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G.R. NO. 178831-32



Sec 17, Article VI of the Constitution- Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an
electoral tribunal which shall be the “sole” judge of all contests relating to the election returns, and
qualifications of their respective members. Each electoral tribunals shall be composed of 9 members.


Limkaichong ran as a Representative in the first district of Negros Oriental. Her rival Olivia Paras, and
some other concerned citizens filed a disqualification case against Limkaichong. The latter allegedly not a
natural born citizen of the Philippines because when she was born, her father was still a Chinese and that
her mom, though Filipino, lost her citizenship by virtue of her marriage to Limkaichong’s dad. During the
pendency of the case, election day came, and votes were cast. Results came in and Limkaichong won
over Paras. COMELEC after due hearing, declared Limkaichong as disqualified. Notwithstanding their
proclamation of disqualification, COMELEC issued a proclamation declaring Limkaichong as the winner.
This is in compliance with Resolution no. 8062 adopting the disqualification cases which shall be without
prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases. Paras countered the
proclamation, filed a petition before the COMELEC.


Whether or not the proclamation done by the COMELEC is valid, and whether or not COMELEC should
still exercise jurisdiction over the matter.


The proclamation of Limkaichong is valid. The House of Representative of Electoral tribunal must
exercise jurisdiction after Limkaichong’s proclamation. The Supreme Court has invariably held once a
winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office as a member of the House of
Representative, the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and
disqualification ends and the HRET’s own jurisdiction begins. It follows then that the proclamation of a
winning candidate divests the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before it at the time of
proclamation. The party questioning his qualification should now present his case in a proper proceeding
before the HRET. The use of the word “sole” in Sec.17 Art. VI of the Constitution and in Sec. 250 of the
Omnibus Election Code underscores the exclusivity of the electoral tribunal’s jurisdiction over election
contest relating to its members.