This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
[G.R. No. 125798. June 19, 1997]
HADJI HAMID LUMNA PATORAY, petitioner, vs. COMMI TOPAAN D. DI OMIM$A, respondents. D!CI PUNO, J.% ION
ION ON !L!CTION "n#
In this petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO , petitioner !ad"i !amid #umna $atoray assai%s the &une '(, )**+ Reso%ution of the CO,E#EC (-econd .i/ision annu%%ing his proc%amation as mayor0e%ect of Tamparan, #anao de% -ur, and the August )+, )**+ Order of the CO,E#EC en banc ho%ding in abeyance the recan/assing of /otes cast in e%ection precinct numbers )+ and '10A2 The facts2 In the ,ay (, )**3 e%ections, petitioner HADJI HAMID LUMNA PATORAY and pri/ate respondent TOPAAN D. DI OMIM$A were the c%osest ri/a%s for the mayora%ty post in the municipa%ity of Tamparan, #anao de% -ur2 The counting of the ba%%ots showed that petitioner won o/er pri/ate respondent by a s%im margin of twenty0fi/e ('3 /otes, with petitioner recei/ing 4,55( /otes and pri/ate respondent garnering 4,534 /otes2 .uring the can/ass of the e%ection returns, pri/ate respondent ob"ected to the inc%usion of four (6 returns from precinct nos2 )+, )5, )* and '10A2 The municipa% board of can/assers (,BC o/erru%ed his ob"ections2 $ri/ate respondent appea%ed to the CO,E#EC2 In its Ju&' 12, 1995 Re(o&u)*on, the CO,E#EC modified the decision of the ,BC and e+,&u#e# from the can/ass on%y the two e%ection returns from precinct nos2 )+ and '10 A2 -*). ).e e+,&u(*on o/ ).e(e 0e)u0n(, the twenty0fi/e ('3 /otes margin of petitioner was wiped out, with pri/ate respondent now recei/ing the highest number of /otes at 4,+)' and petitioner coming in second with 4,6)* /otes2 According%y, petitioner came to this Court on certiorari7)8 impugning the &u%y )', )**3 Reso%ution of the CO,E#EC2 In our En Banc De,*(*on,7'8 #")e# O,)o1e0 22, 1995, we noted that since there was a discrepancy between the 9taras: and the written figures of the /otes recei/ed by the candidates in the e%ection return for precinct )+, the CO,E#EC (-econd .i/ision shou%d ha/e a%so ordered a 0e,oun) o/ ).e 1"&&o)( o0 u(e# ).e Ce0)*/*,")e o/ 3o)e( ,"() *n 40e,*n,) no. 15 )o #e)e06*ne ).e )0ue nu61e0 o/ 7o)e( o1)"*ne# 1' e",. 4"0)', "/)e0 #e)e06*n*n8 ).") ).e 1"&&o) 1o+ ."( no) 1een )"64e0e# 9*). 4u0(u"n) )o e,)*on 2:5 o/ ).e O6n*1u( !&e,)*on Co#e. 748 As to the e%ection return for precinct no2 '10A, we ru%ed that the CO,E#EC erred in resorting to the Certificate of ;otes in e<c%uding the return in said precinct2 -ince the return was incomp%ete for it %ac=ed the data as to pro/incia% and congressiona% candidates, the app%icab%e pro/ision wou%d be e,)*on 2:2 o/ ).e O6n*1u( !&e,)*on Co#e which dea%s with materia% defects in e%ection
