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ELECTIONS LAW TRANSCRIPT A: COMELEC does have the power to reshuffle.

Note that no
Atty. Agra election officer can stay in one place for 4 years.
However, non-lawyers are generally not allowed.
SESSION 1 In the provincial level, as well as cities and capital towns, only
lawyers would be allowed.
Q: The President appoints you (a law student, 23 years old) Generally, in other towns, officers should also be lawyers.
as acting COMELEC commissioner. Are you qualified? HOWEVER, if there are no members of the lawyers available
for appointment as election registrar, graduates of duly
A: NO, I am not qualified under the Constitution. I have to be recognized schools of law, liberal arts, education or business
at least 35 years old. Also, there can be no acting or temporary administration who possess the appropriate civil service
COMELEC commissioner. eligibility may be appointed to said position.

Q: The COMELEC Chairman transfers one head to Q: COMELEC ruled that you are not a resident of your
another department & the COMELEC Chariman files a locality and you cannot vote.
petition to SC without the consent of COMELEC en banc.
A: This is NOT allowed because COMELEC cannot rule on the
A: For the transfer, what the COMELEC Chairman did is right to vote or that you are not a resident of your locality,
allowed. What he did was administrative in nature. SC has said based on the Constitution.
that the COMELEC chairman is the head of agency over
administrative concerns. Q: COMELEC issues resolution providing for appeals of
For the petition, this cannot be done. This would stem from a MTC over suffrage issues, particularly, whether or not
decision of COMELEC en banc, which is quasi-judicial in voters are to be included/excluded in the Voter’s Lists. Also,
nature. Thus, COMELEC en banc should have concurred first. COMELEC authorizes itself to file, on its own, inclusion/
exclusion cases.
Q: COMELEC plans to reshuffle regional officers and
appoint non-lawyers as provincial election supervisors. A: With regard to filing its own inclusion and exclusion,
COMELEC’s power to file cases motu propio is provided for in
the Constitution, thus it may have jurisdiction to file cases

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involving inclusion/exclusion. However, COMELEC has no A: NO. COMELEC has the power to do this; this is
original or appellate jurisdiction but they have no appellate constitutional and statutory. However, it would not be allowed
jurisdiction over cases involving suffrage; thus it would not be if it were unreasonable. Note that COMELEC cannot be
empowered to provide for appeals of MTC decisions which straightjacketed by procedural rules.
involve suffrage.
Q: COMELEC Resolution issues a resolution stating that
Q: COMELEC calls for general system of registration; it all parties must file at COMELEC division level at first
decided that the application for registration would not be instance, in ALL CASES. Is that valid?
done daily.
A: NO. If it’s an administrative case, the case will fall under
A: On the issue of not making the registration daily, the jurisdiction of COMELEC en banc. Where COMELEC is
COMELEC is required to make the registration daily; thus, this exercising its quasi-judicial functions, then the case first is filed
is not allowed. Under RA 8489 it should be a CONTINUING in COMELEC division.
SYSTEM; and COMELEC must allow applications to be
received on DAILY BASIS. Q: COMELEC used its savings to budget recall elections
because its annual budget was insufficient. Valid?
Q: COMELEC will not allow those without bio datas to
vote. A: Yes. First, COMELEC enjoys fiscal autonomy. Second,
recall need not have supplementary legislation, because recall
A: COMELEC can do this. There is a Biometrics law which is the constitutional mandate of COMELEC. This has been
COMELEC follows. Furthermore, Biometrics give us HOPE— affirmed by case law.
honest, orderly, and peaceful elections.
Q: COMELEC, in allocating seats for the party list system,
Q: COMELEC advances a decision to the en banc for MR declares that its resolution is not subject for judicial review,
in 5 days. The candidate says this period is too short. Is the and that its factual findings are final and not reviewable. Is
candidate correct? this a valid pronouncement?

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A: The “not subject to judicial review” portion is not a valid
pronouncement. All resolutions of COMELEC are subject to A: YES. As a general rule, it is the COMELEC division has
review. Administrative agencies cannot divest the SC of its jurisdiction over ALL disqualification cases against candidates,
constitutional power. prior to proclamation.
As for the factual findings, though the general rule is that After proclamation, however, it will depend on the position
findings of fact of administrative agencies are conclusive, there involved. Here, it is PET that would have jurisdiction.
are still exceptions, such as when there is grave abuse of In relation to COMELEC’s jurisdiction, one must take note of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. three assumptions:
1) There has been a proclamation, which must be valid;
Q: RTC takes cognizance of an election protest against city 2) The official has taken his oath; &
and municipal mayors. 3) The official started to assume office already (June 30,
12 noon).
A: RTC has only appellate jurisdiction over cases involving When these three assumptions have taken place in relation to
municipal mayors, as provided in the Constitution. But positions such as the President, Vice President and Senators,
COMELEC has NO jurisdiction over city mayors. COMELEC is already divested of jurisdiction.

Q: RTC takes cognizance of plebiscite protest case. Q: COMELEC division ruled on an issue of postponement
Plebiscite is initiative or referendum. and issued a subpoena, contempt, search warrant on a
postponement case.
A: This is NOT allowed under the Constitution. COMELEC A: First, COMELEC division had no jurisdiction because issue
has exclusive jurisdiction over plebiscites, among others of postponement is administrative
(elections, plebiscites, initiative, referendum and recall). RTC Second, contempt powers are only judicial. COMELEC en
cannot assume this. banc has contempt powers ONLY appellate jurisdiction over a
judicial case from a lower court. Otherwise, it does not.
Q: Presidential candidate questions jurisdiction of Third, as for the subpoena, the law provides no qualifications;
COMELEC over disqualification case against him because COMELEC can do it.
PET has jurisdiction. Is it true that ALL disqualification Fourth, for the search warrants, COMELEC can do it because
cases prior to proclamation are cognizable by COMELEC? it is expressly provided for in the law.

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A: Voting/casting CAN be ballot-less. But the consolidation of
Q: President pardons former President Erap without results has to be papered.
favorable COMELEC recommendation. The Automated Elections Law states that COMELEC can
provide for a system of voting provided there is secrecy. But
A: VALID because pardon was not in relation to election for consolidation/canvassing, it cannot be done in secret &
offense. there must be a paper trail.

Q: COMELEC denies application of Iglesia ni Kristo as Q: What kind of paper will be used by COMELEC?
political party.
A: 30 copies of election forms will be printed.
A: This is valid, because religious groups not allowed as
political parties. Q: What should we expect to get from COMELEC early
April this year?
Q: In the situation above, how about if they are just
INSPIRED by the teachings? A: The COMELEC should send the unfilled official sample
ballots to all of us.
A: This is allowed; the political party will be validly formed.
Q: President withholds approval of COMELEC
Q: COMELEC did not receive COC of Mayor Duterte deputization of AFP for elections.
since it believes substitution is invalid.
A: VALID. COMELEC cannot deputize without President’s
A: COMELEC must receive the COC. The duty of COMELEC concurrence, as provided by the Constitution.
with regard to the COC is ministerial and not discretionary. It
CAN CANCEL later on. Q: CONGRESS mandates a two-party system.

Q: Can COMELEC provide for paperless, ballotless and A: Congress CANNOT. There must be a FREE AND OPEN
paperless consolidation of results? party system.

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SESSION 2 because what is involved here is not the exercise of right to
vote.
Q: RTC convicts a person based on a presidential decree
that criminalizes failure to register and failure to vote. Q: COMELEC in a resolution declared that urban poor
settlers or those residing in overpasses are not eligible to
A: Suffrage and registration are rights, not obligations. During vote in that area.
the Martial Law era, it was an obligation to vote. Now, the right
to vote is found in the Constitution, therefore the PD is A: Not allowed. Under the 1987 Constitution, no literacy or
unconstitutional. property requirement shall be imposed on the right of suffrage.
Moreover, residency requirement refers only to physical, not
Q: Can Congress alter the list of qualification of voters? legal, presence. As long as you are physically residing in that
area for the required amount of time, you can vote.
A: No. The list of qualifications under the 1987 Constitution is
exclusive. Q: How many members are there in the Election
Registration Board?
Q: When is the reckoning period for qualifications?
A: 3.
A: On the election day itself.
Q: ERB denies an application filed on October 1, 2015 on
Q: COMELEC can ban a person from voting and from the ground that an applicant was not of age.
vying for elective office if she does not possess the
qualifications for voting. A: Whether or not this is allowed will depend on whether the
applicant would have met the age requirement on the election
A: With regard to voting, the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to date itself.
rule on one’s qualifications with regard to the right to vote.
With regard to running for elective office, COMELEC has Q: Right to register vs. the right to vote.
jurisdiction to question the qualifications of the candidate

