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OF CANDIDACY Lucero had obtained the majority of the votes, the will of the
Doctrine: The will of the people cannot be frustrated by a people cannot be frustrated by a technicality consisting in that his
technicality - that his certificate of candidacy had not been certificate of candidacy had not been properly sworn to. Public
properly sworn to. interest must be made to prevail over that of petitioner.

1. De Guzman vs. Provincial Board of Canvassers of La Union| The various provisions of the Election Law were adopted to assist
Villamor, J: the voters in their participation in the affairs of the government
GR No L-24721; November 3, 1925 and not to defeat that object. After the people have expressed their
will, the result of the election cannot be defeated by the fact that
FACTS: A petition for mandamus was filed by Tomas De Guzman, respondent, who was certified by the provincial secretary to be a
ordering the Provincial Board of Canvassers of La Union to annul legal candidate for the office of provincial governor, has not sworn
the votes adjudicated to respondent Juan Lucero and to declare to his certificate of candidacy. Writ of mandamus denied.
him (petitioner) elected for the office of provincial governor of La __________________________________________________________
Doctrine: The requirement of an appeal fee is by no means a
After gathering the election returns, respondent board of mere technicality of law or procedure.
canvassers found that petitioner had obtained 7,662 votes while 2. Rodillas vs. COMELEC | Quiason, J:
respondent Lucero got 8,771 votes. De Guzman alleged that GR No 119055, July 10, 1995
respondents certificate of candidacy was not duly sworn to, as
required by law hence, respondent could not have been a legal FACTS: Petitioner Roy Rodillas and private respondent Isabelo
candidate for the office and could not have been certified elected Dotimas were both candidates for Punong Barangay in Brgy. San
for the office of provincial governor. Section 404 as amended by Nicolas, Pangasinan. The former obtained 65 votes while the latter
Section 3 of Act No. 3030 provides that no person shall be eligible got 61 votes.
for the office of senator, representative or any provincial office,
unless within the time fixed by law, he shall file a certificate of Respondent filed an election protest with the Municipal Circuit
candidacy duly verified. Trial Court of Tayug, San Nicolas.
The Municipal Trial Court rendered its judgement, finding
Respondent filed a demurrer on the ground: (a) that the court had private respondent to have obtained 68 votes as against
no jurisdiction over the case, (b) that the court had no jurisdiction petitioners 66 votes.
over the persons of the defendant members of the extinguished MAY 31, 1994: Petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the
board of canvassers and (c) that the facts alleged in the complaint Municipal Circuit Trial Court and paid P150 as appeal fees with the
did not constitute a cause of action. RTC, Tayug, Pangasinan
JUNE 2, 1994: Petitioner filed An Amended Notice of Appeal to
ISSUE: WON respondents failure to file his certificate of candidacy the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, realizing that the appeal was
under oath invalidates the election made to the wrong forum.
JUNE 14, 1994: The Municipal Circuit Trial Court forwarded
HELD: No. This irregularity does not invalidate the election for the the records of the case to the COMELEC. At the same time,
fundamental reason that after it was proven that respondent petitioner, paid with the COMELEC the amount of P510
COMELEC denied the appeal for petitioners belated filing of the Sec. 18. Non-payment of prescribed fees. If the fees above
appeal and legal research fees. prescribed are not paid, Commission may refuse to take action
until they are paid and dismiss the action or proceeding (Rule 40).
ISSUE: WON the payment of the appeal fees is an essential
requirement for the perfection of an appeal (COMELEC is precisely given the discretion to either refuse to take
action until fees are paid or to dismiss the action. COMELEC
HELD: Yes. The requirement of an appeal fee is by no means a unfortunately chose the second option)
mere technicality of law or procedure. It is an essential
requirement without which the decision appealed from would
become final and executory as if no appeal was filed at all. The
right to appeal is merely a statutory privilege and may be 3. PNOC Energy Development Corp. v. NLRC and Manuel
exercised only in the manner prescribed by law. Pineda (May 31, 1993)

The COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides: G.R. No. 100947| Narvasa, C.J.
Sec. 3. Notice of Appeal. Within five (5) days after
promulgation of the decision of the court, the aggrieved party may
file with said court a notice of appeal, and serve a copy thereof upon
the attorney of record of the adverse party (Rule 22). F: Manuel Pineda was employed with the Philippine National Oil
Co.- Energy Development Corp (PNOC-EDC), as subsidiary of the
(Petitioner had only five days from receipt of decision of the Philippine National Oil Co. from September 17, 1981 to January 26,
Municipal Circuit Trial Court or until JUNE 5, 1994 to perfect his 1989. While holding the position of Geothermal Construction
appeal. He paid the appeal fees and legal research fees only on Secretary, Pineda decided to run for councilor of the Municipality
June 14, 1994. Therefore, petitioner belatedly paid said amount) of Kananga, Leyte in the January 1988 elections, and filed his COC.

Mayor Arturo Cornejos of Kananga then objected to Pinedas
Sec. 3. Appeal fees. The appellant in election cases shall pay
an appeal fee as follows: (b) Election cases appealed from courts of candidacy, as he was still retaining his job at PNOC-EDC. He then
limited jurisdiction. . . . P500.00. In every case, a legal research protested with Engr. Patanao, Resident Manager of PNOC-EDC that
fee of P20.00 shall be paid by the appellant in accordance with Pineda could not participate in politics unless he officially
Sec. 4, Republic Act No. 3870, as amended. resigned. However, this was not acted upon.

(Besides, the correct amounts of appeal and research fees are
P500 and P20, respectively or P520, not P510 as paid by
petitioner) The January elections were moved to February 1, 1988 and Pineda
was proclaimed elected to the office of councilor. During this time,
Sec. 9. Grounds for dismissal of appeal. The appeal may be Pineda seemed to waver. He wrote to the COMELEC Chairman,
dismissed upon motion of either party or at the instance of the expressing his desire to withdraw from the political contest on
Commission on any of the following grounds: (a) Failure of the account of election irregularities, and wrote to the Secretary of
appellant to pay the appeal fee (Rule 22).
Justice seeking legal opinion on whether he was considered considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his
automatically resigned upon filing his COC. Nevertheless, Pineda COC.
took his oath of office and continued working for PNOC-EDC.

