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Election Contests

Election Contests

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ELECTION CONTESTS
Definition
 These are adversarial proceedings by which matters involving the title or claim to an elective o
ce, made before or after proclamation of the winner, is settled whether or not thecontestant is claiming the o
ce in dispute. The purpose of anelection contest is to ascertain the candidate lawfully elected too
ce.
Nature
Summary proceeding of a political character. 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 lawfulright to assume and perform the duties and functions of theo
ce.
Purpose
 To ascertain the candidate lawfully elected to o
ce
.
Distinctions between Pre-Proclamationcontroversies and Election Contests
 The dividing line: Proclamation of candidate
Pre-proclamationElection Contests
 The jurisdiction of COMELEC isadministrative/quasi-judicial The jurisdiction of COMELEC is judicialIt is governed by therequirements of administrative due processIt is governed by therequirements of judicialprocess
 Jurisdiction
PartiesProceedingsJurisdiction 
Election Protest/ Quo WarrantoMeTC/MCTC incities/MTC/ MCTC
PartiesProceedingsJurisdictionElectiveBarangay Officials ElectiveMunicipalOfficialsElectiveRegional,,City OfficialsMembersof theRepresen-tativeMembersof thePresidentand VP
 Appeal/ Certiorari/ Mandamus/ ProhibitionCOMELECCertiorari (fromCOMELECdecisions)SCElection Protest/ Quo WarrantoRTC Appeal/ Certiorari/ Mandamus/ ProhibitionCOMELECCertiorari (fromCOMELECdecisions)SCElection Protest/ Quo WarrantoCOMELECCertiorariSCElection Protest/ Quo WarrantoHRET Certiorari (fromHRET)SCElection Protest/ Quo WarrantoSET Certiorari (fromSET)SCElection Protest/ Quo WarrantoSC (PET)
Supreme Court 
 The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, anddisqualifications of the President, Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for such purpose. (Art. VII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution)
 
ELECTION CONTESTS
PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZPAGE 1 OF 4
 
Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives
 The Senate and the House of Representatives have their ownelectoral tribunals. Each electoral tribunal has 9 members: 3Supreme Court Justices, 6 members of the Senate or House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on thebasis of proportional representation from the political partiesand 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 prevailover the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code. (Lazatin v.HRET, 168 SCRA 39)
COMELEC
 The COMELEC has exclusive original jurisdiction over allelection contests relating to the elections, returns, andqualifications of all elective:(1)Regional O
cials;(2) Provincial O
cials; and(3) City O
cialsDecisions in these cases may be appealed to the SupremeCourt. The COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over all contestsinvolving elective municipal o
cials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction (i.e., Regional Trial Courts) or involving elective barangay o
cials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction (i.e., the Municipal Trial Courts).Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the COMELEC onelection contests involving elective municipal and barangay o
ces 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 specialcivil action for certiorari. (Galido v. COMELEC, 193 SCFA 78)
Regional and Municipal Trial Courts
 The Regional Trial Courts and Municipal Trial Courts haveexclusive original jurisdiction over municipal and barangay o
cials, respectively.
Kinds of Election Contests
 
ElectionProtestsQuo WarrantoWho may fileGroundsPeriod of Filing
 Any candidate whohas filed a certificateof candidacy andhas been votedupon for the sameo
ce, and who hasnot himself causedor contributed tothe irregularities or frauds of which hecomplains Any registered voter in the constituency Fraud, terrorism,irregularities or illegal actscommitted before,during or after thecasting andcounting of votesIneligibility or disloyalty to theRepublic of thePhilippines Within 10 days fromproclamation of theresults of theelection Within 10 days fromproclamation of theresults of theelection
General Rule
: Filing of an election protest or quo warrantoPRECLUDES the subsequent filing of a pre-proclamationcontroversy or amounts to an abandonment of one earlier filed,thus depriving the COMELEC of the authority to inquire intoand pass upon the title of the protestee or the validity of hisproclamation.
Exceptions:
•BOC was improperly constituted•QW not the proper remedy •What was filed was not really a petition for QW or an electionprotest but a petition to annul a proclamation•Filing of an EC was expressly made without prejudice to thepre-proclamation controversy, or was made ad cautelam•Proclamation was null and void
ELECTION CONTESTS
PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZPAGE 2 OF 4
 