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A: Right to vote is under the Constitution, provided the A: Constitutional, because what happened here was not a prior
requirements are met. Right to register is statutory, and can be requirement to be qualified. It was a supervening event that
availed of even if you do not have the qualifications yet for as happened later on that rendered you disqualified.
long as you meet them on the day of election itself.
Q: Born here, naturalized in States, COMELEC says you
Q: Imelda Marcos applied for voter’s registration in must renounce your citizenship in order to exercise right to
Tacloban. She was born in Tacloban, married an Ilocos vote.
Norte domiciliary, and resided in Metro Manila for 20
years. ERB Tacloban denied her application. A: COMELEC is wrong. Under the Citizenship Re-acquisition
Act, in order to vote you must
A: ERB was not correct. Imelda can register in Tacloban as this 1) Take the oath of allegiance to Philippines, and
is her domicile of birth/origin, provided that she has not 2) Register.
abandoned her domicile. For domicile of origin, actual There is no need to expressly renounce citizenship.
residency does not have to be proven. She can also be
registered in Ilocos Norte, provided that she has abandoned her Q: Filipino who has a Green Card in the States (permanent
domicile of origin because according to Civil Code, you can resident) cannot be allowed to vote.
have your husband’s domicile. She can also be a registered
voter in Manila because she has lived there for more than 6 A: False. Under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act, the Filipino
months as required by the Constitution. can vote provided that:
1) He executes an affidavit that he will resume actual,
Q: Congress passes a law that disqualifies persons physical, permanent residency (APPR) in the
convicted by final judgment where imprisonment is more Philippines within 3 years,
than 1 year. A voter alleges that this is a substantive 2) He actually returns, and
qualification disguised as a disqualification provided by 3) He does not acquire another foreign citizenship.
law.
Q: Dual citizens who have not established residence here
cannot vote.

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A: False. No affidavit to return is needed (this is only needed ERB, and 3) the application is included in the Book of Voters.
for permanent residents abroad). Moreover according to Second, Application must be filed not before COMELEC
jurisprudence, dual citizens are most likely non-residents and Division, but before the ERB. The COMELEC, whether
so this requirement cannot be imposed on them. Division or En Banc, has no jurisdiction to decide on matters
involving suffrage.
Q: The List of Voters and Book of Voters are one and the
same thing. Q: You would rather that your friend was in the Cancelled
List than in the Deactivated List.
A: The List of Voters refers to the enumeration of names of all
registered voters in a precinct duly certified by the ERB for use A: No! Those in the cancelled list are dead. The following are
in the election. It contains the precincts, voters, and their grounds to be placed in the deactivated list: 1) disqualified to
addresses. The Book of voters refers to the compilation of all vote, 2) excluded from the list by the Court, 3) failed to vote in
registration records in a precinct. Contains all the application the 2 previous national elections, 4) loss of citizenship, 5) no
forms of the voters. (200 application forms because 200 voters biometrics (as per Biometrics Law).
per precincts)
Q: Failure to vote in two preceding elections is argued to be
Q: Aside from the No Bio No Boto, COMELEC adopts No unconstitutional as it imposes a substantive requirement.
Voter’s Registration ID, No Boto.
A: Constitutional, because a ground for deactivation does not
A: Not allowed, because two things can provide that you are a amount to a substantive requirement. It is only procedural.
voter in that precinct: 1) biometrics, and 2) list of voters. Besides, he can apply for reactivation.

Q: COMELEC defines registration as the application Q: Seafarers or OFWs can vote for local positions.
before a COMELEC Division. COMELEC also allows motu
propio filing. A: It depends. If they are in the Philippines on day of elections,
they can vote for local positions. If abroad at the day of
A: Not allowed. First, registration as defined by RA 8189 elections, they can only vote for President, Vice-President,
refers to the filing of 1) sworn application, 2) upon approval of Senators, and Party-list Representatives.

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Q: Petition for exclusion was filed before RTC on the
Q: COMELEC issues a Resolution saying that the list of ground that the application for registration was denied.
voters is permanent, and that no changes can be made.
A: RTC has no original jurisdiction, only appellate jurisdiction,
A: List of voters can be made permanent BUT changes must be over inclusion/exclusion cases. Also, what should have been
allowed, for example, for addition/subtraction of voters, filed before the MTC was a petition for inclusion.
inclusion/exclusion of voters, etc.
Q: The Supreme Court is the third level of review of
Q: Subtraction of 200 voters in one decision. Possible? inclusion cases.

A: Yes. Annulment of Book Voters. A: No. Under RA 8189, the SC is the second level of review
(first level is RTC) and only in cases involving pure questions
Q: Petition for inclusion on the ground of failure to register. of law. If it is a mixed question of law and fact, go to the Court
of Appeals (it is only in this case that the SC is the third level
A: Not allowed. According to statute, a petition for inclusion of review).
can only be filed on the grounds of
1) Name is stricken out of list, or Q: Presidential candidate challenges the constitutionality of
2) Application is disapproved. the statutory power of COMELEC to annul the Book of
Voters, since this amounts to ruling on the right to suffrage.
Q: MTC judge renders a decision on an exclusion cased on
the ground of lack of residency, based solely on non- A: Not correct. The following are the grounds to annul the
appearance of an applicant. Book of Voters:
1) Preparation was attended by vice or fraud,
A: Not correct. Non-appearance is prima facie evidence of 2) Improper preparation of the Book, and
applicant being fictitious. Residency is not established by non- 3) Contains statistically improbable data (not VOTERS,
appearance in trial. because COMELEC has no).
These grounds are procedural and have no bearing on
substantive requirements of voters.

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pursuant to the Nicolas-Lewis case, she has reacquired her
SESSION 3 national-born status.

Q: Representatives of the House of Representatives are If not qualified: Grace Poe is not a natural-born citizen. She is a
national officials. foundling, and the 1987 Constitution is silent on the citizenship
of foundlings. Moreover, she has been using her American
A: Not necessarily. District representatives are national passport.
officials, locally elected. Party-list representatives are national
officials, nationally elected. Q: Congress can require that a voter and a candidate for all
elected officers must be literate.
Q: On May 9, 2016, all elected positions will be filled up.
A: For national candidates, it is true because under the 1987
A: For the first time, ARMM elections will be synchronized Constitution must be able to read and write. For local
with national elections. This does not include 12 of the candidates, it is also true because their qualifications are
Senators, and the Barangay Officials. provided by law. However, for voters, no literacy requirement
shall be imposed on the right to vote.
Q: Are all qualifications found for elective officials in the
Constitution? Q: All candidates must be natural-born citizens, and must
be above 23 years of age on election day.
A: No. For local positions, the qualifications are provided for
by Statute. This means that Congress can add/subtract A: False. For national and ARMM officials, they must be
qualifications for them, pursuant to its plenary powers. natural-born. This is not required for other local officials. As
for age requirement, 21 for governor. vice governor, mayor,
Q: Grace Poe is ______ (defend your answer). vice mayor, barangay SK requirement is 18 to 24. (See Agra
Matrix)
A: If qualified: Grace Poe is a natural-born citizen, as
foundlings are entitled to a citizenship (social justice).
Moreover, Grace Poe renounced her foreign citizenship and

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Q: Congress amends the LGC and provides that the Q: For the elections of the President and Vice President, the
provincial governor must be a college graduate, an winner must obtain majority votes. If not, there will be run
appointee of the President, for a 4 year term. off elections between the two.

A: For the college graduate requirement, it is allowed because A: The Philippines does not follow majority system, but rather
qualifications are provided by statute. a plurality system (highest number of votes). There are three
For the appointive requirement, it is also allowed because accepted formulae in the world: plurality, majority, and
Congress can determine who are the elected or appointed local proportional representation.
officials.
For the term requirement, IT DEPENDS. If appointive, then it Q: Senators can be elected using electoral colleges, like the
is allowed. But for locally elected officials, there is a 3-year system in the U.S.
term limit provided by the Constitution.
A: Not allowed. Senators are elected at large. This means they
Q: The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act provides that are elected by registered voters nationally. The top 12 senators
all candidates for office, whether appointive or elective, will win.
shall undergo mandatory drug test.
Q: A vote for the Chief Executive at the national and local
A: For nationally elected positions, this is not allowed because levels is a vote for the Vice Chief Executive.
the Constitution provides an exclusive list of qualifications.
However, for locally elected positions, a mandatory drug test A: This is only true for the ARMM.
can be allowed. However, it might be argued to violate the right
to privacy. Q: A person who became a district representative in 2009
brought about by special elections due to the death of the
Q: All mayors must be lawyers. former district representative. He ran and won in 2010, and
in 2013 as well. Can he run for the 2016 elections?
A: The Constitution is silent on the matter. But this might be
unreasonable. A: No. For national officials, serving an unexpired term is
considered a term because term is fixed by law, as opposed to

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tenure. For local officials, however, jurisprudence says that you regional parties. For the sectoral parties, majority presence is
must serve the full three years to be considered as having not required (no track record necessary).
served a term. For the second part, under case law, the list of sectors provided
by law is not exclusive (e.g., case law on LGBT).
Q: Congress can provide a party list system in electing city
councilors. Q: You can represent the differently-abled sector.