Marcelino Tongco, the Department Manager, consulted the Legal
Department regarding the status of Manuels employment. The 1) Those with original charters (employees covered under
Civil Service Law)
Legal Department opined that he should be considered ipso facto 2) Those organized under the general law, or the Corporation
resigned. Pineda appealed, stating that subsidiaries of GOCCs are Code (employees covered under Labor Code)
not covered by Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and declared
that he wished to resign as councilor. He also wrote a letter to the
Department of Local Govt inquiring about the status of his CONGRESS DOES NOT DISTINGUISH
employment but the DLG Undersecretary advised that there was Congress made no effort to distinguish between these 2 classes of
no legal impediment to his continuing employment with PNOC- GOCCs or their employees in the Omnibus Election Code,
EDC while holding an elective position. Eventually, Pineda was particularly as regards the rule that any employee in GOCCs shall
terminated so he lodged an illegal dismissal complaint. be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of
his COC.

I: W/N an employee in a GOCC without an original charter (and

therefore not covered by Civil Service Law) falls within the scope 4. Catalina Go v. COMELEC, Felipe Montejo & Arvin Antoni
of Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code. (May 10, 2001)
G.R. No. 147741| Pardo, J.
H: Yes.
F: Petitioner Ma. Catalina Go is the incumbent representative of
SEC. 66, OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE the 5th District, province of Leyte, whose term of office will expire
at noon of June 30, 2001.
Candidates holding appointive office or position- Any person
holding a public appointive office or position, including active
members of the AFP, and officers and employees in GOCCs, shall be February 27, 2001- Go filed with the municipal election officer of
the municipality of Baybay, Leyte, a COC for mayor of Baybay.
cancellation of Gos certificates of candidacy and the deletion of
her name from the certified list of candidates for Governor of
February 28, 2001 (11:47 p.m.)- Go filed with the provincial
Leyte and Mayoralty candidates of Baybay, Leyte. The COMELECC
election supervisor of Leyte, Tacloban office, another COC for
en banc approved and adopted a resolution to this effect. In the
governor. Simultaneously, she attempted to file with the provincial
meantime, the Supreme Court issued an order to maintain the
election supervisor an affidavit of withdrawal of her COC for
status quo ante, allowing Gos COC for governor.
mayor. However, the latter refused to accept the affidavit and
suggested, pursuant to a COMELEC resolution, that Go should file
it with the municipal election officer of Baybay, Leyte where she
I1: W/N Go is disqualified to be candidate for governor of Leyte
filed her COC for mayor.
and mayor of Baybay, Leyte because she filed certificates of
candidacy for both positions.

February 28, 2001 (minutes to midnight)- the deadline for

filing COCs or withdrawal, and considering the travel time from
H1: No. The filing of the affidavit of withdrawal with the election
Tacloban to Baybay was 2 hours, Go sent her affidavit of
withdrawal to her father at Baybay and he submitted the same to officer of Baybay, Leyte at 12:28 a.m. on March 1, 2011 was a
substantial compliance with the requirement of the law.
the office of the election officer of Baybay at 12:28 am on March 1,
2001, 28 minutes from the deadline.
March 1, 2001 (1:15 p.m.)- The election officer of Baybay, Leyte Certificate of candidacy- No person shall be eligible for any elective
received the original of the affidavit of withdrawal. public office unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy within
the period fixed herein. A person who has filed a certificate of

candidacy may, prior to the election, withdraw the same by
March 5 & 6, 2001- respondents Felipe Montejo and Arvin Antoni submitting to the office concerned a written document under oath.
filed separate but similar petitions to cancel the certificates of No person shall be eligible for more than one office to be filled in
candidacy of Go, on the ground that petitioner filed certificates of the same election, and if he files his certificate of candidacy for
candidacy for 2 positions, making her ineligible for both. more than one office, he shall not be eligible for any of them.
However, before the expiration of the period for the filing of

certificates of candidacy, the person who has filed more than
The cases were referred to COMELEC Manila, Law Department one certificate of candidacy may declare under oath the office
where they submitted a report and recommendation the for which he desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate of
candidacy for the other office or offices.
5. Joy Chrisma Luna v. COMELEC, Tomas Layao, Solomon
Lalugan, Nelia Lazaga, Anthony Layao, (April 24, 2007)
I2: W/N the affidavit of withdrawal must be filed with the election
officer of the place where the certificate of candidacy was filed. G.R. No. 165983| Carpio, J.

H2: No. There is nothing in Sec. 73 of BP Blg 88 which mandates F: On January 15, 2004, petitioner Luna filed her COC for the
that the affidavit of withdrawal must be filed with the same office position of vice- mayor of Lagayan, Abra as a substitute for Hans
where the certificate of candidacy to be withdrawn was filed. Thus, Roger, who withdrew his COC on the same date. Ruperto Blanco,
it can be filed directly with the main office of the COMELEC, the Election Officer of Lagayan, Abra removed the name of Hans Roger
office of the regional election director concerned, the office of the from the list of candidates and placed the name of Luna. On April
provincial election supervisor of the province to which the 20, 2004, private respondents filed a petition for cancellation of
municipality involved belongs, or the office of the municipal the COC or disqualification of Luna. Private respondents alleged
election officer of the said municipality. While COMELEC that Luna made a false material representation in her COC because
Resolution 3253-A says otherwise, it is merely directory and Luna is not a registered voter of Lagayan, but Bangued, Abra. They
intended for convenience. It is not mandatory or jurisdictional. An also claimed that the substitution by Luna for Hans Roger was
administrative resolution cannot contradict, much less amend or invalid because Roger was only 20 years old on election day and
repeal a law, or supply a deficiency in the law. was therefore disqualified to run for vice- mayor and cannot be
substituted. The COMELEC 1st Division ruled that while Luna

complied with the procedural requirements for substitution, Hans
SEC. 1b, COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 3253-A; MERELY Roger was not a valid candidate for vice- mayor who could be
DIRECTORY substituted by Luna. Luna filed a motion for reconsideration with
the COMELEC en banc and added that her right to due process was
Certificate of candidacy- No person shall be eligible for more than violated because she was not given the opportunity to present
one office to be filled in the same election. If he files a certificate of evidence. It ruled that Roger may not be validly substituted but
candidacy for more than one office he shall not be eligible for also ruled that Lunas right to due process was not violated.
either. However, before the expiration of the period for the filing Furthermore, the COMELEC en banc ruled that Luna was a
of certificate of candidacy, he may declare under oath the office for registered voter of Lagayan, Abra.
which he desire to be eligible and cancel the certificate of
candidacy for the office or offices.

