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I.

ELECTION AND SUFFRAGE to the correctness of said returns as well as of ascertaining that
they reflect the will of the people. 1
1. Moya v. Del Fierro
In republicanism, the citizens have the voice in his Government. It 2. Cauton v. COMELEC
is the duty of the judiciary, when called to act in justiciable cases, The Commission has the power to decide all administrative
to give it efficacy and not to stifle of frustrates it. This, questions affecting Elections, except the question involving the
fundamentally’ is the reason for the rule that ballots should be right to vote. Under Section 157 of the Revised Election Code, the
read and appreciated, if not with utmost, with reasonable ballot boxes may be opened in case there is an election contest.
liberality. They may also be opened even if there is no election contest
when their contents have to be used as evidence in the
2. Badelles v. Cabili prosecution of election frauds. Moreover, they may be opened
There is no legal and practical justification for the court to inquire when they are the subject of any official investigation which may
into the irregularities committed by the election officials, for it be ordered by a competent court or other competent authority.
would not give any benefit in favor of the protestants to the end. The competent authority must include the Commission on
Elections which is charged with the administration and
3. Tolentino v, COMELEC – dissenting opinion of Justice Puno enforcement of the laws relative to the conduct of elections.
The Senate's observation that the procedure for the special
election that it adopted would be less costly for the government 3. Roque v. COMELEC
does not also lend justification for the manner of conduct of The Court may except a particular case from the operations of its
special election. We cannot bargain the electorate's fundamental rules when the demands of justice so require. Put a bit differently,
right to vote intelligently with the coin of convenience. rules of procedure are merely tools designed to facilitate the
It is the power and duty of the COMELEC, and not the Senate, to attainment of justice. Accordingly, technicalities and procedural
call and hold the election, the Senate cannot, by mere resolution, barriers should not be allowed to stand in the way, if the ends of
impose upon the COMELEC the procedure for the special election justice would not be subserved by a rigid adherence to the rules of
that it intended such that "Comelec will not have the flexibility" to procedure.
deviate therefrom. As a constitutional body created to ensure Absent, therefore, a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on
"free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections", it was the comelec’s part, as here, the Court should refrain from utilizing the
duty of the COMELEC to give to the electorate notice of the time, corrective hand of certiorari to review, let alone nullify, the acts of
place and manner of conduct of the special elections and to that body.
adopt only those mechanisms and procedures that would
ascertain the true will of the people. 4. Arroyo v. DOJ and COMELEC
The power to conduct preliminary investigation is vested
II. COMELEC exclusively with the Comelec. The latter, however, was given by
the same provision of law the authority to avail itself of the
1. Purisima v. Salanga assistance of other prosecuting arms of the government. Thus,
Interpretation of election laws should give effect to the expressed under Section 2, 65 Rule 34 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure,
will of the electorate. Patent erasures and superimpositions in provincial and city prosecutors and their assistants are given
words and figures of the votes stated in the election returns strike continuing authority as deputies to conduct preliminary
at the reliability of said returns as basis for canvass and investigation of complaints involving election offenses under
proclamation. A comparison with the other copies, and, in case of election laws and to prosecute the same. The complaints may be
discrepancy, a recount, is the only way to remove grave doubts as

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


filed directly with them or may be indorsed to them by the minors, idiots, paupers, and convicts. The disqualification for crime
petitioner or its duly authorized representatives imposed by law, having once attached and not having been 2
subsequently removed by a plenary pardon, is not wiped out only
5. Reyes v. Comelec because the ex-convict had once been allowed to vote.
September 2012
Requirements to reacquire Filipino citizenship: IV. REGISTRATION OF VOTERS
a. Oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before
the Consul-General of the Philippine Consulate in the USA. 1. Yra v. Abano
b. Personal and sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship before One may be a qualified voter without exercising the right to vote.
any public officer authorized to administer oath. Registering does not confer the right; it is but a condition
The petitioners oath of office as Provincial Administrator cannot be precedent to the exercise of the right. Registration regulates the
considered as the oath of allegiance in compliance with RA9225. exercise of the right of suffrage. It is not a qualification for such
July 2013 right.
HRET jurisdiction begins only after the candidate is considered a The Election Law makes use of the terms "qualified voter in his
Member of the House of Representative. municipality," and "qualified elector therein." To be a qualified
Requisites to be considered Member of the HOR: voter, does not necessarily mean that a person must be a
a. Valid proclamation registered voter. It is sufficient for the candidate to possess all of
b. Proper oath before the Speaker of the House in an open the qualifications prescribed in section 431 and none of the
session disqualifications prescribed in section 432. The fact that a
c. Assumption of office candidate failed to register as an elector in the municipality does
not deprive him of the right to become a candidate and to be
III. VOTERS voted for.