E#EC (-econd . COM!L!C *66e#*")e&' o0#e0e# ). /"10*. and thereafter ru%e on whether or not the two returns shou%d be e<c%uded.E#EC@s &anuary )(. 4e)*)*one0 9"( 40o.BC re"ected these ob"ections ho%ding that they cannot be considered in a pre0 proc%amation case2 It proceeded with the recounting and recan/assing of /otes where petitioner obtained a tota% of 4.)u0e#.BC.534 /otes2 On J"nu"0' 25.e0eo/ "n# 0e. acting as the specia% Board of E%ection Inspectors.e e&e.E#EC )o .e0)"*n*n8 9."7e 1een #u&' 40e(e07e#< for the recount of /otes is not done upon the initiati/e of this Commission but upon orders of the -upreme Court2 7+8 This Order was not cha%%enged by pri/ate respondent who e/en participated in the recount2 $ursuant to CO.e *n)e80*)' o/ ). recon/ened on &anuary '3.ou) /*0() "(. pri/ate respondent mo/ed to dec%are the recount as nu%% and /oid2 7*8 Instead of definiti/e%y passing upon the issue of whether or not the integrity of the ba%%ot bo<es and ba%%ots for precincts )+ and '10A was preser/ed.uring the can/ass.on(*#e0*n8 ).i/ision issued a Re(o&u)*on7)'8 granting the petition and annu%%ing petitioner@s proc%amation2 It he%d that the .E#EC Office. we ru%ed that the COM!L!C (.e o4en*n8 ). pri/ate respondent fi%ed a 6o)*on with the CO.BC shou%d ha/e a%%owed pri/ate respondent to adduce e/idence before it ru%ed on the ob"ections.returns2 Thus.. pri/ate respondent ob"ected to the inc%usion of the ba%%ots from precincts )+ and '10A on the ground that."7e /*0() #e)e06*ne# ).e 1"&&o)( cast in precincts )+ and '10A. pri/ate .oun) o/ ).e 1"&&o) 1o+e( "n# ).ani%a.ou&# .)e# 6"'o0 o/ T"64"0"n.e M$C )o 0e.e 1"&&o)( ).).e *n)e80*)' o/ ).on7ene in the CO.E#EC to issue another Order in accordance with said . enter the new tota%s of the /otes and then proc%aim the winner2 ?orthwith.") ).e0 ).") ). "0e (4u0*ou(.)*on 0e)u0n( *n.)2768 >e then directed the CO. )**+ Order.no nee# )o 40e&*6*n"0*&' #e)e06*ne ).o&# *n "1e'"n.oun)e# ). the CO.e 1"&&o) 1o+.&u#e 7o)e( o0 1"&&o)( 9.") ).e 1"&&o)( "n# 1"&&o) 1o+e( "0e *n)".*.e *#en)*)' "n# *n)e80*)' o/ ). 9*). 1995 the CO.e 1"&&o)( *( *n)". 6"0=e# "n# *n7"&*# 1"&&o)(.e *n)e80*)' o/ ).e 1"&&o)( ). )**+ at the Come%ec Office in .e).e 0e."( #e)e06*ne# ). 1995 O0#e0738 imp%ementing our .BC did not comp%y with -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++ in fai%ing to ru%e on his ob"ection during the can/ass2 On June 28.).E#EC denied said motion and he%d that there is . o0#e0e# ).&"*6e# "( ).ani%a to recount the ba%%ots and recan/ass the returns from precinct nos2 )+ and '10A2 .e 1"&&o)( ).ecision2 !owe/er.E#EC (-econd .arawi City2 !e a%so fi%ed with the CO.e0e*n . 1995. prepare new e%ection returns.< 758 The .e "nnu&6en) o/ 4e)*)*one0?( 40o.e 1"&&o)( un)*& "/)e0 *) ."# 1een #u&' 40e(e07e# pursuant to -ections '46 and '43 of the Omnibus E%ection Code2 In an O0#e0. .&"6")*on7))8 on the ground that the . the CO. the .ecision2 According%y.55( /otes as against pri/ate respondent@s 4. as a -pecia% Board of E%ection Inspectors "n# 0e.)*on 0e)u0n( "0e 6"nu/".oun) ). as pro/ided under -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++2 It thus conc%uded that at the time of the proc%amation. .E#EC En Banc issued its J"nu"0' 18. )**+.e *n)e80*)' o/ ). L"n"o #e& u0 27(8 On the same day.e ).e #u&'>e&e.en)*.E#EC en banc mere%y noted7)18 the motion in /iew of petitioner@s proc%amation2 On &anuary 41.") ).i/ision a 4e)*)*on /o0 ). petitioner too= his oath and assumed the Office of the .)*on 40o)e() with the RTC of . the CO.ayor of Tamparan2 On ?ebruary 3.e e&e.")e# o0 no) "u). #")e# J"nu"0' 25.e0e*n . pri/ate respondent fi%ed an e&e.e0e*n "/)e0 (")*(/'*n8 *)(e&/ ).