I: W/N the substitution of Luna for Hans Roger was valid.

H: Yes. When a candidate files his COC, the COMELEC has a died, withdrew or was disqualified. The substituted candidate
ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge its receipt. Since Hans nominated by the political party concerned may file his COC for
Roger withdrew his COC and the COMELEC found that Luna the office affected in accordance with the preceding sections not
complied with all the procedural requirements for a valid later than mid-day of election day of the election.
substitution, Luna can validly substitute for Hans Roger. The

COMELEC may not, by itself, without the proper proceedings, deny
due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy filed in due form. 6. Jose Monsale v. Paulino Nico (May 28, 1949)
It has been previously held that the question of eligibility or
ineligibility of a candidate for non-age is beyond the usual and G.R. No. L-2539 | Ozaeta, J.
proper cognizance of the COMELEC. It would have been different if

there was a petition to cancel Rogers COC. For if the COMELEC
cancelled Rogers COC after the proper proceedings, then he is no F: Jose Monsale withdrew his COC on October 10, 1947, but on
candidate at all and there can be no substitution of a person whose November 7, attempted to revive it by withdrawing his
COC has been cancelled and denied due course. withdrawal. The COMELEC ruled on November 8 that the Monsale
could no longer be a candidate. A canvass of the election returns

showed that Paulino Nico received 2,291 votes, another candidate,
SEC. 76, OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE Gregorio Fagutao 126 votes and Monsale, non, because the votes
cast in his favor had not been counted because he was not a
Ministerial duty of receiving and acknowledging receipt- The registered candidate. Nico was then proclaimed elected.
Commission, provincial election supervisor, election registrar or
officer designated by the Commission or the board of election
inspectors under the succeeding section shall have the ministerial
I: W/N a candidate who has withdrawn his COC may revive it,
duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of the COC.
either by withdrawing his letter of withdrawal or by filing a new
COC after the deadline provided by law for the filing of such

Candidates in case of death, disqualification or withdrawal of
another- If after the last day for the filing of certificates of H: No. There is no question as to the right of a candidate to
candidacy, an official candidate of a registered or accredited withdraw or annul his own COC, there being no legal prohibition
political party fies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, only against such withdrawal. On October 10, 1947, or 31 days before
a person belonging to, and certified by, the same political party the election, Monsale ceased to be candidate by his own voluntary
may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the candidate who act, and the boards of election inspectors of the municipality of
Miagao were notified of his letter to the COMELEC whereby he U.I.O.G.D
withdrew his withdrawal of his COC, can only be considered as a

new COC which, having been filed only 4 days before the election,
could not be accepted under the law, which expressly provides 7. Cipriano vs. COMELEC
that such certificate should be filed at 60 days before the election.
G.R. No. 158830 August 10, 2004

Facts: On June 7, 2002, Ellan Marie P. Cipriano filed with the
SEC. 36, REVISED ELECTION CODE; PERIOD FOR FILING THE COC COMELEC her certificate of candidacy as Chairman of the
Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the SK elections. On June 15, 2002
At least 60 days before a regular election and 30 days at least
before a special election (date of election), the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 5363
adopting the recommendation of the Commissions Law
Department to deny due course to or cancel the certificates of
candidacy of several candidates for the SK elections, including

Ciprianos on the ground that the latter, together with the other
PURPOSES OF THE LAW IN REQUIRING THE FILING OF COC AND candidates, were not registered voters in the barangay where they
IN FIXING A TIME LIMIT intended to run. Cipriano, nonetheless, was allowed to vote in the
SK elections and her name was not deleted from the official list of
1) to enable the voter to know, at least 60 days before a candidates. After the canvassing of votes, Cipriano was
regular election the candidate among whom they are to proclaimed the duly elected SK Chairman of Barangay 38,
make the choice
Pasay City.
2) to avoid confusion and inconvenience in the tabulation of
the votes cast After learning of Resolution No. 5363, Cipriano filed with the

COMELEC a motion for reconsideration of said resolution. She
INSTANCE WHEREIN THE FILING OF THE COC AFTER THE argued that a certificate of candidacy may only be denied due
EXPIRATION OF TIME LIMIT IS ALLOWED course or cancelled via an appropriate petition filed by any
registered candidate for the same position under Section 78 of the
When a candidate with a COC duly field dies or becomes Omnibus Election Code in relation to Sections 5 and 7 of Republic
disqualified. Act (R.A.) No. 6646. Thus, the COMELEC cannot, by itself, deny due
course to or cancel ones certificate of candidacy.