1. Macalintal v. COMELEC 2. Akbayan Youth v. COMELEC


Overseas Absentee Voting is valid. It is an exception to the The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right
residency requirement prescribed by law. An absentee remains of suffrage. For registration is part and parcel of the right to vote
attached to his residence in the Philippines as residence is and an indispensable element in the election process. Thus,
considered synonymous with domicile. registration cannot and should not be denigrated to the lowly
An immigrant or a permanent resident is required to execute an stature of a mere statutory requirement. Proceeding from the
affidavit declaring that: significance of registration as a necessary requisite to the right to
a. He shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the vote, the State undoubtedly, in the exercise of its inherent police
Philippines (intent to return to the Philippines within 3years) power, may then enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of
b. He has not applied for citizenship in another country voter's registration for the ultimate purpose of conducting honest,
Affidavit is no longer required at present! orderly and peaceful election.
COMELEC merely followed the law as regard the registration
2. People v. Corral period and therefore, cannot be compelled to conduct a special
Suffrage is a right granted by the Constitution, not a natural right. registration (2-day extension).
Suffrage is a privilege granted by the State to such person or
classes as are most likely to exercise it for the public good. For
reasons of public policy, certain classes of persons are excluded
from the franchise. Among the generally excluded classes are

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


3. Kabataan Partylist v. COMELEC actual continuous stay in the Philippines over the years, it is clear
COMELEC resolution as regard the biometric requirement is not a that when Grace Poe returned on May 24, 2005, it was for good. 3
"qualification" to the exercise of the right of suffrage, but a mere Misrepresentation in COC
aspect of the registration procedure, of which the State has the The COMELEC cannot cancel her COC on the ground that she
right to reasonably regulate. misrepresented facts as to her citizenship and residency because
COMELEC may not reduce the period for registration but may be such facts refer to grounds for ineligibility in which the COMELEC
extended depending on the administrative necessities and other has no jurisdiction to decide upon. Only when there is a prior
exigencies. authority finding that a candidate is suffering from a
disqualification provided by law or the Constitution that the
V. CANDIDATES COMELEC may deny due course or cancel her candidacy on
ground of false representations regarding her qualifications.
1. Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC ★☆★
Citizenship 2. Maquiling v. COMELEC ★☆★
Grace Poe might be and is considerably a natural-born Intervention of a rival candidate in a disqualification case is proper
Filipino. when there has not yet been any proclamation of the winner.
a. high probability that Grace Poe’s parents are Filipinos. Her The use of foreign passport after renouncing one's foreign
physical features are typical of Filipinos. The fact that she citizenship is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to
was abandoned as an infant in a municipality where the one's nationality and citizenship; it does not divest Filipino
population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos citizenship regained by repatriation but it recants the Oath of
such that there would be more than 99% chance that a Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position.
child born in such province is a Filipino is also a The electorates awareness of the candidate’s disqualification is
circumstantial evidence of her parents’ nationality. not a prerequisite for the disqualification to attach to a candidate.
b. foundlings are automatically conferred with natural-born The very existence of a disqualifying circumstance makes the
citizenship is supported by treaties and the general candidate ineligible.
principles of international law. Although the Philippines is Knowledge by the electorate of a candidate’s disqualification is
not a signatory to some of these treaties, it adheres to the not necessary before a qualified candidate who places second to
customary rule to presume foundlings as having born of the a disqualified ona can be proclaimed as the winner. The second-
country in which the foundling is found. placer is actually the first-placer among the qualified candidates.
Residency
Grace Poe satisfied the requirements of animus manendi coupled 3. Arnado v. COMELEC
with animus revertendi in acquiring a new domicile. Requirements for a natural-born Filipino citizen who lost Philippine
Grace Poe’s domicile had been timely changed as of May 24, citizenship who wish to run for public office:
2005, and not on July 18, 2006 when her application under RA 9225 a. meet the qualifications for holding such public office as
was approved by the BI. COMELEC’s reliance on cases which required by the Constitution and existing laws
decree that an alien’s stay in the country cannot be counted b. make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign
unless she acquires a permanent resident visa or reacquires her citizenships before any public officer authorized to administer
Filipino citizenship is without merit. Such cases are different from an oath prior to or at the time of filing of their CoC.
the circumstances in this case, in which Grace Poe presented an Landslide election victory cannot override eligibility requirements.
overwhelming evidence of her actual stay and intent to abandon
permanently her domicile in the US. Coupled with her eventual
application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her family’s

