform of government and track record that it represents and
seeks to uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Verily, majority of its
membership should belong to the marginalized and underrepresented. And it must
demonstrate that in a conflict of interests, it has chosen or is likely to choose the
interest of such sectors.

2. While even major political parties are expressly allowed by RA 7941 and the
Constitution to participate in the party-list system, they must comply with the
declared statutory policy of enabling Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized
and underrepresented sectors x xx to be elected to the House of Representatives.
In other words, while they are not disqualified merely on the ground that they are
political parties, they must show, however, that they represent the interests of the
marginalized and underrepresented.

3. The religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system.

4. A party or an organization must not be disqualified under Section 6 of RA 7941.

5. The party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or
an entity funded or assisted by, the government.
6. The party must not only comply with the requirements of the law; its nominees
must likewise do so.

7. Not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and
underrepresented sectors; so also must its nominees. To repeat, under Section 2
of RA 7941, the nominees must be Filipino citizens who belong to marginalized
and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties.

8. As previously discussed, while lacking a well-defined political constituency, the
nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of
appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole.


Chapter Five
THE ELECTION


PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

Election the embodiment of the popular will, the expression of the
sovereign will of the people in the choice or selection of candidates to public
office for definite and fixed periods or in deciding some question of public
interest

In the context of the Constitution: the conduct of the polls including the listing of
voter, the holding of the electoral campaign, and the casting and counting of the
votes; it involves every element necessary to the complete ascertainment of the
expression of the popular will from the deposit of the ballot by the voter up to the
final certification of the result

KINDS OF ELECTION

1. GENERAL ELECTION for the election of offices throughout the state or
certain subdivisions thereof, after the expiration of the full term of the
former officers.
2. REGULAR ELECTION an election, national or local, held at regular
intervals on such dates provided by law
3. SPECIAL ELECTION under special circumstances; Held to fill vacancy
in office before the expiration of the full term for which the incumbent was
elected, or an election at which some issue or proposition is submitted
to the vote of the qualified electors.

PURPOSE OF ELECTION To give the people a direct participation in the affairs
of this government; it is essential that all of the legal voters be permitted to cast
their ballots

CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTION LAWS

Adopted to assist the voters in the participation in the affairs of
government and not to defeat that object; these laws are mandatory before
the election

After election, they are directory only, if possible, specially if making them
mandatory would cause voters to be deprived on their votes without any
fault on their part


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 34
If the law says that a certain irregularity causes the ballot to be invalid,
provision is mandatory

If such departure from the laws in due to an honest mistake or
misinterpretation of election law, the law is directory and departure is a
harmless irregularity

Statutes providing for election contests are to be liberally construed to the
end that the will of the people in the choice of public officers may not be
defeated by mere technical objections

AUTHORITY FOR HOLDING ELECTION

In order to hold a valid election, authority so to hold it must be found
conferred by the people, either directly through the Constitution which they
have themselves ordained, or indirectly, through the enactment of their
legal representatives, the legislature.

TIME OF HOLDING ELECTION

Such time must be fixed by authoritative power;

Either the people in their Constitution and laws in the case of regular
elections of the executive or other designated power in the case of special
elections;

Enactments declaring the time at which an election shall be held are
deemed to be matters of substance and must be substantially observed or
the election will be void.

Substantial observance is sufficient and slight variation will not invalidate
the election. (e.g. closing the polls a few minutes or an hour before time
fixed, will not invalidate where no one offered to vote after the polls were
closed).

NOTICE OF ELECTION

Essential to the validity of the election; actual or constructive notice as to
the time, place and purpose

Substantial compliance with notice requirement Stricter in cases of
special elections called by some authority after the happening of a
condition precedent; there must be substantial compliance to fairly and
reasonably say that the purpose of the statute has been carried out

Sufficiency of notice determined on whether the voters generally have
knowledge of the time, place and purpose of the elections so as to give
them full opportunity to attend the polls and express their will

DATE OF ELECTION UNDER THE LAW

In accordance with the Constitutional policy to synchronize elections so
that there shall be simultaneous regular elections for national and local
officials every three years;

Ra 7166 provided for an election for president, vice-president, 24
senators, all elective members of the House of Rep., and at elective
provincial, city and municipal officials on the second Monday of May, 1992.
Thereafter, the President, vice shall be elected on the same day every 6
years;

Same while senators, members of the house and all elective provincial,
city and municipal official shall be elected on the same say every three
years, except that with respect to senators, only 12 shall be elected;

Barangay officials shall have a term of five years; elected on second
Monday of May 1994; shall be elected every five years thereafter.

POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTION

For any serious cause such as
1. Violence
2. Terrorism
3. Loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records
4. Force majeure
5. Other analogous causes of such nature
6. That the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should
become impossible in any political subdivision
7. The Commission may motuproprio or upon a verified petition
postpones the election.
8. The commission shall fix a new election to a date which should be
reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or
which resulted in a failure;


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 35
9. The date should be set not later than thirty days after the
cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of
the election or failure to select.

FAILURE OF ELECTION

THERE ARE ONLY THREE INSTANCES WHEN A FAILURE OF
ELECTION MAY BE DECLARED:

If on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other
analogous causes:

1. The election is any polling place has not been held on the date
fixed;
2. Had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing
of the voting;
3. 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 comelec shall, on the basis of a verified petitioner 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
on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not heldbut shall
not be later that 30 days after the cessation of the election or failure to
elect.

BEFORE THE COMMISSION CAN ACT ON A VERIFIED PETITIONER
SEEKING TO DECLARE A FAILURE OF ELECTION, THREE CONDITIONS
MUST CONCURR:

1. No voting has taken place or even of there was voting, the election
nevertheless results in failure to elect;
2. The votes not cast would affect the result of the election;
3. The cause of such failure of election should have been force majeure,
violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes.

The third condition is an important consideration for where the property of
a pre-proclamation controversy ends, there may begin the realm of a
special action for declaration of failure of elections.

The comelec may election the power to declare a failure of elections
MUTO PROPRIO OR UPON A VERIFIED PETITION.

The hearing of the case shall be SUMMARY IN NATURE.

FIXING THE DATE FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS

result of election the net result of the election in the rest of the
precincts in a given constituency, such that if the margin of a leading
candidate over that of his closest rival in the latter precincts is less than
the total number of votes in the precinct where there was a failure of
election, then such failure would certainly affect the result of the election,
hence a special election must be held.

Requirements as to date

o Should not be later than 30 days after the cessation of the cause
of the postponement or suspension of the election or the failure to
elect

o Should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held,
suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect

PLACE OF HOLDING ELECTION

That the place of holding the election shall be fixed, either by the general
law or by the proclamation or notice by which the election is called;

Enactments fixing the place of holding the election are properly to be
regarded as mandatory, and any substantial variation must invalidate the
election.

HOLDING OF ELECTION BY PROPER OFFICERS

That they shall be conducted by certain officers, elected or chosen by
certain methods, and that the result shall be ascertained and published in
a manner prescribed.

Regulations of this nature are indispensable to the orderly and efficient
conduct of the election, and an election held by persons without any color
of authority to do so, or without any attempt to observe the methods
prescribed, is invalid;



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 36
What is the BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS?

Is the body which conducts the election in the polling place of the precinct
usually composed of 3 public school teachers appointed by the comelec.

MANNER OF HOLDING ELECTIONS

That the manner prescribed is intended simply to secure the correct result,
and that the manner is clearly subservient to the result;

In elections the great matter is the result. When this is clearly ascertained,
it sweeps away all technicalities;

The machinery provided should be observed, but in so far as it is not
necessary to determine the result, it is directory and mandatory;

In pursuance of this idea, therefore, it is generally held that the regulations
prescribed are directory merely, and that a failure to observe them fully will
not invalidate the election, where an election has been held in good faith
and the irregularities do not affect the result;

Where a special election is provided for, but no method of holding it is
declared, it will be sufficient if held in the method prescribed for holding
general elections.

OFFICIAL WATCHERS

Every political party or coalition of political parties, and every candidate
shall be each entitled to one watchers in every polling place and
canvassing center;

Those belonging to the same political slate or ticker shall collectively be
entitled to only one watcher Panlalawigan, Panglungsod and bayan

There shall be 6 principal watchers, representing 6 accredited major
political parties, who shall be designated by the comelec upon nomination;

The political parties shall be determined by the comelec on the basis of the
following circumstances:
1. Established record of the said parties; their showing in the past
elections;
2. Number of incumbent elective officials belonging to them 90 days
before date of election;
3. Identifiable political organizations and strengths as evidenced by
their organized chapters;
4. Ability to fill a completer slate of candidates from municipal level to
president;
5. Other analogous circumstances that may determine their relative
organizations and strengths.

A. CASTING OF VOTES

METHOD OF VOTING

1. Voter must vote in person
2. Voter must vote only once
3. Voter need not vote the whole ticket
4. Absentee voting RA 7166 For president, vice-president and senators
only and shall be limited to AFP and PNP and other government officers
and employees who are duly registered voters and who, on election day
may temporarily be assigned in connection with the performance of
election duties to places were they are not registered voters.

VOTING HOURS

Starts at 7am and ends at 3pm, except when there are voters present
within 30 meters in front of the polling place who have not yet cast their
votes, in which case the voting shall continue but only to allow said voters
to cast their votes without interruption.

MANNER OF PREPARING THE BALLOT

Voter cant speak to anyone inside polling place

It is unlawful to prepare the ballot outside the voting booth or to show its
contents to any person or to erase any printing from the ballot or
intentionally tear or deface the same or put any distinguishing mark

Note: the May 10, 2010 automated elections required a bigger ballot
because of the number of national candidates (78) and party-lists (187)

The voter may voluntarily disclose the contents of his ballot.






Election Law Reviewer (2012) 37
PREPARATION OF BALLOTS FOR ILLITERATES AND DISABLED

A voter who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the allot by himself
may be assisted in the preparation of his ballot by a relative by affinity or
consanguinity within the 4
th
civil degree; or if none,

By any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household or
any member of the board of election inspectors, except the two party
members;

No voter shall be allowed to vote as illiterate or physically disabled unless
it is so indicated in his registration record;

In no case shall an assistor assist more than 3 times except the non-party
member of the boards of election inspectors.

SPOILED BALLOTS

If a voter accidentally spoil or deface a ballot in such a way that it cannot
lawfully be used, he shall surrender it folded to the chairman who shall
note in the corresponding space in the voting record that said ballot which
the chairman shall give him after announcing the serial number of the
second ballot and recording said serial number of the second ballot and
recording said serial number of the second ballot and recording said serial
number in the corresponding spaces in the voting record;

No voters shall be change his ballot more than twice;

The spoiled ballot shall, without being unfounded and without removing the
detachable coupon, be distinctly marked with the word spoiled and
signed by the board of election inspectors or the indorsement fold thereof
and immediately placed in the compartment for spoiled ballots.

BALLOT IMPLIES SECRECY

The idea of secret ballots lies at the very foundation of our system of
popular elections, and the courts are zealous in securing its protection.

It is settled that a legal voter will not be compelled to disclose for whom he
voted;

Not only will the legal voter not be compelled to disclose it for whom he
voted, but, unless he has himself made the contents of his ballots public at
the time of voting it, third persons will not be permitted to testify as to its
purport;

But although the legal voter cannot be compelled to disclose how he
voted, he may, if he chooses, waive his privilege of secrecy, and
voluntarily disclose the contents of his ballot.

VOTERS IN CITIES

Registered voters of highly urbanized city shall not vote in the election for
provincial officials of the province in which it is located;

No component city shall be declared or classified as a highly urbanized
city within 60 days prior to a local election;

The registered voter s of a component city shall be entitled to vote in the
election for provincial officials of the province to which it is a part, unless
its charter provides otherwise.


ABS-CBN v. COMELEC

An exit poll is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified individuals or
groups of individuals for the purpose of determining the probable result of an
election by confidentially asking randomly selected voters whom they have voted
for, immediately after they have officially cast their ballots. The results of the
survey are announced to the public, usually through the mass media, to give an
advance overview of how, in the opinion of the polling individuals or organizations,
the electorate voted. In our electoral history, exit polls had not been resorted to
until the recent May 11, 1998 elections.

The reason behind the principle of ballot secrecy is to avoid vote buying through
voter identification. Thus, voters are prohibited from exhibiting the contents of their
official ballots to other persons, from making copies thereof, or from putting
distinguishing marks thereon so as to be identified. Also proscribed is finding out
the contents of the ballots cast by particular voters or disclosing those of disabled
or illiterate voters who have been assisted. Clearly, what is forbidden is the
association of voters with their respective votes, for the purpose of assuring that
the votes have been cast in accordance with the instructions of a third party. This
result cannot, however, be achieved merely through the voters' verbal and
confidential disclosure to a pollster of whom they have voted for.




Election Law Reviewer (2012) 38
VOTING

After filling the ballot, the voter shall fold it in the same manner he received
it.

He shall affix his thumbmark on the space in the coupon and deliver the
ballot to the chairman of the board of election inspectors.

The chairman shall verify its number from the voting record where it was
previously entered.

The chairman shall apply silver nitrate and commassie blue (indelible ink)
on the right forefinger nail or on any other available finger nail, if there be
no forefinger nail.

The chairman shall sign in the proper space beside the thumbmark of the
voter. Signature is mandatory.

The chairman will then detach the coupon and deposit the folded ballot in
the compartment for valid ballots.

CHALLENGE OF ILLEGAL VOTERS

Any voter or watcher may challenge any person of offering to vote for:
o Not being registered
o Using name of another
o Not suffering from existing disqualification
o In such case the board of election inspectors shall satisfy
themselves as to whether or not the ground for the challenge is
true by requiring proof of registration or the identity of the voter.

No voter shall be required to present his voters affidavit on election day
unless his identity is challenged;

His failure or inability to produce his voters affidavit upon being
challenged, shall not preclude him from voting if his identity be shown from
the photograph, fingerprints, etc. or if identified under oath by a member of
the board of election inspectors.

CHALLENGE BASED ON CERTAIN ILLEGAL ACTS

Any voter or watcher may challenge any voter offering to vote on the
ground that the challenged person
o has received or expects to receive;
o had paid
o offered or promised to pay,
o has contributed,
o offered or promised to contribute money, or
o anything of value
o as consideration for his vote or for the vote of another that he has
made or received a promise to influence the giving or withholding
of any such voter or that he has made a bet or is interested
directly or indirectly in a bet which depends upon the result of the
election.
o The challenged shall take an oath before the board of election
inspections; upon taking of such oath, the challenge shall be
dismissed and the challenged voter shall be allowed to vote, but in
case of his refusal to take such oath, the challenged shall be
sustained and he shall not be allowed to vote.

RECORDS OR STATEMENTS TO BE PREPARED AND KEPT

Record of challenges and voters The poll clerk shall keep a prescribed
record of challenges and oath taken in connection therewith and the
resolution of the board of election inspectors in each case and, upon the
termination of the voting, shall certify hat it contains all the challenges
made; this shall be attached to the original copy of the minutes of the
voting.

Minutes of voting and counting of votes the board of election inspectors
shall prepare and sign a statement in four copies setting forth the matter
required by the Code.

o Copies of this statement after being duly accomplished shall be
sealed in separate envelopes and shall be distributed to the
election registrar, in the compartment for valid ballots of the ballot
box, to representatives f the accredited political parties.

List of unused ballots The chairman shall prepare a list showing the
number of unused ballots together with serial numbers







Election Law Reviewer (2012) 39
B. COUNTING OF VOTES

CONSTITUTION, COMPOSITION AND APPOINTMENT OF BOARD OF
ELECTION INSPECTORS

The comelec shall, directly or through its fully authorized representatives,
Constitute a board of election inspectors for each precinct to be composed
of a chairman and a poll clerk who must be public school teachers;

Done at least 30 days before the date when the voters list is to be
prepared, in case of a regular election of fifteen days before a special
election;

The members of the board of election inspectors, whether permanent,
substitute or temporary, shall, before assuming their office, take and sign
an oath.

POWERS OF THE BOARD OS ELECTION INSPECTORS

1. Conduct the voting and counting of votes

2. Act as deputies of the comelec in the supervision and control of the
election, to assure the holding of the same in a free, orderly and honest
manner;

3. Perform such other functions prescribed by the code or the rules and
regulations promulgated by the commission.

COUNTING TO BE PUBLIC AND WITHOUT INTERRUPTION

As soon as the voting is finished, the board of election inspectors shall
publicly count in the polling place the votes cast and ascertain the results.

The board of election inspectors shall not adjourn or postpone or delay the
count until it has been fully completed, unless otherwise ordered by the
comelec;

The comelec may order the board of election inspectors to count the votes
and to accomplish the election returns and other forms prescribed under
the code in any other place within a public building in the same
municipality or city;

DETERMINATION OF MARKED BALLOTS

The board of election inspectors shall determine whether there are marked
ballots, and, if any be found, the shall be placed in an envelope labeled
marked ballots, which shall be sealed and signed shall not be counted;

A majority of the board of election inspectors shall be sufficient to
determine whether any ballot is marked or not;

Evidence alliunde is not allowed to prove that a ballot is marked; an
inspection of ballot sufficient

The comelec need not conduct an adversarial proceeding or a hearing to
determine the authenticity of the ballots or the hadwriting

PURPOSE OF DISALLOWING MARKED BALLOTS

It is a well-settled rule in election contests that marks which shall be
considered sufficient to invalidate the ballot are those which the voter
himself deliberately placed in his ballot for the purpose of identifying it
thereafter;

Only in an unmistakable case where the ballot appeared to marked,
should it be rejected. In the absence of evidence alliunde clearly showing
that the intention or plan was for purposes of identification, signs on ballots
are presumed accidental.

INSTANCES OF MARKED BALLOTS

The determinative factor in the nullification of ballots for being marked as
following a design or pattern, is the existence of evidence aliunde tending
to show the intention or purpose in the use of the contested manner or
means of point, which is to identify the ballots.

Instances where ballots not considered marked No ballot should be
declared null and void as marked unless there are clear and sufficient
reasons to justify such conclusion. The rule is in favor of the validity of the
ballot.






Election Law Reviewer (2012) 40
MANNER OF COUNTING VOTES

The board of election inspectors (BEI) shall unfold the ballots and form
separate piles of one hundred ballots each, held together with rubber
bands and cardboards the size to serve as folders.

The BEI and chairman shall one by one read the names of candidates
voted for and the offices for which they were voted in assuming a position
as to enable all watchers to read such names.

The chairman shall sign and affix his right hand thumbmark at the back of
the ballot immediately after it is counted.

Poll clerk and the 3
rd
member shall record on the election returns and tally
board the names voted for each of the offices

Each vote corresponds to a vertical line, every 5
th
vote shall be recorded
using a diagonal crossing the 4 lines. BEI members shall watch over the
chairman reading the votes and on the member tallying.

In case of discrepancy after every pile of 100 ballots, a recount shall be
made if necessary.

Ballots are grouped together again.

After all piles have been read, the sum shall be recorded both on the tally
board and on the election returns.

The counted ballots shall be placed in an envelope provided for the
purpose, closed, signed and deposited in the compartment for valid
ballots.

The tall board or sheet as accomplished and certified by the BEI shall not
be changed or destroyed.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS ON COUNTING VOTES

While tallying, the table shall be cleared of all unnecessary writing
paraphernalia; violation of this requirement shall constitute an election
offense punishable under the Omnibus Election Code.

The chairman shall first read the votes for national positions.

Note: In the May 10, 2010 automated elections, the PCOS machines
automatically counted the votes, printed copies of election returns and
then transmitted the results to the canvassing ceters.