COMELEC, in resolving Ciprianos motion for reconsideration,

issued Resolution No. 5781 wherein it cited Resolution No. 5584,

in relation to Resolution No. 4801. Resolution No. 5584 provides
that the Commission, by virtue of its administrative powers, may Election Code allows any person to file before the COMELEC a
motu proprio deny/cancel the certificates of candidacy of petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of
candidates who are found to be not registered voters in the candidacy on the ground that any material representation therein
place where they seek to run for public office. Resolution No. is false.
4801, on the other hand, provides that (a) a verified petition to

disqualify a candidate on the ground of ineligibility or under
Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code may be filed at anytime 8. Abecede vs. Imperial
before proclamation of the winning candidate by any registered
voter or any candidate for the same office and (b) All G.R. No. L-13001 March 18, 1958
disqualification cases filed on the ground of ineligibility shall
Facts: Alfredo Abcede filed with the Commission on Elections his
survive, although the candidate has already been proclaimed
certificate of candidacy for the Office of the President of the
Thus, in the event that the disqualified candidate is proclaimed the Philippines. Abcede and other candidates were summoned by the
winner despite his disqualification or despite the pending Commission on Elections to appear before the same on September
disqualification case filed before his proclamation, but which is 23, 1957, "to show cause why their certificates of candidacy
subsequently resolved against him, the proclamation of said should be considered as filed in good faith and to be given due
disqualified candidate is hereby declared void from the course," with the admonition that their failure to so appear
beginning, even if the dispositive portion of the resolution would be sufficient ground for the Commission to consider
disqualifying him or canceling his certificate of candidacy does not said certificates of candidacy as not filed in good faith and not
provide for such an annulment. to give due course thereto. After due hearing, at which Abcede
appeared and introduced evidence, the Commission issued a
Issue: WON COMELEC may look into the qualifications of a resolution dated October 4, 1957, ordering that the certificates of
candidate and cancel his certificate of candidacy on the ground candidacy of the persons therein named, including that of
that he lacks the qualifications prescribed by law Abecede, "shall not be given due course." The Commission is
convinced that the certificate of candidacy of Alfredo Abcede was
Held: NO. The Court held that the Commission may not, by itself,
without the proper proceedings, deny due course to or cancel a filed for motives other than a bona fide desire to obtain a
substantial number of votes of the electorate. (to obtain money
certificate of candidacy filed in due form. When a candidate files
his certificate of candidacy, the COMELEC has a ministerial duty from the public by means of false or fraudulent pretenses) A
reconsideration of such resolution having been denied, Abcede
to receive and acknowledge its receipt. While the Commission
filed with this Court a petition for certiorari and mandamus,
may look into patent defects in the certificates, it may not go into
praying that the resolution be annulled and that his
matters not appearing on their face. The question of eligibility or
aforementioned certificate of candidacy be given due course.
ineligibility of a candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper
cognizance of said body. Nonetheless, Section 78 of the Omnibus
The Commission argues that while Section 37 of the Revised
Election Code imposes upon the commission the ministerial duty

