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ANGARA V ELECTORAL COMMISSION

FACTS/ISSUES:
- Petitioners questioned legitimacy of Aquino government.
- Her gov’t was said to be illegal since it was not established pursuant to 1973
Consti.
- Proclamation No. 3- “…Aquino gov’t is installed through direct exercise of pow
er of the Filipino people, in defiance of the provisions of 1973 Consti.”
- April 10- Court already voted to dismiss.
- April 17- Atty. Lozano withdrew petitions and said that they would pursue it b
y extra-judicial methods.
HELD:
Petitions have no merit.
(1) Petitioners have no personality and no cause of action.
(2) Legitimacy of gov’t is NOT justiciable, and is a political question where pe
ople are the only judge.
(3) People have already accepted such gov’t, which is in effective control of th
e country, making it a de jure gov’t.
(4) Community of nations has also accepted it.
(5) Eleven members of SC have sworn to uphold law under her gov’t.
AVELINO V CUENCO
PER CURIAM; March 4, 1949
FACTS:
Summary: The Avelino I case illustrates judicial review of internal affairs of t
he legislature. The Court refused to look into the legality of the election of a
Senate President, in view of the separation of powers, the political nature of
the controversy and the Senate’s constitutional power to elect its own president
Before the opening of a morning session of the Senate, Senators Lorenzo Tañada a
nd Prospero Sanidad prepared a resolution enumerating charges against the then
Senate President Jose Avelino. AVELINO presided the session and called the meeti
ng in order, and except for a senator who was confined in a hospital and another
who is in the United States, all the Senators were present.
TAÑADA sought to be recognized, but AVELINO and his followers prevented TAÑADA f
rom delivering his privilege speech. A commotion later ensued, upon which AVELIN
O and 9 other senators left the session hall. Subsequently, the Senate President
Pro-tempore took the Chair and proceeded with the session. The remaining senato
rs unanimously approved, among others, a resolution “declaring vacant the positi
on of the President of the Senate and designating… Mariano Jesus Cuenco Acting P
resident of the Senate." The next day the President of the Philippines recognize
d CUENCO as acting Senate President.
Hence, the present petition, AVELINO asking the Court to declare him the rightfu
l Senate President and oust CUENCO.
ISSUE: WON SC has jurisdiction over the subject matter
HELD: NO (6-4 vote)
Ratio: The issue of the validity of the election of the new Senate President is
a political question.
Reasoning: The answer is in the negative, in view of the separation of powers, t
he political nature of the controversy and the constitutional grant to the Senat
e of the power to elect its own president, which power should not be interfered
with, nor taken over, by the judiciary. We should abstain in this case because t
he selection of the presiding officer affects only the Senators themselves who a
re at liberty at any time to choose their officers, change or reinstate them. If
the majority of the Senators want AVELINO to preside, his remedy lies in the Se
nate Session Hall, not in the Supreme Court.
The Court will not sally into the legitimate domain of the Senate on the plea th
at our refusal to intercede might lead into a crisis, even a revolution. No stat
e of things has been proved that might change the temper of the Filipino people
as peaceful and law-abiding citizens. It is furthermore believed that the recogn
ition accorded by the Chief Executive to CUENCO makes it advisable, to adopt the
hands-off policy enunciated by this Court in matters of similar nature.
Decision Petition dismissed.

CHAVEZ V COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


BIDIN; July 3, 1992
FACTS:
Petition for the issuance of a TRO enjoining COMELEC from proclaiming the 24th h
ighest senatorial candidate.
May 5, 1992 - Court issued a Resolution of the case "Francisco Chavez v. Comelec
, et al.," disqualifying Melchor Chavez from running for Senator in the May 11,
1992 elections. The petitioner then filed an urgent motion with the Comelec pray
ing that it (1) disseminate to all its agents and the general public the resolut
ion; and (2) order said election officials to delete the name of Melchor Chavez
as printed in the certified list of candidates, tally sheets, election returns a
nd "to count all votes cast for the disqualified Melchor, Chavez in favor of Fra
ncisco I. Chavez . . . ."
