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VII.

​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Political​ ​Party;​ ​Party-List​ ​Organization

Veterans​ ​Federation​ ​Party​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​136781,​ ​06​ ​October​ ​2000​ ​-​ ​BRINAS

FACTS: ​Under the party-list method of representation, any national, regional or sectoral party or
organization registered with the Commission on Elections may participate in the election of
party-list representatives who, upon their election and proclamation, shall sit in the House of
Representatives as regular members. In effect, a voter is given two (2) votes for the House --
one​ ​for​ ​a​ ​district​ ​congressman​ ​and​ ​another​ ​for​ ​a​ ​party-list​ ​representative.

Specifically, this system of representation is mandated by Section 5, Article VI of the


Constitution,​ ​which​ ​provides:

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

(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of
representatives including those under the party-list. For three consecutive terms after the
ratification of this Constitution, one half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall
be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by
law,​ ​except​ ​the​ ​religious​ ​sector.

No.​ ​of​ ​district​ ​representatives


----------------------------------​ ​x​ ​.20​ ​=​ ​No.​ ​of​ ​party-list
.80​ ​representatives

Complying with its constitutional duty to provide by law the selection or election of party-list
representatives, Congress enacted RA 7941 on March 3, 1995. Under this statutes policy
declaration, the State shall "promote ​proportional representation in the election of
representatives to the House of Representatives through a party-list system of registered
national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, which will enable
Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and
parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the
formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to
become​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives.”

The requirements for entitlement to a party-list seat in the House are prescribed by this law (RA
7941)​ ​in​ ​this​ ​wise:

Sec.11. Number of Party-List Representatives. -- The party-list representatives shall constitute


twenty per centum (20%) of the total number of the members of the House of Representatives
including​ ​those​ ​under​ ​the​ ​party-list.
For purposes of the May 1998 elections, the first five (5) major political parties on the basis of
party representation in the House of Representatives at the start of the Tenth Congress of the
Philippines​ ​shall​ ​not​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​system.

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

(a) The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest
based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​they​ ​garnered​ ​during​ ​the​ ​elections.

(b) The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total
votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one seat each; Provided, That those
garnering more than two percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in
proportion to their total number of votes; Provided, finally, That each party, organization, or
coalition​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​not​ ​more​ ​than​ ​three​ ​(3)​ ​seats.

Pursuant to Section 18 of RA 7941, the Comelec en banc promulgated Resolution No. 2847,
prescribing the rules and regulations governing the election of party-list representatives through
the party-list system. In the said resolution, the Comelec en banc had unanimously promulgated
a set of Rules and Regulations Governing the Election of x x x Party-List Representatives
Through the Party-List System. Under these Rules and Regulations, one additional seat shall be
given for every two percent of the vote, a formula the Comelec illustrated in its Annex A. It
apparently relied on this method when it proclaimed the 14 incumbent party-list solons (two for
APEC and one each for the 12 other qualified parties). However, for inexplicable reasons, it
abandoned said unanimous Resolution and proclaimed, based on its three elements, the Group
of​ ​38​ ​private​ ​respondents.

Here are the three "elements of the party-list system," which should supposedly determine "how
the​ ​52​ ​seats​ ​should​ ​be​ ​filled​ ​up."

First, "the system was conceived to enable the marginalized sectors of the Philippine society to
be​ ​represented​ ​in​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives."

Second,​ ​"the​ ​system​ ​should​ ​represent​ ​the​ ​broadest​ ​sectors​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Philippine​ ​society."

Third,​ ​"it​ ​should​ ​encourage​ ​[the]​ ​multi-party​ ​system.”

Considering these elements, but ignoring the two percent threshold requirement of RA 7941, it
concluded that "the party-list groups ranked Nos. 1 to 51 x x x should have at least one
representative.”

The twelve (12) parties and organizations, which had earlier been proclaimed winners on the
basis of having obtained at least two percent of the votes cast for the party-list system, objected
to the proclamation of the 38 parties and filed separate Motions for Reconsideration. They
contended that (1) under Section 11 (b) of RA 7941, only parties, organizations or coalitions
garnering at least two percent of the votes for the party-list system were entitled to seats in the
House of Representatives; and (2) additional seats, not exceeding two for each, should be
allocated to those which had garnered the two percent threshold in proportion to the number of
votes​ ​cast​ ​for​ ​the​ ​winning​ ​parties,​ ​as​ ​provided​ ​by​ ​said​ ​Section​ ​11.

ISSUE/S: ​1. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives mentioned in Section 5
(2),​ ​Article​ ​VI​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution,​ ​mandatory​ ​or​ ​is​ ​it​ ​merely​ ​a​ ​ceiling?

2. Are the two percent threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in
Section​ ​11​ ​(b)​ ​of​ ​RA​ ​7941​ ​constitutional?

3. If the answer to Issue 2 is in the affirmative, how should the additional seats of a
qualified​ ​party​ ​be​ ​determined?

DECISION: 1. CEILING. ​Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution is not mandatory. It merely
provides a ceiling for party-list seats in Congress. We rule that a simple reading of Section 5,
Article VI of the Constitution, easily conveys the equally simple message that Congress was
vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of
representation. The Constitution explicitly sets down only the percentage of the total
membership in the House of Representatives reserved for party-list representatives. On the
contention that a strict application of the two percent threshold may result in a mathematical
impossibility, suffice it to say that the prerogative to determine whether to adjust or change this
percentage requirement rests in Congress. Our task now, as should have been the
COMELEC’s, is not to find fault in the wisdom of the law through highly unlikely scenarios of
clinical extremes, but to craft an innovative mathematical formula that can, as far as practicable,
implement​ ​it​ ​within​ ​the​ ​context​ ​of​ ​the​ ​actual​ ​election​ ​process.

2. ​YES​. The two percent threshold is consistent not only with the intent of the framers
of the Constitution and the law, but with the very essence of "representation." Under a
republican or representative state, all government authority emanates from the people, but is
exercised by representatives chosen by them. But to have meaningful representation, the
elected persons must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people. Otherwise, in a
legislature that features the party-list system, the result might be the proliferation of small groups
which are incapable of contributing significant legislation, and which might even pose a threat to
the stability of Congress. Thus, even legislative districts are apportioned according to "the
number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" to
ensure​ ​meaningful​ ​local​ ​representation.

Consistent with the Constitutional Commission's pronouncements, Congress set the seat-limit to
three (3) for each qualified party, organization or coalition. "Qualified" means having hurdled the
two percent vote threshold. Such three-seat limit ensures the entry of various
interest-representations into the legislature; thus, no single group, no matter how large its
membership, would dominate the party-list seats, if not the entire House. We shall not belabor
this point, because the validity of the three-seat limit is not seriously challenged in these
consolidated​ ​cases.

3.​ ​FORMULA​ ​FOR​ ​DETERMINING​ ​ADDITIONAL​ ​SEATS

Step One: Rank all the participating parties, organizations and coalitions from the highest to the
lowest based on the number of votes they each received. Then the ratio for each party is
computed by dividing its votes by the total votes cast for all the parties participating in the
system. All parties with at least two percent of the total votes are guaranteed one seat each.
Only these parties shall be considered in the computation of additional seats. The party
receiving​ ​the​ ​highest​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​shall​ ​thenceforth​ ​be​ ​referred​ ​to​ ​as​ ​the​ ​first​ ​party.

Step Two: Determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to, in order to be able to
compute that for the other parties. Since the distribution is based on proportional representation,
the number of seats to be allotted to the other parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the
first​ ​party​ ​is​ ​entitled​ ​by​ ​virtue​ ​of​ ​its​ ​obtaining​ ​the​ ​most​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes.

Number​ ​of​ ​votes


of​ ​first​ ​party Proportion​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​of
--------------------​ ​= first​ ​party​​ ​relative​ ​to
Total​ ​votes​ ​for total​ ​votes​ ​for​ ​party-list​ ​system
party-list​ ​system

If​ ​the​ ​proportion​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​received​ ​by​ ​the​ ​first​ ​party​ ​without​ ​rounding​ ​it​ ​off​ ​is​ ​equal​ ​to:
(a) at least 6% of the total valid votes cast for all the party list groups, then the first party shall be
entitled​ ​to​ ​2​ ​additional​ ​seats​ ​or​ ​a​ ​total​ ​of​ ​3​ ​seats.
(b) equal to or greater than 4%, but less than six percent, then the first party shall have 1
additional​ ​or​ ​a​ ​total​ ​of​ ​2​ ​seats.
(c)​ ​less​ ​than​ ​4%​ ​then​ ​the​ ​first​ ​party​ ​shall​ ​not​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​any​ ​additional​ ​seat.

Step Three: Solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified parties are entitled
to,​ ​based​ ​on​ ​proportional​ ​representation.

​ ​ ​Number​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​of


concerned​ ​party
Additional seats for a concerned party = ---------------------------------- x No. of additional seats
allocated​ ​to​ ​1st​ ​party
​ ​ ​ ​No.​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​of​ ​1st​ ​party

In sum, we hold that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in ruling that the thirty-eight
(38) herein respondent parties, organizations and coalitions are each entitled to a party-list seat,
because it glaringly violated two requirements of RA 7941: the two percent threshold and
proportional​ ​representation.
WHEREFORE​, the Petitions are hereby partially GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions of the
Comelec are SET ASIDE and NULLIFIED. The proclamations of the fourteen (14) sitting
party-list representatives - two for APEC and one each for the remaining twelve (12) qualified
parties​ ​-​ ​are​ ​AFFIRMED.​ ​No​ ​pronouncement​ ​as​ ​to​ ​costs.

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Ang​ ​Bagong​ ​Bayani​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​147589,​ ​26​ ​June​ ​2001​ ​-​ ​BONIFACIO

FACTS: ​Akbayan Citizens Action Party, Bayan Muna, Bayan Muna-Youth and Ang Bagong
Bayani-OFW Labor Party, upon each party’s own initiative and on separate occasions,
challenged the COMELEC’s Omnibus Resolution No. 3785, which approved the participation of
154 organizations and parties, including those herein impleaded as respondents, in the 2001
party-list elections. And that said certified list of parties be accordingly amended to the exclusion
of those whom they deem disqualified. It also asked, as an alternative, that the votes cast for
the said respondents not be counted or canvassed, and that the latter's nominees not be
proclaimed. Petitioners sought the disqualification of private respondents, arguing mainly that
the party-list system was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented; not the
mainstream​ ​political​ ​parties,​ ​the​ ​non-marginalized​ ​or​ ​overrepresented.

ISSUE/S:
1.​ ​ ​ ​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​political​ ​parties​ ​may​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​elections.
2. Whether or not the party-list system is exclusive to 'marginalized and underrepresented'
sectors​ ​and​ ​organizations.

DOCTRINE: ​The essential point of this case is the clear and plain policy of the law: to enable
Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and
parties, and who lack well-defined political constituencies but who could contribute to the
formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole, to
become members of the House of Representatives. Crucial to the resolution of this case is the
fundamental social justice principle that those who have less in life should have more in law.
The​ ​party-list​ ​system​ ​is​ ​one​ ​such​ ​tool​ ​intended​ ​to​ ​benefit​ ​those​ ​who​ ​have​ ​less​ ​in​ ​life.

HELD:
1. YES​. In its Petition, Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party contends that "the inclusion of
political parties in the party-list system is the most objectionable portion of the questioned
Resolution." For its part, Petitioner Bayan Muna objects to the participation of "major political
parties."

Section 2 of RA 7941 (Party-List System Act) also provides for "a party-list system of
registered national, regional and sectoral parties or organizations or coalitions thereof, . . .."
Section 3 expressly states that a "party" is "either a political party or a sectoral party or a
coalition of parties." More to the point, the law defines "political party" as "an organized group
of citizens advocating an ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct
of government and which, as the most immediate means of securing their adoption, regularly
nominates​ ​and​ ​supports​ ​certain​ ​of​ ​its​ ​leaders​ ​and​ ​members​ ​as​ ​candidates​ ​for​ ​public​ ​office."
Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot be disqualified from the
party-list elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. Furthermore, under
Sections 7 and 8, Article IX (C) of the Constitution, political parties may be registered under
the​ ​party-list​ ​system.
Sec. 7. No votes cast in favor of a political party, organization, or
coalition shall be valid, except for those registered under the party-list
system​ ​as​ ​provided​ ​in​ ​this​ ​Constitution.
Sec. 8. Political parties, or organizations or coalitions registered under
the party-list system, shall not be represented in the voters' registration
boards, boards of election inspectors, boards of canvassers, or other
similar bodies. However, they shall be entitled to appoint poll watchers in
accordance​ ​with​ ​law
Section 11 of RA 7941 also leaves no doubt as to the participation of political parties in the
party-list​ ​system.​ ​We​ ​quote​ ​the​ ​pertinent​ ​provision​ ​below:
For purposes of the May 1998 elections, the first five (5) major political
parties on the basis of party representation in the House of
Representatives at the start of the Tenth Congress of the Philippines
shall​ ​not​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​system.
Indubitably, therefore, political parties even the major ones -- may participate in the party-list
elections.

2. The fact that political parties may participate in the party-list elections does not mean,
however, that any political party — or any organization or group for that matter — may do
so. The requisite character of these parties or organizations must be consistent with the
purpose of the party-list system, as laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941. "Proportional
representation" does not refer to the number of people in a particular district, because the
party-list election is national in scope. Neither does it refer to numerical strength in a
distressed or oppressed group. Rather, it pertains to the representation of the "marginalized
and underrepresented" as exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of the law; namely,
"labor, peasant, fisher folk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals." However, it is
not enough for the candidate to claim representation of the marginalized and
underrepresented, because representation is easy to claim and to feign. The party must
factually and truly represent the marginalized and underrepresented constituencies
mentioned in Section 5. Concurrently, the persons nominated by the party-list
candidate-organization must be "Filipino citizens belonging to marginalized and
underrepresented​ ​sectors,​ ​organizations​ ​and​ ​parties."

Finally, "lack of well-defined constituency" refers to the absence of a traditionally identifiable


electoral group, like voters of a congressional district or territorial unit of government.
Rather, it points again to those with different interests identified with the "marginalized or
underrepresented." The role of the COMELEC is to see to it that only those Filipinos who
are "marginalized and underrepresented" become members of Congress under the
party-list system. The enumeration of marginalized and underrepresented sectors is not
exclusive, but it demonstrates the clear intent of the law that not all sectors can be
represented under the party-list system. It is a fundamental principle of statutory
construction that words employed in a statute are interpreted in connection with, and their
meaning is ascertained by reference to, the words and the phrases with which they are
associated or related. Thus, the meaning of a term in a statute may be limited, qualified or
specialized​ ​by​ ​those​ ​in​ ​immediate​ ​association.

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Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 179271, 179295, [April 21, 2009], 604 PHIL 131-184) -
BISDA

FACTS: The 14 May 2007 elections included the elections for the party-list
representatives. The COMELEC counted 15,950,900 votes cast for 93 parties under the
Party-List​ ​System.

On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a ​Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List
Representatives Provided by the Constitution​before the National Board of Canvassers (NBC).
BANAT filed its petition because "[t]he Chairman and the Members of the [COMELEC] have
recently been quoted in the national papers that the [COMELEC] is duty bound to and shall
implement the ​Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the Panganiban formula in allocating
party-list​ ​seats."

On 9 July 2007, the COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-60.
NBC Resolution No. 07-60 proclaimed thirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections,
namely: BuhayHayaanYumabong (BUHAY), Bayan Muna, Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption
(CIBAC), Gabriela’s Women Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives
(APEC), A Teacher, Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad, Luzon Farmers Party
(BUTIL), Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), AnakPawis, Alliance of Rural
Concerns​ ​(ARC),​ ​and​ ​Abono.

***Contents​ ​of​ ​the​ ​NBC​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​07-60​ ​***


I. TOTAL VOTES UNDER THE PARTY-LIST SYSTEM OF REPRESENTATION:
(15,283,659)

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​II.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​PROJECTED/MAXIMUM​ ​PARTY-LIST​ ​VOTES:​ ​(16,723,121)

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​III.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Section​ ​11​ ​of​ ​Republic​ ​Act​ ​No.​ ​7941​ ​(Party-List​ ​System​ ​Act)​ ​provides​ ​in​ ​part:
i. Parties, Organizations, and Coalitions receiving at least 2% of the
total​ ​votes​ ​cast​ ​=​ ​1​ ​seat​ ​each
ii. those garnering more than 2% = entitled to additional seats in
proportion​ ​to​ ​their​ ​total​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​iii.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Each​ ​party​ ​shall​ ​not​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​more​ ​than​ ​3​ ​seats

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​IV.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Presumptive​ ​2%​ ​threshold​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2007​ ​Elections​ ​=​ ​[pegged​ ​at]​ ​(334,462)​ ​votes
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​V.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Adopting​ ​the​ ​formula​ ​in​ ​VETERANS​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC
VI. The parties, organizations, and coalitions that have thus far garnered at least three
hundred​ ​thirty​ ​four​ ​thousand​ ​four​ ​hundred​ ​sixty-two​ ​(334,462)​ ​votes​ ​are​ ​as​ ​follows:
i. BuhayHayaanYumabong (BUHAY), Bayan Muna, Citizens’ Battle
Against Corruption (CIBAC), Gabriela’s Women Party (Gabriela), Association of Philippine
Electric Cooperatives (APEC), A Teacher, Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (AKBAYAN), Alagad,
Luzon Farmers Party (BUTIL), Cooperative-Natco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), BATAS,
AnakPawis,​ ​Alliance​ ​of​ ​Rural​ ​Concerns​ ​(ARC),​ ​and​ ​Abono.
ii. BATAS was removed from the list due to an urgent petition for
cancellation/removal​ ​of​ ​registration​ ​and​ ​disqualification​ ​of​ ​party-list​ ​nominee
iii. Thus, all the parties, organizations and coalitions included in the
aforementioned list (except BATAS) are therefore entitled to at least one seat under the
party-list​ ​system​ ​of​ ​representation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​meantime.
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​iv.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​The​ ​13​ ​parties​ ​were​ ​partially​ ​proclaimed.
This is without prejudice to the proclamation of other parties, organizations, or coalitions which
may later on be established to have obtained at least two percent (2%) of the total actual votes
cast​ ​under​ ​the​ ​Party-List​ ​System.
v. The total number of seats of each winning party, organization or
coalition shall be determined pursuant to ​Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC ​formula
upon​ ​completion​ ​of​ ​the​ ​canvass​ ​of​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​results.
***Contents​ ​of​ ​NBC​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​07-72***
I. declared the additional seats allocated to the appropriate parties. [Used the
Veterans​ ​Formula]
II. based on the Report, ​BuhayHayaanYumabong (Buhay) = 1,178,747, obtained the
highest number of votes among the thirteen (13) qualified parties, organizations and coalitions,
making it the "first party" in accordance with ​Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC​,
reiterated​ ​in​ ​Citizen’s​ ​Battle​ ​Against​ ​Corruption​ ​(CIBAC)​ ​versus​ ​COMELEC;​
III. Qualified parties, organizations and coalitions participating under the party-list
system of representation that have obtained one guaranteed (1) seat may be entitled to an
additional​ ​seat​ ​or​ ​seats​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​formula​ ​prescribed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Supreme​ ​Court​ ​in​ V ​ eterans​;
i. FORMULA in determining the additional seats for the "first party",
the​ ​correct​ ​formula​ ​as​ ​expressed​ ​in​ ​Veterans​,​ ​is:

Number​ ​of Proportion


votes of firs votes​ ​of​ ​fir
party party
relative
Total votes to total
for party-list votes​ ​for
system party-list
system

ii. WHEREAS, applying the above formula, BUHAY obtained the


following​ ​percentage:
1,178,747

16,261,36
9

which​ ​entitles​ ​it​ ​to​ ​two​ ​(2)​ ​additional​ ​seats.

iii. WHEREAS, in determining the additional seats for the other


qualified parties, organizations and coalitions, the correct formula as expressed in ​Veterans and
reiterated​ ​in​ ​CIBAC​ ​is,​ ​as​ ​follows:
Additional = No.​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​of x No. of
seats​ ​for concerned​ ​party additional
a concerned seats
party No.​ ​of​ ​votes​ o​ f allocated
first​ ​party to​ ​first​ ​party

***END***
AS​ ​TO​ ​BANAT’S​ ​PETITION:

The NBC promulgated NBC Resolution No. 07-88 on 3 August 2007, and acting on the
foregoing Petition of BANAT party-list, Atty. Alioden D. Dalaig, Head, National Board of
Canvassers Legal Group submitted his comments/observations and recommendation. He
stated​ ​that

In​ ​Dalaig’s​ ​Recommendation,​ ​he​ ​stated​ ​that:


1. the​ ​petition​ ​of​ ​BANAT​ ​is​ ​now​ ​moot​ ​and​ ​academic.
2. and that the COMELEC En Banc in ​NBC Resolution No. 07-60​, ​"resolved among
others that the total number of seats of each winning party, organization or coalition
shall be determined pursuant to the Veterans Federation Party versus COMELEC
formula​ ​upon​ ​completion​ ​of​ ​the​ ​canvass​ ​of​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​results."
The​ ​petition​ ​of​ ​BANAT​ ​was​ ​denied​ ​and​ ​the​ ​recommendation​ ​of​ ​Atty.​ ​Dalaig​ ​was​ ​approved.

BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC Resolution No.
07-88.​ ​BANAT​ ​did​ ​not​ ​file​ ​a​ ​motion​ ​for​ ​reconsideration​ ​of​ ​NBC​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​07-88.

On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC, to
reconsider its decision to use the ​Veterans formula as stated in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60
because the ​Veterans ​formula is violative of the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A.
No. 7941). On the same day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of
the​ ​NBC.

Aside from the thirteen party-list organizations proclaimed on 9 July 2007, the COMELEC
proclaimed three other party-list organizations as qualified parties entitled to one guaranteed
seat under the Party-List System: Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (AGAP),
Anak​ ​Mindanao​ ​(AMIN),​ ​and​ ​An​ ​Waray.

ISSUE/S:
1.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​the​ ​three-seat​ ​limit​ ​provided​ ​in​ ​Section​ ​11(b)​ ​of​ ​RA​ ​7941​ ​constitutional?
2. Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives provided in
Section​ ​5(2),​ ​Article​ ​VI​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution​ ​mandatory​ ​or​ ​is​ ​it​ ​merely​ ​a​ ​ceiling?
3. Whether or not the two percent threshold [in the distribution of the additional seat] is
constitutional.
4.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​Major​ ​Political​ ​Parties​ ​are​ ​allowed​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​Party-List​ ​Elections

DOCTRINE:

DECISION: 1.​ ​YES.


The Congress, in enacting R.A. No. 7941, put the three-seatcap to prevent any party from
dominating​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​elections.

2.​ ​The​ ​20%​ ​allocation​ ​of​ ​party-list​ ​representatives​ ​is​ ​a​ ​mere​ ​ceiling.

Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of
party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The Constitution, in paragraph 1, Section 5
of Article VI, left the determination of the number of the members of the House of
Representatives to Congress: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more
than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, x xx." The 20% allocation of
party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than 20%
of​ ​the​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives.

3.​ ​NO.

The Supreme Court held that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued
operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as found in the
second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional. This Court finds that the
two percent threshold makes it mathematically impossible to achieve the maximum number of
available party list seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. The
continued operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats
frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling that 20% of the members of the House of
Representatives​ ​shall​ ​consist​ ​of​ ​party-list​ ​representatives.

To​ ​illustrate:

Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution, states the ratio of party-list representatives to the
total number of representatives. We compute the number of seats available to party-list
representatives from the number of legislative districts. On this point, we do not deviate from the
first​ ​formula​ ​in​ ​Veterans​,​ ​thus:
Number​ ​of​ ​seats Number of seats
available to legislative x .20 available​ ​to
districts = party-list
representatives
.80
This formula allows for the corresponding increase in the number of seats available for party-list
representatives whenever a legislative district is created by law. Since the 14th Congress of the
Philippines has 220 district representatives, there are 55 seats available to party-list
representatives.
22 x .20 5
0 = 5

.8
0
Thus, there are 55 available party-list seats. Suppose there are 50 million votes cast for the 100
participants in the party list elections. A party that has two percent of the votes cast, or one
million votes, gets a guaranteed seat. Let us further assume that the first 50 parties all get one
million votes. Only 50 parties get a seat despite the availability of 55 seats. Because of the
operation of the two percent threshold, this situation will repeat itself even if we increase the
available party-list seats to 60 seats and even if we increase the votes cast to 100 million. Thus,
even if the maximum number of parties get two percent of the votes for every party, it is always
impossible for the number of occupied party-list seats to exceed 50 seats as long as the two
percent​ ​threshold​ ​is​ ​present.

The Court therefore strike down the two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of
the additional seats as found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941. The two
percent threshold presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2),
Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the attainment of "the broadest possible
representation​ ​of​ ​party,​ ​sectoral​ ​or​ ​group​ ​interests​ ​in​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives."

In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R.A. No.
7941,​ ​the​ ​following​ ​procedure​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​observed:
1. The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest
based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​they​ ​garnered​ ​during​ ​the​ ​elections.
2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes
cast​ ​for​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​system​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​one​ ​guaranteed​ ​seat​ ​each.
3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be
entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional
seats​ ​are​ ​allocated.
4.​ ​Each​ ​party,​ ​organization,​ ​or​ ​coalition​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​entitled​ ​to​ ​not​ ​more​ ​than​ ​three​ ​(3)​ ​seats.

In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because
they have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining
available seats for allocation as "additional seats" are the maximum seats reserved under the
Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of
a​ ​provision​ ​in​ ​R.A.​ ​No.​ ​7941​ ​allowing​ ​for​ ​a​ ​rounding​ ​off​ ​of​ ​fractional​ ​seats.

There​ ​are​ ​two​ ​steps​ ​in​ ​the​ ​second​ ​round​ ​of​ ​seat​ ​allocation.
First, the percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is the difference
between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the Party-List System and the 17 guaranteed
seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the percentage and of the
remaining​ ​available​ ​seats​ ​corresponds​ ​to​ ​a​ ​party’s​ ​share​ ​in​ ​the​ ​remaining​ ​available​ ​seats.
Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats
are completely distributed. We distributed all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of
seat allocation. Finally, we apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each
qualified​ ​party-list​ ​candidate​ ​is​ ​entitled.​ ​Thus:

Table​ ​3.​ ​Distribution​ ​of​ ​Available​ ​Party-List​ ​Seats


Rank Party Votes Votes Guaranteed Additional (B) plus Applying
Garnered Garnered Seat Seats (C), in the three
over (First (Second whole seat​ ​cap
Total Round) Round) integers (E)
Votes for (B) (C) (D)
Party List,
in​ ​%
(A)
1 BUHAY 1,169,234 7.33% 1 2.79 3 N.A.
2 BAYAN 979,039 6.14% 1 2.33 3 N.A.
MUNA
3 CIBAC 755,686 4.74% 1 1.80 2 N.A.
4 GABRIELA 621,171 3.89% 1 1.48 2 N.A.
5 APEC 619,657 3.88% 1 1.48 2 N.A.
6 A​ ​Teacher 490,379 3.07% 1 1.17 2 N.A.
7 AKBAYAN 466,112 2.92% 1 1.11 2 N.A.
8 ALAGAD 423,149 2.65% 1 1.01 2 N.A.
9​31 COOP-NA 409,883 2.57% 1 1 2 N.A.
TCCO
10 BUTIL 409,160 2.57% 1 1 2 N.A.
11 BATAS 385,810 2.42% 1 1 2 N.A.
12 ARC 374,288 2.35% 1 1 2 N.A.
13 ANAKPAW 370,261 2.32% 1 1 2 N.A.
IS
14 ABONO 339,990 2.13% 1 1 2 N.A.
15 AMIN 338,185 2.12% 1 1 2 N.A.
16 AGAP 328,724 2.06% 1 1 2 N.A.
17 AN 321,503 2.02% 1 1 2 N.A.
WARAY
18 YACAP 310,889 1.95% 0 1 1 N.A.
19 FPJPM 300,923 1.89% 0 1 1 N.A.
20 UNI-MAD 245,382 1.54% 0 1 1 N.A.
21 ABS 235,086 1.47% 0 1 1 N.A.
22 KAKUSA 228,999 1.44% 0 1 1 N.A.
23 KABATAA 228,637 1.43% 0 1 1 N.A.
N
24 ABA-AKO 218,818 1.37% 0 1 1 N.A.
25 ALIF 217,822 1.37% 0 1 1 N.A.
26 SENIOR 213,058 1.34% 0 1 1 N.A.
CITIZENS
27 AT 197,872 1.24% 0 1 1 N.A.
28 VFP 196,266 1.23% 0 1 1 N.A.
29 ANAD 188,521 1.18% 0 1 1 N.A.
30 BANAT 177,028 1.11% 0 1 1 N.A.
31 ANG 170,531 1.07% 0 1 1 N.A.
KASANGG
A
32 BANTAY 169,801 1.06% 0 1 1 N.A.
33 ABAKADA 166,747 1.05% 0 1 1 N.A.
34 1-UTAK 164,980 1.03% 0 1 1 N.A.
35 TUCP 162,647 1.02% 0 1 1 N.A.
36 COCOFED 155,920 0.98% 0 1 1 N.A.
Total 17 55

Applying the procedure of seat allocation, there are 55 party-list representatives from the 36
winning party-list organizations. All 55 available party-list seats are filled. The additional seats
allocated to the parties with sufficient number of votes for one whole seat, in no case to exceed
a​ ​total​ ​of​ ​three​ ​seats​ ​for​ ​each​ ​party,​ ​are​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​column​ ​(D).