to receive and acknowledge certificates of candidacy, the law
leaves to the Commission a measure of discretion on whether
to give due course to a particular certificate of candidacy
should it find said certificate of candidacy to have been filed 9. Garvida vs. Sales
not bona fide. The law requires the certificate of candidacy to be
G.R. No. 124893 April 18, 1997
under oath in acknowledgment of its serious character as an
indispensable segment in the process of election, the first step that Facts: Lynette Garvida applied for registration as member and
a citizen has to take in seeking public trust and in avoiding service voter of the Katipunan ng Kabataan of Barangay San Lorenzo,
to the common weal. It is a solemn matter, not to be taken lightly. Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The Board of Election Tellers, however,
Otherwise, it authorizes a meaningless expenditure of a denied her application on the ground that Garvida, who was
considerable amount of public funds, and adds routinary burden then twenty-one years and ten (10) months old, exceeded the
on the already heavily burdened election machinery, as well as age limit for membership in the Katipunan ng Kabataan as
shear off the election much of its dignity as a solemn process of laid down in Section 3 [b] of COMELEC Resolution No. 2824.
democracy. Garvida then filed a "Petition for Inclusion as Registered
Kabataang Member and Voter" with the Municipal Circuit Trial
Issue: WON COMELEC has the power to choose wheter it will give
Court, Bangui-Pagudpud-Adams-Damalneg, Ilocos Norte. The
or not to give due course to Abcede's certificate of candidacy
Court found her qualified and ordered her registration as
Held: NO. The Court held that the action of the Commission as member and voter in the Katipunan ng Kabataan. The Board of
regards Abcede's certificate of candidacy is beyond the bounds of Tellers appealed the said decision but the presiding judge of the
its jurisdiction, and, hence, void. Section 36 of the Revised Election Regional Trial Court, however, inhibited himself from acting on the
Code provides that the certificates of candidacy of candidates for appeal due to his close association with petitioner.
President shall be filed with the Commission on Elections which
On April 23, 1996, Garcida filed her certificate of candidacy for the
shall order the preparation and distribution of copies for the
position of Chairman, Sangguniang Kabataan, Barangay San
same to all the election precincts of the Philippines. Pursuant
Lorenzo, Municipality of Bangui, Province of Ilocos Norte. In a
to Section 37 of the same Code, the Commission on Election, the
letter dated April 23, 1996, Election Officer Dionisio F. Rios, per
secretary of the provincial board, and the municipal secretary, in
advice of Provincial Election Supervisor Noli Pipo,
their respective cases, shall have the ministerial duty to receive
disapproved Garvida's certificate of candidacy again due to
the certificates of candidacy referred to in the preceding
her age. The latter, however, appealed to COMELEC. Regional
section and to immediately acknowledge receipt thereof. The
Director Filemon A. Asperin set aside the order of Rios and
foregoing provisions give the Commission no discretion to give or
allowed petitioner to run.
not to give due course to petitioner's certificate of candidacy.
On May 2, 1996, Rios issued a memorandum to petitioner required number of votes to reach a decision, resolution, order or
informing her of her ineligibility and giving her 24 hours to ruling is not obtained in the Division. Moreover, only motions to
explain why her certificate of candidacy should not be reconsider decisions, resolutions, orders or rulings of the
disapproved. Earlier and without the knowledge of the COMELEC COMELEC in Division are resolved by the COMELEC en banc.
officials, Florencio G. Sales, Jr., a rival candidate for Chairman of Section 532 (a) of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides
the Sangguniang Kabataan, filed with the COMELEC en banc a that the conduct of the SK elections is under the supervision of the
"Petition of Denial and/or Cancellation of Certificate of COMELEC and shall be governed by the Omnibus Election Code.
Candidacy" against Garvida for falsely representing her age Section 78, Article IX provides that a verified petition seeking to
qualification in her certificate of candidacy. On the same day, deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be
The COMELEC en banc issued an order directing the Board of filed by any person exclusively. In relation thereto, Rule 23 of
Election Tellers and Board of Canvassers of Barangay San Lorenzo the COMELEC Rules of Procedure provides that a petition to deny
to suspend the proclamation of petitioner in the event she won in due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy for an elective
the election. office may be filed with the Law Department of the COMELEC on
the ground that the candidate has made a false material
On election day, Garvida garnered higher votes than Sales but
representation in his certificate. The petition may be heard and
the Board of Election Tellers did not proclaim the former as
evidence received by any official designated by the COMELEC after
the winner in accordance with the order of the COMELEC en
which the case shall be decided by the COMELEC itself.
banc. A petition for certiorari was filed on May 27, 1996. However,
the Board of Election Tellers proclaimed petitioner the winner for
the position of SK chairman, Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos
Norte. She also ran in the Pambayang Pederasyon ng mga 10.Loong vs. COMELEC
Sangguniang Kabataan for the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte G.R. No. 93986 December 22, 1992
and she won as Auditor and was proclaimed one of the elected
officials of the Pederasyon. Facts: Benjamin Loong filed with the COMELEC his certificate of
candidacy for the position of Vice-Governor of the Mindanao
Issue: WON COMELEC en banc has jurisdiction to act on the Autonomous Region. Nurhussein Ututalum and Alim Bashir Edris
petition to deny or cancel her certificate of candidacy were also candidates for the same position. On March 5, 1990,
Held: NO. The Court held that the Commision acted without Ututalum filed before the COMELEC Second Division a petition
(docketed as SPA Case No. 90-006) seeking to disqualify
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion when it entertained
Loong for the office of Regional Vice-Governor, on the ground
the petition and issued the order of May 2, 1996. Jurisdiction over
that the latter made a false representation in his certificate of
a petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy lies with the
candidacy as to his age. On March 7 1990, Edris also filed a
COMELEC sitting in Division, not en banc. Cases before a Division
may only be entertained by the COMELEC en banc when the "Petition in Intervention" in the said SPA No. 90-006, raising
therein issues similar to those raised by respondent Ututalum in
his main petition. Loong filed in SPA No. 90-006 his answer to Procedure. However, the same is expressly covered by Rule 23 of
the petition alleging that that respondent COMELEC has no the Comelec Rules of Procedure governing petitions to cancel
jurisdiction because such petition is actually one which is to certificate of candidacy. Moreover, Section 3, Rule 25 which allows
deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy which, the filing of the petition at nay time after the last day for the filing
under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election should have been of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of
filed within 5 days following the last day for filing of the proclamation, is merely a procedural rule issued by respondent
certificate of candidacy. Loong contends that SPA No. 90-006 Commission which, although a constitutional body, has no
was filed out of time because it was filed beyond the 25-day period legislative powers. Thus, it can not supersede Section 78 of the
prescribed by Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. On the Omnibus Election Code which is a legislative enactment. Section
other hand, Ututalum alleges that SPA No. 90-006 was filed when 78 provides that a verified petition seeking to deny due course
no proclamation of winner had as yet been made and that the or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the
petition is deemed filed on time as Section 3, Rule 25 of the person exclusively on the ground that any material
Comelec Rules of Procedure states that the petition to disqualify representation contained therein as required under Section
a candidate on grounds of ineligibility "shall be filed any day 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not
after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the
later than the date of proclamation." certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice
and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.
COMELEC, however, holds that it has jurisdiction to try the instant
petition and the Loong's motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction is denied. It also held that he qualifications prescribed
for elective office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The Good luck guys!
will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the
vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistaken believed that the
candidate was qualified. (Age requirement in accordance with
Sections 3 and 4 of R.A. No. 6734)

Issue: WON SPA No. 90-006 was filed within the period prescribed
by law

Held: The Court held that the petition filed by Ututalum with the
COMELEC to disqualify Loong on the ground that the latter made a
false representation in his certificate of candidacy as to his age,
clearly does not fall within and/or under the grounds for
disqualification as provided in Rule 25 of the COMELEC Rules of
11. Lanot vs COMELEC
G.R. No. 164858, November 16, 2006 ISSUE: Whether or not COMELEC committed grave abuse of
Carpio, J. discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction

FACTS: On March 19, 2004, Henry P. Lanot, Vener Obispo, Roberto HELD: NO. Congress never intended the filing of a certificate of
Peralta, Reynaldo dela Paz, Edilberto Yamat, and Ram Alan Cruz candidacy before January 2, 2004 to make the person filing to
filed a petition for disqualification under Sections 68 and 80 of the become immediately a candidate for purposes other than the
Omnibus Election Code against Eusebio before the COMELEC. printing of ballots. The clear intention of Congress was to preserve
Lanot and Eusebio were candidates for Pasig City Mayor, while the election periods as fixed by existing law prior to R.A. No.
Peralta, dela Paz, Yamat, and Cruz were candidates for Pasig City 8436 and that one who files to meet the early deadline will not be
Counselor in the May 10 2004 Elections. considered as a candidate

Petitioners alleged that Eusebio engaged in an election campaign The essential elements for violation of Section 80 of the Omnibus
in various forms on various occasions outside of the designated Election Code are: (1) a person engages in an election campaign or
campaign period. partisan political activity, (2) the act is designed to promote the
election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates, and (3)
On May 4, 2004, Director Ladra submitted her recommendations the act is done outside the campaign period
to the COMELEC, finding that Eusebio be disqualified. In a
resolution dated May 5, 2004, the COMELEC first division adopted Acts committed by a person prior to his being a candidate on
said findings. March 23, 2004 even if constituting election campaigning or
partisan political activities, are not punishable under Section 80 of
In a memorandum dated on election day itself, Chairman Abalos the Omnibus Election Code. Such acts are protected as part of
enjoined Director Ladra from implementing the COMELEC first freedom of expression of a citizen before he becomes a candidate
divisions resolution due to Eusebios motion for reconsideration. for elective public office

On May 21, 2004, the COMELEC en banc issued the second
questioned issuance resolving to declare declare Eusebio as Pasig
City Mayor pursuant to its established policy to expedite the
canvass of votes and proclamation of winning candidates to ease
the post election tension and without prejudice to [its] action in
[the] x x x case since Eusebio had 119, 693 votes while Lanot had 12. Blo Umpar Adiong vs COMELEC
108, 941 votes. The remaining returns would not affect Eusebios G.R. No. 103956, March 31, 1992
lead over Lanot. Gutierrez Jr., J.

