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Final Election Laws 2007

Final Election Laws 2007

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ELECTION LAWGENERAL PRINCIPLESSources of Philippine election law
The election laws of the Philippines arecontained 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 andReferendum)
RA 7166 (1991 Synchronized ElectionsLaw)
RA 7941 (Election of Party-ListRepresentatives)
RA 8189 (Continuing Registration)
RA 8436 (Automated Election System)
RA 8524
RA 9006 (Fair Election Act of 2001)
THEORY OF POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY
Art. II, Sec. 1 1987 Constitution:The Philippines is a democraticand republican state.Sovereignty resides in thepeople and all governmentauthority emanates fromthem.A democratic and republicangovernment derives all its powers, directly orindirectly, from the people at large. Its essenceis indirect rule. Actual sovereignty is exercisedby the people by means of suffrage.
Suffrage defined
Suffrage is the right and obligation of qualified citizens to vote:(1) in the election of certainnational and local officials, and(2) in the decision of publicquestions submitted to the people.It is a political right which enablesevery citizen to participate in the process of government to assure that it derives it powersfrom the consent of the governed. It operateson the principle of "one man (
or one woman)
,one vote."Suffrage is not a natural right but aprivilege which may be given or withheld bythe lawmaking power subject to constitutionallimitations. It is not necessarily anaccompaniment of citizenship; it is grantedonly upon the fulfillment of certain minimumconditions.
Scope of suffrage
Suffrage encompasses the following:(1)
Election
Election is the means by which the peoplechoose their officials for definite periods and towhom they entrust, for the time being as theirrepresentatives, the exercise of powers of government. It involves the choice ocandidates to public office by popular vote.a. Regular election refers to an electionparticipated in by thosewho possess the right of suffrage and notdisqualified by law andwho are registered votersb. Special election
 
– when there is failure of election on the scheduleddate of regular election ina particular place orwhich is conducted to fillup certain vacancies, asprovided by law (ex. Tofill in vacancy in officebefore the expiration of the term for whichincumbent was elected)(2)
Plebiscite
Plebiscite is the submission of constitutionalamendments or important legislative measuresto the people for ratification.(3)
Referendum
Referendum is the power of the electorateto approve or reject legislation through anelection called for the purpose. (
Sec. 2c, R.A.6735)
It may be of 2 classes, namely:
(a)
Referendum on statutes, which refers toa petition to approve or reject an act or law,or part thereof, passed by Congress; and
(b)
Referendum on local law which refers to apetition to approve or reject a law,resolution or ordinance enacted by regionalassemblies and local legislative bodies(4)
Initiative
Initiative is the power of the people topropose amendments to the Constitution orto propose and enact legislation through anelection called for the purpose. (
Sec. 2a,R.A. 6735)
There are 3 systems oinitiative, namely:
(a)
Initiative on the Constitution whichrefers to a petition proposingamendments to the Constitution;
64
 