Procedures
Municipal and Barangay (OEC Sec. 254)
•Notice served upon the protestee by means of a summons at the postal address stated in his COC except when the protesteehas made the court understand that he has been notified of theprotest or has filed his answer •The protestee shall answer within five days after receipt of thesummons, or, in case there has been no summons from the dateof his appearance and in all cases before the commencement of the hearing of the protest or contest. The answer shall deal only  with the election in the polling places which are covered by theallegations of the contest •Should the protestee desire to impugn the votes received by the protestant in other polling places, he shall file a counter-protest within the same period fixed for the answer serving a copy thereof upon the protestant by registered mail or by personal delivery or through the sheri
ff 
•The protestant shall answer the counter-protest within fivedays after notice•Within the period of five days counted from the filing of theprotest any other candidate for the same o
ce may intervene inthe case as other contestants and ask for a 
rmative relief in hisfavor by a petition in intervention, which shall be considered asanother contest, except that it shall be substantiated within thesame proceedings. The protestant or protestee shall answer theprotest in intervention within five days after notice•If no answer shall be filed to the contest, counter-protest, or tothe protest in intervention, within the time limits respectively fixed, a general denial shall be deemed to have been entered•In election contest proceedings, the permanent registry list of  voters shall be conclusive in regard to the question as to whohad the right to vote in said election.
Regional, Provincial, City (COMELEC Resolution8804) Who may file:
by any candidate who was voted for in thesame o
ce and who received the second of third highest number of votes or, in a multi-slot position, was among the next four candidates following the last ranked winner duly proclaimed.
How initiated:
 An election protest or petition for quo warranto shall be filed directly with the Commission within a non-extendible period of ten days following the date of proclamation.Each contest shall refer exclusively to one o
ce but contents for o
ces of the Sangguniang Pampook, Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Sangguniang Panglungsod may beconsolidated in one case. The pendency of a pre-proclamation controversy involving the validity of the proclamation as defined by law shall suspend therunning of the period to file an election protest. The Director of the Election Contest and AdjudicationDepartment (ECAD) shall immediately docket the Protest andra 
e the case to either the First or Second Division of theCommission.
Summary dismissal of election contest Ground:
a) The Commission has no jurisdiction over the subject matter;b) The protest is insu
cient in form and content as required inSection 7 hereof;c) The petition is filed beyond the period prescribed in theserules;d) The filing fee is not paid within the period for the filing theelection protest or petition for quo warranto; ande) In case of protest where a cash deposit is required, the cashdeposit is not paid within fifteen (15) days from the filing of theprotest.
Summons:
Within three (3) days from the filing of theprotests, the Clerk of the Commission or the Divisionconcerned shall issue the corresponding summons to theprotestee or respondent, together with a copy of the protest,requiring the filing of an answer within a non-extendible periodof five days from notice. Whenever the allegations in the protest or counter-protest so warrant and when it finds the same necessary, the Commissionmay order the production and custody of ballot boxes, electiondocuments, data storage devices, and machines used in theelections.
Preliminary conference
:Within three days after the filing of the last responsive pleading allowed by these rules, or expiration of the same period without any responsive pleading having been filed, the Commission shall conduct a mandatory preliminary conference among the parties.Subpoena ad testificandum or subpoena duces tecum may beissued by the Division motu proprio, or upon request of theparties in any case.
Recount of Ballots
: The recount of ballots shall commenceon the date specified in the preliminary conference order, unlessrescheduled by Order of the Division.
Continuous Recount:
Once commenced, the recount shallcontinue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated
Prohibited access:
During the recount of ballots, no personother than the Commission, the clerk of the Commission, theRecount Coordinators and the members of the recount committees, the parties and their duly authorizedrepresentatives, shall have access to the recount area.
Conduct of the Recount:
shall be done manually and visually and according to the procedures under the OEC.
 
ELECTION CONTESTS
PREPARED BY: JESSA ALVAREZPAGE 3 OF 4

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