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


4. Caballero v. COMELEC ★☆★ 7. Villaber v. COMELEC
The COMELEC has the power to liberally interpret or even suspend Violation of BP22 is a crime involving moral turpitude, because the 4
its rules of procedure in the interest of justice, including obtaining a accused knows at the time of the issuance of the check that he
speedy disposition of all matters pending before it. does not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the drawee bank
A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually for the payment of the check in full upon presentment. A
the place where the child's parents reside and continues until the conviction thereof shows that the accused is guilty of deceit, and
same is abandoned by acquisition of new domicile (domicile of certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of the
choice). It consists not only in the intention to reside in a fixed person.
place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with
conduct indicative of such intention. Naturalization in a foreign 8. Lozanida v. COMELEC
country may result in an abandonment of domicile in the Two conditions for the disqualification under the 3-term limit rule:
Philippines. When permanent residency is required in the a. The official concerned has been elected for three consecutive
application for foreign citizenship and the same was approved, terms in the same local government post
such person had effectively abandoned his domicile. Frequent b. he has fully served three consecutive terms
vacation to a place does not constitute waiver of such Involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of
abandonment. the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of
Reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225 continuity of service.
had no automatic impact or effect on residence/domicile. Proof COMELEC should continue the trial and hearing of the
of reestablishment of domicile is required. disqualification case to its conclusion i.e., until judgment is
rendered. The outright dismissal of the petition for disqualification
5. Frivaldo v. COMELEC filed before the election but which remained unresolved after the
The citizenship requirement in the Local Government Code is to be proclamation of the candidate sought to be disqualified will
possessed by an elective official at the latest as of the time he is unduly reward the said candidate and may encourage him to
proclaimed and at the start of the term of office to which he has employ delaying tactics to impede the resolution of the petition
been elected. until after he has been proclaimed.
Repatriation retroacts to the date of filling for the application for
such. 9. Abundo v. COMELEC ★☆★
Assumption of office by operation of law
6. Mercado v. Manzano It is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive
Recognizing the situations in which a Filipino citizen may, without terms in an elective local office, he must also have been elected
performing any act and as an involuntary consequence of the to the same position for the same number of times before the
conflicting laws of different countries, be also a citizen of another disqualification can apply”.
State, the court explained that dual citizenship as a Succession in local government office is by operation of law and
disqualification refer to citizens with dual allegiance. as such, it is an involuntary severance from office.
Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under Recall Election
the disqualification. An elective local official cannot seek immediate reelection for a
For candidates with dual citizenship, it is enough that they elect fourth term. The prohibited election refers to the next regular
Philippine citizenship upon the filing of their certificate of election for the same office following the end of the third
candidacy to terminate their status as persons with dual consecutive term. Hence any subsequent election, like recall
citizenship. election, is no longer covered.

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


Conversion of municipality to city intended to vote for could no longer ask for replacement
The abolition of an elective local office due to the conversion of a ballots to correct the same. 5
municipality to a city does not, by itself, work to interrupt the
incumbent official's continuity of service 12. Risos-Vidal v. COMELEC and Estrada
Period of Preventive Suspension Former President Estrada was granted an absolute pardon that
A preventive suspension cannot simply be a term interruption fully restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally includes
because the suspended official continues to stay in office the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this
although he is barred from exercising the functions and controversy. The wording of the pardon extended to former
prerogatives of the office within the suspension period. The best President Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and unqualified. It is
indicator of the suspended official's continuity in office is the likewise unfettered by Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal
absence of a permanent replacement and the lack of the Code.The only reasonable, objective, and constitutional
authority to appoint one since no vacancy exists. interpretation of the language of the pardon is that the same in
Election Protest fact conforms to Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code.
Proclamation as the duly elected official coupled by his
assumption of office and his continuous exercise of the functions 13. Aratea v. COMELEC
thereof from start to finish of the term, should legally be taken as "second placer" should be proclaimed when the certificate of
service for a full term in contemplation of the three-term rule even candidacy of the “first placer” was declared void ab initio. Hence,
if, after the expiration of the term, such proclamation was latter shall be considered not a candidate at all.
declared void.
14. Jalosjos v. COMELEC
10. Marquez v. COMELEC Section 74 requires the candidate to state under oath in his
Fugitive from justice includes not only thohse who flee after certificate of candidacy "that he is eligible for said office." A
conviction to avoid punishment, but likewise those who, after candidate is eligible if he has a right to run for the public office. If
being charged, flee to avoid prosecution. a candidate is not actually eligible because he is barred by final
judgment in a criminal case from running for public office, and he
11. Dela Cruz v. COMELEC still states under oath in his certificate of candidacy that he is
Votes cast for a Nuisance Candidate are not stray votes. Such eligible to run for public office, then the candidate clearly makes
votes shall be considered in favour of the bona fide candidate: a false material representation that is a ground for a petition under
a. Petition to cancel or deny a COC under Section 69 of the OEC Section 78.
should be distinguished from a petition to disqualify under
Section 68. Hence, the legal effect of such cancellation of a 15. Quinto v. COMELEC 606 scra 258
COC of a nuisance candidate cannot be equated with a Test for the application of equal protection clause:
candidate disqualified on grounds provided in the OEC and a. The classification rests on substantial distinctions;
Local Government Code. b. It is germane to the purposes of the law;
b. The possibility of confusion in names of candidates if the names c. It is not limited to existing conditions only; and
of nuisance candidates remained on the ballots on election d. It applies equally to all members of the same class.
day, cannot be discounted or eliminated, even under the
automated voting system especially considering that voters There is thus no valid justification to treat appointive officials
who mistakenly shaded the oval beside the name of the differently from the elective ones. The classification simply fails to
nuisance candidate instead of the bona fide candidate they meet the test that it should be germane to the purposes of the
law. The measure encapsulated in the second proviso of the third