4.​ ​No.

The Constitutional Commission adopted a multi-party system that allowed all political parties to
participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​elections.

Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in
the party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major
political parties to participate in party-list elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the
members of the Constitutional Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats,
and​ ​in​ ​the​ ​alternative​ ​the​ ​reservation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​system​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sectoral​ ​groups.
“HOWEVER, BY A VOTE OF 8-7, THE COURT DECIDED TO CONTINUE THE RULING IN
VETERANS ​DISALLOWING MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE
PARTY-LIST​ ​ELECTIONS,​ ​DIRECTLY​ ​OR​ ​INDIRECTLY.”

WHEREFORE, we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of the
COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution dated 9 July
2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declare unconstitutional the two percent threshold in the distribution
of additional party-list seats. The allocation of additional seats under the Party-List System shall
be in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 of this Decision. Major political parties are
disallowed​ ​from​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​party-list​ ​elections.​ ​This​ ​Decision​ ​is​ ​immediately​ ​executory.

SO​ ​ORDERED.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Atong​ ​Paglaum​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​203766,​ ​02​ ​April​ ​2013​ ​-​ ​BELTEJAR

FACTS: ​52 party-list groups and organizations filed separate petitions totaling 54 with the
Supreme Court (SC) in an effort to reverse various resolutions by the Commission on Elections
(Comelec) disqualifying them from the May 2013 party-list race. The Comelec, in its assailed
resolutions issued in October, November and December of 2012, ruled, among others, that
these party-list groups and organizations failed to represent a marginalized and
underrepresented sector, their nominees do not come from a marginalized and
underrepresented sector, and/or some of the organizations or groups are not truly
representative​ ​of​ ​the​ ​sector​ ​they​ ​intend​ ​to​ ​represent​ ​in​ ​Congress.

Petitioners argued that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the 13 May 2013
party-list elections, either by denial of their new petitions for registration under the party-list
system, or by cancellation of their existing registration and accreditation as party-list
organizations; and second, whether the criteria for participating in the party-list system laid
down in ​Ang Bagong Bayani and Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency v. Commission on Elections (BANAT) should be applied by the COMELEC in the
coming​ ​13​ ​May​ ​2013​ ​party-list​ ​elections.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​committed​ ​grave​ ​abuse​ ​of​ ​discretion

DOCTRINE: ​R.A. No. 7941 does not require national and regional parties or organizations to
represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors. To require all national and regional
parties under the party-list system to represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" is to
deprive and exclude, by judicial fiat, ideology-based and cause-oriented parties from the
party-list​ ​system.

DECISION: No. ​The COMELEC merely followed the guidelines set in the cases of Ang Bagong
Bayani and BANAT. However, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to the COMELEC
as the Supreme Court now provides for new guidelines which abandoned some principles
established​ ​in​ ​the​ ​two​ ​aforestated​ ​cases​.
Political​ ​Law-​ ​Party-list​ ​system
Commissioner Christian S. Monsod, the main sponsor of the party-list system, stressed
that "the party-list system is not synonymous with that of the sectoral representation."
Indisputably, the framers of the 1987 Constitution intended the party-list system to include not
only sectoral parties but also non-sectoral parties. The framers intended the sectoral parties to
constitute a part, but not the entirety, of the party-list system.As explained by Commissioner
Wilfredo Villacorta, political parties can participate in the party-list system "For as long as they
field candidates who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall designate in this
Constitution."

Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-List System Act is the law that implements the
party-list​ ​system​ ​prescribed​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Constitution.

Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 7941 defines a "party" as "either a political party or a sectoral
party or a coalition of parties." Clearly, a political party is different from a sectoral party. Section
3(c) of R.A. No. 7941 further provides that a"political party refers to an organized group of
citizens advocating an ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of
government."

On the other hand, ​Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 7941 provides that a "sectoral party refers
to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the sectors enumerated in Section 5
hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector."
R.A. No. 7941 provides different definitions for a political and a sectoral party. Obviously, they
are​ ​separate​ ​and​ ​distinct​ ​from​ ​each​ ​other.

Under the party-list system, an ideology-based or cause-oriented political party is clearly


different from a sectoral party. A political party need not be organized as a sectoral party and
need not represent any particular sector. There is no requirement in R.A. No. 7941 that a
national or regional political party must represent a "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.
Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941 states that "the sectors shall include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban
poor, indigenous cultural communities, ​elderly, handicapped, ​women, youth, veterans,
overseas workers, and ​professionals." ​The sectors mentioned in Section 5 are not all
necessarily "marginalized and underrepresented." It is sufficient that the political party consists
of citizens who advocate the same ideology or platform, or the same governance principles and
policies,regardless​ ​of​ ​their​ ​economic​ ​status​ ​as​ ​citizens.

Political​ ​Law-​ ​parameters​ ​in​ ​qualifying​ ​party-​ ​lists


The COMELEC excluded from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections those
that​ ​did​ ​not​ ​satisfy​ ​these​ ​two​ ​criteria:
(1) all national, regional, and sectoral groups or organizations must represent the
"marginalized​ ​and​ ​underrepresented"​ ​sectors,​ ​and
(2) all nominees must belong to the "marginalized and underrepresented" sector
they represent. Petitioners may have been disqualified by the COMELEC
because as political or regional parties they are not organized along sectoral
lines​ ​and​ ​do​ ​not​ ​represent​ ​the​ ​"marginalized​ ​and​ ​underrepresented."
Also, petitioners' nominees who do not belong to the sectors they represent may have
been disqualified, although they may have a track record of advocacy for their sectors. Likewise,
nominees of non-sectoral parties may have been disqualified because they do not belong to any
sector. Moreover, a party may have been disqualified because one or more of its nominees
failed​ ​to​ ​qualify,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​the​ ​party​ ​has​ ​at​ ​least​ ​one​ ​remaining​ ​qualified​ ​nominee.

In determining who may participate in the coming 13 May 2013 and subsequent party-list
elections,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​shall​ ​adhere​ ​to​ ​the​ ​following​ ​parameters:

1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national parties or
organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral parties or
organizations.

2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not need to


organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any "marginalized and
underrepresented"​ ​sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the
party-list system and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political
party, whether major or not, that fields candidates in legislative district elections can
participate in party-list elections only through its sectoral wing that can separately
register under the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent
sectoral​ ​party,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​a​ ​political​ ​party​ ​through​ ​a​ ​coalition.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and underrepresented"


or lacking in "well-defined political constituencies." It is enough that their principal
advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector. The sectors that
are "marginalized and underrepresented" include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The
sectors that lack "well-defined political constituencies" include professionals, the elderly,
women,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​youth.

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the


"marginalized and underrepresented" must belong to the "marginalized and
underrepresented" sector they represent. Similarly, a majority of the members of sectoral
parties or organizations that lack "well-defined political constituencies" must belong to
the sector they represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that
represent the "marginalized and underrepresented," or that represent those who lack
"well-defined political constituencies," either must belong to their respective sectors, or
must have a track record of advocacy for their respective sectors. The nominees of
national and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide members of such
parties​ ​or​ ​organizations.

6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if


some of their nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee
who​ ​remains​ ​qualified.
This Court is sworn to uphold the 1987 Constitution, apply its provisions faithfully, and
desist from engaging in socio-economic or political experimentations contrary to what the
Constitution has ordained. Judicial power does not include the power to re-write the
Constitution. Thus, the present petitions should be remanded to the COMELEC not because the
COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioners, but because
petitioners may now possibly qualify to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections
under​ ​the​ ​new​ ​parameters​ ​prescribed​ ​by​ ​this​ ​Court.

Petitions​ ​Granted

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Palparan​ ​v.​ ​HRET,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​189506,​ ​11​ ​February​ ​2012​ ​-​ ​BELTEJAR

FACTS: ​Petitioner Jovito S. Palparan, Jr. is the first nominee of the Bantay party-list group that
won​ ​a​ ​seat​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2007​ ​elections​ ​for​ ​the​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives.

Respondents Reynaldo Lesaca, Jr. , Cristina Palabay, Renato M. Reyes. Jr. ,Erlinda
Cadapan, Antonia Flores, and Joselito Ustarez are members of the other party-list groups filed
with the HRET a petition for ​quo warranto ​against Bantay and its nominee, Palaparan. Lesaca
and the others alleged that Palparan was ineligible to sit in the House of Representatives as
party-list nominee because he did not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors
that Bantay represented, namely, the victims of communist rebels, Civilian Armed Forces
Geographical​ ​Units​ ​(CAFGUs),​ ​former​ ​rebels,​ ​and​ ​security​ ​guards.

Petitioner Palparan countered that the HRET had no jurisdiction over his person since it
was actually the party-list Bantay, not he, that was elected to and assumed membership in the
House of Representatives. Palparan claimed that he was just Bantay’s nominee. Consequently,
any question involving his eligibility as first nominee was an internal concern of Bantay. Such
question​ ​must​ ​be​ ​brought,​ ​he​ ​said,​ ​before​ ​that​ ​party-list​ ​group,​ ​not​ ​before​ ​the​ ​HRET.

ISSUE: ​Whether or not respondent HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of
petitioners Abayon and Palparan as nominees of Aangat Tayo and Bantay party-list
organizations, respectively, who took the seats at the House of Representatives that such
organizations​ ​won​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2007​ ​elections.

DOCTRINE: ​It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of the qualification of a nominee—the
need for him or her to be a bona fide member or a representative of his party-list
organization—in the context of the facts that characterize petitioners Abayon and Palparan’s
relation to Aangat Tayo and Bantay, respectively, and the marginalized and underrepresented
interests​ ​that​ ​they​ ​presumably​ ​embody.

HELD:​ ​YES
Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the elections, it is not the organization
that sits as and becomes a member of the House of Representatives. ​Section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution​ ​identifies​ ​who​ ​the​ ​“members”​ ​of​ ​that​ ​House​ ​are:
Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two
hundred and fifty ​members​, unless otherwise fixed by law, ​who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila
area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio, ​and those who​, as provided by law, ​shall be elected
through a partylist system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations​.​ ​(Underscoring​ ​supplied)

Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: "members x x x
who shall be elected from legislative districts" and "​those who x x x shall be elected through
a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.​"
This means that, from the Constitution’s point of view, it is the party-list representatives who are
"elected" into office, not their parties or organizations. These representatives are elected,
however, through that peculiar party-list system that the Constitution authorized and that
Congress by law established where the voters cast their votes for the organizations or parties to
which​ ​such​ ​party-list​ ​representatives​ ​belong.

Once elected, both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are
treated in like manner. They have the same deliberative rights, salaries, and emoluments. They
can participate in the making of laws that will directly benefit their legislative districts or sectors.
They are also subject to the same term limitation of three years for a maximum of three
consecutive​ ​terms.

It may not be amiss to point out that the ​Party-List System Act itself recognizes
party-list​ ​nominees​ ​as​ ​"members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​of​ ​Representatives

Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be the sole judge
of all contests relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the members of the House of
Representatives. Since, as pointed out above, party-list nominees are “elected members” of the
House of Representatives no less than the district representatives are, the HRET has
jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their qualifications. By analogy with the cases of district
representatives, once the party or organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed
and the nominee has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of
Representatives, the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications
ends​ ​and​ ​the​ ​HRET’s​ ​own​ ​jurisdiction​ ​begins.

The Court holds that respondent HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it
dismissed the petitions for ​quo warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list but
upheld​ ​its​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​the​ ​question​ ​of​ ​the​ ​qualifications​ ​of​ ​petitioners​ ​Abayon​ ​and​ ​Palparan.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VIII.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Automated​ ​Elections

Roque​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​188456,​ ​10​ ​September​ ​2009​ ​-​ ​BISDA

FACTS:

This is a petition for ​certiorari​, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a restraining order
and/or preliminary injunction, petitioners ​seek to nullify respondent COMELEC’s award of the
2010 Elections Automation Project to the joint venture of Total Information Management
Corporation (TIM) and Smartmatic International Corporation (Smartmatic) and ​to permanently
prohibit the COMELEC, TIM and Smartmatic from signing and/or implementing the
corresponding​ ​contract-award.

On December 22, 1997, Congress enacted ​Republic Act No. (RA) 8436 authorizing the
adoption of an automated election system (​AES​) in the May 11, 1998 national and local
elections and onwards. The 1998, 2001, and 2004 national and local polls, however, came and
went but purely ​manual elections were still the order of the day​. On January 23, 2007, the
amendatory RA 9369 ​was passed authorizing anew the COMELEC to use an AES. The AES
was not utilized in the May 10, 2000 elections, as ​funds were not appropriated for that
purpose​ ​by​ ​Congress​ ​and​ ​due​ ​to​ ​time​ ​constraints.

In August 2008, COMELEC ​managed to automate the regional polls in the Autonomous
Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)​. The successful automation in the ARMM 2008 elections
paved the way for COMELEC, with some prodding from senators, to prepare for a nationwide
computerized run for the 2010 national/local polls, with the many lessons learned from the
ARMM experience influencing, according to the NCC, the technology selection for the 2010
automated​ ​elections.

Among the submitted bids was that of the ​joint venture (JV) of TIM and Smartmatic​. For a
stated amount, said JV proposed to undertake the whole automation project, inclusive of the
delivery of 82,200 PCOS machines. After declaring TIM-Smartmatic as the best complying
bidder, the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) then directed the joint venture to
undertake post-qualification screening, and its PCOS prototype machines the Smarmatic
Auditable Electronic System (​SAES​) 1800 to undergo end-to-end testing to determine
compliance​ ​with​ ​the​ ​pre-set​ ​criteria.

A 4-day (May 27 to May 30, 2009) test evaluation of TIM and Smartmatics proposed PCOS
project machines took place. Its conclusion: The demo systems presented ​PASSED all tests as
required in the 26-item criteria specified in the [RFP] with 100% accuracy rating. On June 9,
2009, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8608 authorizing the SBAC to issue, subject to
well-defined conditions, the ​notice of award and notice to proceed in favor of the winning
joint​ ​venture.

Meanwhile, or on July 9, 2009, petitioners interposed the instant recourse which, for all intents
and purposes, ​impugns the validity and seeks to nullify the July 10, 2009
COMELEC-Smartmatic-TIM​ ​Corporation​ ​automation​ ​contract​ ​adverted​ ​to.

Petitioners’​ ​contentions:
1. Public respondents COMELEC and COMELEC-SBAC committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in awarding the 2010 elections automation
project​ ​to​ ​private​ ​respondents​ ​TIM​ ​and​ ​SMARTMATIC​ ​for​ ​the​ ​ff​ ​reasons:
a) COMELEC did not conduct any pilot testing of the PCOS machines in violation of RA
8436
b)​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​The​ ​PCOS​ ​machines​ ​do​ ​not​ ​satisfy​ ​the​ ​minimum​ ​system​ ​capabilities
c) There was no valid JV between Smartmatic and TIM during the bidding in violation of the
Supreme Courts holding in ​Information Technology Foundation Of The Philippines Vs. Comelec
w​hich​ ​requires​ ​a​ ​JV​ ​to​ ​include​ ​a​ ​copy​ ​of​ ​its​ ​agreement​ ​during​ ​the​ ​bidding

ISSUE/S:
1.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​the​ ​absence​ ​of​ ​Pilot​ ​Testing​ ​violated​ ​RA​ ​8436.
2. Whether or not the PCOS machines meet the ​minimum system
capabilities
3. Whether or not there was an abdication of COMELECs Mandate and
Responsibility​ ​thus​ ​rendering​ ​the​ ​automation​ ​contract​ ​null​ ​and​ ​void.

DECISION:

1.​ ​No.​ ​Pilot​ ​testing​ ​is​ ​not​ ​necessary.

RA 9369, which envisages an AES, be it paper-based or direct-recording electronic, took effect


in the second week of February 2007 or thereabout. The ​regular national and local elections
referred to after the ​effectivity of this Act can be no other than the May 2007 regular elections,
during which time the AES shall, as the law is worded, be used in ​at least two highly
urbanized cities and provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Court takes judicial
notice that the May 2007 elections did not deploy AES, evidently due to the mix of time and
funding​ ​constraints.

The Court can concede that said proviso, with respect to the May 2007 elections, commands
the COMELEC to automate in at least 12 defined areas of the country. But the bottom line is
that the required 2007 automation, be it viewed in the concept of a pilot test or not, ​is not a
mandatory requirement for the choice of system in, or a ​prerequisite for, ​the full
automation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​May​ ​2010​ ​elections.
To argue that pilot testing is a condition precedent to a full automation in 2010 would doubtless
undermine the purpose of RA 9369. For, as aptly observed during the oral arguments, if there
was no political exercise in May 2007, the country would theoretically be barred forever from
having​ ​full​ ​automation.
We​ ​reproduce​ ​with​ ​approval​ ​the​ ​following​ ​excerpts​ ​from​ ​the​ ​comment​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Senate​ ​itself:
The plain wordings of RA 9369 (that amended RA 8436) commands that the 2010
elections shall be fully automated, and such full automation is not conditioned on pilot
testing in the May 2007 elections. ​Congress merely gave COMELEC the flexibility to
partially​ ​use​ ​the​ ​AES​ ​in​ ​some​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​country​ ​for​ ​the​ ​May​ ​2007​ ​elections​.
In perspective, what may be taken as ​mandatory prerequisite for the full automation of the
2010 regular national/ local elections ​is that the system to be procured for that exercise be a
technology tested either here or abroad​. While the underscored portion makes reference to a
2007 pilot exercise, what it really exacts is that, for the automation of the May 2010 and
subsequent elections, the PCOS or any AES to be procured ​must have demonstrated its
capability and success in either a local or a foreign electoral exercise. And as expressly
declared by the provision, participation in the 2007 electoral exercise is not a guarantee nor is it
conclusive​ ​of​ ​the​ ​systems​ ​fitness.
In this regard, the Court is inclined to agree with private respondents’ interpretation of the
underscored portion in question: The provision clearly conveys that the [AES] to be used in the
2010 elections need not have been used in the 2007 elections, and that the demonstration of its
capability need not be in a previous Philippine election. Demonstration of the success and
capability​ ​of​ ​the​ ​PCOS​ ​may​ ​be​ ​in​ ​an​ ​electoral​ ​exercise​ ​in​ ​a​ ​foreign​ ​jurisdiction.

Moreover, it has been proposed that a ​partial automation be implemented for the May 2010
elections in accordance with Section 5 of RA 8436, as amended by RA 9369 ​instead of full
automation​. The Court ​cannot agree as such proposition has no basis in law. Section 5, as
worded, ​does not allow for partial automation. In fact, Section 5 clearly states that the AES
shall be implemented ​nationwide​. It behooves this Court to follow the letter and intent of the
law​ ​for​ ​full​ ​automation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​May​ ​2010​ ​elections.

**​AES - ​a system using appropriate technology which has been demonstrated in the voting,
counting, consolidating, canvassing and transmission of election results, and other electoral
processes​.
**​PCOS refers to a technology wherein an optical ballot scanner, into which optical scan paper
ballots​ ​marked​ ​by​ ​hand​ ​by​ ​the​ ​voter​ ​are​ ​inserted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​counted.

2.​ ​YES.​ ​PCOS​ ​meets​ ​the​ ​Minimum​ ​Capabilities​ ​Standards


Petitioners’ suggest that the PCOS system offered the features that would assure accuracy in
the recording and reading of votes, as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing,
electronic transmission, storage results and accurate ballot counting. In this particular regard,
petitioners allege that, based on Smartmatics website, the PCOS has a margin of error of from
2%​ ​to​ ​10%,​ ​way​ ​beyond​ ​that​ ​of​ ​the​ ​required​ ​99.99%​ ​accuracy​ ​in​ ​the​ ​counting​ ​of​ ​votes.

The minimum system capabilities provision cited is Sec. 7 of RA 8436, as amended, and the
missing features referred to by petitioners are pars. (b) and (j). In full, Sec. 7 of RA 8436, as
amended,​ ​reads:
SEC. 6. ​Minimum System Capabilities​. - The automated election system must at least have the
following​ ​functional​ ​capabilities:
(b) Accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation,
consolidation/canvassing,​ ​electronic​ ​transmission,​ ​and​ ​storage​ ​of​ ​results;
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​(j)​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Accurate​ ​ballot​ ​counters;

The Court is fairly satisfied that the COMELEC has adopted a rigid technical evaluation
mechanism, a set of ​26-item/check list criteria​. The SBAC Memorandum of June 03, 2009, as
approved by COMELEC Res. 8608, categorically stated that the SBAC-TWG submitted its
report that TIM/Smartmatics proposed systems and machines ​PASSED all the end-to-end demo
tests using the aforementioned 26-item criteria, inclusive of the accuracy rating test of at least
99.955%. As appearing in the SBAC-TWG report, the corresponding answers/remarks to each
of​ ​the​ ​26​ ​individual​ ​items​ ​are​ ​as​ ​herein​ ​indicated:

Apropos the counting-accuracy feature of the PCOS machines, petitioners no less impliedly
admit that the ​web page ​they appended to their petition, showing a 2% to 10% failing rate, is ​no
longer current​. And if they bothered to examine the current website of Smartmatic specifically
dealing with its SAES 1800, the PCOS system it offered, they would have readily seen that the
advertised accuracy rating is over 99.99999%. Clearly, the alleged 2% to 10% failing rate is now
irrelevant and the Court need not belabor this and the equally irrelevant estoppel principle
petitioners​ ​impose​ ​on​ ​us.

3.​ ​NO.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​no​ ​abdication​ ​of​ ​COMELECs​ ​mandate​ ​and​ ​responsibility
The petitioners contend that the automation contract constitutes a wholesale ​abdication of the
poll body’s constitutional mandate for election law enforcement. On top of this perceived
aberration, the mechanism of the PCOS machines would ​infringe the constitutional right of
the people to the secrecy of the ballot which, according to the petitioners, is provided in Sec.
2,​ ​Art.​ ​V​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution.

The​ ​above​ ​contention​ ​is​ ​not​ ​well​ ​taken.

The first function of the COMELEC under the Constitution and the Omnibus Election
Code for that matter relates to the enforcement and administration of all laws and
regulations relating to the conduct of elections to public office to ensure a free, orderly
and​ ​honest​ ​electoral​ ​exercise.
The Court is not convinced. There is nothing in Art 3.3 of the automation contract, even if read
separately from other stipulations and the provisions of the bid documents and the Constitution
itself, to support the simplistic conclusion of abdication of control pressed on the Court. Insofar
as​ ​pertinent,​ ​Art​ ​3.3​ ​reads:
3.3 The PROVIDER shall be liable for all its obligations under this Project and the performance
of portions thereof by other persons or entities not parties to this Contract shall not relieve the
PROVIDER​ ​of​ ​said​ ​obligations​ ​and​ ​concomitant​ ​liabilities.
SMARTMATIC, as the joint venture partner with the greater track record in automated
elections, shall be in charge of the technical aspects of the counting and canvassing
software and hardware​, including transmission configuration and system integration.
SMARTMATIC shall also be primarily responsible for preventing and troubleshooting technical
problems​ ​that​ ​may​ ​arise​ ​during​ ​the​ ​elections.
The proviso designating Smartmatic as the joint venture partner in charge of the technical
aspect of the counting and canvassing wares does not to us translate, without more, to ceding
control​ ​of​ ​the​ ​electoral​ ​process​ ​to​ ​Smartmatic.
According​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Art.​ ​6.7​ ​of​ ​the​ ​automation​ ​contract:
6.7 Subject to the provisions of the General Instructions to be issued by the Commission En
Banc, ​the entire processes of voting​, ​counting, transmission, consolidation and
canvassing of votes shall be conducted by COMELECs personnel and officials​, and their
performance, completion and final results according to specifications and within the specified
periods​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​the​ ​shared​ ​responsibility​ ​of​ ​COMELEC​ ​and​ ​the​ ​PROVIDER.

CONCLUSION:​ ​The​ ​automation​ ​contract​ ​is​ ​valid​ ​and​ ​constitutional.

The role of Smartmatic TIM Corporation is ​basically to supply the goods necessary for the
automation project, such as but not limited to the PCOS machines, PCs, electronic
transmission devices and related equipment, both hardware and software, and the technical
services pertaining to their operation. As lessees of the goods and the back-up equipment, the
corporation and its operators would ​provide assistance with respect to the machines to be
used by the COMELEC which, at the end of the day, will be conducting the election thru its
personnel​ ​and​ ​whoever​ ​it​ ​deputizes.

Additionally, with the AES, the possibility of system hacking is very slim. The PCOS machines
are only online when they transmit the results, which would only take around one to two
minutes. In order to hack the system during this tiny span of vulnerability, a super computer
would be required. Noteworthy also is the fact that the memory card to be used during the
elections is encrypted and read-only meaning no illicit program can be executed or introduced
into​ ​the​ ​memory​ ​card.

Therefore, even though the AES has its flaws, COMELEC and Smartmatic have seen to it that
the system is well-protected with sufficient security measures in order to ensure honest
elections.

Congress has chosen the May 2010 elections to be the maiden run for full automation. And
judging from what the Court has heard and read in the course of these proceedings, the choice
of PCOS by COMELEC was not a spur-of-moment affair, but the product of honest-to-goodness
studies, consultations with CAC, and lessons learned from the ARMM 2008 automated
elections.
To automate, thus breaking away from a manual system of election, has been viewed as
a significant step towards clean and credible elections, unfettered by the travails of the
long​ ​wait​ ​and​ ​cheating​ ​that​ ​have​ ​marked​ ​many​ ​of​ ​our​ ​electoral​ ​exercises.

WHEREFORE​,​ ​the​ ​instant​ ​petition​ ​is​ ​hereby​ ​DENIED​.

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Capalla​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​201112,​ ​13​ ​June​ ​2012​ ​-​ ​BONIFACIO
FACTS: The COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM entered into a Contract for the Provision of an
Automated Election System for the May 2010 Synchronized National and Local Elections (AES
Contract). The contract between the COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM was a “lease of the AES
with option to purchase (OTP) the goods listed in the contract.” The COMELEC was given until
December​ ​31,​ ​2010​ ​within​ ​which​ ​to​ ​exercise​ ​the​ ​option.

