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Sources of Philippine election lawTHEORY


Suffrage defined
OF POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

The election laws of the Philippines are contained in the following:

 1987 Constitution
 BP 881 (Omnibus Election Code)
 RA 6646 (Electoral Reforms Law of 1987)
 RA 6679 (Barangay Elections)
 RA 6735 (Law Providing for Initiative and Referendum)
 RA 7166 (1991 Synchronized Elections Law)
 RA 7941 (Election of Party-List Representatives)
 RA 8189 (Continuing Registration)
 RA 8436 (Automated Election
System)
 RA 8524
 RA 9006 (Fair Election Act of 2001)

Art. II, Sec. 1 1987 Constitution:

The Philippines is a democratic and republican


state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them.

A democratic and republican government derives all its powers, directly or indirectly, from
the people at large. Its essence is indirect rule. Actual sovereignty is exercised by the people by
means of suffrage.

Suffrage is the right and obligation of qualified citizens to vote:

(1) in the election of certain national and local officials, and


(2) in the decision of public questions submitted to the people.

It is a political right which enables every citizen to participate in the process of government
to assure that it derives it powers from the consent of the governed. It operates on the principle
of "one man (or one woman), one vote."

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Object of suffrageScope of suffrage

Suffrage is not a natural right but a privilege which may be given or withheld by the
lawmaking power subject to constitutional limitations. It is not necessarily an accompaniment of
citizenship; it is granted only upon the fulfillment of certain minimum conditions.

The object of the right of suffrage is to enable the people to choose their representative to
discharge sovereign functions (as in the case of elections), and to determine their will upon such
questions submitted to them (as in the case of plebiscite, referendum, initiative and recall.) The
main object of suffrage is the continuity of government and the preservation and perpetuation of
benefits.

Suffrage encompasses the following:

(1) Election

Election is the means by which the people choose their officials for definite
periods and to whom they entrust, for the time being as their representatives,
the exercise of powers of government. It involves the choice of candidates to
public office by popular vote.

(2) Plebiscite

Plebiscite is the submission of constitutional amendments or important


legislative measures to the people for ratification.

(3) Referendum

Referendum is the power of the electorate to approve or reject legislation


through an election called for the purpose. (Sec. 2c, R.A. 6735) It may be of 2
classes, namely:

(a) Referendum on statutes, which refers to a petition to approve or


reject an act or law, or part thereof, passed by Congress; and

(b) Referendum on local law which refers to a petition to approve or


reject a law, resolution or ordinance enacted by regional assemblies
and local legislative bodies

(4) Initiative

Initiative is the power of the people to propose amendments to the


Constitution or to propose and enact legislation through an election called for
the purpose. (Sec. 2a, R.A. 6735) There are 3 systems of initiative, namely:

(a) Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing


amendments to the Constitution;

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Who can exercise


(b) Initiative on statutes, which refers to a petition proposing to enact a
national legislation;

(c) Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to


enact a regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay law,
resolution or ordinance

Note that in the case of Santiago v. COMELEC, the Supreme Court


held that there is no law yet that is sufficient enough for proposing
amendments to the Constitution. R.A. 6735 was deemed sufficient for
statutory amendments but not Constitutional amendments.

(5) Recall

Recall is the termination of official relationship of a local elective official for


loss of confidence prior to the expiration of his term through the will of the
electorate.

Under Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution, the right of suffrage may be exercised by all
citizens of the Philippines who are:

(1) not otherwise disqualified by law,


(2) at least 18 years of age, and
(3) have resided in the Philippines for at least 1 year, and in the place wherein
they propose to vote for at least 6 months immediately preceding the
election.

The same provision provides that no literacy, property or other substantive requirement shall
be imposed on the exercise of suffrage, and that Congress may not add or alter the qualifications
of voters under Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution. This specification is an implied prohibition
against interference on the part of Congress in the right of suffrage.

Congress, however, to a limited extent can regulate the right of suffrage by:

 Defining the qualifications of voters


 Regulating elections
 Prescribing the form of official ballot
 Providing for the manner of choosing candidates and the names to be
printed on the ballot
 Regulating the manner of conducting elections
 Suppressing whatever evils incident to the election of public officers,
pursuant to its duty to secure the secrecy and sanctity of the ballots under
Art. V, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution.

What are the substantive requirements for the exercise of suffrage?

The only substantive requirements to exercise the right to vote are:

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(1) Citizenship
(2) Age
(3) Residency
(4) Absence of disqualifications

Filipino citizenship

This may be by birth or naturalization.

Age

Must be at least 18 at the time of the election.

Residence

For the purposes of election law, residence is synonymous with domicile. Art. 50 of the
Civil Code provides that “for the existence of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the
domicile of natural persons is the place of their habitual residence.” Domicile includes the twin
elements of “the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place” and animus manendi, or
the intention of returning there permanently. (Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC)

Every person is deemed to have his domicile somewhere, and when it has been acquired,
it will be deemed to continue until a new one has been acquired. Temporary absences although
frequent or long continued, will not, while the person has a continuous intention to return, deprive
him of his domicile and right to vote.

Any person who temporarily resides in another city, municipality or country solely by
reason of his occupation, profession, employment in private or public service, educational
activities, work in the military or naval reservations within the Philippines, service in the AFP, the
PNP, or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law, shall not be
deemd to have lost his original residence. (Sec. 9, R.A. 8189)

It is not necessary that a person should have a house in order to establish his residence or
domicile in a municipality. It is enough that he should live there, provided that his stay is
accompanied by his intention to reside therein permanently.

Literacy requirements

The Constitution imposes no literacy requirements; hence illiterates have the right to vote.

Property requirements

Neither does the Constitution impose any property requirement since property ownership is
not a test of individual capacity. A property requirement is not only inconsistent with the concept
of a republican government, but with the social justice principle of equal opportunity as well.

Formal education

Formal education is no guarantee for good citizenship or intelligent voting.

Sex

There is no adequate or justifiable basis for depriving women of equal voting rights.

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Disqualifications
Taxpaying Ability

This is related to property requirement.

Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC (248 SCRA 300)

It is the fact of residence, not a statement in the certificate of


candidacy which ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an
individual has satisfied the Constitution’s residency qualification
requirement.

To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate:


(1) an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; (2) a bona fide
intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a
new one; and, (3) acts which correspond with the purpose.

Aquino v. COMELEC (248 SCRA 400)

The place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent


home, where he, no matter where he may be found at nay given time,
eventually intends to return and remain, i.e., his domicile, is that to which
the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purpose of
election law. The purpose is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar
with the conditions and needs of the community from taking advantage of
favorable circumstances existing in that community for electoral gain.

(1) Persons sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than
one (1) year. (Note: he / she shall automatically re-acquire the right to vote
upon the expiration of 5 years after the service of sentence.)

(2) Persons adjudged by final judgment of having committed any crime involving
disloyalty to the duly constituted government (e.g. rebellion, sedition, violation
of the firearms law) or any crime against national security. (Note: he / she
shall automatically re-acquire the right to vote upon the expiration of 5 years
after the service of sentence.)

(3) Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority.

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Purpose Composition

THE COMELEC

The purpose of the COMELEC is to protect the sanctity of the ballot and to ensure the free
and honest express of the popular will.

To achieve this, the COMELEC was created as an independent administrative tribunal, co-
equal with the other departments with respect to the powers vested in it, and not under any of the
branches of Government. The intention is to place it outside the influence of political parties and
the control of the legislative, executive, and judicial organs of the government.

To preserve the independence of the COMELEC, appointments or designations in


temporary or acting capacities are not allowed.

The COMELEC is a 7-person body consisting of a chairman and 6 commissioners. The


members of the COMELEC must have the following qualifications:

 Natural born citizens


 At least 35 years old
 Holders of a college degree
 Must not have been candidates for any elective position in the
immediately preceding elections
 Majority of the members, including the chairman, should be members of
the Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10
years.

The chairman and the commissioners are to be appointed by the President with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments.

The Commissioners serve for 7 years without reappointment, under staggered terms of 2
years internal: of 3 commissioners first appointed, 3 shall hold office for 7 years, 2 for 5 years,
and the rest for 3 years. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired
term to preserve the staggered terms of office. The staggering of terms makes the COMELEC a
continuing and self-perpetuating body, and consequently its members would have the benefit of
the experience and expertise of the older members in the performance of its functions.

The COMELEC Commissioners are subject to the same disabilities imposed on the President
and the Vice-President, including the prohibition against holding any other office or engaging in
any other profession or business.

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Powers and functions

The powers and functions of the COMELEC may be classified as follows:

(1) Enforcement and administration of election laws and regulations (Art. IX-C,
Sec. 2 (1), 1987 Constitution)

 Promulgation of rules and regulations (Art. IX-C, Sec. 6; BP 881, Sec.


52b)

 Fixing of election period (which shall commence 90 days before the


election and end 30 days thereafter, unless otherwise fixed by the
COMELEC in special cases; Art. IX-C, Sec. 6, 1987 Constitution)

 Fixing of other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements


(BP 881, Sec. 52m)

 Declaration of failure or postponement of elections, as well as call for


special elections (Sec. 4, RA 7166)

 Prescribe forms, as well as use or adoption of latest technological and


electronic devices (BP 881, Sec. 52 g, i)

 Annulment or cancellation of illegal registry lists of voters and ordering


the preparation of a new one;

 Cancellation of the canvass of election returns and annulment of a


proclamation based on incomplete results. (Note, however, that the
COMELEC does not have the power to annul an election which may not
have been free, orderly, and honest as such power is merely preventive
and not curative.)

(2) Quasi-judicial powers

The COMELEC has exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating
to the election, returns and qualifications of all elective, regional, provincial and
city officials.

The COMELEC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all contests


involving municipal officials decided by the RTC, or involving elective barangay
officials decided by the MTC. In these cases, the decisions therein shall be final,
executory and unappealable. (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (2), 1987 Constitution)

Pursuant to its quasi-judicial powers, the COMELEC has the power:

 To issue subpoena;

 To take testimony;

 Of contempt (Note, however, that the COMELEC's power to punish for


contempt may only be exercised ONLY in the exercise of its quasi-
judicial functions. The COMELEC has no power to hold a person in
contempt in the exercise of its administrative functions (e.g. reporter

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criticizes a contract with COMELEC for supplies, or a person fails to


follow the procedure for the distribution of ballot boxes).

 To issue warrants of arrest;

 Of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus (Note: but only in exercise of its


appellate jurisdiction; Relampagos v. Cumba, )

(3) Decide all questions affecting elections (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (3), 1987 Constitution)

The power of the COMELEC to decide all questions affecting elections


pertains to the following:

(1) determination of the number and location of polling places


(2) appointment of election officials and inspectors
(3) registration of voters

However, the COMELEC has NO jurisdiction over questions involving the


right to vote (i.e. disqualifications of voters, right of a person to be registered, etc.),
as these rest within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the MTC, appealable to the
RTC.

(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies
and instrumentalities of the Government for the exclusive purpose of
ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections (Art. IX-C, Sec.
2(4), 1987 Constitution)

 CMT cadets 18 yrs. of age and above may be authorized to act as the
COMELEC's deputies for the purpose of enforcing its orders (Sec. 52a, BP
881)

 The COMELEC may deputize any member or members of the AFP, NBI,
PNP or any similar agency or instrumentality of the government (except
civilian home defense forces) during the period of the campaign and ending
30 days thereafter, when in any area of the country there are persons
committing acts of terrorism to influence people to vote for or against any
candidate or political party. (Sec. 52b, BP 881)

(5) Register political parties, etc. (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution)

(6) Accredit citizens' arms (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution)

(7) Investigation and prosecution of cases of violation of election laws (Art. IX-C,
Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution)

The COMELEC has the power of a public prosecutor with the exclusive authority
to conduct the preliminary investigation and the prosecution of election offenses
punishable under the election law.

The power may be exercised upon complaint or motu proprio.

The Ombudsman has NO jurisdiction to prosecute election offenses. He may do


so only if he is deputized by the COMELEC.

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(8) Filing of petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters (Art. IX-C, Sec.
2 (6), 1987 Constitution)

(9) Recommendatory:

(a) to Congress

 effective measures to minimize election spending, including limitation of


places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and
penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and
nuisance candidates. (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (7),1987 Constitution)

(b) to the President

 for removal of any officer or employee it has deputized (Sec. 52a, BP


881);
 for imposition of disciplinary action for violation or disregard of, or
disobedience to its directive, order, or decision (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (8),
1987 Constitution);

 for pardon, amnesty, parole, suspension of sentence for violation of


election laws, rules and regulations (Art. IX-C, Sec. 5 1987 Constitution;
This is to prevent the possibility of the President granting executive
clemency for political reasons.)

(10) Supervision / Regulation, for the duration of the election period, of use of all
franchises or permits for operation of:

 transportation and other public utilities;

 media of communication or information;

 all grants, special privileges, or concessions granted by the


Government or any instrumentality thereof (Art. IX-C, Sec. 4, 1987
Constitution)

The purpose of supervision and regulation is to guarantee or


ensure equal opportunity for public service and the equitable right to
reply, for public information campaigns and fora among candidates,
and assure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections.
(Sec. 2, R.A. 9006)

No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall


be granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election
period. (Sec. 6.4, R.A. 9006)

COMELEC is mandated under Sec. 7 of R.A. 9006 to exercise


affirmative action in procuring print space upon payment of just
compensation from at least 3 national circulation, and free airtime from
at least 3 national TV networks and 3 national radio networks, all of
which are to be allocated free of charge equally and impartially among
all the candidates for national office on 3 different calendar days.

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Quasi-Judicial Powers

Jurisdiction

The COMELEC has exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of all elective, regional, provincial and city officials.

The COMELEC has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving municipal
officials decided by the RTC, or involving elective barangay officials decided by the MTC. In
these cases, the decisions therein shall be final, executory and unappealable. (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2
(2), 1987 Constitution)

Rendition of Decision

Composition; En Banc and Division Cases

The COMELEC may sit en banc or in 2 divisions.

As a general rule, election cases shall be heard and decided in division.

Decisions that must be rendered by the COMELEC en banc include:

 Decisions on motions for reconsideration (Art. IX-C, Sec. 3, 1987


Constitution);
 Petitions for correction of manifest errors in the Statement of Votes (Sec. 5,
Rule 27 of the 1993 Rules of the COMELEC);
 Questions pertaining to proceedings of the Board of Canvassers (Mastura
v. COMELEC, 285 SCRA 493)
 Postponement of election (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)
 Declaration of failure of election (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)
 Calling of special elections (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)

Time Period and Votes Required

The COMELEC shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought
before it within 60 days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. (Art. IX-A, Sec.
7 1987 Constitution)

Judicial Review

Unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law, any decision, order or ruling of
each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party
within 30 days from receipt of a copy thereof. (Art. IX-A, Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution)

What is contemplated in this provision are decisions, orders or resolutions rendered by the
COMELEC in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers not those which are mere

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Kinds of elections Authority for Holding ElectionsDate of Election Under the Law
incidents of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of elections. Questions arising
from the latter may be taken in an ordinary civil action before the RTC.

By certiorari, a party raises questions of law in the Supreme Court. Findings of fact made
by the COMELEC are conclusive upon the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has no power of supervision over the COMELEC except to review its
decisions on petitions by certiorari. The certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is confined to
instances of grave abuse of discretion amounting to patent and substantial denial of due process
committed by it in the exercise of its quasi-judicial powers.

ELECTIONS IN GENERAL

General election
It is one provided for by law for the election to offices throughout the State or a certain
subdivision thereof, after the expiration of the full term of former officers.

Special election

It is one provided for by law under special circumstances.

It is an election held to fill a vacancy in an office before the expiration of the full term for
which the incumbent was elected, or an election at which some issue or proposition is submitted
to the vote of the qualified electors.

In order to hold a valid election, authority to hold it must be found conferred by the people,
either directly through the Constitution which they themselves have ordained, or indirectly,
through the enactments of their legal representatives, the legislature.

In accordance with the Constitutional policy to synchronize elections, there is a


simultaneous conduct of elections for national and local officials once every 3 years. Under R.A.
7166, elections shall be held on the 2nd Monday of May.

The President and Vice-President are elected on the same day every 6 years.

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Time for Holding ElectionsPlace


Holding
forofHolding
Election
Elections
by Proper
Manner
Officers
of Holding Elections

Senators, Elective Members of the House of Representatives, and Elective Provincial, City
and Municipal Officials are elected on the same day every 3 years, except with respect to the
Senators, only 12 of whom shall be elected every 3 years.

Barangay Elections are held on the same day, and every 5 years thereafter, the term for
elective barangay officials having been extended from 3 years to 5 years. (R.A. 7160, Sec. 43 (c)
as amended by R.A. 8524)

A fixed and ascertained time for holding an election is indispensable to the full and
effectual exercise of the right to vote. The time must be fixed by the authoritative power (i.e. the
Constitution; laws in the case of regular elections; the executive or other designated power in the
case of special elections).

Enactments declaring the time at which an election shall be held are deemed to be matters
of substance and must be substantially observed or the election will be void. Substantial
observance is sufficient and slight variations will not invalidate the election.

The place for holding elections shall be fixed by general law or by a proclamation or by the
notice by which the election is called. Such designated place shall be mandatory.

In case of emergencies which necessitates the changing of a polling place, adequate


general notice must be given.

Laws providing for the calling and holding of elections usually provide that they shall be
conducted by certain officers, elected or chosen by certain methods, and that the result shall be
ascertained and published in a manner prescribed.

Regulations of this nature are indispensable to the orderly and efficient conduct of the
election, and an election held by persons without any color of authority to do so, or without any
attempt to observe the methods prescribed, is invalid.

While the manner of holding elections must be regulated, it is obvious that the manner
prescribed is intended simply to secure the correct result. Manner and form should not be allowed
to defeat the undoubted will of the people clearly expressed. (C.J. Simpson)

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Precincts
Regulations prescribed are merely directory, and a failure to observe them fully will not
invalidate the election, where an election has been held in good faith and irregularities do not
affect the result.

Where a special election is provided for, but no method of holding it is declared, it will be
sufficient if it is held in the manner prescribed for the holding of general elections.

PRE-ELECTION
REQUIREMENTS
PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES

Precinct, defined

PRECINCT: unit of territory for the purpose of voting (Sec. 149, BP 881)

Establishment of Precincts

The COMELEC shall establish all election precincts. Each barangay shall have at least 1
such precinct. (Sec. 149, BP 881)

The COMELEC may introduce adjustments, changes or new divisions or abolish precincts
if necessary. But no changes shall be introduced within 45 days before a regular election and 30
days before a special election or referendum or plebiscite. (Sec. 149, BP 881)

Where it is not practicable to divide a precinct by territory, the COMELEC may adjust or
split the precinct by assigning the registered voters alphabetically and equitably among the
adjusted or split precinct. The polling places of the said precincts must be in the same building.
(Sec. 8, R.A. 7166)

Publication of Maps of Precincts

At least 5 days before the first registration day and until after the election, referendum, or
plebiscite, the COMELEC shall post in the city or municipal hall and in 3 other conspicuous
places and on the door of each polling place, a map of the city or municipality showing its division
into precincts. Such maps shall be kept posted until after the election, referendum or plebiscite.
(Sec. 151, BP 881)

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Polling PlacesForm and Contents of ballots

Polling place, defined

POLLING PLACE: Building or place where the Board of Election


Inspectors conducts its proceedings and where the
voters cast their votes (Sec. 152, BP 881)

Designation of polling places

The COMELEC may introduce changes in the location of polling places when necessary
after notice to the registered political parties and candidates affected if any, and hearing. No
location shall be changed within 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special
election, referendum or plebiscite except when it is destroyed or it cannot be used. (Sec. 153, BP
881)

Arrangements and Contents of Polling Places

Each polling place shall have at least 10 voting booths of such size, specifications and
materials as the COMELEC may provide to enable the voters to fill out their ballots secretly.
(Sec. 158, BP 881) The polling place shall be so arranged that the booths, the table, the ballot
boxes and the whole polling place, except what is being written within the booths, shall be in plain
view of the board of election inspectors, the watchers and other persons who may be within the
polling place. (Sec. 159 (d), BP 881)

The COMELEC shall post inside each voting booth and elsewhere in the polling place on
the day before the election, referendum, or plebiscite and during the voting period a list containing
the names of all candidates or the issues or questions to be voted for. (Sec. 158; BP 881)

There shall be a guard rail between the voting booths and the table for the Board of
Election Inspectors. (Sec. 159; BP 881)

Inspection of polling places

Before the day of the election, referendum or plebiscite, the Chairman of the COMELEC
shall, through its authorized representatives, see to it that all polling places are inspected and
such omissions and defects as may be found corrected. (Sec. 163, BP 881)

OFFICIAL BALLOTS, ELECTION RETURNS


& BALLOT BOXES

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Emergency BallotsPrinting of official ballots and election returns


The ballots shall:

 be uniform in size;

 be printed in black ink on white security paper with distinctive, clear and
legible watermarks that will readily distinguish it from ordinary paper;

 be in the shape of a strip with stub and a detachable coupon containing


the serial number of the ballot and a space for the thumbmark of the
voter on the detachable coupon;

 bear at the top middle portion the coat-of-arms of the Republic, the
words, “Official Ballot”, the name of the city or municipality and the
province, the date of the election and the following notice in English,
“Fill out this ballot secretly inside the voting booth. Do not put any
distinctive mark on any part of this ballot”;

 contain the names of all the offices to be voted for, allowing opposite the
name of each office, sufficient space or spaces with horizontal lines
where the voter may write the name or names of the individual
candidates voted for by him;

 have nothing printed or written at the back except the signature of the
chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors

In cities or municipalities where Arabic is of general use, ballots shall have each of the titles
of the offices to be voted for printed in Arabic in addition to and immediately below the English
title.