on(*#e0")*on7)48 with the CO.on(*#e0")*on. the en banc in effect sustained that portion of the &une '( Reso%ution of the .E#EC en banc issued an O0#e0 re/ersing its August ) Order and ho%ding in abeyance the recan/assing of the ba%%ots unti% the reso%ution of petitioner@s pending motion for reconsideration2 .BC to recon/ene and recan/ass the two e%ection returns.E#EC en banc2 !e pointed that "/)e0 )..BC2 CO. and proc%aim the winner according%y2 $etitioner fi%ed a 6o)*on /o0 0e.) ). pri/ate respondent fi%ed a Mo)*on /o0 C&"0*/*. strict%y obser/ing -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++C 942 To constitute a new .unicipa% Board of Can/assers herein created2 9-O OR. yet.e COM!L!C D*7*(*on "nnu&&e# 4e)*)*one0?( 40o. in the meantime.BC2 On August ).i/ision directing a recount. ordered the recan/assing of the returns2 $ri/ate respondent sought to c%arify who."n7"((*n8 o/ ).E#EC en banc issued an order. #anao de% -ur < < <C 962 To direct the pre/ious . in its August ) Order. the CO. without reso%/ing in its entirety the motion for reconsideration regarding the annu%ment of petitioner@s proc%amation2 !e thus urged the CO. )**+.e Mo)*on /o0 Re.e )9o 0e)u0n(.unicipa% Board of Can/assers of Tamparan.E#EC en banc to first reso%/e the motion for reconsideration in its entirety before ordering a recount of the ba%%ots2 On Au8u() 15.7)68 thusB .respondent@s ob"ections were sti%% pending before the . acting on the . pri/ate respondents ob"ection was correct%y o/erru%ed by the . )**+.e ()")u( @uo 40e7"*&*n8 40*o0 )o ). 1995.on7ene "n# 0e.")*on7)38 with the CO.otion for C%arification. sha%% act as mayor of Tamparan2 !e a%so pointed that the August ) Order of the en banc was high%y Auestionab%e considering that by ordering a recan/ass of the returns. petitioner fi%ed a motion for reconsideration with the en banc2 $ending the reso%ution of this motion.&"6")*on "n# o0#e0e# " 0e.ERE. obser/ing strict%y the reAuirements of -ection '1 R2A2 5)++.e 4e)*)*on and this motion for reconsiderationC 9'2 To d*0e.E#EC thus directed the .Pen#*n8 . the en banc.on(*#e0")*on o/ )."n7"(( the e%ection returns pertaining to $recinct Nos2 )+ and '10A. the proper remedy was an e%ection protest2 !ence. the CO.e Mun*.*4"& $o"0# o/ C"n7"((e0( )o 0e.< On August )4. at the same time.E#EC en banc a%%eging that the procedure in R2A2 5)++ on pre0proc%amation cases app%y on%y when there is a /a%id ground for a pre0proc%amation contro/ersy2 $etitioner c%aimed that since the ob"ections raised by pri/ate respondent pertained to the casting and appreciation of ba%%ots.unicipa% Board of Can/assers of Tamparan to turn o/er a%% e%ection documents pertaining to its can/ass to the new .e /*&*n8 o/ ). directed the parties to maintain the status quo prior to the annu%ment of petitioner@s proc%amation. the Commission hereby orders as fo%%owsB 9)2 To direct the parties to 6"*n)"*n ).