In September 2010, the COMELEC partially exercised its OTP 920 units of PCOS machines
with corresponding canvassing and consolidation system (CCS) for the special elections in
certain areas of Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Bulacan. In a letter dated December 18, 2010,
Smartmatic-TIM, proposed a temporary extension of the option period on the remaining PCOS
machines until March 31, 2011, waiving the storage costs and covering the maintenance costs.
The COMELEC did not exercise the said option even within the extended period. Several
extensions were given for the COMELEC to exercise the OTP until its final extension on March
31,​ ​2012.

On March 29, 2012, the COMELEC issued a Resolution resolving to accept Smartmatic-TIM’s
offer to extend the period to exercise the OTP until March 31, 2012 and to authorize Chairman
Brillantes to sign for and on behalf of the COMELEC the Agreement on the Extension of the
OTP. Under the AES Contract (Extension Agreement). COMELEC again issued a Resolution
resolving to approve the Deed of Sale between the COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM to purchase
the latter’s PCOS machines to be used in the upcoming May 2013 elections and to authorize
Chairman Brillantes to sign the Deed of Sale for and on behalf of the COMELEC. The Deed of
Sale​ ​was​ ​forthwith​ ​executed.

Petitioners assail the constitutionality of the COMELEC Resolutions on the grounds that the
option period provided for in the AES contract had already lapsed, that the extension of the
option period and the exercise of the option without competitive public bidding contravene the
provisions of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Act, and that the COMELEC purchased
the machines in contravention of the standards laid down in RA 9369 or the Act Authorizing the
Commission On Elections to Use an Automated Election System), which requires that the
automated election system must have first demonstrated to be capable of carrying out its
planned use and should have been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or
abroad and that the same must at least possess an adequate security feature against
unauthorized​ ​access.

Respondents argue on the validity of the subject transaction based on the grounds that there is
no prohibition either in the contract or provision of law for it to extend the option period, that the
OTP is not an independent contract in itself, but is a provision contained in the valid and existing
AES contract that had already satisfied the public bidding requirements of RA 9184, and that
exercising​ ​the​ ​option​ ​was​ ​the​ ​most​ ​advantageous​ ​option​ ​of​ ​the​ ​COMELEC.

ISSUE: ​Whether or not the COMELEC Resolution which provides for the purchase of the
subject​ ​PCOS​ ​machines​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​EAS​ ​is​ ​valid​ ​and​ ​constitutional.

DOCTRINE: ​A winning bidder is not precluded from modifying or amending certain provisions of
the contract bided upon. However, such changes must not constitute substantial or material
amendments that would alter the basic parameters of the contract and would constitute a denial
to​ ​the​ ​other​ ​bidders​ ​of​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​bid​ ​on​ ​the​ ​same​ ​terms.

HELD: YES. ​Upon a reading of the other provisions of the AES contract, it can be shown that
the parties are given the right to amend the contract which may include the period within which
to exercise the option. There is no prohibition on the extension of the period, provided that the
contract is still effective. The COMELEC still retains P50M of the amount due Smartmatic-TIM
as performance security, which indicates that the AES contract is still effective and not yet
terminated. Consequently, pursuant to Article 19 of the contract, the provisions thereof may still
be amended by mutual agreement of the parties provided said amendment is in writing and
signed by the parties. Considering, however, that the AES contract is not an ordinary contract
as it involves procurement by a government agency, the rights and obligations of the parties are
governed not only by the Civil Code but also by RA 9184. A winning bidder is not precluded
from modifying or amending certain provisions of the contract bidded upon. However, such
changes must not constitute substantial or material amendments that would alter the basic
parameters of the contract and would constitute a denial to the other bidders of the opportunity
to​ ​bid​ ​on​ ​the​ ​same​ ​terms.

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IX.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Recall

Garcia​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​227​ ​SCRA​ ​100​ ​-​ ​BRINAS

FACTS: ​Petitioner Enrique T. Garcia was elected governor of the province of Bataan in the May
11, 1992 elections. In the early evening of July 1993, some mayors, vice-mayors and members
of the Sangguniang Bayan of the twelve (12) municipalities of the province met at the National
Power Corporation compound in Bagac, Bataan. At about 12:30 A.M of the following day, they
proceeded to the Bagac town plaza where they constituted themselves into a Preparatory
Recall Assembly to initiate the recall election of petitioner Garcia. The mayor of Mariveles,
Honorable Oscar, de los Reyes, and the mayor of Dinalupihan, the Honorable Lucila Payumo,
were chosen as Presiding Officer and Secretary of the Assembly, respectively. Thereafter, the
Vice-Mayor of Limay, the Honorable Ruben Roque, was recognized and he moved that a
resolution be passed for the recall of the petitioner on the ground of "loss of confidence." The
motion​ ​was​ ​"unanimously​ ​seconded."

One hundred forty-six (146) names appeared in Resolution No. 1 but only eighty (80) carried the
signatures of the members of the PRA. Of the eighty (80) signatures, only seventy-four (74)
were found genuine. The PRAC of the province had a membership of one hundred forty-four
(144)​ ​4​ ​and​ ​its​ ​majority​ ​was​ ​seventy-three​ ​(73).

The petitioners filed a petition to deny due course to said Resolution No. 1 by alleging that the
PRAC failed to comply with the "substantive and procedural requirement" laid down in Section
70​ ​of​ ​R.A.​ ​7160,​ ​otherwise​ ​known​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Local​ ​Government​ ​Code​ ​of​ ​1991.

In a per curiam Resolution, COMELEC dismissed the petition and scheduled the recall elections
for the position of Governor of Bataan. Petitioners then filed with a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction to annul the said Resolution of the respondent
COMELEC on various grounds. They urged that section 70 of R.A. 7160 allowing recall through
the initiative of the PRAC is unconstitutional because: (1) the people have the sole and
exclusive right to decide whether or not to initiate proceedings, and (2) it violated the right of
elected local public officials belonging to the political minority to equal protection of law. They
also argued that the proceedings followed by the PRAC in passing Resolution No. I suffered
from numerous defects, the most fatal of which was the deliberate failure to send notices of the
meeting​ ​to​ ​sixty-five​ ​(65)​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​assembly.

The Supreme Court granted the petition on ground that the sending of selective notices to
members of the PRAC violated the due process protection of the Constitution and fatally flawed
the​ ​enactment​ ​of​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​1.​ ​It​ ​ruled:

The failure to give notice to all members of the assembly, especially to the
members known to be political allies of petitioner Garcia was admitted by
both counsels of the respondents. They did not deny that only those inclined
to agree with the resolution of recall were notified as a matter of political
strategy and security. They justified these selective notices on the ground
that​ ​the​ ​law​ ​does​ ​not​ ​specifically​ ​mandate​ ​the​ ​giving​ ​of​ ​notice.

We reject this submission of the respondents. The due process clause of the
Constitution requiring notice as an element of fairness is inviolable and
should always be considered as part and parcel of every law in case of its
silence. The need for notice to all the members of the assembly is also
imperative for these members represent the different sectors of the
electorate of Bataan. To the extent that they are not notified of the meeting
of the assembly, to that extent is the sovereign voice of the people they
represent nullified. The resolution to recall should articulate the majority will
of the members of the assembly but the majority will can be genuinely
determined only after all the members of the assembly have been given a
fair opportunity to express the will of their constituents. Needless to stress,
the requirement of notice is indispensable in determining the collective
wisdom of the members of the Preparatory Recall Assembly. Its
non-observance is fatal to the validity of the resolution to recall petitioner
Garcia​ ​as​ ​Governor​ ​of​ ​the​ ​province​ ​of​ ​Bataan.

In accord with this Resolution, it appears that the Honorable Mayor of Dinalupihan, Oscar de los
Reyes again sent Notice of Session to the members of the PRAC to "convene in session on
September 26, 1993 at the town plaza of Balanga, Bataan at 8:30 o'clock in the morning." From
news reports, the PRAC convened in session and eighty-seven (87) of its members once more
passed a resolution calling for the recall of petitioner Garcia. On September 27, 1993,
petitioners filed with the Court a Supplemental Petition and Reiteration of Extremely Urgent
Motion​ ​for​ ​a​ ​resolution​ ​of​ ​their​ ​contention​ ​that​ ​section​ ​70​ ​of​ ​R.A.​ ​7160​ ​is​ ​unconstitutional.

ISSUE:​​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​Sec.​ ​70​ ​of​ ​R.A.​ ​7160​ ​is​ ​constitutional?

DOCTRINE: The people's prerogative to remove a public officer is an incident of their sovereign
power and in the absence of constitutional restraint; the power is implied in all governmental
operations. Such power has been held to be indispensable for the proper administration of
public affairs Not undeservedly, it is frequently described as a fundamental right of the people in
a​ ​representative​ ​democracy

DECISION: YES​, Sec. 70 of RA 7160 is constitutional. The petition at bench appears to


champion the sovereignty of the people, particularly their direct right to initiate and remove
elective local officials thru recall elections. If the petition would succeed, the result will be a
return to the previous system of recall elections which Congress found should be improved. The
alternative mode of initiating recall proceedings thru a preparatory recall assembly is, however,
an innovative attempt by Congress to remove impediments to the effective exercise by the
people of their sovereign power to check the performance of their elected officials. The power to
determine this mode was specifically given to Congress and is not proscribed by the
Constitution.

A reading of the legislative history of these recall provisions will reveal that the idea of
empowering a preparatory recall assembly to initiate the recall from office of local elective
officials, originated from the House of Representatives and not the Senate. The legislative
records reveal there were two (2) principal reasons why this alternative mode of initiating the
recall process thru an assembly was adopted, viz: (a) to diminish the difficulty of initiating recall
thru​ ​the​ ​direct​ ​action​ ​of​ ​the​ ​people;​ ​and​ ​(b)​ ​to​ ​cut​ ​down​ ​on​ ​its​ ​expenses.

RATIO:

1. First Argument: "The right to recall does not extend merely to the prerogative of the electorate
to reconfirm or withdraw their confidence on the official sought to be recalled at a special
election. Such prerogative necessarily includes the sole and exclusive right to decide on
whether​ ​to​ ​initiate​ ​a​ ​recall​ ​proceedings​ ​or​ ​not."

SC: Nothing in the Constitution that will remotely suggest that the people have the "sole and
exclusive right to decide on whether to initiate a recall proceeding." The Constitution did not
provide for any mode, let alone a single mode, of initiating recall elections. Neither did it prohibit
the adoption of multiple modes of initiating recall elections. The mandate given by section 3 of
Article X of the Constitution is for Congress to "enact a local government code which shall
provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure through a system of
decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum . . ." By this
constitutional mandate, Congress was clearly given the power to choose the effective
mechanisms of recall as its discernment dictates. The power given was to select which among
the means and methods of initiating recall elections are effective to carry out the judgment of the
electorate.

2. Second Argument: "The initiation of a recall through the PRA effectively shortens and ends
the​ ​term​ ​of​ ​the​ ​incumbent​ ​local​ ​officials.”

SC: Initiation by the PRAC is also initiation by the people, albeit done indirectly through their
representatives. It is not constitutionally impermissible for the people to act through their elected
representatives. Nothing less than the paramount task of drafting our Constitution is delegated
by the people to their representatives, elected either to act as a constitutional convention or as a
congressional constituent assembly. The initiation of a recall process is a lesser act and there is
no rhyme or reason why it cannot be entrusted to and exercised by the elected representatives
of​ ​the​ ​people.

3.​ ​Third​ ​Argument:​ ​“The​ ​disputed​ ​law​ ​infracts​ ​the​ ​equal​ ​protection​ ​clause​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution.”

SC: The members of the PRAC are in the PRAC not in representation of their political parties
but as representatives of the people. By necessary implication, loss of confidence cannot be
premised on mere differences in political party affiliation. Indeed, our Constitution encourages
multi-party system for the existence of opposition parties is indispensable to the growth and
nurture of democratic system. Clearly then, the law as crafted cannot be faulted for
discriminating against local officials belonging to the minority. The fear that a preparatory recall
assembly may be dominated by a political party and that it may use its power to initiate the
recall of officials of opposite political persuasions, especially those belonging to the minority, is
not​ ​a​ ​ground​ ​to​ ​strike​ ​down​ ​the​ ​law​ ​as​ ​unconstitutional.
Wherefore​, ​The original Petition and the Supplemental Petition assailing the constitutionality of
section 70 of R.A. 7160 insofar as it allows a preparatory recall assembly to initiate the recall
process​ ​are​ ​dismissed​ ​for​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​merit.

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Claudio​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​331​ ​SCRA​ ​388​ ​-​ ​CABANGBANG

FACTS: The case is a petition for certiorari and prohibition, seeking the nullification of the
resolution, dated 18 October 1999, of the COMELEC giving due course to the petition for the
recall​ ​of​ ​petitioner​ ​Jovito​ ​Claudio​ ​as​ ​mayor​ ​of​ ​Pasay​ ​City.

Jovito Claudio, was the duly elected mayor of Pasay City in May 1998 elections. He assumed
office on 1 July 1998. Sometime during the 2​nd week of May 1999, the chairs of several
barangays formed an ad hoc committee for the purpose of convening the Preparatory Recall
Assembly (PRA). Richard Advincula, private respondent was designated as chair. On 29 May
1999, 1,073 members of the PRA adopted a Resolution, entitled Resolution to Initiate the Recall
of Jovito Claudio as Mayor of Pasay City for Loss of Confidence. Advincula, as chair of the
PRA, invited the Mayor, Vice Mayor, Station commander, and 13 Councilors of Pasay to witness
the​ ​formal​ ​submission​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Office​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Election​ ​officer​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​for​ ​recall.

Oppositions to the petition were filed by petitioner Jovito O. Claudio, Rev. Ronald Langub, and
Roberto L. Angeles, alleging procedural and substantive defects in the petition, to wit: (1) the
signatures affixed to the resolution were actually meant to show attendance at the PRA
meeting; (2) most of the signatories were only representatives of the parties concerned who
were sent there merely to observe the proceedings; (3) the convening of the PRA took place
within the one-year prohibited period; and (4) the recall resolution failed to obtain the majority of
all the members of the PRA, considering that 10 were actually double entries, 14 were not duly
accredited members of the barangays, 40 sangguniang kabataan officials had withdrawn their
support,​ ​and​ ​60​ ​barangay​ ​chairs​ ​executed​ ​affidavits​ ​of​ ​retraction.

In​ ​its​ ​resolution,​ ​COMELEC​ ​granted​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​for​ ​recall.​ ​Hence,​ ​the​ ​petition.

ISSUE/S: WHETHER, under Section 74 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. No.
7160)​ ​…
1.A The word "recall" in paragraph (b) covers a process which includes the
convening of the Preparatory Recall Assembly and its approval of the recall
resolution.

1.B The term "regular local election" in the last clause of paragraph (b) includes
the​ ​election​ ​period​ ​for​ ​that​ ​regular​ ​election​ ​or​ ​simply​ ​the​ ​date​ ​of​ ​such​ ​election.

DOCTRINE: SEC.​ ​74​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Local​ ​Government​ ​Code​ ​(LCG)​ ​which​ ​provides:
Limitations on Recall. - (a) ​Any elective local official may be the subject of a recall
election​ ​only​ ​once​ ​during​ ​his​ ​term​ ​of​ ​office​ ​for​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​confidence.
(b) No recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the official's
assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local
election.
DECISION: 1.A ​We can agree that recall is a process which begins with the convening of the
preparatory, recall assembly or the gathering of the signatures at least 25% of the registered
voters of a local government unit, and then proceeds to the filing of a recall resolution or petition
with the COMELEC, the verification of such resolution or petition, the fixing of the date of the
recall election, and the holding of the election on the scheduled date. However, as used in
paragraph (b) of 74, "recall" refers to the election itself by means of which voters decide whether
they​ ​should​ ​retain​ ​their​ ​local​ ​official​ ​or​ ​elect​ ​his​ ​replacement​.

Sec. 74 deals with restrictions on the power of recall. It is in fact entitled "Limitations on Recall."
On the other hand, 69 provide that "the power of recall ...shall be exercised by the registered
voters of a local government unit to which the local elective official belongs." Since the power
vested on the electorate is not the power to initiate recall proceedings but the power to elect an
official into office, the limitations in 74 cannot be deemed to apply to the entire recall
proceedings. In other words, ​the term "recall" in paragraph (b) refers only to the recall election,
excluding the convening of the PRA and the filing of a petition for recall with the COMELEC, or
the​ ​gathering​ ​of​ ​the​ ​signatures​ ​of​ ​at​ ​least​ ​25​ ​%​ ​of​ ​the​ ​voters​ ​for​ ​a​ ​petition​ ​for​ ​recall.
As the recall election in Pasay City is set on April 15, 2000, more than one year after petitioner
assumed​ ​office​ ​as​ ​mayor​ ​of​ ​that​ ​city,​ ​we​ ​hold​ ​that​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​bar​ ​to​ ​its​ ​holding​ ​on​ ​that​ ​date.

1.B This​ ​contention​ ​is​ ​untenable.


The law is unambiguous in providing that "[n]o recall shall take place within . . . one (1) year
immediately preceding a regular local election." Had Congress intended this limitation to refer to
the campaign period, which period is defined in the Omnibus Election Code, it could have
expressly​ ​said​ ​so.
Indeed, there is a distinction between election period and campaign period. Under the Omnibus
Election Code, unless otherwise fixed by the COMELEC, the election period commences ninety
(90) days before the day of the election and ends thirty (30) days thereafter. Thus, to follow
petitioner's interpretation that the second limitation in paragraph (b) includes the "election
period"​ ​would​ ​emasculate​ ​even​ ​more​ ​a​ ​vital​ ​right​ ​of​ ​the​ ​people.
Sec. 74 impose limitations on the holding of recall elections. First, paragraph (a) prohibits the
holding of such election more than once during the term of office of an elective local official.
Second, paragraph (b) prohibits the holding of such election within one year from the date the
official assumed office. And third, paragraph (b) prohibits the holding of a recall election within
one​ ​year​ ​immediately​ ​preceding​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​local​ ​election.

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Goh​ ​v.​ ​Bayron,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​212584,​ ​[November​ ​25,​ ​2014]​ ​-​ ​CIMAFRANCA

FACTS: ​On March 7, 2014, petitioner filed before the COMELEC a recall petition against herein
private respondent Mayor Bayron of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, ​due to loss of trust and
confidence brought about by "gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act, gross violation of pertinent provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials, Incompetence, and other related gross inexcusable
negligence/dereliction of duty, intellectual dishonesty and emotional immaturity as Mayor of
Puerto​ ​Princesa​ ​City.
On 1 April 2014, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 9864. Resolution No. 9864 found
the recall petition sufficient in form and substance, but. ​suspended the funding of any and all
recall​ ​elections​ ​until​ ​the​ ​resolution​ ​of​ ​the​ ​funding​ ​issue.

Respondent Bayron filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and prayed for the dismissal
of​ ​the​ ​recall​ ​petition​ ​for​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​merit.​ ​Goh​ ​opposed​ ​the​ ​abovementioned​ ​motion.

On​ ​May​ ​27,​ ​2014,​ ​COMELEC​ ​issued​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​9882​ ​(important​ ​points):

“The conduct of recall is one of several constitutional mandates of the Commission.


Unfortunately, it cannot now proceed with the conduct of recall elections as it ​does not have an
appropriation​ ​or​ ​legal​ ​authority​ ​to​ ​commit​ ​public​ ​funds​ ​for​ ​the​ ​purpose.

I​. All expenses incident to Recall elections shall he for the account of the Commission (Read
Sec.​ ​75,​ ​LGC)

II. ​The Commission does not have an appropriation or line item budget to serve as a
contingency​ ​fund​ ​for​ ​the​ ​conduct​ ​of​ ​recall​ ​elections​ ​under​ ​the​ ​2014​ ​CAA

In prior years, including election years such as 2007, 2010 and 2013, the Commission had a
line item for the "Conduct and Supervision of Elections and other Political Exercises" under the
Program category of its budget. However, ​the said line item was never utilized for the actual
conduct of any elections or other political exercises including recall elections​. Again, the said
line item has been ​consistently spent for the basic continuing staff support and administrative
operations of the Commission​. This is because on top of the line item for the "Conduct and
Supervision of Elections and other Polftical Exercises" under the Program category, separate
line items were provided by Congress for the conduct of the "National and Local Elections," "SK
and Barangay Elections" as well as "Overseas Absentee Voting" under the Locally Funded
Projects​ ​(Project)​ ​category​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Commission's​ ​2007,​ ​2010​ ​and​ ​2013​ ​budget.

Year/GAA Item​ ​Budget Amount Item​ ​Budget Amount


Under​ ​Program under​ ​Projects
2007 Conduct and Supervision P957,294,000 National and P5,128,969,00
of Elections and Other Local​ ​Elections 0
Political​ ​Exercises
SK and P2,130,969,00
Barangay 0
Elections
Overseas P238,421,000
Absentee​ ​Voting
2010 Conduct and Supervision P1, Automated P5,216,536,00
of Elections and Other 101,072.000 National and 0
Political​ ​Exercises Local​ ​Elections
SK and P3,241,535,00
Barangay 0
Elections
Overseas P188,086,000
Absentee​ ​Voting
2013 Conduct and Supervision P1,452,752,00 Synchronized P4,585,314,00
of Elections and Other 0 National, Local 0
Political​ ​Exercises and ARMM
Elections
SK and P1,175,098,00
Barangay 0
Elections
Overseas P105,036,000
Absentee​ ​Voting

Thus, all expenses relative to the actual conduct of elections were charged against the specific
line items for "National and Local Elections," "SK and Barangay Elections" and "Overseas
Absentee Voting" under the Locally Funded Projects category and not against the separate line
item for the "Conduct and Supervision of Elections and other Political Exercises" under the
Program​ ​category.

This brings us to the relevance of classifying an agency's budget into two major categories -
Programs and Projects. Their definitions are found in the 2014 Budget of Expenditures and
Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to Congress as required by the
Constitution [Footnote 5 -Article VII, Sec. 22]. In the Glossary of Terms attached to the 2014
BESF, a "Program" [Footnote 6 - Page 1015] is defined as "a homogenous group of activities
necessary for the performance of a major purpose for which a government agency is
established, for the basic maintenance of the agency s administrative operations or for the
provisions of staff support to agency s administrative operations or for the provisions of staff
support to the agency 's line functions." On the other hand, "Projects" are defined as "Special
agency undertakings which are to be carried out within a definite time frame and which are
intended​ ​to​ ​result​ ​[in]​ ​some​ ​pre-determined​ ​measures​ ​of​ ​goods​ ​and​ ​services."

Hence, a budget under the category of "Program" ​is intended to finance the regular day-to-day
activities of the Commission for the continuing basic maintenance of its administrative
operations. Those activities are regularly undertaken by the Commission regardless of whether
or not an election or any political exercises are being administered by the Commission​. With
respect to budget under the category of "Project", it is intended to fund ​the special undertakings
or activities of the Commission which are not carried out on a regular day-today basis such as
the actual administration of elections and other political exercises including recall elections​.
Hence, it is illegal to proceed with any activity falling within the definition of "Project" by using
the budget intended to finance the activities within the scope of "Program." The only instance
when the Constitution allows the budget intended for "Program" to be used for "Project" is when
there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​augmentation.
Clearly, thus, the Commission's appropriations in the 2014 GAA does [sic] not include any line
item for a contingency fund for the specific purpose of conducting recall elections. In fact, the
same​ ​has​ ​been​ ​true​ ​for​ ​all​ ​appropriations​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Commission​ ​since​ ​2005.

III.​ ​Augmentation​ ​is​ ​Not​ ​Possible.​​ ​(Read​ ​Art.​ ​VI,​ ​Sec.​ ​25(5)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Constitution)
III​.​ ​a.)​ ​There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​Line​ ​Item​ ​for​ ​Recall​ ​Elections​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2014​ ​GAA.

Clearly,​ ​there​ ​are​ ​three​ ​(3)​ ​requisites​ ​for​ ​the​ ​valid​ ​exercise​ ​of​ ​the​ ​power​ ​to​ ​augment,​ ​namely:
1.​ ​There​ ​must​ ​be​ ​a​ ​law​ ​authorizing​ ​the​ ​Chairman​ ​to​ ​augment;
2. There must be a deficient existing line item in the general appropriations law to be
augmented;​ ​and
3.​ ​There​ ​must​ ​be​ ​savings​ ​on​ ​the​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Commission.

While there is a law authorizing the Chairman to augment a deficient appropriation (Sec. 67,
General Provisions of the 2014 GAA), there is ​no existing line item in the Commission's budget
for the actual conduct of a recall elections​. Thus, augmentation is not possible in this case. III.
b.) Recall Elections is not one of the Specific Purposes and Priorities for Augmentation under
the​ ​2014​ ​GAA.

Granting arguendo that the line item for the "Conduct and supervision of elections, referenda,
recall votes and plebiscites" under the Program category of the Commission's 2014 budget is
also a line item for the conduct of recall elections, still, augmentation cannot be made within the
bounds of the law. Under Sec. 69 of the General Provisions of the 2014 GAA, there are
priorities​ ​in​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​savings,​ ​and​ ​[the​ ​conduct​ ​of]​ ​recall​ ​elections​ ​is​ ​NOT​ ​one​ ​of​ ​them,​ ​to​ ​wit:

"Sec. 69. Priority in the Use of Savings. The use of savings, priority shall he given to the
augmentation of the amounts set aside for the payment of compensation, year-end bonus and
cash gift, retirement gratuity, terminal leave benefits, old age pension of veterans and other
personnel benefits authorized by law and those expenditure items authorized in agency special
provisions​ ​and​ ​in​ ​other​ ​sections​ ​of​ ​the​ ​General​ ​Provisions​ ​in​ ​this​ ​Act.”

Xxx

VI. ​The only Solution is the Enactment of a Law that will Appropriate Funds for the Conduct of
Recall​ ​Elections.

Goh​ ​filed​ ​the​ ​instant​ ​case​ ​on​ ​June​ ​6,​ ​2014.

ISSUE/S: ​W/N COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Resolutions No. 9882
and​ ​9864.
DOCTRINE:

DECISION: YES. ​We grant the petition. We hold that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of
discretion in issuing Resolution Nos. 9864 and 9882. The 2014 GAA provides the line item
appropriation to allow the COMELEC to perform its constitutional mandate of conducting recall
elections. There is no need for supplemental legislation to authorize the COMELEC to conduct
recall​ ​elections​ ​for​ ​2014.
Despite Resolution No. 9882's statement about the alleged failure of the 2014 GAA to provide
for a line item appropriation for the conduct of recall elections, we hold that the 2014 GAA
actually expressly provides for a line item appropriation for the conduct and supervision of recall
elections. This is found in the Programs category of its 2014 budget, which the COMELEC
admits in its Resolution No. 9882 is a "line item for the 'Conduct and supervision of elections,
referenda, recall votes and plebiscites.'" In addition, one of the specific constitutional functions
of the COMELEC is to conduct recall elections. When the COMELEC receives a budgetary
appropriation for its "Current Operating Expenditures," such appropriation includes expenditures
to carry out its constitutional functions, including the conduct of recall elections. Thus, in
Socrates v. COMELEC (Socrates), recall elections were conducted even without a specific
appropriation​ ​for​ ​recall​ ​elections​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2002​ ​GAA.​ ​(See​ ​II.​ ​of​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​9882​ ​above)

More importantly, the COMELEC admits in its Resolution No. 9882 that the COMELEC has "a
line item for the 'Conduct and supervision of elections, referenda, recall votes and plebiscites.'"
This admission of the COMELEC is a correct interpretation of this specific budgetary
appropriation. To be valid, an appropriation must indicate a specific amount and a specific
purpose. However, ​the purpose may be specific even if it is broken down into different related
sub-categories of the same nature​. For example, the purpose can be to '"conduct elections,"
which even if not expressly spelled out covers regular, special, or recall elections. The purpose
of the appropriation is still specific - to fund elections, which naturally and logically include, even
if​ ​not​ ​expressly​ ​stated,​ ​not​ ​only​ ​regular​ ​but​ ​also​ ​special​ ​or​ ​recall​ ​elections.