Notwithstanding the preceding provisions, COMELEC may prescribe a different form of


official ballot on the same watermarked security paper to facilitate the voting by illiterate voters
only and to use or adopt the latest technological and electronic devices in connection therewith.
(Sec. 23, R.A. 7166)

As a general rule, no ballots other than the official ballots shall be used or counted.
However, so-called "emergency ballots" may be used in the event of failure to receive the official
ballots on time, or where there are no sufficient ballots for all registered voters, or where they are
destroyed at such time as shall render it impossible to provide other official ballots. In these
cases, the city or municipal treasure shall provide other ballots which shall be as similar to the
official ones as circumstances will permit and which shall be uniform within each polling place.
(Sec. 182, BP 881)

The official ballots and election returns shall be printed by the Government Printing Office
and/or the Central Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control

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of the COMELEC which shall determine and provide the necessary security measures in the
printing, storage and distribution thereof. (Sec. 184, BP 881)

The registered political parties or coalitions of parties (or their components should there be
any dissolution or division of said coalition) whose candidates obtained at least 10% of the total
votes cast in the next preceding senatorial election are each entitled to have a watcher and/or
representative in the procurement and watermarking of papers to be used in the printing of
election returns and official ballots, and in the printing, numbering, storage and distribution
thereof. (Sec. 8, R.A. 6646)

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Requisition and DistributionPublicationBallot boxes Necessity


Registration
of defined
registration

The official ballots and election returns shall be distributed to each city and municipality at
the rate of one and one-fifth ballots for every voter registered in each polling place, and for
election returns, at the rate of one set for every polling place. (Sec. 186, BP 881)

The ruling party and the dominant opposition party shall submit the names of their
watchers who, together with the representatives of the COMELEC and the provincial, city, and
municipal treasurers shall verify the contents of the boxes containing the shipment of official
ballots, election returns and sample official ballots. (Sec. 189, BP 881)

The COMELEC shall publish at least 10 days before an election, in a newspaper of general
circulation, certified data on the number of ballots and returns and the names and addresses of
the printers and the number printed by each.

On the day of the voting, there shall be a ballot box one side of which shall be transparent
which shall be set in a manner visible to the voting public. It shall contain two compartments, one
for valid ballots and the other for spoiled ballots.

REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

Registration refers to the act of accomplishing and filing of a sworn application for
registration by a qualified voter before the election officer of the city or municipality wherein he
resides and including the same in the book of registered voters upon approval by the Election
Registration Board. (Sec. 3a, R.A. 8189)

"The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right of suffrage. For


registration is part and parcel of the right to vote and an indispensable element in the election
process. Thus … registration cannot and should not be denigrated to the lowly stature of a mere
statutory requirement. Proceeding from the significance of registration as a necessary requisite to
the right to vote, the State undoubtedly, in the exercise of its inherent police power, may then
enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of voter’s registration for the ultimate purpose of
conducting honest, orderly and peaceful election, to the incidental yet generally important end,
that even pre-election activities could be performed by the duly constituted authorities in a

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Qualifications and DisqualificationsElection Registration Board


realistic and orderly manner – one which is not indifferent and so far removed from the pressing
order of the day and the prevalent circumstances of the times." (Akbayan, et al v. COMELEC,
G.R. No.147066, March 26, 2001)

In order that a qualified elector may vote in any election, plebiscite or referendum, he
must be registered in the permanent list of voters for the city or municipality in which he resides.
(Sec. 115, BP 881).

See previous discussion under Suffrage.

(Sec. 15, R.A. 8189)

In each city and municipality, there shall be as many Election Registration Boards as there
are election officers therein. In thickly populated cities or municipalities, the COMELEC may
appoint additional election officers for such duration as may be necessary.

Composition

The Board shall be composed of the following:

(1) Chairman: Election Officer. In case disqualified, the COMELEC shall


designate an acting Election Officer.

(2) Members: (a) Public school official most senior in rank; and

(b) Local civil registrar, or in his absence, the city or municipal


treasurer. If neither are available, any other appointive civil
service official from the same locality as designated by the
COMELEC.

Disqualifications
No member of the Board shall be related to each other or to any incumbent city or
municipal elective official within the 4 th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. If in succeeding
elections, any of the newly elected city or municipal officials is related to a member of the Board
within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, such member is automatically disqualified to
preserve the integrity of the Election Registration Board.

NOTE: It is an election offense to either:

(1) accept an appointment, to assume office and to actually serve as


a member of the Board although ineligible thereto (Sec. 45d,
R.A. 8189), or

(2) appoint such ineligible person knowing him to be ineligible (Sec.


45d, R.A. 8189)

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When registration conducted

Function
The Election Registration Board shall meet quarterly on the 3 rd Monday of April, July,
October and January of every calendar year (or on the next following working day if such
designated days fall on non-working holidays) to hear and process all applications for registration.

Registration of voters shall be conducted not less than 120 days before a regular election
and 90 days before a special election. (Sec. 8, R.A. 8189)

However, in the case of an initiative or referendum, the COMELEC is authorized to set a


special registration day at least 3 weeks before the scheduled initiative or referendum. ( Sec. 5,
R.A. 6735)

CAN A SPECIAL REGISTRATION FOR A REGULAR ELECTION BE CONDUCTED


OUTSIDE THE PERIOD PRESCRIBED IN SEC. 8, R.A. 8189 UNDER THE RESIDUAL
OR STANDBY POWERS OF THE COMELEC UNDER SEC. 28, R.A. 8436?

Given the facts in the case of Akbayan, et al v. COMELEC (G.R. No.147066,


March 26, 2001), no. The Supreme Court held that Sec. 8 of R.A. 8189 explicitly provides
that no registration shall be conducted during the period starting 120 days before a regular
election. The purpose of having a 120-day prohibitive period is to enable the COMELEC
to complete all the necessary pre-election activities, including the Project of Precincts,
constitution of Board of Election Inspectors, Book of Voters and approved Voters
Registration Records, Computerized Voters' List, and Voters Information Sheet.
Registration of voters is not, contrary to popular opinion, merely the act of going to the
Election Officer and writing the names down. It is "in fact, a long process that takes about
3 weeks to complete not even counting how long it would take to prepare for the
registration in the first place." A buffer period is therefore necessary to safeguard against
any number of unforeseen occurrences that might delay the elections.

The registration period must be taken in conjunction with the period for filing of
petitions for exclusion of voters under Sec. 35 of R.A. 8189, which must be not less than
100 days prior to a regular election. The petition for exclusion is a necessary component
to registration since it is a safety mechanism that gives a measure of protection against
flying voters, non-qualified registrants, and the like. The prohibitive period serves the
purpose of securing the voter's substantive right to be included in the list of voters. A
special voter's registration cannot be conducted without likewise adjusting the prohibitive
period for filing petitions for exclusion to a later date; otherwise, no one can challenge the
Voter's list since it would already be well into the 100-day prohibitive period. Aside from
being a flagrant breach of the principles of due process, this would open the registration
process to abuse and seriously compromise the integrity of the voter's list, and
consequently, that of the entire election… (T)he periods serve a vital role in protecting the
integrity of the registration process. Without the prohibitive periods, the COMELEC would
be deprived of any time to evaluate the evidence on the application, and the COMELEC
would be obliged to simply take them at face value. If these safety nets are compromised,
the COMELEC may end up with a voter’s list full of flying voters, overflowing with
unqualified registrants, populated with shadows and ghosts.

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Re-registration System of Continuing RegistrationChallenge


List of voters
of the right to register
As to the "standby" or "residual" powers of the COMELEC as regards certain pre-
election acts, the Supreme Court held that Sec. 28 of R.A. 8436 is anchored on the sound
premise that that such pre-election acts must still be capable of being reasonably
performed vis-à-vis the remaining period before the date of election and the conduct of
other related pre-election activities required under the law. Given the COMELEC's
declaration of "operational impossibility" of conducting a special registration, such stand-
by power cannot be exercised or availed of in this case since the law does not require that
the impossible be done.

A voter who is registered in the permanent list of voters need not register anew for
subsequent elections unless:

(1) he transfers residence to another city or municipality; or

(2) his registration has been cancelled on the ground of disqualification and
such disqualification has been lifted or removed (Sec. 125, BP 881);

Under Sec. 8 of RA 8189, the COMELEC has the power to conduct continuing registration.
Such registration shall be conducted daily in the office of the Election Officer during regular office
hours, except during the period starting 120 days before a regular election and 90 days before a
special election. The filing of the application must be done personally.

Any person applying for registration may be challenged before the Election Registration
Board by:

 any voter,
 any candidate, or
 any representative of a registered political party.

Such challenge must be made in writing, under oath and must state the grounds therefor. (Sec.
18, R.A. 8189)

The list of voters refers to an enumeration of names of registered voters in a precinct duly
certified by the Election Registration Board for use in the election. (Sec. 3 (d), R.A. 8189)

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The Board of Election Inspectors must post the final list of voters in each precinct 15 days
before the date of the regular or special election or referendum or plebiscite.

Any candidate or authorized representative of an accredited political party upon formal


request to an election registrar shall be entitled to a certified copy of the most recent list of voters
upon payment of a reasonable fee.

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Inclusion-exclusion cases

Common rules governing judicial proceedings in the matter of


inclusion, exclusion and correction of names of voters (Sec. 32, R.A.
8189)

(1) TIME OF FILING: During office hours

(2) NOTICE: Notice of the place, date and time of the hearing of the petition
shall be served upon the members of the Board and the
challenged voter upon filing of the petition.

Modes of service: (1) personal delivery, or


(2) registered mail, or
(3) posting in the bulletin board of city
or municipal hall and in 2 other
conspicuous places within the city or
municipality

(3) CONTENTS: Petition shall refer only to 1 precinct, and shall implead the Board
as respondents

(4) COSTS: Generally, no costs shall be assessed against any party.


However, the court may order a party to pay the costs and
incidental expenses of the suit should it find that the application
was filed solely to harass the adverse party and to cause him to
incur expenses.

(5) INTERVENTION: Any voter, candidate or political party who may be affected by
the proceedings may intervene and present his evidence.

(6) EVIDENCE: Shall be based on the evidence presented. In no case shall a


decision be rendered upon a stipulation of facts.

If the case involves the issue of a fictitious voter, the non-


appearance of the challenged voter on the day set for hearing
shall be prima facie evidence that such voter is fictitious.

(7) DECISION: Petition shall be heard and decided within 10 days from date of
filing.

Cases appealed to the RTC shall be decided within 10 days from


receipt of the appeal. In all cases, the court shall decide these
petitions not later than 15 days before the election and the
decision shall become final and executory.

Jurisdiction and Appeal in Inclusion and Exclusion Cases


MTC: original and exclusive jurisdiction

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RTC: appellate jurisdiction

Appeals must be made within 5 days from receipt of notice. Otherwise the decision of the
MTC becomes final and executory after said period.

The RTC shall decide the appeal within 10 days from the time the appeal was received,
and its decision shall be final and executory. No motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.
(Sec. 138, BP 881; Sec. 33, R.A. 8189)

Petition for Inclusion of Voters in the List


The following may petition to be included in the voters’ list:

 any person whose application by registration has been disapproved by


the Board of Election Inspectors or

 any person whose name has been stricken out from the list

Petitioner may apply at any time except 105 days prior to a regular election or 75 days prior to a
special election. (Sec. 34, R.A. 8189)

Petition for Exclusion of Voters from the List


The following may petition for the exclusion of a voter from the permanent list of voters:

 any registered voter;

 any representative of a political party;

 the Election Officer

Such petition may be filed at any time except 100 days before a regular election or 65 days
before a special election. It shall be decided within 10 days from filing. (Sec. 35, R.A. 8189)

"The petition for exclusion is a necessary component to registration since it is a safety


mechanism that gives a measure of protection against flying voters, non-qualified registrants, and
the like. The prohibitive period, on the other hand serves the purpose of securing the voter’s
substantive right to be included in the list of voters." (Akbayan, et al v. COMELEC, G.R.
No.147066, March 26, 2001)

The citizenship of a person to be stricken from the list may be decided in the exclusion
proceedings. However, the decision does not acquire the nature of res judicata considering the
summary character of the case.

Voters Excluded Through the Inadvertence or Registered with an


Erroneous or Misspelled Name (Sec. 37, R.A. 8189)

WHAT MAY BE FILED?

(1) Petition for reinstatement - filed by any registered voter who has not been included in

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Annulment of Book of Voters


the precinct certified list of voters
(2) Petition for correction of name - filed by any registered voter who has been included in
the precinct certified list of voters with a wrong or
misspelled name

WHERE FILED? With the Election Registration Board

If the petition is denied or not acted upon, the voter may file on any date
with the proper MTC a petition for an order directing that the voter's name
be entered or corrected in the list. The following must be attached to the
petition:

(1) Certified true copy of his registration record, or identification


card, or the entry of his name in the list of voters used in the
preceding election;

(2) Proof that his application was denied or not acted upon by the
Board;

(3) Proof that the petitioner has served notice of his application to
the Board

(Sec. 39, R.A. 8189)

The book of voters refers to the compilation of all registration records in a precinct. (Sec.
3c, R.A. 8189)

WHO MAY FILE PETITION FOR ANNULMENT:

(1) Any voter;


(2) Any election officer;
(3) Any duly registered political party

GROUNDS:

(1) The book of voters was not prepared in accordance with the
provisions of R.A. 8189; or

(2) The book of voters was prepared through:


 Fraud;
 Bribery;
 Forgery;
 Impersonation;
 Intimidation;
 Force; or
 Any similar irregularity

(3) The book of voters contains data that are statistically improbable

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Deactivation and reactivation of registration


The book of voters shall be annulled after due notice and hearing by the COMELEC after the
filing of a verified petition. No order, ruling or decision annulling a book of voters shall be
executed within 90 days before an election.

Deactivation of registration (Sec. 27, R.A. 8189)

CAUSES OF DEACTIVATION:

(1) The 3 grounds for disqualification to vote, namely:

(a) Sentence by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than
one (1) year, such disability not having been removed by plenary
pardon or amnesty;

(b) Adjudgment by final judgment of having committed any crime


involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government (e.g. rebellion,
sedition, violation of the firearms law) or any crime against national
security, unless restored to his full civil and political rights in
accordance with law;

(c) Declaration of insanity or incompetence by competent authority,


unless subsequently removed;

(2) Failure to vote in the 2 successive preceding regular elections, as shown by


the voting records (Note: SK elections are NOT considered regular elections
for this purpose);

(3) Court order for exclusion of registration; and

(4) Loss of Filipino citizenship

Reactivation of registration (Sec. 28, R.A. 8189)

PETITION FILED: Sworn application for reactivation of registration in the form


of an affidavit stating that the grounds for the deactivation
no longer exist

WHO MAY FILE: Any voter whose registration has been deactivated

WHERE FILED: With the Election Officer, who shall then submit such
application to the Election Registration Board for
appropriate action.

WHEN FILED: Not later than 120 days before a regular election and 90
days before a special registration

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Political party definedPurpose of registrationRights and privileges granted

REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES

Under the Omnibus Election Code, a political party is an organized group of persons
pursuing the same ideology, political ideas or platforms of government and includes its branches
and divisions. (Sec. 60, BP 881)

Under the Party-List System Act, a political party is 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. (Sec. 3c, R.A. 7491)
There are 2 kinds of political parties: (1) national party, i.e. a party whose constituency is spread
over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the regions; and (2) regional party, i.e. a
party whose constituency is spread over the geographical territory of at least a majority of the
cities and provinces comprising the region.

The purpose of registration of political parties with the COMELEC is to enable them to:

(1) Acquire juridical personality;

(2) Qualify for subsequent accreditation; and

(3) Entitle them to the rights and privileges granted to political parties. ( Sec. 60,
BP 881)

A registered political party is entitled to the following rights and privileges:

 To be voted upon as a party, provided that it is registered under the party-


list system (Art. IX-C, Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution);

 To have a watcher in every Election Registration Board (Sec. 15, R.A.


8189);

 To inspect and/or copy at its expense the accountable registration forms


and/or the list of registered voters in the precincts constituting the
constituency at which the political party is fielding candidates (Sec. 42, R.A.
8189)

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ProcedureWho may not be registered


 To have a watcher and/or representative in the procurement and
watermaking of papers to be used in the printing of election returns and
official ballots and in the printing, numbering, storage and distribution
thereof (Sec. 8, R.A. 6646);

 To have watchers who shall verify the contents of the boxes containing the
shipment of official ballots, election returns and sample official ballots
received by the provincial, city and municipal treasurers (Sec. 189, BP 881.
Note that this privilege is only available to the ruling party and the dominant
opposition party.);

 To have one watcher in every polling place and canvassing center (Sec.
26, R.A. 7166);

 To be present and to have counsel during the canvass of the election


returns (Sec. 25, R.A. 6646)

 To receive the 4th copy (if the dominant majority party) or the 5th copy (if the
dominant minority party) of the election returns (Sec. 27, R.A. 7166 as
amended by R.A. 8045 and R.A. 8173)

(1) The political party seeking registration may file with the COMELEC a verified petition
attaching thereto its constitution and by-laws, platform or program of government and
such other relevant information as may be required by the COMELEC.

(2) The COMELEC shall require publication of the petition for registration or accreditation
in at least three newspapers of general circulation.

(3) After due notice and hearing, the COMELEC shall resolve the petition within 10 days
from the date it is submitted for decision. (Sec. 61, BP 881. Note however the
discrepancy with Sec. 62 which states that resolution of the petition for registration or
accreditation shall be 15 days from the date of submission for decision.)

The following may not be registered as political parties:

 religious denominations and sects (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution;
Sec. 61, BP 881)

 those which seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means
(Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution, Sec. 61, BP 881)

 those which refuse to uphold and adhere to the Constitution (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2
(5), 1987 Constitution)

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Forfeiture of status and cancellation of registration


 those supported by foreign governments (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987
Constitution)

Forfeiture of status
Any registered political party that, singly or in coalition with others, fails to obtain at least
10% of the votes cast in the constituency in which it nominated and supported a candidate or
candidates in the election next following its registration shall, after notice and hearing be deemed
to have forfeited such status as a registered political party in such constituency. (Sec. 60, BP
881)

Cancellation of registration
The following are grounds for cancellation of registration of a political party:

(1) Accepting financial contributions from foreign governments or their


agencies (Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution);

(2) The party is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association


organized for religious purposes (Sec. 6 (1), R.A. 7941);

(3) The party advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal (Sec. 6
(2), R.A. 7941);

(4) The party is a foreign party or organization (Sec. 6 (3), R.A. 7941);

(5) The party is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign
political party, foundation, organization, whether directly or through any of
its officers or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan
election purposes (Sec. 6 (4), R.A. 7941);

(6) The party violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating
to elections (Sec. 6 (5), R. A. 7941);

(7) The party declares untruthful statements in its petition for registration (Sec.
6 (6), R.A. 7941);

(8) The party has ceased to exist for at least 1 year (Sec. 6 (7), R.A. 7941);

(9) The party fails to participate in the last 2 preceding elections (Sec. 6 (8),
R.A. 7941);

(10) If registered under the party-list system, the party fails to obtain at least
2% of the votes in the 2 preceding elections for the constituency in which it
has registered. (Sec. 6 (8), R.A. 7941)

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Nomination and selection of official candidates Who


Party-list
Purpose
mayof system
beparty-list
registered
defined
system
Under the party-list system, the COMELEC may refuse or cancel registration
either motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, after due notice
and hearing. (Sec. 6, R.A. 7941)

(Sec. 6, R.A. 7166)

No political convention or meeting for the nomination or election of the official candidates of
any political party or organization or political groups or coalition thereof shall be held earlier than
the following periods:

President, Vice-President, Senators: 165 days before the date of the


election

Members of the House of Representatives | 75 days before the day of the


Elective Provincial, City or Municipal Officers | election

REGISTRATION FOR PARTY-LIST

The party-list system is a mechanism of proportional representation in the election of


representatives to the House of Representatives from national, regional and sectoral parties or
organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the COMELEC. Component parties or
organizations of a coalition may participate independently, provided the coalition of which they
form part does not participate in the party-list system. (Sec. 3, R.A. 7941)

The purpose of the party-list system is 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. (Sec. 2, R.A. 7941)

The following groups of persons may participate in the party-list system:

(1) Political parties (See discussion in previous section);

(2) Sectoral parties, i.e. organized groups of citizens belonging to the labor,
peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and
professional sectors, and whose principal advocacy pertains to the
special interest and concerns of their sector (Sec. 3d, R.A. 7941);

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Procedure for registrationGrounds for refusal and/or cancellation of registration


(3) Sectoral organizations, i.e. groups of citizens or coalitions of groups of
citizens who share similar physical attributes or characteristics,
employment, interest or concerns (Sec. 3e, R.A. 7941);

(4) Coalitions, i.e. aggrupations of duly registered national, regional,


sectoral parties or organizations for political and/or election purposes
(Sec. 3f, R.A. 7941)

Parties, organizations or coalitions that are already registered with the COMELEC need not
register anew. However, should they wish to participate in the party-list system, they must file
with the COMELEC a manifestation of such desire to participate not later than 120 days before
the election. (Sec. 4, R.A. 7941, as amended by Sec. 11, R.A. 8436)

PETITION: Petition verified by the party/organization/coalition's president


or secretary. The petition must state its desire to participate in
the party-list system as a national, regional or sectoral party or
organization or a coalition of such parties or organizations.