A: Yes, the Congress can change the system of electing city A: Allowed. There are two kinds of membership for party lists:
councilors from plurality to proportional representation, organic and synthetic. For as long as I have a proven track
because the election of local officials is provided by statute. record in advocating for the special interests of that sector
(synthetic), even if I am not an actual member of said sector
Q: There are 55 party list seats in 2016. (organic).

A: False. First, the number of district representatives this 2016 Q: A party-list organization registered in 2009, but did not
will be 235. Second, according to the formula for the number participate in the 2010 elections and failed to get 2% in the
of part list seats [(number of district rep seats/0.80)*0.20], 2013 elections. Can it participate in 2016?
there should be 58.75, or rounding up, 59 party list seats. (no
round off rule is only for the actual allocation of seats to A: The party can run. The grounds for disqualification are
nominees) separate. One is not participating in the past two preceding
elections. The other is failing to get 2% of the votes in the past
Q: All parties participating under the party-list system two preceding elections. Under case law, you cannot combine
must have a constituency in the majority of local the grounds.
governments and must represent any of the sectors
enumerated. Q: A party list organization which obtains 10% of the
second vote shall be entitled to 5 seats.
A: Both false. For the first part, there are three kinds of parties:
national, regional, and sectoral parties. Majority presence A: False. Under the law, a party list organization can only
(based on track record) is only required for the national and obtain up to 3 seats maximum.

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!
A: Suffrage is a constitutional right. Seeking elective office is a
Q: 3 party list organizations can have 3 seats each, and a privilege that may be limited by law (it is not an enforceable
party which obtains less than 2% votes is not entitled to a right).
seat.
Q: I can run for President, Governor, and Party-List
A: For the first part, under case law only one party can have 3 Representative at the same time.
seats. For the second part, under case law again, even if the
party list organization received less than 2% votes, can be A: No. According to the Omnibus Election Code, a candidate
entitled to one of the “additional seats.” In that case, it was can only run for one office. Otherwise, if he runs for more than
decided that the 2% minimum, with regard to the additional one office, he will not be eligible for any of positions, unless he
seats, is unconstitutional as this prevented all the seats from withdraws the other filings for candidacy before the end of the
being filled up contrary to the principle under the party list period for filing of Certificate of Candidacy.
system of obtaining the broadest representation.
Q: Mayor Duterte and Rep. Abby Binay are still the Davao
Q: Does the 3 term limit for district representatives apply Mayor and Rep of Makati, respectively.
to nominees? Argument: We are not electing the nominees,
but the parties. A: Yes. According to case law, elective officials who run for
office are not ipso facto resigned from their posts. Sec. 67 of
A: Yes. According to case law, we are indirectly choosing the the OEC has already been expressly repealed.
nominees through the parties. So the three term limit must
apply to them as well. Q: DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya can still run for Governor
of Cavite in the May 2016 elections.
SESSION 4 + 5
A: Abaya can still run, provided that: 1) he substitutes a
Q: Suffrage and seeking elective office are both candidate, 2) and the original candidate belongs to the same
constitutional rights. political party, and 3) the original candidate either died or is
disqualified (can no longer substitute if withdrawal because the
deadline for that was last December)

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candidacy, and 2) has not died, withdrawn, or been disqualified
Q: A woman candidate is married. What name will appear before campaign period has started.
on the ballot?
Q: The enumeration of entries for a certificate of a
A: The woman has three options (assuming it complies with candidacy under Section 74 of OEC, and Section 4 of
the 30-character limit: COMELEC Resolution No. 9984 are all material entries.
1) Maiden name, name (political party’s acronym)
2) Spouse’s last name, name (political party’s acronym), A: No. Material representation refers only to the qualifications
and and disqualifications of a candidate. Only citizenship,
3) Spouse’s last name-maiden name, name (political residency, age, literacy, and being a registered voter are
party’s acronym). material. The other entries (i.e., profession, nickname, place of
birth) are merely formal.
Q: There are no candidates today (Feb. 11, 2016).
Q: Immediately after the filing of COCs, the person filing
A: False. While there are no locally-elected candidates today, can start asking people to vote for him.
there are nationally-elected candidates. Under OEC, a
candidate is one who A: No. There is an interim period between the final day of
1) Seeks public office, filing for COCs and the campaign period. In Penera v.
2) Files for a certificate of candidacy, and COMELEC, the Supreme Court reversed itself in a Motion for
3) Campaign period has started. Reconsideration and held that unlawful acts or omissions
As of Feb. 9, 2016 (90 days before elections), campaign period related to elections can only be committed at the start of the
has begun for national candidates. In short, there are national campaign period.
candidates, but no local candidates as of yet (campaign period
begins March 25, 2016 for them, or 45 days before election Q: A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate is the caption for all
day) disqualification cases.

*Note: Under COMELEC Resolution No. 10049, a candidate is


one who 1) seeks public office, 2) files for a certificate of

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A: No. A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate is filed only for: 1) A: Yes. Libel carries with it the ancillary penalty of deprivation
to question qualifications under Constitution or statute, and 2) of political rights. Therefore, X misrepresented that he had no
commission of an election offence. disqualification at the time of filing his certificate of candidacy.

There are other captions such as Petition to Deny Due Course/ Q: In a Petition to Disqualify a candidate on the ground of
Petition for Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy, filed only election offense, the COMELEC Division can determine
for material misrepresentation. probable cause.

Finally there is the Petition to Declare a Candidate a Nuisance A: Yes. For commission of an election offense, there are two
Candidate. options:
1) Electoral aspect: file for disqualification of a
Q: A Petition to Deny Due Course/Petition for Cancellation candidate, for which COMELEC Division has
of Certificate of Candidacy was the correct pleading to file jurisdiction at the first instance (not en banc because
against Grace Poe and Martin Diño. this is a quasi-judicial function), and
2) Criminal aspect: file an election offense case where
A: For Grace Poe, it is correct because she was alleged to have COMELEC En Banc can determine probably cause and
committed a material misrepresentation with regard to the file an information (because it is administrative).
length of her residency. For Martin Diño, it is incorrect as the
misrepresentation, which involved filing for both President and Q: A Filipino who acquired permanent residency in the US
Mayor of Pasay, was not material. in February 2014 can validly run in the forthcoming
elections for district representative.
Q: Candidate X is charged with libel. It carries with it the
penalty of deprivation of political rights. There is final A: NO. He is lacking in the residency requirement for district
judgment. In applying, he said he had no disqualification representative, which is 1 year.
though. A Petition to Cancel Certificate of Candidacy is
filed against X. Is this proper? Q: The use of a foreign passport does not necessarily
amount to a recantation/renunciation of the Oath of
Renunciation.

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Governors are continuing; the candidate must possess all
A: Yes. According to case law, the use of a foreign passport throughout his term.
after taking the Oath of Renunciation is proof of recantation of
said Oath. Q: Vote-buying and appointment of public officials
committed during the prohibited period are grounds to
Q: A candidate has been pardoned. In the dispositive disqualify a candidate cognizable by the COMELEC
portion of the pardon, it says that he is restored to all civil Division at the first instance.
and political rights, except the right to run for elective
office. A: Under Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, vote-
buying is cognizable by the COMELEC Division at the first
A: He will NOT be allowed to run for elective office anymore. instance. However, appointment of public officials during the
This scenario must be distinguished from ERAP’s case. For prohibited period is not a ground under Section 68, and so it is
Erap, when he was pardoned by GMA, the prohibition on cognizable by the RTC (file the Election Offense case with
running for elective office was found in the whereas clause, Law Division, & COMELEC en banc will file information;
and stated: Whereas, Joseph Ejercito Estrada has publicly RTC is the court which has jurisdiction).
committed to no longer seek any elective position or office.
The dispositive portion stated that he was restored to his civil Q: A Petition to Declare a Candidate a Nuisance Candidate
and political rights. Thus, it was ruled that Estrada was actually can be filed today (Feb. 11, 2016) on the grounds of lack of
restored his full rights, and could run for mayor of Manila. financial capital and poor health.