)*on 0e)u0n( *n.") ).e O6n*1u( !&e.BC was set to recon/ene on August )+. in its &anuary )(. c%aimed that since the . CO.") ).E#EC to first determine whether the integrity of the ba%%ot bo<es and ba%%ots were preser/ed prior to recon/ening of the . pursuant to the August ) Order 7)+8 of the CO.)*on Co#e2 Instead of comp%ying with this directi/e. )**327)*8 The petition at bar actua%%y in/o%/es a 6*(*n)e040e)")*on of our October '6.e e&e.BC to recon/ene and recount the ba%%ots2 >hen pri/ate respondent fi%ed a motion as=ing the CO.BC.&u#e( 7o)e( on 1"&&o)( 9. worded as fo%%owsB 9that the e%ection returns are manufactured.E#EC en banc.E#EC to order a recounting of ba%%ots in precincts )+ and '10A1u) on&' "/)e0 #e)e06*n*n8 ). the ?ebruary '3. in its Order dated ?ebruary '3. . at about 'B41 p2m2 of the same date.. howe/er.E#EC en banc with gra/e abuse of discretion2 !ence this petition for certiorari and prohibition27)(8 >e find the petition impressed with merit2 As correct%y noted by the -o%icitor Denera%.on(*#e0*n8 ). )**+.BC recon/ened at the session ha%% of the CO.E#EC was issued without gi/ing petitioner a chance to fi%e his opposition thereto2 In fact.BC and the candidates recei/ed copies of the August )+ Order of the CO.E#EC Order. )**+ Order of CO. the new%y0constituted .E#EC en banc ho%ding in abeyance the recon/ening of the . )**3 decision where we directed the CO.)*on( 2:2 "n# 2:5 o/ ).BC his written ob"ection for the e<c%usion of returns for precincts )+ and '10A. fabricated or not authentic. pri/ate respondent fi%ed before the municipa% board of can/assers (. 4u0(u"n) )o e. it had no choice but to issue its Order on the same day suspending the recan/assing and without awaiting Opposition from petitioner2 In /iew of the CO.E#EC2 Thus.e *n)e80*)' "n# *#en)*)' o/ ). 7')8 found 9no need to pre%iminari%y determine: this issue2 The recounting proceeded and pri/ate respondent e/en participated therein2 !ence.otion for C%arification for he recei/ed a copy of the motion on%y at about 4B11 p2m2 of the same day2 CO. )**+ Order7'18 immediate%y directed the . petitioner@s counse% was unaware of the fi%ing of pri/ate respondent@s .E#EC.BC ad"ourned its proceedings2 The August )+ Order showed on its face that Commissioner .aambong was on officia% business but the %atter denied this in a 9.issent: 7)58 stating that he was not informed that such Order was the sub"ect of consu%tation2 !e registered his dissent against the August )+ Order since it wou%d not resu%t in a piecemea% reso%ution of the case and cou%d be misinterpreted as a form of f%ip0f%opping on the part of the CO. the new%y0constituted . this petition is a mere seAue% to the ear%ier case (D2R2 No2 )'1('4 between the same parties which was a%ready decided by this Court on October '6.In the meantime.anifestation and .e 1"&&o)( "n# 1"&&o) 1o+e( 9e0e 40e(e07e#. he is deemed to ha/e wai/ed his right to impugn said Order2 >e come now to the propriety of the procedure adopted by the municipa% board of can/assers in refusing to consider the ob"ections raised by pri/ate respondent to the e%ection returns from precincts )+ and '10A2 $ursuant to -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++. the .E#EC.E#EC became fina% and e<ecutory and with the participation of pri/ate respondent in the recount. .E#EC.E#EC to recan/ass the two e%ection returns2 Before the proceedings.*.BC unti% reso%ution of petitioner@s motion for reconsideration2 The August )+ Order of CO. howe/er. "0e (4u0*ou(. the CO. petitioner a%%eges that the August )+ Order was a fa%sified Order and issued by the CO.