WHEN FILED: Not later than 90 days before the election

ATTACHMENTS: (1) Constitution;


(2) By-laws;
(3) Platform or program of government;
(4) List of officers;
(5) Coalition agreement (as applicable);
(6) Other relevant information as may be required by the
COMELEC

After due notice and hearing, the COMELEC shall resolve the petition within 15 days from
the date it was submitted for decision, but not later than 60 days before election. ( Sec. 5, R.A.
7941)

The following are grounds for refusal and/or cancellation of registration of a party,
organization or coalition wishing to participate in the party-list system:

1. Accepting financial contributions from foreign governments or their agencies


(Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5), 1987 Constitution);

2. The party is a religious sect or denomination, organization or association


organized for religious purposes (Sec. 6 (1), R.A. 7941);

3. The party advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal (Sec. 6 (2),
R.A. 7941);

4. The party is a foreign party or organization (Sec. 6 (3), R.A. 7941);

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Nomination of party-list representatives

5. The party is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political
party, foundation, organization, whether directly or through any of its officers
or members or indirectly through third parties for partisan election purposes
(Sec. 6 (4), R.A. 7941);

6. The party violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to
elections (Sec. 6 (5), R. A. 7941);

7. The party declares untruthful statements in its petition for registration (Sec. 6
(6), R.A. 7941);

8. The party has ceased to exist for at least 1 year (Sec. 6 (7), R.A. 7941);

9. The party fails to participate in the last 2 preceding elections (Sec. 6 (8), R.A.
7941);

10. If registered under the party-list system, the party fails to obtain at least 2%
of the votes in the 2 preceding elections for the constituency in which it has
registered. (Sec. 6 (8), R.A. 7941)

The COMELEC may refuse or cancel registration either motu proprio or upon verified
complaint of any interested party, after due notice and hearing. (Sec. 6, R.A. 7941)

(Sec. 8, R.A. 7941)

Each registered party, organization or coalition shall submit to the COMELEC a list of not
more than 5 names from which party-list representatives shall be chosen in case it obtains the
required number of votes. This list must be submitted not later than 45 days before the election.

The nomination of party-list representatives is subject to the following limitations:

(1) The nominee must have all of the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications for the exercise of the right of suffrage. Moreover,
he/she must be a registered voter, able to read and write, and at least
25 years on the day of the election.

In case of youth sector nominees, such nominees must be at least 25


but not more than 30 yrs. old on the day of the election. (Sec. 9)

(2) The nominee must be a bona fide member of the party or organization
which he/she seeks to represent for at least 90 days preceding the day
of the election. (Sec. 9)

(3) An elected party-list representative who changes his political party or


sectoral affiliation within 6 months before an election is not eligible for
nomination as party-list representative under his new party or
organization. (Sec. 15)

(4) A person may be nominated in 1 list only. (Sec. 8)

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Party-list and district representatives distinguished


(5) Only persons who have given their consent in writing may be named in
the list. (Sec. 8)

(6) The list cannot include any candidate for any elective office or any
person who has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately
preceding election. (Sec. 8)

(7) Changes of name or alterations in the order of nominees are generally


not allowed after the list has been submitted to the COMELEC.
However, these may be allowed when the nominee either:

(a) Dies; or
(b) Withdraws his nomination in writing; or
(c) Becomes incapacitated

in which case the name of the substitute nominee shall be placed last in
the list. (Sec. 8)

Every voter is entitled to 2 votes: the first is a vote for candidate for member of the House
of Representatives in his legislative district, and the second, a vote for the party, organization, or
coalition he wants represented in the House of Representatives.

Party-list representative District representative

Scope of electorate Elected nationally, with party-list Elected according to legislative


organizations garnering at least district by the constituents of such
3% of all the votes cast for the district
party-list system entitled to 1 seat,
which is increased according to
proportional representation, but is
in no way to exceed 3 seats per
organization

Residence requirement No special residency requirement Must be a resident of his


legislative district for at least 1
year immediately before the
election

Manner of election Voted upon by party or Elected personally, i.e. by name.


organization. It is only when a
party is entitled to representation
that it designates who will sit as
representative.

Effect of disaffiliation with party Loses his seat, in which case Does not lose seat if he/she
he/she will be substituted by changes party or affiliation.
another qualified person in the
party / organization based on the
list submitted to the COMELEC.

Effect of vacancy A substitution will be made within A special election may be held
the party, based on the list provided that the vacancy takes

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submitted to the COMELEC. place at least 1 year before the


Who may be accreditedProcedure for accreditation
next election.

Effect of change in affiliation A party-list representative is This does not prevent a district
within 6 months prior to prohibited from sitting as representative from running under
election representative under his new his new party.
party or organization.

Effect of loss during previous A party-list representative cannot A district representative is not
election sit if he ran and lost in the prevented from running again as a
previous election. district representative if he/she
lost during the previous election.

ACCREDITATION OF CITIZENS' ARMS

(Rule 33, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

Any bona fide non-partisan group, association or organization from the civic, youth,
professional, educational, business or labor sectors with identifiable leadership, membership and
structure, and with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and assist the
COMELEC in the performance of its functions and activities as mandated by the Constitution and
by law, may be accredited as citizens' arms of the COMELEC. (Rule 33, Sec. 1, COMELEC
Rules of Procedure)

(1) FILING OF PETITION FOR ACCREDITATION

Any group seeking accreditation may file a petition for accreditation, duly
verified by its President, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or any of its duly
authorized officers.

The petition for accreditation must state the following:

(a) The constituency to which petitioner seeks accreditation;

(b) That it is not supporting any candidate, political party, organization or


coalition of political parties, in the constituency where it seeks
accreditation;

(c) Nature of its membership; names of its officers or organizers,


location of principal office or place of business, and an assurance of
its capability to undertake a coordinated operation and activity to
assist the COMELEC;

(d) That it shall submit itself to the direct and immediate control and
supervision and comply with the orders of the COMELEC in the
performance of its specific functions and activities provided by law,
and such other functions and activities provided by law, and such
other functions and activities which the COMELEC may assign;

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(e) That it shall strictly remain non-partisan and impartial during the
registration and election periods;

(f) That it is not supported by or under the influence of any foreign


government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities; or of any
foreigner, whether natural or juridical person;

(g) That it shall not solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any


contribution or aid of whatever form or nature from any foreign
government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, or from any
foreigner, whether natural or juridical person;

(h) That it does not seek to achieve its objectives, goals or programs
through violence or other unlawful means, nor aim to propagate any
ideology opposed to the principles of a republican and democratic
government; and

(i) That it undertakes to police its ranks and prevent infiltration by


persons or groups of persons who may, directly or indirectly, destroy
its character of non-partisanship and impartiality.

(2) SETTING OF PETITION FOR HEARING

Upon the filing of the petition, the COMELEC en banc shall immediately set the
petition for hearing. The COMELEC may order the publication of the petition in
a newspaper of general circulation if it deems such necessary. Publication
shall be at the expense of the petitioner.

(3) HEARING OF PETITION

The accreditation of the petitioner may be opposed by any person, group,


association, group or organization, political party or coalition of political parties
possessing relevant information or evidence against the petitioner by filing a
verified opposition.

However, notwithstanding the absence of any opposition, the COMELEC may


motu proprio require the petitioner to present evidence to support its petition
for accreditation.

(4) DECISION

The COMELEC shall then render its decision. If the decision is for the
accreditation of the petition, a certificate of accreditation shall be issued stating
the following:

(a) The name of the group or organization;

(b) The constituency to which it is accredited; and

(c) The political exercise for which it is accredited

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Revocation and expiration of accreditationCandidate definedQualifications

REVOCATION: May be done by the COMELEC after notice and hearing for any of
the following acts:

(1) The citizens' arm has showed or acted with partiality in


any political issue or to any political party, organization
or coalition of political parties;

(2) It has performed acts in excess of its duties and


functions as provided by law; or

(3) It has failed to comply with the conditions imposed


upon it in the decision granting accreditation.

EXPIRATION: The accreditation automatically lapses at the end of the election


period of the political exercise for which the petitioner was
accredited as citizens' arm.

CERTIFICATES OF CANDIDACY

Any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of
candidacy by himself or through an accredited political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties.
(Sec. 79, BP 881)

Guest Candidacy

A political party may nominate and/or support candidates not belonging to it. (Sec. 70, BP
881) Note however that this is not applicable in cases of political parties registered under the
party-list system, as nominees must necessarily be bona fide members of the party.

See the provisions of the Constitution for the qualifications of candidates for President,
Vice-President, Senator, and Member of the House of Representatives.

See the provisions of the Local Government Code for the qualifications of local elective
officials.

Qualifications prescribed by law are continuing requirements and must be possessed for
the duration of the officer's active tenure. Once any of the required qualifications are lost, his title
to the office may be seasonably challenged. (See Frivaldo v. COMELEC, 174 SCRA 245; Labo v.
COMELEC, 176 SCRA 1)

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Filing of certificate of candidacyContents of certificate of candidacy

To be eligible for any elective public office, one must file a certificate of candidacy within
the period fixed by the Omnibus Election Code.

Mode of Filing

Certificates must be filed by the candidate personally or by his duly authorized


representative. No certificate shall be filed by mail, telegram or facsimile. (Sec. 7, R.A. 7166)

Time of Filing

Certificates of candidacy must be filed in 12 legible copies not later than 120 days before
the elections. (Sec. 11, R.A. 8436)
Place of Filing
The certificates of candidacy shall be filed in the following places:

President |
Vice-President | COMELEC main office (Manila)
Senator |

Congressman Provincial election supervisor

If NCR district: File with Regional Election Director


If legislative district in cities outside NCR which comprise one or
more legislative districts: File with City election registrar concerned

Provincial Offices Provincial election supervisor

City / Municipal Offices City or municipal election registrar

The certificate of candidacy shall state the following:

 That the person filing the certificate is announcing his candidacy for the
office stated therein and that he or she is eligible for such office;

 The political party to which the candidate belongs;

 Civil status;

 Date of birth;

 Residence;

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Effects of filing
 Post office address for all election purposes;

 Profession or occupation;

 That he / she will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines
and will maintain faith and allegiance thereto;

 That he / she will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated
by the duly constituted authorities;

 That he / she is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign


country;

 That the obligation imposed by oath is assumed voluntarily, without


mental reservation or purpose of evasion;

 That the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of
his knowledge.

Any person holding a public appointive office, including members of the AFP and officers
and employees of GOCCs, shall be considered ipso facto resigned upon the filing of one's
certificate of candidacy. (Sec. 66, BP 881) Only the moment and act of filing are considered.
Once the certificate is filed, the seat is forever forfeited and nothing, save a new election or
appointment, can restore the ousted official.

Note: Sec. 67 of BP 881 and the first proviso of Sec. 11 of R.A. 8436 (which states that
"Any elective official, running for any officer other than one which he is holding in a
permanent capacity, except for President and Vice-President, shall be considered
ipso facto resigned upon the start of the campaign period") have been repealed by
Sec. 14 of R.A. 9006 (Fair Election Act of 2001).

Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air correspondent or


personality who is a candidate for any elective public office shall be deemed resigned, if so
required by his/her employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work as such during
the campaign period. (Sec. 6.6, R.A. 9006)

FLORES V. COMELEC

FACTS: R Flores and A Flores were both running for kagawad. 4 ballots
indicated votes for “Flores” only. It was initially decided to divide the 4 votes
between R and A Flores. Pursuant to a COMELEC administrative regulation
which provided that “incumbent barangay captains…shall be deemed resigned as
such upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy for the office of kagawad,”
the MTC held that R Flores was not entitled to any of the 4 votes. R Flores
contends that all 4 votes should be in favor of R since the OEC provides that that

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Withdrawal of certificateDisqualifications
when there are candidates with the same surnames and only such surname is
written the votes shall be counted in favor of the incumbent.

HELD: R Flores is not the incumbent as he was correctly deemed resigned


upon his filing of a certificate of candidacy for kagawad as this was not the
position he was holding at the time he filed.

COMMENT: This case may no longer be relevant in view of the fact that
Sec. 67 of BP 881 and the corresponding proviso in Sec. 11,
R.A. 8436 have been expressly repealed by Sec. 14 of R.A.
9006.

A person who has filed a certificate of candidacy may withdraw the same prior to the
election by submitting to the office concerned a written declaration under oath.

If a candidate files a certificate of candidacy for more than 1 office, he shall not be eligible
for any of them. However, he may declare under oath the office for which he desires to be
eligible and cancel the certificate of candidacy for the other office or offices provided that this is
done before the expiration of the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy. (Sec. 73, BP
881)
The filing of the withdrawal shall not affect whatever civil, criminal, or administrative
liabilities which a candidate may have incurred. (Sec. 73, BP 881)

RAMIREZ V. COMELEC

FACTS: The certificate of candidacy of petitioner for the office of provincial


board member was filed by his political party. 15 minutes before the deadline, he
filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor. 8 days later, he filed a petition to
withdraw his certificate of candidacy for the office of the board member and to
declare subsisting his certificate of candidacy for mayor, attaching his written
declaration under oath withdrawing his certificate of candidacy for board
member.

HELD: Since the certificate of candidacy for the position of board member
was filed by his party and the said party had withdrawn that nomination, there
was substantial compliance with Sec. 73 of the Omnibus Election Code. His
filing under oath within the statutory period of his individual candidacy for
mayor was a rejection of the party nomination of the other officer.

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According to Prof. Barlongay, disqualifications may be classified into 4 categories: (1)


status; (2) acts; (3) nuisance candidacy; and (4) falsity of material representation in the certificate
of candidacy.

Status

(1) Lack of Filipino citizenship;

(2) Lack of residency requirement;

(3) Insanity or incompetence, as declared by competent authority;

(4) Permanent residence or immigrant status in a foreign country, unless such


person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant in
accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws
(Sec. 68, BP 881)

Acts

(1) Sentence by final judgment for:

 Subversion, insurrection, rebellion;

 Any offense for which the candidate has been sentenced to a penalty
of more than 18 months of imprisonment;

 Any offense involving moral turpitude;

Moral turpitude is an act of a baseness, vileness, or depravity


in the private duties which a man owes to his fellow men, or to
society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule
of right and duty between man and woman or conduct
contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. The
general rule is that crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude
while crimes mala prohibita do not. Moral turpitude implies
something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is
punishable by law or not. (Dela Torre v. COMELEC, 191
SCRA 229)

 Having given money or other material consideration to influence,


induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electorial
functions (Sec. 68a, BP 881);

 Having committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy (Sec.


68b, BP 881);

 Having spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that


allowed by the Omnibus Election Code (Sec. 68c, BP 881);

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 Having solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under


the Omnibus Election Code (Sec. 68d, BP 881; cf. Secs. 89, 95, 96,
97 and 104);

 Having engaged in election campaign or partisan political activity


outside the campaign period and not pursuant to a political party
nomination (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf. Sec. 80);

 Having removed, destroyed, obliterated, defaced or tampered with or


prevented the distribution of lawful election propaganda (Sec. 68e,
BP 881, cf. Sec. 83);

 Having violated the rules and regulations on election propaganda


through mass media (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf. Sec. 86);

 Having coerced, intimidated, compelled, or in any manner


influenced, directly or indirectly, any of his subordinates or members,
or employees, etc. to aid, campaign or vote for or against any
candidate or any aspirant for the nomination or selection of
candidates (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf. Sec. 261d);

 Having directly or indirectly threatened, intimidated, or actually


caused, inflicted or produced any violence, injury, punishment,
damage, loss or disadvantage upon any person or that of the
immediate members of his family, his honor or property, or used any
fraudulent device or scheme to compel or induce or prevent the
registration of any voter, or the participation in any campaign, or the
casting of any vote, or any promise of such registration, campaign,
vote, or omission therefrom (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf. Sec. 261e);

 Having engaged in unlawful electioneering (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf.


Sec. 261k);

 Having violated the prohibition against release, disbursement or


expenditure of public funds 45 days before a regular election (or 30
days in the case of a special election) (Sec. 68e, BP 881, cf. Sec.
261v);

 Having solicited votes or undertaken any propaganda on the day of


election for or against any candidate or any political party within the
polling place or within a radius of 30 m. thereof (Sec. 68e, BP 881,
cf. Sec. 251cc)

Nuisance candidacy

A nuisance candidate is one who files a certificate of candidacy:

(a) To put the election process in mockery or disrepute; or


(b) To cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the
registered candidates, or

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(c) Clearly demonstrating that he / she has no bona fide intention to run for the
office which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevents a
faithful determination of the true will of the electorate. (Sec. 69, BP 881)

Falsity of material representation


Falsity of a material representation in the certificate of candidacy is a ground for the denial
of due course to or cancellation of a certificate of candidacy under Sec. 78 of BP 881.

Disqualifications under the Local Government Code (Sec. 40, R.A. 7160)

(1) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense punishable by one year or more of
imprisonment and within 2 years after serving sentence.

(2) Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case.

REYES V. COMELEC

FACTS: Reyes, the incumbent mayor, was found guilty of an administrative


complaint. Despite this, he filed a certificate of candidacy. Although the COMELEC
disqualified him, the Board of Election Canvassers, unaware of COMELEC’s decision
to disqualify him, proclaimed Reyes as the mayor.

HELD: The election of Reyes did not render the administrative charges against him
moot and academic. The decision to remove him was served on Reyes and thereafter
became final because he failed to appeal to the Office of the President. He was
therefore validly removed from office and pursuant to the Local Government Code, was
disqualified from running for re-election.

(3) Those convicted by final judgment for violating the oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines.

(4) Those with dual citizenship.

See the case of Mercado v. Manzano.

(5) Fugitives from justice in criminal and non-political cases here and abroad.

A "fugitive from justice" includes "not only those who flee after conviction to avoid
punishment, but likewise those who, after being charged, flee to avoid prosecution."
(Marquez v. COMELEC, 243 SCRA 358)

In the case of Rodriguez v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 120099, July 24, 1996), it was held
that Rodriguez could not be considered a "fugitive from justice" because his arrival in
the Philippines from the U.S. preceded the filing of the felony complaint in the Los
Angeles Court and the issuance of the arrest warrant by the same foreign court by
almost 5 months. The Supreme Court held that the intent to evade is the compelling
factor that animates one’s flight from a particular jurisdiction. And there can only be an
intent to evade prosecution or punishment when there is knowledge by the fleeing
subject of an already instituted indictment, or of a promulgated judgment of conviction.

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Effect ofto
Petition death,
denydisqualification
due course or toorcancel
withdrawal
certificate
(6) Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to
reside abroad and continue to avail of the same right after the effectivity of the Local
Government Code.

FRIVALDO V. COMELEC

FACTS Frivaldo was previously declared as an alien. Despite this, he was able
to file his certificate of candidacy. The election occurred on May 8, 1995. Frivaldo
was able to re-acquire Philippine citizenship on June 30, 1995 through repatriation
by taking his oath of allegiance at 2:00 p.m.

HELD Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an


elective public office. An official begins to govern or discharge his functions only
upon his proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to begin.
Since Frivaldo re-assumed his citizenship on the very day the term began, he was
therefore already qualified to be proclaimed, to hold such office and to discharge
the functions and responsibilities thereof as of the said date.

(7) Those who are insane or feeble-minded.

Special Disqualifications under the Lone Candidate Law (Sec. 4, R.A.


8295)

The following persons are disqualified from running in a special election called to fill the
vacancy in an elective office, provided that evidence of their guilt is strong:

(1) Any elective official who has resigned from his office by accepting an
appointive office or for whatever reason which he previously occupied but
has caused to become vacant due to his resignation;

(2) Any person who, directly or indirectly, coerces, bribes, threatens, harasses,
intimidates, or actually causes, inflicts or produces any violence, injury,
punishment, torture, damage, loss or disadvantage to any person or
persons aspiring to become a candidate or that of the immediate member
of his family, his honor or property that is meant to eliminate all other
potential candidate.

If a candidate of a registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified


after the last day for filing of the certificates of candidacy, ONLY a person belonging to, and
certified, by the same political party, may file a certificate of candidacy to replace him.

If the death, withdrawal or disqualification occurs between the day before the election and
mid-day of the election day, the certificate may be filed with any Board of Election Inspectors in
the political subdivision where he is a candidate or with the COMELEC if it is a national position.
(Sec. 77, BP 881)

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Certified List of Candidates

A verified petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by
any person EXCLUSIVELY on the ground that a material misrepresentation contained therein as
required is false. Such petition shall be filed any time not later than 25 days from the time of filing
of the certificate, and shall be decided not later than 15 days before the election. (Sec. 78, BP
881)

The procedure for cancellation of certificate of candidacy shall be discussed in the


last part of this reviewer.

The COMELEC shall cause to be printed a certified list of candidates for each office to be
voted for in each province, city or municipality immediately followed by the nickname or stage
name of the candidate and his political affiliation, if any. The list shall be posted inside each
voting booth.