Q: The incumbent Governor of Laguna can run for Mayor A: No. While said grounds are valid, said petition can only be
of Parañaque in the 2016 elections. filed 5 days after the last day of filing for certificate of
candidacy.
A: This is allowed, if he transfers his voter’s registration.
However, he will give up his status as registered voter of Q: A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate can still be filed on
Laguna. Thus, he will be deemed resigned from his post as May 9, 2016.
Governor of Laguna, because the qualifications required of

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A: Yes. A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate can be filed any
time before proclamation. Q: Proclamation amounts to condonation of all liability for
offenses committed in the previous term.
Q: A common law wife who is not a lawyer who uses the last
name of her husband and misrepresents that she is a lawyer A: No. In the case of Carpio-Morales v. Binay, it was held that
can have her COC cancelled. regardless of the liability, whether criminal or administrative,
election is not a mode of condoning an offense.
A: No. In order for it to constitute material misrepresentation,
the following have to be present: 1) misrepresentation must be Q: I can file any of the petitions.
material (i.e., it refers to the qualifications of the candidate) 2)
deliberate intent to defraud, and 3) the candidate is NOT A: For the Petition to Disqualify on the ground of lack of
actually qualified. qualifications, yes. For Petition to Disqualify on the ground of
The last name of husband and profession are not “material” as commission of election offense, yes. For the Petition to Deny
they do not pertain to the qualifications. Due Course/Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy, yes. But
for the Petition to Declare a Candidate a Nuisance candidate
Q: A candidate for district representative claims she can can only be filed by a candidate running for the same office.
run because she will be a resident of Tacloban City for 7
months by election day. Q: Certificate of Candidacy can still be filed today, even on
May 9, 2016.
A: It depends if the candidate is actually qualified. What
matters is that you are actually qualified, not what you A: Yes, but only
represent on the certificate of candidacy. 1) In the case of substitution,
2) On the grounds of death or disqualification (NOT
Q: The proclamation of a candidate renders moot any withdrawal, because the last day for that was Dec. 10,
petition to disqualify him. 2016), and only up to the mid-day (12nn) of Election
Day.
A: No. According to case law (Gov. Ejercito of Laguna),
proclamation does not bar disqualification case.

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Q: Presidential candidate Señeres died two days ago. Can
he be substituted by anybody? A: It depends. The Supreme Court has made a distinction
between the two grounds for disqualifications:
A: He can only be substituted by a candidate who is 1) 1) lack of qualifications, and
qualified, and 2) in the same political party. 2) commission of an election offense. If the Petition was
filed on the first ground, the candidate can no longer be
Q: Binay, Roxas, Poe can be substituted by their respective substituted.
running mates. (Rationale: you were never qualified at all)
If the Petition was filed on the second ground, the candidate
A: Binay’s running mate is Honasan, who is also in the same can still be substituted. (Rationale: once upon a time you were
party as Binay (UNA). Thus, Binay can be substituted by qualified, but later due to a supervening fact, you were
Honasan. rendered disqualified)
Roxas can be substituted by Robredo, since they are from the
same party (LP). Q: A mayoralty candidate who withdraws his COC can
Poe is an independent candidate. There is no substitution for substitute a presidential candidate who also withdraws.
independent candidates. Also, the daughter of the mayoralty candidate can
substitute him.
Q: In the Diño case, there was a pending case before
COMELEC to declare him a nuisance candidate before he A: The rule (via COMELEC Resolution, THERE IS NO LAW)
withdrew his COC. Mayor Duterte can substitute for before was that a person who is substituted can no longer run
candidate Martin Diño. for any other position. This was since abrogated by
COMELEC. The mayoralty candidate can substitute the
A: Yes. If declared a nuisance with finality, substitution is not presidential candidate provided that 1) he is qualified, and 2)
allowed according to case law. In this case, the withdrawal belongs to the same political party. In the case of the daughter,
rendered the nuisance case moot. she can substitute provided 1) she is qualified, and 2) belongs
to the same political party.
Q: A candidate with a pending Disqualification case cannot
be substituted.

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Q: A candidate is nominated by two parties belonging to the
same coalition. Can he be substituted? SESSION 6

A: No, because according to COMELEC Resolution the Q: Mayor Olivarez can campaign at the start of the
candidate is considered an independent candidate. Independent campaign period (March 25, Good Friday) and a day
candidates cannot be substituted. before the campaign period.

Q: The Vice-Mayor becomes the Mayor when the latter was A: No to the day itself, yes to the day before. According to a
disqualified on two grounds: commission of an election COMELEC Resolution, candidates cannot campaign on Good
offense, and being a non-resident. Friday. However, prior to the campaign period, he can
campaign because according to the Pinera case, he is not a
A: It depends. If the grounds for disqualification is commission “candidate” before the campaigning period.
of an election offense, the rule on succession applies. However,
if the ground is lack of qualifications, case law says that the Q: Streamer that says “Happy Valentines” from a
Mayor was “never a candidate” and that the “second placer” in candidate. Is this a campaign material?
the elections is effectively the first placer. In the latter case, the
Vice Mayor cannot substitute. A: Yes. Election propaganda is defined as “any matter
broadcasted, published, printed, displayed, or exhibited, in any
Q: The Speaker of the House of Representatives can refuse medium, which contain the name, image, logo, brand, insignia,
to enter the name of the second placer in the roll of initials, and other symbols or graphic representation that is
members when the incumbent is declared ineligible. Should capable of being associated with a candidate or party, and
there be instead special elections? intended to draw attention of the public to promote or oppose
the election of a candidate.
A: No need to call for a special elections. If the ground is lack
of qualifications, the second placer is deemed to be the winner Q: Can a private person take down propaganda on his
in the elections. The duty to enter the names in the roll of own?
members is ministerial, and so the Speaker can be compelled
via mandamus.

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A: Yes, provided it is 1) contrary to public morals, libelous, 1) It was posted by a private individual,
illegal or subversive, and 2) COMELEC allows you to remove 2) These stickers were distributed prior to February 9,
them. 2016 (campaign period) because prior to that time, there
was no prohibition yet.
Q: Can MMDA remove a sign outside the Gesu that says
“Do not corrupt officials!!!”? Q: 3x8 campaign poster displayed outside your house along
the perimeter of your fence and public utility buses. The
A: No, because it is not election propaganda (it does not rules say that the poster size should be 2x3 feet. Is it
oppose or promote the election of a candidate). Moreover, it allowed outside your house? What can you display outside
would be contrary to the freedom of expression (Archdiocese your house, assuming it is out of your own initiative?
case — team patay, team buhay)
A: First, the candidate must have the permission of the private
Q: At a waiting shed and at a multipurpose hall, printed owners of the house. If it is the owner himself or if there is
paraphernalia was posted promoting local candidates. permission to put up campaign materials, there can be put up
8.5 x 14 ft. printed materials and 2x3 ft. posters on the fence;
A: Not allowed for the both the waiting shed and multipurpose anything beyond these are not allowed.
hall. They can only be posted at common posting places, and in
private property. They could be therefore penalized for Can you display campaign materials along the body of a PUV?
vandalism. Yes. A recent SC case ruled that buses can have campaign
materials displayed on their bodies.
Q: A sign says “DUTERTE: Atin to Pre!” Defend him
against a Petition to Disqualify. Can you display a 3x8 streamer on the side of a bus? No. The
3x8 poster size is allowed ONLY during rallies.
A: Size of stickers for stickers, comics, decals is 8.5in (width)
x 14in (length). It must contain the “4 inscriptions.” So is he Q: Non-removal of said posted outside the house or on the
guilty? bus can be the basis of a petition to deny due course/
cancellation of COC.
Defense:

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A: Wrong. It must be a petition to disqualify. However, the Q: A reelectionist mayor can give out basketballs with his
petition will not fly on the ground of non-removal of the poster. name this summer.
There is only a prima facie case against him, not conclusive
yet. The material must be removed 3 days after the notice from A: It depends. Based on the Pangkat Laguna case, it depends
election officer. Failure to remove creates a presumption of on the intent. If the intent is for governance, then it is allowed.
posting outside the common posting area. Moreover, not all acts of beneficence are considered as
campaigning.
Q: A 5x10 ft tarpaulin displayed 10 days before a lightning
rally. Q: Photo of sleeves, ballers, fans.

A: Not allowed. First, there must be a permit from the city or A: Fair Election Act expressly repealed prohibition under OEC
municipality. Second, you must inform the election officer 3 on sleeves ballers and fans. A candidate can use them.
working days prior to the rally. Third, it can only be posted 5 However, as per COMELEC Resolution 10049, the candidate
days before the rally and removed within 24 hours after the must file a petition, and publish that petition.
rally. Fourth, the tarpaulin must be 3x8 ft. Finally, all expenses
must be reported to election officer 7 days after the rally. Q: Along Ortigas you see signs that say “ADOPT GRACE
POE 2016” and “GRACE-CHIZ 2016” in the headquarters
Q: Volunteers gave free unreceipted drinks and food during of Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero.
the rally.
A: Now allowed two have three signages (unless 1) the
A: Food cannot be given 5 hours before and 5 hours after the candidate is not notified, or 2) before campaign period). You
rally. During? Not allowed as well. HOWEVER, since there can have one headquarters per province AND one per highly
are no receipts, it can be argued that it was donated to the urbanized city. The things you can post are:
candidate. The donation must be accepted by the candidate via a. posters (2x3)
written consent. Morover, the donation must be accounted for b. stickers (8.5x14)
by the candidate. c. one signboard (3x8).
BUT NOT RALLY STREAMERS.