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and in Section 66 of the 20. Timbol v. COMELEC
OEC violates the equal protection clause. The power of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to restrict a 6
citizen's right of suffrage should not be arbitrarily exercised. The
16. Quinto v. COMELEC (resolution) COMELEC cannot motu proprio deny due course to or cancel an
Section 4 (a) of Resolution 8678, Section 66 of the Omnibus alleged nuisance candidate's certificate of candidacy without
Election Code, and the second proviso in the third paragraph of providing the candidate his opportunity to be heard.
Section 13 of RA 9369 are not unconstitutional, and accordingly
reverse our December 1, 2009 Decision. VI. CAMPAIGN, ELECTION PROPAGANDA, ETC.
The intention to impose a strict limitation on the participation of
civil service officers and employees in partisan political campaigns 1. Chavez v. COMELEC
is unmistakable. The very contracts entered into by a person provide that the
The constitutional ban does not cover elected officials; this is endorser's photograph and image shall be utilized in whatever
because elected public officials, by the very nature of their office, form, mode and manner "in keeping with norms of decency,
engage in partisan political activities almost all year round, even reasonableness, morals and law;" and in whatever form, mode
outside of the campaign period. Political partisanship is the and manner not contrary to such. Thus, prohibition of the
inevitable essence of a political office, elective positions included. COMELEC as regard all propaganda materials which the person
appearing thereto subsequently become a candidate is not a
17. Mendoza v. COMELEC violation of the non-impairment clause of the constitution.
When the Commission en banc is equally divided in opinion, or the
necessary majority cannot be had, the case shall be reheard, and 2. Penera v. COMELEC
if on rehearing no decision is reached, the action or proceeding “Candidate” has been defined as “any person aspiring for or
shall be dismissed if originally commenced in the Commission seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of
candidacy” and that “any person who files certificate of
18. Socrates v. COMELEC candidacy within the filing period shall only be considered as a
Re-election subsequent to a recall does not constitute regular candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed
election and is therefore not considered in the application of the his certificate of candidacy.”
3-term limit rule. No prohibited premature campaigning in the Philippines.

19. Pamatong v. COMELEC 3. SWS v. COMELEC


The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may The prohibition of publication of survey results 15 days immediately
be subjected to limitations. As long as the limitations apply to preceding a national election and 7 days before a local election
everybody equally without discrimination, the equal access clause violates the constitutional rights of speech, expression and the
is not violated. press because:
The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral a. It imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression
exercises are rational, objective, and orderly. The greater the b. It is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression
number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical even though such suppression is only for a limited period
confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of time and c. The governmental interest sought to be promoted can be
resources in preparation for the election. A disorderly election is achieved by means other than the suppression of freedom of
not merely a textbook example of inefficiency, but a rot that expression
erodes faith in our democratic institutions.

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


4. GMA Network Inc. V. COMELEC 7. 1-UTAK v. COMELEC
It is not within the power of the COMELEC introduced a radical The right to participate in electoral processes is a basic and 7
departure from the previous COMELEC resolutions relative to the fundamental right in any democracy. It includes not only the right
airtime limitations on political advertisements. Specifically, the to vote, but also the right to urge others to vote for a particular
COMELEC may not effect a drastic reduction of the allowable candidate. The right to express one's preference for a candidate is
minutes within which candidates and political parties would be likewise part of the fundamental right to free speech. Thus, any
able to campaign through the air by computing the airtime on an governmental restriction on the right to convince others to vote for
aggregate basis involving all the media of broadcast a candidate carries with it a heavy presumption of invalidity.
communications compared to the past where it was done on a
per station basis. VII. POLITICAL PARTY; PARTY-LIST ORGANIZATION

5. Emilio Ramon “E.R” Ejercito v. COMELEC 1. Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC


R.A. No. 9006 explicitly directs that broadcast advertisements Four inviolable parameters to determine the winners of party-list
donated to the candidate shall not be broadcasted without the election:
written acceptance of the candidate, which shall be attached to a. 20% ALLOCATION— the combined number of all party-list
the advertising contract and shall be submitted to the COMELEC, congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total
and that, in every case, advertising contracts shall be signed by membership of the House of Representatives, including those
the donor, the candidate concerned or by the duly-authorized elected under the party list.
representative of the political party. b. 2% THRESHOLD — only those parties garnering a minimum of
The inclusion of the amount contributed by a donor to the two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list
candidate's allowable limit of election expenses does not trample system are "qualified" to have a seat in the House of
upon the free exercise of the voters' rights of speech and of Representatives;
expression under Section 4, Article III of the Constitution. As a c. 3-SEAT LIMIT — each qualified party, regardless of the number
content-neutral regulation, 127 the law's concern is not to curtail of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three
the message or content of the advertisement promoting a seats; that is, one "qualifying" and two additional seats.
particular candidate but to ensure equality between and among d. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION — the additional seats which
aspirants with "deep pockets" and those with less financial a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed "in proportion
resources. Any restriction on speech or expression is only incidental to their total number of votes."
and is no more than necessary to achieve the substantial
governmental interest of promoting equality of opportunity in The Party-list System is a mechanism of proportional representation
political advertising. in the election of the representatives, from national, regional and
sectoral parties, organizations and coalitions thereof registered
6. The Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC with the COMELEC. Such was devise to replace reserve system.
COMELEC had no legal basis to regulate expressions made by The very essence of the party-list system is representation by
private citizens. The supervision or regulation which aims to ensure election.
equal opportunity, time, and space, and the right to reply,
including reasonable, equal rates therefor, does not apply to non-
candidates.