Whenever practicable, the Board of Election Inspectors shall cause said list of candidates
to be written on the blackboard or manila paper for posting inside the polling place. The names of
all candidates followed by his nickname or stage name shall also be printed in the election returns
and tally sheets. (Sec. 4, R.A. 6646)

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Election campaign or partisan political activityCampaign


Lawful election
periodpropaganda

ELECTION CAMPAIGN &


EXPENDITURES
ELECTION CAMPAIGN

It is an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or


candidates to a public office.

It does not include public expressions of opinions or discussions of probable issues in a


forthcoming election or on attributes or criticisms of probable candidates proposed to be
nominated in a forthcoming political party convention.

Prohibitions

 Members of the board of election inspections are prohibited from engaging in any
partisan political activity or from taking part in the election except to discharge
their duties as such and to vote. (Sec. 173, BP 881)

 Officers or employees of the civil service are prohibited from engaging directly or
indirectly in any electioneering or partisan political campaigns. (Art. IX-B, Sec. 2
(4), 1987 Constitution)

 Members of the military are prohibited from engaging directly or indirectly in any
partisan political activity except to vote. (Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (3), 1987 Constitution)

It is prohibited for any person, political party or association of persons to engage in an


election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period. Violation of
this prohibition constitutes an election offense. (Sec. 80, B.P. 881)

(Sec. 3, R.A. 9006)

The following are lawful election propaganda:

 Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers, or other written or printed materials


the size of which does not exceed 8 ½ inches in width and 14 inches in length;

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Prohibited Acts
 Handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any particular
political party or candidate for public office;

 Cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area not
exceeding 2 feet by 3 feet.

NOTE: Streamers not exceeding 3 feet by 8 feet in size are allowed


at the site and on occasion of a public meeting or rally or in
announcing the holding of such meeting or rally. Such streamers
may be displayed 5 days before the date of the meeting or rally and
shall be removed within 24 hours after said meeting or rally.

 Paid advertisements in print or broadcast media. Such advertisements must


comply with the following requirements:

 Any published or printed political matter and any broadcast of election


propaganda by TV or radio for or against a candidate or group of candidates to
any public office shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or
audible words “political advertisement paid for” followed by the true and correct
name and address of the candidate or party for whose benefit the election
propaganda was printed or aired. (Sec. 4.1, R.A. 9006)

 If the broadcast is given free of charge by the radio or TV station, it shall be


identified by the words "airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge
by" followed by the true and correct name and address of the broadcast entity.
(Sec. 4.2, R.A. 9006)

 Print, broadcast or outdoor advertisements donated to the candidate or political


party shall not be printed, published, broadcast or exhibited without the written
acceptance by the said candidate or political party. Such written acceptance
must be attached to the advertising contract and submitted to the COMELEC
within 5 days after its signing. (Sec. 4.3, R.A. 9006, cf. Sec. 6.3, R.A. 9006)

 All other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by the Omnibus Election
Code or the Fair Election Act of 2001.

Adiong v. COMELEC (207 SCRA 712)

In this case, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional


COMELEC resolution 2347 insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and
stickers on cars and other moving vehicles since it infringes on the right to
freedom of expression. The restriction is so broad as to include even a
citizen's privately-owned vehicle, which is equivalent to deprivation of
property without due process of law.

It is prohibited:

For any foreigner to:

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Mass Media

 aid any candidate or political party, directly or indirectly;


 take part or influence in any manner any election;
 contribute or make any expenditure in connection with any election campaign or
partisan political activity

For any person during the campaign period to:

 remove, destroy, obliterate or in any manner deface or tamper with lawful election
propaganda;
 prevent the distribution of lawful election propaganda

For any candidate, political party, organization or any person to:

 give or accept, directly or indirectly, free of charge, transportation, food or drinks


or things of value during the five hours before and after a public meeting, on the
day preceding the election, and on the day of the election;

 to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such


purpose.

Equal access to media time and space

All registered parties and bona fide candidates are guaranteed equal access to media time
and space under the Fair Election Act. To this end, the COMELEC has the power to supervise
the use and employment of press, radio and television facilities insofar as the placement of
political advertisements is concerned to ensure that candidates are given equal opportunities
under equal circumstances to make known their qualifications and their stand on public issues.
Of course, such political advertisements must be within the limits set forth in the Omnibus
Election Code and R.A. 7166 on election spending.

Pursuant to such end:

 Print advertisements shall not exceed 1/4 page, in broadsheet and 1/2
page in tabloids thrice a week per newspaper, magazine, or other
publications, during the campaign period;

 Bona fide candidates and registered political parties running for nationally
elective office are entitled to not more than 120 minutes of TV
advertisement and 180 minutes of radio advertisement whether by
purchase or by donation;

 Bona fide candidates and registered political parties running for locally
elective office are entitled to not more than 60 minutes of TV advertisement
and 90 minutes of radio advertisement whether by purchase or by donation;

 Broadcast stations or entities are required to submit copies of their


broadcast logs and certificates of performance to the COMELEC for the

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Rallies, meetings and other political activity


review and verification of the frequency, date, time and duration of
advertisement broadcast for any candidate or political party;

 All mass media entities are required to furnish the COMELEC with a copy
of all contracts for advertising, promoting or opposing any political party or
the candidacy of any person for public office within 5 days after its signing;

 No franchise or permit to operate a radio or TV station shall be granted or


issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.

Media practitioners
Moreover, media practitioners who are officials of a political party or members of the
campaign staff of a candidate or political party prohibited from using their media time or space to
favor any candidate or political party. Media practitioners or personalities who are candidates for
any elective public office or are campaign volunteers for or employed or retained in any capacity
by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned, if so required by their employer, or
shall take a leave of absence from their work as such during the campaign period.

Public exhibitions
No movie, cinematograph, or documentary portraying the life or biography of a candidate
shall be publicly exhibited in a theater, TV station or any public forum during the campaign period.
The same is true for movies, cinematographs and documentaries portrayed by actors or media
personalities who are themselves candidates.

Application for permits to hold rally (Sec. 87, B.P. 881)

The holding of peaceful political rallies during the campaign period is allowed. In order to
hold rallies, political parties must follow the requirements of local ordinances on the issuance of
permits. All applications for permits to hold meetings, rallies and other similar political activities
must be immediately posted in a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building, and the
receipt thereof acknowledged in writing. Such applications must be acted upon in writing by local
authorities concerned within 3 days after the filing thereof. If the application is not acted upon
within said period, it is deemed approved.

The only justifiable ground for denial of the application for the permit is that a prior written
application by any candidate or political party for the same purpose has been approved.

Denial of any application for said permit is appealable to the provincial election supervisor
or to the COMELEC whose decision shall be made within 48 hours and which shall be final and
executory.

Notification of election registrar (Sec. 88, B.P. 881)

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The political party or candidate must notify the election registrar of any rally. Within 7
working days, the political party or candidate must submit to the election registrar the expenses
incurred during the rally.

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COMELEC space, poster area, time and information bulletin

COMELEC space
The COMELEC shall procure space in at least one newspaper of general circulation in
every province or city, or in the absence of such newspaper, in any other magazine or periodical
in said province or city, which shall be known as “COMELEC Space.” COMELEC space shall be
allocated to the COMELEC upon payment of just compensation, and shall be utilized exclusively
by the COMELEC for public information dissemination on election-related concerns. (Sec. 8,
R.A. 9006)

Phil. Press Institute v. COMELEC

The Supreme Court declared sec. 2 of COMELEC Resolution 2722


compelling print media companies to donate “COMELEC Space” as null and
void. Sec. 2 does not constitute a valid exercise of the power of eminent domain.
The element of necessity for the taking has not been shown by COMELEC.
There is no showing that the members of the Philippine Press Institute are
unwilling to sell print space.

Furthermore, it has not been demonstrated that the COMELEC has been
granted the power of eminent domain by the Constitution or the Legislature. In
addition, sec. 2 does not constitute a valid exercise of police power. First, there
was no effort to show that police power was constitutionally delegated to the
COMELEC. Second, no attempt was made to demonstrate that a real and
palpable or urgent necessity for the taking of print space confronted the
COMELEC.

Thus, COMELEC cannot procure print space without paying just


compensation therefor.

COMELEC time
The COMELEC shall likewise air time in at least 1 major broadcasting station or entity in
every province or city, or in the absence of such entity, in any radio or TV station in said province
or city, which shall be known as "COMELEC time." Such COMELEC time shall be allocated to
the COMELEC free of charge, and shall be utilized exclusively by the COMELEC for public
information dissemination on election-related concerns. (Sec. 8, R.A. 9006)

Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines v.


COMELEC (289 SCRA 337)

In this case, which questioned the COMELEC's power under Sec. 92, BP
881 to require TV stations to give air time for candidates free of charge, the
Supreme Court held that such power is valid and constitutional, being an exercise
of the plenary police power of the State to promote the general welfare. The
Court gave the following reasons:

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(1) All broadcasting, whether by radio or TV, is licensed by the


government, and the franchise issued to a broadcast station is
always subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by Congress
when the common good requires. There is no better measure for
the common good than one for free airtime for the benefit not only
of the candidates but even more of the public, particularly the
voters, so that they will be informed of the issues in an election, for
after all, it is the right of the viewers and listeners, not of the
broadcasters, that is paramount.

(2) The COMELEC does not take over the operation of radio and
television stations, but only the allocation of airtime to the
candidates, to ensure equal opportunity, time and the right to reply,
as mandated by the Constitution.

(3) There are substantial distinctions in the characteristics of the


broadcast media from those of the print media which justify the
different treatment accorded to each for purposes of free speech,
viz: the physical limitations of the broadcast spectrum, the
uniquely pervasive presence of the broadcast media in the lives of
all Filipinos, and the earlier ruling that the freedom of TV and radio
broadcasting is somewhat lesser than the freedom accorded to the
print media.

COMELEC poster area (Sec. 9, R.A. 9006)

The COMELEC may authorize political parties and party-list groups to erect common
poster areas for their candidates in not more than 10 public places such as plazas, markets,
barangay centers and the like, wherein candidates can post, display or exhibit propaganda. Such
poster areas shall not exceed 12 feet by 16 feet or its equivalent.

For independent candidates with no political parties, the size of the common poster area
must not exceed 4 feet by 6 feet or its equivalent.

COMELEC information bulletin (Sec. 93, B.P. 881)

The COMELEC shall cause the printing and supervise the dissemination of bulletins which
shall contain the picture, bio-data and program of government of every candidate.

Any candidate can reprint these bulletins, provided it is an exact replica and shall bear the
candidate’s name who caused the reprint and the printer’s name.

COMELEC official sample ballot (Sec. 185, B.P. 881, as amended by R.A. 7904)

At least 30 days before an election, the COMELEC shall furnish every registered voter with
an unfilled official sample ballot, voter information sheet, and a list of all registered national,
provincial and city candidates to be voted in the said election.

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Public forumElection surveys

The information sheet shall include the voter's name, address, the precinct and the place
where he is registered, and simplified instructions as to the casting of votes. The names of the
candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order under their respective party affiliation and a one-
line statement not to exceed 3 words of their occupation or profession. Persons nominated under
the party-list system shall likewise be included in the above-mentioned list.

(Sec. 9, R.A. 6646)

The COMELEC shall encourage non-political non-partisan private or civic organization to


initiate and hold in every city and municipality, public for a at which all registered candidates for
the same office may simultaneously and personally participate to present, explain and/or debate
on their campaign platforms and programs and other like issues.

The COMELEC shall promulgate the rules and regulations for the holding of such to assure
its non-partisan character and equality of access thereto by all candidates.

(Sec. 5, R.A. 9006)

Election surveys, defined

Election surveys refer to the measurement of opinions and perceptions of the voters as
regards a candidate's popularity, qualifications, platforms or a matter of public discussion in
relation to the election, including voters' preference for candidates or publicly discussed issues
during the campaign period.

Information required to be published in the survey

During the election period, any person, natural as well as juridical, candidate or
organization who publishes a survey must likewise publish the following information:

 The name of the person, candidate, party or organization who


commissioned or paid for the survey;
 The name of the person, polling firm or survey organization who conducted
the survey;
 The period during which the survey was conducted, the methodology used,
including the number of individual respondents and the areas from which
they were selected, and the specific questions asked;
 The margin of error of the survey;
 For each question for which the margin of error is greater than that reported
above, the margin of error for that question; and
 A mailing address and telephone number, indicating it as an address or
telephone number at which the sponsor can be contacted to obtain a
written report regarding the survey in accordance with Sec. 5.3 of R.A.
9006.

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Exit pollsContributions defined


It must be noted that Sec. 5.4 which prohibits the publication of surveys 15 days (for
national candidates) or 7 days (for local candidates) before an election was declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court upon a petition filed by the Manila Standard and Social
Weather Station, Inc. (SWS) The decision, which was penned by Justice V.V. Mendoza, stated
that the provision "constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of freedom of speech, expression
and the press… as it imposes prior restraint and therefore, a direct and total suppression of a
category of expression even for a limited period." (Exact title of case and citation not available as
of this writing. See front page of Philippine Star, May 6, 2001, for details.)

(Sec. 5.5, R.A. 9006)

Exit polls may only be taken subject to the following requirements:

 Pollsters shall not conduct their surveys within 50 meters from the polling
place, whether said survey is taken in a home, dwelling place and other
places;

 Pollsters shall wear distinctive clothing;

 Pollsters shall inform the voters that they may refuse to answer; and

 The result of the exit polls may be announced after the closing of the polls
on election day, and must clearly identify the total number of respondents,
and the places where they were taken. Said announcement shall state that
the same is unofficial and does not represent a trend.

ABS-CBN v. COMELEC (January 28, 2000)

In this case, the Supreme Court held that exit polls are valid. They do not
violate the principle of secrecy of the ballot since such polls are purely voluntary
on the part of the voter and do not require him or her to reveal his or her ballot.

ELECTION CONTRIBUTIONS & EXPENDITURES

Contributions

(Sec. 94a, B.P. 881)

"Contribution” includes a gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or


anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally
enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections but shall not include
services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in
behalf of a candidate or political party.

It shall also include the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons, the money
value of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area.

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Prohibited contributionsProhibited raising of funds

(Sec. 95, B.P. 881)

No contribution for purposes of partisan political activity shall be made directly or indirectly
by any of the following:

 Public or private financial institutions. However, they are not prohibited from making any
loan to a candidate or political party if:

(a) the financial institutions are legally in the business of lending money,
(b) the loan is made in accordance with laws and regulations AND
(c) the loan is made in the ordinary course of business

 Natural and juridical persons operating a public utility or in possession of or exploiting any
natural resources of the nation;

 Natural and juridical persons who hold contracts or sub-contracts to supply the
government or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities, with goods or
services or to perform construction or other works;

 Natural and juridical persons who have been granted franchises, incentives, exemptions,
allocations or similar privileges or concessions by the government or any of its divisions,
subdivisions or instrumentalities, including GOCCs;

 Natural and juridical persons who, within 1 year prior to the date of the election, have
been granted loans or other accommodations in excess of P100,000 by the government
or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities including GOCCs;

 Educational institutions which have received grants of public funds amounting to no less
than P100,000.00;

 Officials or employees in the Civil Service, or members of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines;

 Foreigners and foreign corporations, including foreign governments. (Sec. 96, BP 881)

It is unlawful for any person to solicit or receive any contribution from any of the persons or
entities enumerated.

It is unlawful for any person to hold the following for the purpose of raising funds for an
election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election
period up to and including election day:

 dances,
 lotteries,
 cockfights,
 games,

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Expenditures definedLimitations on expendituresLawful expenditures


 boxing bouts,
 bingo,
 beauty contests,
 entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances

It is unlawful for any person or organization, whether civic or religious, directly or indirectly,
to solicit and/or accept from any candidate for public office, or from his campaign manager, agent
or representative, or any person acting in their behalf, any gift, food, transportation, contribution
or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including
election day.

Note, however, that normal and customary religious stipends, tithes, or collections on
Sundays and/or other designated collection days, are excluded from this prohibition.

Expenditures

(Sec. 94b, BP 881)

“Expenditure" includes the payment or delivery of money of anything of value, or a


contract, promise or agreement to make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the results
of the election. It shall also include the use of facilities personally owned by the candidate, the
money value of the use of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area.

(Sec. 13, R.A. 7166)

The aggregate amount that a candidate or registered political party may spend for an
election campaign shall be as follows:

For Candidates

 President and Vice-President: P 10 for every voter currently registered


 Other Candidates: P 3 for every voter current registered in the
constituency where he filed his certificate of
candidacy
 Candidates Without a Political Party P 5 for every voter

For Political Parties

P 5 for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where


it has official candidates

(Sec. 102, B.P. 881)

No candidate or treasurer of a political party shall, directly or indirectly, make any


expenditure except for the following purposes:

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Persons authorized to incur expendituresProhibited donations

(a) For travelling expenses of the candidates and campaign personnel in


the course of the campaign and for personal expenses incident thereto;
(b) For compensation of campaigners, clerks, stenographers, messengers,
and other persons actually employed in the campaign;
(c) For telegraph and telephone tolls, postage, freight and express delivery
charges;
(d) For stationery, printing and distribution of printed matters relative to
candidacy;
(e) For employment of watchers at the polls;
(f) For rent, maintenance and furnishing of campaign headquarters, office
or place of meetings;
(g) For political meetings and rallies and the use of sound systems, lights
and decorations during said meetings and rallies;
(h) For newspaper, radio, TV and other public advertisements;
(i) For employment of counsel, the cost of which shall not be taken into
account in determining the amount of expenditures which a candidate or
political party may have incurred;
(j) For copying and classifying list of voters, investigating and challenging
the right to vote of persons registered in the list; such costs shall not be
taken into account in determining the amount of expenses which a
candidate or political party may have incurred;
(k) For printing sample ballots in such color, size and maximum number as
may be authorized by the COMELEC, such costs not to be taken into
account in determining the amount of expenses which a candidate or
political party may have incurred;

(Sec. 103, B.P. 881)

Only the following persons are permitted by law to make any expenditure in support of or in
opposition to any candidate or political party:

 The candidate;
 The treasurer of a political party;
 Any person authorized by such candidate or treasurer.

Expenditures duly authorized by the candidate or the treasurer of the political party shall be
considered as expenditures of such candidate or political party. The authority to incur
expenditures must:

(1) be in writing;
(2) be signed by the candidate or the treasurer of the party;
(3) show the expenditures so authorized;
(4) state the full name and exact address of the person so designated; and
(5) be furnished the COMELEC.

(Sec. 104, B.P. 881)

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Accounting
Keeping of detailed
of contributions
records of
and
contributions
expendituresand expenditures
No candidate, his or her spouse or any relative within the second civil degree of
consanguinity or affinity, or his campaign manager, agent or representative shall during the
campaign period, on the day before and on the day of the election, directly or indirectly, make any
donation, contribution or gift in cash or in kind, or undertake or contribute to the construction or
repair of roads, bridges, school buses, puericulture centers, medical clinics and hospitals,
churches or chapels cement pavements, or any structure for public use or for the use of any
religious or civic organization.

The same prohibition applies to treasurers, agents or representatives of any political party.

Normal and customary religious dues or contributions, such as religious stipends, tithes or
collections on Sundays or other designated collection days, as well as periodic payments for
legitimate scholarships established and school contributions habitually made before the
prohibited period, are excluded from the prohibition.

Duties of candidates and political parties

(Sec. 105, B.P. 881)

Every person receiving contributions or incurring expenditures by authority of the candidate


or treasurer of the party shall, on demand by the candidate or treasurer of the party, render to the
candidate or treasurer concerned a detailed account thereof with proper vouchers or official
receipts. Such accounting must be given within 5 days after receiving such contribution or
incurring such expenditure.

Keeping of records
Every candidate and treasurer of the party shall keep detailed, full, and accurate records of
all contributions received and expenditures incurred by him and by those acting under his
authority, setting forth therein all information required to be reported. (Sec. 106b, B.P. 881)

Issuance of receipt

Every candidate, treasurer of the political party, and person acting under the authority of
such candidate or treasurer has the duty to:

(1) issue a receipt for every contribution received; and


(2) keep a receipt stating the particulars of every expenditure made.

Preservation of records
Records of contributions and expenditures must be preserved for at least 3 years after the
holding of the election to which they pertain, for their production for inspection by the COMELEC
or its duly authorized representative, or upon presentation of a subpoena duces tecum duly
issued by the COMELEC.

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Failure of the candidate or treasurer to preserve such records or documents shall be


deemed prima facie evidence of violation of this provision of law. (Sec. 106c, B.P. 881)

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Filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenditures

Duty to file
Within 30 days after election day, the candidate and the treasurer of the political party must
file with the COMELEC duplicate copies of the full, true and itemized statement of all
contributions and expenditures in connection with the election. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166)

This requirement to file the statement covers even those who withdrew as candidates after
having filed their certificates, because Sec. 14 of R.A. 7166 does not make any distinction. (Pilar
v. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 759)

Duty of election registrar to advise candidates of their duty


It is the duty of the city or municipal election registrar to advise in writing, either by personal
delivery or by registered mail, within 5 days from the election date, all candidates to comply with
the obligation to file their statements. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166)

Form and contents of statement


The statement shall be in writing, subscribed and sworn to by the candidate or by the
treasurer of the party, shall be complete as of the date next preceding the date of filing, and shall
set forth in detail the following:

(a) the amount of contribution, date of receipt, and the full name and exact
address of the person from whom the contribution was received;
(b) the amount of every expenditure, the date thereof, the full name and
exact address of the person to whom payment was made, and the
purpose of the expenditure;
(c) any unpaid obligation, its nature and amount, and to whom said
obligation is owing; and
(d) such other particulars which the COMELEC may require.

