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Abayon v HRET  HRET concluded that since the terrorism affected more than 50% of

the votes cast in the precincts and it was impossible to distinguish


Facts:
from the good votes from the bad, the annulment was warranted.
PARTIES INVOLVED

 Petitioner Harlin Abayon – running for the position of ARGUMENT OF PETITIONER:


Representative of the First Legislative District of Northern Samar.
 The HRET had no jurisdiction to nullify the election results since it
 Respondent HRET
was akin to a declaration of failure of elections, it was under the
 Respondent Raul Daza – also running for the position of exclusive jurisdiction of the COMELEC pursuant to Sec. 4 of RA
Representative of the First Legislative District of Northern Samar. 7166.
 Even if HRET had jurisdiction, there was no clear and convincing
HOW THE DISPUTE STARTED: evidence to establish that terrorism affected more than 50% of the
votes, and that it was impossible to distinguish the good votes from
 In the May 13, 2013 elections, out of the 332 clustered precincts in the bad. He relies on the certifications of COMELEC and PNP.
the First District of N.S, Abayon garnered the majority vote. On May
17, 2013, Abayon was duly proclaimed as a member of the HoR.
 On May 31, 2013, Daza filed his Election Protest challenging the ARGUMENT OF RESPONDENT:
election results in 25 precincts in the Municipalities of Biri, Capul,  HRET had jurisdiction.
Catarman, Lavezares, San Isidro and Victoria. He alleged that there
 There was clear and convincing evidence to justify the annulment.
was massive fraud, vote-buying and that terrorism was committed
by Abayon and his supporters.
 On Aug 1, 2013, Abayon filed his verified answer with a counter- Hence this petition for Certiorari
protest, where he challenged the results in ALL precincts.
 On Feb 27, HRET conducted revision proceedings in the 25
precincts protested by Daza. Abayon was still the winner here. ISSUE:
Thereafter, Daza moved for the withdrawal of his cause of action for
the recount and revision but maintained his prayer for the  WON HRET had jurisdiction over the annulment of elections
annulment of election results on the ground of terrorism. (YES)
 If HRET had jurisdiction, WON HRET had grounds to annul the
elections. (NO)
HRET granted Daza’s motion. HRET annulled the election results in 5
precincts because of the commission of massive terrorism. When Ruling:
HRET deducted the votes from the precincts, Daza was the winner.
YES. The power to annul elections is Constitutionally granted to the
 This decision was supported by testimonial and documentary HRET by virtue of Sec 17, Article VI.
evidence (in good to know concepts) presented by Daza, which the
HRET found as convincing.  An Election Protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from
 HRET disregarded the certifications issued by the Provinsial office. It is a contest between the winning candidate and the
Election Supervisor Atty. Gulay Jr. and P/Ssupt. Lenaming , defeated candidate, based on frauds or irregularities.
indicating that there was no failure of elections and that the conduct  The power of HRET to annul elections differ from the power granted
was generally peaceful despite the occurrence of two incidents, to the COMELEC to declare failure of elections. The power granted
because they were not presented to testify. by the Constitution necessarily includes those which raise the issue
of fraud and terrorism to warrant the annulment. - Comics vilifying them were distributed
 First, the power granted to COMELEC is under its administrative - “pulong-pulongs” were hold where NDF-EV exhorted the
function. While the power of the HRET is an incident of its judicial attendees to vote against Daza
function. Second, HRET only annuls election results connected with - His supporters from Liberal Party were prevented from
the election contest brought to it, while the COMELEC declares the campaigning
failure of the ENTIRE election. - Abayon had meetings with NDF-EV officials
 Therefore, there was no overlap of jurisdiction, and HRET has - NDF-EV armed partisans were deployed around the school
jurisdiction. premises on election day

NO. Annulment of elections is only warranted in exceptional  Requisites


circumstances. This case does not warrant the annulment. - Illegality of the ballots must affect MORE THAN 50% of the
votes cast on the specific precinct/s sought to be annulled, or
 There are two indispensable requisites that must concur in order to
in case of the entire municipality, more than 50% of its total
justify the nullification (good to know concepts).
precincts and the votes cast therein
 None of the ballots of the witnesses of the respondent were - It is impossible to distinguish with reasonable certainty
subjected to terroristic acts. between the lawful and unlawful ballots.
 No evidence was presented which directly points to the petitioner
as the one perpetrated the commission of the terroristic acts.
 There was also no report from the PNP to the COMELEC of the
commission of massive terrorism, as provided for in Comelec
resolution 9583.
 The other witnesses only testified that there was violence
committed by the NDF-EV but not the fact that they voted for
Abayon because of fear.

The certification of the COMELEC and PNP should be given weight


against the unsubstantiated claims of Daza since the presumption is
that it was issued in the regular performance of their duties.

 Therefore, the decision of the HRET to annul the election was


clearly unsupported by clear and convincing evidence.

FALLO: WHEREFORE, the decision of the HRET is reversed and set aside.
Abayon is declared as the lawfully elected Representative.

GOOD TO KNOW CONCEPTS:

 Evidence presented by Daza:


- National Democratic Front -Easter Visayas had already shown
its animosity and hostility towards Daza through posting of
statements declaring them as enemies of the people of Samar.