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


2. Ang Bagong Bayani v. COMELEC c. Political parties can participate in the party-list election
A party may not be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely provided they register under the party-list system and do not 8
on the ground that they are political parties. field candidates in legislative district elections.
Proportional representation" in Sec. 2 of RA 7941 does not refer to d. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be marginalized
the number of people in a particular district, because the party-list and underrepresented or lacking in well-defined political
election is national in scope. Neither does it allude to numerical constituencies. It is enough that their principal advocacy
strength in a distressed or oppressed group. Rather, it refers to the pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector.
representation of the "marginalized and underrepresented" as e. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations
exemplified by the enumeration in Section 5 of RA 7941; namely, that represent the marginalized and the underrepresented or
"labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural that represent those who lack well-defined political
communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, constituencies must belong to the respective sectors that they
overseas workers, and professionals." represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations
The political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent that represent the marginalized and underrepresented or that
the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in represent those who lack well-defined political constituencies,
Section 5 of RA 7941. In other words, it must show — through its wither must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a
constitution,articles of incorporation, bylaws, history, platform of track record of advocacy for their respective sectors.
government and track record — that it represents and seeks to f. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall
uplift marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Verily, majority not be disqualified, provided that they have atleast 1 nominee
of its membership should belong to the marginalized and who remains qualified.
underrepresented. And it must demonstrate that in a conflict of
interests, it has chosen or is likely to choose the interest of such 5. Abayon (Palparan) v. HRET
sectors. Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the
elections, it is not the organization that sits as and becomes a
3. BANAT v. COMELEC member of the House of Representatives. party-list nominees are
The 3-seat cap – each qualified party, regardless of the number of "elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than
votes it actually obtained, is entitled only to a maximum of 3 seats the district representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear
– is not a violation of the Constitution because the 1987 and pass upon their qualifications. By analogy with the cases of
Constitution does not requires absolute proportionality for the district representatives, once the party or organization of the party-
party-list system. list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his
oath and assumed office as member of the House of
4. Atong Paglaum v. COMELEC Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests
PARAMETERS IN DETERMINING WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE relating to his qualifications ends and the HRET's own jurisdiction
PARTY-LIST ELECTIONS: begins.
a. 3 different groups may participate in the party-list system
i. National parties or organizations VIII. AUTOMATED ELECTIONS
ii. Regional parties or organizations
iii. Sectoral parties or organizations 1. Roque v. COMELEC
b. National and regional parties or organizations do not need to From the practical viewpoint, the pilot testing of the technology in
organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent question in an actual, scheduled electoral exercise under harsh
any marginalized and unrepresented sector. conditions would have been the ideal norm in computerized
system implementation. But the bottom line is that the required

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


2007 automation, be it viewed in the concept of a pilot test or not,
is not a mandatory requirement for the choice of system in, or a 2. Federico v. COMELEC 9
prerequisite for, the full automation of the May 2010 elections. By virtue of RA9369, the COMELEC is empowered to set the
deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy/petition of
2. Capalla v. COMELEC registration/manifestation to participate in the election.
As the Comelec is confronted with time and budget constraints, Different deadlines were set to govern the specific circumstances
and in view of the Comelec's mandate to ensure free, honest, and that would necessitate the substitution of a candidate due to
credible elections, the acceptance of the extension of the option death, disqualification or withdrawal. In case of death or
period, the exercise of the option, and the execution of the Deed disqualification, the substitute had until midday of the Election Day
of Sale, are the more prudent choices available to the Comelec to file the COC. In case of withdrawal, which is the situation at
for a successful 2013 automated elections. The alleged defects in bench, the substitute should have filed a COC by December 14,
the subject goods have been determined and may be corrected 2009. The reason for the distinction can easily be divined. Unlike
as in fact fixes and enhancements had been undertaken by death or disqualification, withdrawal is voluntary. Generally, a
Smartmatic-TIM. Petitioners could not even give a plausible candidate has sufficient time to ponder on his candidacy and to
alternative to ensure the conduct of a successful 2013 automated withdraw while the printing has not yet started. If a candidate
elections, in the event that the Court nullifies the Deed of Sale. withdraws after the printing, the name of the substitute candidate
The AES contract is not an ordinary contract as it involves can no longer be accommodated in the ballot and a vote for the
procurement by a government agency, the rights and obligations substitute will just be wasted.
of the parties are governed not only by the Civil Code but also by A void judgment can never be final and executory and may be
RA 9184. assailed at any time.