If the candidate or treasurer of the party has received no contribution, made no


expenditure, or has no pending obligation, the statement shall reflect such fact. ( Sec. 109, B.P.
881)

Effect of Failure to File


No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has
filed the statement of contributions and expenditures. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166) The same prohibition
also applies if the political party of the winning candidate fails to file the statement within the
required period

Failure to file the required statements or reports constitutes an administrative offense.


Offenders are liable to pay an administrative fine ranging from P 1,000.00 to P 30,000.00. Such
fine shall be paid within 30 days from receipt of notice of such failure; otherwise, the COMELEC
shall enforce the same by issuing a writ of execution against the properties of the offender. The
commission of a second or subsequent offense under this section subjects the offender to an

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increased fine ranging from P 2,000.00 to P 60,000.00, and to a perpetual disqualification to hold
office. (Sec. 14, R.A. 7166)

Except: Candidates for elective barangay office

Duties of contractors, suppliers and business firms

Persons or firms to whom any electoral expenditure is made have the duty to:

(a) Require every agent of a candidate or of the treasurer of a political party


to present written authority to incur electoral expenditures in behalf of
such candidate or treasurer.

(b) Keep and preserve at its place of business for a period of 3 years after
the date of the election copies of such written authority, contracts,
vouchers, invoices and other records and documents relative to said
expenditures, subject to inspection by the COMELEC or its authorized
representative.

(c) File with the COMELEC a report setting forth the full names and exact
addresses of the candidates, treasurers of political parties and other
persons incurring such expenditures, the nature or purpose of each
expenditure, the date and costs thereof, and such other particulars as
the COMELEC may require within 30 days after the day of the
election. The report shall be signed and sworn to by the supplier or
contractor, or by the president or general manager in case of a business
firm. (Sec. 112, B.P. 881)

Repeal of Sec. 105-112 of B.P. 881 as election offenses

Prior to R.A. 7166, failure to comply with the duties imposed by Sec. 105-112 of B.P. 881
constituted election offenses that were punishable under Art. 262 of B.P. 881. However, Sec. 39
of R.A. 7166 repealed the inclusion of said provisions as election offenses, with such repeal to
have retroactive effect.

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What constitutes an electionFailure of elections

THE ELECTION PROPER


IN GENERAL

An election is constituted when there is a plurality of votes sufficient for a choice


conditioned on the plurality of valid votes or a valid constituency regardless of the actually
number of votes cast. Otherwise, there would be no winner.

It is not necessary that a majority of voters should have elected the winning candidate.
Even if a candidate wins due to a minority vote, if the election is lawfully held, a plurality of the
majority is sufficient.

Those who did not vote are assumed to assent to the action of those who voted.

Grounds for declaration of failure of elections


In the case of Joseph Peter Sison v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 134096, March 3, 1999), the
Supreme Court said that there are only 3 instances where a failure of elections may be declared,
namely:

(1) 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;

(2) 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; and

(3) 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.

The causes for the declaration of a failure of election may occur before or after the casting
of votes or on the day of the election. (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)

How declared

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Postponement of elections Special election


The declaration of a failure of election is decided by the COMELEC en banc by a majority
vote of its members. (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)

Procedure for declaration of failure of elections shall be discussed in the last part of this
reviewer.

Holding or continuation of election

The COMELEC shall call for the holding or continuation of the election on a date
reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended, or which resulted in a failure to
elect but not later than 30 days after the cessation of the cause of such suspension or failure to
elect. (Sec. 6, B.P. 881)

Grounds for postponement of elections


An election may be postponed by the COMELEC either motu proprio or upon a verified
petition by any interested party when there is violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election
paraphernalia or records, force majeure, or other analogous cause of such a nature that the
holding of a free, orderly and honest election becomes impossible in any political subdivision.
(Sec. 5, B.P. 881)

How declared
The declaration of a postponement of election is decided by the COMELEC en banc by a
majority vote of its members. (Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)

Holding of election

The COMELEC shall call for the holding of the election on a date reasonably close to the
date of the election not held, suspended, or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than
30 days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or
failure to elect. (Sec. 5, B.P. 881)

(Sec. 4, R.A. 7166)

In case a permanent vacancy occurs in the Senate or House of Representatives at least 1


year before the expiration of the term, the COMELEC shall call and hold a special election to fill
the vacancy not earlier than 60 days nor longer than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.

However, in case of such vacancy in the Senate, the special election shall be held
simultaneously with the succeeding regular election.

CASTING OF VOTES

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Secrecy of the BallotMethod of votingAbsentee Voting

The distinguishing feature of this mode of voting, is that every voter is thus enabled to
secure and preserve the most complete and violable secrecy in regard to the person for whom he
votes, and thus escapes the influences which, under the system of oral suffrages, may be
brought to bear upon him with a view to overbear and intimidate, and thus prevent the real
expression of public sentiment.

A legal voter will not be compelled to disclose for whom he voted. Moreover, third persons
are not permitted to testify to its purport.

The voter may, however, if he chooses, waive his privilege of secrecy and voluntarily
disclose the contents of his ballot. Thus, it was held in the case of ABS-CBN v. COMELEC
(January 28, 2000) that exit polls are valid since they are voluntary and do not require a voter to
reveal the contents of his or her ballot if he or she does not want to.

Voter must vote in person.

The voter must personally deposit his ballot.

By the principle that what is done in one’s presence and by his express direction is, in law,
his act, an infirm or aged voter may undoubtedly employ another to perform the mechanical act of
depositing in the voter’s presence the ballot which the latter has himself selected.

Voter must vote but once.

Each voter shall vote but once, at any election, for each office or measure to be voted for.

Voter need not vote the whole ticket.

It is entirely optional with the voter whether he will vote at all or not, and he may vote for
such offices as he chooses and for such of the several persons to be chosen to the same office
as he prefers.

Under RA 7166, absentee voting as provided for in EO 157 shall apply to the elections for
President, Vice-President, and Senators ONLY and shall be limited to:

 members of the AFP


 members of the PNP
 other government officers and employees

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Block VotingVoting HoursAuthentication


Preparing the ballot
of theand
ballot
voting
who are duly registered voters and who, on election day, may temporarily be assigned in
connection with the performance of their election duties to places where they are not registered
voters.

There is no longer block voting under current Philippine election law, having been
expressly prohibited by Art. IX-C, Sec. 7 of the 1987 Constitution.

However, it must be noted that under the party-list system, votes may be counted in favor
of political parties, organizations or coalitions rendered under said system. This, in a way, may be
construed as the exception to the prohibition on block voting.

GENERAL RULE: The casting of votes shall be at 7 a.m. and shall end at 3 p.m.

EXCEPTION: When there are voters present within 30 meters in front of the polling place
who have not yet cast their votes, in which case the voting shall continue but only to allow
said voters to cast their votes without interruption. The poll clerk shall prepare a complete
list containing the names of said voters consecutively numbered, and the voters so listed
shall be called to vote by announcing each name repeatedly three times in the order in
which they are listed. Any voter in the list who is not present when his name is called out
shall not be permitted to vote.

In every case, before delivering an official ballot to the voter, the chairman of the Board of
Election Inspectors shall affix his signature at the back of the ballot in the presence of the voter.

Failure to authenticate shall be noted in the minutes of the Board of Election Inspectors
and shall constitute an election offense. (Sec. 24, R.A. 7166)

There is nothing in the law that provides that a ballot which has not been authenticated
shall be deemed spurious. The law merely makes the Chairman of the Board of Election
Inspectors accountable for such an omission. (Libanan v. HRET, G.R. No. 129783, December
22, 1997) Thus, it was held in Punzalan v. COMELEC (289 SCRA 702) that the ballot is valid
even if it is not signed at the back by the BEI Chairman.

(1) The voter, upon receiving his folded ballot, shall forthwith proceed to one of the
empty voting booths and shall there fill his ballot by writing in the proper space for each
office the name of the individual candidate for whom he desires to vote.

No voter shall be allowed to:

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 enter a booth occupied by another, nor enter the same accompanied by somebody,
except as provided for in the succeeding section hereof;

 stay therein for a longer time than necessary

 speak with anyone other than as herein provided while inside the polling place.

It shall be unlawful to:

 prepare the ballot outside the voting booth;


 exhibit its contents to any person
 erase any printing from the ballot
 intentionally tear or deface the same or put thereon any distinguishing mark;
 use carbon paper, paraffin paper, or other means for making a copy of the
contents of the ballot;
 make use of any other means to identify the vote of the voter.

Preparation of Ballots for Illiterates and Disabled Persons (Sec. 196, B.P. 881)

No voter shall be allowed to vote as an illiterate or as a physically disabled unless it


is so indicated in his registration record.

A voter who is illiterate or physically unable to prepare the ballot by himself may be
assisted in the preparation of his ballot by the following:

(a) a relative by affinity or consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, or

(b) if (a) is not available, then any person of his confidence who belongs to the
same household; or

(c) any member of the board of election inspectors.

In no case shall an assistor assist more than 3 times.

The person assisting shall:

 prepare the ballot for the illiterate or disabled voter inside the voting booth;

 bind himself in a formal document under oath to fill out the ballot strictly in
accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents
of the ballot prepared by him.

A violation of these 2 duties shall constitute an election offense.

Spoiled Ballots

If a voter should accidentally spoil or deface a ballot in such a way that it cannot
lawfully be used, he shall surrender it folded to the chairman who shall note in the
corresponding space in the voting record that said ballot is spoiled. The voter shall then
be entitled to another ballot which the chairman shall give him after announcing the
serial number of the second ballot and recording the serial number in the corresponding
spaces in the voting record.

No voter shall change his ballot more than once. (Sec. 14, R.A. 8436)

The spoiled ballot shall, without being unfolded and without removing the
detachable coupon, be distinctly marked with the word "spoiled" and signed by the board
of election inspectors on the endorsement fold thereof and immediately placed in the
compartment for spoiled ballots.

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Challenge of Illegal Voters

(2) After the voter has filled his ballot he shall fold it in the same manner as when he
received it and return it to the chairman.

(3) In the presence of all the members of the board of election inspectors, he shall affix
his thumbmark on the corresponding space in the coupon, and deliver the folded ballot to
the chairman.

(4) The chairman, in the presence and view of the voter and all the members of the
board of election inspectors, without unfolding the ballot or seeing its contents, shall
verify its number from the voting record where it was previously entered.

Any ballot whose number does not coincide with the number of the ballot
delivered to the voter, as entered in the voting record, shall be considered as spoiled
and shall be so marked and signed by the members of the board of election inspectors.

(5) The voter shall affix his thumbmark by the side of his signature in the space
intended for that purpose in the voting record and the chairman shall apply silver nitrate
and commassie blue on the right forefinger nail or on any other available finger nail, if
there be no forefinger nail.

(6) The chairman shall sign in the proper space beside the thumbmark of the voter.

Note that the absence of the signature of the chairman in the ballot given to a voter
as proof of the authenticity of the ballot, is fatal.

(7) The chairman, after finding everything to be in order, shall then detach the coupon
in the presence of the board of election inspectors and of the voter and shall deposit the
folded ballot in the compartment for valid ballots, and the detached coupon in the
compartment for spoiled ballots.

Any ballot returned to the chairman whose detachable coupon has been
removed not in the presence of the board of election inspectors and of the voter,
shall be considered as spoiled and shall be so marked and signed by the members
of the board of election inspectors.

(8) The voter shall then depart.

(Sec. 199, B.P. 881)

Any voter or watcher may challenge any person offering to vote for not being registered, for
using the name of another or suffering from existing disqualification. In such case, the board of
election inspectors shall satisfy itself as to whether or not the ground for the challenge is true by
requiring proof of registration or the identity of the voter.

No voter shall be required to present his voter's affidavit on election day unless his identity
is challenged. His failure or inability to produce his voter's affidavit upon being challenged, shall
not preclude him from voting if his identity be shown from the photograph, fingerprints, or
specimen signatures in his approved application in the book of voters or if he is identified under

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Records or Statements to be Prepared and Kept


oath by a member of the board of election inspectors and such identification shall be reflected in
the minutes of the board.

Challenge Based on Certain Illegal Acts (Sec. 200, B.P. 881)

Any voter or watcher may challenge any voter offering to vote on any of the following grounds:

 that the challenged person has received or expects to receive, has paid,
offered or promised to pay, has contributed, offered or promised to contribute
money or anything of value as consideration for his vote or for the vote of
another;

 that he has made or received a promise to influence the giving or withholding


of any such vote; or

 that he has made a bet or is interested directly or indirectly in a bet which


depends upon the result of the election.

The challenged person shall take a prescribed oath before the board of election inspectors
that he has not committed any of the acts alleged in the challenge. Upon the taking of such oath,
the challenge shall be dismissed and the challenged voter shall be allowed to vote, but in case of
his refusal to take such oath, the challenge shall be sustained and he shall not be allowed to vote.

Non-conclusiveness of admission of challenged vote (Sec. 201, B.P. 881)

It must be noted that the admission of the challenged vote shall not be conclusive upon
any court as to the legality of the registration of the voter challenged or his vote in a criminal
action against such person for illegal registration or voting.

Record of Challenges and Oaths


The poll clerk shall keep a prescribed record of challenges and oaths taken in connection
therewith and the resolution of the board of election inspectors in each case and, upon the
termination of the voting, shall certify that it contains all the challenges made.

The original of this record shall be attached to the original copy of the minutes of the voting
as provided in the succeeding section. (Sec. 202, B.P. 881)

Minutes of Voting and Counting of Votes


The board of election inspectors shall prepare and sign a statement in four copies setting
forth the following:

 time the voting commenced and ended;


 serial numbers of the official ballots and election returns, special envelopes
and seals received;

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Board of Election Inspectors


 number of official ballots used and the number left unused;
 number of voters who cast their votes;
 number of voters challenged during the voting;
 names of the watchers present;
 time the counting of votes commenced and ended;
 number of official ballots found inside the compartment for valid ballots;
 number of valid ballots retrieved from the compartment for spoiled ballots, if
any;
 number of ballots found folded together, if any;
 number of spoiled ballots withdrawn from the compartment for valid ballots;
 number of excess ballots;
 number of marked ballots;
 number of ballots read and counted;
 time the election returns were signed and sealed in their respective special
envelopes;
 number and nature of protests made by watchers;
 such other matters that the Commission may require.

Copies of this statement after being duly accomplished shall be sealed in separate envelopes and
shall be distributed as follows:

 the original to the city or municipal election registrar;


 the second copy to be deposited inside the compartment for valid ballots of
the ballot box;
 the third and fourth copies to the representatives of the accredited political
parties. (Sec. 203, B.P. 881)

List of Unused Ballots


The chairman of the board of election inspectors shall prepare a list showing the number of
unused ballots together with the serial numbers.

This list shall be signed by all the members of the board of election inspectors, after which
all the unused ballots shall be torn halfway in the presence of the members of the board of
election inspectors. (Sec. 204, B.P. 881)

COUNTING OF VOTES

The counting of votes is conducted by the Board of Election Inspectors, which shall not
adjourn or postpone or delay the count until it has been fully completed, unless otherwise ordered
by the COMELEC.

At least 30 days before the date when the voters list is to be prepared, in the case of a
regular election or 15 days before a special election, the COMELEC shall, directly or through its
duly authorized representatives, constitute a board of election inspectors for each precinct.

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Composition
The Board of Election Inspectors is composed of three (3) persons, namely:

 chairman
 poll clerk
 member

The entire Board shall be composed of public school teachers, priority to be given to those
with permanent appointments. (Sec. 164, BP 881, as amended by Sec. 13, R.A. 6646) However,
in case there are not enough public school teachers, the following may be appointed for election
duty:

 teachers in private schools;


 employees in the civil service; or
 other citizens of known probity and competence who are registered
voters of the city or municipality

Powers of the Board of Election Inspectors (Sec. 168, BP 881)

The board of election inspectors shall have the following powers and functions:

 Conduct the voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places;

 Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the


election in the polling places wherein they are assigned, to assure the
holding of the same in a free, orderly and honest manner;

 Perform such other functions prescribed by the Omnibus Election Code or


by the rules and regulations promulgated by the COMELEC

Prohibitions on the Board of Election Inspectors

 No person shall serve a chairman or member of the Board if he / she is


related within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any member of
the Board, or to any candidate to be voted for in the polling place or his
spouse (Sec. 167, BP 881)

 No member of the Board shall engage in any partisan political activity or take
part in the election except to discharge his duties as such and to vote. (Sec.
173, BP 881)

 No member of the Board shall, before the termination of the voting, make any
announcement as to whether a certain registered voter has already voted or
not, as to how many have already voted or how many so far have failed to
vote, or any other fact tending to show or showing the state of the polls, nor
shall he make any statement at any time as to how any person voted, except
as witness before a court. (Sec. 205, BP 881)

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Counting proper

Counting to be Public and Without Interruption


As soon as the voting is finished, the board of election inspectors shall publicly count in the
polling place the votes cast and ascertain the results. The Board shall not adjourn or postpone or
delay the count until it has been fully completed, unless otherwise ordered by the COMELEC.

Venue for counting of votes


The COMELEC in the interest of free, orderly, and honest elections, may order the board of
election inspectors to count the votes and to accomplish the election returns and other forms
prescribed under the Omnibus Election Code in any other place within a public building in the
same municipality or city. The public building shall not be located within the perimeter of or inside
a military or police camp or reservation nor inside a prison compound.

If it becomes necessary to transfer the counting of votes to a safer place on account of


imminent danger of violence, terrorism, disorder or similar causes, the Board of Election
Inspectors may effect such transfer by unanimous approval by the Board and concurrence by the
majority of the watchers present. (Sec. 18, R.A. 6646)

Manner of Counting Votes


1. The board of election inspectors shall unfold the ballots and form separate piles of
one hundred ballots each, which shall be held together with rubber bands, with
cardboard of the size of the ballots to serve as folders.

2. The chairman of the board of election inspectors shall take the ballots of the first
pile one by one and read the names of candidates voted for and the offices for
which they were voted in the order in which they appear thereon, assuming such
a position as to enable all of the watchers to read such names.

3. The chairman shall sign and affix his right hand thumbmark at the back of the
ballot immediately after it is counted.

4. The poll clerk, and the third member, respectively, shall record on the election
returns and the tally board or sheet each vote as the names voted for each office
are read. (The election returns are mandated by law to be prepared
simultaneously with the counting of the votes.)

5. After finishing the first pile of ballots, the board of election inspectors shall
determine the total number of votes recorded for each candidate, the sum being
noted on the tally board or sheet and on the election returns. In case of
discrepancy such recount as may be necessary shall be made. The ballots shall
then be grouped together again as before the reading. Thereafter, the same
procedure shall be followed with the second pile of ballots and so on successively.

6. After all the ballots have been read, the board of election inspectors shall sum up
the totals recorded for each candidate, and the aggregate sum shall be recorded
both on the tally board or sheet and on the election returns.

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Marked Ballots
7. It shall then place the counted ballots in an envelope provided for the purpose,
which shall be closed signed and deposited in the compartment for valid ballots.

8. The tally board or sheet as accomplished and certified by the board of election
inspectors shall not be changed or destroyed but shall be kept in the compartment
for valid ballots.

Duties of the Board of Election Inspectors in Counting the Votes


The board’s duties are confined to the conduct of the elections and the counting of votes.
The board of election inspectors does not decide the eligibility of candidates, and therefore has
no authority to ignore the votes for a candidate who has filled out his certificate of candidacy in
the proper form.

Counting should be liberal to effectuate the will of the electorate. Voters should not be
disenfranchised for technical causes.

It is the duty of the board of election inspectors to issue a certificate of the number of the
votes received by a candidate upon request of the watchers. All the members of the board of
election inspectors shall sign the certificate.

Marked ballots defined


Marked ballots are ballots containing a distinguishing mark which would tend to identify the
voter who cast such ballot.

Purpose of Disallowing Marked Ballots


Some unscrupulous persons taking advantage of their influence or political prestige may
require voters to place a distinguishing “mark” on their ballot, in consideration of some promise,
reward or other valuable consideration and to which the voters would have no escape because of
the distinguishing marks required of them to place on their ballots. This threatens the
independence of the voters in the exercise of their right to vote. Hence, the prohibition on marked
ballots.

Effect of Marked Ballots

Marked ballots are invalidated in their entirety, and none of the votes therein are counted.

Determination of Marked Ballots


In discounting marked ballots, great care should be used in rejecting them. Election laws
are designed to effectuate the will of the electorate. Only in an unmistakable case where the
ballot appeared to be marked, should it be rejected.

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The determinative factor in the nullification of ballots for being marked as following a
design or pattern, is the existence of evidence aliunde tending to show the intention or purpose in
the use of the contested manner or means of voting, which is to identify the ballots. In the
absence of evidence aliunde clearly showing the intention or plan was for purposes of
identification, signs on ballots are presumed accidental.

A majority vote of the board of election inspectors shall be sufficient to determine whether a
ballot is marked or not.