May 8, 1992 - Comelec issued a resolution which resolved to delete the name of M
elchor Chavez from the list of qualified candidates. However, it failed to order
the crediting of all "Chavez" votes in favor of petitioner as well as the cance
llation of Melchor Chavez name in the list of qualified candidates. On Election
Day, Melchor Chavez remained undeleted in the list of qualified candidates. Comm
issioner Rama issued a directive over the radio and TV ordering that all “Chavez
” votes be credited to the petitioner however it did not reach all the precincts

Petitioner claims that the Comelec failed to perform its mandatory function unde
r Sec. 7, RA 7166 which states that if a candidate has been disqualified, it sha
ll be the duty of the Commission to instruct without delay the deletion of the n
ame of said candidate.
Confusion arose as the "Chavez" votes were either declared stray or invalidated
by the Boards of Election Inspectors (BEIs).As a result, "Chavez" votes were not
credited in favor of petitioner.
May 12, 1992 - Comelec issued another Resolution directing all municipal and cit
y election registrars throughout the country to examine the minutes of voting su
bmitted by the BEIs and to credit all the "Chavez" votes, which have been declar
ed stray or invalidated by the BEIs, in favor of petitioner.
Petitioner maintains that the said resolution proved futile because it did not r
each all the various BEIs throughout the country on time for implementation and
that the minutes of voting did not indicate the number of "Chavez" votes which w
ere declared stray or invalidated.
May 23, 1992, petitioner filed an urgent petition before the respondent Comelec
praying the latter to (1) implement its May 12, 1992 resolution with costs de of
ficio; (2) to re-open the ballot boxes to scan for the "Chavez" votes for purpos
es of crediting the same in his favor; (3) make the appropriate entries in the e
lection returns/certificates of canvass; and (4) to suspend the proclamation of
the 24 winning candidates.
Dissatisfied with the failure of respondent Comelec to act on his petition, peti
tioner filed this urgent petition for prohibition and mandamus, with prayer for
the issuance of a TRO, enjoining the Comelec from proclaiming the 24th highest s
enatorial candidate, without first implementing Comelec s resolution of May 12,
1992 and acting upon petitioner s letter/complaint dated May 14, 1992 and urgent
petition dated May 22, 1992. Petitioner alleges that respondent Comelec acted c
apriciously and whimsically and with grave abuse of discretion.
June 8, 1992, Sen Agapito Aquino prayed for the dismissal of the instant petitio
n on the ground that the law does not allow pre-proclamation controversy involvi
ng the election of members of the Senate.
ISSUE: WON SC has jurisdiction over the case
HELD:
1. Jurisdiction
- The alleged inaction of Comelec in ordering the deletion of Melchor Chavez s n
ame in the list of qualified candidates does not call for the exercise of the Co
urt s function of judicial review. The Court can review the decisions or orders
of the Comelec only in cases of grave abuse of discretion committed by it in the
discharge of its quasi-judicial powers and not those arising from the exercise
of its administrative functions.
Comelec can administratively undo what it has administratively left undone. Come
lec has ordered the deletion of Melchor Chavez s name not only on the official l
ist of candidates, but also on the election returns, tally sheet and certificate
of canvass. Hence, petitioner s allegation that respondent Comelec failed to im
plement the resolutions does not hold water.
Petitioner has no cause of action, the controversy being in the nature of a pre-
proclamation. While the Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over pre-proclamat
ion controversies involving local elective officials, such are not allowed in el
ections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of Repres
entatives.