On August 20, 2004, the COMELEC en banc invoked Section 1 of FACTS: On January 13, 1992, COMELEC, seeking to enforce Section
COMELEC Resolution No. 2050 in justifying the annulment of the 82 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of R.A. No.
order to disqualify Eusebio and the referral of the case to the Law 6646, promulgated Resolution No. 2347, providing for the
Department for preliminary investigation. following:
The COMELECs prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on
Sec. 15(a) Lawful Election Propaganda mobile places whether public or private except in designated
The following are lawful election propaganda: areas provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on
(A) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers, constitutional grounds
handwritten or printed letters, or other written
or printed materials not more than 8 & The restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be
inches in width and 14 inches in length: posted is so broad that it encompasses event the citizens private
Provided, That decals and stickers may be property which in this case is a privately-owned vehicle
posted only in any of the authorized posting
areas in paragraph (f) of Section 21 hereof 13. ABS-CBN vs COMELEC
G.R. No. 133486, January 28, 2000
Sec. 21(f) Prohibited forms of election Panganiban, J.
It is unlawful: FACTS: ABS-CBN prepared to conduct radio-TV coverage of the
(F) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or national elections and to make an exit survey of the vote during
publicly exhibit any election propaganda in any the elections for national officials and the results to be
place, whether public or private, mobile or broadcasted immediately.
stationary, except in the COMELEC common
posted areas and/or billboards, at the campaign COMELEC believed that such survey will conflict with COMELEC
headquarters of the candidate or political party, official count and NAMFRELs unofficial quick count. Also that
organization or coalition, or the candidates own ABS-CBN is not authorized to undertake such survey.
residential house or one of his residential
houses, if he has more than: Provided that such Thus, COMELEC issued a resolution for the issuance of a
posters or election propaganda shall not exceed restraining order to prohibit ABS-CBN from conducting an exit
2 feet by 3 feet in size survey.

Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate now assails ABS-CBN then filed this petition contending that the prohibition
the COMELEC Resolution for being violative of Section 82 of the restrains its freedom of speech and of the press.
Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of R.A. No. 6646
ISSUE: Whether or not the prohibition is valid
ISSUE: Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of
decals and stickers on mobile places, public or private, and limit HELD: NO. The prohibition is invalid. The conduct of exit polls is a
their location or publication to the authorized posting areas that it valid exercise of the freedom of speech.
The constitution provides that no law shall be passed abridging
HELD: NO. Such prohibition amounts to censorship which cannot the freedom of speech and of the press. Free speech and free press
be justified by the Constitution. consists of the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any matter
of public interest without prior restraint. However, such freedom
is not absolute. It is subject to limitations and it is not immune to As to the contention of the COMELEC that exit poll has a clear and
regulation by the state in the exercise of its police power. present danger of destroying the credibility and integrity of the
electoral process, such contention is purely speculative and
There are 2 tests to determine the validity of restrictions to the untenable.
freedom of speech:
Therefore, an absolute ban on exit polls cannot be justified. There
1) Clear and present danger test the evil consequence of the are other valid and reasonable ways and means to achieve the
comment of utterance must be extremely serious and the degree COMELEC end of avoiding and minimizing disorder and confusion
of imminence extremely high before the utterance can be that may be brought by exit surveys. On the contrary, exit polls can
punished. be vital tools in eliminating the evils of election-fixing and fraud

2) Dangerous tendency rule if the words uttered create a
dangerous tendency which the state has a right to prevent then 14. Social Weather Stations, Inc. vs COMELEC
such words are punishable. In this test, it is not necessary that G.R. No. 147571, May 5, 2001
some definite or immediate acts of force, violence, or unlawfulness Mendoza, J.
be advocated.
FACTS: Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS) and Kamahalan
In this jurisdiction, the courts use the clear and present danger Publishing Corporation, a newspaper of general circulation
test. publishing the Manila Standard, brought this action for prohibition
In this case, the restriction to conduct exit polls would curtail the to enjoin the COMELEC from enforcing Section 5.4 of R.A. No.
freedom of expression. 9006, which provides: Surveys affecting national candidates shall
not be published 15 days before an election and surveys affecting
Exit polls is a species of electoral survey conducted by qualified local candidates shall not be published 7 days before an election
individuals or groups of individuals for the purpose of determining
the probable result of an election by confidentially asking ISSUE: Whether or not Section 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 constitutes an
randomly selected voters whom they have voted for, immediately unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech, expression, and
after they have officially cast their ballots. The results of the the press
survey are announced to the public, usually through the mass
media, to give an advance overview of how, in the opinion of the HELD: YES. Section 5.4 of R.A. No. 9006 lays a prior restraint on
polling individuals or organizations, the electorate voted. Aside freedom of speech, expression, and the press
from that definition, exit polls generate important research data
which may be used to study influencing factors and trends in First. Sec. 5.4 fails to meet criterion (3) of the OBrien test because
voting behavior. the causal connection of expression to the asserted government
interest makes such interest not unrelated to the suppression of
Thus, an absolute prohibition would be unreasonably restrictive free expression
because it effectively prevents the use of exit poll date not only for
election day projections but also for long-term research. Second. Even if the governmental interest sought to be promoted
is unrelated to the suppression of speech and the resulting
restriction of free expression is only incidental, Section 5.4 expenditures, pursuant to Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 (Statement
nonetheless fails to meet criterion (4) of the OBrient test, namely, of Contributions and Expenditures). The COMELEC denied the
that the restriction be not greater than is necessary to further the motion for reconsideration of petitioner and deemed final.
governmental interest
Petitioner went to the COMELEC En Banc, which denied the