All marked ballots shall be placed in an envelope labeled "marked ballots" which shall be
sealed and signed by the members of the board of election inspectors and placed in the
compartment for valid ballots and shall not be counted.

Instances of Marked Ballots


Non-official ballots which the board of election inspectors may find, EXCEPT those which
have been used as emergency ballots, are considered as marked ballots. Other examples of
marked ballots include the following:

 Where 170 ballots were voted for in the same manner (i.e. name of one
candidate was written with his surname prefixed by a nickname while the
rest of the candidates were voted for by their surnames, and there is
evidence aliunde to prove that such manner of voting was planned.

 Where the name of 1 candidate is clearly and markedly indented to the


right to make the ballot easily distinguishable.

 In 2 ballots, the vote for mayor is “J. Nietes Nietes” and persons voting are
well-educated and have no possible reason to write Nietes twice.

 Use of two or more kinds of writing deliberately put by the voter to serve as
identification marks.

 Writing the name of a person who is not a candidate 3 times on 3 spaces


provided for in different offices.

 Expressions opposite the space for candidates written for the purpose of
identification.

 The inclusion of the names of 2 well-known movie stars who were not
candidates.

 Writing the name of a registered voter who is not a candidate.

 The words, “Minte” and “Kabayan” on block or printed form, both enclosed
in parenthesis, written after 2 names on the 2 nd and 7th spaces for
councilors.

 The placing, without explanation of initials, after the corrected names of


candidates for mayor and vice-mayor.

 The writing of the phrase “Liberal Party” 11 times on the space for vice-
mayor, the spaces for the board members and from the 2 nd to the 8th space
for councilors, and the word “Factor” on the 1st space for councilor.

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 Writing an irrelevant epithet such as “saging” after the name of a councilor.

 Placing a big letter “X” immediately after the name of a candidate for
councilor.

 Writing the name of Pelaez, a national political figure not a candidate on the
4th space for councilors and placing a big “X” immediately after it.
 Writing the name “Sony Boy” on the 8th space for councilor, which is not
related to the name of any candidate for councilor.

 Writing a big “M” in block or printed letter on the 8 th space for councilors,
with the remaining spaces in black.

 Printing a big “M” after “R”. “Rodriquez” on the 6 th space for senators
conspicuously and distinctly different from all the letters in the ballot.

 The capital letter “N” opposite the printed words for senators.

 Writing the word “sinador” in a place far and separate from the proper
spaces for candidates.

 Writing impertinent, irrelevant and unnecessary expression such as


“Dracula, good for hanging day.”

 Placing the fingerprint of the voter without reason.

 The presence of an arrow together with the words “and party”.

Instances when Ballot is not Considered Marked


The following ballots have been considered NOT marked:

 Writing the word “sorry” after the name of a candidate as an expression of


regret for committing a mistake.

 Canceling names and re-writing them to conform with a sample ballot.

 Misspelling the name of a candidate.

 Illegible writings, being imprints of other names written on the ballot caused
by the folding of the same.

 Writing crosses and circles signifying the desistance of the voter to write
any other name.

 Writing a word before the name of a candidate as an appellation of affection


or friendship.

 Affixing the nickname of a candidate.

 Innocent erasures in the spaces for the candidates.

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 Corrected name written over the canceled one on the space for councilor
although he is a candidate for mayor.

 Mistakes in writing names of local candidates in spaces for senators and


writing again the names of his candidates for councilors in the proper
spaces.

 Unintentional, accidental, unintelligible marks or words.

 Accidental placing of a stain.

 Voting names of non-candidates in the absence of evidence that these


names were used as identifying marks.

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Appreciation of Ballots

Guiding Principles in the Appreciation of Ballots


DOUBTS are to be resolved in FAVOR of the validity of ballots. The purpose is of election
laws is to give effect and not to frustrate the WILL of the voter.

LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION in reading the ballots, and intendments should be in favor of a


reading which render the ballot EFFECTIVE rather than in favor of a conclusion which on some
technical grounds would render it ineffective.

Minor blemishes should not affect the validity of the ballot where the intention of the voter
to vote for certain persons is discernible in the ballot.

Errors in spelling, honest mistakes due to ignorance or illiteracy should not defeat the
intention of the voter. However, if the ballot is so defective as to fail to show any intention, it must
be disregarded.

Rules for Appreciation of Ballots (Sec. 211, BP 881)

Every ballot shall be PRESUMED VALID UNLESS there is clear and good reason to reject it.

BALLOT HOW COUNTED

Ballots containing the name of a Totally VOID


candidate affixed thereto through any
MECHANICAL process

Ballot clearly appears to have been Totally VOID


FILLED by 2 DIFFERENT PERSONS
before deposited in ballot box

Ballot written with CRAYON, LEAD Valid


PENCIL or INK, wholly or in part

INITIALS only or ILLEGIBLE or does Considered as a STRAY vote BUT


NOT sufficiently identify the candidate shall NOT invalidate the whole ballot
for whom it is intended

Vote for a person who has not filed a Considered as a STRAY vote BUT
certificate of candidacy or in favor of a shall NOT invalidate the whole ballot
candidate for an office for which he did
not present himself

Vote for a candidate who has been Considered as a STRAY vote but shall
disqualified by final judgment not invalidate the whole ballot

Only candidates’ FIRST NAME or Vote for the candidate is valid


SURNAME is written, and there is NO

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other candidate with the same first


name or surname for the same office
BALLOT HOW COUNTED

Only candidates’ FIRST NAME is Vote counted in favor of the candidate


written which when read has a SOUND with such SURNAME
SIMILAR to the SURNAME of another
candidate

If there are 2 or more candidates with Vote counted for the INCUMBENT
the SAME FULL NAME, FIRST NAME
or SURNAME, and one of them is the
INCUMBENT, and on the ballot is
written ONLY such full name, first name
or surname

Woman candidate uses her MAIDEN A ballot bearing only such surname
NAME or MARRIED NAME or BOTH, shall be counted in favor of the
and there is another candidate with the candidate who is an INCUMBENT.
SAME SURNAME

2 or more words are written on the Vote shall NOT be counted for any of
SAME LINE on the ballot, and ALL of them UNLESS one is the surname of
which are the SURNAMES of 2 or the incumbent who has served for at
MORE CANDIDATES least 1 year – counted for the
INCUMBENT

2 or more words are written on Vote counted in favor of ALL


DIFFERENT LINES on the ballot, ALL of CANDIDATES bearing the surname
which are the SURNAMES of 2 MORE
CANDIDATES bearing the same
surname for an OFFICE of r which the
law authorizes the election of MORE
THAN ONE and there are the SAME
NUMBER of such SURNAMES written
as there are candidates with that
surname

1 word is written on the ballot which is Vote counted for the OPPONENT
the FIRST NAME of a candidate and (SURNAME)
which is also the SURNAME of his
opponent

2 words written on the ballot, 1 of which Vote shall NOT be counted for either
is the FIRST NAME of the candidate
and the other is the SURNAME of his
opponent

Name or surname INCORRECTLY Vote counted in favor of such a


WRITTEN which when READ has a candidate
SOUND SIMILAR to the name or
surname of a candidate when correctly
written (Idem sonans rule)

Name or surname of a candidate Vote shall be counted for the


appears in the space of the ballot for an candidate for the office for which he is
office for which he is a candidate and running for.
for an office for which he is NOT a
candidate Vote for the office for which he is NOT
a candidate shall be considered a

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STRAY vote EXCEPT when it is used


to identify the voter in which case the
whole ballot is VOID.

Name of a candidate is NOT written in Vote counted for the candidate


the PROPER SPACE on the ballot but
is PRECEDED by the name of the
OFFICE for which he is a candidate

Words written on the APPROPRIATE Vote counted in favor of that


BLANK on the ballot is the IDENTICAL candidate to whose ticket belong all
NAME or SURNAME or FULL NAME of the other candidates voted for in the
2 or MORE candidates for the SAME same ballot for the same constituency.
OFFICE, none of whom is the
incumbent

PREFIXES such as "Sr.", "Mr.", "Datu", PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES are valid
"Don", "Ginoo", "Hon.", "Gob." or
SUFFIXES like "Hijo", "Jr.", "Segundo"

CIRCLES, CROSSES, LINES on Considered as signs of his desistance


spaces which the voter has not voted from voting and shall NOT invalidate
the ballot

Space in the ballot appears a NAME of Vote counted for the one CLEARLY
a candidate that is ERASED and WRITTEN
another CLEARLY WRITTEN

ACCIDENTAL tearing or perforation of Shall NOT annul it


the ballot

Failure to remove the DETACHABLE Shall NOT annul the ballot


COUPON from the ballot

Erroneous initial of FIRST NAME Shall NOT annul the vote


accompanied by CORRECT SURNAME
of the candidate

Erroneous initial of SURNAME Shall NOT annul the vote


accompanied by CORRECT FIRST
NAME of the candidate

Erroneous MIDDLE INITIAL Shall NOT annul the vote

The fact that there exists another Shall NOT annul the vote
person who is NOT a candidate with the
same first name or surname of a
candidate

COMMAS, DOTS, HYPHENS between Shall NOT invalidate the ballot


the first name and surname of the UNLESS it clearly appears that they
candidate or on other parts of the ballot were deliberately put by the voter as
IDENTIFICATION marks in which
Traces of letter “T” or “J” or similar ones case, the ballot is VOID

First letters or syllables of names which


the voters does not continue
UNINTENTIONAL or ACCIDENTAL
flourishes, strokes, strains

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Election Returns NICKNAMES and APPELATIONS of Shall NOT annul the vote EXCEPT
affection and friendship accompanied when such is used to identify the voter
by the FIRST NAME or SURNAME of in which case, the whole ballot is
the candidate VOID

NICKNAME used is one by which the Vote counted for the candidate IF
candidate is generally or POPULARLY there is no other candidate for the
KNOWN in the locality and SAME OFFICE with the SAME
UNACCOMPANIED by a first name or NICKNAME
surname of the candidate

CORRECTLY written FIRST NAME of Vote NOT counted in favor of any


the candidate with a DIFFERENT candidate having such first name BUT
SURNAME the ballot is considered valid for other
candidates

2 or more candidates are voted for an Vote NOT counted in favor of any of
office which the law authorizes election them BUT the ballot is considered
of only ONE valid for other candidates

Candidates voted for EXCEED the Valid ballot BUT the votes counted are
number of those to be elected those names which were FIRST
WRITTEN by the voter until the
authorized number is covered

Ballots totally written in ARABIC in VALID (to read such ballots, the board
localities where it is of GENERAL USE of election inspectors can use an
interpreter who has shall taken an
oath to read them correctly)

Note that a vote for the president is no longer considered a vote for the Vice-President
running under the same ticket as the 1987 Constitution already prohibits block voting. (Although
the party-list system may be deemed as a qualification to that prohibition.)

Definition

The election returns are the official document containing the date of the election, the
province, municipality and the precinct in which it is held, and the votes received by each
candidate written in figures and in words. It is the document on which the Certificates of Canvass
are based, and is the only document that constitutes sufficient evidence of the true and genuine
results of the elections. (See Garay v. COMELEC, 261 SCRA 222)

Number of Copies and Their Distribution (Sec. 27, R.A. 7166, as amended by
R.A. 8045 and R.A. 8173)

The board of election inspectors shall prepare in their handwriting the returns in their
polling places, in the number of copies herein provided and in the form to be prescribed and
provided by the COMELEC.

In the election of President, Vice-President, Senators, and Members of the House of


Representatives, the copies of the election returns shall be distributed as follows:

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Announcement of Results of Elections Issuance of the Certificate of Votes

1st Copy: City or municipal board of canvassers


2nd Copy: Congress, directed to the Senate President
3rd Copy: COMELEC
4th Copy: Dominant majority party, as determined by the COMELEC
5th Copy: Dominant minority party, as determined by the COMELEC
6th Copy: Citizens' arm authorized by the COMELEC to conduct an
unofficial count
7th Copy: Deposited inside the compartment of the ballot box for valid
ballots

In the election of local officials, the copies of the election returns shall be distributed as
follows:

1st Copy: City or municipal board of canvassers


2nd Copy: COMELEC
3rd Copy: Provincial board of canvassers
4th Copy: Dominant majority party, as determined by the COMELEC
5th Copy: Dominant minority party, as determined by the COMELEC
6th Copy: Citizens' arm authorized by the COMELEC to conduct an
unofficial count
7th Copy: Deposited inside the compartment of the ballot box for valid
ballots

The chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors shall make an ORAL and PUBLIC
ANNOUNCEMENT of the TOTAL number of votes in the polling place for EACH candidate by the
upon the completion of the election returns.

Certificate of votes defined

The certificate of votes is a document which contains the number of votes obtained by
each candidate written in words and figures, the number of the precinct, the name of the city or
municipality and province, the total number of voters who voted in the precinct, and the date and
time issued. It must be signed and thumbmarked by each member of the Board. (Sec. 16, R.A.
6646)

Duty of Board to issue certificate


It is the duty of the board of election inspectors to issue a certificate of the number of the
votes received by a candidate upon request of the duly-accredited watchers. (Sec. 16, R.A.
6646) Refusal to do so constitutes an election offense. (Sec. 27, R.A. 6646)

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Composition
Canvass and ofCertificate
the Boardofof
Canvass
Canvassers
definedNature of canvass proceedings
Admissibility in evidence
The certificate of votes is admissible in evidence to prove tampering, alteration, falsification
or any anomaly committed in the election returns concerned, when duly authenticated by
testimonial or documentary evidence presented to the Board of Canvassers by at least 2
members of the Board of Election Inspectors who issued the certificate. This is notwithstanding
the provisions of Secs. 235 and 236 of BP 881.

The Certificate of Votes is evidence likewise of the votes obtained by the candidates.
(Balindong v. COMELEC, 27 SCRA 567) However, it was held in the case of Garay v. COMELEC
(261 SCRA 222) that a Certificate of Votes can never be a valid basis for canvass, and does not
constitute sufficient evidence of the true and genuine results of the elections; only election returns
are.

Failure to present any certificate of votes shall be a bar to the presentation of other
evidence to impugn the authenticity of the election returns. (Sec. 17, R.A. 6646)

CANVASS

The canvass of votes refers to the process by which the results in the election returns are
tallied and totalled.

Certificates of canvass are official tabulations of votes accomplished by district,


municipal, city and provincial canvassers based on the election returns, which are the results of
the ballot count at the precinct level.

Canvass proceedings are administrative and summary in nature.

(Sec. 221, BP 881, as amended by Sec. 20, RA 6646)

PROVINCIAL CITY MUNICIPAL

Chairman Provincial election City election registrar Election registrar


supervisor or lawyer or a lawyer of or a representative
in the regional office COMELEC; of COMELEC
of the COMELEC
In cities with more
than 1 election
registrar, COMELEC
shall designate the
election registrar who

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shall act as chairman


Prohibitions on the Board of Canvassers
Vice Chairman provincial fiscal city fiscal municipal treasurer

Member provincial city superintendent of most senior district


superintendent of schools school supervisor
schools or in his absence a
principal of the
school district or
the elementary
school

However, in case of non-availability, absence, disqualification due to relationship, or


incapacity for any cause of any of the members of the Board of Canvassers, the COMELEC may
appoint the following as substitutes, in the order named:

PROVINCIAL CITY MUNICIPAL

Chairman Ranking lawyer of Ranking lawyer of the Ranking lawyer of


the COMELEC COMELEC the COMELEC

Vice Chairman (1) Provincial auditor (1) City auditor or (1) Municipal
equivalent; Administrator;
(2) Registrar of
Deeds (2) Registrar of (2) Municipal
Deeds; Assessor;
(3) Clerk of Court
nominated by (3) Clerk of Court (3) Clerk of Court
the Executive nominated by the nominated by
Judge of the Executive Judge the Executive
RTC; of the RTC; Judge of the
MTC;
(4) Any other (4) Any other
available available (4) Any other
appointive appointive city available
provincial official official appointive
municipal
official

Member Same as for Vice- Same as for Vice- Same as for Vice-
Chairman Chairman Chairman

 The chairman and the members of the Board of Canvassers shall not be related within
the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the candidates whose votes will
be canvassed by said board, or to any member of the said board. (Sec. 222, B.P. 881)

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Jurisdiction
Nature of theofBoard
COMELEC
of Canvassers’
over the Board
Dutiesof Canvassers
 No member or substitute member of the different boards of canvassers shall be
transferred, assigned or detailed outside of his official station, nor shall he leave said
station without prior authority of the COMELEC during the period beginning election
day until the proclamation of the winning candidates. (Sec. 223, B.P. 881)

 No member of the board of canvassers shall feign illness in order to be substituted on


election day until the proclamation of the winning candidates. Feigning of illness
constitutes an election offense. (Sec. 224, B.P. 881)

COMELEC has direct control and supervision over the board of canvassers. Any member
of the Board may, at any time, be relieved for cause and substituted motu proprio by the
COMELEC. (Sec. 227, B.P. 881)

COMELEC has the power to investigate and act on the propriety or legality of the canvass
of election returns made by the board of canvassers.

A canvassing board's task is to compile and add the results as they appear in the election
returns transmitted to it. (Guiao v. COMELEC, 137 SCRA 366)

When Ministerial
If there are no irregularities in the election returns, the duty of the Board in canvassing the
votes on the election returns submitted to it consists in the simple matter of arithmetic. Once the
COMELEC or the board of canvassers is satisfied in the authenticity of the returns, it has no
power to look beyond the face thereof, and its task of tallying is merely ministerial.

When there is an error in the computation which is discovered after proclamation, the
board of canvassers can simply correct the error; the remedy being purely administrative.

When Quasi-Judicial
The board of canvassers must be satisfied that the election returns submitted to it are
genuine and authentic. Thus, the board of canvassers will not be compelled to canvass the
returns when they are found to be:

 obviously manufactured;

 contrary to probabilities;

 clearly falsified; or

 not legible

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Canvass by the Board (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)

The Board of Canvassers must meet not later than 6:00 p.m. on election day to receive the
election returns and canvass those received. The Board of Canvassers must meet continuously
from day to day until the canvass is completed. The Board of Canvassers may adjourn ONLY for
the purpose of awaiting other election returns. When it adjourns, it shall make a total of all votes
canvassed so far for each candidate for each office furnishing the COMELEC in Manila a certified
copy and to make available copies to the media and other interested parties. The Board of
Canvassers must resume canvassing once more returns are received.

The canvass proceedings must be open and in public.

A majority vote of all the members of the Board of Canvassers is needed in order to render
a decision.

Time Period to Complete Canvass

Subject to reasonable exceptions, the Board of Canvassers is required to complete their


canvass within the following periods:

Municipalities: 36 hours

Cities not comprising


at least 1 legislative district: 36 hours

Cities comprising at least 48 hours


1 legislative district:

Provinces: 72 hours

Any violation of this requirement is an election offense. (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)

Canvassing Committees (Sec. 22, R.A. 6646)

The Board of Canvassers may constitute such number of canvassing committees as may
be necessary for the board to complete the canvass within the period prescribed.

Each committee shall be composed of 3 members, each member to be designated by the


chairman and members of the board. Before the election, all candidates shall be notified in
writing of the number of committees to be constituted so that they can designate their watchers in
each committee.

The committees shall be under the direct supervision and control of the board.

Principles governing canvass proceedings


There must be a strong prima facie case backed up by a specific offer of evidence, and an
indication of its nature and importance has to be made out to warrant the reception of evidence
aliunde, for the presentation of witnesses and the delays necessarily entailed thereby.

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When COMELEC has determined after investigation and examination of the voting and
registration records that ACTUAL VOTING and ELECTION took place in the questioned
precincts, election returns cannot be disregarded but are accorded prima facie status as bona
fide reports of the result of voting for canvassing and proclamation purposes.

COMELEC should guard against PROCLAMATION GRABBING and against attempts to


paralyze the canvassing and proclamation.

To allow a respondent to raise belated questions before the COMELEC as to the returns
during the review of a case before the COMELEC, which question has not been raised before the
board of canvassers, would mean undue delays in the pre-proclamation proceedings.

The Supreme Court can review the decisions of COMELEC ONLY in cases of grave abuse
of discretion in the discharge of QUASI-JUDICIAL POWERS and not in the exercise of its
administrative duties.

Conclusiveness of findings
The findings of the board of canvassers and the certificate of election issued by them are
not conclusive but are merely PRIMA FACIE evidence of the result and title to the office of those
declared elected.

As to all other collateral matters, the findings of the board are conclusive. However, such
findings are not conclusive in a direct proceeding to try title to the office.

The fact of having a plurality of votes lawfully cast is what confers title to the office
UNLESS one is allowed to go behind the certificate or returns to establish title to the office before
the appropriate tribunal.