We thus find unnecessary the COMELEC's protests regarding the difference between "Projects"
and​ ​"Programs"​ ​for​ ​their​ ​failure​ ​to​ ​allocate​ ​funds​ ​for​ ​any​ ​recall​ ​process​ ​in​ ​2014.
x x x ​The constitutional test for validity is not how itemized the appropriation is down to the
project level but whether the purpose of the appropriation is specific enough to allow the
President to exercise his line item veto power​. Section 23, Chapter 4, Book VI of the
Administrative Code provides a stricter requirement by mandating that there must be a
corresponding appropriation for each program and for each project. ​A project is a component of
a program which may have several projects. A program is equivalent to the specific purpose of
an appropriation. An item of appropriation for school-building is a program, while the specific
schools to be built, being the identifiable outputs of the program, are the projects. The
Constitution only requires a corresponding appropriation for a specific purpose or program, not
for​ ​the​ ​sub-set​ ​of​ ​projects​ ​or​ ​activities​.
Considering that there is an existing line item appropriation for the conduct of recall elections in
the 2014 GAA, we see no reason why the COMELEC is unable to perform its constitutional
mandate to "enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of x x x
recall." ​Should the funds appropriated in the 2014 GAA be deemed insufficient, then the
COMELEC Chairman may exercise his authority to augment such line item appropriation from
the COMELEC's existing savings, as this augmentation is expressly authorized in the 2014
GAA.

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X.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Failure​ ​of​ ​Elections,​ ​Postponement​ ​of​ ​Elections,​ ​Special​ ​Elections


Sison​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​134096,​ ​03​ ​March​ ​1999​ ​-​ ​DEIPARINE

FACTS: It appears that while the election returns were being canvassed by the Quezon City
Board of Canvassers but before the winning candidates were proclaimed, petitioner Joseph
Peter Sison commenced suit before the COMELEC by filing a petition seeking to suspend the
canvassing of votes and/or proclamation in Quezon City and to declare a failure of elections.
The said petition was supposedly filed pursuant to Section 6[3] of the Omnibus Election Code
(Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, as amended) on the ground of massive and orchestrated fraud and
acts analogous thereto which occurred after the voting and during the preparation of election
returns and in the custody or canvass thereof, which resulted in a failure to elect. Some of the
alleged​ ​acts​ ​are:
1. The Board of Canvassers announced that election returns with no inner seal would be
included​ ​in​ ​the​ ​canvass;

2. Board of Election Inspectors brought home copies of election returns meant for the
City​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Canvassers;

3. Petitioner, through counsel, raised written objections to the inclusion in the canvass of
election returns which were either tampered with, altered or falsified, or otherwise not
authentic;

4. According to the minutes of the City Board of Canvassers, there were precincts with
missing​ ​election​ ​returns;

5. Several election returns with no data on the number of votes cast for vice mayoralty
position;

6. Highly suspicious persons sneaking in some election returns and documents into the
canvassing​ ​area;

7. Concerned citizen found minutes of the counting, keys, locks and metal seal in the
COMELEC​ ​area​ ​for​ ​disposal​ ​as​ ​trash;

8. Board of Election Inspectors have volunteered information that they placed the copy of
the election returns meant for the City Board of Canvassers in the ballot boxes deposited
with​ ​the​ ​City​ ​Treasurer​ ​allegedly​ ​due​ ​to​ ​fatigue​ ​and​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​sleep;

9. Ballot boxes were never in the custody of the COMELEC and neither the parties nor
their watchers were allowed to enter the restricted area where these boxes passed
through on the way to the basement of the City Hall where they were supposedly kept;
and

10. In the elections in Barangay New Era, there was a clear pattern of voting which
would show that the election returns were manufactured and that no actual voting by duly
qualified​ ​voters​ ​took​ ​place​ ​therein.

While the petition was pending before the COMELEC, the City Board of Canvassers proclaimed
the winners of the elections in Quezon City, including the winning candidate for the post of vice
mayor. On June 22, 1998, the COMELEC promulgated its challenged resolution dismissing the
petition before it on the ground (1) that the allegations therein were not supported by sufficient
evidence, and (2) that the grounds recited were not among the pre-proclamation issues set
fourth​ ​in​ ​Section​ ​17​ ​of​ ​Republic​ ​Act​ ​No.​ ​7166.​ ​Hence,​ ​this​ ​petition.

Alleging that COMELEC overstepped the limits of reasonable exercise of discretion in


dismissing SPC No. 98-134, petitioner argues in the main that the electoral body failed to afford
him basic due process, that is, the right to a hearing and presentation of evidence before ruling
on his petition. He then proceeded to argue that the election returns themselves, as well as the
minutes of the canvassing committee of the City Board of Canvassers were, by themselves,
sufficient​ ​evidence​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the​ ​petition.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​failure​ ​of​ ​elections


DOCTRINE: A pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action for annulment
of election results or declaration of failure of elections, founded as they are on different
grounds.

DECISION: NO. Recently, in Matalam v. Commission on Elections, we have already declared


that a pre-proclamation controversy is not the same as an action for annulment of election
results​ ​or​ ​declaration​ ​of​ ​failure​ ​of​ ​elections,​ ​founded​ ​as​ ​they​ ​are​ ​on​ ​different​ ​grounds.

Under the pertinent codal provision of the Omnibus Election Code, there are only three (3)
instances where a failure of elections may be declared, namely: ​(a) the election in any polling
place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence,
terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes; (b) the election in any polling place had
been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of
force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes; or (c) after the
voting and during the preparation and transmission of the election returns or in the
custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect on account of force
majeure, violence, terrorism , fraud, or other analogous causes. We have painstakingly
examined petitioners petition before the COMELEC but found nothing therein that could support
an action for declaration of failure of elections. He never alleged at all that elections were either
not held or suspended. Furthermore, petitioners claim of failure to elect stood as a bare
conclusion bereft of any substantive support to describe just exactly how the failure to elect
came​ ​about

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Ampatuan​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​January​ ​31,​ ​2002,​ ​375​ ​SCRA​ ​503​ ​-​ ​DESUASIDO

FACTS: ​Ampatuan and Respondent Candao were candidates for the position of Governor of
Maguindanao​ ​during​ ​the​ ​2001​ ​elections.

● May 2001: respondents filed a petition with the comelec for the annulment of election
results and/or declaration of failure of elections in several municipalities. They claimed
that the elections were ―completely sham and farcical‖. The ballots were filled-up en
masse by a few persons the night before the election day, and in some precincts, the
ballot boxes, official ballots and other election paraphernalia were not delivered at all.
Comelec suspended proclamation of winning candidates. Petitioners filed a motion to lift
suspension​ ​of​ ​proclamation.​ ​Comelec​ ​granted​ ​and​ ​proclaimed​ ​the​ ​petitioners​ ​s​ ​winners.

● June 2001: Respondents filed with SC a petition to set aside Comelec order and prelim
injunction​ ​to​ ​suspend​ ​effects​ ​of​ ​the​ ​proclamation​ ​of​ ​petitioners.

● July 2001: Comelec ordered the consolidation of the respondents‘ petition for declaration
of​ ​failure​ ​of​ ​elections.

● Sept 2001: Petitioners filed the present petition and claimed that by virtue of the
proclamation, the proper remedy available to the respondents was not petition for
declaration of failure of elections but an election protest. The former is heard summarily
while​ ​the​ ​latter​ ​involves​ ​a​ ​full-blown​ ​trial.

● Oct 2001: Comelec ordered the suspension of the 2 assailed orders (with regard to
respondents‘ petition for failure of elections and directing the continuation of hearing and
disposition of the consolidated SPAs on the failure of elections and other incidents
related​ ​thereto)

ISSUE/S: ​Whether or not COMELEC had jurisdiction to act on respondents’ petitions even after
proclamation​ ​of​ ​petitioners​ ​as​ ​winners

DOCTRINE: ​Section 6. Failure of election: If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism,
fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date
fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after
the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the
custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases
the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission
shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing,
call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a
failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such
postponement​ ​or​ ​suspension​ ​of​ ​the​ ​election​ ​of​ ​failure​ ​to​ ​elect.

DECISION: ​Yes. The Comelec en banc has the authority to annul election results and/or
declare​ ​a​ ​failure​ ​of​ ​elections.

The Court held that respondents’ allegations of massive fraud and terrorism, which led to a
failure to elect, fell squarely within Sec 6. Of the Omnibus Election Code (Failure of Election).
“The Comelec is duty-bound to conduct an investigation as to the veracity of respondents’
allegations of massive fraud and terrorism that attended the conduct of the May 14, 2001
election”. There can be no assumption that petitioners’ proclamation and assumption into office
on June 30, 2001, was legal precisely because the conduct by which the elections were held
was​ ​put​ ​in​ ​issue​ ​by​ ​respondents.

Elucidating​ ​on​ ​the​ ​concept​ ​of​ ​failure​ ​of​ ​election,​ ​the​ ​SC​ ​held​ ​that:

“―xxx before Comelec can act on a verified petition seeking to declare a failure of election, two
(2) conditions must concur: first, no voting has taken place in the precincts concerned on the
date fixed by law or, even if there was voting, the election nevertheless resulted in a failure to
elect; and second, the votes cast would affect the result of the election. In Loong vs.
Commission on Elections, this Court added that the cause of such failure of election should
have been any of the following: force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or other analogous
cases.”

In another case, the SC ruled that “while it may be true that election did take place, the
irregularities that marred the counting of votes and the canvassing of the election returns
resulted​ ​in​ ​a​ ​failure​ ​to​ ​elect.”

The Court, in order not to frustrate the ends of justice, directed COMELEC to proceed with the
hearing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​consolidated​ ​petitions​ ​and​ ​the​ ​technical​ ​examination​ ​with​ ​deliberate​ ​dispatch.

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XI.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Election​ ​Offenses

People​ ​v.​ ​Ferrer,​ ​54​ ​O.G.​ ​1348​ ​-​ ​DIMACULANGAN

FACTS: The Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan and the Provincial Fiscals of Nueva Ecija and
Batanes of the Secretary of Justice, accused Andres G. Ferrer of the offense of violating
Sections 51 and 54 in relation to Sections 51 and 54 in relation to Section 183, 184 and 185 of
the​ ​Revised​ ​Election​ ​Code.​ ​The​ ​information​ ​reads​ ​as​ ​follows:
That on or about 10th day of November, 1953, (Election Day), and for sometime
prior thereto in the municipality of Binmaley, province of Pangasinan, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Andres G.
Ferrer, being then and there a Foreign Affairs Officer, Class III, Department of Foreign
Affairs, and classified civil service officer, duly qualified and appointed as such, did then
and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly, in utter disregard and defiance
of the specific and several legal prohibition on the subject, and in disregard of the civil
service rules and regulations, induce, influence, sway and make the electors vote in
favor of the candidates of the Liberal Party in the following manner, to wit: (1) that
sometime before the elections on November 10, 1958, the said accused, Andres G.
Ferrer, delivered a speech during a political rally of the Liberal Party in Barrio Caloocan
Norte, of the said municipality of Binmaley, Pangasinan, inducing the electors to vote for
the candidates of the Liberal Party but more particularly for President Quirino and
Speaker Perez; that during said political meeting the said accused caused to be
distributed to the people who attended said meeting cigarettes and pamphlets
concerning the Liberal Party; and (2) that the said accused, Andres G. Ferrer, sometime
prior to the last elections campaigned in the Barrio of Caloocan Norte, of the said
municipality of Binmaley, going from house to house and induced the electors to whom
he​ ​distributed​ ​sample,​ ​ballots​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Liberal​ ​Party.
Contrary to sections 51 and 54 in relation to Sections 183, 184 and 185 of
Republic​ ​Act​ ​No.​ ​180,​ ​as​ ​amended.
The defendant moved to quash the information on the ground that it charges more than
one​ ​offense​ ​and​ ​that​ ​the​ ​facts​ ​do​ ​not​ ​constitute​ ​an​ ​offense.

ISSUE/S:​ ​1.​ ​Was​ ​there​ ​a​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Revised​ ​Election​ ​Code?
DECISION: YES. ​The trial court is of the opinion that causing cigarettes or pamphlets
concerning the Liberal Party to be distributed to the people who attended a political meeting,
charged against the defendant, does not constitute a violation of section 51 of the Revised
Election Code, because it is not giving "food" for tobacco is not food; nor does it constitute a
violation of that part of section 51 which makes unlawfully the contributing or giving, directly or
indirectly, of money or things of value, because the information merely charges the defendant
with-having caused cigarettes, etc. to be distributed, and it does not state that the cigarette
belonged to the defendant and were being given away by him as his contribution for
electioneering purposes. True, cigarettes are not food, but they have and are of value and the
charge that the defendant caused cigarettes and pamphlets concerning the Liberal Party to be
distributed to the people who attended a political meeting mentioned in the information is a
sufficient allegation that he gave or contributed things of value for electioneering purposes. If the
cigarettes​ ​did​ ​not​ ​belong​ ​to​ ​him,​ ​that​ ​is​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​defense.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mappala​ ​v.​ ​Nunez,​ ​240​ ​SCRA​ ​600​ ​-​ ​FLORES

JACINTO​ ​MAPPALA​ ​vs​ ​JUDGE​ ​CRISPULO​ ​A.​ ​NUÑEZ

FACTS: In 1989, the Provincial prosecutor of Isabela filed an information against


Alejandro​ ​Angoluan​ ​for:
1. illegal​ ​possession​ ​of​ ​a​ ​firearm​ ​in​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​P.D.​ ​No.​ ​1866;
2. frustrated​ ​murder,​ ​together​ ​with​ ​5​ ​other​ ​accused;​ ​and
3. violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​election​ ​code,​ ​together​ ​with​ ​Honorato​ ​Angoluan.

The complaining witness in criminal case was Jacinto Mappala, the complainant against
respondent in this administrative case. All the actions were consolidated and assigned to the
RTC, Branch 22, Cabagan, Isabela, presided by respondent. Respondent judge rendered a
decision​ ​stating​ ​that:
1. Alejandro Angoluan "GUILTY" beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Illegal
Possession
of​ ​Firearms..
2. Alejandro​ ​Angoluan​ ​is​ ​GUILTY​ ​beyond​ ​reasonable​ ​doubt​ ​of​ ​the​ ​crime​ ​of​ ​Frustrated
Homicide,​ ​while​ ​ ​the​ ​5​ ​others​ ​were​ ​acquitted;​ ​and
3. That​ ​both​ ​Alejandro​ ​Angoluan​ ​and​ ​Honorato​ ​Angoluan​ ​ ​were​ ​"NOT​ ​GUILTY"​ ​of​ ​the​ ​crime
and​ ​therefore​ ​are​ ​ACQUITTED​ ​for​ ​Violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​election​ ​Code​.

Complainant charged respondent with gross inefficiency, serious misconduct for acquitting
Alejandro​ ​Angoluan​ ​of​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code.

Respondent justified the acquittal of Alejandro of violation of the Election Law on the
ground that ". . . the firearm was not taken from his person within the precinct but was not taken
. . . more than 50 meters away from the precinct" and that, what the law considered as a crime
was the "carrying of firearms within (50) or 100 meters away from the precinct. According to
him, the firearm was not taken from the accused within the 50 or 100 meters distance from the
precinct because in truth and in fact the said firearm was surrendered by the accused two (2)
days after the elections. And that the mistake in the distance is merely a clerical error. But be it
50 meters or 100 meters, still the accused could not be convicted under the said provision,
specifically​ ​Section​ ​261,​ ​Subsection​ ​(p)​ ​of​ ​Article​ ​XXII​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​election​ ​Code".

ISSUE: Whether or not the Respondent committed serious misconduct for acquitting
Alejandro​ ​Angoluan​ ​for​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code.

DOCTRINE: To support a conviction under ​Section 261(p) of the Omnibus election Code, it
is not necessary that the deadly weapon should have been seized from the accused while he
was in the precinct or within a radius of 100 meters therefrom. ​It is enough that the accused
carried the deadly weapon "in the polling place and within a radius of 100 meters thereof"
during​ ​any​ ​of​ ​the​ ​specified​ ​days​ ​and​ ​hours.

HELD:​ ​YES.​ ​Section​ ​261​ ​(p)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code​ ​states​ ​that:
Deadly weapons​. — Any person who carries any deadly weapon in the polling place and
within a radius of 100 meters thereof during the days and hours fixed by law for the
registration of voters in the polling place, voting, counting of votes, or preparation of the
election returns. However, in cases of affray, turmoil, or disorder, any peace officer or
public officer authorized by the Commission to supervise the election is entitled to carry
firearms​ ​or​ ​any​ ​other​ ​weapon​ ​for​ ​the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​preserving​ ​and​ ​enforcing​ ​the​ ​law.

In his decision, respondent found that Alejandro shot complainant herein inside Precinct
No. 2 located at the elementary school building in Santo Tomas, Isabela, during the barangay
elections on March 28, 1989. Respondent also found that Alejandro was the one who
surrendered the gun. To respondent, the surrender of the weapon was an implied admission
that it was the one used by Alejandro in shooting complainant. Inspite of all these findings,
respondent acquitted Alejandro of illegally carrying a deadly weapon inside a precinct on the
theory​ ​that​ ​the​ ​gun​ ​was​ ​not​ ​seized​ ​from​ ​him​ ​while​ ​he​ ​was​ ​the​ ​precinct.

To support a conviction under Section 261(p) of the Omnibus election Code, it is not
necessary that the deadly weapon should have been seized from the accused while he was in
the precinct or within a radius of 100 meters therefrom. ​It is enough that the accused carried the
deadly weapon "in the polling place and within a radius of 100 meters thereof" during any of the
specified days and hours. After respondent himself had found that the prosecution had
established these facts, it is difficult to understand why he acquitted Alejandro of the charge of
violation​ ​of​ ​Section​ ​261(p)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​election​ ​Code.

WHEREFORE,​ ​respondent​ ​is​ ​FINED.

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People​ ​v.​ ​Bayona,​ ​181​ ​Phil.​ ​186​ ​-​ ​GAMO

FACTS:
Judge Braulio Bejasa in the Court of First Instance of Capiz, founding the Cornelio Bayona
guilty of a violation of section 416 of the Election Law and sentencing him to suffer
imprisonment for thirty days and to pay a fine of P50, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​the​ ​costs.
Bayona went inside a fenced polling place because called him friend and merely approached
him to find out what he wanted and had no interest in the election. He brought his revolver
because there were many people in the public road in front of the polling place, and the he
could not leave his revolver in his automobile without running the risk of losing it and thereby
incurring​ ​in​ ​a​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​law.

Jose E. Desiderio, a representative of the Department of the Interior, and Major Agdamag of the
Philippine Constabulary, designated to supervise the elections in the Province of Capiz, was
within the fence surrounding the polling place when Desiderio took possession of the revolver
the​ ​Bayona​ ​was​ ​carrying.​ ​Bayona​ ​was​ ​arrested​ ​on​ ​the​ ​road.
ISSUE/S: ​Whether or not the CFI of Capiz erred in finding Bayona guilty of Sec. 416 of the
Election​ ​Law.

DOCTRINE:
The object of the Legislature was merely to prohibit the display of firearms with intention to
influence in any way the free and voluntary exercise of suffrage. The rule is that in acts ​mala in
se ​there must be a criminal intent, but in those ​mala prohibita ​it is sufficient if the prohibited act
was​ ​intentionally​ ​done.

DECISION:
No, the prohibition in bringing firearms within polling places is a mala prohibitum and the intent
of​ ​Bayona​ ​is​ ​immaterial.

We cannot accept the reasons advanced by the Solicitor-General for the acquittal of the
defendant. The law which the defendant violated is a statutory provision, and the intent with
which he violated it is immaterial. It may be conceded that the defendant did not intend to
intimidate any elector or to violate the law in any other way, but when he got out of his
automobile and carried his revolver inside of the fence surrounding the polling place, he
committed the act complained of, and he committed it willfully. The act prohibited by the Election
Law was complete. The intention to intimidate the voters or to interfere otherwise with the
election is not made an essential element of the offense. Unless such an offender actually
makes use of his revolver, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to prove that he
intended​ ​to​ ​intimidate​ ​the​ ​voters.

The cases suggested by the Solicitor-General do not seem to us to present any difficulty in the
enforcement of the law. If a man with a revolver merely passes along a public road on election
day, within fifty meters of a polling place, he does not violate the provision of law in question,
because he had no intent to perpetrate the act prohibited, and the same thing would be true of a
peace officer in pursuing a criminal; nor would the prohibition extend to persons living within fifty
meters of a polling place, who merely clean or handle their firearms within their own residences
on election day, as they would not be carrying firearms within the contemplation of the law; and
that a policeman who goes to a polling place on the request of the board of election inspectors
for​ ​the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​maintaining​ ​order​ ​is​ ​authorized​ ​by​ ​law​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​his​ ​arms.

For the foregoing reasons, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with the costs against the
appellant.

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Lozano​ ​v.​ ​Yorac,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​94521,​ ​94626,​ ​28​ ​October​ ​1991​ ​-​ ​JUSTINIANO

FACTS:
On January 11, 1988, petitioner Oliver Lozano and Bernadette Agcorpa filed with the
COMELEC a petition for disqualification against then mayoral candidate Jejomar Binay on the
ground that Binay used Php 9.9 million of municipal funds to enhance his candidacy. The cause
for this petition was the Christmas gift giving event allegedly conducted by Binay on Dec. 22-30,
1987. The disqualification case was assigned to COMELEC’s 2​nd division which was headed by
Commissioner Yorac, respondent. The 2​nd division referred the case to its Law Department to
conduct a preliminary investigation regarding the alleged malversation of public funds and vote
buying. In response, petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion praying for the inhibition and/or
disqualification of Commissioner Yorac; this was the first of numerous motions for inhibition
against Commissioner Yorac. In addition, petitioner also petitioned that the disqualification case
be​ ​referred​ ​for​ ​consideration​ ​by​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc.
COMELEC en banc promulgated Resolution No. 2050 which provides that
petitions for disqualification filed prior to the January 18, 1988 local elections based on Section
68 of the Omnibus Election Code but note resolved before the elections shall be referred for
preliminary investigation to the Law Department which shall submit its report to the Commission
en banc. Pursuant to said resolution, the 2​nd Division referred back the disqualification case
against Binay to its Law Department before taking any action thereon. Commissioner Yorac was
of the opinion that no judgment should be rendered regarding Binay’s disqualification case
without first concluding the criminal charges that were filed against him (vote buying and
malversation of public funds). Petitioner sought for the inhibition of Commissioner Yorac
because the former claims that the latter has rendered a prejudgment in the disqualification
case by issuing a memorandum to the members of the 2​nd division that Binay shall only be
disqualified after conviction by the Regional Trial Court. The 2​nd Division dismissed the
disqualification case upon the Law Department’s findings that there are insufficient evidence to
prove that Binay participated in vote buying and malversation of public funds through the gift
giving event. The gift giving event was an annual event conducted by two prior mayors of
Makati. Again, petitioner petitioned that the disqualification case be referred for consideration by
the​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc​ ​and​ ​that​ ​the​ ​decision​ ​by​ ​the​ ​2nd​
​ ​ ​Division​ ​be​ ​disregarded.

ISSUE/S:
1.​ ​W/N​ ​commissioner​ ​Yorac​ ​should​ ​be​ ​inhibited​ ​from​ ​the​ ​disqualification​ ​case.
2. W/N the COMELEC en banc should decide on the disqualification case despite the Law
Department’s​ ​findings.

DECISION:
1. The Supreme Court rendered that the issue regarding the inhibition of commissioner
Yorac be moot and academic because of the dismissal of the disqualification case
against​ ​Binay.​ ​The​ ​Supreme​ ​Court,​ ​however,​ ​stated​ ​that,
“​ Petitioner's postulation that she should have inhibited herself from hearing the main case, for
allegedly having prejudged the case when she advanced the opinion that respondent Binay
could only be disqualified after conviction by the regional trial court, is of exiguous validity. In the
first place, the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, specifically Section 1, Rule 4 thereof, prohibits a
member from, among others, sitting in a case in which he has publicly expressed prejudgment
as may be shown by convincing proof. There is no showing that the memorandum wherein
Commissioner Yorac rendered her opinion was ever made public either by publication or
dissemination of the same to the public. Furthermore, the opinion of Commissioner Yorac was
based on prior cases for disqualification filed with the COMELEC wherein prior conviction of the
respondent was considered a condition ​sine qua non for the filing of the disqualification case.
We accordingly find no compelling reason to inhibit Commissioner Yorac from participating in
the​ ​hearing​ ​and​ ​decision​ ​of​ ​the​ ​case.”
2. The Supreme Court stated that the petitioner is already estopped from filing a motion
for reconsideration of the decision rendered dismissing the disqualification case
because​ ​the​ ​said​ ​decision​ ​was​ ​made​ ​en​ ​banc.​ ​The​ ​Supreme​ ​Court​ ​stated​ ​that,
“Prior to the issuance of Resolution No. 2050, petitioner had filed several motions
with the Second Division asking for the referral of the disqualification case to the Commission
en banc​. After the COMELEC ​en banc issued Resolution No. 2050, petitioner filed another
motion for the referral of the case to the Commission ​en banc​, specifically invoking Resolution
No. 2050. In the words of petitioner in his said motion, under the aforesaid resolution, "once the
petition for disqualification is forwarded to the Law Department, the case is deemed ​en banc
because the report is submitted ​En Banc by the Law Department." Petitioner having invoked the
jurisdiction of the Commission​en banc is now estopped from questioning the same after
obtaining​ ​an​ ​adverse​ ​judgment​ ​therefrom.”
In addition the Supreme Court stated that, “We uphold the foregoing factual findings, as
well as the conclusions reached by respondent COMELEC, in dismissing the petition for the
disqualification of respondent Binay. No clear and convincing proof exists to show that
respondent Binay was indeed engaged in vote buying. It requires more than a mere tenuous
deduction to prove the offense of vote buying. There has to be concrete and direct evidence or,
at least, strong circumstantial evidence to support the charge that respondent was indeed
engaged in vote buying. We are convinced that the evidence presented, as well as the facts
obtaining in the case at bar, do not warrant such finding. Under the 1935 and 1973
Constitutions, and the same is true under the present one, this Court cannot review the factual
findings of the Commission on Elections absent a grave abuse of discretion and a showing of
arbitrariness​ ​in​ ​its​ ​decision,​ ​order​ ​or​ ​resolution.”

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Ong​ ​v.​ ​Martinez,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​87743,​ ​21​ ​August​ ​1990​ ​-​ ​MANGILA

FACTS: ​Robert Ong assails the appointment and assumption of duties as Councilor in the City
Council of Manila of Ma. Teresita Herrera-Martinez, in place of deceased Councilor Saturnino
Herrera​ ​who​ ​represented​ ​the​ ​Third​ ​District​ ​of​ ​Manila.

Robert Ong , was appointed on February 9, 1989 as member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod
(City Council) by the Secretary of Local Government to fill the vacancy created by the late
Councilor Saturnino Herrera. Such appointment was by virtue of of an indorsement by the
Treasurer of the said party in the district. In the regular session of City Council, said council
moved to exclude petitioner and other appointees from the session hall. In the subsequent
session, petitioner and his co-appointees were formally excluded from the session hall with 16
councilors​ ​voting​ ​for​ ​such​ ​exclusion.

LP Councilors in the City Council endorsed the appointment of respondent. The President of the
LP Third District Chapter then nominated respondent for appointment to the Secretary of
Department of Local Government (Secretary Santos) pursuant to Section 50 of the Local
Government Code. Secretary Santos thereafter issued an appointment to the respondent on
March​ ​17,​ ​1989.