There is no basis for the COMELECs claim that this petition for petition in a Resolution dated April 28, 1994. Petitioner then filed
prohibition is inappropriate. Prohibition has been found a petition for certiorari before the SC. Petitioner argues that he
appropriate for testing the constitutionality of various election cannot be held liable for failure to file a statement of contributions
laws, rules and regulations and expenditures because he was a "non-candidate," having
withdrawn his certificates of candidacy three days after its filing.
Petitioner posits that "it is . . . clear from the law that candidate

must have entered the political contest, and should have either

won or lost"
15. G.R. No. 115245 July 11, 1995

JUANITO C. PILAR, petitioner, Issue: Whether or not petitioner is no longer required to file a
SOCE by virtue of his withdrawal from candidacy.

Held: No. Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 states that "every candidate"

has the obligation to file his statement of contributions and
Doctrine: The law makes no distinction or qualification as to expenditures. Well-recognized is the rule that where the law does
whether the candidate pursued his candidacy or withdrew the not distinguish, courts should not distinguish, Ubi lex non
same, the term "every candidate" must be deemed to refer not distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos. The COMELEC, the body
only to a candidate who pursued his campaign, but also to one tasked with the enforcement and administration of all laws and
who withdrew his candidacy. regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite,
initiative, referendum, and recall, issued Resolution No. 2348 in
implementation or interpretation of the provisions of Republic Act
Facts: On March 22, 1992, petitioner Juanito C. Pilar filed his COC No. 7166 on election contributions and expenditures. Section 13 of
Resolution No. 2348 categorically refers to "all candidates who
for the position of member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Isabela. On March 25, 1992, petitioner withdrew his certificate of filed their certificates of candidacy." Furthermore, Section 14 of
the law uses the word "shall." As a general rule, the use of the
candidacy. The COMELEC imposed upon petitioner the fine of
P10,000.00 for failure to file his statement of contributions and word "shall" in a statute implies that the statute is mandatory, and
imposes a duty which may be enforced , particularly if public
policy is in favor of this meaning or where public interest is Ramirez. Libanan prayed that the HRET should issue an order to
involved. We apply the general rule. annul the election and proclamation of Ramirez and to thereafter
so proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the

Lone District of Eastern Samar. Ramirez denied the allegations and
16. [G.R. No. 129783. December 22, 1997] He counter-protested the results of the elections in certain
precincts where, he claimed, Libanan engaged in massive vote
MARCELINO C. LIBANAN, petitioner buying, lansadera, terrorism and tearing of the list of voters to
disenfranchise voters therein listed. The evidence and the issues
submitted by the parties for consideration by the HRET related
JOSE T. RAMIREZ, respondents.
mainly to the proper appreciation of the ballots objected to, or
claimed by, the parties during the revision. No evidence was
presented in support of the other allegations of the protest (like
VITUG, J.: the alleged tampering of election returns) and of the counter-
protest (such as the alleged tearing of some of the pages of the
computerized list of voters to disenfranchise legitimate voters and
Doctrine: Fraud is not presumed. It must be sufficiently the use of goons to terrorize and compel voters to vote for
established. Moreover, Section 211 of the Omnibus Election Code Libanan), nor were these issues discussed in the memoranda of
provides in part that 'in the reading and appreciation of ballots, the parties. The HRET thus concentrated, such as can be rightly
every ballot shall be presumed to be valid unless there is clear and expected, its attention to the basic appreciation of ballots. The
good reason to justify its rejection. HRET ruled in favor of respondent Ramirez. Libanan moved for a
reconsideration of the decision of the HRET arguing, among other

grounds, that the absence of the BEI Chairman's signature at the
Facts: Petitioner Marcelino Libanan and private respondent Jose back of the ballots could not but indicate that the ballots were not
Ramirez were among the candidates for the lone congressional those issued to the voters during the elections.
seat of Eastern Samar in the May 1995 elections. After the canvass

of the returns was made on 13 May 1995, the Provincial Board of
Canvassers of Eastern Samar proclaimed respondent Ramirez to Issue: Whether or not the HRET committed grave abuse of
have been duly elected Representative of the District. Libanan filed discretion in ruling that the absence of the signature of the
an election protest before the HRET claiming, among other things, Chairman of the BEI in the ballots did not render the ballots
that there were massive electoral irregularities perpetrated or spurious.
instigated by Ramirez. He also maintained that the election returns
and/or ballots in certain precincts were tampered with,
substituted, or systematically marked in favor of respondent
Held: No. No spurious ballot was found in this case. For a ballot to
be rejected for being spurious, the ballot must not have any of the
following authenticating marks: a) the COMELEC watermark; b)
the signatures or initial of the BEI Chairman at the back of the
ballot; and c) red and blue fibers. In the present case, all the
ballots examined by the Tribunal had COMELEC watermarks. In Doctrine: Expert opinions are not ordinarily conclusive in the
the instant case, there is no evidence to support protestant's sense that they must be accepted as true on the subject of their
allegation that the ballots he enumerated in his Motion for testimony, but are generally regarded as purely advisory in
Reconsideration are substitute ballots. The absence of the BEI character; the courts may place whatever weight they choose upon
Chairman's signature at the back of the ballot cannot be an such testimony and may reject it, if they find that it is consistent
indication of ballot switching or substitution. At best, such with the facts in the case or otherwise unreasonable.
absence of BEI Chairman's signature is a prima facie evidence that