NUMBER OF COPIES OF ELECTION RETURNS AND THEIR DISTRIBUTION

Board of election inspectors shall prepare in handwriting the election
returns in their respective polling place, in the number of copies provided
and in the form to be prescribed and provided by the constitution

ELECTION RETURNS refers to the tally of votes counted at each
precinct and sent to the city or municipal board of canvassers

In the election of President, Vice-president, Senators and party-list system
copies of the election returns shall be distributed as follows: (Sec 19. RA
9369)
o 1
st
copy shall be delivered to the city or municipal board of
canvassers;
o 2
nd
copy, to the congress, directed to the President of the Senate;
o 3
rd
copy, to the COMELEC;
o 4
th
copy, to the citizen's arm authorized by the COMELEC to
conduct an unofficial count
o 5
th
copy, to the dominant majority party as determined by the
COMELEC in accordance with law;
o 6
th
copy, to the dominant minority party as determined by the
Commission in accordance with law; and
o 7
th
copy shall be deposited inside the compartment of the ballot
box for valid ballots.
o 8
th
copy to the Provincial Board of canvassers;
o 9
th
to the 18
th
copies, shall be given to the 10 accredited major
national parties, excluding the dominant majority and minority
parties, in accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If
no such agreement is reached, the Commission shall decide
which parties shall receive the copies on the basis of the criteria
provided in Section 26 of Republic Act No. 7166;
o 19
th
and 20
th
copies, to the 2 accredited major local parties in
accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If no such
agreement is reached, the commission shall decide which parties
shall receive the copies on the basis of criteria analogous to that
provided in Section 26 of Republic Act No. 7166;
o 21
st
to the 24
th
copies, to national broadcast or print media entities
as may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible;


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 41
o 25
th
and 26
th
copies, to local broadcast or print media entities as
may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible; and
o 27
th
to the 30
th
, to the major citizen's arms, including the
accredited citizen's arm, and other non-partisan groups or
organization enlisted by the Commission pursuant to Section 52(k)
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Such citizens' arm, groups and
organization may use the four certified copies of election returns
for the conduct of citizens' quick counts at the local or national
levels;

In the election of local officials and member of the House of
Representatives, copies of the election returns shall be distributed as
follows: (Sec 19. RA 9369)
o 1
st
copy shall be delivered to the city or municipal board of
canvassers;
o 2
nd
copy, to the Commission;
o 3
rd
copy, to the provincial board of canvassers;
o 4
th
copy, to the citizens' arm authorized by the Commission to
conduct an unofficial count;
o 5
th
copy, to the dominant majority party as determined by the
Commission in accordance with law;
o 6
th
copy, to the dominant minority party as determined by the
Commission in accordance with law; and
o 7
th
copy shall be deposited inside the copy shall deposited inside
the compartment of the ballot box for valid ballots.
o 8
th
copy to be posted conspicuously on a wall within the premises
of the polling place or counting center;
o 9
th
to the 18
th
copies, shall be given to the 10 accredited major
national parties, excluding the dominant majority and minority
parties, in accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If
no such agreement is reached, the Commission shall decide
which parties shall receive the copies on the basis of the criteria
provided in Section 26 of Republic Act No. 7166;
o 19
th
and 20
th
copies shall be given to the 2 accredited major local
parties in accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If
no such agreement is reached, the Commission shall decide
which parties shall receive the copies on the basis of criteria
analogous to that provided in Section 26 of republic Act No. 7166;
o 21
st
to the 25
th
copies, to national broadcast or print media entities
as may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible;
o 26
th
and 27
th
copies, to local broadcast or print media entities as
may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible; and
o 28
th
to the 30
th
copies to the major citizens' arms, including the
accredited citizens' arm, and other non-partisan groups or
organization enlisted by the Commission pursuant to section 52(k)
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Such citizens' arms, groups and
organization may use the five certified copies of election returns
for the conduct of citizens' quick counts at the local or national
levels.

DUTIES OF BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS IN COUNTING THE VOTES

During the counting of the votes case, the election inspectors should not
concern themselves with the eligibility of candidates;

Their duties should be confined to the:
o conduct of election,
o counting of the votes,
o certification of the results insofar as related to the certified
candidates;

The counting of votes should be liberal in order that the will of the
electorate may be effectuated. Voters should not be disenfranchised
retroactively for technical causes by the reviewing authorities.

RULES FOR APPRECIATION OF BALLOTS

LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION laws governing elections contests
especially the appreciation 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

Cardinal objective of ballot of appreciation is:

o To discover and give effect to, rather than frustrate the intention of
the voters. Thus, in reading and appreciation of ballots, every
ballot shall be presumed to be valid unless there is clear and good
reason to justify its rejection





Election Law Reviewer (2012) 42
BEI shall observe the following rules, bearing in mind the object of the
election is to obtain the expression of the voters will:

1. Where only the 1
st
name of a candidate or only his surname is written, the
vote for such candidate is VALID, if there is no other candidate with the
same 1
st
name or surname for the same office

2. Where only the 1
st
name of a candidate is written on the ballot, which
when read, has a sound similar to the surname of another candidate, the
vote shall be counted in favor of the candidate with such surname. If there
are 2 or more candidates with the same full name, first name or surname
and one of them is the incumbent, and on the ballot is written only such full
name, first name or surname, the vote shall be counted in favor of the
incumbent

3. In case the candidate is a woman who uses her maiden or married
surname or both and there is another candidate with the same surname, a
ballot bearing only such surname shall be counted in favor of the
candidate who is an incumbent

4. When 2 or more words are written on the same line on the ballot, all of
which are the surnames of 2 or more candidates, the same shall not be
counted for any of them, unless one is a surname of an incumbent who
has served for at least 1 year in which case it shall be counted in favor of
the latter

5. When 2 or more words are written on different lines on the ballot all of
which are the surnames of 2 or more candidates bearing the same
surname for an office for which the law authorizes the election of more
than one and there are the same number of such surnames written as
there are candidates with that surname, the vote shall be counted in favor
of all the candidates bearing the surname

6. When on the ballot is written a single word which is the 1
st
name of a
candidate and which is at the same time the surname of his opponent, the
vote shall be counted in favor of the latter (opponent)

7. When 2 words are written on the ballot, one of which is the 1
st
name of the
candidate and the other is the surname of his opponent, the vote shall not
be counted for either

8. A name or surname incorrectly written which, when read, has a sound
similar to the name or surname of a candidate when correctly written shall
be counted in his favor

9. When a name of a candidate appears in a space of the ballot for an office
for which he is a candidate and in another space for which he is not a
candidate, it shall be counted in his favor for the office for which he is a
candidate and the vote for the office for which he is a candidate shall be
considered as stray, except when is used as a means to identify the voter,
in which case, the whole ballot shall be void.

If the words written on the appropriate blank on the ballot is the identical
name or surname of full name, as the case may be, of 2 or more
candidates for the same office none of whom is an incumbent, the vote
shall be counted in favor of that candidate to whose ticket belong to all the
other candidates for in the same ballot for the same constituency.

10. When in space in the ballot there appears a name of a candidate that is
erased and another clearly written, the vote is valid for the latter.

11. The erroneous initial of the 1
st
name which accompanies the correct
surname of a candidate, the erroneous initial of the surname
accompanying the correct 1
st
name of a candidate, or the erroneous
middle initial of the candidate shall not annul the vote in favor of the latter.

12. The fact that there exists another person who is not a candidate with the
1
st
name or surname of a candidate shall not prevent the adjudication of
the vote of the latter.

13. Ballots which contain prefix such as Sr., M., Datu, Don, Ginoo,
Hon., Gob. or suffixes like Hijo, Jr., Segundo are valid.

14. The use of the nicknames and appellations of affection and friendship, if
accompanied by the 1
st
name or surname of the candidate, does not annul
such vote, except when they were used as a means to identify the voter, in
which case the whole ballot is invalid. If the nickname used is
unaccompanied by the name or surname of a candidate and the one by
which he is generally or popularly known in the locality, the name shall be
counted in favor of said candidate, if there is no other candidate for the
same office with the same nickname.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 43
15. Any vote containing initials only or which is illegible or which does not
sufficiently identify the candidate for whom it is intended shall be
considered as a stray vote but shall not invalidate the whole ballot

16. If on the ballot is correctly written the 1
st
name of a candidate but with a
different surname, or the surname of the candidate is correctly written but
with different first name, the vote shall not be counted in favor of any
candidate having such first name and/or surname but the ballot shall be
considered valid for the candidates

17. Any ballot written with crayon, lead pencil, or in ink, wholly or in part, shall
be valid.

18. Where there are 2 or more candidates voted for in an office for which the
law authorizes the election of only one, the vote shall not be counted in
favor of any of them, but this shall not affect the validity of the other votes
therein.

19. If the candidates voted for exceed the number of those to be elected, the
ballot is valid, but the votes shall be counted only in favor of the
candidates whose names were firstly written by the voter within the spaces
provided for said office in the ballot until the authorized number is covered.

20. Any vote in favor of a person who has not filed a certificate of candidacy or
in favor of a candidate for an officer for which he did not present himself
shall be considered as a stray vote but it shall not invalidate the whole
ballot

21. Ballots containing the name of a candidate printed and pasted on a blank
space of the ballot or affixed thereto through any mechanical process are
totally null and void

22. Circles, crosses or lines put on the spaces on which the voter has not
voted shall be considered as signs to indicate his desistance from voting
and shall not invalidate the ballot

23. Unless it should clearly appear that they have been deliberately put by the
voter to serve as identification marks, commas, dots, or hyphens between
the 1
st
name and surname of a candidate, or in other parts of the ballots,
traces of the letter T,, J, and other similar ones, the 1
st
letters or
syllables of names which the voter does not continue, the use of 2 or more
kinds of writing and unintentional or accidental flourishes, strokes, or
strains, shall not invalidate the ballot

24. Any ballot which clearly appears to have been filled by 2 distinct persons
before it was deposited in the ballot box during the voting is totally null and
void.

25. Any vote cast in favor of a candidate who has been disqualified by final
judgment shall be considered as stray and shall not be counted but it shall
not invalidate the ballot

26. Ballots written in Arabic in localities where it is of general use are valid. To
read them, the board of election inspectors may employ an interpreter who
shall take an oath that he shall read the votes correctly

27. The accidental tearing or perforation of a ballot does not annul it

28. Failure to remove the detachable coupon from a ballot does not annul it

29. A vote for the President shall also be a vote for the Vice President running
under the same ticket of a political party, unless the voter votes for a Vice
President who does not belong to such party

Final judgment before the election for the votes of a disqualified candidate
to be considered stray is required


Villarosa v HRET

A candidate for Representative, used the initials or nickname of her husband as
her nickname or stage name. Petitioners use of the initials of her husband as her
nickname or stage name was attended by bad faith and malice hence such act
was not allowed. The Rule allows the use of a) a nickname and appellation of
affection and friendship, provided that it is accompanied by the first name or
surname of the candidate, unless the nickname or appellation is used to identify
the voter; and b) a nickname, which is not accompanied by the name or surname
of a candidate provided that it is the one by which the candidate is generally or
popularly known in the locality. In the case at bar, the candidate did not satisfy the
2 conditions hence votes under the initials cannot be counted as her vote. Also
there are 3 kinds of votes are considered stray 1) vote containing initials only; 2)
vote which is illegible; 3) a vote which does not sufficiently identify the candidate
for whom it is intended. The 1
st
category of stray votes under this rule is not to be
qualified by the 3
rd
category in the sense that votes in initials only may be counted
for a candidate provided that the initials only may be counted for a candidate
provided that the initials would sufficiently identify the candidate voted for. Such


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 44
construction of the rule fails to give meaning to the disjunctive conjunction OR
separating the first category from the second, and the second from the third


GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN APPRECIATION OF BALLOTS

LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION appreciation of ballots should be liberally
construed, and the intendments should be in favor of a reading and
construction which will render the ballot effective, rather than in favor of a
conclusion which on some technical grounds render it ineffective;

If the ballot is so defective as to fail to show any intention whatever, it must
be disregarded.

The purpose of election laws is to give effect to, rather than frustrate, the
will of the voter.

Doubts are to be resolved in favor of their validity.

Technicalities should not be permitted to defeat the intention of the voter
especially so if that intention is discoverable from the ballot itself;

The utmost liberality of construction must be observed in reading the
ballots with a view to giving effect to the intention of the voters.

The minor blemishes found on the ballots including errors in spelling, the
casual making of blurs and erasures, can be considered as affecting the
validity of the ballot, where an honest intention on the part of the voter to
vote for certain persons is discernible in the ballot. With respect to errors
of spelling or lack of fitness in the written name, it may be said that no
honest mistake, due to ignorance or literacy, should be permitted to defeat
the intention of the voter; the utmost liberality of construction must prevail.

QUESTION OF FACT The appreciation of contested ballots and election
documents involves a question of fact best left to the determination of the
COMELEC;

It is the Constitutional commission vested with the exclusive original
jurisdiction over election contests involving regional, provincial and city
officials, as well as appellate jurisdiction over election protests involving
elective municipal and barangay officials.

In the absence of grave abuse of discretion or any jurisdiction infirmity or
error of law, the factual findings, conclusions, rulings and decisions
rendered by the said commission on matters falling within its competence
shall not be interfered with by this court.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS OF ELECTIONS AND ISSUANCE OF
CERTIFICATE OF VOTES

Upon completion of election returns, the chairman of the board of the
election inspectors shall ORALLY AND PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE the total
number of votes received in the election in the polling place by each and
every one of the candidates, stating their corresponding office;

After the announcement of the results of the election and before leaving
the polling place, it shall be the duty of the board of election inspectors to
issue a certificate of the number of the votes received by a candidate upon
request of the duly accredited watchers. All the members of the board of
election inspectors shall sign the certificate.

The certificate shall contain the number of votes obtained by each
candidate written in words and figures, the number of the precinct, the
name of the city or municipality, province, the total numbers of votes who
voted in the precinct and the date and time issued, and shall be signed
and thumb marked by each member of the board

A certificate of votes does not constitute sufficient evidence of the true and
genuine results of the elections, only election returns

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ELECTION?

PLURALITY OF VOTES SUFFICIENT FOR A CHOICE A plurality of
votes lawfully cast is sufficient to elect regardless of the actual number of
ballots cast but this principle is qualified by the important condition that it
must be a plurality of valid votes of a valid Constituency;

NOT NECESSARY THAT A MAJORITY OF VOTERS SHOULD VOTE
Even though a minority only participated, yet, if the election be lawfully
held, a plurality of the majority will elect. Those of the voters who remain
away from the polls are assumed to assent to the action of those who do
attend, and those who do attend the election but fail to vote for any office
are presumed to assent to the action of those who do vote.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 45
D. CANVASS AND PROCLAMATION

BOARD OF CANVASSERS there shall be a board of canvassers for each
province, city and municipality

PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS
1. Provincial election supervisor or a lawyer in the regional office of
COMELEC as chairman;
2. Provincial fiscal as vice chairman
3. Provincial superintendent of schools as member

CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS
1. City election registrar or a lawyer of the COMELEC chairman;
2. City fiscal vice chairman
3. City superintendent of schools member

In cities and more than one election registrar, the COMELEC shall
designate the election registrar who shall act as chairman.

MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS
1. Election registrar or representative of the COMELEC chairman
2. Municipal treasurer vice-chairman
3. Most senior district school supervisor or in his absence a principal of the
school district or the elementary school member

CONTROL AND SUPERVISION OF THE COMMISSION OVER THE BOARD

Pursuant to its administrative functions, COMELEC has direct control and
supervision over the board of canvassers and its proceedings.

It has the power to investigate and act on the propriety or legality of the
canvass of election returns made by the board of canvassers.

Power of Commission plenary. Power of COMELEC over the board is
plenary and not from its appellate jurisdiction hence a superior body or office
having supervision and control over another may do directly what the latter is
supposed to do or ought to have done.

Power of Commission ministerial. The function of a canvassing board in the
canvass of returns is purely MINISTERIAL in nature.

Equally ministerial is the function of the Comelec on the exercise of its
supervisory power over said board, pursuant to the Constitution and laws.
Power to see board perform its proper functions. The board of canvassers
is a ministerial body. It has been said, and properly, that its powers are limited
generally to the mechanical or mathematical function of ascertaining and
declaring the apparent result of the election by adding or compiling the votes
cast for each candidate as shown on the face of the returns before them, and
then declaring or certifying the result so ascertained.

Power to annul canvass. The statutory power of supervision and control by
the COMELEC over the boards of canvasser includes the power to revise,
reverse, and set aside the action of the boards. It is within the legitimate
concerns of COMELEC to annul a canvass or proclamation based on
incomplete returns, or on incorrect or tampered returns, a canvass or
proclamation made in an unauthorized meeting of the board of canvassers
either because it lacked a quorum or because the board did not meet at all.
Neither Constitution nor statute has granted COMELEC or board of
canvassers the power, in the canvass of election returns, to look beyond the
face thereof, once satisfied of their authenticity.

CANVASS BY THE BOARD

1. Proceedings of the board of canvassers shall be open and public
2. Majority vote of all the members of the board of canvassers shall be
necessary to render a decision
3. The board of canvassers shall meet not later than 6 pm of the election day
at the place designated to receive the election returns and to immediately
canvass those that may have already been received;
4. The board of canvassers shall meet continuously from day to day until the
canvass is completed, and may adjourn but not only for the purpose of
awaiting the other elections returns from the other polling places within its
jurisdiction.
a. Each time the board adjourns, it shall make a total of all the votes
canvassed so far for each candidate for each office, furnishing the
COMELEC in Manila by the fastest means of communication a
certified copy thereof, and making available the data contained
therein to the mass media and other interested parties
b. As soon as the other election returns are delivered, the board shall
immediately resume canvassing until all the returns have been
canvassed
c. A canvass cannot be reflective of the true vote of the electorate
unless all the returns are considered.
5. Subject to reasonable exceptions, the board of canvassers must complete
their canvasses within otherwise violation of this requirement shall be a
punishable election offense.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 46
a. 36 hrs in municipalities
b. 48 hrs in cities
c. 72 hrs in provinces
6. The respective board of canvassers shall prepare a certificate of canvass
duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the thumb of the right hand of
each member, supported by a statement of the votes received by each
candidate in each polling place. A certificate of canvass and proclamation
bearing only one valid signature is void.

Note: in the May 10, 2010 automated elections Precinct Count Optical Scan
(PCOS) machines were used from vote counting to election results canvassing.
After automatically counting the votes, the PCSO electronically transmitted the
results to the canvassing centers.

CANVASSING COMMITTEES

The board of canvassers may Constitute such number of canvassing
committees as may be necessary to enable the board to complete the
canvass within the period prescribed;

Each committee shall be composed of 3 members, each member to be
designated by the chairman and members of the board.

All candidates shall be notified in writing, before the election, of the
number of committees to be constituted so that they can designate their
watchers in each committee

The committees shall be under the direct supervision and control of the
board.

RECOUNT OF VOTES CAST IN CASE OF DISCREPANCIES IN ELECTION
RETURNS

Recount of votes is in order where a discrepancy exists between the votes
written in words or in figures.

RECOUNT merely consists in the mathematical counting of the votes
received by each candidate and it does not involve any appreciation of
ballots or the determination of their validity as in required in an election
contest. Reason: to offer a prompt relief to a simple controversy and to
restore public tranquility by dispelling all doubts as to the true and correct
number of the votes cases in a given polling place.

PROCLAMATION BY THE BOARD

Presumption of Regularity. The proclamation of a candidate as the winner
is a ministerial duty of the canvassing board. It enjoys the presumption of
regularity. To destroy the presumption, the protestant must convincingly
show that the protestees victory was procured through extra-legal means.

The board shall proclaim as elected the candidates who obtained the
highest number of votes cast in the province, city, municipality or barangay
ON THE BASIS OF THE CERTIFICATES OF CANVASS; Failure to
comply Constitutes an ELECTION OFFENSE;

There is no provision in our election laws which requires that a majority of
registered voters must cast their votes. All that is required is that a winning
candidate must be elected by a PLURALITY OF VALID VOTES regardless
of the actual number of ballots cast.

Exhaustion of powers of board. Having once met and fully completed its
duty, the powers of the board are exhausted and it cannot again meet and
re-canvass the votes or reverse their prior decision and announce a
different results.