★☆★ ADDITIONAL CASES FOR MIDTERM EXAM ★☆★ 3. Engle v. COMELEC


COMELEC Law Department's letter is not binding and at most,
1. Rulloda v. COMELEC recommendatory. Denial of due course or cancellation of one's
COC is not within the administrative powers of the COMELEC, but
It is well-settled that in case of doubt, political laws must be so rather calls for the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions.
construed as to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely COMELEC, in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial
expressed through the ballot. powers, is mandated by the Constitution to hear and decide such
The absence of a specific provision governing substitution of cases first by Division and, upon motion for reconsideration, by the
candidates in barangay elections cannot be inferred as a En Banc.
prohibition against said substitution. Such a restrictive construction
cannot be read into the law where the same is not written. Rules and regulations for the conduct of elections are mandatory
Indeed, there is more reason to allow the substitution of before the election, but when they are sought to be enforced
candidates where no political parties are involved than when after the election they are held to be directory only, if that is
political considerations or party affiliations reign, a fact that must possible, especially where, if they are held to be mandatory,
have been subsumed by law. Technicalities and procedural innocent voters will be deprived of their votes without any fault on
niceties in election cases should not be made to stand in the way their part. This doctrine to refer only to matters of form and cannot
of the true will of the electorate. Laws governing election contests be applied to the substantial qualifications of candidates.
must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in
the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere
technical objections

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


====================FINALS======================= 3. Goh v. Bayron (GR No. 212584 – 25 Nov 2014)
RECALL Lack of funds as raised by the COMELEC is not a justifiable reason for 10
1. Garcia v. COMELEC (227 SCRA 100) the non-conduct of recall elections. The COMELEC is granted such
There is only one ground for the recall of local government officials: plenary power to lodge such appropriation to ensure that COMELEC’s
loss of confidence. This means that the people may petition or the mandate – such as recall elections – are carried out.
Preparatory Recall Assembly may resolve to recall any local elective
officials without specifying any particular ground except loss of FAILURE OF ELECTIONS
confidence. There is no need for them to bring up any charge of 1. Sison v. COMELEC (GR No. 134096 – 03 Mar 1999)
abuse or corruption against the local elective officials who are the INSTANCES WHERE A FAILURE OF ELECTIONS MAY BE DECLARED:
subject of any recall petition. a. the election in any polling place has not been held on the date
fixed on account of:
2. Claudio v. COMELEC (331 SCRA 388) i. force majeure
TWO KINDS OF RECALL: ii. violence
1. Recall initiated directly by the people iii. terrorism
2. recall initiated by the people thru the Preparatory Recall Assembly iv. fraud
(PRA) v. other analogous causes
b. the election in any polling place had been suspended before the
RECALL PROCESS: hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting on account of SAME
1. convening of the preparatory recall assembly or the gathering of c. after the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the
the signatures at least 25% of the registered voters of a LGU election returns or in the custody or canvas thereof, such election
2. filing of a recall resolution or petition with the COMELEC results in a failure to elect on account of SAME
3. verification of such resolution or petition
4. fixing of the date of the recall election pre-proclamation case before the COMELEC is no longer viable when
5. holding of the election on the scheduled date the winning candidate for the position contested was already
proclaimed, the more appropriate remedies being a regular election
"recall" refers to the election itself by means of which voters decide protest or a petition for quo warranto.
whether they should retain their local official or elect his replacement.

LIMITATIONS ON THE HOLDING OF RECALL: 2. Ampatuan v. COMELEC (375 SCRA 503)


1. no recall shall take place within one year from the date of Comelec is restricted, in pre-proclamation cases, to an examination of
assumption of office of the official concerned the election returns on their face and is without jurisdiction to go
2. no recall shall take place within one year immediately preceding beyond or behind them and investigate election irregularities,
a regular local election. HOWEVER, the Comelec is duty-bound to investigate allegations of
fraud, terrorism, violence, and other analogous causes in actions for
The 1-year prohibitory period refers to the recall election itself and annulment of election results or for declaration of failure of elections.
does not include the preliminary proceedings. The 1-year prohibitory
period is not violated as long as the election was held after the Validity of a proclamation may be challenged even after the
expiration of the first year of the term of office of the official irregularly proclaimed candidate has assumed office.
concerned.