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Q: “Ginhawa ay dama ng lahat, Jojo Binay” on television Q: President of Jollibee donated to a gubernatorial
candidate.
A: Not a proper TV ad. It should include notices like: “paid for
by…” or if it’s free. Said notices must be visible during the A: Not allowed. Corporation Code provides that corporations
entire duration of the commercial. It must also follow the color cannot donate to candidates. However, it is allowed if President
contrast rule. Defense would be that it aired prior to the date of did it in a private capacity.
effectivity of resolution.
Q: If Jollibee donated as a corporation, what can be a
Q: Newspaper that says “POLL: VOTERS SEE POE’S defense?
POSITIVES” that takes up the whole page.
A: Not for campaign purposes.
A: Allowed because it is not a campaign material. News items
are not covered. Q: Movie poster for “Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin” shows
Mayor Herbert Bautista.
Q: Last February 9, a full page ad was published decrying
Martial Law, showing Bongbong Marcos with his parents. A: Allowed, because the ban should start at campaign period
for local officials (March 25). Can it be shown on March 27
A: Bongbong has a cause of action. It is election propaganda, (Easter Sunday)? It depends. It can be shown that it’s privately
and so must follow the rule on ads. You have to put the shown. Public exhibition is what is prohibited.
inscriptions. He has the right to reply within 36 hours from the
first release. Must be same size, same page. Q: Will you advice Manny Pacquiao not to push through
with his boxing fight on April 9?
Q: Sample ballots can be distributed on election day.
A: No. The prohibition on boxing, beauty pageant, sports
No. Only during the campaign period, until May 7. Cannot be events, etc. is when it is 1) not a fundraiser and 2) not for
given on day of election, and eve of election. There is currently campaign purposes.
no size requirement for the sample ballots though.

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Q: Assuming that there are 57m voters nationwide and 50k
voters in Bulacan, a Presidential and Mayoralty candidate SESSION 7
for Bulacan who are both independent can spend P280m
and 185k respectively. Q: Failure to file the Statement of Contributions and
Expenditures will result in imprisonment and non-
A: No. President can spend P10 per voter (57m x 10 =570m), assumption into office.
Doesn’t matter that he’s independent. For local officials,
candidate can spend P3 per voter if nominated AND supported A: Imprisonment cannot be the penalty. Failure to file has been
by party, or P5 per voter for independent. decriminalized. As to non-assumption of office, perpetual
disqualification can be imposed only after the 2nd offense
Q: Said mayoralty candidate has no defense if she spent
P300k or claims that the P50k is donated by friends or Q: COMELEC Chairman can suspend elections for loss of
political party. electricity and late arrival of ballots and VCMs.

A: There are 3 expenses not : printing sample ballots, A: No. Only the COMELEC en banc can postpone elections,
photocopy and classify of voters, payment for counsel because 1) it is provided for by law, and 2) it is administrative
in nature. Assuming this is a COMELEC en banc, the grounds
Q: The president of the republic, an incumbent governor, invoked are allowed. Loss of electricity is force majeure, while
Filipino citizen naturalized in the US, public school teacher, late arrival of ballots and VCMs is an analogous circumstance
DPWH Bureau Chief … CAN campaign for Mar Roxas. to loss of election paraphernalia.
Which of them CANNOT campaign for Roxas?
Q: Firing of gunshots and violence can be the basis for
postponement or failure of elections.
A: Naturalized citizen cannot campaign (foreign citizen) Public school
teacher (government employee) DPWH Bureau Chief cannot campaign (as A: Postponement - can be the basis, provided it will render
they are covered by the Civil Service Commission) Secretaries CAN
campaign as an exception on appointive officials, because they are not impossible to have honest, open, peaceful elections and it must
covered by the Civil Service Commission. be serious violence; For failure, it must lead to failure of

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elections and it will materially affect the results of the election. the other party is 25 votes. Do you have standing to file a
The grounds should exist prior to proclamation. petition for failure of elections?

Q: Petition to declare Failure of elections for ALL elective A: Yes, provided that there are grounds, and only if it will
positions was filed by a mayoralty candidate on the ground materially affect the elections.
that she got 0 votes in 2 precincts.
Q: COMELEC en banc can motu propio declare a failure
A: By itself, it is not a ground for failure of elections. However, of elections and postponement of elections, and cause the
if coupled with force majeure, fraud, violence, terrorism, holding of special elections on the 60th day.
analogous circumstances, it can be a ground. Moreover, only
the two precincts will be affected. Finally, it must materially A: COMELEC en banc can motu propio declare postponement,
affect the outcome of the elections. but failure can only be through verified petition. Moreover, the
30-day period to hold special elections in statute is merely
Q: Transfer of venue of transmission of results from the directory.
VCM ordered by the Chair of the Board of Election
Inspectors can be the basis for the postponement of Q: A political organization registered with the SEC can
elections. field a poll watcher.

A: Decision must be unanimous by BEI and, favorable A: No. A political party must be registered with the COMELEC
recommendation from the majority of the watchers who are in order to appoint a poll watcher. The effect of being
present. Assuming these requirements were not followed, this registered with SEC is the acquisition of juridical personality
cannot be basis for postponement because the casting of votes and rights under the Corporation Code.
is done. However, it can be basis for failure of elections if any
of the grounds are present, AND it will materially affect the Q: The matter of the expulsion of a party member is
outcome of the elections. cognizable by the COMELEC en banc, not a COMELEC
division.
Q: 50 flying voters were allowed to vote and this was raised
during the canvassing by you as a pollwatcher. The lead by

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A:. Wrong. According to case law, it is an internal matter that is
not cognizable by the COMELEC. Exception: Qualification A: Discretion is limited as there are criteria: 1) track record in
made in case law: If the controversy affects matters external to elections, 2) ability to field a complete slate for all positions, 3)
the party, but also to the member’s election. number of incumbent elective officials,, 4) structure or
organized chapters, 5) capacity to campaign. Also, there must
Q: The determination of which 2 factions or wings of a be an application (cannot be motu propio)
political party is within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC
en banc. Q: Senator Grace Poe can deploy pollwatchers and they
can demand copies of the election returns.
A: Generally, this is an internal matter. Exception: when it will
involve the qualifications of the candidate. Since there are two A: Poe can have one poll watcher in every polling place
factions and under the law there can only be one nominee for because she is a candidate. She can appoint more than one in a
President coming from a party (otherwise they cannot field any given precinct, provided that only one can serve at a time. The
candidate), COMELEC can take cognizance. other 4 are alternates (it’s one way of buying voters though,
and it’s not vote buying because you’re paying them as
Q: There are “favored” parties, meaning some parties have pollwatchers) However, pollwatchers of an independent
more rights and privileges than others. candidate cannot demand copies of the election returns. If I
were counsel, I would advise her to align with any of the 14
A: There are “dominant” majority” and “dominant minority” favored parties (because not all of them have presidential
parties which have more rights. There are a total of 14 favored candidates).
parties. 10 major political parties, 2 major local parties, 1
dominant majority, 1 dominant minority. They can get 1) Q: You are from Bohol. Can you be a pollwatcher of
election returns, and certificates of canvass, and 2) the Makati?
pollwatchers of these 14 parties are the nearest to the teachers
counting the votes. A: No. Pollwatchers must be a qualified voter in the city or
municipality to be deployed in. (NO NEED TO BE
Q: COMELEC has wide discretion and can motu proprio REGISTERED IN LOCALITY WHERE YOU WILL SERVE)
determine which party is the dominant party. You must also have a good reputation, shall not have been

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convicted by final judgment for an election offense or other Q: The creation of the Council headed by the CICT and the
crime, can read and write in Filipino, English, Spanish or any Joint Congressional Oversight Committee encroaches upon
prevailing local dialect, and not related within the 4th degree of the jurisdiction of COMELEC.
consanguinity or affinity to the chairman or any member of the
board of election inspectors in the polling place. A: No to both. The Council (full name Advisory Council) is
only an advisory body, and is a mere observe in bids and
Q: You are a pollwatcher. The Chair of BEI can authorize awards committee. Also, the Oversight Committee merely
you to distribute the ballots and can also reject any ensures that the law is properly executed, and to review
challenge you make (i.e. he can just take note of it) amendments.