The petition seeks to annul the appointment of respondent Marines and to declare petitioner to
be holder of the position of Councilor in place of deceased Herrera. Petitioner argue that The
Secretary of the Department of Local Government, in appointing respondent Martinez on March
17, 1989, violated the election ban on appointments under Res. No. 2054 of the Comelec dated
December 7, 1988 since her appointment was not cleared for exemption from the election ban
and, therefore, the same was made beyond and in excess of the Secretary's authority and by
reason of which, the appointment is null and void. Respondent on the other hand argues that
her​ ​appointment​ ​is​ ​not​ ​covered​ ​by​ ​election​ ​ban​ ​under​ ​261​ ​(g)​ ​oof​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code.

Both petitioner and respondent have invoked the election ban imposed under Sec. 261 (g) of
the Omnibus Election Code. The election ban covered the period from February 11 to March 27,
1989 by reason of the Barangay election held on March 28, 1989. Both parties have capitalized
on the prohibitive provision for the purpose of having their respective appointments declared
illegal​ ​or​ ​null​ ​and​ ​void.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​appointment​ ​of​ ​respondent​ ​is​ ​valid

DOCTRINE: ​The permanent vacancy for councilor exists and its filling up is governed by the
Local Government Code while the appointment referred to in the election ban provision is
covered by the Civil Service Law. The appointment of respondent is not covered by the election
ban​ ​contemplated​ ​under​ ​Sec.​ ​261​ ​(g)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code.

DECISION: ​Yes. Sec. 261 (g) of Omnibus Election Code does not apply to both appointments.
The permanent vacancy for councilor exists and its filling up is governed by the Local
Government Code while the appointment referred to in the election ban provision is covered by
the Civil Service Law. The appointment of respondent is not covered by the election ban
contemplated under Sec. 261 (g) of the Omnibus Election Code. Respondent had gone through
the regular and standard nomination process which had been officially acknowledged by the
Secretary of Local Government. Since deceased Councilor Saturnino Herrera who had caused
the contested vacancy comes from the Liberal Party, it follows that his mode of replacement
should be governed by the standing rules of the aforenamed Party. For having satisfied the
formal requisites and procedure for appointment as Councilor, which is an official position
outside​ ​the​ ​contemplation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​election​ ​ban,​ ​respondent's​ ​appointment​ ​is​ ​declared​ ​valid.

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Regalado​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​115962,​ ​15​ ​February​ ​2000​ ​-​ ​MARCILLA

FACTS: ​On January 15, 1987, complainant Editha Barba was appointed nursing attendant in
the Rural Health Office of Tanjay, Negros Oriental by then Officer-In-Charge Mayor Rodolfo
Navarro. As Navarro decided to run for mayor of Tanjay in the January 18, 1988 elections,
petitioner Dominador Regalado, Jr. was appointed substitute OIC-Mayor. His brother, Arturo S.
Regalado,​ ​was​ ​also​ ​a​ ​mayoralty​ ​candidate.​ ​Petitioner’s​ ​brother​ ​won​ ​in​ ​the​ ​elections.

On January 22, 1988, ​petitioner, still sitting as OIC-Mayor, issued a memorandum to Barba
informing her that effective January 25, 1988, she would be reassigned from Poblacion, Tanjay
to Barangay Sto. Nio, about 25 kilometers from Poblacion.The transfer was made without the
prior approval of COMELEC. Barba did not comply with the memorandum. Hence, on February
18, 1988, petitioner issued another memorandum to Barba directing her to explain, within 72
hours,​ ​why​ ​she​ ​refuses​ ​to​ ​comply​ ​with​ ​the​ ​memorandum​ ​of​ ​January​ ​22,​ ​1988

In response, Barba, on February 21, 1988, sent a letter to petitioner protesting her transfer
which she contended was illegal. She then filed, on February 16, 1988, a complaint against
petitioner for violation of 261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code, as amended, and after
preliminary investigation, the Provincial Election Officer of Negros Oriental, Atty. Gerardo
Lituanas, charged petitioner before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, Negros Oriental. The
RTC found petitioner guilty of violating Sec.261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code. The CA
affirmed the decision of the RTC. He moved for reconsideration, but his motion was likewise
denied, hence this appeal. Petitioner alleged that the memorandum did not effect a transfer, but
merely a “re-assignment” of Barba from one unit or place of designation to another of the same
office,​ ​namely,​ ​the​ ​Rural​ ​Health​ ​Office​ ​of​ ​Tanjay,​ ​Negros​ ​Oriental.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​petitioner​ ​violated​ ​Sec.​ ​261(h)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code

DOCTRINE: ​During election period, as such personnel movement could be used for
electioneering or even to harass subordinates who are of different political persuasion, 261(h) of
the Omnibus Election Code, as amended, prohibits the same unless approved by the
COMELEC.

DECISION: YES. ​The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals Petitioner
relied on Sec. 24 (c and g) of PD No. 807. However, ​contrary to petitioners claim, a transfer
under 24(c) of P.D. No. 807 in fact includes personnel movement from one organizational unit to
another in the same department or agency. Moreover, 261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code
provides that it is an election offense for: Any public official who makes or causes ​any transfer
or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including public school teachers,
within​ ​the​ ​election​ ​period​ ​except​ ​upon​ ​prior​ ​approval​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Commission.

As the Solicitor General notes, "the word ​transfer or ​detail​, as used [above], is modified by the
word ​whatever​. This indicates that ​any movement of personnel from one station to another,
whether or not in the same office or agency, during the election is covered by the prohibition."
Finally, the memorandum itself issued by petitioner to Barba on January 22, 1988 stated that
the​ ​latter​ ​was​ ​being​ ​"transferred”.
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Aquino​ ​v.​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Elections,​ ​G.R.​ ​Nos.​ ​211789-90,​ ​17​ ​March​ ​2015​ ​-​ ​MUNGCAL

FACTS:
Dr. Rey B. Aquino, as President and Chief Exec. Officer of the Philippine Health Insurance
Corporation (PHIC) issued PhilHealth Special Order No. 16 on January 8, 2010, directing the
reassignment of several PHIC officers and employees. He released the reassignment order on
the same day. A day after that, he issued an advisory implementing the reassignment order,
and directed officers to report to their new assignments ​not later than five (5) working days
from the date of issuance of the reassignment order for officers who are transferred, reassigned
or designated to various posts in the central office, and/or ​ten (10) working days from the
advisory in case of those reassigned or transferred from a regional office to another or from the
central​ ​office​ ​to​ ​a​ ​regional​ ​one,​ ​and​ ​vice​ ​versa.

In view of such reassignment order, Dean Rudyard A. Avila III, consultant of the Chairman of
the Board and former secretary of the PHIC Board of Directors, filed before the COMELEC a
complaint against Aquino and Mercado for violation of COMELEC Resolution no. 8737 in
relation​ ​to​ ​Section​ ​261(h)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code.

COMELEC issued two resolutions (October 19, 2012 and February 18, 2014 which affirmed the
2012 resolution ​in toto​) which state that petitioner Dr. Rey B. Aquino has violated COMELEC
Resolution no. 8737 in relation to Section 261(h) of B.P. 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus
Election​ ​Code​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Philippines.

Aquino, in turn, alleges that ​reassignment ​is not covered by the provision in the Omnibus
Election Code as it speaks of ​transfer or detail only. Furthermore, he issued the reassignment
order on January 8, which was ​prior to the ban. He alleges that the reassignment has already
been​ ​fully​ ​done​ ​by​ ​the​ ​time​ ​the​ ​ban​ ​set​ ​in.

However, in the first Resolution, the COMELEC pointed out that Resolution no. 8737 reiterated
Section 261(h) insofar as it prescribes guidelines on transfer, detail or reassignment of civil
service officers ​during the election period of January 10, 2010 to June 9, 2010. ​Regarding
Aquino’s contentions that he made the reassignment before the ban, the COMELEC ruled that it
does not lie, as he issued the order at late afternoon of January 8 and the implementing
guidelines only on ​January 11. ​It wasn’t until that date Even after the election period has
started, he issued transfer and reassignment orders from January 21 to February 15, 2010.
COMELEC found a ​prima facie case ​against Aquino. To the COMELEC, a
transfer/reassignment ​order must be issued and implemented prior to the start of the
election​ ​period​ ​to​ ​be​ ​excluded​ ​from​ ​the​ ​coverage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​transfer​ ​ban.

The second resolution affirmed the first in finding Aquino guilty of violating election laws. It ruled
that the word “whatever” in Section 261(h) expanded the coverage of the provision so as to
include​ ​any​ ​movement​ ​of​ ​personnel,​ ​including​ ​reassignment​,​ ​among​ ​others.

ISSUE/S:
1. Did the COMELEC err in interpreting Sec 261(h) and adding ​reassignments ​as a covered
offense​ ​when​ ​the​ ​prohibition​ ​speaks​ ​merely​ ​of​ ​transfer​ ​and​ ​detail​​ ​which​ ​needs​ ​prior​ ​approval?
2. Did the COMELEC commit a grave abuse of discretion in deciding that Aquino’s
reassignment​ ​was​ ​made​ ​during​ ​the​ ​election​ ​period?

DOCTRINE:
The​ ​Omnibus​ ​Election​ ​Code’s​ ​Sec​ ​261(h)​ ​reads:

Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service. ​– Any public official who ​makes or
causes any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including
public​ ​school​ ​teachers,​ ​within​ ​the​ ​election​ ​period​ ​except​ ​upon​ ​prior​ ​approval​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Commission.

It has been decided in Regalado Jr. v. Court of Appeals that ​transfer and detail whatever is
interpreted as to include transfer of employees of any kind, such as reassignment. The word
makes has been interpreted as to start any action, to create it into existence, while the word
causes is something that precedes and brings about an effect or result. To issue a
reassignment order without issuing the next guidelines for said order already completes the
making​ ​and​ ​causing​​ ​contemplated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​provision.

DECISION:
1. ​NO. ​The COMELEC did not exceed the exercise of its rule-making power as reassignment
is included ​in the prohibition pursuant to the phrase “transfer or detail whatever.” In the ruling in
Regalado Jr. v. CA, the Supreme Court already declared that the terms ​transfer and detail ​are
modified by the term ​whatever ​such that “any movement of personnel from one station to
another, whether or not in the same office or agency, during the election period is covered by
the prohibition.” Read in the light of this ruling, ​the SC affirms ​the COMELEC’s interpretation of
such​ ​phrase​ ​to​ ​include​ ​reassignment​.

2. ​YES. ​The COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in ruling that Aquino made the
reassignment during the election period. In this case, the terms ​makes or causes ​in the same
provision of the Omnibus Election Code is deemed to be what Aquino had done in the act of
issuing the transfer or reassignment order​. The Court’s interpretation of those words is to
“cause to exist” among others, and “something that precedes and brings about an effect or
result” respectively. The Court ruled that once the transfer or reassignment order is issued, the
active role is shifted to the addressee of the order who should now carry out its purpose. When
Aquino issued the order on January 8, he already ​made or caused ​the transfer of employees.
When he issued the guidelines on January 11, he cannot be deemed to have ​caused or made
the transfer within the election period ​as the making or causing has already been
consummated​ ​on​ ​January​ ​8,​ ​upon​ ​issuance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​order.

Petition is ​GRANTED ​and the complaints against Aquino for violation of election laws are
DISMISSED​.

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COMELEC​ ​v.​ ​Tagle,​ ​397​ ​SCRA​ ​618​ ​(2003)​ ​-​ ​NOBLE

FACTS: ​In connection with the May 11, 1998 elections, candidate for Mayor Florentino A.
Bautista filed a complaint against Mayor Federico Poblete et al. for vote-buying in violation of
Sec 261 (a) and (b) of the Omnibus Election Code. The Information was docketed as Criminal
Case No. 7034-99 of the RTC of Imus, Cavite. Subsequently, a complaint for vote-selling in
violation of Sec 261 (a) of the Omnibus Election Code was filed with the Prosecutor’s Office
against the witnesses in Criminal Case No. 7034-99. The Provincial Prosecutor in Imus, Cavite
resolved​ ​to​ ​filed​ ​separate​ ​Informations​ ​for​ ​vote-selling​ ​against​ ​said​ ​witnesses.

The respondent-witnesses appealed before the comelec the Resolution of the Provincial
Prosecutor. The Comelec denied the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. However, upon the urgent
motion to set for hearing the appeal, the COMELEC ​en banc resolved to defer action on the
appeal and refer the same to the Law Department for comment and recommendation. he Law
Department of the COMELEC filed motions to suspend proceedings, until the COMELEC would
have resolved the appeal of the respondents. The COMELEC ​en banc, ​upon the
recommendation of its Law Department, declared null and void the resolution of the Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor in I.S. No. 1-99-1080. It ​declared that the witnesses in Criminal Case No.
7034-99 were exempt from criminal prosecution pursuant to 4th paragraph of Sec 28, RA No.
6646, otherwise known as “The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987” which grants immunity from
criminal prosecution to persons who voluntarily give information and willingly testify against
those​ ​liable​ ​for​ ​vote-buying​ ​or​ ​vote-selling.

The Law Department of the COMELEC moved to dismiss the Informations against the said
witnesses but the RTC in Imus, Cavite denied the motion to dismiss. According to respondent
judge, before one can be exempt from prosecution under the fourth paragraph of Section 28 of
R.A. No. 6646, it is necessary that such person has already performed the overt act of
voluntarily giving information or testifying in any official investigation or proceeding for the
offense to which such information or testimony was given. It was thus premature to exempt the
respondents​ ​in​ ​I.S.​ ​No.​ ​1-99-1080​ ​from​ ​criminal​ ​prosecution,​ ​since​ ​they​ ​have​ ​not​ ​yet​ ​testified.

ISSUES:

Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​COMELEC​ ​had​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​the​ ​appeal​ ​of​ ​the​ ​respondents-witnesses

Whether or not respondent judge act with ​grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack
of​ ​jurisdiction​ ​in​ ​peremptorily​ ​denying​ ​the​ ​prosecutions​ ​motion​ ​to​ ​dismiss?

HELD:

YES​. The COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary investigation of all election
offenses punishable under the election laws and to prosecute the same. The Chief State
Prosecutor, all Provincial and City Prosecutors, or their respective assistants are, however,
given continuing authority, as deputies of the COMELEC to conduct preliminary investigation of
complaints involving election offenses and to prosecute the same. This authority may be
revoked or withdrawn by the COMELEC anytime whenever, in its judgment, such revocation or
withdrawal is necessary to protect the integrity of the COMELEC and to promote the common
good, or when it believes that the successful prosecution of the case can be done by the
COMELEC. When the COMELEC nullified the resolution of the Provincial Prosecutor, it in effect
withdrew​ ​the​ ​deputation​ ​granted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​COMELEC.
YES. ​One of the effective ways of preventing the commission of vote-buying and of prosecuting
those committing it is the grant of immunity from criminal liability in favor of the party whose vote
was​ ​bought.​ ​Sec​ ​28​ ​of​ ​RA​ ​No.​ ​6646​ ​concludes​ ​with​ ​the​ ​following​ ​paragraph:
The giver, offeror, the promissory as well as the solicitor, acceptor, recipient and conspirator
referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 261 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 shall be liable
as principals: Provided, that any person, otherwise guilty under said paragraphs who voluntarily
gives information and willingly testifies on any violation thereof in any official investigation or
proceeding shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment for the offenses with reference to
which his information and testimony were given: Provided, further, that nothing herein shall
exempt​ ​such​ ​person​ ​from​ ​criminal​ ​prosecution​ ​for​ ​perjury​ ​or​ ​false​ ​testimony.

To avoid possible fabrication of evidence against the vote-buyers, especially by the latter’s
opponents, Congress saw it fit to warn “vote-sellers” who denounce the vote-buying that they
could​ ​be​ ​liable​ ​for​ ​perjury​ ​or​ ​false​ ​testimony​ ​should​ ​they​ ​not​ ​tell​ ​the​ ​truth.

The prosecution witnesses in Criminal Case No. 7034-99 are exempt from criminal prosecution
for vote-selling by virtue of the proviso in the last paragraph of Section 28, RA 6646. At the time
when the complaint for vote-selling was filed with the office of the Provincial Prosecutor, the
respondents had already executed sworn statements attesting to the corrupt practice of
vote-buying. It cannot then be denied that they had already voluntarily given information in the
vote-buying​ ​case.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​they​ ​willingly​ ​testified​ ​in​ ​Crim.​ ​Case​ ​No.​ ​7034-99.

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Tapispisan v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 157950, [June 8, 2005], 498 PHIL 733-751 -
RUBIO

FACTS: ​Petitioner Tapispisan is a public school teacher and has been occupying the position of
Teacher III since September 1, 1992. She has been teaching for the last thirty (30) years and is
currently​ ​assigned​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Villamor​ ​Air​ ​Base​ ​Elementary​ ​School​ ​in​ ​Pasay​ ​City.

On May 30, 1995, respondent Atty. Ricardo T. Sibug (Schools Division Superintendent,
Pasay City) issued Division Memorandum No. 33 designating respondent Rumbaoa as
OIC-Head Teacher of P. Villanueva Elementary School and respondent Teves as OIC-Principal
of Don Carlos Elementary School, both schools are in Pasay City. Feeling that she had been
unduly by-passed, petitioner Tapispisan filed with respondent Sibug a protest contesting such
designation.​ ​The​ ​latter,​ ​however,​ ​denied​ ​the​ ​protest.

The petitioner then brought the matter to respondent Dr. Nilo L. Rosas, Regional Director
of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) for National Capital Region (NCR)
who,​ ​likewise,​ ​denied​ ​the​ ​protest.
On December 11, 1995, the petitioner filed with the DECS a Complaint/Protest Against
the Illegal and Indiscriminate Appointment and Promotion of Mesdames Aida Rumbaoa and
Myrna Teves. In her complaint/protest, petitioner Tapispisan alleged that the designation of
respondents Rumbaoa and Teves was made with evident favoritism and in gross violation of
Civil Service and DECS rules and regulations on promotions. The petitioner claimed that she
was more qualified for promotion than respondents Rumbaoa and Teves. She pointed out that
in the 1994-1995 annual qualifying examination conducted for both teachers and principals, she
placed No. 4 in the Division List of Promotables for Head Teachers while the names of
respondents Rumbaoa and Teves did not appear therein. Nonetheless, they were the ones
recommended​ ​and​ ​designated​ ​to​ ​the​ ​subject​ ​positions.

The petitioner thus prayed in her complaint/protest that the promotions of respondents
Rumbaoa and Teves be recalled and that they be disallowed from occupying, in acting capacity,
the positions to which they were designated. The then Secretary of the DECS Hon. Ricardo T.
Gloria issued the Order dated April 10, 1996 dismissing the complaint/protest as he found the
appointment of respondents Rumbaoa and Teves as Head Teacher III and Master Teacher II,
respectively, as well as their subsequent designation as OIC-Head Teacher and OIC-Principal,
respectively,​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​order.

Petitioner Tapispisan elevated the case to the CSC where, in addition to her allegation
that she was more qualified than respondents Rumbaoa and Teves as their names did not
appear in the 1994-1995 Division List of Promotables, the petitioner, likewise, contended that
their designation as OIC-Head Teacher and OIC-Principal, respectively, was made in violation
of​ ​the​ ​ban​ ​on​ ​appointments​ ​and​ ​promotions​ ​during​ ​election​ ​period.

The CSC dismissed petitioner Tapispisans protest holding: The protest must fail. Only
appointments/promotions and not designation can be the subject of a protest. Designation,
being temporary in nature, does not amount to the issuance of an appointment, but is a mere
imposition​ ​of​ ​additional​ ​duties.

Petitioner Tapispisan filed with the CA. The appellate court dismissed the
petition. It found that respondents Rumbaoa and Teves were merely designated in acting
capacity to their respective positions. This designation thus could not be subject of a protest
because, under Civil Service laws, only appointments and promotions can be subject of a
protest. In the same vein, such designation could not have been a prohibited act during the
election period because the ban only covers transfer of civil service officers or employees or
new​ ​appointments,​ ​promotions​ ​or​ ​giving​ ​salary​ ​increases.

Hence, petitioner Tapispisans recourse to this Court alleging that: Respondent Court of Appeals
committed serious error when it did not rule that the Transfer/Designation of respondents
R[u]mbaoa and Teves made pursuant to the May 30, 199[5] Division Memorandum No. 33 were
violative of COMELEC Resolution No. 2731 which expressly bans the transfer of officers and
employees in the civil service during the election period designated from January 8, 1995 to
June​ ​7,​ ​1995
ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​the​ ​Court​ ​of​ ​Appeals​ ​violated​ ​COMELEC​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​2731

DOCTRINE: ​Only appointments/promotions and not designation can be the subject of a protest.
Designation, being temporary in nature, does not amount to the issuance of an appointment, but
is​ ​a​ ​mere​ ​imposition​ ​of​ ​additional​ ​duties.

DECISION: ​No. As correctly held by the CA, it can be gleaned from the following rules of the
CSC​ ​that​ ​only​ ​appointments​ ​or​ ​promotions​ ​can​ ​be​ ​subject​ ​of​ ​a​ ​protest:

The CSC, in its Resolution No. 972501 dated April 14, 1997 dismissing petitioner Tapispisans
protest, declared that only appointments/promotions and not designation can be the subject of a
protest. Designation, being temporary in nature, does not amount to the issuance of an
appointment, but is a mere imposition of additional duties. This construction given by the CSC
should​ ​be​ ​given​ ​great​ ​weight​ ​and​ ​respect.

As this Court has time and again ruled: [a]lthough technically not binding and controlling
on the courts, the construction given by the agency or entity charged with the enforcement of a
statute should be given great weight and respect, particularly so if such construction has been
observed​ ​and​ ​acted​ ​on​ ​for​ ​a​ ​long​ ​period​ ​of​ ​time

Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of
an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually with its
confirmation, the appointment results in security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is
replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his office. Designation, on the other hand,
connotes merely the imposition by law of additional duties of an incumbent official . It is said that
appointment​ ​is​ ​essentially​ ​executive​ ​while​ ​designation​ ​is​ ​legislative​ ​in​ ​nature.

Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment because it, likewise,


involves the naming of a particular person to a specified public office. That is the common
understanding of the term. However, ​where the person is merely designated and not appointed,
the implication is that he shall hold the office only in a temporary capacity and may be replaced
at will by the appointing authority​. In this sense, the designation is considered only an acting or
temporary​ ​appointment,​ ​which​ ​does​ ​not​ ​confer​ ​security​ ​of​ ​tenure​ ​on​ ​the​ ​person​ ​named.

The designation of respondent Rumbaoa as OIC-Head Teacher of P. Villanueva


Elementary School and respondent Teves as OIC-Principal of Don Carlos Elementary School
merely imposed on them additional duties on top of those corresponding to their incumbent
positions at Villamor Air Base Elementary School. Such designation did not confer upon them
security​ ​of​ ​tenure​ ​in​ ​the​ ​positions​ ​which​ ​they​ ​occupy​ ​in​ ​acting​ ​capacity.

Transfer is defined as a movement from one position to another which is of equivalent


rank, level or salary without break in service involving the issuance of an appointment. ​The
designation of respondents Rumbaoa and Teves did not involve a movement from one position
to another. Neither did it involve the issuance of any appointment to the said positions in their
favor. In fact, respondents Rumbaoa and Teves retained their incumbent positions at the
Villamor Air Base Elementary School. As such, their designation could not be considered as a
transfer​ ​within​ ​the​ ​meaning​ ​of​ ​a​ ​prohibited​ ​act​ ​during​ ​the​ ​election​ ​period.

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Causing​ ​v.​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Elections,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​199139,​ ​09​ ​September​ ​2014​ ​–​ ​SALONGA

FACTS: ​On January 1, 1993, Causing assumed office as the Municipal Civil Registrar (MCR) of
Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. On May 28, 2010, Mayor Biron issued a memo transferring petitioner from
the office of the municipal civil registrar to the office of the mayor and placing her under the
direct orders of the mayor. Thereafter, the Mayor appointed a certain Belonio to be the
designated​ ​Local​ ​Civil​ ​Registrar​ ​(iba​ ​to​ ​sa​ ​MCR).

Subsequently, the mayor again issued 2 memorandums which orders causing to report to the
mayors office and sign the MCR documents prepared by the new LCR and forwarded to
Causing,​ ​under​ ​the​ ​direct​ ​supervision​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mayor.

Petitioners Contention: Causing filed the complaint on June 8, 2010, claiming that the order
issued by Mayor Biron ordering her detail to the Office of the Municipal Mayor, being made
within the election period and without prior authority from the COMELEC, was illegal and
violative of Sec 1, Par A, No. 1, in connection with Sec 6 (B) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8737,
Series of 2009 that implemented Section 261 (g), (h), and (x) of the ​Omnibus Election Cod,
otherwise known as “ In the Matter of Enforcing the Prohibition against appointment or hiring of
new employees, creating or filing of new positions, giving any salary increase or transferring or
detailing any officer or employee in the civil service and suspension of local elective officials in
connection​ ​with​ ​the​ ​May​ ​10,​ ​2010​ ​national​ ​and​ ​local​ ​elections;’

Further, said transfer of detail does not fall under any of the exceptions to the requirement of
prior authority from the COMELEC, as provided under Section 7 of COMELEC Resolution No.
8737.

Mayor’s Contention: Mayor Biron countered that the purpose of transferring the office of
Causing was to closely supervise the performance of her functions after complaints regarding
her negative; ​that as the local chief executive, he was empowered to take personnel actions and
other management prerogatives for the good of public service; that Causing was not being
stripped of her functions as the MCR; that she was not transferred or detailed to another office
in order to perform a different function; and that she was not demoted to a lower position that
diminished​ ​her​ ​salary​ ​and​ ​other​ ​benefits.

ISSUE/S:​ ​W/N​ ​the​ ​mayor​ ​violated​ ​the​ ​comelec​ ​resolution​ ​implementing​ ​the​ ​OEC?

DOCTRINE: ​Transfer is defined in the Resolution as any personnel movement from one
government agency to another or from one department, division, geographical unit or
subdivision of a government agency to another with or without the issuance of an appointment;
while detail as defined in the Administrative Code of 1987 is the movement of an employee from
one​ ​agency​ ​to​ ​another​ ​without​ ​the​ ​issuance​ ​of​ ​an​ ​appointment.
DECISION: ​No. Mayor Biron’s acts did not violate the Omnibus Election Code and the
COMELEC​ ​Resolution.

The only personnel movements prohibited by COMELEC Resolution No. 8737 were transfer
and​ ​detail.

Transfer is defined in the Resolution as “any personnel movement from one government agency
to another or from one department, division, geographical unit or subdivision of a government
agency​ ​to​ ​another​ ​with​ ​or​ ​without​ ​the​ ​issuance​ ​of​ ​an​ ​appointment;”

while detail as defined in the Administrative Code of 1987 is the movement of an employee from
one​ ​agency​ ​to​ ​another​ ​without​ ​the​ ​issuance​ ​of​ ​an​ ​appointment.

Having acquired technical and legal meanings, transfer and detail must be construed as such.
Obviously, the movement involving Causing did not equate to either a transfer or a detail within
the contemplation of the law if Mayor Biron only thereby physically transferred her office area
from its old location to the Office of the Mayor “some little steps” away. We cannot accept the
petitioner’s argument, therefore, that the phrase “any transfer or detail whatsoever”
encompassed “any and all kinds and manner of personnel movement,” including the mere
change​ ​in​ ​office​ ​location.

Moreover, Causing’s too-literal understanding of transfer should not hold sway because the
provisions involved here were criminal in nature. Mayor Biron was sought to be charged with an
election offense punishable under Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code. It is a basic rule
of statutory construction that penal statutes are to be liberally construed in favor of the accused.
Every reasonable doubt must then be resolved in favor of the accused. This means that the
courts must not bring cases within the provision of a law that are not clearly embraced by it. In
short, no act can be pronounced criminal unless it is clearly made so by statute prior to its
commission (nullum crimen, nulla poena, sine lege). So, too, no person who is not clearly within
the​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​a​ ​statute​ ​can​ ​be​ ​brought​ ​within​ ​them.