Where a PROCLAMATION IS NULL AND VOID as where it is based on
faulty or erroneous tabulation, statement of votes which contains
erroneous entities, or an incomplete canvass, or a canvass that should
have been suspended with respect to the contested election retains or a
canvass that included unsigned election returns or outrightly excluded
election returns involving such number of votes as will affect te outcome of
the election, - it is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidates
assumption of office cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to declare
such nullity and annul the proclamation.

o The proclaimed candidate may assume office on the strength of
the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers but he is only a
presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final
outcome of the election protest.

o Although the COMELEC possesses the power to annul and
suspend the proclamation of any candidate, it is without power to
partially or totally annul a proclamation or suspend the effects of a
proclamation without NOTICE AND HEARING.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 47
o Due process in quasi-judicial proceedings before the COMELEC
requires due notice and hearing. The proclamation of a winning
candidate cannot be annulled if he has not been notified of the
motion to set aside his proclamation

A suspension of proclamation pending determination of a petition for
disqualification against a winning candidate is PROVISIONAL in nature
and can be LIFTED WHEN THE EVIDENCE SO WARRANTS. It is akin to
a TRO which a court can issue ex parte under exigent circumstances.

Note: RA 8295 provides for the automatic proclamation of a lone candidate for any
elective public office. This electoral reform would save the government time,
expense and effort of conducting an election for a position contested by only one
candidate.

PRINCIPLES GOVERNING CANVASS PROCEEDINGS (RULING OF SC)

*Controversies arising from the canvass must be resolved speedily, otherwise, the
will of the electorate would be frustrated.

Canvass proceedings are ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUMMARY IN
NATURE, and a strong prima facie case backed up by a specific offer of
evidence and indication of its nature and importance has to be made out to
warrant the reception of evidence aliunde and the presentation of
witnesses and the delays necessarily entailed thereby. Otherwise, the
paralization of canvassing and proclamation leading to vacuum in an
important office could easily be brought about.

Where it has been duly determined by the COMELEC after
INVESTIGATION AND EXAMINATION OF THE VOTING AND
REGISTRATION RECORDS that the actual voting election by the
registered voters had taken place in the questioned precincts, the election
returns cannot be disregarded and excluded with the resulting
disenfranchisement of the voters but be ACCORDED PRIMA FACIE
STATUS AS BONA FIDE REPORTS OF THE RESULT OF THE VOTING
for canvassing and proclamation purposes.

To allow a respondent in the COMELEC to raise belated questions
concerning returns at any time during the pendency of the case of review
before the COMELEC notwithstanding that he has not originally raised
such questions before the canvassing board and only when he finds his
positions endangered would mean undue delays in pre-proclamations
proceedings before the Comelec.
Alleged irregularities, such as the omissions of the COMELEC in the
distribution and protection of the election forms and paraphernalia, involve
the discharge of its administrative duties and so do not come under the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, which can review the decisions of the
body only in cases of grave abuse of discretion committed by it in the
discharge of its quasi-judicial powers.

As long as the returns appear to be authentic and duly accomplished on
their face, the Boards of Canvassers cannot look beyond or behind them
to verify allegations of irregularities in the casting or the counting of the
votes.

o Technical examination of voting paraphernalia involving analysis
and comparison of voters signatures and thumbprints thereon is
prohibited in PRE-PROCLAMATION without involving evidence
aliunde and examinations of voluminous documents which take up
much time and cause delay in defeat of the public policy
underlying the summary nature of pre-proclamation controversies.

o But when there is a prima facie showing that the return is not
genuine, as where several entries were omitted in the questioned
election return, the doctrine does not apply. The COMELEC has
the power to determine if there is a basis for the exclusion of the
controverted election returns.

It is settled jurisprudence that the COMELEC can suspend the canvass of
votes pending its inquiry whether there exists a discrepancy between the
various copies of election returns from the disputed voting centers.

o Once the election returns were found to be falsified or tampered
with, the COMELEC can annul the illegal canvass and order the
Board of Canvassers to reconvene and proclaim the winner on the
basis of genuine returns or, if it should refuse, replace the
members of the board or proclaim the winners itself.

An incomplete canvass of votes is illegal and cannot be the basis of a
subsequent proclamation. A canvass cannot be reflective of the true vote
of the electorate unless all returns are considered and none is omitted.
However, this true only where the election returns missing or not counted
will affect the results of the election.





Election Law Reviewer (2012) 48

Agujetas vs CA

Chairman and vice-chairman and a 3
rd
member of the Provincial Board of
Canvassers failed to proclaim as elected Sangguniang Panlalawigan member the
candidate who obtained the 8
th
highest number of votes cast but instead
proclaimed another candidate who obtained a lesser number of votes. There was
failure to proclaim the winning candidate. The 3 members of the PBC could not
attribute to the Committee on Tabulation the blame for their errors as the PBC
members themselves were the ones who certified under oath the said Certificate
of Proclamation and the Tabulation Committee members were totally under their
direct supervision and control. WON the Board of Canvassers became functus
oficio after it proclaimed the winning candidate is beside the point. What matters is
WON petitioners committed an election offense, in the case at bar petitioners
committed an election offense.


NUMBER OF COPIES OF CERTIFICATES OF CANVASS AND THEIR
DISTRIBUTION

The certificates of canvass for President, Vice-President, senators,
members of the House of Representatives, parties, organization or
coalitions participating under the party-list system and elective provincial
officials shall produced by the city or municipal board of canvassers and
distributed as follows.(Sec 26. RA 9369, Automated Election System)
o 1
st
copy shall be delivered to the provincial board of canvassers
for use in the canvass of election results for President, Vice-
President, senators, members of the House of Representatives,
parties, organization or coalitions participating under the party-list
system and elective provincial officials
o 2
nd
copy sent to the COMELEC;
o 3
rd
copy kept by chairman of the board
o 4
th
copy, to the citizen's arm designated by the COMELEC to
conduct an unofficial count. It shall be the duty of the citizens arm
to furnish independent candidates copies of the certificate of
canvass at the expense of the requesting party
o 5
th
copy, to Congress, directed to the President of Senate
o 6
th
copy, posted on a wall within the premises of the canvassing
centers
o 7
th
and 8
th
copies shall be given to the dominant majority and
minority parties
o 9
th
to the 18
th
copies, shall be given to the 10 accredited major
national parties, excluding the dominant majority and minority
parties, in accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If
no such agreement is reached, the Commission shall decide
which parties shall receive the copies on the basis of the criteria
provided in Section 26 of Republic Act No. 7166;
o 19
th
and 20
th
copies, to the 2 accredited major local parties in
accordance with a voluntary agreement among them. If no such
agreement is reached, the Commission shall decide which parties
shall receive the copies on the basis of criteria analogous to that
provided in Section 26 of Republic Act No. 7166;
o 21
st
to the 25
th
copies, to national broadcast or print media entities
as may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible;
o 26
th
and 27
th
copies, to local broadcast or print media entities as
may be equitably determined by the Commission in view of
propagating the copies to the widest extent possible; and
o 28
th
to the 30
th
, to the major citizen's arms, including the
accredited citizen's arm, and other non-partisan groups or
organization enlisted by the Commission pursuant to Section 52(k)
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Such citizens' arm, groups and
organization may use the 3 certified copies of election returns for
the conduct of citizens' quick counts at the local or national levels;
o the board of canvassers shall furnish all other registered parties
copies of the certificate of canvass at the expense of the
requesting party

The certificates of canvass for President, Vice-President, senators,
parties, organization or coalitions participating under the party-list system
shall be produced by the city boards of canvassers of cities comprising 1
or more legislative districts, by provincial boards of canvassers and by
district board of canvassers in the Metro Manila Area, and other highly
urbanized areas and distributed as follows.(Sec 26. RA 9369, Automated
Election System)
o 1
st
copy sent to Congress, directed to the President of the Senate
for use in the canvass of election returns for president and vice-
president
o 2
nd
copy sent to the COMELEC; for use in the canvass of the
election results for senators
o 3
rd
copy kept by chairman of the board
o 4
th
copy, to the citizen's arm designated by the COMELEC to
conduct an unofficial count. It shall be the duty of the citizens arm
to furnish independent candidates copies of the certificate of
canvass at the expense of the requesting party
o 5
th
copy, to Congress, directed to the President of the Senate


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 49
o 6
th
copy, posted on a wall within the premises of the canvassing
centers
o 7
th
and 8
th
copies shall be given to the dominant majority and
minority parties
o 9
th
to the 10
th
copies, shall be given to the 2 accredited major
national parties, excluding the dominant majority and minority
parties, to be determined by the Commission on the basis of
criteria as provided in Section 26 of RA 7166
o 11
th
and 13
th
copies, to broadcast media entities as may be
equitably determined by the Commission in view of propagating
the copies to the widest extent possible;
o 14
th
copy, to the another citizen's arms, or in the absence thereof,
to a non-partisan groups or organization enlisted by the
Commission pursuant to Section 52(k) of Batas Pambansa Blg.
881. Such citizens' arm or non-partisan group may use the copy of
election return for the conduct of citizens quick counts at the local
or national levels
o the board of canvassers shall furnish all other registered parties
copies of the certificate of canvass at the expense of the
requesting party

The certified print copies may be claimed at the polling place. Any
unclaimed copy shall be brought by the chairman of the board of election
inspectors to the canvassing center where the recipients or
representatives may claim them. Copies still unclaimed at the canvassing
center shall be placed in the custody of the chairman of the board of
election inspectors, who shall produce them when requested by the
recipient or when ordered by a competent authority

Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, any of the recipients
of the print or digital copies of the election return may conduct an unofficial
consolidation of votes and may announce the result to the public

The Commission shall post its digital files in its website for the public to
view or download at any time of the day. It shall maintain the files at least
3 years from the date of posting

CONGRESS AS THE NATIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS FOR PRESIDENT
AND VICE-PRESIDENT

DETERMINATION OF AUTHENTICITY AND DUE EXECUTION OF
CERTIFICATE

o Congress and the Commission en banc shall determine the
authenticity and due execution of the certificate of canvass for
President and Vice-President and senators, respectively as
accomplished and transmitted to it by the local boards of canvassers,
on a showing that:
o Each certificate of canvass was executed, signed, thumbmarked
by the chairman and members of the board of canvassers and
transmitted, or caused to be transmitted to Congress by them;
o Each certificate of canvass contains the names of all of the
candidates for President and Vice-President or senator, as the
case may be, and their corresponding votes in words and in
figures; and
o There exists no discrepancy in other authentic copies of the
document such as statement of votes by city/municipality/by
precinct or discrepancy in words and figures in the certificate; and
o There exists no discrepancy in the votes of any candidates in
words and figures in the certificate of canvass against the
aggregate number of votes appearing in the election returns of
precinct covered by the certificate of canvass

COMPLETION OF CERTIFICATE when the certificate of canvass duly
certified by the board of canvassers of each province, city or district,
appears to be incomplete, the SENATE PRESIDENT or the chairman of
the commission as the case may be, shall require the board of canvassers
concerned to transmit by PERSONAL DELIVERY, the election returns
from the polling places that were not included in the certificate of canvass
and supporting statements

o Said election return shall be submitted by personal delivery within
2 days from receipt of notice.

PRESENCE OF ERASURES AND ALTERATIONS IN THE
CERTIFICATE when it appears that any certificate of canvass or
supporting statement of votes by city/municipality or by precinct bears
erasures and alteration which may cast doubt as to the veracity of the
number of votes stated therein and may affect the result of the election,
upon request of the Presidential or Vice-Presidential or senatorial
candidate concerned or his party, Congress or the Commission en banc
as the case may be, shall, for the sole purpose of verifying the actual
number of votes cast for President and Vice-President, or senator count
the votes as they appear in the copies of the election returns submitted to
it.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 50
CANVASS OF VOTES FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT

Returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified
by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted
to congress, directed to the President of the Senate;

Upon receipt of certificates of canvass by the Senate President, he shall
open all certificates in the presence of Congress and Senate, not later
than 30 days after day of election open all the certificates in the presence
of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session;

Congress upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof
in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.

Person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected;

But in case two or more shall be an equal and highest number of votes,
one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a MAJORITY OF ALL
THE MEMBERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, VOTING
SEPARATELY.

The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the
certificates.

ELECTION RESULTING IN A TIE
1. Whenever it shall appear from the canvass that 2 or more candidates have
received an equal and highest number of votes; or

2. In cases where 2 or more candidates received the same number of votes for
the last place in the number to be elected.

The Board of Canvassers, after recording this fact in its minutes shall, by
resolution, upon 5 days notice to all the tied candidates, hold A SPECIAL
PUBLIC MEETING AT WHICH THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS shall
proceed to the drawing of lots of the candidates who may be favored by
luck

The candidate proclaimed shall have the right to assume office in same
manner as if he had been elected by plurality of votes.

The board of canvassers shall forthwith make a certificate stating the
name of a candidate who had been favored by luck and his proclamation
on the basis thereof.
Nothing in the above shall be construed as depriving a candidate of his
right to contest the election

FAILURE TO ASSUME OFFICE

The office of any official elected who FAILS OR REFUSES to take his oath
of office within 6 months from his proclamation shall be considered vacant,
unless said failure is for a cause or causes beyond his control.

NATURE OF BOARDS DUTIES

WHEN MINISTERIAL the board of canvassers is a ministerial body
enjoined by law to canvass all votes on election returns submitted to it.

o So long as the election returns have been accomplished in due
form, the board of canvassers, and on appeal therefrom, the
COMELEC, must include said returns in the canvass. If the returns
be regular, the duty of the board of canvassers consists in a
simple matter of arithmetic.

o The Commission or the board of canvassers, in the canvass of
votes, is without power to look beyond the face thereof, once
satisfied of their authenticity. Neither the Constitution nor the
statute has granted it such power.

o It has only the ministerial task of tallying the votes as reported in
the election returns and cannot exercise the judicial power of
deciding an election contest.

o Thus, where what is involved is purely mathematical and/or
mechanical error in the tabulation of the votes committed by the
board of canvassers which is admitted by all parties, and which
does not involve any opening of the ballots boxes, examination
and appreciation of ballots and/or election returns, and said error
was discovered sometime after proclamation, all that is required is
for the board to convene to rectify the error it inadvertently
committed in order that the manifest mistake in the mathematical
additional calls for a mere clerical task on the part of the board.
The remedy is purely administrative.

o The simple purpose of the canvassing board is to ascertain and
declare the apparent result of the voting. All other questions are to


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 51
be tried before the court or other tribunal for contesting elections
or in quo warranto proceedings.

o Absence of any determination of irregularity in the election returns
as well as order enjoining the canvassing and proclamation, it is
ministerial duty of the boars of canvassers concerned to count the
votes based on such return and declare the results.

WHEN QUASI-JUDICIAL the board of canvassers, however is guided by
election returns transmitted to it which are in due form and that they must
be satisfied of the genuineness of the returns, namely, that the papers
presented to it are not forged and spurious, and when the returns are
obviously manufactured, it will not be compelled to canvass them.

o it must be satisfied that the returns are genuine or authentic,
meaning trustworthy and not false. It may reject election returns
submitted to it for the purpose of the required canvass, if in its
opinion, they were obviously manufactured, or contrary to all
probabilities, or utterly improbable and clearly incredible.

o It is the duty of the board to suspend the canvass where there are
patent erasures and super-impositions in the words and figures on
the face of the election returns, or when another copy of the
statement of the election returns gives to a candidate a different
number of votes and such affects the result of the election, or
there is a difference between the votes of the same candidate
written in words and those written in figures, or the election return
is clearly falsified, or is not legible.

o If the true nature and scope of the power of the Board of
Canvassers and the COMELEC under the law in connection with
the canvass of votes is that the canvassers are to be satisfied of
the genuineness of the returns which means the exercise of
judgment or discretion, however limited, to determine whether any
given return before it is genuine, then the duties and powers to
make such determination are quasi-judicial.

WEIGHT ACCORDED BOARDS FINDINGS

FINDINGS NOT CONCLUSIVE the findings of the canvassers and the
certificate of election issued by them, if any, are prima facie evidence of
the result and of the title to the office of those declared elected, and this
evidence is conclusive in all collateral inquiries. But such finding or
certificate is not conclusive in a direct proceeding to try the title to the
office.

EVIDENCE ALIUNDE ADMISSIBLE TO DISPROVE FINDINGS the fact
of having a plurality of the votes lawfully case is what confers the title to
the office, and it is always open for the party receiving such plurality,
unless otherwise expressly provided by law, to go behind the certificate or
the returns and to establish this fact before the appropriate tribunal,
although the canvassers may have decided otherwise.

COURTS DECISION PREVAILS OVER FINDINGS 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 courts decision that should prevail.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 52
CHAPTER SIX:
AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM

AUTOMATED MAY 10, 2010 ELECTIONS

May 10, 2010 first nationwide (national and local) fully Automated
Election System (AES) in the Philippines was held in compliance with RA
84236 amended by RA 9369 using the Precinct Count Optical Scan
(PCOS) machines from vote counting to election results canvassing.

The Philippines is the 1
st
country that made the total transition from
manual to electronic voting

Instead of manually writing down the names of the candidates on the
official ballots as before, the voter using a special pen, fully shade
(manually) the blank oval beside the name of the candidate of his choice,
listed in the ballot

The ballots (about 20 cm wide and 64 cm long, printed back to back) are
precinct specific, meaning that each set of ballots can only be used in a
designated precinct.

o Those with erasures and extra markings are not accepted by the
counting machines

At the end of the voting, after the PCOS operator presses the close
voting option, the PCOS automatically generates a tally of votes and then
electronically transmits the counted votes to the
municipal/city/district/provincial canvassing centers up to the national level.
The transmission of results is similar to text messages.

o In the olds manual elections, the election returns (ERs) from
polling precincts were physically delivered to the canvassing
centers. They could be changes by cheaters before delivery.
Thus, the Certificates of Canvass would not be reflective of the
true vote of the electorate. Even the COCs were claimed to have
been altered to favor favored candidates.

The Boards of Election Inspectors have identification cards (ID) and
passwords that the canvassing computers validate when the ERs are
received (by the Board of Canvassers). Interested parties would be able
to compare the ERs printed by PCOS machines with what received by the
BOC which it projects on the screen. This addresses the possible use of
spurious ERs not printed by the PCOS or sent from unauthorized locations

The ERs are tallied by the BOCs at the municipality, provincial, and
national levels. Results for local elections in the 2010 polls were known in
just a few hours, and in the national elections, in 5 or 6 days, although the
winners were not officially proclaimed.

o In past national elections, they had to count for more than a month

With manual count and canvass eliminated, human intervention which has
been blamed for cheating is reduced to the minimum.

o In previous elections, the COMELEC received hundreds of
complaints involving the padding and shading of votes or the so-
called dagdag-bawas election cheating.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

1. Automated election system (AES) system of using appropriate
technology which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting,
consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of election result, and other
electoral process;
2. Electronic transmission conveying data in electronic form from one
location to other
3. Official ballot where AES is utilized, refers to the paper ballot, whether
printed or generated by the technology applied, the faithfully captures or
represents the votes cast by a voter recorded or to be recorded in
electronic form
4. Election returns a document in electronic and printed form directly
produced by the counting or voting machine, showing the date of the
election, the province, municipality and the precinct in which it is held and
the votes in figures for each candidate in a precinct in areas where AES is
utilized
5. Statement of votes a document containing the votes obtained by
candidates in each precinct in a city/municipality
6. City/municipal/district/provincial certificate of canvass a document
in electronic and printed form containing the total votes in figures obtained
by each candidate in a city/municipality/district/province as the case may
be. The electronic certificates of canvass shall be the official canvass
result in the aforementioned jurisdictions
7. Paper-based election system type of automated election system that
uses paper ballots, records and counts votes, tabulates,


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 53
consolidates/canvasses and transmits electronically the results of the vote
count.
8. Direct recording electronic election system type or automated
election system that uses electronic ballots, records, votes by means of a
ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical component that
can be activated by the voter, processes data by means of a computer
programs, record voting data and ballot images, and transmits voting
results electronically.

BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS

Where AES shall be adopted, at least 1 member of the BEI shall be an
information technology capable person, who is trained or certified by the
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to use the AES
o Such certification shall be issued by the DOST, free of charge.

OFFICIAL BALLOT

COMELE shall prescribe the size and form of the official ballot which shall
contain the titles of the positions to be filled and/or the propositions to be
voted upon in an initiative, referendum or plebiscite.

Under each position, the names of candidates shall be arranged
alphabetically by surname and uniformly printed using the same type size

A fixed space where the chairman of the BE shall affix his/her signature to
authenticate the official ballot shall be provided

The official ballots shall be printed by the National Printing office and/or
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at the price comparable with that of private
printers under proper security measures which the Commission shall
adopt.

o The Commission may contract the services of private printers
upon the certification by the NPO/BSP that it cannot meet the
printing requirements. Accredited political parties and deputized
citizens arms of the Commission may assign watchers in the
printing, storage and distribution of official ballots

To prevent the use of fake ballots, the Commission through the Committee
shall ensure that the serial number on the ballot stub shall be printed in
magnetic ink that shall be easily detectable by inexpensive hardware and
shall be impossible to reproduce on a photocopying machine, and that
identification marks, magnetic strips, bar codes and other technical and
security markings, are provided on the ballot.

The official ballots shall be printed and distributed to each city/municipality
at the rate of 1 ballot for every registered voter with a provision of
additional 4 ballots per precinct

FILING OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY

The Commission shall set the deadline for the filing of certificate of
candidacy/petition of registration/manifestation to participate in the
election. Any person who files his certificate of candidacy within this
period shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign
period for which he filed his certificate of candidacy

Unlawful acts or omission applicable to a candidate shall effect only upon
the start of the aforesaid campaign period.

Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active
members of the armed forces, and officers, and employees in GOCCs
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his/her officer and must
vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of his/her certification of
candidacy

Political parties may hold political conventions to nominate their official
candidate within 30 days before the start of the period for filing certificate
of candidacy.

ELECTION RETURNS

Each copy of the of the printed election returns shall bear appropriate
control marks to determine the time and place of printing. Each copy shall
be signed and thumbmarked by all the members of the BEI and the
watchers present

If any member of the BEI present refuses to sign, the chairman of the
board shall note the same copy in each copy of the printed election
returns.

o The member of the BEI concerned refusing to sign shall be
compelled to explain his or her refusal to do so. Failure to explain
an unjustifiable refusal to sign each copy of the printed election


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 54
return by any member of the BEI shall be punishable as provided
in the Act.

The chairman of the boards shall then publicly read and announce the
total numbers of registered voters, the total number of voters who actually
voted and the total numbers of votes obtained by each candidate based on
the election returns.

Within 1 hour after the printing of the election returns, the chairman of the
BEI or any official authorized by the Commission shall, in the presence of
watchers and representatives of the accredited citizens arm, political
parties/candidates, if any, electronically transmit the precinct results to the
respective levels of board of canvassers, to the dominant majority and
minority party, to the accredited citizens arm, and to the Kapisanan ng
mga Brodcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). Distribution as provided in Sec 22.

The election results at the city/municipality canvassing centers shall be
transmitted in the same manner by the election officer or any official
authorized by the commission to the district or provincial canvassing
centers.

The election returns transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be
considered as official election results and shall be used as the basis for
the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of a candidate

After the electronic results have been transmitted additional copies not to
exceed 30 may be printed and given to requesting parties at their own
expense.

CANVASSING BY PROVINCIAL, CITY, DISTRICT and MUNICIPAL BOARDS
OF CANVASSERS

The City or Municipal board of canvassers shall canvass the votes for the
president, vice-president, senators, and parties, organization or coalitions
participating under the party-list system by consolidating the electronically
transmitted results contained in the data storage devices used in the
printing of the election returns. Upon completion of the canvass, it shall
print the certificate of canvass of votes for president, vice-president,
senators and member of the House of Representatives and elective
provincial officials and thereafter, proclaim the elected city or municipal
officials, as the case may be.

The city board of canvassers of cities comprising one or more legislative
districts shall canvass the votes for president, vice-president, senators,
members of the House of Representatives and elective city official by
consolidating the certificates of canvass electronically transmitted or the
results contained in the data storage devices used in the printing of the
election returns. Upon completion of the canvass, the board shall
procedure the canvass of votes for president, vice-president, and senators
thereafter, proclaim the elected members of the House of Representatives
and city officials

In the Metro Manila area, each municipality comprising a legislative district
shall have a district board of canvassers which shall canvass the votes for
president, vice-president, senators, members of the House of
Representative and elective municipal officials by consolidating the
electronically transmitted results or the results contained in the date
storage devices used in the printing of the election returns. Upon
completion of the canvass, it shall produce the certificate of canvass of
votes for president, vice-president, and senators and thereafter, proclaim
the elected members of the House of Representatives and municipal
officials.

Each component municipality in a legislative district in the Metro Manila
area shall have a municipal boards of canvassers which shall canvass the
votes for president, vice-president, senators, members of the House of
Representatives and elective municipal official by consolidating the results
electronically transmitted from the counting centers or the results
contained in the date storage devices used in the printing of the election
returns. Upon completion of the canvass, it shall prepare the certificate of
canvass of votes for president, vice-president, senators, members of the
House of Representatives, and thereafter, proclaim the elected municipal
officials.

o The district board of canvassers of each legislative district
comprising 2 municipalities in the Metro Manila area shall canvass
the votes for president, vice-president, senators, and members of
the House of Representatives by consolidating the certificates of
canvass electronically transmitted from the city/municipal
consolidating centers or the results contained in the data storage
devices submitted by the municipal board of canvassers of the
component municipalities. Upon completion of the canvass. It
shall produce a certificate of the canvass votes for president, vice-
president, senators, and thereafter, proclaim the elected members
of the House of Representatives in the legislative district


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 55
o The district/provincial board of canvassers shall canvass the votes
for president, vice-president, senators, members of the House of
Representatives and elective provincial officials by consolidating
the results electronically transmitted from the city/municipal
consolidating centers or the results contained in the data storage
devices submitted by the board of canvassers of the municipalities
and component cities. Upon completion of the canvass, it shall
produce the certificates of canvass votes for president, vice-
president and senators and thereafter, proclaim the elected
members of the House of Representatives and the provincial
official.

The municipal, city, district and provincial certificates of canvass of votes
shall each be supported by a statement of votes.

Within 1 hours after the canvassing, the Chairman of the district or
provincial Board of Canvassers or the city board of canvassers of those
cities which comprise one or more legislative districts shall electronically
transmit the certificate of canvass to the commission sitting as the national
board of canvassers for senators and party-list representatives and to the
Congress as the National Board of Canvassers for the president and vice-
president, directed to the President of the Senate.

o The Commission shall adopt adequate and effective measures to
preserve the integrity of the certificates of canvass transmitted
electronically and the results in the storage devices at the various
levels of the boards of canvassers.

The certificates of canvass transmitted electronically and digitally signed
shall be considered as official election results and shall be used as the
basis for the proclamation of a winning candidate.

COMELEC AS NATIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS

The chairman and members of the COMELEC sitting en banc, shall
compose the national board of canvassers for senators and party-list
representatives. It shall canvass the results by consolidating the
certificates of canvass electronically transmitted.

Thereafter, the national board shall proclaim the winning candidates for
senators and party-list representatives.


CONGRESS AS NATIONAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS
The Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session shall
compose the national board of canvassers for president and vice-president

The certificate of canvass for president and vice-president duly certified by
the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be electronically
transmitted to the Congress, directed to the president of the Senate

Upon receipt of the certificate of canvass, the President of the Senate
shall, not later than 30 days after the day of the election, open all
certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of
Representatives in joint public session and the Congress upon
determination of the authenticity and the due execution thereof in the
manner provided by law, canvass all the results for president and vice-
president and thereafter, proclaim the winning candidates.

RANDOM MANUAL AUDIT (RMA)

Where the AES is used, there shall be a random manual audit in one precinct per
congressional district randomly chosen by the Commission in each province and
city. Any difference between the automated and manual count will result in the
determination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those precincts affected
by the computer or procedural error

Guidelines on reading of ballots the Chairman, prior to reading the votes
cast, shall:
o Check for over-voting in each position subject to RMA.
o OVER-VOTE situation where a voter selects more than the
allowed number of candidate/s for a particular position
i. In case there is an over-vote, such fact shall be recorded
in the minutes by the Chairman but the vote shall not be
counted for any candidate for that particular position.
However, the fact of over-voting in any particular position
will not invalidate the entire ballot. It shall remain valid
and votes for other positions (that are not over-voted)
shall be counted
o In case an oval is not shaded properly or contains other marks
(such as checks or crosses), the vote corresponding to the said
candidate shall be counted but such fact shall be recorded in the
minutes. The subject ballot shall then be placed in an RMA
envelope for Ballots with Ambiguous Marks.
o The rules on appreciation of ballots in manual system of counting
shall not apply for purposes of the RMA


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 56

Manner of counting of votes
o The Chairman shall form separate piles of 100 ballots each
o The Chairman shall take the ballots of the first pile 1 by 1 and read
1
st
the number assigned to the candidate followed by the
candidates name.
o For every ballot, the Chairman shall 1
st
announce the vote cast for
President, Vice-President, Member of the House of
Representatives, Governor and finally the Mayor.
o The Secretary and the Member shall simultaneously record each
vote read by the Chairman in the Audit Return and in the Tally
Board, respectively. Each vote shall be recorded by a vertical line,
except every 5
th
vote which shall be recorded by a diagonal line
crossing the previous 4 vertical lines
o After each pile of 100 ballots have been read, the votes obtained
by each candidate shall be added and the sum recorded on the
space immediately after the last vote recorded.
o The same procedure shall be followed with the succeeding piles of
ballots
o After all the ballots have been read, the Secretary and the
member shall record, in words and figures, the total number of
votes obtained by each candidate in the Audit Return and the Tally
Board, respectively.
o The Chairman shall accomplish the Minutes and enter the RMA
and AES results for President, Vice-President, Member House of
Representative, Governor and Mayor. The AES result shall be
based on the Minutes of Voting and Counting
o The RMAT shall note down the variance and the probable reasons
for such variance.

During the counting, the Chairman, Secretary and Member shall position
themselves in such a way as to give the watchers and the public an
unimpeded view of the ballot being read by the Chairman, as well as the
Audit Return and Tally Boards being simultaneously accomplished by the
Secretary and Member, respectively.

The lawyer, poll watchers or representatives of political parties and/or
candidates and the public shall not touch any RMA
documents/paraphernalia.
o The table used by the RMAT shall be cleared of all unnecessary
things.
o Any violation hereof shall constitute an election offense and shall
be penalized in accordance with BP Blg. 881


Upon conclusion of the RMA, all RMAT members shall affix their
signatures on the Minutes attesting to the contents thereof. Poll watchers
shall witness the recording of entries and affixing of signatures of the
RMAT member. The Chairman shall immediately notify the PES of the
results of the RMA, who in turn, shall report the same to the TWG-RMA.

Effects of discrepancy between AES and RMA
o In the event the results of the AES exceed the allowable margin of
variance, Sec. 24 of RA 9369 shall apply - Congress as the
National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice President
o In no way shall the results of the RMA delay the proclamation of
the winning candidates based on the results reached by the AES

AUTHENTICATION OF ELECTRONICALLY TRANSMITTED ELECTION
RETURNS

The manner of determining the authenticity and due execution of the
certificates shall conform with the provisions of RA 7166

The provisions may be supplemented or modified by the provision of RA
8436, as amended, where applicable, by appropriate authentication and
certification procedures for electronic signatures as provided in RA 8792
as well as the rules promulgated by the SC pursuant thereto.




Election Law Reviewer (2012) 57
CHAPTER SEVEN
CONTESTED ELECTIONS

Meaning of Pre- proclamation controversy

Any question or matter pertaining to or affecting the proceedings of
the board of canvassers which may be raised by any candidate or by
any registered political party or coalition of political parties before the
board or directly with the COMELEC

Any matter raised under sections 233,234,235, and 236 of the
Omnibus Election Code in relation to the preparation, transmission,
receipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns and election
and certificate of canvass.

Limited to challenges directed against the board of canvassers and
proceedings before said board relating to particular election returns
to which specific verbal objections subsequently reduced to writing
should be made.

Election controversy raised before proclamation because after
proclamation, the controversy becomes an election contest

Exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC

COMELEC shall have EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION over all pre-
proclamation controversies involving LOCAL elective officials.

o EXCEPTION: pre-proclamation cases are not allowed in
elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and member
of the House of Representatives on matters relating to the
preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation
of election returns or the certificate of canvass, as the case
may be, except as provided for in Sec. 30 thereof.

What is allowed is the correction of manifest errors
in the certificate of canvass or election returns. By
virtue, however, of the amendments introduced by
RA 9369, pre-proclamation cases involving the
authenticity and due execution of certificates of
canvass are now allowed in elections for President,
Vice-President, and Senators.

Partial or total suspension or annulment of proclamation
May motu proprio or upon written petition, and after due notice and
hearing:

o order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of
any candidate-elect or annul partially or totally any
proclamation, if one has been made, as the evidence shall
warrant

the reason for this is that unless the
proclamation of a winning candidate is
suspended, or if it has been held, set aside, the
policy behind the allowance of pre-proclamation
controversies, i.e. to prevent the losing
candidates from grabbing the proclamation and
delaying the resolution of the electoral contest,
will be defeated

Proclamation of other winning candidates

o Notwithstanding the pendency of any pre-proclamation
controversy, the Commission may motu propio or upon the
filing of a verified petition and after due notice and hearing,
order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose
election will not be affected by the outcome of the
controversy

Controversy to be first heard and decided by a Division of the
Commission

o Under the Constitution Art IX-C Sec 3: All election cases,
including pre-proclamation controversies x x x shall be heard
and decided in division, provided that motions for
reconsideration shall be decided by the Commission en
banc.

COMELEC division all such election cases
first be heard and decided

COMELEC En banc does not have original
jurisdiction, or authority to hear and decide the
same at the first instance. But a petition for
correction of manifest error in the Statement of
Votes, or in the tabulation or tallying of the
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 58
results, a pre-proclamation controversy may be
filed directly

Summary Hearing of pre-proclamation controversies

All pre-proclamation controversies shall be heard summarily by the
COMELEC after due notice and hearing, decision shall be executory
after 5 days from receipt by the losing party of the decision of
COMELEC unless restrained by SC

Opportunity given to submit evidence in form of respective
memoranda

o Required that the parties be notified and heard. Where the
petitioners were also given an opportunity to submit
evidence in support of their allegations, the Commission
cannot be faulted for merely requiring the parties to submit
their respective memoranda in amplification of their
respective positions. Such a procedure is fair and consistent
with the summary character of proceedings in election
cases.

Decision based on records and evidence elevated to Commission

o A summary proceeding does not mean that the Commission
can do away with requirements of notice and hearing.
However, presentation of evidence before the COMELEC is
not at all indispensable in order to satisfy the demands of
due process.

o Under Sec 18, RA 7166 all that is required is that the
COMELEC shall dispose of pre-proclamation controversies
on the basis of the records and evidence elevated by the
board of canvassers.

This is keeping with the policy of the law that cases
of this nature should be summarily decided and the
will of the electorate as reflected on the election
returns be determined as speedily as possible.

Issues that may be raised

Not every question bearing or arising from the elections may
constitute a ground for a pre-proclamation controversy. Under the
Sec. 243 of the Omnibus Election Code, the following shall be proper
issues that may raised in a pre-proclamation controversy:
1. illegal composition or proceeding (due to non-inclusion of votes)
of the board of canvassers
2. canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain material
defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or contain
discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic copies
thereof as mentioned in sections 233-236 of Omnibus Election
Code
3. election returns prepared under duress, threats, coercion, or
intimidation, or obviously manufactured or not authentic
4. when substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted polling
places were canvassed, the results of which materially affected
the standing of the aggrieved candidate/s

*the above enumeration is RESTRICTIVE AND EXCLUSIVE.

Where election returns on their face regular and authentic

GENERAL RULE in a pre-proclamation controversy, it is axiomatic
that the Commission is not to look beyond or behind election returns
which are on their face regular and authentic returns and investigate
alleged election irregularities.

o A party seeking to raise issues (eg. fraud, vote-buying,
terrorism, tampering and falsification) resolution of which
would compel the Commission to pierce the veil, of the
election returns prima facie regular has his remedy in a
regular election protest.

EXCEPTION principle does not apply where there is prima facie
showing that the return is not genuine.

o However, where election returns, though genuine or
authentic in character are reflective of fraudulent acts done
before or carried out by the BEI, the returns would be
deemed as obviously manufactured which may be properly
raised in a pre-proclamation controversy.

Where election returns obviously manufactured

Correction of manifest errors in the tabulation or tallying of election
returns or certificates of canvass is an issue that may be raised in a
pre-proclamation controversy.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 59
Sec 243(c) in relation to Sec 242 of the Omnibus Election Code, in
giving the Commission jurisdiction over pre-proclamation
controversies and allowing the suspension or annulment of any
proclamation, requires, if the basis of the controversy is that election
returns are manufactured, that this fact be obvious on the face of the
returns.

obviously manufactured = if all votes reported in the election
returns are cast in favor of a candidate or candidates of the same
party, or if the results of the canvass are statistically improbable. In
such a case, the results of the election would be unascertainable,
making it necessary to conduct a require technical examination of
the Voters List and Voters Affidavits

o Doctrine of statistical improbability applied only where
the unique uniformity of tally of all the votes cast in favor of
all the candidates belonging to one party and the systematic
blanking of all the opposing parties appear in the election
returns. The doctrine has no application where there is
neither uniformity of tallies nor systematic blanking of the
candidates of one party.

Where election returns found to be spurious or falsified

Outright exclusion of election returns on the ground that they were
fraudulently prepared by some members or non-members of the BEI
disenfranchises the votes. Hence, when election returns are found to
be spurious or falsified, Sec 235 Omnibus Election Code provides
the procedure which enables the COMELEC to ascertain the will of
the electorate

o Sec 235. The Commission shall then, after giving notice to
all candidates concerned and after satisfying itself that
nothing in that ballot box indicate that its identity and integrity
have been violated, order the opening of the ballot box and,
likewise after satisfying itself that the integrity of the ballots
therein has been duly preserved, shall order the BEI to
recount the votes of the candidates affected and prepare a
new return which shall then be used by the board of
canvassers as basis of the canvass.

If the integrity of the ballots have been violated, the COMELEC need
not recount the ballots but should seal the ballot box and order its
safekeeping in accordance with Sec 237 of the Omnibus Election
Code.
Scope of pre-proclamation controversy

1) Issues limited to those enumerated under Sec 243 Omnibus Election
Code

The enumeration may be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy is
restrictive and exclusive

o Reason underlying the delimitation both of substantive
ground and procedure is the policy of election laws that pre-
proclamation cases should be summarily decided, consistent
with the laws desire that the canvass and proclamation be
delayed as little as possible even if the proclamation of the
winning candidates can be provisional in nature in the sense
that such proclamation would be subject to the results of the
election protest or protests that may be effected to be filed.

Aside from the public interest that impels the prompt disposition of
pre-proclamation cases, the boards of canvassers particularly
municipal, city and provincial, before which such controversies are
initiated, are ad hoc bodies that exist only for the interim task of
canvassing election returns

o the lack of innter paper seals in the election returns does not
justify their exclusion from the canvassing. It is not a proper
subject of a pre-proclamation controversy.