A: As a pollwatcher, distribution of ballots is not one of my Q: COMELEC can dispense with the use of paper ballots
rgiths and duties. However, the Chair of BEI can reject any and can automate from voting to proclamation.
challenge or protest I make. My right to challenge/protest
cannot be taken away. However, my right is merely to file said A: Yes, paper ballots can be dispensed with because according
protest, and that protest will be recorded in the proceedings. to the Automated Elections Law, COMELEC is given the
discretion to adopt either a paper based or direct recording
Q: Watchers have a say if the venue for counting will be electronic system. COMELEC however cannot automate until
transferred due to actual violence. proclamation. Only voting, counting, consolidating,
canvassing, and transmission of votes. Law excludes
A: Generally, must be unanimous by BEI and majority of the proclamation from the list.
watchers who are present. But this only applies when there is
“imminent danger”. If there is “actual violence”, then you don’t Q: You can be a member of the Board of Election
need to consult anymore. Inspectors and Board of Canvassers, providing service for
free.
SESSION 8
A: BEI - it depends. First, members must be public school
teachers. Second, if there are insufficient public school
teachers, then private school teachers, Third, if there are still

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insufficient numbers, then private citizens of good standing and
known probity can do it. Per diem = P1,000/day x 3 days. Q: The BEI can cause the arrest a voter who just entered
the polling place and at 12nn BEI Chair can announce that
BOC - No. Only the following officials can: you together with 20 other voters have not voted.
1. COMELEC
2. DOF/DOJ A: Arrest = BEI can only arrest if you interrupt and disturb the
3. Treasurer proceedings. You cannot be prevented from voting.
4. Prosecutor
5. Representative from Department of Education Announcement on voting = BEI Chair cannot do that because
Per diem = 10000 (fixed) they are prohibited from doing so. No status reports can be
given before the closing of elections.
Q: The BEI can campaign, not allow illegal voters to vote,
and not allow voters challenged for committing illegal acts Q: When you enter the polling place, what will happen?
to vote.
A:
A: BEI cannot engage in partisan political activity because 1) 1. Look for name.
they are members of the civil service, and 2) expressly 2. Look for precinct.
prohibited by law. 3. Approach the BEI, give the paper they gave you at
registration.
Illegal voters are those who are not registered, using another 4. BEI will check your fingerprint.
name, disqualified, multiple registrants. They can be allowed to 5. BEI will announce your name (to see if there’s a
vote, provided that 1) they are properly identified, and 2) the challenge)
BEI allows them to vote. 6. If no challenge, or challenge was just noted, BEI Chair
will give you the folded ballot
Illegal acts are vote-buying, vote-selling, vote-betting, 7. Vote (to avoid cheating, there is a Ballot Secrecy
promising or inducing to withhold vote. They can be allowed to Folder)
vote, provided that they take an oath that they did not commit
the act.

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8. If you tore the ballot, can you be given another one? It Excess ballots – Theoretically, it still matters. For example, it is
depends. If intentional, no. If accidental, yes (spoiled possible that the teachers feed 10 extra ballots in excess of the
ballot) but only once. actual number of voters.
9. After voting, go to BEI and then feed your ballot into
the box Marked ballots – Theoretically, it still matters. Depending on
10. Thumbmark on election record the marking, it may or may not be read.
11. Indelible ink on your right forefinger
12. You must leave, cannot linger Stray votes – No, it will not matter.

Q: As a poll watcher, what will you do if you see a police Unused ballots – There shouldn’t be any unused ballots
officer, candidate, and mayor in a polling place. because not everyone will vote.

A: All three are allowed only when they are supposed to vote, Rules of appreciation of ballots – This will not matter, because
voting, or just voted. Otherwise, they are not allowed to stay the voters no longer write the names on the ballots; everything
inside the premises. is printed for them.
Exception: police officers can stay inside if there is ACTUAL
disturbance. Q: COMELEC refuses to issue voting receipts to voters.
Exception: police officers can stay 30m away if there is an
IMMINENT threat. A: COMELEC should issue voting receipts to voters because
under the law, it is one of the minimum system capabilities.
Q: The provisions on spoiled ballots, excess ballots, marked Therefore, they are obliged.
ballots, etc. are still relevant in an automated election.
Q: COMELEC can lease from SMARTMATIC, a foreign
A: Depends on the type of ballot. corporation, VCMs and allow our elections to be automated
by said corporation.
Spoiled ballots – Yes, the provisions are still relevant. When
there is accidental tearing, a voter is given another one.

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A: Lease is allowed. Under the Automated Elections Law, they can be denied access; only accredited political parties and
COMELEC can purchase, lease, or rent from local or foreign deputized citizens’ arm can observe. There is no mention of
sources. independent candidates.
Would the purchase be an abdication of COMELEC’s power?
No, because COMELEC would still have the power of control Q: Only the national printing office can print ballots.
and supervision over SMARTMATIC. Additionally, in a clustered precinct with a max number of
voters allowed, 700 ballots are allotted.
Q: The source code, VCM, CCS, and EMS refer to the same
thing. A: No. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can also print ballots. If the
government resources are not sufficient, can be delegated to
A: VCM = vote counting machine; this is where you put in private parties.
your ballot. It scans the ballot, counts votes, and transmits to As per COMELEC Resolution, one cluster precinct can have a
CCS. maximum 800 voters. (Same number voters + 3, or a total of
CCS = consolidated canvassing system; receives data from 803) ballots are allotted for that clustered precinct.
VCMs
EMS = election management system Q: A canvassing center, a polling center, and a precinct are
Source Code = software the same.
VCM, CCS, and EMS must all have source codes.
A: Generally, canvassing center is the same as a polling center.
Q: COMELEC denies request of Grace Poe for her However, a canvassing center can be different from a polling
representative to examine the source code and ballot center. You count the votes elsewhere if there is imminent
printing. danger, unanimous decision of BEI and majority of poll
watchers agree). A precinct is unit of voting (NOT A
A: For source code, COMELEC Resolution 9987 says PHYSICAL PLACE/BUILDING).
candidates are not allowed to view them. However, the
Automated Election Law expressly provides that COMELEC Q: COMELEC arranges the names of the candidates and
cannot deny because any representative of a political party or the party-list organizations on the ballots based on lottery.
candidate (independents are also allowed). For ballot printing,

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A: For the candidates, the list must be in alphabetical order. For
the party-list organizations, COMELEC has discretion to Q: COMELEC has absolute discretion under the
arrange it through lottery or alphabetical order. Rule is different Automated Election Law to provide for the counting
for candidates (natural persons) from party-list (organizations) procedure.
because the law says “alphabetical order applies to surnames”
and organizations do not have surnames. A: COMELEC has broad discretion, not absolute discretion.
What are the requirements which cannot be dispensed with?
Q: COMELEC denies the substitution of Seneres because 1. It must still be secret
the substitute does not bear the same surname as Seneres. 2. The results must be electronically stored in data storage
devices
A: Under RA 9006, it is NOT required that the substitute has 3. There should be 30 copies of election returns,
the same surname. If you have the same surname, the votes of 4. Must be transmitted
the original will be counted for the substitute. If you do NOT
have the same surname, the votes will NOT be counted. Q: Failure to sign the election return by the BEI, or failure
to sign the certificate of canvass by BOC and watchers,
How do you garner votes for a substitute with a different render the ERs and the COCs void.
surname? Space must be provided for a write-in vote.
A: No, it will not affect the validity. For BOC, no election
Q: A ballot, an ER, a COC, and an SOV evidence the same offense. For the watchers, they are required to sign but there is
thing. no effect. Failure to sign by BEI, they can be liable for an
election offense, unless there is justifiable reason for their
A: Ballot - indicates the vote of one voter. refusal.
Election Return - is the aggregate of votes in one precinct.
Certificate of Canvass - shows the consolidated count of Q: There are the same number of ERs and COCs in all
several precincts, or municipality, or city, or the entire country, levels.
will show the total.
Statement of votes - attached to the COCs; indicates the A: No. There are the same number of ERs and COCs for those
breakdown of all the votes in all the precincits elected on a national level.

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When it comes to ERs, there are 30 copies. proclaim based on the data storage device manually
As for COCs, there are two types of COCs: national COCs delivered and not based on what was electronically
printed by city/municipal board of canvassers (30 copies), and transmitted.
local COCs printed by board of canvassers for provincial,
highly urbanized cities, Metro Manila district, (14 copies) A: Congress and COMELEC can only rely on what is
electronically transmitted. For local board of canvassers, they
Q: What will you advise independent candidates regarding may do it based on the data storage device, and that which is
getting copies of the ERs and COCs? electronically submitted.