Equally material is that Mayor Biron’s act of transferring the office space of Causing was rooted
in his power of supervision and control over the officials and employees serving in his local
government unit, in order to ensure the faithful discharge of their duties and functions. His
explanation that he transferred Causing’s work station from her original office to his office in
order to closely supervise her after his office received complaints against her could not be justly
ignored. Verily, she thereafter continued to perform her tasks, and uninterruptedly received her
salaries​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Municipal​ ​Civil​ ​Registrar​ ​even​ ​after​ ​the​ ​transfer​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Office​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Mayor.

The issuance of Office Order No. 13 by Mayor Biron detailing Belonio to the Office of the Local
Civil Registrar was not proof of Mayor Biron’s “crystal clear intention” to replace and transfer her
during the election period. As the COMELEC En Banc found, Belonio did not receive the order,
and Causing remained as the Municipal Civil Registrar, leaving the detailing of Belonio
uncompleted. Without the actual appointment of Belonio as the Municipal Civil Registrar, it
would be unwarranted to criminally charge Mayor Biron of violating Section 261 of the Omnibus
Election​ ​Code.
It is interesting to note that aside from the present election offense case, Causing initiated an
administrative case in the Civil Service Commission to challenge her “reassignment” pursuant to
the same office orders. In that administrative case, she referred to the personnel movement not
as​ ​a​ ​transfer​ ​or​ ​detail,​ ​but​ ​as​ ​a​ ​reassignment​ ​that​ ​constituted​ ​her​ ​constructive​ ​dismissal.

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XII.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Election​ ​Adjudication​ ​System

Jalosjos​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​192474,​ ​26​ ​June​ ​2012​ ​-​ ​SANGALANG

FACTS: ​While serving as Mayor of Tampilasan Zamboanga del Norte, Petitioner, Romeo
Jalosjos, bought a residential house ​in Barangay Veterans Village, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
and occupied the same. Eight months after, he ​sought the transfer of his voter's registration
record to Precint 0051F of Barangay Veterans Village, Zamboanga Sibugay. Dan Erasmo Sr.
opposed​ ​such​ ​application​ ​but​ ​the​ ​ERB​ ​nonetheless​ ​approved​ ​Jalosjos’​ ​application.

Erasmo filed a petition with the MCTC to exclude Jalosjos from the list of registered voters of
Precinct 0051F. After hearing, MCTC excluded Jalosjos from the registered voters list in
question on the ground that the latter did not abandon his domicile in Tampilasan and is still the
incumbent mayor. Jalosjos appealed the decision to the RTC but the MCTC ruling was affirmed.
Through a petition for certiorari with an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction, Jalosjos elevated the case to the CA. His application was granted and his name was
reinstated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​voter's​ ​list​ ​pending​ ​resolution​ ​of​ ​the​ ​petition.

Jalosjos filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the Second
District of Zamboanga Sibugay for the May 2010 national elections. This prompted Erasmo to
file a petition with the Comelec to deny or cancel said COC, but said petition was denied by the
Comelec​ ​for​ ​insufficiency​ ​in​ ​form​ ​and​ ​substance.​ ​Erasmo​ ​filed​ ​a​ ​motion​ ​for​ ​reconsideration.

While Erasmo's motion for reconsideration was pending before the COMELEC en banc, the
May 2010 elections took place and Jalosjos garnered the highest number of votes and was
eventually​ ​proclaimed​ ​winner.

For the meantime, on June 2, 2010, the CA rendered judgement on the pending petition holding
that the lower courts erred in excluding Jalosjos from the voters list of Barangay Veterans
Village since he was qualified under the Constitution and Republic Act 8189 to vote in that
place.​ ​Erasmo​ ​filed​ ​a​ ​petition​ ​for​ ​review​ ​of​ ​the​ ​CA​ ​decision​ ​before​ ​this​ ​Court​ ​in​ ​G.R.​ ​193566.

Back to the COMELEC, on June 3, 2010 the En Banc granted Erasmo’s motion for
reconsideration and declared Jalosjos ineligible to seek election as Representative. It held that
Jalosjos did not satisfy the residency requirement since, by continuing to hold the position of
Mayor of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte, he should be deemed not to have transferred his
residence​ ​from​ ​that​ ​place​ ​to​ ​Barangay​ ​Veterans​ ​Village​ ​in​ ​Ipil,​ ​Zamboanga​ ​Sibugay.

Both Jalosjos and Erasmo came up to this Court on certiorari. In G.R. 192474 (this case),
Jalosjos challenges the COMELEC’s finding that he did not meet the residency requirement and
its denial of his right to due process. In G.R. 192704, Erasmo assails the COMELEC En Banc’s
failure to annul Jalosjos’ proclamation as elected Representative of the Second District of
Zamboanga​ ​Sibugay​ ​despite​ ​his​ ​declared​ ​ineligibility.

Subsequently, the Court ordered the consolidation of the three related petitions. In its comment,
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) sought the dismissal of Erasmo’s petitions and the
grant of that of Jalosjos since all such petitions deal with the latter’s qualifications as proclaimed
Representative of the district mentioned. The OSG claims that under Section 17, Article VI of
the​ ​1987​ ​Constitution,​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​this​ ​issue​ ​lies​ ​with​ ​the​ ​HRET.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​COMELEC​ ​has​ ​jurisdiction

DECISION: ​While the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to decide all questions
affecting elections, such power is not without limitation. It does not extend to contests relating to
the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives and the
Senate. The Constitution vests the resolution of these contests solely upon the appropriate
Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of Representatives. The proclamation of a
congressional candidate following the election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the proclaimed Representative in favor of
the​ ​HRET.

Here, when the COMELEC En Banc issued its order dated June 3, 2010, Jalosjos had
already been proclaimed on May 2010 as winner. Thus, the COMELEC acted without
jurisdiction when it still passed upon the issue of his qualification and declared him ineligible for
said​ ​position.

It is argued, as the COMELEC law department insisted, that the proclamation of Jalosjos was
an exception to the above-stated rule. Since the COMELEC declared him ineligible to run for
that office, necessarily, his proclamation was void following the ruling in ​Codilla, Sr. v. De
Venecia​. For Erasmo, the COMELEC still has jurisdiction to issue its June 3, 2010 order based
on​ ​Section​ ​6​ ​of​ ​Republic​ ​Act​ ​6646.​ ​Section​ ​6​ ​provides:

Section 6. Effects of Disqualification Case. Any candidate who has been declared by
final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him
shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final
judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the
winning number of votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue
with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the
complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the
suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his
guilt​ ​is​ ​strong.

Here, however, the fact is that on election day of 2010 the COMELEC En Banc had as
yet to resolve Erasmo’s appeal from the Second Division’s dismissal of the disqualification case
against Jalosjos. Thus, there then existed no final judgment deleting Jalosjos’ name from the list
of candidates for the congressional seat he sought. The last standing official action in his case
before election day was the ruling of the COMELEC’s Second Division that allowed his name to
stay on that list. ​Meantime, the COMELEC En Banc did not issue any order suspending his
proclamation pending its final resolution of his case. With the fact of his proclamation and
assumption of office, any issue regarding his qualification for the same, like his alleged lack of
the​ ​required​ ​residence,​ ​was​ ​solely​ ​for​ ​the​ ​HRET​ ​to​ ​consider​ ​and​ ​decide.

Consequently, the Court holds in G.R. 192474(in this case) that the COMELEC En Banc
exceeded its jurisdiction in declaring Jalosjos ineligible for the position of representative for the
Second District of Zamboanga Sibugay, which he won in the elections, since it had ceased to
have jurisdiction over his case. Necessarily, Erasmo’s petitions (G.R. 192704 and G.R. 193566)
questioning the validity of the registration of Jalosjos as a voter and the COMELEC’s failure to
annul his proclamation also fail. The Court cannot usurp the power vested by the Constitution
solely​ ​on​ ​the​ ​HRET.

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Lokin​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​179431-321,​ ​22​ ​June​ ​2010​ ​-​ ​SIMEON

FACTS: ​R​espondent CIBAC party-list is a multi-sectoral party registered under Republic Act No.
(R.A.) 7941, otherwise known as the Party- List System Act. As stated in its constitution and
bylaws, the platform of CIBAC is to fight graft and corruption and to promote ethical conduct in
the countrys public service. Under the leadership of the National Council, its highest
policymaking and governing body, the party participated in the 2001, 2004, and 2007 elections.
On 20 November 2009, two different entities, both purporting to represent CIBAC, submitted to
the COMELEC a Manifestation of Intent to Participate in the Party-List System of
Representation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​May​ ​10,​ ​2010​ ​Elections.

The first Manifestation was signed by a certain Pia B. Derla, who claimed to be the partys acting
secretary-general. At 1:30 p.m. of the same day, another Manifestation6 was submitted by
herein respondents Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales and Virginia Jose as the partys vice-president and
secretary-general,​ ​respectively.

On 15 January 2010, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 87447 giving due course to CIBACs
Manifestation, WITHOUT PREJUDICE the determination which of the two factions of the
registered party-list/coalitions/sectoral organizations which filed two (2) manifestations of intent
to​ ​participate​ ​is​ ​the​ ​official​ ​representative​ ​of​ ​said​ ​party-list/coalitions/sectoral​ ​organizations.

On 19 January 2010, respondents, led by President and Chairperson Emmanuel Joel J.


Villanueva, submitted the Certificate of Nomination of CIBAC to the COMELEC Law
Department. The nomination was certified by Villanueva and Virginia S. Jose. On 26 March
2010, Pia Derla submitted a second Certificate of Nomination, which included petitioners Luis
Lokin and Teresita Planas as party-list nominees. Derla affixed to the certification her signature
as​ ​acting​ ​secretary-general​ ​of​ ​CIBAC.

Claiming that the nomination of petitioners Lokin, Jr. and Planas was unauthorized, respondents
filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Expunge From The Records And/Or For Disqualification,
seeking to nullify the Certificate filed by Derla. Respondents contended that Derla had
misrepresented​ ​herself​ ​as​ ​acting​ ​secretary-general,​ ​when​ ​she​ ​was​ ​not​ ​even
a member of CIBAC; that the Certificate of Nomination and other documents she submitted
were unauthorized by the party and therefore invalid; and that it was Villanueva who was duly
authorized​ ​to​ ​file​ ​the​ ​Certificate​ ​of​ ​Nomination​ ​on​ ​its​ ​behalf.

In the Resolution dated 5 July 2010, the COMELEC First Division granted the Petition, ordered
the Certificate filed by Derla to be expunged from the records, and declared respondents faction
as the true nominees of CIBAC. Upon Motion for Reconsideration separately filed by the
adverse​ ​parties,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc​ ​affirmed​ ​the​ ​Divisions​ ​findings.

Petitioners now seek recourse with this Court in accordance with Rules 64 and 65 of the Rules
of​ ​Court.

ISSUE/S: ​1) Whether the authority of Secretary General Virginia Jose to file the partys
Certificate of Nomination is an intra-corporate matter, exclusively cognizable by special
commercial​ ​courts,​ ​and​ ​over​ ​which​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​has​ ​no​ ​jurisdiction;​ ​and

2) Whether the COMELEC erred in granting the Petition for Disqualification and recognizing
respondents​ ​as​ ​the​ ​properly​ ​authorized​ ​nominees​ ​of​ ​CIBAC​ ​party-list.

DOCTRINE:
DECISION: ​As earlier stated, this Court denies the petition for being filed outside the requisite
period. The review by this Court of judgments and final orders of the COMELEC is governed
specifically​ ​by​ ​Rule​ ​64​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Rules​ ​of​ ​Court,​ ​which​ ​states:

REMEDIAL LAW: review of judgments and final orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and the
COA

Sec. 1. Scope. This rule shall govern the review of judgments and final orders or resolutions of
the​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Elections​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Audit.

Sec. 2. Mode of review. A judgment or final order or resolution of the Commission on Elections
and the Commission on Audit may be brought by the aggrieved party to the Supreme Court on
certiorari​ ​under​ ​Rule​ ​65,​ ​except​ ​as​ ​hereinafter​ ​provided.

The exception referred to in Section 2 of this Rule refers precisely to the immediately
succeeding provision, Section 3 thereof, which provides for the allowable period within which to
file petitions for certiorari from judgments of both the COMELEC and the Commission on Audit.
Thus, while Rule 64 refers to the same remedy of certiorari as the general rule in Rule 65, they
cannot be equated, as they provide for different reglementary periods. Rule 65 provides for a
period of 60 days from notice of judgment sought to be assailed in the Supreme Court, while
Section​ ​3​ ​expressly​ ​provides​ ​for​ ​only​ ​30​ ​days,​ ​viz:

SEC. 3. Time to file petition.The petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days from notice of the
judgment or final order or resolution sought to be reviewed. The filing of a motion for new trial or
reconsideration of said judgment or final order or resolution, if allowed under the procedural
rules of the Commission concerned, shall interrupt the period herein fixed. If the motion is
denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the remaining period, but which shall not
be​ ​less​ ​than​ ​five​ ​(5)​ ​days​ ​in​ ​any​ ​event,​ ​reckoned​ ​from​ ​notice​ ​of​ ​denial.
Petitioner received a copy of the first assailed Resolution on 12 July 2010. Upon the Motion for
Reconsideration filed by petitioners on 15 July 2010, the COMELEC en banc issued the second
assailed Resolution on 31 August 2010. This per curiam Resolution was received by petitioners
on 1 September 2010.16 Thus, pursuant to Section 3 above, deducting the three days it took
petitioners to file the Motion for Reconsideration, they had a remaining period of 27 days or until
28​ ​September​ ​2010​ ​within​ ​which​ ​to​ ​file​ ​the​ ​Petition​ ​for​ ​Certiorari​ ​with​ ​this​ ​Court.

However, petitioners filed the present Petition only on 1 October 2010, clearly outside the
required​ ​period.

POLITICAL​ ​LAW:​ ​COMELECs​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​intra-party​ ​disputes

In the 2010 case Atienza v. Commission on Elections, it was expressly settled that the
COMELEC possessed the authority to resolve intra-party disputes as a necessary tributary of its
constitutionally mandated power to enforce election laws and register political parties. The Court
therein cited Kalaw v. Commission on Elections and Palmares v. Commission on Elections,
which​ ​uniformly​ ​upheld​ ​the​ ​COMELECs​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​intra-party​ ​disputes:

The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party leadership disputes has already been settled by the
Court. The Court ruled in Kalaw v. Commission on Elections that the COMELECs powers and
functions under Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution, include the ascertainment of the
identity of the political party and its legitimate officers responsible for its acts. The Court also
declared in another case that the COMELECs power to register political parties necessarily
involved the determination of the persons who must act on its behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may
resolve an intra-party leadership dispute, in a proper case brought before it, as an incident of its
power​ ​to​ ​register​ ​political​ ​parties.

ELECTION​ ​LAW:​ ​party-list​ ​system​ ​law

Furthermore, matters regarding the nomination of party-list representatives, as well as their


individual qualifications, are outlined in the Party-List System Law. Sections 8 and 9 thereof
state:

Sec. 8. Nomination of Party-List Representatives. Each registered party, organization or


coalition shall submit to the COMELEC not later than forty-five (45) days before the election a
list of names, not less than five (5), from which party-list representatives shall be chosen in case
it​ ​obtains​ ​the​ ​required​ ​number​ ​of​ ​votes.

A person may be nominated in one (1) list only. Only persons who have given their consent in
writing may be named in the list. The list shall not include any candidate for any elective office
or a person who has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding election. No
change of names or alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed after the same shall
have been submitted to the COMELEC except in cases where the nominee dies, or withdraws
in writing his nomination, becomes incapacitated in which case the name of the substitute
nominee shall be placed last in the list. Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of
Representatives​ ​who​ ​are​ ​nominated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​system​ ​shall​ ​not​ ​be​ ​considered​ ​resigned.
Sec. 9. Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated as party-list
representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a
resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the
day of the election, able to read and write, a bona fide member of the party or organization
which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and
is​ ​at​ ​least​ ​twenty-five​ ​(25)​ ​years​ ​of​ ​age​ ​on​ ​the​ ​day​ ​of​ ​the​ ​election.

By virtue of the aforesaid mandate of the Party-List Law vesting the COMELEC with jurisdiction
over the nomination of party-list representatives and prescribing the qualifications of each
nominee, the COMELEC promulgated its Rules on Disqualification Cases Against Nominees of
Party-List Groups/ Organizations Participating in the 10 May 2010 Automated National and
Local Elections. Adopting the same qualifications of party-list nominees listed above, Section 6
of​ ​these​ ​Rules​ ​also​ ​required​ ​that:

The party-list group and the nominees must submit documentary evidence in consonance with
the Constitution, R.A. 7941 and other laws to duly prove that the nominees truly belong to the
marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or
coalition​ ​they​ ​seek​ ​to​ ​represent,​ ​which​ ​may​ ​include​ ​but​ ​not​ ​limited​ ​to​ ​the​ ​following:

a. Track record of the party-list group/organization showing active participation of the nominee/s
in the undertakings of the party-list group/organization for the advancement of the marginalized
and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition they
seek​ ​to​ ​represent;
b. Proofs that the nominee/s truly adheres to the advocacies of the party-list group/organizations
(prior declarations, speeches, written articles, and such other positive actions on the part of the
nominee/sshowing​ ​his/her​ ​adherence​ ​to​ ​the​ ​advocacies​ ​of​ ​the​ ​party-list​ ​group/organizations);
c. Certification that the nominee/s is/are a bona fide member of the party-list group/ organization
for​ ​at​ ​least​ ​ninety​ ​(90)​ ​days​ ​prior​ ​to​ ​the​ ​election;​ ​and
d. In case of a party-list group/organization seeking representation of the marginalized and
underrepresented sector/s, proof that the nominee/s is not only an advocate of the
party-list/organization but is/are also a bona fide member/s of said marginalized and
underrepresented​ ​sector.

The Law Department shall require party-list group and nominees to submit the foregoing
documentary evidence if not complied with prior to the effectivity of this resolution not later than
three​ ​(3)​ ​days​ ​from​ ​the​ ​last​ ​day​ ​of​ ​filing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​list​ ​of​ ​nominees.

Contrary to petitioners stance, no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the COMELEC


First Division and the COMELEC en banc. The tribunal correctly found that Pia Derlas alleged
authority as acting secretary-general was an unsubstantiated allegation devoid of any
supporting evidence. Petitioners did not submit any documentary evidence that Derla was a
member of CIBAC, let alone the representative authorized by the party to submit its Certificate
of​ ​Nomination.

WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC in issuing the
assailed Resolutions, the instant Petition is DISMISSED. This Court AFFIRMS the judgment of
the COMELEC expunging from its records the Certificate of Nomination filed on 26 March 2010
by​ ​Pia​ ​B.​ ​Derla.
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Pimentel​ ​III​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​178413,​ ​13​ ​March​ ​2008​ ​-​ ​SY

FACTS: The Petition stemmed from the 14 May 2007 national elections for 12 senatorial
posts. During the filing of the petition, the only remaining contenders for the twelfth and final
senatorial post were petitioner Aquilino Pimentel III and private respondent Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Pimentel assailed the proceedings of the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) and its
constituted Special Provincial Board of Canvassers for Maguindanao (SPBOC-Maguindanao) in
which the Provincial and Municipal Certificates of Canvass (PCOC and MCOCs) from the
province of Maguindanao were respectively canvassed. The SPBOC-Maguindanao was tasked
to​ ​re-canvass​ ​the​ ​MCOCs​ ​submitted​ ​by​ ​Task​ ​Force​ ​Maguindanao.

Pimentel objected to the canvassing of the said MCOCs because the proceedings were
illegal; the MCOCs were palpably manufactured; the results reflected in the MCOCs were
statistically improbable; there is no basis for saying the MCOCs were authentic because there
were no other available copies for comparison purposes; there was no evidence or indication
that the copy 2 MCOCs had been posted as intended by law; copy 2 of the MCOCs cannot be
used for canvass; that the manner of re-canvassing being done where the parties were not
allowed to ask questions was patently illegal; and that it has not been established that the other
copies of the MCOCs have been lost. The objections were simply noted by the
SPBOC-Maguindanao without specific action. On 29 June 2007, the SPBOC-Maguindanao
submitted to the NBC the second PCOC for Maguindanao. Pimentel moved for the exclusion of
the second Maguindanao PCOC from the canvass, maintaining that the said PCOC did not
reflect the true results of the elections because it was based on the manufactured Maguindanao
MCOCs and that its authenticity had not been duly established. The motion to exclude made by
Pimentel​ ​was​ ​once​ ​again​ ​denied​ ​by​ ​the​ ​NBC.

The second Maguindanao PCOC was included in the canvass proceedings conducted
by the NBC and as a result, Pimentel’s lead over Zubiri was significantly reduced from 133,000
votes to only 4,000 votes. Pimentel thus filed the petition based on the grounds that petitioner
was denied his right to due process of law when the SPBOC and the NBC adopted an
unconstitutional procedure which disallowed petitioner the opportunity to raise questions on the
COCs subject of the canvass; that he was denied his right to equal protection of the law when
the SPBOC and the NBC unconstitutionally adopted a procedure of "no questions" in the
canvass of COCs from Maguindanao, different from the procedure adopted in the canvass of
COCs from other provinces; and that the NBC acted with manifest grave abuse of discretion
when it refused to exercise its plenary powers in fully ascertaining due execution, authenticity
and fitness for the canvass of the MCOCs collected by the COMELEC. It violated its own rules
when it deprived petitioner of the right to ventilate and prove his objections to the Maguindanao
COCs.​ ​Pimentel​ ​also​ ​prayed​ ​for​ ​the​ ​proper​ ​remedies.

The Court denied Pimentel’s prayer for the issuance of a TRO and/or Status Quo Ante
Order. Without any TRO and/or Status Quo Ante ​Order from the Court, the canvass
proceedings before the NBC continued, and Zubiri was proclaimed as the twelfth duly elected
Senator in Resolution No. NBC 07-67. Zubiri filed with the Court a Manifestation with Motion to
Dismiss seeking the dismissal of the petition arguing that, in consideration of his proclamation
pursuant to Resolution No. NBC 07-67 and his formal assumption of office on 16 July 2007,
controversies involving his election and qualification as a Senator are now within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). Zubiri further informed the Court through a
Manifestation that Pimentel filed an Election Protest before the SET, docketed as SET Case No.
001-07. Zubiri called the attention of the Court to the glaring reality that with the petition and
SET Case No. 001-07, there are now two cases involving the same parties with practically the
same​ ​issues​ ​and​ ​similar​ ​remedies​ ​sought​ ​filed​ ​before​ ​the​ ​two​ ​separate​ ​tribunals.

ISSUE/S:​ ​Will​ ​the​ ​pre-proclamation​ ​case​ ​prosper?


DOCTRINE: ​In case of any discrepancy, incompleteness, erasure or alteration which cast doubt
as to the veracity of the number of votes stated the certificate of canvass and the election
returns,​ ​the​ ​procedure​ ​on​ ​pre-proclamation​ ​controversies​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​adopted​ ​and​ ​applied.

DECISION: ​Pre-proclamation controversies refer to matters relating to the preparation,


transmission, receipt, custody and appearance of election returns and ​certificates of canvass.
Sec. 15 of R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 9369, provides for the rule on pre-proclamation
cases involving national elective officials. According to the amended Sec. 15, pre-proclamation
cases on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of
election returns or the certificates of canvass cannot be allowed in elections for Senators,
except as provided by Sec. 30 of the same statute. The amendment provides that the duty to
determine the authenticity and due execution of certificates of canvass is now imposed, not only
on Congress acting as the NBC for the election for President and Vice-President, but also on
COMELEC en banc ​acting as the NBC for the election for Senators; the third criterion for the
determination of the authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass requires the
absence of discrepancy in comparison not only with other authentic copies of the said
certificates, but also with the supporting documents, such as the statements of votes; a fourth
criterion for the determination of the authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass
was added, mandating the absence of discrepancy between the number of votes of a candidate
in a certificate when compared with the aggregate number of votes appearing in the election
returns of the precincts covered by the same certificate; pursuant to the exception now provided
in Sec. 15 of R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 9369, permissible pre-proclamation cases shall
adopt and apply the procedure provided in Sections 17 to 20 of the same statute; and the use of
a simulated copy of an election return, certificate of canvass, or statement of vote, or a printed
copy of said election documents bearing a simulated certification or image shall be penalized as
an​ ​election​ ​offense.

Pre-proclamation cases involving the authenticity and due execution of certificates of


canvass are now allowed in elections for Senators. The intention of Congress to treat a case
falling under Section 30 of R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 9369, as a pre-proclamation case is
apparent in the fourth paragraph of the said provision. The general rule is that pre-proclamation
cases on matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of
election returns or certificates of canvass are still prohibited. But, there are recognized
exceptions to the prohibition, such as correction of manifest errors; questions affecting the
composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers; and determination of the authenticity
and due execution of certificates of canvass as provided in Sec. 30 of R.A. 7166, as amended
by​ ​R.A.​ ​9369.

Proceedings​ ​before​ ​the​ ​SPBOC-Maguindanao


The SPBOC-Maguindanao properly refused to allow Pimentel to contest the
Maguindanao MCOCs because it would be tantamount to a pre-proclamation case still
prohibited by Sec. 15 of R.A. 7166, even as amended by R.A. 9369. SPBOC-Maguindanao is a
local board of canvasser and not COMELEC en banc acting as the NBC charged with the duty
to determine the authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass submitted to it in
accordance with the four given criteria. A recognized maxim is the rule that the expressed
exception or exemption excludes others. The express mention of exceptions operates to
exclude other exceptions; conversely, those which are not within the enumerated exceptions are
deemed included in the general rule. In this case, the exception applies only to Congress or the
COMELEC en banc acting as the NBC, not to local boards of canvassers who are still covered
by the prohibition on pre-proclamation controversies. Canvass proceedings by local boards of
canvassers in elections for Senators are unaffected by R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 9369.
They still remain administrative and summary in nature, so as to guard against the paralyzation
of canvassing and proclamation proceedings that would lead to a vacuum in so important and
sensitive​ ​an​ ​office​ ​as​ ​that​ ​of​ ​Senator​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Republic.

The burden falls on Pimentel to establish that the Maguindanao MCOCs are
manufactured, and that it is evident on its face. Pimentel’s insistence on being allowed to
propound questions to PES Bedol and the Chairpersons of the MBOCs-Maguindanao and
SPBOC-Maguindanao reveals that he has no actual evidence that the Maguindanao MCOCs
were indeed manufactured and that they are merely suspicions. The fact that copy 2 of the
Maguindanao MCOCs was not the copy meant for the PBOC-Maguindanao does not
necessarily​ ​mean​ ​that​ ​copy​ ​2​ ​of​ ​the​ ​said​ ​MCOCs​ ​was​ ​manufactured,​ ​falsified​ ​or​ ​tampered​ ​with.

Proceedings​ ​before​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc​ ​acting​ ​as​ ​the​ ​NBC​ ​for​ ​elections​ ​for​ ​Senators

The four criteria enumerated in Sec. 30 of R.A. 7166, as amended by R.A. 9369, must
be applied by the NBC to the second Maguindanao PCOC. ​The SPBOC-Maguindanao prepared
all seven copies of the second Maguindanao PCOC. It properly submitted the first copy to the
NBC for national canvassing of the votes for Senators. All the six other copies are in existence
and have been distributed to the intended recipients. There is no allegation or proof that there is
a discrepancy among the seven authentic copies of the second Maguindanao PCOC. ​Neither is
it shown that the second Maguindanao PCOC contains any discrepancy when compared with its
supporting​ ​documents.