2) Issues regarding errors in the Statement of Votes

Where the question raised is not as to the correctness of the
election returns but that of the statement of votes taken from the
returns by the board of canvassers during the canvassing and said
error was not discovered by the protestant congressional candidate
during the canvassing but only when she received a copy of the
statement of the number of votes and she wasted no time in filing a
protest with the board and then direct to the COMELEC since the
board was not available, it was held the duty of the COMELEC to
see to it that the matter should be verified from the election return as
a pre-proclamation controversy, instead of requiring the protestant
to bring the matter to the electoral tribunal as an election protest.

The law is silent as to when the issue regarding errors on the
Statement of Votes may be raised. However, any such error would
affect the proclamation made on the basis thereof and primordially,
in order to determine the true will of the electorate, the matter may
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 60
be raised, as a pre-proclamation controversy directly with the
Commission which is empowered to order the board of canvassers
to reconvene and prepare a new Statement of Votes and Certificate
of Canvass.

o When so elevated, the Commission acts in the exercises of
its original jurisdiction for which reason it is not
indispensable that the issue may be raised before the board
during the canvassing.

o The Commission is not discharging its appellate jurisdiction
under Sec 245 of the Code, which has to do with contests
regarding the inclusion or exclusion in the canvass of any
election returns, with a prescribed appellate procedure to
follow.

COMELEC Rules of Procedure which took effect on November 15,
1988, provides that the matter of correction of the statement of votes
may be subject of pre-proclamation case which may be filed directly
with the COMELEC.

Questions properly cognizable in an election protest

Questions as those involving the appreciation of the votes and the
conduct of the balloting, which require more deliberate and
necessarily longer consideration, are left for examination in the
corresponding election protest.

1. Reopening of the ballot boxes is not a proper issue for a pre-
proclamation controversy but should be threshed out in an election
protest

The Commission is duty to 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. This, it 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 there
been free, honest, and clean

A pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action
for annulment of election results or declaration of failure of
elections
2. Returns will not be excluded on the occasion of a pre-proclamation
controversy whose office is limited to incomplete, falsified or
materially defective returns which appear as such on their face.

If there has been sham voting or minimal voting which was
made to appear as normal through the falsification of the
election returns, such grounds are properly cognizable in an
election protest and not in a pre-proclamation controversy.

But the COMELECs findings on election returns, anchored
on the manner of their preparation, which it found to be a
sham and spurious, said ground is a pre-proclamation issue,
under Sec 241 & 243 in relation Sec 245 of the Code. Said
returns cannot be accorded prima facie status as genuine
reports of the results of the counts of votes

3. A petition for recount must fail, in the absence of any clear showing
or proof that the election returns, instances where a pre-proclamation
recount may be resorted to, granted the preservation of the integrity
of the ballot box and its contents are as follows:

i. canvassed are incomplete or contain material
defects,
ii. appear to have been tampered with, falsified or
prepared under duress, and/or
iii. contain discrepancies in the votes credited to any
candidate, the difference of which affects the result
of the election

Complete election returns whose authenticity is not in
question, must be prima facie considered valid for the
purpose of canvassing the same and proclamation of the
winning candidates

To expand the issues beyond those enumerated under Sec
243 and allow a recount/reappreciation of votes in every
instance where a claim of misdeclaration of stray votes is
made would open the floodgates to such claims and
paralyze canvass and proclamation proceedings, given the
propensity mandate that all pre-proclamation proceedings,
shall be heard summarily by the COMELEC after due notice
laws desire that the canvass and proclamation be delayed
as little as possible.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 61
The powers of the Commission are essentially executive and
administrative in nature, and the question of WON there had
been terrorism, vote buying and other irregularities in the
election should be ventilated in a regular election protest
(before the Senate Electoral Tribunal) and the Commission
is not the proper forum for deciding such matters.


Abendante v Relato

Election returns were obviously manufactured and the lists of votes were
padded were raised in a pre-proclamation controversy. The returns do not
show prima facie that on the basis of the old List of Voters, there is actually a
great excess of votes over what could have been legally cast. Petitioners
cause of action is the padding of the List of Voters which is NOT a listed
ground for a pre-proclamation controversy but instead proper ground for an
election protest.



Grand Alliance for Democracy v COMELEC

A pre-proclamation controversy is limited to challenges directed against the
Board of Canvassers, not the BEI. The padding of the List of Voters may
constitute fraud, or that the BEI may have been fraudulently conspired in its
preparations, would not be a valid basis for a pre-proclamation controversy
either. For whenever irregularities, such as fraud, are asserted, the proper
cause of action is an election protest



Ututalum v COMELEC

Where the winning candidates have been proclaimed, the pre-proclamation
controversies cease. A pre-proclamation controversy is no longer viable at
this point in time and should be dismissed. The proper remedy therafter is an
election protest before the proper forum (i.e. House Electoral Tribunal).
Recourse to such remedy would settle the matter in controversy conclusively
and once and for all.






Abella v. Larrazabal

Objections to election returns where votes cast for original candidate who
died were counted for the candidate who substituted the deceased were
raised in a pre-proclamation controversy. The matter is not cognizable in a
pre-proclamation controversy since it is summary in nature. Hence,
questions as those involving the appreciation of the votes and the conduct of
the campaign and the balloting, which require more deliberate and
necessarily longer consideration, are left for examination in the
corresponding election protest. The contention that the dismissal of the pre-
proclamation controversy would render the disqualification case moot and
academic is untenable. The 2 cases are independent of each other and one
may be resolved separately without affecting the other.



Datu Sinsuat v Pendatun

COMELEC dismissed pre-proclamation cases against private respondent
who filed an election protest ad cautelam. Election protest was filed subject
to disposition of pre-proclamation controversy. Petitioners intention is the
express reservation he made in the protest ad cautelam itself, that he was
filing the protest, without withdrawing his petitions in said pre-proclamation
controversy.



Agbayani v COMELEC

Authority of COMELEC to annul proclamation which was illegally made.
Considering the summary nature of the pre-proclamation controversy, there
is no reason wherein it cannot be speedily resolved on the basis of the
evidence and the arguments already submitted by the parties. These must
have been thoroughly examined by the COMELEC. And if more evidence is
to be adduced, this should not take too much more time; at least the
COMELEC should see to it that it does not. The COMELEC must be
especially wary of dilatory tactics that may further postpone the final
resolution of this contest. The Court stressed that there is a need for an
early resolution of the pending cases to ultimately determine the winner in
the gubernatorial election or, if an election protest is inevitable, to pave way
for it as soon as possible.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 62
Dimaporo v COMELEC

The common ground for the 3 appeals to the COMELEC was that the
question election returns were spurious, obviously manufactured and/or
statistically improbable. Technical examination of the signatures and
thumbmarks of the registered voters affixed to their voters affidavits and to
the lists of voters in the voting records in the contested precincts is not pre-
proclamation matter, but fall under the jurisdiction of the electoral tribunals as
sole judges of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications.
With regard to the issues wherein (i.) the COMELEC rejected the petitioners
appeal from adverse rulings of the Maguindanao Provincial Canvassers
relating to certain assailed election returns from 3 municipalities and (ii.)
wherein the COMELEC held the petitioners failure to present evidence
before the Maguindanao Provincial Board of Canvassers was fatal. SC ruled
that the mandatory requirement to comply with procedure for pre-
proclamation controversies in view of the public policy to have a quick
determination of the result of the election. By their nature, pre-proclamation
controversies already delay proclamation. To allow the deviation from
procedural requirements is to open cases of this nature to protracted
uncertainty because new grounds and new issues can be raised at the
different levels of jurisdiction.



Borja v. COMELEC

Facts: Borja and Capco both vied for the position of Mayor of Pateros. Capco
was proclaimed as winner and began serving his term as mayor.

Borja filed a petition in COMELEC to declare a failure of election and to
nullify the canvass and proclamation of CAPCO. Borja alleges lack of notice
of the date and time of canvass, fraud, violence, and terrorism. Comelec en
banc dismissed the petition on the grounds that the grounds relied upon by
Borja warranted only in an election contest

ISSUE: does a petition to declare a failure of election qualifies as an election
case or a pre-proclamation controversy, if it is an election case, the
Constitution mandates that it be heard and adjudged by thee
Comelecthrough any of its divisions

Held/ Doctrine:
Petition is neither an election case nor a pre-proclamation controversy
Comelec en banc is only empowered to resolve MR of cases decided by a
Comelec division

Grounds relied upon are proper in an election contest. Proclamation of
Capco enjoys presumption of regularity and validity. Since it is an election
protest involving a municipal position, the proper tribunal with exclusive
original jurisdiction is the RTC. Comelec exercises appellate jurisdiction over
the RTC decision pursuant to Article 9-C Section 2(2) of the Constitution.



Laodenio v. COMELEC

Facts: Petitioner and respondent were candidates for the position of
municipal mayor. Respondent was proclaimed winner by the Municipal Board
of Canvassers (MBC). Petitioner filed an action with the COMELEC to annul
respondents proclamation and to question the constitution of the MBC as
well as its proceedings . 5 days later healso filed an election protest with the
RTC. Comelec dismissed the petition

Issues
w/n the direct filing of petition to COMELEC to contest the illegal conduct of
the MBC is allowed? (YES)

w/n the pre-proclamation controversy was rendered moot and academic by
filing the ordinary election protest? (YES)

Held/Doctrine

Section 17 and 19 of RA 7166( Providing for a Synchronized National and
Local Elections and for Election Reforms) provide that questions affecting the
composition/proceedings of the board of Canvassers may be initiated on the
board or directly with the COMELEC.

However matters raised under 233-236 of the OMNIBUS Election Code in
relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody, and appreciation of
the election returns, and the Certificate of canvass sha;; be brought in the
FIRST INSTANCE BEFORE THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS ONLY.

Further, parties adversely affected by the ruling of the Board of Canvassers
may appeal to COMELEC within 3 days from a ruling thereon.

ONCE a competent tribunal has acquired a jurisdiction of an election protest
or a petition for quo warranto all questions relative thereto will have to be
decided in the case itself and not in another proceeding, otherwise there will
be a confusion and conflict of authority.
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 63



Salih v. COMELEC

Facts: MBC ruled to canvass the contested election returns for mayor on the
ground that there was no sufficient proof to warrant their exclusion as
defective or fraudulent returns. MBC did not proclaim any winner, its decision
have been raised on appeal to the COMELEC 2
nd
division. The 2
nd
division
ruled to include 3 of the questioned election return and to exclude two returns
form precincts 10 and 10-A. As a result MBC proclaimed PS as winner.
However, the COMELEC EN BANC nullified the proclamation and ordered
the inclusion of the election returns from precincts 10 and 10-a

Issue: Did the COMELEC en banc correctly reversed the decision of the
Comelec 2
nd
division?
Held/ Doctrine:
Yes. The second division excluded the election returns from the said
precincts because of the belief that no actual election was held there and that
the election returns were manufactured. However there are no evidence of
such sham and fraudulent voting.

Note: when the election returns on their face appear regular and wanting of
any physical signs of tampering, alteration, etc, the second division could not
exclude the contested election returns on the occasion of a pre-proclamation
controversy. If there had been sham voting or minimal voting which was
made to appear to be normal, the action should have been an election
protest.



J amil v. COMELEC

The Omnibus Election Code prohibits the proclamation by the Board of
Canvassers of a candidate as winner where returns are contested, unless
authorized by the COMELEC. When no authority is given by the COMELEC
in such case, proclamation is null and void.

Incomplete Canvass of votes is illegal and cannot be the basis of of a valid
proclamation.



Velayo v. COMELEC

Pre and post proclamation proceedings should be resolved summarily but
not ex parte. It is true that RA 7166 provides for summary proceedings in
pre-proclamation cases and does not require a trial type hearing.
Nevertheless summary proceedings cannot be stretched to mean ex parte
proceedings. Summary means with dispatch, with the least possible delay. It
signifies that the power may be exercised without a trial in the ordinary
manner prescribed by law for regular judicial proceeding. Although it is
summary, the adverse party must at least be notified so that he can be
apprised of the nature and purpose of the proceeding

Pre proclamation controversies on election returns or cerificates of canvass
must be disposed of summarily by the COMELEC on the basis of records
and evidence adduced in the Board of Canvassers.


Suspension of proclamation and period for filing of election protest

Section 248 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that the filing with the
COMELEC of a petition to annul/suspend the proclamation of any candidate
shall SUSPEND the running of the period within which to file an election
protest or quo warranto proceedings.

COMELEC shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all pre-proclamation
controversies.

COMELEC may order the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of
the candidate elect or annul partially/totally any proclamation
a) motuproprio
b) upon written petition, and after due notice and hearing

What are the grounds for the suspension of proclamation?
a) filing of pre-proclamation controversy(Section 248 Omnibus
Election Code)
b) when there is an action for disqualification, when evidence of
guilt is strong ( RA 6646)
c) when there is ground for denying or cancelling a candidates
certificate of candidacy (RA 6646)

NOTE: The order of COMELEC to suspend proclamation is merely
provisional in nature and can be lifted when evidence warrants. It is
akin to a TRO which a court can issue ex parte under exigent
circumstances.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 64
Is an action for declaration of failure of election in the nature of a pre-
proclamation controversy? NO!

Distinction between action for declaration of failure of election and pre-
proclamation controversy

Pre-Proclamation Controversy Failure of Election and
annulment of election returns
COMELEC is restricted to an
examination of the election returns
on their face
COMELEC is duty bound to
investigate allegations of fraud,
terrorism, violence and other
analogous causes
COMELEC has no jurisdiction to
go beyond election returns and
investigate election irregularities
COMELEC may conduct technical
examination of election documents
Compare and analyze voters
signatures and fingerprints.

Remedy after winning candidate has been proclaimed

After proclamation and assumption of office by the candidate, a pre-
proclamation controversy no longer viable and should be dismissed because
the proper remedy is an electoral protest where parties are to present
witnesses subject to the right of confrontation instead of mere affidavits to
settle the controversy once and for all.

Proclaimed and installed candidate may be unseated when:
1. opponent is adjudged true winner by final judgment of a court in the
election contest
2. prevailing party is declared ineligible or disqualified by final judgment of a
court in a quo warrantocase
3. incumbent is removed from office for cause
4. proclamation is null and void as declared by COMELEC

Contested composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers

Parties adversely affected by the ruling of the board of canvassers on the
composition or proceedings of the board may appeal the matter w/in 3 days
from the ruling to COMELEC which will summarily decide w/in 5 days from
filing.


Procedure in disposition of contested election returns

(in pre-proclamation controversies, the rules on presenting evidence and
appealing the rulings of the Board of Canvassers are MANDATORY)

Procedure is taken from section 20 RA 7166
1. Any candidate, political party or coalition contesting the inclusion or
exclusion in the canvass of any election returns (under Sec 234-236 of
Art. XIX of the Omnibus Election Code) shall submit their ORAL
OBJECTION to the chairman of the board of canvassers when the
questioned returns are presented for inclusion in the canvass. Objection
recorded in the minutes of the canvass

2. Upon receipt of objection, the board shall DEFER the canvass of the
contested returns and proceed to canvass the uncontested returns.
a. simultaneous with the oral objection, written objections must also be
entered
b. w/in 24 hours from objection, must submit evidence attached to the
written objections
c. w/in same 24 hours, any party may file written and verified
opposition to the objection, attaching supporting evidence; the
board shall not entertain objection or opposition unless in writing
d. evidence attached admitted into the records of the board by the
chairman affixing his signature at the back of each evidence

3. upon receipt of evidence, the board shall take up the contested returns,
written objections thereto and opposition, and summarily RULE thereon
(read Ruling by board on objections below)

4. adverse party INFORM the board of intention to appeal said ruling,
board shall enter said information in the minutes of the canvass, set
aside the returns and proceed to consider other returns

5. after all uncontested returns have been canvassed and contested
returns ruled upon, board shall SUSPEND the canvass, and any
adverse party may file a written and verified NOTICE OF APPEAL with
the board w/in 48 hours from suspension, and an appeal may be taken
to COMELEC w/in an non-extendible period of 5 days after filing of
notice.

6. Upon receipt of notice, the board make a REPORT to Comelec,
elevating the complete records and evidence in the canvass, and
serving parties with copies of the report

7. On the basis of records and evidence elevated, Comelec shall DECIDE
summarily the appeal w/in 7 days from receipt of records and evidence.
An appeal w/o the accomplished forms and evidence appended shall be
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 65
summarily dismissed. Decision shall be executory after 7 days from
receipt of decision by losing party.

8. Board of canvassers shall not PROCLAIM any candidate as winner
unless authorized by Comelec after ruling on the appeal of the losing
party,otherwise, the proclamation is void ab initio, unless the contested
returns will not adversely affect the results of the election.( this
particular rule applies only to a void proclamation in relation to
contested returns and not to contested qualifications of a candidate)

Requirements with respect to objections

1. In written form with supporting evidence attached thereto.
Objections must be reduced in writing. Evidence must also be presented
within 24 hours. Non compliance with the mandatory procedure will result in
the summary dismissal of the appeal. Petitioner has burden to prove that he
has aa) prima facie case for his objection and b) the evidence he will present
regarding the exclusion will change the results of the election.

A mere allegation that certain returns are altered or are spurious will not
operate to exclude it from canvassing

2. Evidence must be CLEAR and CONVINCING

3. Reasons for the requirements: the requirements are crucial to the
delivery of speedy and equitable relief in pre-proclamation
controversy.

Note: ABSENT any showing of grave abuse of discretion, findings of
COMELEC or any admin agency on this matter are binding on the SC.

Ruling by board on objections

Board of Canvassers must make a written ruling on the formal
objections. Failure or refusal to do so not prejudice objecting partys
right to elevate case to Comelec for proper review.

When is a ruling improper or not necessary?
Board ruling not necessary or proper where the matter is beyond
its competence, such as inclusion or exclusion in the canvass of
election returns. Immaterial that the inclusion of votes would affect
the overall results, as long as the returns appear to be authentic
and duly accomplished, the board cannot look beyond them to
verify irregularities in the casting or counting of votes. Board
has only the ministerial task of tallying the votes as reported in the
election returns and cannot judicially decide an election contest.

When is exclusion of election returns justified?
To justify exclusion of election returns, the alleged threats etc. which
attended the preparation of said returns must have affected the
regularity or genuineness of the contested returns. If the election
returns reflect the true results of the voting at precint level, any
coercion and intimidation that may give rise to legal, and criminal
liability, will not justify the exclusion of the returns.

Example: X obtained 5 votes in a precint, by reason of force and intimidation,
the BEI was compelled to make an entry of 50 votes for X. (in this case
exclusion is proper) However, even if there is coercion and intimidation but
the same did not alter the returns, exclusion will not be justified.

Pre-proclamation cases

1. Not allowed in elections for President, Vice President, Senator, and
Members of the House of Rep but does not preclude the
canvassing body motuproprio or upon written complaint to correct
manifest errors in the certificate of canvass or election returns
before it

Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the Board of
Canvassers may be initiated in the board or directly with Comelec
under Sec 17 of RA 7166

2. Pre-proclamation cases on provincial, city and municipal offices shall be
allowed and governed by sec 17-22 of RA 7166

3. General Rule: All pre-proclamation cases pending before Comelec
deemed terminated at the beginning of the term of the office involved
and the rulings of the Board of Canvassers deemed affirmed, w/o
prejudice to the filing of regular election protest by the aggrieved party.

Exceptions: Proceedings may continue when based on the evidence,
Comelec determines that the petition is meritorious and shall order to
continue the proceedings, or when the Supreme Court orders the
continuance in a petition for certiorari. Running of the period to file
election protest suspended by the pendency of such cases before
Comelec or the SC.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 66
Note: after the winning candidates have been proclaimed and
commenced their terms, proclamation issues are rendered moot and
academic.

4. To commence pre-proclamation case: Questions on the composition or
proceedings of the Board of Canvassers may be initiated in the board or
directly with Comelec. Matters under sec 233-236 of the Omnibus
Election Code related to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody
and appreciation of the election returns, and the certificates of canvass
shall be brought in the first instance before the board of canvassers
ONLY.