A: They are not entitled, but there are options. SESSION 9


Option #1: Go to an Accredited Citizen’s Arms. They are duty
bound with regard to COCs, but not ERs. Q: There are no pre-proclamation controversies for all
positions in an automated election system.
Option #2: Go to teachers, and ask to print for additional copies
at their own expense. A: There are no pre-proclamation controversies for national
positions (EXCEPT manifest errors), but there are for local
Option #3: Align with any of the 14 parties, 2 dominant parties, positions. There are two types of pre-proclamation
2 major local parties. controversies: (1) board-related (illegal composition and illegal
proceedings), and (2) results-based.
Q: Can the printed copies of ERs and COCs be basis of
canvassing and proclamation? Q: Material defects, manifest errors and omissions can no
longer happen in an automated election system.
A: It depends. For printed ERs, they CANNOT be the basis,
because the basis must always be what was electronically A: False. These are still possible in the current system.
transmitted. Examples include—
Manifest error – the election return is tabulated twice;
Q: Congress, COMELEC, and the local board of Omission – the name of a candidate (i.e., Miriam Defensor-
canvassers (city, provincial, municipal) can canvass and Santiago’s case) or votes for the candidate are omitted;

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Material defects – this no longer happens in an automated Q: All lawyers and paralegals were excluded from the
elections system. canvassing center. The BOC advises you to raise it with the
COMELEC en banc.
Q: The COMELEC and its board of canvassers canvass
results only for all local elective officials. A: They are allowed to be present at the canvassing. They may
file an objection — illegal proceedings (NOT illegal
A: FALSE; COMELEC also canvasses for the Senate, among composition). Where to file? BOC has concurrent jurisdiction
others. with COMELEC division. Filing with COMELEC en banc is
COMELEC and its board of canvassers do canvass for the NOT valid. If raised, the canvassing proceedings will be
municipal level, but they do NOT proclaim. suspended until the issue is resolved.

Q: Only ERs are subject to canvassing. Q: As paralegal you obtain a copy of the ER. During the
canvassing, before the CCS, you realize a discrepancy.
A: No, Certificates of Canvass are also canvassed. What is
being canvassed at district, provincial, COMELEC, and A: A discrepancy is NOT a manifest error even in a manual
congressional levels? COCs. ERs reflect the votes in the system. There are 2 types of discrepancies: (1) between the
precinct level. As you go higher, it becomes a COC. What can ERs and COC, and (2) between the votes in words and votes in
COMELEC canvass and proclaim? Senators, Party-list figures. If this happens (which they say it won’t because of the
representatives, and ARMM elective officials. automated system), you raise it with the BOC.

Q: A pre-proclamation case can be raised on the grounds of Q: What is the procedure if the above situation happens?
violence and presence of illegal voters during casting.
A: File with the BOC only, NO CONCURRENT
A: Both - no, because they do not fall under the statute. Pre- JURISDICTION WITH COMELEC DIVISION. When?
proclamation controversies can only be based on the face of the Before the particular ER is actually canvassed, because if it is
ER or the COC. The BOC cannot admit evidence aliunde already canvassed, it’s fatal (you’re not a good paralegal if that
(extraneous evidence other than what you see in the ER/COC) happens). How? Making an oral objection, while
simultaneously making a written objection. However,

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according to case law, omitting an oral objection is NOT fatal, (1) Executed, signed, and thumbmarked by Chairman and
provided that evidence is filed within the 24 hour period Board
(substantial compliance). If you don’t agree with the decision (2) Contains all the names and votes
of the BOC? You can file with the COMELEC Division. (3) No discrepancy in authentic copies
(4) No discrepancy in words and figures
Q: The BOC after realizing a discrepancy reconvenes after Congress (and COMELEC) CAN reject on the ground that is it
making a proclamation. NOT authentic and NOT duly executed.

A: The BOC becomes functus oficio after proclamation. It Q: Pre-proclamation cases can subsist even if proclamation
cannot reconvene, unless given an order by COMELEC. After has already been made.
proclamation, the BOC ceases to exist. Can only be given life
by order of the COMELEC Division. A: No, proclamation renders the pre-proclamation case moot.
Basis: long line of jurisprudence.
Q: If the BOC reconvenes motu propio, election protest is
the only remedy. Q: Election protest and annulment of proclamation can be
filed simultaneously.
A: The BOC cannot reconvene motu propio, must be by order
of COMELEC. Election protest is NOT THE ONLY remedy. In A: While both are POST-proclamation cases, they are
an election protest, you can question ANY irregularity. You can inconsistent with each other. When you file an annulment, you
file a pre-proclamation case. You can also file an annulment of are questioning the proclamation’s validty. In an election
proclamation case with the COMELEC Division because BOC protest, you are accepting the validity of the proclamation.
was already functus oficio.
Q: If an annulment of proclamation is not granted, an
Q: Congress rejects a COC from a province on the ground election protest cannot be filed.
that the electronic transmission and the fata storage are
corrupted. A: You can still file because when the annulment of
proclamation questions the validity of the proclamation while
A: Congress can reject a COC if the following are not present:

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the election protest is for other grounds. You file on the 7th day questioned the ERs, particularly by questioning the addition
and got denied. and subtraction at the higher levels.

Can you file an election protest? Yes, but you only have 3 days Q: All election protests for local elective offices are filed
remaining to file. You don’t have another 10 days. with the COMELEC en banc.
A: No, they are never filed with COMELEC en banc. They are
Q: An election protest and quo warranto case can be filed filed with MTC (barangay officials), RTC (municipal officials).
simultaneously and the outcomes, if favorably acted upon, For these two, COMELEC Division has appellate jurisdiction.
are the same. For regional, provincial, and city officials, they are filed with
COMELEC Division.
A: They can be filed simultaneously. Unlike annulment and
election protest, they have consistent causes of action. For quo Position Jurisdiction over Election Protests
warranto, it is disloyalty or ineligibility of the elected. In
election protest, it is any other ground. Barangay officials MTC
Also, the outcomes are not the same. In both cases the protestee Municipal officials RTC
is unseated. However, in an election protest, whoever gets the
required votes will replace the protestee. In a quo warranto Regional, provincial
case, either a special election will be held or the rules in and city officials
succession will apply. COMELEC Division
Appellate jurisdiction
over barangay and
Q: An election protest can be filed based on the election
municipal officials
returns, not the ballots. Can this be filed solely based on the
ER or COC?
Q: The best evidence in an election protest under an
A: Yes. Wherever they wish to claim the fraud to have occurred automated election system are the ballots themselves.
(any irregularity) is fine. This is based on the case of Sen.
Loren Legarda. She did not question the ballots; she only A: If you want to question at the voter level, the ballot is the
best evidence. According to case law, if you don’t have the
ballots themselves, the best evidence would be the picture

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images of the ballots, as scanned by the vote counting Once these concur, COMELEC will be divested of its
machines (VCMs). ERs and COCs can only be the best jurisdiction.
evidence when the protest is questioning the consolidation of What kind of cases can still be filed? Election offense and
the ballots, and not the ballots themselves. protest cases can still be filed.

Q: Fourth placer files an election protest against a duly Q: Death of a protestant and protestee renders a protest
proclaimed presidential candidate on the 15th day from the case moot.
proclamation.
A: For both, it depends. In positions where the rule of
A: As a general rule, the protestant is any candidate for the succession will apply for local positions, Presidents, and Vice
position. President, the protest will subsist. It will not apply to others
Exceptions: because in case of vacancies, there should be a special election.
(1) President/VP - 2nd and 3rd placers, and In what cases will the protest proceed? If it was properly filed,
(2) Municipal officials - 2nd and 3rd placers. and the one who will succeed is still alive/interested, because
he has interest to continue the case. He must show that the
Q: DQ cases were filed against two candidates: one district protestee actually won.
representative and provincial governor. They claim that
upon their proclamation, the DQ cases have been rendered Q: Non-payment of cash deposit, non-inclusion of
moot and no other cases can be filed henceforth. verification, non-inclusion of certification of non forum
shopping, and assailing some of the precincts are some of
A: For the governor: not moot. COMELEC retains jurisdiction; the fatal defects in an election protest.
once proclaimed, you are removed from office. For the district A: Non-payment of cash deposit - jurisdictional requirement
representative: there are 3 requirements for COMELEC to be and therefore fatal, but subject to estoppel.
divested of its jurisdiction: Non-inclusion of verification/non inclusion of certification of
a. Valid proclamation; non forum shopping = fatal.
b. Oath; and Assailing some of the precincts = fatal, as a protest must
c. Assumption into office. specify which precinct is being assailed.