Electoral​ ​protest​ ​before​ ​the​ ​Senate​ ​Electoral​ ​Tribunal​ ​(SET)

Zubiri was proclaimed the twelfth Senator-elect in the 14 May 2007 and he formally
assumed office on 16 July 2007. Pimentel’s Petition must be dismissed because his remedy lies
with the SET and not with the Supreme Court. The Senate has its own electoral tribunal which is
the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their
respective members. The COMELEC, therefore, has no jurisdiction to hear and decide
pre-proclamation controversies against members of the Senate. Once a winning candidate has
been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the Senate, the
COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications
ends, and the SET’s own jurisdiction begins. The reason for the rule is in order to avoid duplicity
of proceedings and a clash of jurisdiction between constitutional bodies. The argument of
Pimentel that he filed the petition prior to Zubiri’s proclamation is immaterial since Pimentel’s
prayer for a TRO and/or Status Quo Ante Order had been denied, Zubiri was proclaimed the
twelfth​ ​winning​ ​Senator​ ​in​ ​the​ ​2007​ ​Senatorial​ ​Elections.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tan​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​Nos.​ ​166143-47,​ ​166891,​ ​20​ ​November​ ​2006​ ​-​ ​SY

FACTS: Petitioners Abdusakur Tan and Basaron Burahan together with other local
candidates of Sulu Province in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections filed with the
COMELEC four Petitions for Declaration of Failure of Elections in several towns in the province
of Sulu on May 17, 2004. Petitioners alleged systematic fraud, terrorism, illegal schemes, and
machinations allegedly perpetrated by private respondents and their supporters resulting in
massive disenfranchisement of voters. Several affidavits and photographs were submitted by
the poll watchers. The COMELEC Second Division, acting on the petitions, issued an Order on
May 17, 2004 suspending the proclamation of the winning gubernatorial candidate of Sulu, but
lifted the suspension three days later. In the lifting Order, the COMELEC Second Division
directed the Sulu PBOC to complete the canvass of votes and to bring all canvass documents to
Manila,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​proclaim​ ​the​ ​winning​ ​candidates​ ​for​ ​Governor​ ​in​ ​Manila.

Even before the filing of the four petitions, petitioner Tan had filed four other petitions, All
the petitions were dismissed by the Boards concerned, prompting petitioner Tan to file an
appeal with the COMELEC First Division which issued an Order on May 24, 2004 directing the
concerned boards of canvassers to suspend their proceedings and to refrain from proclaiming
any winning candidate. On June 21, 2004, the COMELEC First Division issued an Order which
granted the petition and annulled the proclamation of respondent Loong as governor of Sulu
Province.

In the meantime, private respondent Yusop Jikiri filed before the COMELEC a Petition of
Protest Ad Cautelam on June 19, 2004, praying for the recount or revision of the ballots cast
and the examination of election returns in the same municipalities of Sulu. The COMELEC en
banc, through its Joint Resolution, dismissed all five petitions to declare a failure of elections.
This prompted respondent Jikiri to immediately convert his petition ad cautelam ​into a regular
election​ ​protest​ ​which​ ​was​ ​granted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​First​ ​Division.

The COMELEC en banc ruled that there was no failure of election in the subject
municipalities of Sulu. It reasoned that it could only exercise the extraordinary remedy of
declaring a failure of election in the three instances which are: the election is not held; the
election is suspended; or the election results in a failure to elect. The COMELEC held that none
of the grounds relied upon by petitioners fall under any of the three instances justifying a
declaration of failure of election. First, the COMELEC found that based upon the evidence
presented by the parties, a valid election was held as scheduled. Second, there was no
suspension of the election as voting continued normally. Third, private respondent Loong was
elected​ ​by​ ​a​ ​plurality​ ​of​ ​votes​ ​as​ ​proclaimed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Provincial​ ​Board​ ​of​ ​Canvassers​ ​(PBC).

After the dismissal of the petitions to declare failure of elections and the conversion of
respondent Jikiri’s protest ad cautelam ​to a regular election protest, petitioner/private
respondent Benjamin Loong filed his Answer with Motion to Dismiss and/or with Counter
Protest. Petitioner Loong anchored his motion to dismiss on the ground that the COMELEC had
no​ ​jurisdiction​ ​to​ ​take​ ​cognizance​ ​of​ ​an​ ​election​ ​protest​ ​filed​ ​out​ ​of​ ​time.

ISSUE/S: ​Does the COMELEC have jurisdiction to entertain election protests filed beyond ten
days after the proclamation of the results of an election and can it entertain pre-proclamation
controversies​ ​and​ ​election​ ​protests​ ​simultaneously?

DOCTRINE: ​A petition to suspend tolls the 10-day period for filing an election protest from
running, while a petition to annul interrupts the running of the period. In other words, in a
Section 248 petition to suspend where the 10-day period did not start to run at all, the filing of a
Section 250 election contest after the tenth (10th) day from proclamation is not late. On the
other hand, in a Section 248 petition to annul, the party seeking annulment must file the petition
before​ ​the​ ​expiration​ ​of​ ​the​ ​10-day​ ​period.

DECISION: Petitioner Loong argues that Sec. 250 of the Omnibus Election Code states that
a petition contesting the election of any regional, provincial or city official should be filed within
ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. Because respondent Jikiri filed his
election protest after the ten day period, then his election protest should be dismissed.
However, under Section 248 of the Election Code, the filing of certain petitions works to stop the
running of the reglementary period to file an election protest. The filing with the Commission of a
petition to annul or to suspend the proclamation of any candidate shall suspend the running of
the​ ​period​ ​within​ ​which​ ​to​ ​file​ ​an​ ​election​ ​protest.

Sec. 248 contemplates two points of reference; pre- and post-proclamation, under which
either of the petitions is filed. Before the proclamation, what should to be filed is a petition to
suspend an impending proclamation. After the proclamation, an adverse party should file a
petition to annul a proclamation made. Pre-proclamation controversies are petitions to suspend.
The purpose for allowing pre-proclamation controversies under Sec. 248 of the Omnibus
Election Code, is to prevent what, in election practice, is referred to as "grab the proclamation
and prolong the protest" situation. In a petition to suspend where the 10-day period did not start
to run at all, the filing of an election contest under Sec. 250 after the tenth day from
proclamation is not late. On the other hand, in a petition to annul, the party seeking annulment
must​ ​file​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​before​ ​the​ ​expiration​ ​of​ ​the​ ​10-day​ ​period.

Because of the petitions seeking to suspend petitioner Loong's proclamation, the


issuance of an Order suspending his proclamation, and an Order annulling his proclamation as
governor-elect, the filing of the election protest ad cautelam by respondent Jikiri was considered
as being filed contextually on time. This is because the 10-day period, which would have
expired​ ​on​ ​June​ ​3,​ ​2004,​ ​did​ ​not​ ​start​ ​to​ ​run​ ​at​ ​all.

On the issue of simultaneously deciding pre-proclamation controversies and election


protests, petitioner Loong argues that the election protest should be put on hold until the
pre-proclamation controversies are concluded. There is no law prohibiting the simultaneous
adjudication of pre-proclamation controversies and election protests. Pre-proclamation
controversies and election protests are different in terms of the issues involved, the evidence
that​ ​is​ ​admissible​ ​and​ ​the​ ​objective​ ​in​ ​each​ ​case.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

XIII.​​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​Appeal​ ​and​ ​Other​ ​Election​ ​Issues

Dumayas​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC​ ​v.​ ​357​ ​SCRA​ ​358​ ​-​ ​SIMEON

FACTS: ​Petitioner Dumayas, the rival of private respondent Bernal in May 1998 mayoralty
elections in Carles, Iloilo, contested the inclusion of some votes in several election returns as
they were tallied under duress and with force and intimidation by the presence of certain local
officials in the polling precincts who were not authorized to act as watchers of Bernal; He claims
that the incidents violate ​the OEC and other election laws; acts of terrorism, intimidation,
coercion,​ ​and​ ​similar​ ​acts​ ​prohibited​ ​by​ ​law.​
The Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) denied petitioner’s protest. Hence, Dumayas
appealed before and was granted by the COMELEC Second Division finding that the election
returns were tainted with irregularities. Bernal then filed a motion for reconsideration before the
COMELEC en banc. Subsequently, MBC ruled that proclamation of the winning candidate for
Mayor would proceed in August 1998 unless Bernal could present a certification from the
COMELEC that the motion for reconsideration was elevated to the COMELEC ​en banc​.
However, despite such presentation, petitioner was proclaimed winner after excluding the votes
as contested by Dumayas. The MBC justified its act by reasoning that it did not receive an
​ anc​.
official​ ​copy​ ​of​ ​the​ ​order​ ​directing​ ​the​ ​elevation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​case​ ​to​ ​the​ b
Bernal then filed an urgent motion to declare void ​ab initio the proclamation of petitioner on
the ground that the resolution of the COMELEC Second Division was not yet final and
executory. For his part, petitioner opposed both the motion for reconsideration and motion to
declare​ ​void​ ​ab​ ​initio​ ​his​ ​proclamation​ ​as​ ​Mayor​ ​of​ ​Carles.
Meanwhile, duly-proclaimed Vice-Mayor Betita, who included Bernal as co-petitioner, filed
an​ ​action​ ​for​ ​quo​ ​warranto​ ​against​ ​petitioner​ ​before​ ​the​ ​RTC​ ​of​ ​Iloilo.
Petitioner filed before the COMELEC en banc a motion to expunge Bernal’s motion for
reconsideration and motion to declare petitioner’s proclamation void ​ab initio,​ on the ground that
respondent Bernal should be deemed to have abandoned said motions by the filing before the
RTC which, according to petitioner, is a formal election protest via ​quo warranto ​brought before
the​ ​regular​ ​courts,​ ​which​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc​ ​denied.
In a resolution dated August 24, 1999 but promulgated on March 2, 2000, the COMELEC
en banc denied petitioners motion to expunge. Hence, Bernal was proclaimed as the winning
candidate.

ISSUE/S: 1.) WON respondent Bernal is deemed to have abandoned the motions he had filed
with​ ​respondent​ ​Commission?
2.) Did the COMELEC err in ordering the inclusion of the contested election returns in
the​ ​canvassing​ ​of​ ​ballots?
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​3.)​ ​WON​ ​the​ ​Resolution​ ​dated​ ​March​ ​2,​ ​2000​ ​is​ ​valid
1.) No. As a general rule, the filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto precludes
the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy or amounts to the abandonment of one
earlier filed, thus depriving the COMELEC of the authority to inquire into and pass upon the title
of the protestee or the validity of his proclamation. The reason for this rule is that once the
competent tribunal has acquired jurisdiction of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto,
all questions relative thereto will have to be decided in the case itself and not in another
proceeding, so as to prevent confusion and conflict of authority. The exceptions to the rule,
however, are the following: (a) the board of canvassers was improperly constituted; (b) quo
warranto was not the proper remedy; (c) what was filed was not really a petition for quo
warranto or an election protest but a petition to annul a proclamation; (d) the filing of a quo
warranto petition or an election protest was expressly made without prejudice to the
pre-proclamation controversy or was made ad cautelam; and (e) the proclamation was null and
void. The case filed by Bernal falls within the third exception. Hence, he is deemed to not have
abandoned​ ​said​ ​motions.

2.) No. In a pre-proclamation controversy, the board of canvassers and the COMELEC are not
required to look beyond or behind the election returns which are on their face regular and
authentic. Where a party seeks to raise issues the resolution of which would necessitate the
COMELEC to pierce the veil of election returns which are prima facie regular, the proper remedy
is a regular election protest, not a pre-proclamation controversy. In the present case, petitioner
barely alleged that the preparation of said returns was attended by threats, duress, intimidation
or coercion without offering any proof, other than the affidavits mentioned above, that these had
affected the regularity or genuineness of the contested returns. Absent any evidence appearing
on the face of the returns that they are indeed spurious, manufactured or tampered with, the
election irregularities cited by petitioner would require the reception of evidence aliunde which
cannot be done in a pre-proclamation controversy such as the one initiated by petitioner.
Returns can not be excluded on mere allegation that the returns are manufactured or fictitious
when the returns, on their face, appear regular and without any physical signs of tampering,
alteration or other similar vice. If there had been sham voting or minimal voting which was made
to appear as normal through falsification of the election returns, such grounds are properly
cognizable​ ​in​ ​an​ ​election​ ​protest​ ​and​ ​not​ ​in​ ​a​ ​pre-proclamation​ ​controversy.

3.) Petitioner claims that March 2, 2000 Resolution of the COMELEC is void because two
Commissioners have already retired on the date of its promulgation, even if they had
participated earlier in the deliberations of the case and signed the resolution dated August 24,
1999. Petitioner submits that this defect invalidated the entire decision of the Commission and
that​ ​accordingly,​ ​a​ ​new​ ​vote​ ​should​ ​be​ ​taken​ ​to​ ​settle​ ​the​ ​matter.

It has been held that a decision becomes binding only after its promulgation. If at the
time it is promulgated, a judge or member of the collegiate court who had earlier signed or
registered his vote has vacated office, his vote on the decision must automatically be withdrawn
or cancelled. Accordingly, the votes of the two Commissioners should merely be considered as
withdrawn for the reason that their retirement preceded the resolutions promulgation. The effect
of the withdrawal of their votes would be as if they had not signed the resolution at all and only
the votes of the remaining commissioners would be properly considered for the purpose of
deciding the controversy. However, unless the withdrawal of the votes would materially affect
the result insofar as votes for or against a party is concerned, we find no reason for declaring
the decision a nullity. In the present case, with the cancellation of the votes of retired
Commissioners, the remaining votes among the four incumbent commissioners at the time of
the resolutions promulgation would still be 3 to 1 in favor of respondent. Noteworthy, these
remaining Commissioners still constituted a quorum. In our view, the defect cited by petitioner
does not affect the substance or validity of respondent Commissions disposition of the
controversy. The nullification of the challenged resolution, in our view, would merely prolong the
proceedings​ ​unnecessarily.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Miranda​ ​v.​ ​Abaya,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​136351,​ ​28​ ​July​ ​1999​ ​-​ ​SANGALANG

FACTS: ​Jose "Pempe" Miranda, then incumbent mayor of Santiago City, Isabela, filed his
certificate of candidacy for the same mayoralty post for the synchronized May 11, 1998
elections. Private respondent Antonio M. Abaya filed a Petition to Deny Due Course to and/or
Cancel Certificate of Candidacy. The petition was GRANTED by Comelec and they further ruled
to​ ​disqualify​ ​Jose​ ​"Pempe"​ ​Miranda.

On May 6, 1998, way beyond the deadline for filing a certificate of candidacy, petitioner Joel G.
Miranda filed his certificate of candidacy for the mayoralty post, supposedly as a substitute for
his father, Jose "Pempe" Miranda. During the May 11, 1998 elections, petitioner and private
respondent vied for the mayoralty seat, with petitioner garnering 22,002 votes, 1,666 more votes
than​ ​private​ ​respondent​ ​who​ ​got​ ​only​ ​20,​ ​336​ ​votes.

Private respondent filed a Petition to Declare Null and Void Substitution with Prayer for Issuance
of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order. He prayed for the
nullification of petitioner's certificate of candidacy for being void ​ab initio ​because the certificate
of candidacy of Jose "Pempe" Miranda, whom petitioner was supposed to substitute, had
already​ ​been​ ​cancelled​ ​and​ ​denied​ ​due​ ​course.

ISSUE/S: ​WON the petitioner, who was beyond the deadline for filing a certificate of candidacy,
be​ ​qualified​ ​to​ ​substitute​ ​a​ ​candidate​ ​whose​ ​COC​ ​was​ ​cancelled​ ​and​ ​denied?

DOCTRINE: ​A ​valid COC is likewise an indispensable requisite in the case of a substitution of a


disqualified​ ​candidate

DECISION: ​NO. In ​Bautista vs. Comelec the Court explicitly ruled that ​"a cancelled certificate
does not give rise to a valid candidacy.​" A person without a valid certificate of candidacy
cannot be considered a candidate in much the same way as any person who has not filed any
certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​at​ ​all​ ​can​ ​not,​ ​by​ ​any​ ​stretch​ ​of​ ​the​ ​imagination,​ ​be​ ​a​ ​candidate​ ​at​ ​all.

Moreover, In ​Gador vs. Comelec, ​the Court held that a certificate of candidacy filed beyond the
period fixed by law is void, and the person who filed it is not, in law, a candidate. Much in the
same manner as a person who filed no certificate of candidacy at all and a person who filed it
out of time, a person whose certificate of candidacy is cancelled or denied due course is no
candidate at all. No amount of votes should entitle him to the elective office aspired for. The
evident purposes of the law in requiring the filing of certificates of candidacy and in fixing the
time limit therefor are: ​(a) ​to enable the voters to know, at least sixty days before the regular
election, the candidates among whom they are to make the choice, and ​(b) ​to avoid confusion
and inconvenience in the tabulation of the votes cast. For if the law did not confine the choice or
election by the voters to the duly registered candidates, there might be as many persons voted
for as there are voters, and votes might be cast even for unknown or fictitious persons as a
mark​ ​to​ ​identify​ ​the​ ​votes​ ​in​ ​favor​ ​of​ ​a​ ​candidate​ ​for​ ​another​ ​office​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​election.

A disqualified candidate may only be substituted if he had a ​valid ​certificate of candidacy in the
first place because, if the disqualified candidate did not have a valid and seasonably filed
certificate of candidacy, he is and was not a candidate at all. If a person was not a candidate, he
cannot be substituted under Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code. Besides, if we were to
allow the so-called "substitute" to file a "new" and "original" certificate of candidacy beyond the
period for the filing thereof, it would be a crystalline case of unequal protection of the law, an act
abhorred​ ​by​ ​our​ ​Constitution.

Hence,​ ​Comelec’s​ ​ruling​ ​to​ ​ANNUL​ ​the​ ​election​ ​and​ ​proclamation​ ​of​ ​petitioner​ ​was​ ​AFFIRMED.

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Luna​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​165983,​ ​24​ ​April​ ​2007​ ​-​ ​SALONGA

FACTS: ​On 15 January 2004, Luna filed her COC for vice-mayor of Lagayan, Abra as a
substitute for Hans Roger, who withdrew on the same date. Ruperto Blanco, Election Officer of
Lagayan,​ ​removed​ ​the​ ​name​ ​of​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​and​ ​placed​ ​the​ ​name​ ​of​ ​Luna.

On 20 April 2004, private respondents filed a petition for the cancellation of the COC or
disqualification of Luna. Private respondents alleged that Luna made a false material
representation in her COC because Luna is not a registered voter of Lagayan, Abra but a
registered voter of Bangued, Abra. Private respondents also claimed that Luna’s COC was not
validly filed because the substitution by Luna for Hans Roger was invalid. Private respondents
alleged that Hans Roger was only 20 years old on election day and, therefore, he was
disqualified​ ​to​ ​run​ ​for​ ​vice-mayor​ ​and​ ​cannot​ ​be​ ​substituted​ ​by​ L
​ una.

The​ ​COMELEC’s​ ​Ruling

COMELEC​ ​First​ ​Division​ ​(CFD)​ ​granted​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​and​ ​denied​ ​due​ ​course​ ​to​ ​the​ ​substitution.
CFD​ ​ruled​ ​that,​ ​while​ ​Luna​ ​complied​ ​with​ ​the​ ​procedural​ ​requirements​ ​for​ ​substitution,​ ​Hans
Roger​ ​was​ ​not​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​candidate​ ​for​ ​vice-mayor​ ​because​ ​being​ ​underage,​ ​he​ ​did​ ​not​ ​file​ ​a​ ​valid
COC​ ​and,​ ​thus,​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​was​ ​not​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​candidate​ ​for​ ​vice-mayor​ ​who​ ​could​ ​be​ ​substituted
by​ ​Luna.​ ​They​ ​also​ ​ruled​ ​that​ ​Luna​ ​was​ ​not​ ​a​ ​registered​ ​voter​ ​of​ ​Lagayan,​ ​Abra​ ​and​ ​that​ ​this
was​ ​sufficient​ ​to​ ​disqualify​ ​Luna​ ​from​ ​running​ ​as​ ​vice-mayor.

Luna​ ​filed​ ​a​ ​motion​ ​for​ ​reconsideration​ ​with​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc.​ ​Luna​ ​added​ ​that​ ​the​ ​CFD
Resolution​ ​was​ ​issued​ ​in​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​her​ ​right​ ​to​ ​due​ ​process​ ​because​ ​she​ ​was​ ​not​ ​given​ ​the
opportunity​ ​to​ ​present​ ​evidence​ ​on​ ​her​ ​behalf.

COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc​ ​denied​ ​the​ ​motion​ ​for​ ​reconsideration​ ​and​ ​affirmed​ ​with​ ​modification​ ​the
CFD​ ​Resolution.​ ​The​ ​COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc​ ​affirmed​ ​the​ ​finding​ ​that​ ​Hans​ ​Roger,​ ​being
underage,​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​validly​ ​substituted​ ​by​ ​Luna.​ ​The​ ​COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc​ ​also​ ​ruled​ ​that
Luna’s​ ​right​ ​to​ ​due​ ​process​ ​was​ ​not​ ​violated​ ​because​ ​Luna​ ​was​ ​notified​ ​of​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​and​ ​was
given​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​be​ ​heard.​ ​However,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc​ ​ruled​ ​that​ ​Luna​ ​was​ ​a
registered​ ​voter​ ​of​ ​Lagayan,​ ​Abra.

ISSUE/S: 1. ​Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it ruled that
there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​Luna’s​ ​right​ ​to​ ​due​ ​process;​ ​and

2.​​ ​Whether​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​committed​ ​grave​ ​abuse​ ​of​ ​discretion​ ​when​ ​it​ ​ruled​ ​that​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no
valid​ ​substitution​ ​by​ ​Luna​ ​for​ ​Hans​ ​Roger.

DOCTRINE: ​When a candidate files his certificate of candidacy, the COMELEC has a
ministerial​ ​duty​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​and​ ​acknowledge​ ​its​ ​receipt.
DECISION:

1. No. Luna’s Right to Due Process was not Violated. Under Rule 23 of the 1993 COMELEC
Rules of Procedure, a petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy shall be
heard summarily after due notice. The law mandates that the candidates must be notified of the
petition against them and should be given the opportunity to present evidence on their behalf.
This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​essence​ ​of​ ​due​ ​process.

COMELEC​ ​En​ ​Banc​ ​stated​ ​that​ ​the​ ​records​ ​showed​ ​that​ ​three​ ​days​ ​after​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​was​ ​filed,
the​ ​Provincial​ ​Election​ ​Supervisor,​ ​as​ ​hearing​ ​officer,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​assistance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Philippine
National​ ​Police​ ​Provincial​ ​Command,​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​personally​ ​serve​ ​a​ ​copy​ ​of​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​Luna.​ ​But
Luna​ ​refused​ ​to​ ​formally​ ​receive​ ​the​ ​petition.​ ​On​ ​26​ ​April​ ​2004,​ ​the​ ​Office​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Provincial
Election​ ​Supervisor​ ​sent​ ​the​ ​notice​ ​via​ ​registered​ ​mail​ ​and​ ​still​ ​Luna​ ​did​ ​not​ ​file​ ​an​ ​answer.

The​ ​Court​ ​finds​ ​that​ ​Luna’s​ ​right​ ​to​ ​due​ ​process​ ​was​ ​not​ ​violated.​ ​The​ ​COMELEC​ ​notified​ ​Luna
of​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​filed​ ​against​ ​her​ ​and​ ​Luna​ ​was​ ​given​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​present​ ​evidence​ ​on​ ​her
behalf.​ ​This​ ​constitutes​ ​compliance​ ​with​ ​the​ ​requirements​ ​of​ ​due​ ​process.

2.​​ ​Yes.​ ​Substitution​ ​of​ ​Luna​ ​for​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​was​ ​Valid.​ ​When​ ​a​ ​candidate​ ​files​ ​his​ ​certificate​ ​of
candidacy,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​has​ ​a​ ​ministerial​ ​duty​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​and​ ​acknowledge​ ​its​ ​receipt.​ ​In​ ​this
case,​ ​when​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​filed​ ​his​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​on​ ​5​ ​January​ ​2004,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​had
the​ ​ministerial​ ​duty​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​and​ ​acknowledge​ ​receipt​ ​of​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy.
Thus,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​had​ ​the​ ​ministerial​ ​duty​ ​to​ ​give​ ​due​ ​course​ ​to​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of
candidacy.​ ​Since​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​withdrew​ ​his​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​found
that​ ​Luna​ ​complied​ ​with​ ​all​ ​the​ ​procedural​ ​requirements​ ​for​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​substitution,​ ​Luna​ ​can​ ​validly
substitute​ ​for​ ​Hans​ ​Roger.

If​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​made​ ​a​ ​material​ ​misrepresentation​ ​as​ ​to​ ​his​ ​date​ ​of​ ​birth​ ​or​ ​age​ ​in​ ​his​ ​certificate
of​ ​candidacy,​ ​his​ ​eligibility​ ​may​ ​only​ ​be​ ​impugned​ ​through​ ​a​ ​verified​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​deny​ ​due​ ​course
to​ ​or​ ​cancel​ ​such​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​under​ ​Section​ ​78​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Election​ ​Code.

In​ ​this​ ​case,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​deny​ ​due​ ​course​ ​to​ ​or​ ​cancel​ ​the​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​of
Hans​ ​Roger.​ ​The​ ​COMELEC​ ​only​ ​declared​ ​that​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​did​ ​not​ ​file​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​certificate​ ​of
candidacy​ ​and,​ ​thus,​ ​was​ ​not​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​candidate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​deny​ ​due​ ​course​ ​to​ ​or​ ​cancel
Luna’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy.​ ​In​ ​effect,​ ​the​ ​COMELEC,​ ​without​ ​the​ ​proper​ ​proceedings,
cancelled​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​and​ ​declared​ ​the​ ​substitution​ ​by​ ​Luna​ ​invalid.

It​ ​would​ ​have​ ​been​ ​different​ ​if​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​petition​ ​to​ ​deny​ ​due​ ​course​ ​to​ ​or​ ​cancel​ ​Hans
Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy.​ ​For​ ​if​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​cancelled​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of
candidacy​ ​after​ ​the​ ​proper​ ​proceedings,​ ​then​ ​he​ ​is​ ​no​ ​candidate​ ​at​ ​all​ ​and​ ​there​ ​can​ ​be​ ​no
substitution​ ​of​ ​a​ ​person​ ​whose​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​has​ ​been​ ​cancelled​ ​and​ ​denied​ ​due
course.​ ​However,​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​was​ ​never​ ​cancelled​ ​or​ ​denied​ ​due
course​ ​by​ ​the​ ​COMELEC.

Moreover,​ ​Hans​ ​Roger​ ​already​ ​withdrew​ ​his​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​before​ ​the​ ​COMELEC
declared​ ​that​ ​he​ ​was​ ​not​ ​a​ ​valid​ ​candidate.​ ​Therefore,​ ​unless​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of
candidacy​ ​was​ ​denied​ ​due​ ​course​ ​or​ ​cancelled​ ​in​ ​accordance​ ​with​ ​Section​ ​78​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Election
Code,​ ​Hans​ ​Roger’s​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​was​ ​valid​ ​and​ ​he​ ​may​ ​be​ ​validly​ ​substituted​ ​by
Luna.

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Cerafica​ ​v.​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Elections,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​205136,​ ​02​ ​December​ ​2014​ ​-​ ​RUBIO

FACTS: ​On 1 October 2012, Kimberly filed her COC for Councilor, City of Taguig for the 2013
Elections. Her COC stated that she was born on 29 October 1992, or that she will be twenty
(20) years of age on the day of the elections, in contravention of the requirement that one must
be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on the day of the elections as set out in Sec. 9 (c) of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8487 (Charter of the City of Taguig). As such, Kimberly was summoned
to​ ​a​ ​clarificatory​ ​hearing​ ​due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​age​ ​qualification.

Instead of attending the hearing,Kimberly opted to file a sworn Statement of Withdrawal


of COC on 17 December 2012. Simultaneously, Olivia filed her own COC as a substitute of
Kimberly.​ ​Owing​ ​to​ ​these​ ​events,​ ​the​ ​clarificatory​ ​hearing​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​pushed​ ​through.