"0e (4u0*ou(.E#EC Reso%ution annu%%ing . the CO.on)*nue# 9*).&u#e( 7o)e( on 1"&&o)( 9.&"6")*on . inc%usion of which was ob"ected to by pri/ate respondent2 $ri/ate respondent@s recourse now is to proceed with the e%ection contest pending before the RTC of . howe/er. on ). A0)*. -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++ pro/ides for the procedure in the disposition of contested e%ection returns.ee#*n8( o/ ). opposition to the ob"ection may be made by the other party2 Epon receipt of the e/idence.)*on *n(4e.)*on( 2:2>2:5.)*on 0e)u0n( to which a party must ha/e made specific ob"ections2 In the case at bar.)*on Co#e. but was directed primari%y at the 1"&&o)( ref%ected in the returns2 The issue of whether or not the ba%%ots were manufactured.*( o1Ae.E#EC directing it to desist from ru%ing on petitioner@s motion for reconsideration is made permanent2 The &une '(. as worded.7'38 we ru%ed that the ob"ection raised before the board of can/assers that certain 7o)e( 0e/&e. thusB >hen a party contests the inc%usion or e<c%usion of a return in the can/ass. the procedure out%ined in -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++ wou%d not app%y in the disposition of returns from precincts )+ and '10A. .-H!R!OF.BC correct%y ru%ed that pri/ate repondent@s ob"ections are not proper in a pre0proc%amation contro/ersy2 Thus.e .."n7"((*n8 "n# 40o. fabricated or not authentic. pre0proc%amation contro/ersies are %imited toB () cha%%enges directed against the . considering ).&"*6e# 4e)*)*one0 "( ). fabricated or not authentic in/o%/es an appreciation thereof2 It is sett%ed that issues re%ati/e to the appreciation of ba%%ots cannot be raised in a pre0proc%amation contro/ersy2 Appreciation of ba%%ots is the tas= of the board of e%ection inspectors.*. the temporary restraining order issued by this Court against pub%ic respondent CO.o64o(*)*on o0 40o.") ). and Auestions re%ated thereto are proper on%y in e&e.)*on.BC did not err in refusing to consider the ob"ections raised by pri/ate respondent during the can/ass of the returns2 -ection '1 of R2A2 5)++ app%ies on%y where the ob"ection on the return being can/assed refers to issues proper in a pre0proc%amation contro/ersy2 Ender the Omnibus E%ection Code."n7"((e0( Cno) ).7'68 In the case of A1e&&" 7.e 80oun#( 40o7*#e# un#e0 A0)*.e 1o"0# o/ .e 9*nne0.BC fai%ed to fo%%ow the procedure out%ined in -ection '1 of R2A25)++ when it 0e/u(e# )o 0u&e on ).E#EC.)o0(D.)*on 0e)u0n( *n.E#EC he%d that the . the .e 1o"0# o/ e&e. in the case at bar. or (' cha%%enges re%ated to e&e. )**+ CO. and within '6 hours recei/e the e/idence of the ob"ecting party2 >ithin '6 hours.on)0o7e0(' 2 It is beyond the competence of the board of can/assersC neither is it a pre0proc%amation issue. L"00"E"1"&. the board of can/assers sha%% ma=e a ru%ing thereon2 >e find that the .&e BB o0 e. 6"0=e# "n# *n7"&*# 1"&&o)( 2:7'48 The ob"ection.e0)"*n 0e)u0n( are not /a%id /otes as they shou%d not ha/e been counted at a%% is no) " 7"&*# 80oun# /o0 " 40e>40o.)e# *n .BC ru%ed that this is not a /a%id ob"ection for a pre0 proc%amation case2 The CO. and the refusa% of the board of can/assers to consider such ob"ection or ru%e on the same is not erroneous2 Thus. not the board of can/assers.e e&e. pri/ate respondent ob"ected to the two returns on the ground 9that the e%ection returns are manufactured. the board of can/assers sha%% defer the can/ass of the contested return.6"0=e# "n# *n7"&*# 1"&&o)(2:7''8 The . did not categorica%%y ru%e whether the ob"ection is /a%id in a pre0proc%amation case2 Instead.e O6n*1u( !&e.)*on 40o)e()(. did not cha%%enge the returns.arawi City and there raise the issue re%ati/e to the a%%eged mista=e in the appreciation of the ba%%ots inc%uded in the contested e%ection returns2 IN 3I!.&e BIB o/ ). ).
. Jr.. concu . Vitug. Bellosillo. "rancisco. JJ. Davide. Panganiban. Regalado.. Jr. Narvasa. Romero. Jr. Melo. without pre"udice to the fina% outcome and reso%ution of the e%ection protest fi%ed by pri/ate respondent before the RTC of . Mendo!a. Padilla.arawi City2 No costs2 O ORD!R!D.. C. and $orres..J. #ermosisima.petitioner@s proc%amation is re/ersed and set aside. Ka unan.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.