Duties of the Provincial, City, District and Municipal Board of


Canvassers (Sec. 28, R.A. 7166)

BOC CANVASS PREPARE PROCLAIM CERTIFICATE


CERTIFICATE OF CANVASS
OF CANVASS SUPPORTED
BY

MunicipalmY Municipal  President  President  Elected Statement of


 Vice-President  Vice- Municipal Votes by
 Senators President Officials precinct,
 Congressmen  Senators signed and
 Elective  Congressmen thumb-marked
Provincial  Elective by the
Officials Provincial chairman and
 Elective Officials members of the
Municipal Board, and the
Officials principal watch-
ers if available

City – cities  President  President  Elected Statement of


which don’t  Vice-President  Vice- City Votes by
comprise at  Senators President Officials precinct,

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least  Congressmen  Senators signed and


legislative  Elective  Congressmen thumb-marked
district Provincial  Elective by the
Officials Provincial chairman and
 Elective City Officials members of the
Officials Board, and the
principal watch-
ers if available

City – cities  President  President  Congress- Statement of


comprising 1  Vice-President  Vice- men Votes by
or more  Senators President  Elected precinct,
legislative  Congressmen  Senators City signed and
districts  Elective City Officials thumb-marked
Officials by the
chairman and
members of the
Board, and the
principal watch-
ers if available

District BOC –  President  President  Congress- Statement of


for each  Vice-President  Vice- men votes by
municipality in  Senators President  Elected precinct
Metro Manila  Congressmen  Senators Municipal
comprising a  Elective Officials
legislative Municipal
district Officials

Municipal  President  President  Elected Statement of


BOC – for  Vice-President  Vice- Municipal Votes by
each  Senators President Officials precinct,
component  Congressmen  Senators signed and
municipality in  Elective  Congressmen thumb-marked
a legislative Municipal by the
district in Officials chairman and
Metro Manila members of the
Board, and the
principal watch-
ers if available

District BOC –  President  President  Elected Statement of


in each  Vice-President  Vice- Congress votes by
legislative  Senators President men in the municipality,
district  Congressmen  Senators Legislative and the original
comprising 2 District copy thereof for
municipalities Congress shall
in Metro also be sup-
Manila ported by
Statement of
Votes by
precinct as
submitted by
the city or

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Preparation of the Certificate of Canvass and Statement ofmunicipal


Votes
BOCs

Provincial  President  President  Elected Statement of


 Vice-President  Vice- congress votes by
 Senators President men municipality,
 Congressmen  Senators  Elected and the original
 Elective Provincial copy thereof for
Provincial Officials Congress shall
Officials  Plebiscite also be sup-
 Plebiscite Results ported by
Results Statement of
Votes by
precinct as
submitted by
the city or
municipal
BOCs

Certificate of canvass
The respective board of canvassers shall prepare a certificate of canvass duly signed and
affixed with the imprint of the thumb of the right hand of each member, supported by a statement
of the votes received by each candidate in each polling place and, on the basis thereof, shall
proclaim as elected the candidates who obtained the highest number of votes cast in the
province, city, municipality or barangay. (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)

Failure to comply with this requirement shall constitute an election offense.

Statement of votes
The statement of votes is a tabulation per precinct of votes garnered by candidates as
reflected in the election returns; its preparation is an administrative function of the board, purely a
mechanical act over which COMELEC has direct control and supervision.

The Statement of Votes supports the certificate of canvass and is the basis of
proclamation. Consequently, any error in the Statement of Votes would affect the proclamation
made on the basis thereof.

Failure to object to the Statement of Votes before the Board of Canvassers does not
constitute a bar to raising the issue for the first time before the COMELEC, as the law is silent as
to when such objection may be raised.

Number of Copies of the Certificates of Canvass and Their


Distribution (Sec. 29, R.A. 7166)

City or Municipal Board of Canvassers:

The City or Municipal Board of Canvassers shall prepare the certificates of canvass for
President, Vice-President, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, and Elective
Provincial Officials in 7 copies to be distributed as follows:

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Congress as the National Board of Canvassers

1st copy: Provincial board of canvassers – for canvassing of election results


for President, Vice-President, Senators, Members of the House of
Representatives and Elective Provincial Officials

2nd copy: COMELEC

3rd copy: To be kept by the chairman of the board of canvassers

4th copy: Citizens' arm designated by the COMELEC to conduct media-


based unofficial count

5th to 7th copies: Representatives of any 3 of 6 major political parties according to the
voluntary agreement of the parties; if there is no agreement,
COMELEC shall decide based on the criteria under sec. 26 of RA
7166

City Boards of Canvassers of cities comprising one or more legislative districts,


Provincial Boards of Canvassers, and
District Boards of Canvassers in the Metro Manila area:

The foregoing Boards of Canvassers shall prepare the certificates of canvass for
President, Vice-President and Senators in 7 copies to be distributed as follows:

1st copy: Congress, directed to the Senate President for use in the canvass of
election results for President and Vice-President

2nd copy: COMELEC, for use in the canvass of the election results for
Senators

3rd copy: To be kept by the chairman of the board of canvassers

4th copy: Citizens' arm designated by the COMELEC to conduct media-


based unofficial count

5th to 7th copies: Representatives of any 3 of 6 major political parties according to the
voluntary agreement of the parties; if there is no agreement,
COMELEC shall decide based on the criteria under sec. 26 of RA
7166

(Sec. 30, R.A. 7166)

Congress shall determine the authenticity and due execution of the certificate of canvass
for President and Vice President as accomplished and transmitted by the local board of
canvassers, on a showing that:

(1) Each certificate was executed, signed and thumbmarked by the chairman and
members of the board of canvassers and transmitted to Congress by them;

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(2) Each certificate contains the names of all the candidates for President, Vice-
President, and their corresponding votes in words and in figures; and

(3) There exists no discrepancy in other authentic copies of the certificate or in the
votes both in words and figures in the same certificate.

Completion of the Certificate of Canvass


If the certificate of canvass appears to be incomplete, the Senate President shall require
the board of canvassers concerned to TRANSMIT (by personal delivery within 2 days from notice)
the election returns from the polling places that were not included in the certificate of canvass and
supporting statements.

When there appear erasures or alterations in the certificate of canvass which may cast
doubt as to the veracity of the number of votes stated therein and may affect the result of the
election, Congress shall, for the sole purpose of verifying the actual number of votes, COUNT the
votes as they appear in the copies of the election returns submitted to it, upon request of a
presidential or vice-presidential candidate or their party. (Sec. 30, R.A. 7166)

Canvass of Votes for the President and Vice-President (Sec. 24, R.A.
8436)

The certificates of canvass for President and Vice-President shall be duly certified by the
board of canvassers of each province or city.

The certificates of canvass for President and Vice-President shall be transmitted to


Congress, directed to the Senate President. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the
Senate President shall not later than 30 days after the day of the election OPEN all the
certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public
session.

Congress upon the determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof, shall
canvass the votes.

The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected. In case 2 or
more persons shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall be chosen by
vote of MAJORITY of all the members of BOTH the Senate and the House of Representatives,
voting separately.

Contesting the composition or proceedings


of the Board of Canvassers

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To be discussed in the last part of this reviewer.

PROCLAMATION

Duties of Board of Canvassers


After the canvass of election returns, in the absence of a perfected appeal to the
COMELEC, the Board of Canvassers shall proclaim the candidates who obtained the highest
number of votes cast in the province, city, municipality or barangay, on the basis of the certificates
of canvass. Failure to comply with this duty constitutes an election offense. (Sec. 231, B.P. 881)

The Board of Canvassers shall not proclaim any candidate as winner unless authorized by
the COMELEC after the latter has ruled on any objections brought to it on appeal by a losing
party. Any proclamation made in violation hereof shall be void ab initio, unless the contested
returns will not adversely affect the results of the election.

Once the Board of Canvassers has completed its duty, the board cannot meet again and
re-canvass the votes or reverse their prior decision and announce different results.

When proclamation void


A proclamation is void when it is based on incomplete returns (Castromayor v. COMELEC,
250 SCRA 298) or when there is yet no complete canvass (Jamil v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
123648, Dec. 15, 1997).

A void proclamation is no proclamation at all, and the proclaimed candidate’s assumption


into office cannot deprive the COMELEC of its power to annul the proclamation.

Partial proclamation (Sec. 21, R.A. 7166)

Notwithstanding the pendency of any pre-proclamation controversy, the COMELEC may


summarily order the proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be affected
by the outcome of the controversy.

Election Resulting in a Tie (Sec. 240, B.P. 881)

A tie occurs when:

(a) 2 or more candidates receive an equal and highest number of votes; or

(b) 2 or more candidates are to be elected for the same position and 2 or
more candidates received the same number of votes for the LAST PLACE in
the number to be elected.

The board of canvassers, by resolution, upon 5 days notice to all tied candidates, shall
hold a special PUBLIC MEETING at which the board shall proceed to the DRAWING OF LOTS of
the candidates who have tied and shall proclaim as elected the candidates who may be favored
by luck.

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The candidates so proclaimed shall have the right to assume office in the same manner as
if he had been elected by plurality of vote.

The board of canvassers shall forthwith make a certificate stating the name of the
candidate who had been favored by luck and his proclamation on the basis thereof.

Nothing in the above shall be construed as depriving a candidate of his right to contest the
election.

Proclamation of a Lone Candidate (R.A. 8295)

Upon the expiration of the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy in a special
election called to fill a vacancy in an elective position other than for President and Vice-
President, when there is only one (1) qualified candidate for such position, the lone candidate
shall be proclaimed elected to the position by proper proclaiming body of the COMELEC without
holding the special election upon certification by the COMELEC that he is the only candidate for
the office and is therefore deemed elected. (Sec. 2)

In the absence of any lawful ground to deny due course or cancel the certificate of
candidacy in order to prevent such proclamation, as provided for under Sec. 69 and 78 of the
Omnibus Election Code, the lone candidate shall assume office not earlier than the scheduled
election day. (Sec. 3)

The COMELEC shall decide petitions for disqualification not later than election day.
Otherwise, such petitions shall be deemed dismissed. (Sec. 3)

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Declaration of Nuisance Candidacy

MODES OF CHALLENGING
CANDIDACY & ELECTION
RESULTS

NUISANCE CANDIDATES &


CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY

(Sec. 5, R.A. 6646)

Grounds for declaration of nuisance candidacy


See discussion under Certificate of Candidacy.

Nature of proceedings

Proceedings to have a candidate declared as a nuisance candidate are summary in nature.


In lieu of oral testimonies, the parties may be required to submit position papers together with
affidavits or counter-affidavits and other documentary evidence.

Procedure for declaration of candidate as nuisance candidate


WHAT FILED: Verified petition

WHO MAY FILE: Any registered candidate for the same office

WHEN FILED: Within 5 days from the last day for the filing of certificates of
candidacy

WHERE FILED: With the COMELEC

PROCEDURE:

(1) The petition is filed with the COMELEC personally or through duly-authorized
representative within 5 days from the last day for the filing of certificates of
candidacy. Filing by mail is not allowed.

(2) Within 3 days from the filing of the petition, the COMELEC shall issue summons to
the respondent candidate, together with a copy of the petition and its enclosures, if
any.

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Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy


(3) The respondent shall then have 3 days from receipt of the summons to file his
verified answer (not a motion to dismiss) to the petition, serving copy thereof
upon the petitioner. Grounds for a motion to dismiss may be raised as an
affirmative defense.

(4) The COMELEC may then designate any of its officials who are lawyers to hear the
case and receive evidence. In lieu of oral testimonies, the parties may be required
to submit position papers together with affidavits or counter-affidavits and other
documentary evidence. The hearing officer shall immediately submit to the
COMELEC his findings, reports, and recommendations within 5 days from the
completion of such submission of evidence.

(5) The COMELEC shall then render its decision within 5 days from receipt of the
findings of the hearing officer. This decision shall be disseminated by the
COMELEC to the city or municipal election registrars, boards of election
inspectors, and the general public in the political subdivision concerned within 24
hours through the fastest available means.

(6) After 5 days from receipt of the parties, the decision becomes final and executory
unless stayed by the Supreme Court.

Grounds for cancellation of certificate of candidacy

A certificate of candidacy may be cancelled or denied due course on either of the following
grounds:

(1) False material representation in the certificate of candidacy;

(2) If the certificate filed is a substitute Certificate of Candidacy, when it is not a


proper case of substitution under Sec. 77 of BP 881 (Sec. 2, Rule 24,
COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

Nature of proceedings

Proceedings for cancellation or denial of due course of a certificate of candidacy are


summary in nature.

Procedure
WHO MAY FILE: Any citizen of voting age, or
A duly registered political party, organization, or coalition of political
parties

WHEN FILED: Within 5 days from the last day for the filing of certificates of
candidacy

WHERE FILED: With the Law Department of the COMELEC

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Meaning of Pre-Proclamation ControversyJurisdictionWhen


Naturenot
of proceedings
allowed

PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES

A pre-proclamation controversy refers to any question or matter pertaining to or affecting


the proceedings of the board of canvassers, or any matter raised under Sec. 233-236 of BP 881
in relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of the election
returns. (Sec. 241, BP 881)

The COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction over pre-proclamation cases. It may order, motu
proprio or upon written petition, the partial or total suspension of the proclamation of any
candidate-elect or annul partially or totally any proclamation, if one has been made. (Sec. 242,
BP 881)

Pre-proclamation controversies are not allowed for the following positions:

 President
 Vice President
 Senator
 Member of the House of Representatives (Sec. 15, R.A. 7166)

All pre-proclamation controversies shall be heard summarily by the COMELEC after due
notice and hearing. This is because canvass and proclamation should be delayed as little as
possible. Questions which require more deliberate and necessarily longer consideration are left
for examination in the corresponding election protest. (Sison v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 134096.
March 3, 1999)

Dimaporo v. COMELEC

The policy behind limiting the issues of the pre-proclamation controversy is


to determine as quickly as possible the results of the elections on the basis of the
canvass. It may well be true that the public policy may occasionally permit the
occurrence of grab the proclamation and prolong the protest situations; that
public policy however, balances the possibility of such situations against the
shortening of the period during which no winners are proclaimed, a period

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Issues that may be RaisedIssues that cannot be raised


commonly fraught with tension and danger for the public. For those who
disagree with the policy, the recourse is with the legislature.

The mandatory requirement to comply with the procedure for a pre-


proclamation controversy is in view of the policy to have a quick determination
of the election results.

(1) Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of election canvassers

(2) Canvassed election returns are either:

 incomplete
 contain material defects
 appear to be tampered with or falsified
 contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other authentic
copies

(3) The election returns were:

 prepared under duress, threats, coercion, intimidation or


 obviously manufactured or not authentic

(4) Substituted or fraudulent returns in controverted polling places were


canvassed, the results of which materially affected the standing of the
aggrieved candidate(s).

(5) Manifest errors in the Certificates of Canvass or Election Returns (Sec. 15,
R.A. 7166; Chavez v. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 315)

It must be noted that this enumeration is restrictive and exclusive. The complete election
returns whose authenticity is not questioned must be prima facie considered valid for purposes of
canvass and proclamation. To allow a re-count or a re-appreciation of the votes in every instance
would paralyze canvass and proclamation.

Jurisprudence has held that the following issues are not proper in a pre-proclamation
controversy:

 Appreciation of ballots, as this is performed by the Board of Election


Inspectors at the precinct level and is not part of the proceedings of the
Board of Canvassers (Sanchez v. COMELEC, 153 SCRA 67, reiterated
in Chavez v. COMELEC, 211 SCRA 315);

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Procedure
 Technical examination of the signatures and thumb marks of voters
(Balindong v. COMELEC, 260 SCRA 494; Matalam v. COMELEC, 271
SCRA 733);

 Prayer for re-opening of ballot boxes (Alfonso v. COMELEC, G.R. No.


107847, June 2, 1994);

 Padding of the Registry List of Voters of a municipality, massive fraud


and terrorism (Ututalum v. COMELEC, 181 SCRA 335);

 Challenges directed against the Board of Election Inspectors (Ututalum


v. COMELEC, supra)

 Fraud, terrorism and other illegal electoral practices. These are properly
within the office of election contests over which electoral tribunals have
sole, exclusive jurisdiction. (Loong v. COMELEC)

The procedure for filing a pre-proclamation controversy depends on the issue being raised:

(a) Questions involving the composition or proceedings of the board of canvassers, or


correction of manifest errors

WHERE: The controversy may be initiated either in the Board of Canvassers or


directly with the COMELEC. (Sec. 17, R.A. 7166)

WHEN: It depends:

(a) If petition involves the illegal composition or proceedings of the


board, it must be filed immediately when the board begins to act as
such (Laodeno v. COMELEC, 276 SCRA 705), or at the time of the
appointment of the member whose capacity to sit as such is
objected to if it comes after the canvassing of the board, or
immediately at the point where the proceedings are or begin to be
illegal. Otherwise, by participating in the proceedings, the
petitioner is deemed to have acquiesced in the composition of the
Board of Canvassers.

(b) If the petition is for correction, it must be filed not later than 5
days following the date of proclamation, and must implead all
candidates who may be adversely affected thereby. (Sec. 5(b),
Rule 27, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

PROCEDURE:

If filed with the Board first:

(1) Petitioner submits his / her objection to the chairman of the board of
canvassers.

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(2) The Board makes its ruling.

(3) Within 3 days from the ruling, the parties adversely affected may
appeal the matter to the COMELEC.

(4) Upon appeal, the COMELEC shall summarily decide the case within
5 days from the filing thereof. (Sec. 19, R.A. 7166)

If initiated directly with the COMELEC:

(1) Petitioner files petition with the COMELEC.

(2) Upon the docketing of such petition, the Clerk of Court concerned
shall issue summons with a copy of the petition to respondents.

(3) The Clerk of Court concerned shall immediately set the petition for
hearing. The COMELEC shall hear and decide the petition en banc.

The Board of Canvassers shall not commence, proceed or resume canvass unless
otherwise ordered by the COMELEC. (Sec. 5, Rule 27, COMELEC Rules of Procedure)

(b) Matters relating to the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of
the election returns and certificates of canvass

WHERE: Only with the Board of Canvassers

WHEN: At the time the questioned return is presented for inclusion in


the canvass.

WHO: Any candidate, political party or coalition of political parties

PROCEDURE:

(1) The contesting party makes an oral objection to the chairman of the
Board of Canvassers at the time the questioned return is presented
for inclusion in the canvass. Such objection is recorded in the
minutes of canvass. Simultaneous with the oral objection, the
objecting party enters his objection in the form for written objections
prescribed by the COMELEC.

(2) Upon receipt of such objection, the Board automatically defers the
canvass of the contested returns and proceeds to canvass the
returns which are not contested by any party.

(3) Within 24 hours from and after the presentation of such objection,
the objecting party submits the evidence in support of the objection,
which shall be attached to the form for written objections.

Within the same 24-hour period, any party may file a written and
verified opposition to the objection in the prescribed COMELEC form,
attaching supporting evidence, if any. The Board shall not entertain
any objection or opposition unless reduced to writing in the
prescribed forms.

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Effect of filing of pre-proclamation controversy

(4) The Board chairman immediately and formally admits the evidence
attached to the objection or opposition by affixing his signature at the
back of each and every page thereof.

(5) Upon receipt of the evidence, the Board considers the objection and
the opposition, and summarily rules on the objection. The Board
then enters its ruling on the prescribed form and authenticates the
same by entering the signatures of all its members.

(6) The parties adversely affected by the ruling immediately inform the
Board if they intend to appeal the ruling. Such information is then
entered in the minutes of canvass.

(7) The Board then sets aside the returns and proceeds to consider the
other returns. The Board then suspends the canvass after all the
uncontested returns have been canvassed and the contested return
ruled upon by it.

(8) Within 48 hours from the ruling, the party adversely affected files a
written and verified notice of appeal with the Board. The party then
files an appeal with the COMELEC within a non-extendible period of
5 days thereafter.

(9) Immediately upon receipt of the notice of appeal, the Board makes
an appropriate report to the COMELEC, elevating therewith the
complete records and evidence submitted in the canvass, and
furnishing the parties with copies of the report.

(10)The COMELEC summarily decides the appeal within 7 days from


receipt of the record and evidence elevated to it by the Board.

(11)The COMELEC's decision becomes executory after the lapse of 7


days from receipt thereof by the losing party.

(12) The COMELEC then authorizes the Board of Canvassers to


proceed with the proclamation of the winner. Any proclamation made
without COMELEC authorization is void ab initio, unless the
contested returns do not adversely affect the results of the election.
(Sec. 20, R.A. 7166)

This procedure is mandatory. Non-compliance with any of the steps above is fatal to the
pre-proclamation petition.

The period to file an election contest shall be SUSPENDED during the pendency of the
pre-proclamation contest in the COMELEC or the Supreme Court. (Alangdeo v. COMELEC,
June 1989)

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Effect of proclamation of winning candidate


The right of the prevailing party in the pre-proclamation contest to the execution of
COMELEC’s decision does not bar the losing party from filing an election contest.

Despite the pendency of a pre-proclamation contest, the COMELEC may order the
proclamation of other winning candidates whose election will not be affected by the outcome of
the controversy.

A pre-proclamation controversy shall no longer be viable after the proclamation and


assumption into office by the candidate whose election is contested. The remedy is an election
protest before the proper forum. (Mayor v. COMELEC, January 1989)

The prevailing candidate may still be unseated even though he has been proclaimed and
installed in office if:

1. The opponent is adjudged the true winner of the election by final


judgment of court in an election contest;

2. The prevailing party is declared ineligible or disqualified by final


judgment of a court in a QUO WARRANTO case; or

3. The incumbent is removed from office for cause.

Abella v. Larrazabal

Pre-proclamation controversies are summary in nature. The policy behind


election law is that pre-proclamation controversies should be summarily decided,
consistent with the law’s desire that the canvass and proclamation be delayed as
little as possible. Thus, questions as to the appreciation of ballots and the
conduct of the campaign and balloting, which require more deliberate and
necessarily longer consideration are proper for an election contest.