Director Esmeralda Amora-Ladra (Director Amora-Ladra) of the Comelec Law


Department recommended the cancellation of Kimberly’s COC, and consequently, the denial of
the substitution of Kimberly by Olivia. Relying on Comelec Resolution No. 9551, Director
Amora-Ladra opined that it is as if no COC was filed by Kimberly; thus, she cannot be
substituted.

In a Special En Banc Meeting of the Comelec on 3 January 2013, the Comelec adopted
the recommendation of Director Amora-Ladra, cancelled Kimberly’s COC, and denied the
substitution of Kimberly by Olivia as an effect of the cancellation of Kimberly’s COC, Olivia then
filed​ ​the​ ​present​ ​petition​ ​raising​ ​the​ ​following​ ​issues:

I.
WHETHER PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ACTED WITH GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION AND
CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN ISSUING THE ASSAILED MINUTE
RESOLUTION RESULTING IN THE CANCELLATION OF THE CERTIFICATE OF
CANDIDACY (COC) OF ASPIRANT KIMBERLY DA SILVA CERAFICA AND THE DENIAL OF
THE SUBSTITUTION OF KIMBERLY DA SILVA CERAFICA BY OLIVIA DA SILVA CERAFICA
AS​ ​AN​ ​EFFECT​ ​OF​ ​THE​ ​CANCELLATION​ ​OF​ ​THE​ ​COC​ ​OF​ ​KIMBERLY.
II.
WHETHER PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ACTED WITH GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION AND
CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT RULED THAT THERE WAS NO
VALID SUBSTITUTION BY PETITIONER FOR KIMBERLY RESULTING IN THE MOTU
PROPRIO​ ​DENIAL​ ​OF​ ​PETITIONER’S​ ​CERTIFICATE​ ​OF​ ​CANDIDACY.
III.
WHETHER PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ACTED WITH GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION AND
CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN ISSUING THE ASSAILED RESOLUTION
WITHOUT GIVING PETITIONER AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, THEREBY RESULTING
IN THE MOTU PROPRIODENIAL OF THE SUBSTITUTION OF KIMBERLY DA SILVA
CERAFICA​ ​BY​ ​OLIVIA​ ​DA​ ​SILVA​ ​CERAFICA.

In its Comment filed on 22 April 2013, respondent Comelec argued that Olivia cannot
substitute Kimberly as the latter was never an official candidate because she was not eligible for
the post by reason of her age, and that, moreover, the COC that Kimberly filed was invalid
because it contained a material misrepresentation relating to her eligibility for the office she
seeks to be elected to. The Comelec further averred that it can cancel Kimberly’s COC motu
proprioas it may look into patent defects in the COCs, such as Kimberly’s failure to comply with
the​ ​age​ ​requirement.

In her Reply filed on 10 May 2013, Olivia countered that although Kimberly may not be
qualified to run for election because of her age, it cannot be denied that she still filed a valid
COC and was, thus, an official candidate who may be substituted. Olivia also claimed that there
was no ground to cancel or deny Kimberly’s COC on the ground of lack of qualification and
material misrepresentation because she did not misrepresent her birth date to qualify for the
position of councilor, and as there was no deliberate attempt to mislead the electorate, which is
precisely​ ​why​ ​she​ ​withdrew​ ​her​ ​COC​ ​upon​ ​learning​ ​that​ ​she​ ​was​ ​not​ ​qualified.

At the outset, we note that a verification with the Comelec database yields the finding
that Olivia was not among the official candidates for the 2013 Elections and, thus, was not voted
for. Nonetheless, courts will decide a question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of
repetition, yet evading review. In this case, we find it necessary to resolve the issues raised in
the petition in order to prevent a repetition thereof and, thus, enhance free, orderly, and
peaceful​ ​elections.

ISSUE/S:

1. WHETHER PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ACTED WITH


GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION
WHEN IT RULED THAT THERE WAS NO VALID SUBSTITUTION BY PETITIONER FOR
KIMBERLY RESULTING IN THE MOTU PROPRIO DENIAL OF PETITIONER’S CERTIFICATE
OF​ ​CANDIDACY.

2. WHETHER PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS ACTED WITH


GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF OF
JURISDICTION WHEN WITHOUT GIVING PETITIONER AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD,
THEREBY RESULTING IN THE MOTU PROPRIODENIAL OF THE SUBSTITUTION OF
KIMBERLY​ ​DA​ ​SILVA​ ​CERAFICA​ ​BY​ ​OLIVIA​ ​DA​ ​SILVA​ ​CERAFICA.

DOCTRINE: ​Under the express provision of Sec. 77 of B. P. Blg. 881, not just any person, but
only​ ​"an​ ​official​ ​candidate​ ​of​ ​a​ ​registered​ ​or​ ​accredited​ ​political​ ​party"​ ​may​ ​be​ ​substituted.

DECISION:

1. Yes. ​In declaring that Kimberly, being under age, could not be considered to have filed a
valid COC and, thus, could not be validly substituted by Olivia, we find that the Comelec gravely
abused​ ​its​ ​discretion.
Firstly, subject to its authority over nuisance candidates and its power to deny due
course to or cancel COCs under Sec. 78, Batas Pambansa (B.P.) Blg. 881, the Comelec has
the​ ​ministerial​ ​duty​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​and​ ​acknowledge​ ​receipt​ ​of​ ​COCs.
In Cipriano v. Comelec, we ruled that the Comelec has no discretion to give or not to
give due couse to COCs. We emphasized that the duty of the Comelec to give due course to
COCs filed in due form is ministerial in character, and that while the Comelec may look into
patent defects in the COCs, it may not go into matters not appearing on their face. The question
of eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper cognizance of the
Comelec.
Under the express provision of Sec. 77 of B. P. Blg. 881, not just any person, but only
"an official candidate of a registered or accredited political party" may be substituted. In the case
at bar, Kimberly was an official nominee of the Liberal Party; thus, she can be validly
substituted.

The next question then is whether Olivia complied with all of the requirements for a valid
substitution; we answer in the affirmative. First, there was a valid withdrawal of Kimberly’s COC
after the last day for the filing of COCs; second, Olivia belongs to and is certified to by the same
political party to which Kimberly belongs; and third, Olivia filed her COC not later than mid-day
of​ ​election​ ​day.

2. Yes. ​In simply relying on the Memorandum of Director Amora Ladra in cancelling Kimberly’s
COC and denying the latter’s substitution by Olivia, and absent any petition to deny due course
to or cancel said COC, the Court finds that the Comelec once more gravely abused its
discretion. The Court reminds the Comelec that, in the exercise of it adjudicatory or
quasi-judicial powers, the Constitution mandates it to hear and decide cases first by Division
and,​ ​upon​ ​motion​ ​for​ ​reconsideration,​ ​by​ ​the​ ​En​ ​Banc.
Where a power rests in judgment or discretion, so that it is of judicial nature or character,
but does not involve the exercise of functions of a judge, or is conferred upon an officer other
than a judicial officer, it is deemed quasi-judicial. As cancellation proceedings involve the
exercise of quasi judicial functions of the Comelec, the Comelec in Division should have first
decided​ ​this​ ​case.

Under Section 3, Rule 23 of the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure, a petition for the
denial or cancellation of a certificate of candidacy must be heard summarily after due notice. It
is thus clear that cancellation proceedings involve the exercise of the quasi-judicial functions of
the​ ​COMELEC​ ​which​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​in​ ​division​ ​should​ ​first​ ​decide.

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Loreto-Go​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​147741,​ ​10​ ​May​ ​2001​ ​-​ ​NOBLE

FACTS: ​Petitioner is the incumbent representative of the Fifth District, province of Leyte, whose
term​ ​of​ ​office​ ​will​ ​expire​ ​at​ ​noon​ ​on​ ​30​ ​June​ ​2001.

On 27 February 2001, petitioner filed with the municipal election officer of the
municipality​ ​of​ ​Baybay,​ ​Leyte,​ ​a​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​for​ ​mayor​ ​of​ ​Baybay,​ ​Leyte.
On 28 February 2001, at 11:47 p.m., petitioner filed with the provincial election supervisor of
Leyte, with office at Tacloban City, another certificate of candidacy for governor of the province
of Leyte. Simultaneously therewith, she attempted to file with the provincial election supervisor
an affidavit of withdrawal of her candidacy for mayor of the municipality of Baybay,
Leyte.However, the provincial election supervisor of Leyte refused to accept the affidavit of
withdrawal and suggested that, pursuant to a COMELEC resolution, she should file it with the
municipal election officer of Baybay, Leyte where she filed her certificate of candidacy for
mayor.
At that late hour, with only minutes left to midnight, the deadline for filing certificates of
candidacy or withdrawal thereof, and considering that the travel time from Tacloban to Baybay
was two (2) hours, petitioner decided to send her affidavit of withdrawal by fax to her father at
Baybay, Leyte and the latter submitted the same to the office of the election officer of Baybay,
Leyte at 12:28 a.m., 01 March 2001.On the same day, at 1:15 p.m., the election officer of
Baybay,​ ​Leyte,​ ​received​ ​the​ ​original​ ​of​ ​the​ ​affidavit​ ​of​ ​withdrawal.

On 05 March 2001, respondent Montejo filed with the provincial election supervisor of
Leyte, at Tacloban City a petition to deny due course and/or to cancel the certificates of
candidacy of petitioner. Respondent Antoni filed a similar petition to disqualify petitioner. The
petitions were based on the ground that petitioner filed certificates of candidacy for two
positions, namely, that for mayor of Baybay, Leyte, and that for governor of Leyte, thus, making
her​ ​ineligible​ ​for​ ​both.

On 06 March 2001, Atty. Manuel L. Villegas, the provincial election supervisor of Leyte,
by 1​st indorsement, referred the cases to the Commission on Election, Manila, Law Department,
on the ground that he was inhibiting himself due to his prior action of refusing to receive the
petitioner’s affidavit of withdrawal tendered simultaneously with the filing of the certificate of
candidacy​ ​for​ ​governor​ ​on​ ​28​ ​February​ ​2001.
In the meantime, the Law Department, COMELEC, under Director Jose P. Balbuena,
made a study of the cases without affording petitioner an opportunity to be heard or to submit
responsive pleadings. On 05 April 2001, they submitted a report and recommendation to the
COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc.

ISSUE/S:

Was there a valid withdrawal of the certificate of candidacy for municipal mayor of Baybay,
Leyte?
(a) Must the affidavit of withdrawal be filed with the election officer of the place where
the​ ​certificate​ ​of​ ​candidacy​ ​was​ ​filed?
(b)​ ​May​ ​the​ ​affidavit​ ​of​ ​withdrawal​ ​be​ ​validly​ ​filed​ ​by​ ​fax?

Was​ ​there​ ​denial​ ​to​ ​petitioner​ ​of​ ​procedural​ ​due​ ​process​ ​of​ ​law?

DOCTRINE:
DECISION: YES. ​There is nothing in this Section which mandates that the affidavit of
withdrawal must be filed with the same office where the certificate of candidacy to be withdrawn
was filed. Thus, it can be filed directly with the main office of the COMELEC, the office of the
regional election director concerned, the office of the provincial election supervisor of the
province to which the municipality involved belongs, or the office of the municipal election officer
of​ ​the​ ​said​ ​municipality.

While it may be true that Section 12 of COMELEC Resolution No. 3253-A, adopted on 20
November 2000, requires that the withdrawal be filed before the election officer of the place
where the certificate of candidacy was filed, such requirement is merely directory, and is
intended for convenience. It is not mandatory or jurisdictional. An administrative resolution can
not contradict, much less amend or repeal a law, or supply a deficiency in the law. ​Hence, the
filing of petitioner's affidavit of withdrawal of candidacy for mayor of Baybay with the provincial
election supervisor of Leyte sufficed to effectively withdraw such candidacy. The COMELEC
thus acted with grave abuse of discretion when it declared petitioner ineligible for both positions
for​ ​which​ ​she​ ​filed​ ​certificates​ ​of​ ​candidacy.

YES. ​The Law Department, COMELEC conducted an ​ex-parte ​study of the cases. It did
not give petitioner an opportunity to be heard. Petitioner was not required to submit a comment
or opposition to the petitions for cancellation of her certificates of candidacy and/or for
disqualification. It did not set the cases for hearing. It was not even aware of the proceedings
before Director Ibanez in Tacloban. After an ​ex-parte ​study of the cases, on 05 April 2001, the
Law Department submitted its report and recommendation, approved by Director Balbuena, to
the​ ​COMELEC​ ​en​ ​banc.
During the oral argument on 07 May 2001, Director Balbuena candidly admitted that the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure requires that notice be given to the respondent. Indeed, Section
3, Rule 23 of said Rules on petition to deny due course to or cancel certificates of candidacy
explicitly​ ​provides:

"Rule​ ​23​ ​-​ ​Petition​ ​to​ ​Deny​ ​Due​ ​Course​ ​to​ ​or​ ​Cancel​ ​Certificates​ ​of​ ​Candidacy
"x​ ​x​ ​x​ ​x
"Sec.​ ​3.​ ​Summary​ ​Proceeding.​ ​-​ ​The​ ​petition​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​heard​ ​summarily​ ​after​ ​due​ ​notice.
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Divinagracia​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​Nos.​ ​186007​ ​&​ ​186016,​ ​27​ ​July​ ​2009​ ​-​ ​MUNGCAL

FACTS:
Salvador Divinagracia Jr., petitioner and Alex Centena, private respondent vied for the
vice-mayoralty race in Calilnog, Iloilo during the 2007 elections. Petitioner garnered 13 votes
more than the votes received by the respondent. After his proclamation, the respondent filed an
election protest with the RTC, claiming that irregularities attended the appreciation of marked
ballots in seven precincts. The RTC dismissed the protest as the respondent failed to overturn
the disputable presumption of regularity in the conduct of election since no challenge of votes or
objection to the appreciation of ballots was raised before the Board of Election Inspectors or the
Municipal Board of Canvassers. Private respondent and petitioner then filed their respective
notices of appeal before the trial court, upon payment of the Php 1,000 filing fee prescribed
under Rule 14, Section 9 of Rules of Procedure in Election Contests before the Courts involving
Elective Municipal and Barangay Officials. As the case was pending, the duly elected mayor
Teodoro Lao died and the petitioner assumed office as mayor. Thereafter, the Comelec Second
Division​ ​issued​ ​its​ ​first​ ​resolution,​ ​declaring​ ​respondent​ ​Centena​ ​as​ ​the​ ​duly​ ​elected​ ​vice-mayor.

In reversing the RTC decision, such resolution stated that the decision is fatally defective in form
for non-observance of the prescribed rules, as it failed to indicate the specific markings in the
contested ballots and those ballots should not be declared as "marked." COMELEC
re-appreciated the ballots and ascertained that the respondent is the true winner. Petitioner filed
a motion for reconsideration which alleged that both parties failed to pay the proper appeal fee/s
in the amount of P3,200 under the COMELEC rules of procedure. An appeal may be dismissed
motu​ ​proprio​ ​or​ ​upon​ ​motion​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​of​ ​failure​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​the​ ​correct​ ​appeal​ ​fee.

The COMELEC then issued its second En Banc resolution affirming the first resolution. It was
held that petitioner was barred by estoppel by laches when he failed to raise the question of
jurisdiction (due to non-payment of filing fees) when he filed his appellant briefs. Hence this
petition for certiorari and prohibition which asserts that the payment of the appeal fee is a
mandatory and jurisdictional requirement and that the question of jurisdiction may be raised at
any​ ​stage​ ​of​ ​the​ ​proceedings.

ISSUE/S:
1. Did​ ​the​ ​COMELEC​ ​acquire​ ​jurisdiction​ ​over​ ​the​ ​appeal​ ​despite​ ​failure​ ​to​ ​file​ ​appeal​ ​fee?

2. May the non-payment/inadequate payment of fees be raised at any stage of the


proceedings?​ ​As​ ​a​ ​follow-up,​ ​is​ ​the​ ​petitioner​ ​barred​ ​by​ ​estoppel​ ​by​ ​laches?

DOCTRINE:
The court ruled that the issue could have been raised with reasonable diligence at the earliest
opportunity. As to the doctrine of laches, YES, it is applicable in this case. Although a party
cannot waive jurisdictional issues and may raise them at any stage of the proceedings, estoppel
may​ ​bar​ ​a​ ​party​ ​from​ ​raising​ ​such​ ​issues.
DECISION:
1. YES. In Loyola v. COMELEC, the Court did not dismiss the election protest for
inadequate payment of filing fees arising from the incorrect assessment of the clerk of
court, after finding that there was substantial compliance with the filing fee requirement
in election cases. The Court in that case warned that any subsequent cases that deal
with the non-payment or mistake in payment of the filing fees shall not be tolerated.
Since then, the Court introduced the Rules of Procedure in Election Contests which
increased the filing fee from Php 300 to Php 3,000. In the same rule of procedure, there
is also an imposition of an appeal fee which is separate and distinct from, but payable
within the same period as the appeal fee imposed by the COMELEC. The requirement of
two fees by different jurisdictions has caused confusion, so this prompted the COMELEC
to​ ​clarify​ ​via​ ​Resolution​ ​No.​ ​8486,​ ​which​ ​states:

If the appellant had already paid the amount of Php 1,000 before the
RTC, MTC, MeTC or lower courts within the five-day period, and his appeal was
given due course by the court, appellant is required to pay the COMELEC appeal
fee of Php 3,200 at the Commission's Cash Division through the Electoral
Contests Adjudication Department or by postal money order payable to the
COMELEC through ECAD, within a period of 15 days fromt he time of filing of
Notice of Appeal with the lower court. If no payment is made within the
prescribed​ ​period,​ ​the​ ​appeal​ ​shall​ ​be​ ​dismissed.

Such rule was used in the recent case of Aguilar v. COMELEC which stated that
the appeal to the COMELEC of the trial court's decision is deemed perfected
upon the filing of the notice of appeal and the payment of the Php 1,000 within
the five-day period. The non-payment or the insufficient payment of the additional
appeal fee of Php 3,200 does not affect the perfection of the appeal and does not
result in outright or ipso facto dismissal of the appeal. It was therefore recognized
that the COMELEC had the discretion to allow or dismiss a "perfected" appeal
that​ ​lacks​ ​the​ ​additional​ ​payment.

2. NO, the payment of filing fee may not be raised at any point in the proceedings. The
court ruled that the petitioner cannot allege the non-payment or inadequate payment of
fees after the court has appreciated the ballots. The court ruled that the issue could have
been raised with reasonable diligence at the earliest opportunity. As to the doctrine of
laches, YES, it is applicable in this case. Although a party cannot waive jurisdictional
issues and may raise them at any stage of the proceedings, estoppel may bar a party
from raising such issues. In the past cases, the parties timely raised the issues on
non-payment. Before any revision of the contested ballots, they filed a motion
questioning​ ​the​ ​decision​ ​of​ ​the​ ​COMELEC.

This, case, however, acts as a stark contrast. Navarosa did not raise the incomplete
payment in a motion to dismiss, prompting the COMELEC to proceed with the revision of
the ballots. Such issue was raised for the first time before the COMELEC Second
Division. It is highly unjust after the trial court has completed the revision of the ballots to
dismiss the election protest and forever foreclose the determination of the true winner for
a​ ​mere​ ​deficiency​ ​in​ ​the​ ​filing​ ​fee.
In the case at bar, the petitioner actively participated in the proceedings and voluntarily
submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court. It was only after the trial court issued its
decision adverse to petitioner that he raised the issue of jurisdiction for the first time with
the Second Division. A party may be estopped from raising such questions if he has
actively taken part in the very proceedings which he questions, belatedly objecting to the
court's jurisdiction in the event that the judgment or order subsequently rendered is
adverse​ ​to​ ​him.

To allow the stale defense to proceed would run against fairness. Petition is
DISMISSED.

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Santos​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​155618,​ ​26​ ​March​ ​2003​ ​-​ ​MARCILLA

FACTS: ​Petitioner Edgar Santos and respondent Pedro Panulaya were both candidates for
Mayor of the Municipality of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental in the May 14, 2001 elections. The
Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed respondent Panulaya as the duly elected Mayor.
Petitioner filed an election protest before the lower court. After trial and revision of the ballots,
the trial court found that petitioner garnered 2,181 votes while respondent received only 2,105.
Hence, it rendered judgment declaring and proclaiming petitioner as the duly elected Municipal
Mayor, and setting aside as null and void the proclamation of respondent made by the Municipal
Board​ ​of​ ​Canvassers.

Petitioner thereafter filed a motion for execution pending appeal. Meanwhile, before the trial
court could act on petitioner’s motion, respondent filed with the COMELEC a petition for
certiorari, assailing the decision of the trial court. Likewise, respondent appealed the trial court’s
decision​ ​to​ ​the​ ​COMELEC.

The COMELEC issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, which effectively enjoined the trial court
from acting on petitioner’s motion for execution pending appeal. Subsequently, the COMELEC
dismissed petitioner’s petition for certiorari after finding that the trial court did not commit grave
abuse of discretion in rendering the assailed judgment. Moreover, the COMELEC held that the
remedy from the decision of the court a quo was to file a notice of appeal. Hence, it directed the
trial court to dispose of all pending incidents in the election protest with dispatch. The trial court
issued an Order approving the Motion for Execution Pending Appeal and installing petitioner as
the​ ​duly​ ​elected​ ​Mayor.

Meanwhile, respondent filed with the COMELEC a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of
his petition in SPR No. 20-2002. After five days, or on August 26, 2002, he filed a supplemental
petition in SPR No. 20-2002. Barely two days later, on August 28, 2002, and while his motion for
reconsideration and supplemental petition in SPR No. 20-2002 were pending, respondent filed
another petition with the COMELEC, docketed as SPR No. 37-2002. The petition contained the
same prayer as that in the supplemental petition filed in SPR 20-2002. Acting on respondent’s
motion, the COMELEC issued the assailed Order directing the parties to maintain the status quo
ante​ ​and​ ​enjoining​ ​petitioner​ ​from​ ​assuming​ ​the​ ​functions​ ​of​ ​Mayor.
ISSUE/S: ​Whether or not COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in giving due course,
instead of dismissing outright, the petition in SPR No. 37-2002 despite the clear showing that
respondent was guilty of forum-shopping; and in setting aside the trial courts order granting
execution​ ​pending​ ​appeal

DOCTRINE: ​Willful and deliberate forum-shopping is a ground for summary dismissal of the
case,​ ​and​ ​constitutes​ ​direct​ ​contempt​ ​of​ ​court.

DECISION: YES. ​The Supreme Court held that it is apparent from the records that respondent
was guilty of forum-shopping when he instituted SPR No. 37-2002 with the COMELEC. In the
case at bar, respondent obtained an adverse decision when his petition in SPR No. 20-2002
was dismissed by the COMELEC. He thereafter filed a motion for reconsideration and a
supplemental petition, praying for the nullification of the trial courts order for the execution of its
decision pending appeal. Two days after filing the supplemental petition, and while the same
was very much pending before the COMELEC, he filed a wholly separate petition for certiorari,
docketed as SPR No. 37-2002, wherein he pleaded the same reliefs prayed for in the
supplemental petition. This is plainly evident from the respective prayers in the supplemental
petition and the petition for certiorari as reproduced hereinabove. In doing so, respondent,
before allowing the COMELEC to fully resolve the incidents in SPR No. 20-2002, both of which
were at his own instance, sought to increase his chances of securing a favorable decision in
another petition. He filed the second petition on the supposition that the COMELEC might look
with​ ​favor​ ​upon​ ​his​ ​reliefs.

The decision of the trial court in Election Protest No. 1-M(2001) was rendered on April 2, 2002,
or after almost one year of trial and revision of the questioned ballots. It found petitioner as the
candidate with the plurality of votes. Respondent appealed the said decision to the COMELEC.
In the meantime, the three-year term of the Office of the Mayor continued to run. The will of the
electorate, as determined by the trial court in the election protest, had to be respected and given
meaning. The Municipality of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental, needed the services of a mayor even
while the election protest was pending, and it had to be the candidate judicially determined to
have been chosen by the people. Between the determination by the trial court of who of the
candidates won the elections and the finding of the Board of Canvassers as to whom to
proclaim,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​court’s​ ​decision​ ​that​ ​should​ ​prevail.

Considering that respondent was indubitably guilty of forum-shopping when he filed SPR No.
37-2002, his petition should have been dismissed outright by the COMELEC. Willful and
deliberate forum-shopping is a ground for summary dismissal of the case, and constitutes direct
contempt​ ​of​ ​court.

WHEREFORE​, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Order dated
September 3, 2002 and the Resolution dated October 14, 2002 of the Commission on Elections
in SPR No. 37-2002 are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and the said case is ordered DISMISSED
on the ground of forum-shopping. The Order dated August 20, 2002 of the Regional Trial Court
of Misamis Oriental, Branch 26, granting the execution pending appeal of its decision in Election
Protest No. 1-M(2001), and the Writ of Execution dated August 21, 2002, are REINSTATED.
The full enforcement of the said Writ must forthwith be made. The court of origin shall transmit
immediately to the Commission on Elections the records of SPL Election Case No. 1-M(2001),
and the Commission on Elections shall dispose of the appeal in EAC No. A-12-2002 with
deliberate​ ​dispatch.

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Navarosa​ ​v.​ ​COMELEC,​ ​G.R.​ ​No.​ ​157957,​ ​18​ ​September​ ​2003​ ​-​ ​MANGILA

FACTS: ​Charito Navarosa and Roger Esto were candidates for mayor of Libacao, Aklan. The
COMELEC Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed Navarosa as mayor. Claiming that
irregularities marred the canvassing of ballots in several precincts, Esto filed an election protest.
The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Esto. Esto filed a motion for execution of the
judgment. Navarosa opposed the motion and offered to file a supersedeas bond to stay
execution pending appeal. In its order, the trial court granted Esto’s motion and also granted
Navarosa’s prayer to stay the execution pending appeal. The COMELEC affirmed the trial
court’s​ ​order​ ​granting​ ​execution​ ​pending​ ​appeal​ ​and​ ​nullified​ ​the​ ​stay​ ​of​ ​the​ ​execution.

ISSUE/S: ​WON RTC had power to order the STAY of execution pending appeal in an election
contest,​ ​because​ ​section​ ​3,​ ​rule​ ​39​ ​of​ ​ROC​ ​does​ ​not​ ​apply​ ​to​ ​election​ ​cases?

DOCTRINE: ​A superdeas bond is applicable in ordinary civil actions where the interest of the
prevailing party is capable of pecuniary estimation. It finds no application in election protest
cases where judgments invariable include orders which are not capable of pecuniary estimation
such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​hold​ ​office​ ​and​ ​perform​ ​its​ ​functions.

DECISION: ​No. A supersedeas bond under Section 3 cannot fully protect the interests of the
prevailing party in election protest cases. x x x A supersedeas bond secures the performance of
the judgment or order appealed from in case of its affirmation. Section 3 finds application in
ordinary civil actions where the interest of the prevailing party is capable of pecuniary
estimation, and consequently, of protection, through the filing of a supersedeas bond. Thus, the
penultimate sentence of Section 3 states: “[T]he bond thus given may be proceeded against on
motion with notice to the surety.” Consequently, it finds no application in election protest cases
where judgments invariably include orders which are not capable of pecuniary estimation such
as the right to hold office and perform its functions. In insisting that the simple expedient of
posting a supersedeas bond can stay execution pending appeal, petitioner Navarosa neither
claims nor offers a more compelling contrary policy consideration. The supersedeas bond
petitioner Navarosa filed can only answer for that portion of the trial courts ruling ordering her to
pay to respondent Esto actual damages, attorneys fees and the cost of the suit. It cannot secure
execution of that portion proclaiming respondent Esto duly elected mayor of Libacao, Aklan by
popular​ ​will​ ​of​ ​the​ ​electorate​ ​and​ ​authorizing​ ​him​ ​to​ ​assume​ ​the​ ​office.

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