5. All pre-proclamation cases on election returns or certificates of
canvass shall, on the basis of records and evidence elevated to
Comelec by the board of canvassers, be disposed summarily by
Comelec w/in 7 days from receipt thereof. Decision executory after 7
days from receipt by the losing party of the decision.

Jurisdiction of Comelec over pre-proclamation cases governed by less rigid
standards of administrative due process.

NOTE: Election Protests vs. Petition for Quo warranto

Election Protest Quo Warranto (election)
Purpose is to ascertain whether the
candidate proclaimed by the Board of
Canvassers is the true and lawful
choice of the electorate
Special Civil Action
It is a contest between the defeated
and winning candidates on the
grounds of Frauds/ Irregularities in the
casting and counting of ballots, or in
the preparation of the returns.
Raises the issue of disloyalty
or ineligibility of the winning
candidate
It raises the questions of who actually
obtained the plurality of the legal
votes, and, therefore entitled to hold
the office
It is a proceeding to unseat the
respondent from office but not
necessarily to install the
petitioner in his place
It can only be filed by a candidate
who has duly filed a certificate of
candidacy and has been voted for in
the preceding elections
ANY VOTER may initiate the
action.



Effect of filing an election protest or a petition for quo warranto

General Rule: the filing of an election protest or petition for quo
warranto precludes subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation case, or
amounts to an abandonment of one earlier filed; thus depriving
Comelec of authority to inquire into the title of the protestee or the
validity of his proclamation.

Reason: once the competent tribunal has acquired jurisdiction of an election
protest or petition for quo warranto, all related questions will have to be
decided in the case itself to prevent confusion and conflict of authority. This
is to prevent confusion and conflict of authority. NOTE: After a proclamation
has been made, a pre-proclamation case is no longer viable.

Exceptions to the GR:
1. Board of canvassers improperly Constituted
2. Quo warranto was not proper remedy
3. What was filed was petition to annul a proclamation
4. Filing of the quo warranto or election protest expressly made
w/out prejudice to the pre-proclamation case or was made ad
cautelam
5. Proclamation was null and void

Actual and compensatory damages may be awarded in election
contests or quo warranto proceedings.

Institution of Election Contest:

An election contest may be an election protest or a quo warranto. While
these two are distinct remedies, they have a common objective: to dislodge a
winning candidate from office.

Right to institute election contest

1. Duties of Board of canvassers merely of ministerial nature and
their certificate of election being the prima facie evidence of
election, it is competent for a defeated candidate who has not
caused or contributed to the irregularities or frauds, to institute
proceedings for the determination of the title to the office.

Sec 250 of Omnibus Election Code: protest must be filed by a candidate who
has duly filed his certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same
office. It does not require that the matter be specifically alleged in the
protest.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 67
2. Election protest may be lodged only against a proclaimed candidate and
which must be filed w/in the period prescribed to ascertain whether the
such candidate is really the lawful choice of the electorate.

A counter protest is equivalent to a counterclaim and must be presented as
part of the answer w/in the time the protestee is required to answer,
otherwise, the court acquires no jurisdiction to entertain it.

3. When candidate has been proclaimed as elected, taken his oath and
assumed the duties of his office, the remedy of the defeated candidate
is not pre-proclamation contest but electoral protest, under the
assumption of a valid proclamation.

Null and void proclamation due to clerical error and simple mathematical
mistake in the addition of votes, and not through the legitimate will of the
electorate, Comelechas authority to annul the canvass and the proclamation.

Validity of proclamation may be challenged even after the irregularly
proclaimed candidate has assumed office. Once proclamation nullified,
case reverts to a pre-proclamation controversy.

Election contest imbued with public interest

1. Deep public interest to determine true choice of people election
contest imbued with public interest unlike an ordinary action. Time
is of the essence in the disposition of an election protest. Neither
fair nor just that one whose right to the office is doubted should
remain on that office for uncertain period.The COMELEC in order to
do justice and truly determine the rightful winner in the elections, may
suspend its rules if they stand in the way of finding the truth.

2. Election contest survives death of either party theretothe right to a
public office is personal and exclusive to the public officer. BUT an
election protest is NOT because it is imbued with public interest.

3. Election laws liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in
the choice of public officers may not be defeated by mere technical
objections.

a. Failure to raise a ground in protest does NOT preclude Comelec
from rejecting the protest on that ground. It is not intended that the
contest set forth the grounds of his protest with the same precision
as required of a pleading in ordinary civil cases.

b. Failure to perfect an appeal defeats the right of appeal of a party and
precludes the appellate court from acquiring jurisdiction over the
case. Nevertheless, the SC may give due course to appeals on the
basis of strong and compelling reasons such as serving the ends of
justice and preventing grave miscarriage of justice in the exercise of
its equity jurisdiction. Rules involving election cases are impressed
with public interest thus must be construed liberally.

c. The power to annul an election should be exercised with the
greatest care as it involves the free and fair expression of the
popular will. SCs jurisdiction to review decisions and orders of
electoral tribunals (Comelec) operates only upon a clear
showing of grave abuse of discretion.

The annulment of an election on the ground of fraud, irregularities,
and violations of election laws may be raised as an incident to an
election contest. Such grounds may be invoked in an election protest
case.

d. Execution pending appealRules of Court allows RTC to order
execution pending appeal upon good reasons stated in the special
order, can be applied to election protests (rule 41 Comelec rules of
procedure) decided by the courts.
Motion for execution pending appeal may be filed any time
before the period for perfection of the appeal.

e. Pleading and Practice- the rules of civil procedure do not apply to
election cases. They apply only by analogy or in a suppletory
character and whenever practicable and convenient. Election
Contests are subject to the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which
should be applied with LIBERALITY. It is not required that a petition
contesting the election of any municipal official be accompanied by a
certification of non-forum shopping.

f. Winning candidates qualification- To challenge the winning
candidates qualifications, the petitioner must clearly demonstrate
that the ineligibility is so patently antagonistic to constitutional
principles and legal principles that overriding such ineligibility and
thereby giving effect to the apparent will of the of the people would
ultimately create greater prejudice to the very democratic institutions
and juristic traditions that our Constitutions and laws so zealously
protect and promote.



Election Law Reviewer (2012) 68

Defensor Santiago v. Ramos

FACTS:
This is an original action filed before the SC acting as a Presidential Electoral
Tribunal.Miriam Defensor-Santiago (DS) ran for presidency in the 1992
National Elections. She lost, but filed election protest against the winner,
Pres. FV Ramos.

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 electoral protest would still be valid,
even after theprotestant has already assumed office as Senator, noting that
should she win in the protest, her term as president would coincide with her
term as senator, which she is now in. The SC as PET decides the case.

HELD:
There was abandonment of protest. 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.


What is a demurrer to evidence?

A demurrer to evidence is an objection by a party to an action to the effect
that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point
of law to make out a case or sustain in the issue in the case. It is
equivalent to a motion to dismiss.

Rules of Civil Procedure is not applicable to election cases except by
analogy or in suppletory character.

Can the Rules on Demurrer to evidence be applied in election cases even by
analogy or in suppletory character? NO
Reason: the nature of election case is different from ordinary civil action.
Estrada v. Domingo- the early resolution of election cases should not
be hampered by any unnecessary observance of procedural rules.

Effects of demurrer to evidence of protestant

In election protests, the protestee should not be permitted to present a
motion for dismissal or a demurrer to the evidence of the protestant, unless
he waives the introduction of his own evidence in case the ruling on his
motion or demurrer is adverse to him, in which case the court that tries the
case must definitely decide it.

Jurisdiction over election contests

1. Local officials Comelec exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all
contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective
regional, provincial and city officials, appellate jurisdiction over all
contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of
general jurisdiction, or elective barangay officials decided by trial
courts of limited jurisdiction.

An original Special civil action for certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus
against a RTC in an election contest may be filed only in the CA or SC.

2. Municipal and barangay officialsRTC and MTC exercise exclusive
original jurisdiction over election contest involving municipal and
barangay officials respectively.

Decision of RTC (re: Municipal Officals) may be appealed to Comelec
w/in 5 days from promulgation or receipt of a copy of decision by
aggrieved party.

Comelec shall decide the appeal w/in 60 days after it is submitted for
decision, but not later than 6 months after the filing of the appeal, which
decision shall be final, unappealable, and executory.

Motion for reconsideration in the trial court not allowed by the
Omnibus Election Code sec 26 and the Comelec Rules of Procedure sec
20 rule 35, thus its filing will not suspend the period to appeal.

Courts shall give preference to election contests over all other cases,
except those of habeas corpus, and shall hear and decide the case
within 30 days from date of submission for decision but not later than 6
months after filing.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 69
3. Members of Congress Senate and House of Rep shall each have an
Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating
to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members.

Electoral Tribunal = composed of 9 members:
3 are Justices of the SC designated by the Chief Justice,
6 are members of the Senate OR House of Rep chosen on the basis of
proportional representation from political parties and organizations under
the party-list system. The senior Justice shall be the chairman.

RA 6646: Comelec does not lose jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending
disqualification case against a Congressional candidate.

Jurisdiction of Electoral Tribunal begins only after a candidate has become
member of Senate or House of Rep, once ha heas been proclaimed, taken
his oath, and assumed office.

The fact the electoral tribunal is the sole judge of all election contests
involving members of Congress does not bar the SC from entertaining
petitions which charge the electoral body with grave abuse of discretion,

4. President or Vice-President SC en banc shall be the sole judge of
all contests relating to election, returns, and qualifications of the P
and VP, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose.

Assumption of Office During Pendency of Election Protest

The pendency of an election contest is not a sufficient basis to enjoin one
who has been proclaimed as duly elected from assuming office as required
of him by law, otherwise the efficiency of public administration would be
impaired.

Until the election protest is decided against the winning candidate, he
has a lawful right to assume and perform the duties and functions of
the office. Rules of Court allows execution pending appeal in election
cases upon good reasons.

Expiration of term of the office contested renders the election contest moot
and academic and is a ground for its dismissal, unless rendering of decision
on the merits would be of practical value.





EXECUTION pending APPEAL in Protest Cases

What are the requisites in order to grant execution pending appeal?

The following requisites must concur
a. There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the
adverse party
b. There must be good reasons for the execution pending appeal
c. The order granting execution pending appeal must state the good
reasons.

What are considered good reasons?
a. The public interest involved or the will of the electorate
b. The shortness of the remaining portion of the term of the contested
office, and
c. The length of time that the election contest has been pending

* A combination of two or more of the above stated reasons will suffice to
grant execution pending appeal.
* Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Civil Procedure applies in suppletory
character to election cases. Thus, allowing execution pending appeal in the
discretion of the court.

Distinctions between defective elections and defective returns

1. Return is set aside only when it is tainted with fraud, or with the
misconduct of the election officers, that the truth cannot be
deduced from it. The duty still remains to let the election stand and
to ascertain from other evidence the true state of the vote.

The return may be excluded and set aside at the cost of disenfranchising
the voters only on the clearest and compelling showing of their nullity,
otherwise, they shall be included and considered prima facie valid for the
purpose of canvassing the same and proclaiming the winning candidate.

2. Election is only set aside when it is impossible from any evidence w/in
reach to ascertain the true result.

Annulment of an election can be justified where as a result of the irregularity
many unqualified voters have their names inscribed in the official list, and it
was impossible to segregate the legal from the illegal votes.

Power to throw an election should be exercised with the greatest care and
only under circumstances w/c demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the
disregard of the law has been so fundamental that it is impossible to
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 70
distinguish what votes are lawful and unlawful, or to arrive at any certain
result whatsoever, or that the great body of voters have been prevented by
violence, intimidation and threats from exercising their franchise.

Where illegality reflects more than 50% of the total number of votes
cast, the annulment of the election is justified because the remainder
does not Constitute a valid Constituency.

Irregularities affecting election

Irregularities not from wrongful intent, in the manner of calling, holding
or certifying the election which do not affect the result, will be ignored.

1. Irregularities must have affected election result protestant must be
prepared to show that the irregularities were of such a nature or the
illegal votes were of such a number as to materially alter the results, thus
rendering the election void.
2. Mandatory provisions must be observedwhere the statute requires an
act to be done as essential to the validity of the election, or declares it
void if not observed. However, election laws are considered directory
after elections to give effect to the will of the electorate.
3. Evidence must be convincingin the absence of clearly convincing
evidence, the election returns and canvassing proceedings must be
upheld.
4. Intimidation or violence must justify exclusion of election returnsit must
be clearly appear that there was such a display of force as ought to have
intimidated men of ordinary firmness.
Where such violence and intimidation are shown, election will be set
aside. But where election has actually been had and the mass of electors
have voted, it must be shown that the number of voters prevented was
sufficient to change the result, otherwise the election must stand.

To justify the exclusion of election returns, the alleged threats,
intimidation or violence that attended the preparation of the said returns
must have affected the regularity or genuiness of the contested returns.

Evidence on the election

Rule on Evidence:
The protestant must stand or fall upon the issues he had raised in his original
or amended pleading filed PRIOR to the lapse of the statutory period for filing
of protest or counter protest. The court can only consider the evidence
presented prior to the submission of the case for decision or resolution. It
must not take into account evidence presented therafter without obtaining
prior leave of court.
1. Election Returns used in the canvass of votes. The ballots are the
best evidence as to the correctness of the number of votes of each
candidate. But where ballots cannot be produced, the election returns
are the next best evidence.

a. Where actual voting had taken place, the election returns cannot
be disregarded and have prima facie status as bona fide reports
of the results of the voting. Party alleging that election results are
fake or tampered must submit convincing proof. Only when
election returns are palpably irregular (not formal defects) may
they be rejected.

b. It is presumed that the election officials have done their duty and
the returns made are full and fair statement of the true result,
until they are shown to be unreliable.

Principle of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibuswhen the returns are
shown to be fraudulent and false in part they must be rejected altogether.
Returns may be corrected by parol and by written evidence.

2. Ballots the election returns being rejected, the ballots are resorted to.
The right of office comes from the ballots and not from the certificate of
returns. Recourse to the ballots presupposes that they have been kept
as required by law and that they still exist in the same integrity as when
cast.

When there is an allegation in an election protest that would require the
perusal, examination, or counting of ballots in evidence, it is the
MINISTERIAL duty of the TRIAL COURT or the COMELEC (or its
division) to order the opening of the ballot boxes and the examination
and counting of the ballots therein.

Note: photocopies of ballots deemed not best evidence thereof.

3. Poll-books and tally sheets required by law to be kept showing who
has voted and who are legally entitled to vote, resort may be had to
these books or sheets to ascertain the number of votes cast and persons
who have voted.

4. Election officialswhere the ballots not kept as required by law, after
proof of loss of the tally sheets and poll-books, the evidence of the
election officers may be received to show what was the result of the
election as counted and declared by them

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 71
5. Votersillegality in casting of vote by persons unqualified cannot be
allowed to change the result, unless it can be shown for whom they
voted. While a voter who legally voted cannot be compelled to state how
he voted, a person who voted illegally may be compelled to disclose how
he voted except where his answer might tend to incriminate him.

6. Certificate of votesissued by the Board of Election Inspectors to
watchers. It shall be admissible in evidence to prove tampering,
alteration, falsification, or any other anomaly committed in the
election returns, when duly authenticated by testimonial or
documentary evidence presented to the board.

Failure to present certificate of votes is a bar to the presentation of other
evidence of authenticity of the election returns.

It is also evidence of the votes obtained by candidates. But it is not used
where the integrity of the election returns is not in question.

A certificate of votes does not constitute sufficient evidence of the
true and genuine results of the election. ONLY election returns are
sufficient evidence pursuant to Sections 231, 233-236 and 238 of the
Omnibus Election Code.

7. Thumbprints of Voters- The Examination of Thumbprints may be
sanctioned by the SC, where a recount or revision of the ballots will not
be reflective of the sovereign will due to the irregularities committed
during the elections.

Rules on the use of ballots as evidence as against election returns

Ballots cannot used to overturn the official count as reflected in the
election returns unless it is first shown affirmatively that the ballots
have been preserved with a care which precludes the opportunity of
tampering and all suspicion of change, abstraction or substitution

The burden of proving the integrity of the ballot has been preserved
in such a manner is on the protestant

Where a mode of preserving the ballots is enjoined by law, proof
must be made of such substantial compliance with that law

It is only when the protestant has shown substantial compliance with
the provisions of law on the preservation of the ballots that the
burden of proving the actual tampering or the likelihood thereof shifts
to the protestee
On if it appears to the satisfaction of court or COMELEC that the
integrity of the ballots have been preserved should it adopt the result
as shown by the recount and not as reflected in the election returns

CASES:

1. Garay v COMELEC

2. Manahan v Bernardo

3. Trinidad v COMELEC


Effect of ineligibility or death of candidate receiving majority of votes

English rule: If the ineligibility of the winner candidate was
known to the voters, or if the fact were so notorious that they
must be presumed to have known it, the votes cast for him must
NOT be counted, hence the eligible candidate having the next
highest number of votes must be deemed elected.

Philippine jurisdiction: The fact that a majority of the votes cast for
an ineligible candidate, or a candidate is later declared to be
disqualified, does NOT entitle the candidate with second highest
votes to be declared elected but results in the nullity of the election.
A permanent vacancy in the contested office is created which should
be filled by succession.

But if the electorate cast their votes in favor of the ineligible
candidate fully aware of the other candidates qualification, the
electorate are deemed to have thrown away their votes, and the
eligible candidate obtaining the next highest votes may be deemed
elected.

Votes cast for a candidate are presumed to have been cast in the
belief that the candidate is qualified, thus such votes cannot be void.
The subsequent finding of disqualification cannot retroact to the date
of elections so as to invalidate the votes cast for him.

Right of winner in an election contest to recover damages

Omnibus Election Code: Actual or compensatory damages may
be granted in all election contests or in quo warranto
proceedings.
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 72
Comelec Rules of Procedure: in all election contests the Court may
adjudicate damages and attorneys fees as it may deem just and as
established by evidence if claimed in the pleadings.

Art 2199 of Civil Code: Except as provided by law or by stipulation,
one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary
loss suffered by him as he has duly proved, referred to as actual or
compensatory damages.

Actual or compensatory damages are appropriate only in:
1. breaches of obligations in contracts, quasi-contracts, crimes and
quasi-delicts where the defendant may be held liable for all
damages the proximate cause of which is the act/omission
complained of, otherwise,
2. the claimant must point a provision of law authorizing a money
claim for election protest expenses against the losing party; such
as Art 19, 20, and 32 of Civil Code governing human relations.

Rules:
1. Notwithstanding a subsequent ouster as a result of an election
protest, an elective official proclaimed as winner by the Comelec
and assumed office, is entitled to compensation, emoluments and
allowances provided for the position.
2. Ousted elective official is not obliged to reimburse the emoluments
but liable for damages when found responsible for any unlawful or
tortuous acts in his proclamation.
3. The victorious party in an election case cannot be indemnified for
expenses in the electoral contest, unless a wrongful act or omission
or breach of obligation is clearly attributable to the losing party.
4. If damage had been suffered by the private respondent due to
execution of judgment pending appeal, the damage is damnum
absque injuria = damage w/out injury or damage inflicted w/out
injustice, loss or violation of a legal right, or wrong done for which
the law provides no remedy.

Chapter Eight:
ELECTION OFFENSES

Jurisdiction over election offenses:

An examination of the provisions of the Constitution and the
Omnibus Election Code reveals the clear intention to place in the
COMELEC exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute
election offenses committed by any person, whether private
individual or public officer or employee, and in the latter instance,
irrespective of whether the offense is committed in relation to his
official duties or not.

It is the nature of the offense and not the personality of the offender
that matters. As long as the offense is an election offense,
jurisdiction over the same rests exclusively with the COMELEC, in
view of its all-embracing power over the conduct of election.