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


CONDITIONS BEFORE COMELEC CAN ACT IN A PETITION FOR FAILURE Appointment for councilor is an official position outside the
OF ELECTION: contemplation of the election ban. 11
a. no voting has taken place in the precincts concerned on the date
fixed by law or, even if there was voting, the election nevertheless 6. Regalado v. CA (GR No. 115962)
resulted in a failure to elect; ELEMENTS OF THE HARASSMENT/DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES:
b. the votes cast would affect the result of the election. (1) Public officer or employee is transferred or detailed within the
election period as fixed by the COMELEC
ELECTION OFFENSES (2) Transfer or detail was effected without prior approval of the
1. People v. Ferrer (GR No. L-8957) COMELEC in accordance with its implementing rules and regulations.
Distribution of anything of value (e.g. cigarette) to the people who
attended a political meeting constitutes vote buying/vote selling; It is an election offense for "Any public official who makes or causes
hence, prohibited. any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil
service including public school teachers, within the election period
2. Mappala v. Nunez (240 SCRA 600) except upon prior approval of the Commission." As the Solicitor
It is not necessary the deadly weapon be seized from the accused General notes, "the word transfer or detail, as used [above], is
while he was in the precint or within the 100m radius therefrom; it is modified by the word whatever. This indicates that any movement of
enough that the accused carried a deadly weapon within the personnel from one station to another, whether or not in the same
prohibited radius during any of the days and hours specified in the office or agency, during the election is covered by the prohibition.
law.
7. Aquino v. COMELEC (GR No. 211789)
3. People v. Bayona (181 PHIL 186) It is immaterial whether or not the personnel action has in fact been
Mere carrying of deadly weapon within 100m radius from a precinct actually used for electioneering purposes or whether there has been
constitutes an election offense. Election offenses are generally mala any allegation in the complaint to this effect. The mere existence of
prohibita. Intent to intimidate voters is immaterial. Good faith is not a such plausibility for electioneering is the reason that animated the
defense. legal prohibition against any personnel action, including transfers and
re-assignments, during the election period.
4. Lozano v. Yorac (GR No. 94521)
In case complaint was not resolved before the election, the COMELEC 8. Tapispisan v. CA (GR No. 157950)
may motu proprio, or on motion of any of the parties, refer the Only appointments/promotions and not designation can be the
complaint to the Law Department of the Commission as the subject of a protest. Designation, being temporary in nature, does not
instrument of the latter in the exercise of its exclusive power to amount to the issuance of an appointment, but is a mere imposition of
conduct a preliminary investigation of all cases involving criminal additional duties.
infractions of the election laws. Such recourse may be availed of Distinction of promotional appointment and designation or
irrespective of whether the respondent has been elected or has lost in reassignment order: the latter merely requires performance of
the election. additional duties and responsibilities. A promotional appointment may
be the subject of a protest but a designation or reassignment can be
5. Ong v. Herrera-Martinez (GR No. 87743) questioned only by the person so reassigned.
The permanent vacancy for councilor exists and its filling up is
governed by the Local Government Code while the appointment 9. Causing v. COMELEC (GR No. 199139)
referred to in the election ban provision is covered by the Civil Service The only personnel movements prohibited by COMELEC Resolution No.
Law. 8737 were transfer and detail. Transfer is defined in the Resolution as

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


"any personnel movement from one government agency to another supremacy because the petitioner will not be seated even if the
or from one department, division, geographical unit or subdivision of a respondent may be unseated. 12
government agency to another with or without the issuance of an
appointment;" while detail as defined in the Administrative Code of party-list organization is prohibited to change its nominees or to alter
1987 is the movement of an employee from one agency to another the order of nominees once the list is submitted to the COMELEC,
without the issuance of an appointment. Having acquired technical except:
and legal meanings, transfer and detail must be construed as such. a. the nominee dies;
The movement of the office area from its old location to another b. the nominee withdraws in writing his nomination
"some little steps" away does not constitute transfer and/or detail. c. the nominee becomes incapacitated.

ELECTION ADJUDICATION SYSTEM The COMELEC may step in and exercise jurisdiction over intra-party
1. Jalosjos v. COMELEC (GR No. 192474 – 26 June 2012) matter when the resolution of such controversy is necessary or
While the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to decide all incidental to the performance of the constitutionally-granted
questions affecting elections, such power is not without limitation. It functions of the COMELEC. (Applicable only to nominees and not for
does not extend to contests relating to the election, returns, and the members of the Congress.)
qualifications of members of the House of Representatives and the
Senate. The Constitution vests the resolution of these contests solely 3. Pimentel III v. COMELEC (GR No. 178413 – 13 Mar 2008)
upon the appropriate Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of Pre Proclamation controversies or any question pertaining to or
Representatives. affecting the proceeding of the board of canvassers which may be
raised by any candidate or by any registered political party before
When the jurisdiction of the COMELEC ends and when that of the HRET the board or directly with the COMELEC.
begins. The proclamation of a congressional candidate following the
election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes relating to the Pre-proclamation controversies on matters relating to the preparation,
election, returns, and qualifications of the proclaimed Representative transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of election returns or
in favor of the HRET. certificates of canvass are prohibited for national elections.
Except:
2. Lokin v. COMELEC (GR No. 179431 – 22 June 2010) 1. correction of manifest errors
An election protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from 2. Questions affecting the composition or proceedings of the board
office. It is strictly a contest between the defeated and the winning of canvassers
candidates, based on the grounds of electoral frauds and 3. Determination of the authenticity and due execution of
irregularities, to determine who between them has actually obtained certificates of canvass
the majority of the legal votes cast and is entitled to hold the office. It
can only be filed by a candidate who has duly filed a certificate of 4. Tan v. COMELEC (GR No. 166143 – 20 Nov 2006)
candidacy and has been voted for in the preceding elections. There is no law or rule prohibiting the simultaneous prosecution or
adjudication of pre-proclamation controversies and election protests
A special civil action for quo warranto refers to questions of disloyalty since it involves elective officials and are of different issues.
to the State, or of ineligibility of the winning candidate. The objective
of the action is to unseat the ineligible person from the office, but not
to install the petitioner in his place. Any voter may initiate the action,
which is, strictly speaking, not a contest where the parties strive for

