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romualdez-libanan-garcia Case Digest

romualdez-libanan-garcia Case Digest

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Published by: Aizza Jopson on Aug 29, 2011
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Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC and Montejo (248 SCRA 300 - 1995)
Facts: Roy Montejo questioned Marcos’ candidacy as representative of the 1
st
district of Leyte on the ground that she is not a resident thereof as required by theConstitution. Montejo contended that Tacloban was Marcos’ domicile of originbecause she did not live there until she was eight (8) years old. Moreover, Marcosresided and used to be a registered voter in San Juan and in Manila.Issue: Whether or not Mrs. Marcos meets the residency requirement to run asrepresentative in LeyteHeld: Yes. Marcos is domiciled in Tacloban, hence she meets the Constitutionalrequirement on residency. Residence and domicile are synonymous in electionlaw. Mere absence of an individual from his/her permanent residence without theintention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of domicile. Also, whenshe married the former President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of originand merely gained a new home, not a
domicilium necessarium.
The SupremeCourt held that even the matter of a common residence between the husband andthe wife during the marriage is not an iron-clad principle. In cases applying theCivil Code on the question of common matrimonial residence, our jurisprudencehas recognize certain situations where the spouses could not be compelled to livewith each other such that the wife is either allowed to maintain a residencedifferent from that of her husband or, for obviously practical reasons, revert to heroriginal domicile (apart from being allowed to opt for a new one).In
De La Vina v. Villareal
, a married woman may acquire a residence or domicileseparate from that of her husband during the existence of the marriage when thehusband has given cause for divorce. The Supreme Court also allowed the wife toeither obtain a new residence or to choose a new domicile in such an event. In theinstances where the wife actually opts, under the Civil Code, to live separatelyfrom her husband either by taking new residence or reverting to her domicile of origin, the wife could not be compelled to live with her husband on pain of contempt. In
 Arroyo v. Vazquez-Arroyo
, the Court held that it is not within theprovince of the courts at this country to attempt to compel one of the spouses tocohabit with, and render conjugal rights to the other.
Libanan vs. HRET (283 SCRA 520 - 1997)
Nature: Special Civil Action in the SC. CertiorariFacts:• May 28, 1997: HRET affirmed proclamation of Jose Tan Ramirez as duly electedrep of Eastern Samar over Marcelino Libanan• Libanan filed an election protest before HRET claiming, among other things, thatthe May 8, 1995 elections were marred by massive electoral irregularitiesperpetrated by Ramirez and his followers.• Libanan prayed for HRET to issue an order to annul election and proclamation of Ramirez and thereafter so proclaim him as duly elected Representative of Samar.• HRET said ballots had the required COMELEC watermarks and were thus valid.• Petitioners said the absence of the signature of the chairman of BEI deemedballots void.Issue: WON HRET committed GAD in ruling that the absence of the signature of theChairman of the BEI in the ballots did not render the ballots spuriousHeld: NO! Failure of the BEI to sign the ballot shall constitute an election offense.However, ballot shall not be considered invalid. It merely renders BEI Chairmanaccountable for such failure. (Section 24 of RA 7166) Authenticating marks may beany of the following:a) COMELEC watermarkb) Signature or initials or thumbprint of Chairman of BEIc) Presence of red and blue fibers
Garcia vs HRET (312 SCRA 353 - 1999)
Nature: May a petition for quo warranto before the House of RepresentativesElectoral Tribunal be summarily dismissed for failure to pay cash deposit,notwithstanding that petitioner rectified payment thereof?Facts: On May 29, 1998, within the prescribed ten (10) day period from respondentHarry Angpings proclamation as duly elected Representative for the 3rd District of Manila, petitioners, all duly registered voters in the district, filed a petition for quowarranto[1 before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) againstCongressman Harry Angping. Petitioner questioned the eligibility of CongressmanAngping to hold office in the House of Representatives, claiming that the latterwas not a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a constitutional requirement. They prayed that Congressman Angping be declared ineligible to assume or holdoffice as member of the House of Representatives and for the candidate whoreceived the highest number of votes from among the qualified candidates to beproclaimed the winner.Upon filing of the their petition, petitioners duly paid the required P5,000.00 filingfee.On June 10, 1998, however, the HRET issued a Resolution dismissing the petitionfor quo warranto for failure to pay the P5,000.00 cash deposit required by itsRules. After receiving a copy of the aforesaid Resolution, petitioners paid theP5,000.00 cash deposit on June 26, 1998 and attached the corresponding receiptto the Motion for Reconsideration they filed with the HRET on the same day.Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was, however, denied, in view of Rule 32 of the 1998 HRET Rules which required a P5,000.00 cash deposit in addition to filingfees for quo warranto cases.Issues:1. THE RESPONDENT HRET COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN DENYING THE PETITION BELOW DESPITE ACTUAL PAYMENT BY HEREIN PETITIONER (ALBEITLATE) OF THE REQUIRED CASH DEPOSIT OF P5,000.00, THEREBY STRICTLY ANDLITERALLY CONSTRUING THE HRET RULES IN CONTRAVENTION OF RULE 2 (OF THESAME RULES) ENJOINING A LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION THEREOF.2. THE RESPONDENT HRET COMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION INDISMISSING THE PETITION BELOW UPON A MERE TECHNICALITY EVEN AS THEEVIDENCE AND/OR DOCUMENTS ATTACHED THEREIN CLEARLY SHOW THE
 