Criminal and electoral aspects of an election offense:

Criminal aspect involves the ascertainment of the guilt or
innocence of the accused candidate like in any other criminal case, it
usually entails a full-blown hearing and the quantum of proof
required to secure a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

Electoral aspect determination of whether the offender shall be
disqualified from office. This is done through an administrative
proceeding which is summary in character and requires only a
preponderance of evidence. In a disqualification case, it is the
electoral aspect that is involved under which an erring candidate may
be disqualified even without prior criminal conviction.

Prohibited acts and election offenses under the Omnibus Election
Code:

1. Vote buying and vote-selling.

o Any person who gives, offers, or promises money or
anything of value, gives or promises any office or
employment, franchise, or grant, public or private, or makes
or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or
cause an expenditure to be made on any person,
association or corporation, entity or community in other to
induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 73
any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote
for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a
candidate in convention or similar selection process of a
political party; and

o Any person, association, corporation, group or community
who solicits or receives, directly or indirectly, any
expenditure or promise of any office or employment, public
or private, for any of the foregoing consideration.

2. Grant of Transactional Immunity

o Any person guilty of vote-buying and vote-selling who
voluntarily gives information and willingly testifies on
violations of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code,
shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment for the
offense with reference to which the information and
testimony were given, without prejudice to his liability for
perjury and false testimony.

o The COMELEC is vested with the authority to exempt those
who have committed election offenses under Section 261 (a)
and (b)but volunteer to give informations and testify on any
violation of said law in any official investigation or proceeding
with reference to which his information and testimony is
given.

o The immunity seeks a rational accommodation between the
imperatives of the privilege against self-incrimination and the
legitimate demands of government to encourage citizens,
including law violators, to testify against law violators.

o The testimony of a voluntary witness operates as a pardon
for the criminal charges to which it relates. The law gives him
immunity from investigation and prosecution for any offense
in Section 261 (a) and (b) with reference to which his
information is given.

o The power to grant exemptions is vested solely on the
COMELEC. It is generally not subject to judicial review,
unless the COMELEC commits a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.



3. Conspiracy to bribe voters.

o Committed by two or more persons, whether candidates or
not

o Who come to an agreement concerning the vote-buying and
vote-selling; and

o Decide to commit it.

4. Wagering upon result of elections.

o Committed by any person who bets or wagers upon the
outcomes of, or any contingency connected with an election;

o Money or thing of value or deposit of money or thing of value
situated anywhere in the Philippine put as such bet or wager
shall be forfeited to the government.

5. Coercion of subordinates to vote for or against any candidate.

o Committed by any public officer or any officer of any public
or private corporation or association, or any head, superior,
or administrator of any religious organization, or any
employer or landowner;

Who coerces or intimidates or compels, or in any
manner influences, directly or indirectly,

Any of his subordinates or members or
parishioners or employees or house helpers,
tenants, overseers, farm helpers, tillers, or
leaseholders;

To aid, campaign, or vote for or against any
candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or
selection of candidates.

o Committed by any public officer or any officer of any
commercial, industrial, agricultural, economic or social
enterprise or public or private corporation of association, or
any head, superior or administrator of any religious
organization, or any employer or landowner;

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 74
Who threatens to dismiss by reducing the salary,
wage or compensation, or by demotion, transfer,
suspension, separation, excommunication,
ejectment, or causing him annoyance in the
performance of his job or in his membership;

Any subordinate member or affiliate, parishioners,
employee or house helper, tenant, overseer, farm
helper, tiller or leaseholder;

For disobeying or not complying with any of the
acts ordered by the former to aid, campaign or
vote for or against any candidate, or any aspirant
for the nomination or selection of candidates.

6. Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or
other forms of coercion.

o Committed by any person;

o Who, directly or indirectly, intimidates or actually causes,
inflicts or produces any violence, injury, punishment,
damage, loss or disadvantage;

o Upon any person or persons or that of the immediate
members of his family, his honor or property, or uses any
fraudulent device or scheme;

o To compel or induce the registration or refraining from
registration of any voter, or the participation in a campaign,
or the casting of any vote or omission to vote, or any
promise of such registration, campaign, vote, or omission
therefrom.

If the election returns reflect the true results of the voting at
the precinct level, any coercion and intimidation may give
rise to legal, including criminal liability but will not justify
the exclusion of the returns.

7. Coercion of election officials and employees.

o Committed by any person;

o Who, directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates, terrorizes,
or coerces,

o Any election official or employee in the performance of his
election functions or duties.

8. Appointment of new employees, creation of new positions,
promotion, or giving salary increases within the election period.

o Committed during the period of 45 days before a regular
election and 30 days before a special election;

o Committed by any head, official or appointing officer of a
government office, agency, instrumentality, whether national
or local, including GOCC;

Who appoints or hires any new employee, whether
provisional, temporary, or cause or creates and
fills any position EXCEPT upon prior authority of
the COMELEC.

The Commission shall not grant the authority
sought unless
1. It is satisfied that the position to be filled is
essential to the proper functioning of the
office or agency concerned, and
2. The position shall not be filled in a manner
that may influence the election.

EXCEPTION: A new employee may be appointed in
case of urgent need. In such case, notice of the
appointment shall be given to the Commission within
three days from the date of the appointment. Any
appointment or hiring in violation of this provision
shall be null and void.

o Committed by any government official;

Who promotes, or gives any increase of salary or
remuneration or privilege to any government official
or employee, including those in GOCC.


Election Law Reviewer (2012) 75
9. Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service within the
election period.

o Committed by any public official

o Who makes or causes any transfer or detail whatever of any
officer or employee in the civil service including public school
teachers

o Within the election period EXCEPT prior approval of the
COMELEC.

This provision does not per se outlaw the transfer of a government
officer or employee during the election period. To be sure, the
transfer or detail of a public officer or employee is a prerogative of
the appointing authority. Without this inherent prerogative, the
appointing authority may not be able to cope with the emergencies to
the detriment of public service. Clearly then, the transfer or detail
of a government officer or employee will not be penalized if
done to promote efficiency in the government service. Hence,
the COMELEC has to pass upon the reason for the proposed
transfer or detail.

Two elements must be established to prove violation of the law:
a. The fact of transfer or detail within the election period as
fixed by the COMELEC; and
b. Such transfer or detail was effected without prior approval of
the COMELEC in accordance with its implementing rules
and regulations.

10. Intervention of public officers and employees in the civil service
in any partisan political activity.

o Committed by any officer or employee in the civil service,
any officer, employee, or member of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home
defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other
para-military units that now exist or which may hereafter be
organized, EXCEPT those holding political offices;

o Who directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election
campaign or engages in any partisan political activity
EXCEPT to vote or to preserve public order if he is a peace
officer.

11. Use of undue influence.

o It is unlawful for any person

To promise any office or employment, public or
private, or offer to make an expenditure, directly or
indirectly, or to cause an expenditure to be made
to any person, association or corporation or entity,
which may induce anyone or the public in general,
either

To vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or
against any candidate in an election or any
aspirant for the nomination or selection of an
official candidate in a convention of a political
party.

o It is unlawful for any person, association, corporation or
community

To solicit or receive, directly or indirectly any
expenditure or promise any of the foregoing
considerations.

12. Unlawful electioneering.

o It is unlawful to solicit votes or undertake any propaganda

o On the day of the registration before the board of election
inspectors and on the day of the election;

o For or against any candidate or any political party within the
polling place and within a radius of 30 meters thereof.

13. Dismissal of employees, laborers or tenants for refusing or
failing to vote for any candidate.

o No employee or laborer shall be dismissed, nor a tenant be
ejected from his land holdings for refusing or failing to vote
for any candidate of his employer or landowner.

o Any employee, laborer or tenant so dismissed or ejected
shall be reinstated and the salary or wage of the employee
or laborer, or the share of the harvest of the tenant, shall be
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 76
restored to the aggrieved party upon application to the
proper court.

14. Appointment or use of special policemen, special agents or the
like during the campaign period.

o Committed during the campaign period, on the day before
and on the election day;

o Committed by any appointing authority who appoints or any
person who utilizes the services of special policemen,
special agents, confidential agents or persons performing
similar functions; persons previously appointed as special
policemen, special agents, confidential agents or persons
performing similar functions who continue acting as such,
and those who fail to turn over their firearms, uniforms,
insignias and other badges of authority to the proper officer
who issued the same.

At the start of the aforementioned period, the barangay captain,
municipal mayor, city mayor, provincial governor or any appointing
authority shall submit to the COMELEC a complete list of all special
policemen, special agents or persons performing similar functions in
the employ of their respective political subdivisions, with such
particulars as the Commission may require.

15. Illegal release or prisoners before and after election.

o Committed by the Director of the Bureau of Corrections, any
provincial warden, the keeper of the jail or the person or
persons required by law to keep prisoners in their custody

o Who illegally orders or allows any prisoner detained in the
national penitentiary, or the provincial, city or municipal jail to
leave the premises thereof 60 days before and 30 days after
the election.

The municipal or city warden, the provincial warden, the keeper of
the jail or the person or persons required by law to keep prisoners in
their custody shall post in three conspicuous public places a list of
the prisoners or detention prisoners under their case. Detention
prisoners must be categorized as such.



16. Use of public funds for an election campaign.

It is committed by any person who uses, under any guise
whatsoever, directly or indirectly:

o Public funds or money deposited with, or held in trust by
public financing institutions or by government offices, banks
or agencies;

o Any printing press, radio, television station or audiovisual
equipment operated by the Government or by its
subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, including GOCC,
or by the AFP; or

o Any equipment, vehicle, facility, apparatus, or paraphernalia
owned by the government or by its political subdivisions,
agencies, including GOCC, or by the AFP for any election
campaign or for any partisan political activity.

17. Carrying deadly weapons within the prohibited area.

o Committed by any person

o Who carries any deadly weapon in the polling place and
within the radius of 100 meters thereof during the days and
hours fixed by law for the registration of voters in the polling
place, voting, counting of votes, or preparation of election
returns.

o However, in cases of affray, turmoil or disorder, any peace
officer or public officer authorized by the COMELEC to
supervise the election is entitled to carry firearms or any of
other weapon for the purpose of preserving order and
enforcing the law.

o To support conviction, it is not necessary that the deadly
weapon should have been seized from the accused while he
was in the precinct or within a radius of 100 meters
therefrom. It is enough that the accused carried the deadly
weapon in the polling place and within a radius of 100
meters thereof.




Election Law Reviewer (2012) 77
18. Carrying firearms outside the residence or place of business.

o Committed by any person who, although possessing permits
to carry firearms;

o Carries any firearms outside his residence or place of
business during the election period

o UNLESS authorized in writing by the COMELEC.

o A motor vehicle, water or aircraft shall not be considered a
residence or place of business or extension hereof.

o This prohibition SHALL NOT APPLY to cashiers and
disbursing officers while in the performance of their duties or
to persons, who by nature of their official duties, profession,
business or occupation habitually carry large sums of money
or valuables.

19. Use of armored land vehicle, water or aircraft during the
campaign period.

o Committed by any person

o During the campaign period, on the day before and on
election day

o Uses any armored land, water, or aircraft;

o Provided with any temporary or permanent equipment or any
other device or contraption for the mounting or installation of
canons, machine guns and other similar high caliber
firearms, including military type tanks, half trucks, scout
trucks, armored trucks, of any make or model, whether new,
reconditioned, rebuilt or remodeled.

Banking or financial institutions and all business firms may use not
more than 2 armored vehicles strictly for, and limited to, the purpose
of transporting cash, gold bullion, or other valuables in connection
with their business from and to their place of business, upon
previous authority of the COMELEC.



20. Wearing of uniforms and bearing arms outside the immediate
vicinity of ones place of work.

o It is committed by any member or security or police
organization of government agencies, commissions,
councils, bureaus, offices of GOCC, or privately owned or
operated security, investigative, protective, or intelligence
agencies

Who wears his uniform or uses his insignia,
decorations or regalia, or bears arms outside the
immediate vicinity of his place or work.

During the campaign period, on the day before
and on election day;

The prohibition shall not apply when said member
is in pursuit of a person who has committed or is
committing a crime in the premises he is guarding;
or when escorting or providing security for the
transport of payrolls, deposits, or other valuables;
or when guarding the residence of private persons
or when guarding private residences, building, or
offices. (Prior written approval of the COMELEC
shall be obtained. The Commission shall decide all
applications for authority within 15 days from the
date of the filing of such application.)

o Committed by any member of the AFP, special forces, home
defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other
para-military units that now exist or which may hereafter be
organized

Who wears his uniform or bears arms outside the
camp, garrison or barracks to which he is
assigned or detailed or outside their homes, in
case of para-military units, UNLESS:
1. The President of the Philippines shall have
given previous authority therefore; and
2. The COMELEC authorizes him to do so,
which authority it shall give only when
necessary to assist in maintaining free,
orderly and honest elections, and only after
due notice and hearing.
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 78

During the same period, and ending 30 days
thereafter.

During the election period, whenever the Commission finds it
necessary for the promotion of free, orderly, honest and peaceful
elections in a specific area, it shall confiscate or order the
confiscation if firearms of any member or member of the AFP, police
forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units, and all
other para-military units that, now exist, or which may hereafter be
organized, or any member or members of the security or police
organization of government departments, commissions, councils,
bureaus, offices, instrumentalities, or GOCC and other subsidiaries,
or of any member or members of privately owned or operated
security, investigative, protective or intelligence agencies performing
identical or similar functions.

21. Acting as bodyguards or security in the case of policemen and
provincial guards during the campaign period.

o During the campaign period, on the day before and on
election day;

o It is committed by any member of the PNP, the AFP, special
forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units,
and any other para-military units that now exist or which
hereafter be organized

o Who acts as bodyguard or security guard of any public
official, candidate or any other person, any of the latter who
utilizes the services of the former as bodyguard or security
guard.

o After due notice and hearing, when the life and security of a
candidate is in jeopardy, the COMELEC is empowered to
assign at the candidates choice, any member of the PNP to
act as his bodyguard or security guard in a number to be
determined by the Commission but not to exceed three per
candidate.

o When the circumstances require immediate action, the
Commission may issue a temporary order allowing the
assignment of any member of the PNP to act as bodyguard
or security guard of the candidate subject to confirmation or
revocation.
22. Organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces, or
other similar forces during the election period.

o Committed by any person who organizes or maintains a
reaction force, strike force or similar forces during the
election period;

o The heads of all reaction forces, strike forces, or similar
forces shall, not later 45 days before the election. Submit to
the COMELEC a complete list of all members thereof with
such particulars as the Commission may require.

23. Release, disbursement, or expenditure of public funds during
the prohibition period.

o Committed by any public official or employee including
barangay officials and those of GOCC and their subsidiaries;

o During 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before
a special election, releases, disburses or expends any public
funds for any and all kinds of public works, EXCEPT:

Maintenance of existing and/or completed public
works project. However, not more than the
average number of laborers or employees already
employed therein during the six-month period
immediately prior to the beginning of the 45-day
period before election day shall be permitted to
work during such time. No additional laborers shall
be employed for maintenance work within the said
period of 45 days.

Work undertaken by contract through public
bidding held, or by negotiated contract awarded,
before the 45-day period before election. Work
undertaken under the so-called takay or
paquiao system shall not be considered as work
by contract.

Payment for the usual cost of preparation for
working drawings, specification, bills of materials,
estimates, and other procedures preparatory to
actual construction including the purchase of
materials and equipment, and all incidental
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 79
expenses of wages of watchmen and other
laborers employed for such work in the central
office and filed storehouses before the beginning
of such period. The number of such laborers shall
not be increased over the number hired when the
project or projects were commenced; and

Emergency work necessitated by the occurrence
of a public calamity, but such work shall be limited
to the restoration of the damaged facility.

No payment shall be made within five days before the date
of election to laborers who have rendered services in
projects or works except those falling under above.

This prohibition shall not apply to ongoing public works
projects commenced before the campaign period or similar
projects under foreign agreements. It shall be the duty of the
government officials or agencies concerned to report to the
COMELEC the list of all such projects being undertaken by them.

24. Construction of public works, etc. during the prohibition period.
During the period of 45 days preceding a regular election and 30
days before a special election, it is committed by any person who:

o Undertakes the construction of any public works, except for
projects or works exempted; or

o Issues, uses or avails of treasury warrants or any device,
undertaking future delivery of money, goods or other things
of value chargeable against public funds.

25. Suspension of elective local official during the election period
without prior approval of the COMELEC.

The provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding during election
period, it is committed by any public official who suspends, without
prior approval of the COMELEC, any elective, provincial, city,
municipal or barangay officer, unless said suspension will be for
purposes of applying the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in
relation to the suspension and removal of elective officials.




26. Others.

o Selling, etc, intoxicating liquors any person who sells,
furnishes, offers, buys, serves or takes intoxicating liquors
on the days fixed by law for the registration of voters in the
polling place or the day before the election or on election
day. Hotels and other establishments duly certified by the
Department of Tourism as tourist oriented and habitually in
the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted
for justifiable reasons upon prior authority of the COMELEC.
Foreign tourists taking intoxicating liquor in said authorized
hotels or establishments are exempted;

o Opening booths or stalls any person who opens in any
polling place or within the radius of 30 meters thereof on
election day, and during the counting of votes, booths or
stalls of any kind for sale, dispensing or display of wares,
merchandise or refreshments, whether solid or liquid, or for
any other purposes;

o Holding fairs, cockfights, etc. Any person who holds on
election day, fairs, cockfights, boxing, horse races, jai-alai or
any other similar sports;

o Refusal to carry election mail any operator or employee
of a public utility or transportation company operating under
a certificate of public convenience, including GOCC postal
service or its employees or deputized agents who refuse to
carry official election mail matters free of charge during the
election period. In addition to the penalty prescribed, such
refusal shall Constitute a ground for cancellation or
revocation of certificate of public convenience or franchise;
and

o Discrimination in the sale of airtime any person who
operates a radio or television station who, without justifiable
cause, discriminates against any political party, coalition or
aggroupment of parties or any candidate in the sale of air
time. In addition to the penalty prescribed, such refusal shall
Constitute a ground fro cancellation or revocation of the
franchise.




Election Law Reviewer (2012) 80
Prohibitions relating to registration of voters:

a. Any person who:

i. Having all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications of
a voter who fails without justifiable excuse to register as voter
in an election, plebiscite or referendum in which he is qualified
to vote;
ii. Knowingly makes any false or untruthful statement relative to
any of the data or information required in the application for
registration;
iii. Deliberately imprints or who causes the imprinting of blurred or
indistinct fingerprints on any of the copies of the application for
registration or on the voters affidavit; or any person in charge
of the registration of voters who deliberately or through
negligence, causes or allows the imprinting of blurred or
indistinct fingerprints on any of the aforementioned registration
forms, or any person who tampers with the fingerprints of said
registration records;
iv. Being a registered voter, registers anew without filing an
application for cancellation of his previous registration;
v. Registers in substitution for another, whether with or without
the latters knowledge or consent;
vi. Tampers with or changes without authority any data or entry in
any voters application for registration;
vii. Delays. Hinders or obstructs another from registering;
viii. Falsely certifies or identifies another as a bona fide resident of
a particular place or locality for the purpose of securing the
latters registration as a voter;
ix. Uses the voters affidavit of another for the purpose of voting,
whether or not he actually succeeds in voting;
x. Places, inserts or otherwise includes as approved application
for registration in the book of voters or in the provincial or
national central files of registered voters, the application of any
fictitious voter or any application that has not been approved;
or removes from, or otherwise takes out of the book of voters
or the provincial or national central files of registered voters
any duly approved voters application EXCEPT upon unlawful
order of the COMELEC, or of a competent court or after proper
cancellation;
xi. Transfers or causes the transfer of the registration record of a
voter to the book of voters of another polling place, unless said
transfer was due to a change of address of the voter and the
voter was duly notified of his new polling place;
xii. Asks, demands, takes accepts or possesses, directly or
indirectly, the voters affidavit of another, in order to induce the
latter to withhold his vote, or to vote fro or against any
candidate in an election or any issue in a plebiscite or
referendum. It shall be presumed prima facie that the asking,
demanding, taking, accepting or possessing is with such intent
if done within the period beginning 10 days before the election
day and ending 10 days after the election day, UNLESS the
voters affidavit of another and the latter are both members of
the same family.
xiii. Delivers, hands over, entrusts, gives, directly or indirectly, his
voters affidavit to another in consideration of money or other
benefit or promises thereof, or takes or accepts such voters
affidavit, directly or indirectly, by giving or causing the giving of
money or other benefit or making or causing the making of a
promise thereof;
xiv. Alters in any manner, tears, defaces, removes or destroys any
certified list of voters;
xv. Takes, carries or possesses any blank or unused registration
form already issued to a city or municipality outside of said city
or municipality EXCEPT as otherwise provided in the Omnibus
Election Code or when directed by express order of the court
or of the COMELEC; and
xvi. Maliciously omits, tampers or transfer to another list the name
of a registered voter from the official list of voters posted
outside the polling place.

b. Any member of the Board of Election Inspectors who approves any
application which on its face shows that the applicant does not
possess all the qualifications prescribed by law for a voter; or who
disapproves any application which on its face shows that the
applicant possesses all such qualifications.