Sec. 15 of Republic Act 7166 provides:
"Sec. 15. Pre-proclamation Cases Not Allowed in Elections for President, Vice-Pr
esident, Senator, and Member of the House of Representatives. - For purposes of
the elections for President, Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of
Representatives, no pre-proclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating
to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the elect
ion returns or the certificate of canvass, as the case may be. However, this doe
s not preclude the authority of the appropriate canvassing body motu propio or u
pon written complaint of an interested person to correct manifest errors in the
certificate of canvass or election returns before it.
xxx xxx xxx
"Any objection on the election returns before the city or municipal board of can
vassers, or on the municipal certificates of canvass before the provincial board
s of canvassers or district board of canvassers in Metro Manila Area, shall be s
pecifically noted in the minutes of their respective proceedings."
What is allowed is the correction of "manifest errors in the certificate of canv
ass or election returns." To be manifest, the errors must appear on the face of
the certificates of canvass or election returns sought to be corrected and/or ob
jections thereto must have been made before the board of canvassers and specific
ally noted in the minutes of their respective proceedings.
The petitioner s prayer does not call for the correction of "manifest error s in
the certificates of canvass or election returns" before the Comelec but for the
re-opening of the ballot boxes and appreciation of the ballots contained therei
n. He has not even pointed to any "manifest error" in the certificates of canvas
s or election returns he desires to be rectified. There being none, the proper r
ecourse is to file a regular election protest which exclusively pertains to the
Senate Electoral Tribunal.
The word "sole" underscores the exclusivity of the Tribunals jurisdiction over
election contests relating to their respective Members is therefore the Court ha
s no jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition. It is the Senate Electoral
Tribunal which has exclusive jurisdiction to act on the complaint of petitioner
involving, as it does, contest relating to the election of a member of the Senat
e. Petitioner s proper recourse is to file a regular election protest before the
Senate Electoral Tribunal after the winning senatorial candidates have been pro
claimed.
Petitioner argues that a recount before the Senate Electoral Tribunal would forc
e him to shell out the expenses imposes not only a property requirement for the
enjoyment of the right to be voted upon but also a price on the right of suffrag
e which would ultimately stifle the sovereign will.
The law is very clear on the matter and it is not right for petitioner to ask th
is Court to abandon settled jurisprudence, engage in judicial legislation, amend
the Constitution and alter the Omnibus Election Code. The mandatory procedures
laid down by the existing law in cases like the one at bar must be faithfully fo
llowed. The proper recourse is for petitioner to ask not this Court but the Legi
slature to enact remedial measures.
- Sanchez v. Commission on Elections: "… (1) Errors in the appreciation of ballo
ts by the board of inspectors are proper subject for election protest and not fo
r recount or reappreciation of ballots. (2) The appreciation of ballots is not p
art of the proceedings of the board of canvassers. The function of ballots appre
ciation is performed by the board election inspectors at the precinct level. (3)
The scope of pre-proclamation controversy is limited to the issues enumerated u
nder Sec. 243 OEC. The complete election returns whose authenticity is not in qu
estion, must be prima facie considered valid for the purpose of canvassing the s
ame and proclamation of the winning candidates.
"The ground for recount relied upon by Sanchez is clearly not among the issues t
hat may be raised in pre-proclamation controversy. His allegation of invalidatio
n of "Sanchez" votes intended for him bear no relation to the correctness and au
thenticity of the election returns canvassed. Neither the Constitution nor statu
te has granted the Comelec or the board of canvassers the power in the canvass o
f election returns to look beyond the face thereof, once satisfied of their auth
enticity (Abes v. Comelec, 21 SCRA 1252, 1256)."
Petitioner has not demonstrated any manifest error in the certificates of canvas
s or election returns before the Comelec which would warrant their correction.
Decision Premises considered, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the instant petitio
n for lack of merit.
Narvasa, (C.J.), Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Padilla, Griño-Aquino,
Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon and Bellosillo, JJ., concur.
Notes Pre-proclamation controversy is defined as "any question pertaining to o
r affecting the proceedings of the board of canvassers which may be raised by an
y candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of political parti
es before the board or directly with the Commission, or any matter raised under
Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the preparation, transmission, rec
eipt, custody and appreciation of the election returns." [Sec. 241, Omnibus Elec
tion Code).