INELIGIBILITY OF RESPONDENT ANGPING TO HOLD AND/OR CONTINUE TO ASSUMEOFFICE AS MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.Holding: WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. Nopronouncement as to costs.Under the Constitution, the HRET shall be the sole judge of all contests relating tothe elections, returns and qualifications of its members. This does not, however,bar us from entertaining petitions which charge the HRET with grave abuse of discretion. Indeed, in Libanan v. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, weexplained our assumption of jurisdiction in election related cases involving theHRET as follows:In Robles vs. HRET (181 SCRA 780), the Court has explained that while the judgments of the Tribunal are beyond judicial interference, the Court may do so,however, but only in the exercise of this Courts so-called extraordinary jurisdiction,upon a determination that the Tribunals decision or resolution was renderedwithout or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion orparaphrasing Morrero, upon a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident useby the Tribunal of its power as constitutes a denial of due process of law, or upon adetermination of a very clear unmitigated error, manifestly constituting such graveabuse of discretion, that there has to be a remedy for such abuse. This leads us to the second issue of whether or not the HRET has committed graveabuse of discretion in summarily dismissing the petition for quo warranto of petitioners and in refusing to reinstate the same even after the payment of therequired Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) cash deposit. Rule 32 of the 1998 Rulesof the HRET provides:RULE 32. Cash Deposit. - In addition to the fees prescribed in the preceding Rule,each protestant, counter-protestant or petitioner in quo warranto shall make acash deposit with the Tribunal in the following amounts:(1) in a petition for quo warranto, Five Thousand (P5,000.00) Pesos;(2) if the protest or counter-protest does not require the bringing to the Tribunal of ballot boxes and other election documents and paraphernalia from the districtconcerned, Five Thousand (P5,000.00) Pesos;(3) if the protest or counter-protest requires the bringing of ballot boxes and otherelection documents and paraphernalia, Five Hundred (P500.00) Pesos for eachprecinct involved therein; Provided, that in no case shall the deposit be less than Ten Thousand (P10,000.00)Pesos;(4) if, as thus computed, the amount of the deposit does not exceed Seventy Five Thousand (P75,000.00) Pesos, the same shall be made in full with the Tribunalwithin ten (10) days after filing of the protest or counter-protest;(5) if the deposit exceeds Seventy Five Thousand (P75,000.00) Pesos, partialdeposit of at least Seventy Five Thousand (P75,000.00) Pesos shall be made withinten (10) days after the filing of the protest or counter-protest. The balance shall bepaid in such installments as may be required by the Tribunal on at least five (5)days advance notice to the party required to make the deposit.Rule 21 of the 1998 Rules of the HRET governing summary dismissal of electioncontests provides, to wit:RULE 21. Summary Dismissal of Election Contest. An election protest or petition forquo warranto may be summarily dismissed by the Tribunal without the necessityof requiring the protestee or respondent to answer if, inter alia:(1) the petition is insufficient in form and substance;(2) the petition is filed beyond the period provided in Rules 16 and 17 of theseRules;(3) the filing fee is not paid within the period provided for filing the protest orpetition for quo warranto;(4) in case of protests where a cash deposit is required, the cash deposit or thefirst P100,000.00 thereof, is not paid within ten (10) days after the filing of theprotest;(5) the petition or copies thereof and the annexes thereto filed with the Tribunalare not clearly legible. (underscoring ours)Rule 33 of the Rules likewise provides:RULE 33. Effect of Failure to Make Cash Deposit. If a party fails to make the cashdeposits or additional deposits herein provided within the prescribed time limit,the Tribunal may dismiss the protest, counter-protest, or petition for quo warranto,or take such action as it may deem equitable under the circumstances. Therefore, we find that the HRET did not commit grave abuse of discretion inapplying its Rules strictly and in dismissing the petition for quo warranto.Accordingly, the instant petition for certiorari cannot prosper.Certiorari as a special civil action can be availed of only if there is concurrence of the essential requisites, to wit: (a) the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicialfunctions has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess or jurisdiction, and (b) there is no appeal,nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for thepurpose of annulling or modifying the proceeding. There must be a capricious,arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power for it to prosper. To question the jurisdiction of the lower court or the agency exercising judicial orquasi-judicial functions, the remedy is a special civil action for certiorari underRule 65 of the Rules of Court. The petitioner in such cases must clearly show thatthe public respondent acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretionamounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Grave abuse of discretion defies exactdefinition, but generally refers to capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment asis equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of discretion must be patent andgross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform aduty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of law, as where the power isexercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility.It has been held, however, that no grave abuse of discretion may be attributed toa court simply because of its alleged misappreciation of facts and evidence. A writof certiorari may not be used to correct a lower tribunals evaluation of the

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