the BEI Chairmen concerned were derelict in their duty of
authenticating the ballots. Such omission, as stated in the Facts: Danilo Manalastas, Ferdinand Meneses and Ernesto
Decision, is not fatal to the validity of the ballots. What should, Punzalan were among the four (4) candidates for mayor of the
instead, be given weight is the consistent rule laid down by the municipality of Mexico, Pampanga during the May 8, 1995
HRET that a ballot is considered valid and genuine for as long as it elections. The Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) proclaimed
bears any one of these authenticating marks, to wit: (a) the Ferdinand Meneses as the duly elected mayor. Manalastas and
COMELEC watermark, or (b) the signature or initials, or Punzalan filed election protests. The election protests sought the
thumbprint of the Chairman of the BEI; and, (c) in those cases nullification of the election of Meneses, allegedly, due to massive
where the COMELEC watermarks are blurred or not readily fraud, irregularities and other illegal electoral practices during the
apparent to the naked eye, the presence of red and blue fibers in registration and the voting as well as during the counting of votes.
the ballots. It is only when none of these marks appears extant Because of these irregularities, the trial court was constrained to
that the ballot can be considered spurious and subject to rejection examine the contested ballots and the handwritings appearing
thereon and came up with the declaration that Punzalan was the

winner in the elections. Meneses sought to annul the declaration of
17. G.R. No. 126669 April 27, 1998 Punzalan as the winner. The same was annulled and the COMELEC
declared Meneses as Mayor with the modification to the number of
ERNESTO M. PUNZALAN, petitioner, votes. Punzalan filed a petition to SET ASIDE the COMELECs
vs. resolutions contending that the it acted with grace abuse of
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and FERDINAND D. discretion when it declared as valid the ballots credited to
MENESES, respondents. Meneses, which did not bear the signature of the BEI Chairman at
the back. He argues that the trial court's findings on the

authenticity of said handwritings must prevail over the findings of interfered with by this Court. Anent Punzalan's assertion that the
the COMELEC because: 1) the finding of the Regional Trial Court trial court's finding which was arrived at after an adversarial
was based first on the findings of the revisors with the assistance proceeding wherein an expert witness testified and was cross-
of an expert witness in the person of Atty. Desiderio Pagui; (2) the examined, should not be interfered with by the COMELEC whose
finding of the Regional Trial Court was arrived at after an finding was arrived at without the benefit of a hearing or the aid of
adversarial proceeding where both parties were represented by an expert, it is axiomatic that the COMELEC need not conduct an
their lawyers and the expert witness was cross-examined; and (3) adversarial proceeding or a hearing to determine the authenticity
on the other hand, the findings of the public respondent were of ballots or the handwriting found thereon. Neither does it need
made unilaterally, without any hearing and without the presence to solicit the help of handwriting experts in examining or
of the lawyers of the parties and of the parties themselves comparing the handwriting. In fact, even evidence aliunde is not
necessary to enable the Commission to determine the authenticity

of the ballots and the genuineness of the handwriting on the
Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC acted with grace abuse of ballots as an examination of the ballots themselves is already
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in declaring sufficient.
valid (a) the ballots wherein the signatures of the BEI chairmen
were different from their respective signatures appearing on
several COMELEC documents, (b) those group of ballots allegedly 18. G.R. No. L-25444 January 31, 1966
written by one (1) hand and (c) a number of single ballots written
by two (2) persons. WENCESLAO RANCAP LAGUMBAY, petitioner,
CLIMACO, respondents.
Held: No. The appreciation of the contested ballots and election
documents involves a question of fact best left to the
determination of the COMELEC, a specialized agency tasked with
the supervision of elections all over the country. 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 Facts: This petition prays for revision of an order of the
protests involving elective municipal and barangay officials. Commission on Elections declining to reject the returns of certain
Consequently, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion or any precincts of some municipalities in Mindanao, which were
jurisdictional infirmity or error of law, the factual findings, obviously manufactured. It appearing therein that contrary to
conclusions, rulings and decisions rendered by the said all statistical probabilities in the first set, in each precinct the
Commission on matters falling within its competence shall not be number of registered voters equaled the number of ballots and the
number of votes reportedly cast and tallied for each and tribunals. That is the general rule, where testimonial or
every candidate of the Liberal Party, the party in power; whereas, documentary evidence, is necessary; but where the fraud is so
all the candidates of the Nacionalista Party got exactly zero; and in palpable from the return itself (res ipsa loquitur the thing
the second set, again contrary to all statistical probabilities speaks for itself), there is no reason to accept it and give it prima
all the reported votes were for candidates of the Liberal Party, all facie value. At any rate, fraud or no fraud, the verdict in these fifty
of whom were credited with exactly the samenumber of votes in precincts may ultimately be ascertained before the Senate
each precinct, ranging from 240 in one precinct to 650 in another Electoral Tribunal.4 All we hold now, is that the returns show
precinct; whereas, all the candidates of the Nacionalista Party "prima facie" that they do not reflect true and valid reports of
were given exactly zero in all said precincts. regular voting. n view of the foregoing, and overlooking some
intemperate language which detracts from the force of the

arguments, we hereby deny the motion to reconsider our
Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC erred in not rejecting resolution of December 24, 1965, as well as the petition for a re-
obviously manufactured election returns hearing.

Held: No. The main point to remember is that there is no block-

voting nowadays. These returns were obviously false or fabricated

prima facie. According to one return, all the eight candidates of
the Liberal Party got 648 each, and the eight Nacionalista
candidates got exactly zero. We hold such return to be evidently
fraudulent or false because of the inherent improbability of such a
result against statistical probabilities especially because the
Nacionalista candidates should have received at least one vote, i.e.,
the vote of the Nacionalista inspector. It is, of course, "possible"
that such inspector did not like his party's senatorial line-up; but it
is not probable that he disliked all of such candidates, and it is not
likely that he favored all the eight candidates of the Liberal Party.
Therefore, most probably, he was made to sign an obviously false
return, or else he betrayed his party, in which case, the election
therein if any was no more than a barefaced fraud and a
brazen contempt of the popular polls. Of course we agree that
frauds in the holding of the election should be handled and
finally settled by the corresponding courts or electoral