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


APPEAL AND OTHER ELECTION ISSUES candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper cognizance of the
1. Dumayas v. COMELEC (357 SCRA 358) COMELEC. 13
The filing of an election protest or a petition for quo warranto REQUISITES FOR A VALID SUBSTITUTION:
precludes the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamation controversy or a. valid withdrawal of COC by the person to be substituted
amounts to the abandonment of one earlier filed, thus depriving the b. person to be substituted and the person to substitute belongs to
COMELEC of the authority to inquire into and pass upon the title of the the same political party
protestee or the validity of his proclamation. c. COC of the person to substitute is filed not later than mid-day of
EXCEPTIONS: election day.
a. the board of canvassers was improperly constituted;
b. quo warranto was not the proper remedy; 5. Loreto-Go v. COMELEC (GR No. 147741 – 10 May 2001)
c. what was filed was not really a petition for quo warranto or an There is nothing in the law which mandates that the affidavit of
election protest but a petition to annul a proclamation; withdrawal must be filed with the same office where the certificate of
d. the filing of a quo warranto petition or an election protest was candidacy to be withdrawn was filed. Thus, it can be filed directly with
expressly made without prejudice to the pre-proclamation the main office of the COMELEC, the office of the regional election
controversy or was made ad cautelam; director concerned, the office of the provincial election supervisor of
e. the proclamation was null and void. the province to which the municipality involved belongs, or the office
of the municipal election officer of the said municipality.
2. Miranda v. Abaya (GR No. 136351 – 27 July 1999)
A cancelled certificate does not give rise to a valid candidacy. A COMELEC Res. No. 3253-A which requires that the withdrawal be filed
disqualified candidate may only be substituted if he had a valid before the election officer where the COC was filed, such requirement
certificate of candidacy in the first place because, if the disqualified is merely discretionary, and is intended for convenience.
candidate did not have a valid and seasonably filed certificate of
candidacy, he is and was not a candidate at all. If a person was not a 6. Divinagracia v. COMELEC (GR No. 186007 – 27 Jul 2009)
candidate, he cannot be substituted under Section 77 of the Code. The non-payment or the insufficient payment of the additional appeal
fee of P3,200.00 to the COMELEC Cash Division, in accordance with
3. Luna v. COMELEC (GR No. 165983 – 24 Apr 2007) Rule 40, Section 3 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, as amended,
The COMELEC has ministerial duty to accept Certificates of does not affect the perfection of the appeal and does not result in
Candidacy. COMELEC may not, by itself, without the proper outright or ipso facto dismissal of the appeal. The COMELEC is merely
proceedings, deny due course to or cancel a certificate of given discretion to dismiss the appeal or not by reason of insufficient or
candidacy filed in due form. non-payment of appeal fee.
A COC unless denied due course or cancelled through proper
proceedings is deemed valid and may be validly substituted 7. Santos v. COMELEC (GR No. 155618 – 26 Mar 2003)
subsequent to its withdrawal. A valid exercise of the discretion to allow execution pending appeal
requires that it should be based "upon good reasons to be stated in a
4. Cerafica v. COMELEC (GR No. 205136 – 02 Dec 2014) special order."
COMELEC has no discretion to give or not to give due course to THE FOLLOWING CONSTITUTE "GOOD REASONS":
COCs. The duty of the COMELEC to give due course to COCs filed in 1. public interest involved or will of the electorate;
due form is ministerial in character, and that while the COMELEC may 2. the shortness of the remaining portion of the term of the contested
look into patent defects in the COCs, it may not go into matters not office;
appearing on their face. The question of eligibility or ineligibility of a 3. the length of time that the election contest has been pending.

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016


A combination of two or more of them will suffice to grant execution c. assumption of office as member of the House of Representatives
pending appeal 14
The jurisdiction of the HRET is exclusive. It is given full authority to hear
Between the determination by the trial court of who of the candidates and decide the cases on any matter touching on the validity of the
won the elections and the finding of the Board of Canvassers as to title of the proclaimed winner.
whom to proclaim, it is the court's decision that should prevail.

8. Navarosa v. COMELEC (GR No. 157957 – 18 Sep 2003)


No protest, counter-protest, or protest-in intervention shall be given
due course without the payment of a filing fee in the amount of three
hundred pesos (P300.00) for each interest. Each interest shall further
pay the legal research fee as required by law.

The law vests in the trial court jurisdiction over election protests
although the exercise of such jurisdiction requires the payment of
docket and filing fees by the party invoking the trial court's jurisdiction.
Estoppel now prevents parties from questioning the trial court's
exercise of such jurisdiction, which the law and not any act of the
parties have conferred on the trial court.

REQUISITES IN GRANTING EXECUTION PENDING APPEAL:


a. there must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the
adverse party;
b. there must be good reasons for the execution pending appeal;
c. the order granting execution pending appeal must state the good
reasons.

===========ADDITIONAL CASES FOR FINAL EXAM=============


1. Ongsiako-Reyes v. COMELEC (2013)
HRET jurisdiction begins only after the candidate is considered a
Member of the House of Representative.
REQUISITES TO BE CONSIDERED MEMBER OF THE HOR:
a. Valid proclamation
b. Proper oath before the Speaker of the House in an open session
c. Assumption of office

2. Lico v. COMELEC (GR No. 205505 – 29 Sep 2015)


In the case of party-list representatives, the HRET acquires jurisdiction
over a disqualification case upon:
a. proclamation of the winning party-list group
b. oath of the nominee

ELECTION LAW CASE DOCTRINES – ATTY. PASCASIO Benitez - 2016