Prohibitions relating to voting:

a. Any person who:

i. Fails to cast his vote without justifiable excuse;
ii. Votes more than once in the same election, or who, not being
a registered voter, votes in an election;
iii. Votes in substitution for another, whether with or without the
latters knowledge and consent;
iv. Not being illiterate or physically disabled, allows his ballot to be
prepared by another, or any person who prepares the ballot of
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 81
another who is not illiterate or physically disabled, with or
without the latters knowledge or consent;
v. Avails himself of any means of scheme to discover the
contents of the ballot of a voter who is preparing or casting his
vote or who has just voted;
vi. Places under arrest or detains a voter without lawful cause, or
molests him in such a manner as to obstruct or prevent him
from going to the polling place to cast his vote or from
returning home after casting his vote, or to compel him to
reveal how he voted;
vii. For the purpose of disrupting or obstructing the election
process or causing confusion among the voters, propagates
false and alarming reports or information or transmits or
circulates false orders, directives or messages regarding any
matter relating to the printing of official ballots, the
postponement of the election, the transfer of polling place, or
the general conduct of the election;
viii. Without legal authority, destroys or substitutes or take away
from the possession of those having legal custody thereof, or
from the place where they are legally deposited, any election
form or document or ballot box which contains official ballots or
other documents used in the election;
ix. Having legal custody of the ballot box containing the official
ballots used in the election who opens or destroys said box or
removes or destroys its contents without or against the order
of the COMELEC or who, through his negligence, enables any
person to commit any of the acts, or take away said ballot box
from his custody;
x. Reveals the contents of the ballot of illiterate or disabled voter
whim he assisted in preparing a ballot;
xi. Without authority, transfers the location of a polling place;
xii. Without authority, prints or causes the printing of any ballot or
election returns that appears as official ballots or election
returns or who distributes or causes the same to be distributed
for use in the election, whether or not they are actually used;
xiii. Without authority, keeps, uses or carries out or causes to be
kept, used, or carried out any official ballot or election returns
or printed proof thereof, type from mould, electrotype printing
plates and any other plate, numbering machines and other
printing paraphernalia being used in connection with the
printing of official ballots or election returns;
xiv. Through any act, means pr device, violates the integrity of any
official ballot or election returns before or after they are used in
the election;
xv. Removes, tears, defaces, or destroys any certified list of
candidates posted inside the voting booths during the hours of
voting;
xvi. Holds or causes the holding of an election on any other day
than that fixed by law or by the Commission, or stops any
election being legally held; and
xvii. Deliberately blurs his fingerprint in the voting record.

b. Any member of the board of election inspectors:

i. Charged with the duty of reading the ballot during the counting
of votes whole deliberately omits to read the vote duly written
on the ballot or misreads the vote actually written thereon or
reads the name of a candidate where no name is written on
the ballot;
ii. Charged with the duty of tallying the votes in the tally board or
sheet, election returns or other prescribed form who
deliberately fails to record a vote therein or records
erroneously the votes as read, or records a vote where no
such vote has been read by the chairman.
iii. Who has made possible the casting of more votes than there
are registered voters
iv. Who knowingly uses ballots other than the official ballots
EXCEPT in those cases where the use of emergency ballots is
authorized.

c. Any voter who, in the course of voting, uses a ballot other than the
one given by the Board of Election Inspectors or has in his
possession more than one official ballot;

d. Any public official who neglects or fails to properly preserve or
account for any ballot box, documents, and other forms received by
him and kept under his custody.

e. Any official or employee of any printing establishment or the
Commission or any member of the committee in charge of the
printing of official ballots or election returns who causes official
ballots or elections returns to be printed in quantities exceeding
those authorized by the Commission or who distributes, delivers, or
in any manner disposes of or causes to be distributed, delivered, or
disposed of, any official ballot or election returns to any person or
persons not authorized by law or by the Commission to receive or
keep official ballots or election returns or who sends or causes them
to be sent to any place not designated by law or by the Commission.

Election Law Reviewer (2012) 82
Prohibitions relating to canvassing:

a. Any chairman of the Board of Canvassers who fails to give due
notice of the date, time and place of the meeting of said board to the
candidates, political parties and/or members of the board;

b. Any member of the Board of Canvassers who

i. Proceeds with the canvass of votes and/or proclamation of any
candidate which was suspended or annulled by the
COMELEC;
ii. Proceeds with the canvass of votes and/or proclamation of any
candidate in the absence of quorum, or without giving due
notice of the date, time, and place of the meeting of the board
of candidates, political parties, and/or other members of the
board; and
iii. Without authority of the Commission, uses in the canvass of
votes and/or proclamation of any candidate any document
other than the official copy of the election returns.

Prohibitions common to all boards of election inspectors or boards of
canvassers:

a. Any member of any board of election inspectors, or board of
canvassers who:

i. Deliberately absents himself from the meeting of said body for
the purpose of obstructing or delaying the performance of its
duties and functions;
ii. Without justifiable reason, refuses to sign and certify any
election form required by the Omnibus Election Code or
prescribed by the COMELEC although he was present during
the meeting of the said body;

b. Any person who:

i. Being ineligible for appointment as member of any Board of
Election Inspectors or Board of Canvassers accepts an
appointment to said body, assumes office, and actually serves
as a member thereof, or any public officer or any person acting
in his behalf who appoints such ineligible person knowing him
to be ineligible;
ii. In the presence or within the hearing of any Board of Election
Inspectors or Board of Canvassers during any of its meetings,
conducts himself in such a disorderly manner as to interrupt or
disrupt the work or proceedings to the end of preventing said
body from performing its functions, either partly or totally.

c. Any public official or person acting in his behalf who relieves any
member of any Board of Election Inspectors or Board of Canvassers
or who changes or causes the change of the assignments or any
member of said Board of Election Inspectors or Board of Canvassers
without authority of the Commission.

Prohibitions relating to candidacy and campaign:

a. Any political party which holds political conventions or meetings to
nominate its official candidates earlier than the period fixed in the
Omnibus Election Code;

b. Any person who:

i. Abstracts, destroys or cancels any certificate of candidacy duly
filed and which has not been cancelled upon order of the
COMELEC;
ii. Misleads the Board of Election Inspectors by submitting any
false or spurious certificate of candidacy or document to the
prejudice of a candidate;
iii. Being authorized to receive certificates of candidacy, receives
any certificate of candidacy outside the period for filing the
same and makes it appear that said certificate of candidacy
was filed on time; or any person who, by means of fraud,
threat, intimidation terrorism or coercion, causes or compels
the commission of said act;
iv. By any device or means, jams, obstructs or interferes with a
radio or television broadcast of any lawful political program;
and
v. Solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda, on the day of
election, for or against any candidate or political party within
the polling place or within the radius of 30 meters thereof.

Persons criminally liable:

1. The principals, accomplices and accessories as defined by the RPC
shall be criminally liable for election offenses;

2. If one responsible be a political party or an entity, its president or
head, the officials and employees of the same, performing duties
connected with the offense committed and its member who may be
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 83
principals, accomplices, and accessories shall be liable, in addition
to the liability of such party or entity.

Penalties

1. Imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than 6 years
and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party
shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and
deprivation of the right to suffrage. If he is a foreigner, he shall be
sentenced to deportation which shall be enforced after the prison
term has expired.
Any political party found guilty shall be sentenced to pay a fine not
less than P10,000, which shall be imposed upon such party after
criminal action has been instituted in which corresponding officials
have been found guilty.

2. In case of prisoner or prisoners illegally released from any
penitentiary or jail during the prohibited period, the Director of the
Bureau of Corrections, provincial warder, keeper of the jail or prison,
or persons who are required by law to keep said prisoner in their
custody shall, if convicted by a competent court, be sentenced to
suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period of the
prisoner or prisoners so illegally released commit any act of
intimidation, terrorism or interference in the election.

3. Any person found guilty of the offense or failure to register or failure
to vote shall, upon conviction, be fined P100. in addition, he shall
suffer disqualification to run for public office in the next succeeding
election following his conviction or be appointed to a public office for
a period of one year following his conviction.


CASE: Pimentel, J r. v COMELEC


Conviction and pardon as affecting eligibility:

1. The necessary penalty of temporary absolute disqualification
disqualifies the convict from public office and from the right to vote,
such disqualification to last only during the term of the sentence;

2. The accessory penalty of perpetual special disqualification for
exercise of suffrage deprives the convict of the right to vote or to be
elected or hold public office perpetually, as distinguished from
temporary special disqualification which lasts during the term of the
sentence.

3. The perpetual temporary special disqualification for the exercise of
the right of suffrage shall deprive the offender perpetually or during
the term of the sentence, according to the nature of said penalty, of
the right to vote in any popular election for any public office or to be
elected to such office.

4. A plenary pardon, granted after election but before the date fixed by
law for assuming office, has the effect of removing the
disqualification prescribed by both the criminal and electoral laws.

Other election offenses under the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987

1. Any person who

a. Causes the printing of official ballots and election returns by
any printing establishment which is not under contract with
COMELEC and any printing establishment which undertakes
such unauthorized printing;

b. Declared as a nuisance candidate or is otherwise
disqualified by final and executory judgment, who continues
to misrepresent himself, or holds himself out, as a candidate,
such as by continuing to campaign thereafter, and/or other
public officer or private individual, who knowingly induces or
abets such misrepresentation by commission or omission
shall be guilty of an election offense and subject to the
penalty provided in the Omnibus Election Code;

c. Violates the provision regarding the prohibited forms of
election propaganda.

2. Any member of the Board of Election Inspectors or Board of Election
Canvassers who:

a. Tampers, increases, or decreases the votes received by a
candidate in any election or any member of the board, who
refuses, after proper verification and hearing, to credit the
correct votes or deduct such tampered votes;

b. Refuses to issue duly accredited watchers and certificate of
votes after the counting of the votes cast and announcement
of results of the election.
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 84
3. Any chairman of Board of Canvassers who fails to give notice of
meeting to other members of the board, candidate or political party
as required.

Other election offenses under the Synchronized National and Local
Elections Law

Any violation of Section 28, RA 7166 or its pertinent portion, shall constitute
an election offense and shall be penalized in accordance with BP 881.

1. Any person who:

a. Removes the election return posted on the wall, whether
within or after the prescribed 48 hours of posting, or defaces
the same in any manner
b. Simulates an actual certificate of canvass or statement of
votes, or a print or digital copy thereof
c. Simulates the certification of a certificate of canvass or
statement of votes

2. The chairman or any member of the board of election inspectors
who, during the prescribed period of posting, removes the certificate
of canvass or its supporting statement of votes from the wall on
which It had been posted other than for the purpose of immediately
transferring it to a more suitable place

3. The chairman or any member of the board of canvassers who signs
or authenticates

a. A print of the certificate of canvass or its supporting
statement of votes outside of the polling place
b. A print which bears an image different from the certificate of
canvass or statement of votes produced after counting and
posting on the wall

Other election offenses under the Voters Registration Act of 1996

1. To deliver, hand over, entrust or give, directly or indirectly, his voters
identification card to another in consideration of money or other
benefit or promise; or take or accept such voters identification card,
directly or indirectly, by giving or causing the giving of money or
other benefit or making or causing the making of a promise
therefore;
2. To fail, without cause, to post or to give any of the notices or to make
any of the reports required under the Act;
3. To issue or cause the issuance of a voters identification number or
to cancel or cause the cancellation thereof in violation of the
provisions of the Act; or to refuse the issuance to registered voters
their voters identification card;
4. To accept an appointment, to assume office and to actually serve as
a member of the Election Registration Board although ineligible
thereto; or to appoint such ineligible person knowing him to be
ineligible;
5. To interfere with, impede, abscond for purposes of gain or to prevent
the installation or use of computers and devices and the processing,
storage, generation and transmission of registration data or
information;
6. To gain, cause access to use, alter, destroy, or disclose any
computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer
related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified
or declassified;
7. Failure to provide certified voters and deactivated voters list to
candidates and heads of representatives of political parties upon
written request;
8. Failure to include the approved application for registration of a
qualified voter in the book of votes of a particular precinct or the
omission of the name of a duly registered voter in the certified list of
voters of the precinct where he is duly registered resulting in his
failure to cast his vote during an election, plebiscite, referendum,
initiative and/or recall. The presence of the form or name in the book
of voters or certified list of voters in precincts other than where he is
duly registered shall not be an excuse.
9. The posting of a list of voters outside or at the door of a precinct on
the day of an election, plebiscite, referendum, initiative and/or recall,
and which list is different in content from the certified list of voters
being used by the Board of Election Inspectors; and
10. Violation of any of the provisions of the Act.

Penalty: Imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six
months and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall
be sentenced to suffer the disqualification to hold public office and
deprivation of the right of suffrage. If he is a foreigner, he shall be deported
after the prison term has been served. Any political party found guilty shall be
sentenced to pay a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than
P500,000.





Election Law Reviewer (2012) 85
Other election offenses under the Automated Election System Act

The following shall be penalized as election offenses, whether or not said
acts affect the electoral process or results

1. Utilizing without authorization, tampering with, destroying or stealing:
a. Official ballots, election returns, and certificates of canvass
of votes used in the system
b. Electronic devices or their components, peripherals or
supplies used in the system such as counting machine,
memory pack / diskette, memory pack receiver and
computer set
2. Interfering with, impeding, absconding for the purpose of gain,
preventing the installation or use of computer counting devices and
the processing, storage, generation and transmission of election
results, data or information
3. Gaining or causing access to using, altering, destroying or disclosing
any computer data, program, system software, network, or any
computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether
classified or declassified
4. Refusal of the citizens arm to present for perusal its copy of election
return to the board of canvassers
5. Presentation by the citizens; arm of tampered or spurious election
returns
6. Refusal or failure to provide the dominant majority and dominant
minority parties or the citizens arm their copy of election returns
7. Failure to post the voters list within the specified time, duration and
in the designated location shall constitute an election offense on the
part of the election officer concerned.

Penalty: imprisonment of 8 years and 1 day to 12 years without possibility of
parole, and perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of
the right of suffrage. The offender shall be perpetually disqualified to hold any
non-elective public office.

Other election offenses under the Absentee Voting Act of 2003

1. Any officer or employee of the Philippine government who influences
or attempts to influence any person covered by the Act to vote, or not
to vote, for a particular candidate. Nothing in the Act shall be
deemed to prohibit free discussion regarding politics or candidates
for public office
2. Any person who
a. Deprives any person of any right secured in the Act, or to
give false information as to his/her name, address, or period
of residence for the purposes of establishing his eligibility or
ineligibility to register or vote under the Act; or conspires with
another person for the purpose of encouraging the giving of
false information in order to establish the eligibility or
ineligibility of any individual to register or vote under the Act;
or pays, or offers to pay, or accepts payment either for
application to vote in absentia or for voting
b. Tampers with the ballot, the mail containing the ballots for
overseas absentee voters, the election returns, including the
destruction, mutilation and manipulation thereof
c. Steals, destroys, conceals, mutilates or alters any record,
document or paper as required for purposes of this Act
d. After being deputized by the COMELEC to undertake
activities in connection with the implementation of the Act,
campaigns for or assists, in whatever manner, candidates in
the elections
e. Not being a citizen of the Philippines, participates, by word
or deed, directly or indirectly, through qualified
organizations/associations, in any manner and at any stage
of the Philippine political process abroad, including
participation in the campaign and elections
3. Any deputized agent who refuses without justifiable ground, to serve
or continue serving, or to comply with his sworn duties after
acceptance of his appointment
4. Any public officer who
a. Shall cause the preparation, printing, distribution of
information material, or post the same in websites without
the prior approval of the commission
b. Causes the transfer, promotion, extension, recall of any
member of the foreign service corps, including members of
the attached agencies, or otherwise cause the movement of
any such member from his current post or position 1 year
before and 3 months after the day of the elections, without
securing the prior approval of the Commission

These prohibited acts are electoral offenses and punishable in the
Philippines.

The penalties imposed under Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code as
amended, shall be imposed on any person found guilty of committing any of
the prohibited acts as defined above. The penalty of prision mayor in its
minimum period shall be imposed upon any person found guilty under 2(b)
without the benefit of the operation of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. If the
offender is a public officer or a candidate, the penalty shall be prision mayor
in its maximum period. In addition, the offender shall be sentenced to suffer
Election Law Reviewer (2012) 86
perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to
vote.

Immigrants and permanent residents who do not resume residence in the
Philippines as stipulated in their affidavit within 3 years after approval of his
registration under the Act and yet vote in the next elections contrary to the
said section, shall be penalized by imprisonment of not less than 1 year and
shall be deemed disqualified. His passport shall be stamped not allowed to
vote.

Investigation and prosecution:

1. The COMELEC shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have
the power concurrent with the other prosecuting arms of the
government to conduct preliminary investigation of all election
offenses punishable under the Omnibus Election Code, and to
prosecute the same. The Commission may avail of the assistance of
other prosecuting arms of the government.
2. In the event that the Commission fails to act on any complaint within
four months from his filing, the complainant may file the complaint
with the office of the fiscal or with the DOJ for proper investigation
and prosecution, if warranted.
3. The Constitutional and statutory mandate for the COMELEC to
investigate and prosecute cases of violation of election laws
translates, in effect, to the exclusive power to conduct preliminary
investigations in cases involving election offenses for the twin
purpose of filing an information in court and helping the Judge
determine, in the course of preliminary inquiry, whether or not a
warrant of arrest should be issued.

Arrest in connection with the election campaign

1. A person may be arrested only upon a warrant of arrest issued by a
competent judge after all the requirements of the Constitution shall
have been strictly complied with.
2. If the offense charged is punishable under a presidential decree,
whether originally or by amendment of a previous law, the death
penalty shall not be imposed upon the offender EXCEPT where the
murder, rape, or arson is involved. In all cases, the penalty shall not
be higher than reclusion perpetua and the offender shall be entitled
to reasonable bail upon sufficient sureties to be granted speedily by
the competent court.



Prescription

After five years from the date of their commission.

If the discovery of the offense be made in an election contest
proceedings, the period of prescription shall commence on the date
on which the judgment in such proceedings becomes final and
executory.

Jurisdiction of courts

RTC exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal
action or proceedings for the violation of the Omnibus Election Code,

MTC - those relating to the offense of failure to register or failure to
vote.

For the decision of the courts, appeal will lie as in other criminal
cases.

Preferential disposition of election offenses

The investigation and prosecution of cases involving violations of the
election laws shall be given preferences and priority by the
COMELEC and prosecuting officials. Their investigation shall be
commenced without delay, and shall be resolved by the investigating
officer within five days from its submission for resolution.

The courts shall likewise give preference to election offenses over all
other cases EXCEPT petitions for writ of habeas corpus.