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Assailing of ALL of the precincts = no need to specify which
precincts. By saying “all” you’re specifying all. A: Date is May 2-6, 2016. There are 10 diagnostics:
1. Audio
Q: Election protest of Mar Roxas filed in 2010 is now 2. Print
rendered moot. 3. Power
4. Ethernet
A: Yes. According to jurisprudence, filing of a COC is the 5. Touch Screen
operative act that renders a protest moot. (it is NOT assumption 6. Cast and return buttons
of office, i.e., it was not necessary for Roxas to have won in 7. Date
that election to render his protest moot). The protest will be 8. USB ports
rendered even “more moot” now, since the term of the position 9. Scanner
will is about to expire and will end by June 2016. 10. Transmission

SESSION 10 Q: The VCM initialization report for a precinct shows 3


votes for a candidate and 1000 voters.
Q: Liberal Party designates 5 poll watchers per precinct,
who are not residents of the municipality. A: The initialization report must have 0 votes. Moreover, there
cannot be 1000 voters. A clustered precinct can only have a
A: Not allowed. According to the 10057 GI, LP can only maximum of 800 voters.
designate 2 poll watchers, who must serve alternately, and must
be registered voters of the municipality. NOTE: the law does Q: Voting can still be conducted up to 7pm of election day.
not set a maximum number. Moreover, only “qualified voters”
can be watchers. Under Admin Law, the GI must be in A: As a general rule, voting is only until 5pm of election day.
conformity with the law, otherwise it would be an undue As an exception, it can go beyond 5pm if there are voters
delegation of legislative power. within 30m of the voting area. You have to sign a list. Your
name will be called 3 times. If you do not respond, you can no
Q: There are 5 diagnostics during the testing and sealing of longer vote.
the VCMs on April 30, 2016.

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Q: A voter takes a photograph of his ballot, puts his name A: As a general rule, this CANNOT be done. There are,
on the ballot, and asks someone to fill out his ballot on his however, four exceptions:
behalf. 1. Name does not appear in the computerized voters’ list
a. PCVL = posted at the door of the precinct
A: The voter cannot take a photograph of the ballot; both law b. ECVL = the one you sign before you vote,
and GI prohibit it. He also cannot put name, because his ballot electronic
will then be considered a marked ballot. Furthermore, a voter 2. If there is indelible ink on the finger of the voter
cannot ask someone to fill it out unless he is a PWD or 3. When there is a challenge to the identity of the person,
illiterate. If such is the case, only the following can fill out on and BEI is not satisfied with the identification of the
his behalf: voter
(a) relatives within fourth degree of consanguinity or 4. When there is a challenge that the person committed an
affinity, and illegal act and the person did not swear the oath
(b) person of confidence within his household, and
(c) member of BEI. Note also that only the BEI can assist Q: For an orderly and efficient system, an innovative BEI:
more than 3 times. 1) gives numbers to people in line for orderly conduct of
elections, 2) VCM is opened at 5am, 3) Indelible ink was not
Q: There is a specific envelope for marked ballots. placed on the finger when the VCM rejected the ballot.

A: No. Marked ballots are ballots that can reveal the identity of A: BEI cannot give numbers to people in line. The earliest
the voter. Assuming that there are marked ballots, where do opening of the VCM is 6am. Indelible ink should be applied to
you place them? It depends on the VCM. If the machine rejects the voter’s finger even if the VCM reject the ballot. (Basis for
them = rejected ballots. If accepted = counted official ballots. all this: GI; it is categorical on all these matters).

There are different envelopes: rejected ballots and counted Q: Only the BEI Chairperson can give a ballot to the voter
official ballots. and deposit the ballot to the VCM.

Q: The BEI may not allow a person to vote.

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A: Only the Chairperson can give the ballot. This cannot be Provided that the BEI, the Treasurer, and the poll watchers are
delegated to others, according to the GI. Moreover, only the notified.
registered voter can deposit the ballot into the VCM.
SESSION 11
Q: The 2 SD cards, the VCM, and the ballot box are to be
delivered to the municipal or city board of canvasser after Q: Last Christmas, former secretary Mar Roxas gave loot
close of polls. bags to underprivileged children.

A: SD in Slot A must be placed in the envelope; this SD card is A: If disqualified case if filed, defenses are (a) prohibition on
to be delivered to the election officer. However, the SD in Slot giving away free food starts May 8, (b) not yet electioneering.
B will remain inside. The VCMs will go to the logistics
provider or the election officer (if he/she cannot be found). Q: If done today, would Mar Roxas be considered
Ballot box will be delivered to the municipal/city treasurer. committing an election offense?

Q: During and after the voting, the ballot box cannot be A: Already within the election period; already a “candidate”.
opened. Defenses available to Mar: Not campaigning.
NOTE: intent is not an element.
A: There are nuances. During the voting, the box can only be
wobbled by the Chairman, in the presence of the other BEI Q: Are all contributions during the campaign period
inspectors, to make space. If there is still no space after the prohibited?
wobbling, the Chairman may be pressed down. A: No. Exemptions: (a) normal and customary stipends, and (b)
After the voting, the general rule is that the ballot box cannot traditional gift-giving.
be opened.
The exceptions to this rule are— Q: May 5, 2016 Provincial governor appoints a person to
(a) To put in or take out documents, provided that Sangguniang Bayan due to the permanent vacancy caused
COMELEC authority by the death of councilor.
(b) To retrieve the ER or the SD card A: Not an election offense. According to case law, the ban on
appointment only covers those under the Civil Service.

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If there was already disbursement of fund, this would be
Q: Last March 8, the president appointed Sec Almendras prohibited. But, to be safe, the mayor should –
(previously of Management and Staff) as Secretary of 1) Ask for clearance or a letter of authority from
Foreign Affairs and also, on April 8, a SC Justice. COMELEC;
A: For the department secretary, the President is not prohibited 2) Sign before March 25, or after the elections;
from doing so because he is not under the 45 day prohibition 3) Get a COMELEC opinion.
period. Also, this cannot be considered a transfer within the
meaning of the law because the transfer only prohibits transfer Q: The Ombudsman suspends a Provincial Governor on
of CSC employees. For the SC Justice, this is allowed, April 15 for influencing an election.
according to case law (Corona case), the ban does not cover
appointments to the Supreme Court. A: Influencing another public officer to perform an act falls
under the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Therefore, this
Q: The “Friends of Catbologan City,” an OFW group falls under the exception on the ban on suspending officials.
whose members are foreigners, donated cash to the city More importantly, the Ombudsman is an impeachable officer—
through the Mayor who is running for re-election. he is thus immune from prosecution.
A: It depends on the intent. Unlike other election offenses (e.g.,
ban on appointment, transfer), the law expressly makes a Q: A city mayor who transfers a department head to
qualification: if the intent is to help in the campaign of the another head can be disqualified by the COMELEC En
Mayor, then it would constitute an election offense. However, Banc at the first instance. His defense is that it was not
if the intent is merely for donation to the city, this would election related.
constitute “good governance” following case law.
A: He cannot be disqualified, as the transfer is not one of the
Q: On April 1, 2016, the City Mayor signed a contract with grounds found under Section 68 of the Omnibus Elections
the private sector to fund a socialized housing project. Code. However, since this is an election offense, the complaint
A: This is not advisable, because there might be some issues, should be filed with the COMELEC Law Department or the
but generally, if we are to look at the provisions of the law, it is Prosecutor (in terms of the PENAL aspect, they would have
the disbursement of funds and not the signing of the contract concurrent jurisdiction). For the COMELEC or qualification
that is banned. aspect, file with the COMELEC Division.

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A: Allowed, if outside the 30m limit from the polling place.
It is to be noted that when it comes to election offenses, Note: this is mala prohibitum so intent is immaterial.
COMELEC division has jurisdiction over cases in Section 68.
Appeal of this decision can be made to COMELEC en banc, Q: A board of canvassers continues canvassing after the pre
and then SC. proclamation case was raised questioning the behavior of
If it is an election offense not listed in Section 68, then lawyers of the other party.
COMELEC would just be the prosecutor.
A: This is not an election offense, but one remedy is to treat
Q: To raise funds for bar ops, there will be an ALS party in this is a pre-proclamation case to be filed in the same Board
the Pool Club on May 8, 2016. Will you go and support? (question composition or proceedings of BoC) or in the
COMELEC Division. Assuming there was a proclamation, the
A: NO, BAWAL UMINOM! There’s a liquor ban from May 8 remedy would be an election protest, quo warranto proceeding,
(Eve of Elections) to May 9, 2016 (Elections Day) (Alat or annulment of proclamation.
mengz).
Q: COMELEC can withdraw the deputation of a city
Who will be liable for the offense? The organizers and people prosecutor over election offenses.
actually drinking. A: Once upon a time, this was allowed when COMELEC had
exclusive jurisdiction under the OEC. However, this is not the
Q: You were appointed today as consultant for legal affairs case anymore because under the Automated Election Law,
today. COMELEC now has concurrent jurisdiction with other
prosecutorial arms of government.
Allowed. It’s not yet March 25. But even if it is after March 25,
you can still seek approval from COMELEC because the law
still includes provisional and casual appointments, which are
within contemplation of the law.

Q: An entrepreneur sets up a dimsum store near the polling


place.

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