(b)
Initiative on statutes, which refersto a petition proposing to enact anational legislation;
(c)
Initiative on local legislation whichrefers to a petition proposing to enacta regional, provincial, city, municipalor barangay law, resolution orordinance
Note
that in the case of 
Santiago v.COMELEC,
the Supreme Court heldthat there is no law yet that issufficient enough for proposingamendments to the Constitution.R.A. 6735 was deemed sufficient forstatutory amendments but notConstitutional amendments.(5)
Recall 
Recall is the termination of officialrelationship of a local elective official forloss of confidence prior to the expiration of his term through the will of the electorate.
Who can exercise
Under Art. V, Sec. 1 of the 1987Constitution, the right of suffrage may beexercised by all citizens of the Philippines whoare:
(1)
not otherwise disqualified by law,
(2)
at least 18 years of age, and
(3)
have resided in the Philippines forat least 1 year, and in the placewherein they propose to vote for atleast 6 months immediatelypreceding the election.The same provision provides that noliteracy, property or other substantiverequirement shall be imposed on the exerciseof suffrage, and that Congress may not add oralter the qualifications of voters under Art. V,Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution. Thisspecification is an implied prohibition againstinterference on the part of Congress in theright of suffrage.Congress, however, to a limited extent canregulate the right of suffrage by:
Defining the qualifications of voters
Regulating elections
Prescribing the form of officialballot
Providing for the manner ochoosing candidates and thenames to be printed on the ballot
Regulating the manner oconducting elections
Suppressing whatever evilsincident to the election of publicofficers, pursuant to its duty tosecure the secrecy and sanctity of the ballots under Art. V, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution.
What are the substantive requirementsfor the exercise of suffrage? 
The only substantive requirements toexercise the right to vote are: (CARA)
(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 theelection.
Residence
For the purposes of election law,residence is synonymous with domicile. Art.50 of the Civil Code provides that “for theexistence of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of naturalpersons is the place of their habitualresidence.Domicile includes the twinelements of “the fact of residing or physicalpresence in a fixed place” and
animusmanendi 
, or the intention of returning therepermanently. (
Romualdez-Marcos v.COMELEC)
Every person is deemed to have hisdomicile somewhere, and when it has beenacquired, it will be deemed to continue until anew one has been acquired. Temporaryabsences although frequent or long continued,will not, while the person has a continuousintention to return, deprive him of his domicileand right to vote.Any person who temporarily resides inanother city, municipality or country solely byreason of his occupation, profession,employment in private or public service,educational activities, work in the military ornaval reservations within the Philippines,service in the AFP, the PNP, or confinement ordetention in government institutions inaccordance with law, shall not be deemed tohave lost his original residence. (
Sec. 9, R.A.8189)
 It is not necessary that a personshould have a house in order to establish his
65
 
residence or domicile in a municipality. It isenough that he should live there, provided thathis stay is accompanied by his intention toreside therein permanently.
Literacy requirements
The Constitution imposes no literacyrequirements; hence illiterates have the rightto vote.
Property requirements
Neither does the Constitution imposeany property requirement since propertyownership is not a test of individual capacity.A property requirement is not only inconsistentwith the concept of a republican government,but with the social justice principle of equalopportunity as well.
Formal education
Formal education is no guarantee forgood citizenship or intelligent voting.
Sex 
There is no adequate or justifiablebasis for depriving women of equal votingrights.
Taxpaying Ability 
This is related to property requirement.
Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC
(
248SCRA 300)
It is the fact of residence, not astatement in the certificate of candidacywhich ought to be decisive in determiningwhether or not an individual has satisfiedthe Constitution’s residency qualificationrequirement.To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: (1) anactual removal or an actual change of domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residenceand establishing a new one; and, (3) actswhich correspond with the purpose.
Aquino v. COMELEC
(
248 SCRA 400)
The place where a party actually orconstructively has his permanent home,where he, no matter where he may befound at nay given time, eventually intendsto return and remain, i.e., his domicile, isthat to which the Constitution refers whenit speaks of residence for the purpose of election law. The purpose is to excludestrangers or newcomers unfamiliar with theconditions and needs of the communityfrom taking advantage of favorablecircumstances existing in that communityfor electoral gain.
Disqualifications
(1)
Persons sentenced by final judgmentto suffer imprisonment for not less thanone (1) year. (
Note: he / she shalautomatically re-acquire the right tovote upon the expiration of 5 yearsafter the service of sentence.)
(2)
Persons adjudged by final judgmentof having committed any crime involvingdisloyalty to the duly constitutedgovernment (e.g. rebellion, sedition,violation of the firearms law) or anycrime against national security. (
Note:he / she shall automatically re-acquirethe right to vote upon the expiration of 5 years after the service of sentence.)
(3)
Insane or incompetent persons asdeclared by competent authority.
 
THE COMELECPurpose
The purpose of the COMELEC is toprotect the sanctity of the ballot and to ensurethe free and honest express of the popular will.To achieve this, the COMELEC wascreated as an independent administrativetribunal, co-equal with the other departmentswith respect to the powers vested in it, and notunder any of the branches of Government.The intention is to place it outside the influenceof political parties and the control of thelegislative, executive, and judicial organs of the government.To preserve the independence of theCOMELEC, appointments or designations intemporary or acting capacities are not allowed.
Composition
Composition:-chairman-6 commissionersQualifications:
Natural born citizens
At least 35 years old
Holders of a college degree
Must not have been candidatesfor any elective position in the
66

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