The dismissal of a pre-proclamation controversy does not mean that the


disqualification case is moot and academic. The two are independent of each
other. The purpose of the pre-proclamation controversy is to ascertain the
winners in the elections on the basis of election returns duly authenticated by the
board of inspectors and admitted by the board of canvassers. The purpose of the
disqualification proceeding is to prevent the candidate from running, or if
elected, from serving, or to prosecute him for violation of election laws. The
mere fact that a candidate has been proclaimed does not signify that his
disqualification is deemed condoned and may no longer be the subject of a
separate investigation.

Agbayani v. COMELEC

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Nature of petition to declare a failure of election Jurisdiction


Grounds for of
declaration
COMELEC
The proclamation of a winning candidate makes a pre-proclamation
controversy no longer viable. The remedy is an election protest, but this is only
true where there is a valid proclamation or where the proclamation is based on a
complete canvass. Where it is claimed that there was an incomplete canvass or
that certain returns should have been omitted because they were manufactured
and other returns cannot be included because they have been irretrievably lost,
the pre-proclamation controversy should still be continued despite the
proclamation of the supposed winner. COMELEC may in such a pre-
proclamation controversy determine if the proclamation should be annulled.

The proclamation of the winner does not prevent COMELEC from


continuing with the pre-proclamation controversy against the winner and after
annulling its proclamation.

PETITION TO ANNUL OR SUSPEND PROCLAMATION

The filing with the COMELEC of a petition to annul or to suspend proclamation suspends
the running of the period to file an election protest. (Alangdeo v. COMELEC, June 1989)

No law provides for a reglementary period within which to file a petition for the annulment
of an election if there is as yet no proclamation. (Loong v. COMELEC, 257 SCRA 1)

There is no fixed time frame within which to file a petition to annul a proclamation, the
same being limited only by the standard of reasonableness. (Nachura, p. 386)

DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTION

A petition to declare a failure of election is neither an election protest nor a pre-


proclamation controversy. (Borja v. COMELEC, 260 SCRA 604)

See previous discussion under Election Proper.

The COMELEC, sitting en banc, may declare a failure of election by a majority vote of its
members. (Sec. 4, R.A. 71660

The COMELEC, in the case of actions for annulment of election results or declaration of
failure of elections, may conduct technical examination of election documents and compare and

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Requisites for the declaration of failure of election Procedure


Grounds for disqualification
analyze voters' signatures and fingerprints in order to determine whether or not the elections had
indeed been free, honest and clean. (Loong v. COMELEC, supra)

Before the COMELEC can act on a verified petition seeking a declaration of failure of
election, the following conditions must concur:

(1) No voting has taken place in the precincts concerned on the date fixed
by law, or even if there was voting, the election nonetheless resulted in
a failure to elect; and

(2) The votes cast would affect the results of the election. (Mitmug v.
COMELEC, 230 SCRA 54; Loong v. COMELEC, supra; Hassan v.
COMELEC, 264 SCRA 125)

The election is only to be set aside when it is impossible from any evidence within reach to
ascertain the true result – when neither from the returns nor from other proof can the truth be
determined (i.e. where the illegality affects more than 50% of the total number of votes cast and
the remainder does not constitute a valid constituency).

(1) Petitioner files verified petition with the Law Department of the COMELEC.

(2) Unless a shorter period is deemed necessary by circumstances, within 24


hours, the Clerk of Court concerned serves notices to all interested parties,
indicating therein the date of hearing, through the fastest means available.

(3) Unless a shorter period is deemed necessary by the circumstances, within 2


days from receipt of the notice of hearing, any interested party may file an
opposition with the Law Department of the COMELEC.

(4) The COMELEC proceeds to hear the petition. The COMELEC may delegate
the hearing of the case and the reception of evidence to any of its officials who
are members of the Philippine Bar.

(5) The COMELEC then decides whether to grant or deny the petition. This lies
within the exclusive prerogative of the COMELEC.

DISQUALIFICATION CASES

See previous discussion under Certificates of Candidacy.

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Priority of disqualification casesProcedureEffect


Election
of contests,
disqualification
definedcase

The COMELEC and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification for violation of
the Omnibus Election Code, to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than 7
days before the election in which the disqualification is sought. (Sec. 72, BP 881)

WHO MAY FILE: Any citizen of voting age, or


Any duly registered political party, organization or coalition of
political parties

WHERE: Law Department of the COMELEC

WHEN: Any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy,
but not later than the date of proclamation

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 disqualified before an election and he is subsequently
voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the COMELEC or the courts
shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and may order the
suspension of the proclamation of such candidate during the pendency of the case upon motion
of the complainant or any intervenor, provided that evidence of his guilt is strong. ( Sec. 6, R.A.
6646)

The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to
be disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was elected, does not necessarily entitle
the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of the
elective office.

ELECTION CONTESTS

These are adversarial proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim to an
elective office, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is settled whether or not the
contestant is claiming the office in dispute. The purpose of an election contest is to ascertain the
candidate lawfully elected to office.

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Nature of election contestsJurisdiction over election contests

An election contest is imbued with public interest.

The election contest must be liberally construed to favor the will of the people. An election
contest may not be defeated by mere technical objections.

Until and unless the election protest is decided against him, a person who has been
proclaimed as duly elected has the lawful right to assume and perform the duties and functions of
the office.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and disqualifications of the President, Vice-President, and may promulgate its
rules for such purpose. (Art. VII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution)

Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives


The Senate and the House of Representatives have their own electoral tribunals. Each
electoral tribunal has 9 members: 3 Supreme Court Justices, 6 members of the Senate or House
of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the
party-list system represented therein. (Art. VI, Sec. 17, 1987 Constitution)

For purposes of election contests cognizable by the Electoral Tribunals, the rules of
procedure of such tribunals shall prevail over the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code.
(Lazatin v. HRET, 168 SCRA 39)

COMELEC
The COMELEC has exclusive original jurisdiction over all election contests relating to the
elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective:

(1) Regional Officials;


(2) Provincial Officials; and
(3) City Officials

Decisions in these cases may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Powers of the COMELEC in relation to election contestsKinds of election contests


The COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal
officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction (i.e., Regional Trial Courts) or involving
elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction (i.e., the Municipal Trial
Courts).

Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the COMELEC on election contests involving elective
municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory and not appealable. (Sec. 2, Art. IX-C,
1987 Constitution) Note, however, that this does not preclude a recourse to the Supreme Court
by way of a special civil action for certiorari. (Galido v. COMELEC, 193 SCFA 78)

Regional and Municipal Trial Courts


The Regional Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction
over municipal and barangay officals, respectively.

It must be noted that cases involving qualifications of candidates for the Sangguniang
Kabataan filed before the election are decided by the Election Officer, while those filed after the
election are decided by the MTCs. (Nachura, p. 389)

The power of COMELEC to decide election cases includes the power to determine the
validity or nullity of votes.

The COMELEC has the power to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus.
However, this power can only be exercised in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. (Relampagos v.
Cumba, 243 SCRA 690)

There are 2 kinds of election contests that may be filed: an election protest, and a quo
warranto case.

Election Protest

WHO MAY FILE: Any candidate who has filed a certificate of candidacy and has
been voted upon for the same office, and who has not himself
caused or contributed to the irregularities or frauds of which he
complains

GROUNDS: Fraud, terrorism, irregularities or illegal acts committed before,


during or after the casting and counting of votes

PERIOD FOR FILING: Within 10 days from proclamation of the results of the election

Where, after 5 days from the proclamation of the winning


candidate, the loser files a motion for reconsideration in the pre-

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proclamation controversy, there are only 5 days which remain of


the period within which to file an election protest. (Roquero v.
COMELEC, 289 SCRA 150)

PROCEDURE:

A. For protests filed with the COMELEC (Rule 20 vis-à-vis Rules 10-19, COMELEC
Rules of Procedure)

(1) Protestant files a verified petition with the COMELEC within 10 days from
proclamation and pays the required docket fees. Failure to pay the basic
docket fee will result in the dismissal of the protest. (Gatchalian v.
COMELEC, 245 SCRA 208)

(2) The Clerk of Court of the COMELEC or the division concerned issues the
corresponding summons to the protestee within 3 days from the filing of the
petition.

(3) Protestee must file an answer within 5 days from service of summons and a
copy of the petition. The protestee may incorporate in his answer a counter-
protest or counterclaim.

The COMELEC may not entertain a counter-protest filed beyond the


reglementary period to file the same. (Kho v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 124033,
Sept. 25, 1997)

(4) Protestant has 5 days from receipt of the answer or answer with counterclaim
or counter-protest to file his reply or answer to counter-protest or
counterclaim, respectively.

If no answer is filed to the protest or counter-protest, a general denial is


deemed to have been entered.

(5) After the issues have been joined, the case shall be set for hearing and
presentation and reception of evidence.

(6) After the case has been submitted for decision, the COMELEC shall render
its decision. If the case is being heard by a Division, the case shall be
decided within 10 days. If it is being heard by the COMELEC en banc, it
shall be decided within 30 days.

(7) The decision of a division becomes final and executory after the lapse of 15
days following its promulgation. The aggrieved party may file a timely motion
for reconsideration within 5 days from promulgation of the decision on the
grounds that the evidence is insufficient to justify the decision; or that the
said decision is contrary to law.

For the COMELEC en banc, the decision becomes final and executory 30
days from its promulgation.

B. For protests filed with the Regional Trial Courts (Rule 35, COMELEC Rules of
Procedure)

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(1) Protestant files a verified petition with the RTC within 10 days from
proclamation.

(2) Protestee must file an answer within 5 days after receipt of notice of the filing
of the petition and a copy of the petition.

Should the protestee desire to impugn the votes received by the protestant in
other precincts, he may file a verified counter-protest within the same period
fixed for the filing of the answer.

(3) Protestant has 5 days from receipt of the counter-protest to file his answer to
such counter-protest.

(4) Any other candidate for the same office may intervene in the case within 5
days from filing of the protest by filing a verified petition-in-intervention. The
protestant or protestee shall answer the protest-in-intervention within 5 days
after notice.

(5) If no answer is filed to the protest, counter-protest or protest-in-intervention


within the specified time limits, a general denial is deemed to have been
entered.

(6) After the issues have been joined, the case shall be set for hearing.
Presentation and reception of evidence shall be completed within 30 days
from the date of the commencement thereof.

(7) The Court shall decide the election contest within 30 days from the date it is
submitted for decision, but in every case within 6 months after its filing. Such
decision shall declare who among the parties has been elected, or in a
proper case, that none of them has been legally elected.

(8) The decision becomes final 5 days after its promulgation. No motion for
reconsideration shall be entertained.

Should an aggrieved party wish to appeal the decision to the COMELEC, he


may do so by filing a notice of appeal within 5 days from promulgation of the
decision.

EFFECT OF DEATH OF PROTESTANT

The death of the protestant does not extinguish an election protest. An election
protest is imbued with public interest which raises it onto a plane over and above ordinary
civil actions, because it involves not only the adjudication of the private interest of the rival
candidates but also the paramount need of dispelling once and for all the uncertainty that
beclouds the real choice of the electorate with respect to who shall discharge the
prerogatives of the office within their gift. (De Castro v. COMELEC, 267 SCRA 806, as
cited in Nachura, p. 393)

However, it is not the heirs of the deceased who shall be the successors-in-interest
to the suit, but the succeeding candidate-elect. For example, if the deceased was a
candidate for governor, the real party in interest in the continuation of the proceedings is
the Vice-Governor-elect, as he or she will succeed in the event that the protestant is
declared to be the person lawfully elected to the office.

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Award of damages

Quo Warranto

WHO MAY FILE: Any registered voter in the constituency

GROUNDS: Ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines

PERIOD FOR FILING: Within 10 days from proclamation of the results of the election

Actual or compensatory damages may be granted in all election contests or in quo


warranto proceedings in accordance with law. (Sec. 259, B.P. 881)

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EVIDENCE ON THE ELECTION

The following may be used as evidence in contesting the results of the election:

Election Returns
Election returns are properly used as evidence in an election contest when what is involved
is the correctness of the number of votes of each candidate, and the ballots cannot be produced
or are not available.

Ballots
Ballots are properly used as evidence when the election returns are not available.

Poll-Books and Tally Sheets


Poll-books and tally sheets may be used as evidence where by law, poll-books or tally
sheets are required to be kept.

Election Officials
Election officials may be called to testify in the absence of ballots, tally sheets or poll-
books.

Voters
Voters may testify where the illegality consists in the casting of votes by persons
unqualified, unless it can be shown for whom they voted, it cannot be allowed to change the
result.

Certificate of Votes
The provisions of Sections 235 and 236 of the Omnibus Election Code notwithstanding, the
certificates of votes shall be admissible in evidence to prove tampering, alteration, falsification or
any anomaly committed in the election returns concerned, when duly authenticated by testimonial
or documentary evidence presented to the board of election inspectors who issued the certificate.

The failure to present any certificate of votes shall be a bar to the presentation of other
evidence to impugn the authenticity of the election returns.

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Jurisdiction over election offenses Election


Prosecution
Preferential
offenses
disposition
of election offenses
of election offenses

ELECTION OFFENSES

The Regional Trial Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal
actions or proceedings for violation of election laws. (Sec. 268, B.P. 881; Juan v. People, G.R.
No. 132378, January 18, 2000)

The COMELEC has the exclusive power to investigate and prosecute cases involving
violations of election laws. (Sec. 2 (6), Art. IX-C, 1987 Constitution; Sec. 268, B.P. 881; De
Jesus v. People, 120 SCRA 760) However, it may validly delegate the power to the Provincial
Prosecutor or to the Ombudsman.

In the event that the COMELEC fails to act on any complaint within 4 months from its filing,
the complainant may file the complaint with the fiscal or the Department of Justice, if warranted.
(Sec. 265, B.P. 881)

Investigation and prosecution of election offenses shall be given priority by the COMELEC.
The investigating officer shall resolve the case within 5 days from submission.

The courts shall give preference to election cases over all other cases except petitions for
writ of habeas corpus. Their trial shall be commenced without delay and shall be conducted
continuously until terminated, and the case shall be decided within 30 days from its submission
for decision. (Sec. 269, B.P. 881)

The various election offenses are enumerated primarily under Sec. 261 of B.P. 881.
However, other election laws provide for other election offenses. Some of the more significant
offenses include the following:

Registration

 Failure of the Board of Election Inspectors to post the list of voters in each precinct.
(Sec. 9, R.A. 7166);

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 Change or alteration or transfer of a voter's precinct assignment in the permanent list


of voters without the express written consent of the voter (Sec. 4, R.A. 8189)

Certificate of Candidacy

 Continued misrepresentation or holding out as a candidate of a disqualified candidate


or one declared by final and executory judgment to be a nuisance candidate (Sec. 27f,
R.A. 6646);

 Knowingly inducing or abetting such misrepresentation of a disqualified or nuisance


candidate (Sec. 27f, R.A. 6646);

 Coercing, bribing, threatening, harassing, intimidating, terrorizing, or actually causing,


inflicting or producing violence, injury, punishment, torture, damage, loss or
disadvantage to discourage any other person or persons from filing a certificate of
candidacy in order to eliminate all other potential candidates from running in a special
election (Sec. 5, R.A. 8295);

Election Campaign

 Appointment or use of special policemen, special agents or the like during the
campaign period (Sec. 261m, B.P. 881)

 Use of armored land, water or aircraft during the campaign period (Sec. 261r, B.P. 881)

 Unlawful electioneering (Sec. 261k, B.P. 881)

 Acting as bodyguards or security in the case of policemen and provincial guards during
the campaign period (Sec. 261t, B.P. 881)

 Removal, destruction, obliteration, or tampering of lawful election propaganda, or


preventing the distribution thereof (Sec. 83, B.P. 881 vis-à-vis Sec. 262, B.P. 881)

Voting

 Vote-buying and vote-selling (Sec. 261a, B.P. 881)

 Conspiracy to bribe voters (Sec. 261b, B.P. 881)

A disputable presumption of a conspiracy to bribe voters is created when there is


proof that at least 1 voter in different precincts representing at least 20% of the
total precincts in any municipality, city or province has been offered, promised or
given money, valuable consideration or other expenditure by a candidate's
relatives, leaders and/or sympathizers for the purpose of promoting the election
of such candidate. (Sec. 28, R.A. 6646)

 Coercion of subordinates to vote for or against any candidate (Sec. 261d, B.P. 881)

 Dismissal of employees, laborers, or tenants for refusing or failing to vote for any
candidate (Sec. 261d(2), B.P. 881)

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 Being a flying voter (Sec. 261z (2), B.P. 881)

Counting of Votes

 Tampering, increasing, decreasing votes, or refusal to correct tampered votes after


proper verification and hearing by any member of the board of election inspectors
(Sec. 27b, R.A. 6646)

 Refusal to issue to duly accredited watchers the certificate of votes cast and the
announcement of the election, by any member of the board of election inspectors
(Sec. 27c, R.A. 6646)

Canvassing

 Any chairperson of the board of canvassers who fails to give notice of meeting to other
members of the board, candidate or political party as required (Sec. 27e, R.A. 6646)

Acts of government or public officers


 Appointment of new employees, creation of new positions, promotion, or giving salary
increases within the election period (Sec. 261g, B.P. 881)

 Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service within the election period without
the prior approval of the COMELEC (Sec. 261h, B.P. 881)

 Intervening of public officers and employees in the civil service in any partisan political
activity (Sec. 261i, B.P. 881)

 Use of public funds for an election campaign (Sec. 261o, B.P. 881)

 Illegal release of prisoners before and after election (Sec. 261n, B.P. 881)

 Release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds during the prohibited period


(Sec. 261v, B.P. 881)

 Construction of public works, etc. during the prohibited period (Sec. 261w, B.P. 881)

 Suspension of elective local officials during the election period without prior approval
of the COMELEC (Sec. 261x, B.P. 881)

Coercion, intimidation, violence

 Coercion of election officials and employees

 Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent devices or other forms of coercion


(Sec. 261e, B.P. 881)

 Use of undue influence (Sec. 261j, B.P. 881)

 Carrying deadly weapons within the prohibited area (Sec. 261p, B.P. 881)

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Good faith not a defense Penalties

 Carrying firearms outside residence or place of business (Sec. 261q, B.P. 881)

 Organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces, or similar forces during


the election period (Sec. 261u, B.P. 881)

Other prohibitions
 Unauthorized printing of official ballots and election returns with printing establishments
that are not under contract with the COMELEC (Sec. 27a, R.A. 6646)

 Wagering upon the results of elections (Sec. 261c, B.P. 881)

 Sale, etc. of intoxicating liquor on the day fixed by law for the registration of voters in
the polling place, or the day before the election or on election day (Sec. 261dd (1), B.P.
881)

 Opening booths or stalls within 30 meters of any polling place (Sec, 261dd (2), B.P.
881)

 Holding fairs, cockfights, etc. on election day (Sec. 261dd (3), B.P. 881)

 Refusal to carry election mail during the election period (Sec. 261dd (4), B.P. 881). In
addition to the prescribed penalty, such refusal constitutes a ground for cancellation or
revocation of certificate of public convenience or franchise.

 Discrimination in the sale of air time (Sec. 261dd (5), B.P. 881) In addition to the
prescribed penalty, such refusal constitutes a ground for cancellation or revocation of
the franchise.

Failure to register or vote

Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution states that suffrage "may" be exercised by qualified
citizens of the Philippines, as compared to the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions which used the term
"shall." Thus, it can be said that under the current Constitution, failure to register or to vote is no
longer an election offense.

Election offenses are generally mala prohibita. Proof of criminal intent is not necessary.
Good faith, ignorance, or lack of malice is not a defense; the commission of the prohibited act is
sufficient. (People v. Bayona, 61 Phil. 181; People v. Fuentes, 181 Phil. 186)

For individuals

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Arrests in Connection with the Election CampaignPrescription


 Imprisonment of not less than 1 year but not more than 6 years, without
probation (Sec. 264, B.P. 881)

 Disqualification to hold public office;


 Deprivation of the right of suffrage

For a Foreigner
 Imprisonment of not less than 1 year but not more than 6 years (without
probation);
 Deportation after service of sentence

For a Political Party


 Payment of a fine not less than P10,000 after a criminal conviction

Persons Required by Law to Keep Prisoners in their Custody


For prisoners illegally released from any penitentiary or jail during the prohibited period,
where such prisoners commit any act of intimidation, terrorism or interference in the election, the
Director of the Bureau of Corrections, provincial warden, jail keeper or persons who are required
by law to keep said prisoners in their custody shall, if convicted, be sentenced to suffer prison
mayor in its maximum period. (Sec. 264, B.P. 881)

No person shall be arrested or detained at any time for any alleged offense committed
during and in connection with any election through any act or language tending to support or
oppose any candidate, political party or coalition of political parties under or pursuant to any order
of whatever name or nature and by whomsoever issued except only upon a warrant of arrest
issued by a competent judge after all the requirements of the Constitution have been strictly
complied with.

Election offenses prescribe 5 years from the date of their commission.

If the discovery of the offense be made in an election contest proceeding, the period of
prescription shall commence on the date on which the judgment in such proceedings becomes
final and executory. (Sec. 267, B.P. 881)

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Election Law Reviewer, 2001 edition Excellence. Not just a tradition.


Edited and updated by Tanya Lat (2001-E) It’s a commitment.
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